How do you run a world-class research operation like Carolina’s? Finance and Operations staff understand and appreciate the science and are passionate about the researchers they support. This profile of The Cash Management Team is part of a fuller story from F&O’s “On the Go” newsletter, February 2019.
For six summers, Advanced Accounting Technician Tammy Jorgenson and her husband travelled to Malawi to do missionary work. As a UNC-Chapel Hill employee, she knew about research the University was conducting there and knew some of the researchers on a project. She went to visit them.
“UNC has a maternal and child health program there, and to see the work that was helping mothers and children survive was really inspiring,” she said. “I was very proud to be a part of the work that was helping that country.”
Tammy and her Cash Management Team in Accounting Services play a crucial role in the University’s research. Although there are only four staff members on the team, they manage all the bank accounts for UNC-Chapel Hill. If there aren’t enough funds in the accounts, research can’t happen.
“Every morning I check the bank accounts and make sure there’s a set amount so that all of the expenditures for the University are covered for the day: payroll, expenses and transfers between bank accounts that are necessary to keep our research funded,” she explained.
Tammy is responsible for the foreign wire transfers, making sure that the research in foreign countries also has the funding they need in local banks in local currency. So, when she’s wiring the funds to Malawi, “it’s personal,” she said.
In addition to this, the Cash Management Team also oversee the Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP), which provides cost-effective health insurance to graduate students who are so vital to the research the University conducts.
The UNC Cash Management Team also finds solutions to help researchers conduct their business more effectively. Last year, the team unrolled a Prepaid Card program: a better, more secure way to pay research study subjects.
“Through a portal, departments can order, load and maintain reports for prepaid cards to be delivered to the study subjects,” Jorgenson explained. “They can be mailed or handed out directly to study subjects. This is helpful because there are research subjects who do not have access to banks. Since we started the program, it’s been going gangbusters.”
The cards usually range from $5 to $125 in payments, but the amount is determined by the department. As there is no charge to load the card or order the cards, and lost or stolen cards can be immediately cancelled, this solution proved a better option than the checking system that the University previously used.
Providing these solutions is a pleasure that Jorgenson says she and her team take in their daily work. She added that it’s the attitude of her team that also makes her job worthwhile.
“One thing about Accounting Services is that we have a family here,” she said. “People help each other out. If you need help, just call us and ask us, because no information is withheld, and if we don’t have the answer for it, we will help you find it.”
Read more about our cash management team.