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Janet RupertHow does Accounts Payable and Travel Services support Carolina’s mission?

UNC-Chapel Hill requires so much in terms of supplies and services – the amount of transactions needed to run the University is staggering.  We have to be able to help identify appropriate vendors and find ways to provide for the various needs of specific audiences, such as: academic departments, research labs, our athletic teams, students, employees and faculty members in the most efficient way.  Our teams process well over 300,000 requests per year including voucher payments, travel reimbursements/airfare, new or updated vendors/independent contractors and related tax reporting.  We are also responsible for updating and maintaining the policies and procedures that provide the framework for how these items are to be implemented.  We constantly monitor these exchanges so that we ensure the university is in compliance with state and federal rules.

What’s a typical day like in your job?

I have a team member who says, “Expect the unexpected” and I’ve never been disappointed with that concept.  Each day, I try to come in with a plan for action on specific items – relative mostly to project management.  But as the day goes on, people who have questions with unusual purchases or policy application call in and we have to resolve those issues in a timely manner.  Every day is a matter of constant prioritizing and problem solving.  For instance, I may get a call about a storage facility full of items that are being held for the university, but the professor who used to pay for the space is now retired and the grant he managed is no longer in service.  Or, one of our teams has advanced in the playoffs and funds are needed within a few hours for meals and travel expenses.  Many different scenarios.

What is your personal history with Carolina?

I started as a temp in 2007 in Asset Management.  I was hired as a permanent employee in February 2008, and continued with that responsibility and additional warehouse responsibilities, including the Surplus warehouse. One of my fondest projects was working with Al Jeter of Surplus and Jack Walker of ITS to implement the surplus online request system.  In January 2014, I came into my present role – just a few months before we converted to PeopleSoft.

What do you like most about your work?

I like the scope of it – I like new projects and looking for efficiencies.  I’m very proud of the AP and Travel  teams – it’s a privilege to serve with them and it’s rare to have such a good group.

What is something people don’t know about you?

I’ve run three full marathons – in California and two in Arizona (in winter time). I think it’s the most pure sport there is.  Exercise and mental health all at the same time. But, I’m past my marathon running days.  Now I walk.

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