As June marks the end of our fiscal year, let’s review some of the highlights from this incredible year of change and innovation at the department of Finance and Budget. In September 2019, Vice Chancellor Jonathan Pruitt shared his vision for Finance and Operations and discussed three priorities for the division: General Operational Achievement and Success, Enhance Campus Risk Management and Improved Financial Performance and Success.
This month, we’ll highlight achievements of the department as they fit into these priorities and add on two more areas to note: taking on the curve ball of the COVID-19 pandemic and organizational changes and accolades of the department. While we tried to hit the main activities, they are listed in no particular order and we certainly did not catch everything. Apologies in advance for any oversights (let us know if we missed anything – we’ll be glad to include them in our next newsletter).
We hope you enjoy an overview of your amazing work!
General Operational Achievement and Success
- Travel Website and Travel Policies were overhauled and updated for better user service and to prepare for the transition to the new integration of Concur and the T&E Payment Card (coming in Fall 2020).
- CarolinaCrossroads restaurant began accepting P-Card as a payment method.
- eProcurement order limit thresholds were increased from $5,000 to $25,000 on information technology, scientific supplies and MRO supplies.
- Accounts Payable and Vendor Services launched a new One-Day Speaker form to streamline the process of a large percentage of independent contractors.
Enhanced Campus Risk Management
- The P-Card Office introduced a mandatory training and infractions policy to campus.
- Payroll introduced a new policy for the recovery of funds from employees due to overpayment.
- A New Supplier portal was developed by Accounts Payable and Vendor Services to provide greater safety in vendor banking information and to streamline work for campus business staff.
- Internal Controls produced 12 informational newsletters detailing policies and procedures for stronger internal controls and advising against fraud.
Improved Financial Performance and Success
- The new budget process was completed in July 2019 to set up the year ahead.
- Payroll released a memo in March detailing changes in W-4 forms and how employees should calculate differences in their withholding.
- Accounts Payable and Vendor Services developed a quick reference card to improve accuracy on voucher payments.
- Central Offices introduced an updated Campus Journal Chartfield Matrix to improve guidance to Campus Journal users.
Adaption to Change During COVID-19
- Cash Management and the Cashier’s Office developed allowable modifications and exemptions for the Daily Deposit Act to ensure deposits could be made safely.
- eProcurement announced home delivery capacities.
- Procurement enacted a Procurement Process Approval form and justification process to ensure prudent management of finances while orders were made off-site and for home use.
- Special leave provisions were developed in TIM and maintained by TIM Administrative staff, including the new Families First Corona Response Act (FFCRA).
- Travel restrictions and cancellations were implemented.
- Accounts Payable, Travel Services and P-Card staff maintained half-days of work in the office to facilitate necessary business.
- The Controller’s Office, University Council and Information and Technology Services introduced a digital approval process for the interim period of teleworking.
Organizational Changes and Accolades of the Department
- In September 2019, John Medlin received an Operational Excellence Award from Office of the Provost.
- Rebecca Spanos was hired in September 2019 to become the new Manager of Travel and Payment Card Services. Accounts Payable and Vendor Services became a new separate department under Janet Rupert.
- In October 2019, Manali Bettendorf came on board as our new University Controller and Executive Director for Enterprise Financial Accounting.
- Brett Kenney of Cash Management was appointed the Interim Chair of Compliant Electronic Receipt Transactions through Innovation and Financial Integrity (CERTIFI) in November 2019, and Brooke O’Neal, University Merchant Services Manager, moved from University Cashier’s office to Cash Management.
- In February 2020, three finance employees received Five Star Awards for Service Excellence: Yiwen Wang, Accounting Manager in Accounting Services; Stephanie May, Payroll Tax Accountant in Payroll, and Kelly Carruthers, Applications Analyst in the University Cashier’s office.
- In March 2020, a realignment was announced for the Finance department which includes many of the changes listed here, and plans for future growth. As part of the realignment:
- A new department of Associated Entities and Investment Accounting group which includes the Foundation and Investment Accounting team has been formed and is now overseen by Interim Executive Director of Associated Entities and Associate Controller Chandrika Rao.
- Rod Smith was promoted to Director of Internal Controls.
- Procurement and Strategic Operations was formed, incorporating Procurement and led by Beau Jimmerson.
- New Treasury Services Director Scott Greer was also hired in March, with oversight of Treasury Operations and University Cashier.
- Walter Miller, Director of Payroll Services, was interviewed about Payroll Services staff being Carolina’s Heroes in an April 2020 article in The Well.