To:      University Business Managers, Research Administration Support Group (RASG)

From:    Paige Burton, Executive Director, Budget Planning and Analysis, Fran Dykstra, Asst. Vice Chancellor, Enterprise Applications, Andy Johns, Senior Assoc. Vice Chancellor for Research

Budget Ledgers Being Simplified

An important initiative to simplify the part of ConnectCarolina that tracks and controls budgets is happening in time for the new fiscal year.  The simplification will improve system performance, reduce complexity, and reduce the amount of data the system needs to manage. If you only use the system for making purchases, such as placing ePro orders, you may notice that budget checking runs a little more quickly.  If you use ConnectCarolina for more involved transactions and budgeting, you may notice a few more changes. You’ll also notice a new way to choose State, F&A, or Trust when you’re running reports in InfoPorte.

18 to 7

Although many of the changes improve the performance of the system and are behind-the-scenes, there are some that you may see if you work with budget ledgers in ConnectCarolina.  A key part of the project is reducing the number of budget ledger groups from 18 to 7, including combining State, F&A, and Trust expense budget ledgers into one new ledger group called “FAST” (which stands for F&A, State, and Trust).  Similarly, the State, F&A, and Trust revenue ledger groups are being combined into one FAST revenue ledger, called FAST_REV.

There are no changes to OSR or OSR parent ledger groups.

Creating Budget Journals and Transfers

There are a couple of important items to know if you create budget journals and transfers:

  • The “Generate Parent Budget” checkbox will automatically be marked, even for trust funds.  You will need to choose the Parent Budget Entry Type for trust funds, as you do now for State and F&A.
  • You should still submit separate budget journals or transfers for State, F&A, and Trust funds, even though the system will let you combine State, F&A, and Trust lines on one budget journal or transfer.
  • If you are one of the small group of people who use an Excel template to upload budget transactions into the system, you will need to use an updated template. The updated template will be available on the Budget, Planning & Analysis website in the Budgets and Fringe section.

Parent Control?

Currently, in ConnectCarolina, only State and F&A transactions are recorded in parent ledgers.  This will still be true going forward—only the State and F&A transactions will be recorded in the FAST parent ledger.  At this time, there are no plans to control State or F&A funds, but in the future, the Office of Budget, Planning & Analysis may decide to control those funds and they can do this by using the FAST parent ledger.  There are no plans to use the system to control Trust funds.

Changes to State Budgeting

As part of simplifying the way we budget with State funds in ConnectCarolina, nine account codes are being removed as budget rollups.  Consolidating these account codes will simplify budgeting because there are nine fewer accounts on which you need to budget.  The chart below shows the account code that is currently being used and the account code that will need to be used for budgeting going forward.  The account codes in the left column will be invalid on July 1, 2017.

Account Used on STATE Account used on FAST
511000 511100
512000 512100
513000 513100
514100 514000
514500 514000
517000 520000
521110 520000
521210 520000
581110 580000

Changes to Expect With Reporting

If you use the Budgets Overview inquiry, it’s best to create new inquiries for FAST, and use the old ones for your historical reporting needs.   Also, if you run reports in ConnectCarolina, the way you report specifically on State, F&A, and Trust funds will change a little.  Starting with fiscal year 2018, you will choose the FAST ledger group and then use the fund value or fund range to report specifically on State, F&A, or Trust funds.

InfoPorte is being changed to let you choose the fund type, whether you are pulling data for the old ledger groups or the new.

More Information to Come

Since budget checking touches many parts of the Finance system, we are thoroughly testing the changes. The implementation of these changes is also being carefully coordinated with the end of this fiscal year.  The anticipated go live for the KK Redesign is in early June, in preparation for when vouchers and requisitions begin charging to the new fiscal year.   Stay tuned for more updates.

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