The following message was sent earlier today to Deans, Directors and Department Heads.
To: Deans, Directors, Department Heads
From: Fran Dykstra, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Enterprise Applications, Information Technology Services
Matt Brody, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources; chair, HR/Payroll Stakeholders committee
Brian T. Smith, Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Financial and Accounting Operations; chair, Finance Stakeholders committee
Scott Jackson, Executive Director, Enterprise Reporting & Departmental Systems
Date: Nov. 5, 2014
We wanted to update you on the first full month of use of the ConnectCarolina system’s Finance, Human Resources, Payroll and reporting applications. Generally, the implementation of this large-scale administrative system has gone well, though much work remains to be done before we have a system that works as smoothly as the ones that were used for decades.
As with any change of this magnitude, and despite robust training and communication efforts, some campus and central administrative users have struggled with the new system. They are having to adapt to a new, more complex chart of accounts, new department numbers, new system-enforced budget restrictions, new business processes, new concepts for entering and retrieving data, new reporting tools and new job duties. There have been successes as well as bumps in the road. Below you will find summaries of the successes and challenges we have faced in Finance and HR/Payroll, and what we have done and continue to do to resolve these issues.
Since go-live, the Finance Division has worked through several issues that accompany a consolidated system such as ConnectCarolina. You may be aware that schools/departments experienced some decreased productivity due to changes in processes and new systems, chartfield structure and reporting tools. Below is a high-level overview of the first month’s issues.
- ePro Vendor Catalog purchases processing is consistent with the level of activity prior to go-live.
- There is currently a backlog of processing Campus Vouchers, which are used for employee or University affiliate reimbursement, independent contractor payment and petty cash replenishment. The current backlog rate is about two times the pre-implementation level. We are addressing past-due vouchers first and have added and reassigned staff to work on the backlog.
- Receiving issues are related to amount-only purchase orders and these issues are being addressed. A receiving webinar is planned for later this week.
- October’s month-end close process will be the first since ConnectCarolina Finance went live last month. The November accounting period opened on Nov. 3.
- Campus staff depositors are doing a terrific job entering and sending University deposits in a timely manner.
Please see the chart on finance transactions last month on this web page: http://ccinfo.unc.edu/oct-stats.
We have fully processed 5,900 HR actions since Oct. 1. We are seeing occasional issues with the new electronic Personnel Action Forms (ePARs). The project team is working closely with our HR representatives and other users on campus when issues arise, with a particular focus on ensuring that personnel actions that affect compensation meet all required deadlines.
The integrated nature of ConnectCarolina means that HR and Payroll systems are now in the same application. Payroll has processed four pay cycles since Oct. 1 (three bi-weekly and one monthly). All employees were paid on time. Nearly 49,000 paychecks were issued, the vast majority of them correctly.
However, we have seen scattered examples of incorrect benefits deductions in paychecks. We have also experienced wider problems with incorrect displays of available leave on SPA paystubs; in addition, a number of SPA exempt employees were slightly underpaid – in all cases, by less than $20 – in the Oct. 31 paycheck due to a calculation error. In all of these cases, OHR and Payroll Services are working closely together to ensure that the problems are solved and corrected where needed. The SPA exempt employees are expected to receive repayment in the Nov. 14 paycheck.
Please see the chart of completed HR transactions last month on this web page: http://ccinfo.unc.edu/oct-stats.
The Project Team is working to address an issue causing challenges to departments needing to charge expenses to anticipated future funding sources. The process now in place charges these expenses to suspense accounts, and thereby ensures compliance. However, it also creates processing and funding issues for departments responsible for the suspense accounts.
OSR is making every effort to setup awards/projects in a timely and efficient manner once all documentation is received, negotiated (if applicable) and compliance has been verified, and is reviewing the business practice related to these circumstances.
InfoPorte is the tool for all campus and central office reporting on ConnectCarolina transactions. InfoPorte provides a new and more robust data warehouse and sophisticated data analysis tools that will help modernize the way that the University uses data and information. Over the past year the Reporting team has been working to install a solid infrastructure to support the University’s extensive reporting needs. This solid infrastructure positions the team to quickly address the reporting needs of campus users.
As with all projects of this nature, the reporting effort tends to run a little behind the full implementation of the transactional system. To support the initial implementation, the team has built many inquiry screens that give users access to ConnectCarolina and legacy information. The Reporting team is implementing new releases every two weeks to push functionality to the community.
To help users make the most of InfoPorte, training classes for Finance and HR reporting are scheduled over the next several weeks. MOU Leads and HR Officers are identifying who should attend these sessions. A full schedule is available here: http://ccinfo.unc.edu/training/post-go-live-training-schedule.
Training and Support
Training continues post go-live. New classes are being developed as needed for changes to the system or as new training needs are identified. To date, there have been:
- 8,893 training classroom seats used by our community
- 14,075 views of Computer Based Training (CBT) materials
- 1,892 unique people trained during in-person class sessions
In addition, training teams provides ongoing help and support to campus and central office users. For instance, we hold twice weekly conference calls and weekly in person meetings for Training and Implementation Partners (TIPs), representatives from schools and units that come together to discuss updates on known issues/fixes and question/feedback opportunities for campus. We also held mobile labs in October. These were sessions held around campus designed to provide distributed system users with assistance.
We also continue to have additional support mechanisms in place. If anyone encounters problems we urge them to submit a help ticket, either by calling the Help Desk at 919-962-HELP or submitting an online ticket at http://help.unc.edu/. They may also visit the http://ccinfo.unc.edu/ website, which is kept up to date on the latest news, issues/fixes, and ongoing training information. Please view an illustration of our ticket intake and response last month on this web page: http://ccinfo.unc.edu/oct-stats.
We trust you found this note informative and would ask you to please be in touch if you have any additional questions or concerns. Thank you.
This message is sponsored by: Information Technology Services