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EIS data accuracy efforts near finalization

June 6, 2016

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Thank you for your contributions to and patience with outstanding issues associated with the 9.2 PeopleSoft conversion, referred to as the Enterprise Information System (EIS), the implementation of the new Chart of Accounts and All Funds budgeting. 

This extensive effort as you know, involved implementing nine financial modules spanning more than 30 auxiliary interfaces adding new functionality or revised business processes and new controls. It also involves the development of new financial reporting capability. Collectively, these efforts required extensive work by many different leadership and work teams across the entire UNT System.

Representatives of all four UNT System components are now in the final stages of addressing some of the issues that either resulted from the conversion itself, the mapping over of data to different chart fields, or were intentionally planned for implementing after the ”go-live” date. It is our goal that these items will be resolved within the next two months and as early as possible. 

EIS Data Accuracy

Simultaneously, we are working to clear up some data items in the EIS to ensure data accuracy. These include:

  • Payroll Encumbrances. Encumbrances contain two months of salary funding for March and April that have not been released after payments were posted.  This is causing the payroll encumbrances to be overstated and the available balances to be understated. For May going forward, the issue has been corrected and is working as intended.

Once the problem was discovered in April, efforts were made to correct all months going forward so as to isolate the erroneous encumbrances to just March and April. EIS now reflects a value of two months of payroll expenses with excess encumbrances. Testing on the solution should begin in two weeks and last another two weeks. The solution is expected to be complete on or around July 1.

  • Fringe Benefits. In EIS prior to the conversion, state-paid benefits were budgeted and expended from a central institutional pool, not in individual departmental budgets.

Beginning with the implementation of EIS v9.2, a process change regarding fringe benefits was put into place where benefits expenses are intended to be charged against the departmental budget and an equal budget amount transferred in from a central pool to cover the charges. This automated process is still being finalized, but once in place promises to provide you with a more complete financial picture.

We made the decision to provide an automated tool, eliminating manual work, thus the time delay in implementing this process change. An estimated timetable for completion is July 1. Until this is resolved, the budget, grants and accounting offices are available to provide this information as a short term work around.

  • PCard Transactions. As standard practice, PCard transactions are posted one month in arrears of the actual activity. For example, March PCard activity will be posted in April, April activity in May, etc. Given this timetable, March transactions were created and are ready to post to EIS for all institutions. Once March and April are posted, we will be current with PCard transactions. May transactions will follow regular practice and opened for review on June 4 and posted in late June.
  • Payroll Reallocations. The payroll reallocation program is in the process of being updated to account for the new chart of accounts. Testing should begin in the three weeks and completed in mid-July. This issue only affects reallocations that were not mapped since March 1, 2016.
  • Double Encumbrances. Another issue that is currently being remediated is the double encumbrance issues within EIS v9.2. If a transaction crosses two different ledgers (for example, a non-sponsored project funded by state Education and General funds), any encumbrances associated with the project are appearing in both ledgers and being double counted. The solution to this issue is currently in testing and is slated for implementation on July 1. 

Financial Reports

  • Reporting capabilities within Cognos and E-thority were triaged to provide basic reports as a start with expectations of developing new detailed reports later. Cognos and E-thority are the tools that that allow end users to see the data that are in EIS. The team has worked aggressively to begin the development of robust financial reporting through the use of Cognos Reporting. E-thority reports, used at UNT Health Science Center only, also are under development.
  • The design and development of financial reporting capabilities could not start until the Chart of Accounts and implementation of 9.2 were complete, thus the lag time. Again, a part of the EIS 9.2 conversion process was the need to rebuild all existing Cognos and E-thority reports in the new format and to create new, more sophisticated and detailed reporting that our financial systems now have the capability to support.
  • Until all items have been fully addressed, your budget reports need to be reviewed with the understanding that there may be some data issues affecting your balances at this time. We expect these issues to be resolved within the next two months or earlier, if possible. Payroll and purchasing detailed data reports are currently under development and are expected to begin being rolled out at the end of June and through the remainder of the fiscal year.
  • Until the appropriate reports are developed, tested and validated, the budget, grants and accounting offices are available to provide assistance with this information as a short term work around.

Your patience is appreciated and you are encouraged to contact your campus budget office, grants office or System Administration staff if you need assistance. 

Thank you for being a part of this significant change and modernization effort.

Sincerely,

Janet Waldron

Vice Chancellor for Finance

Posted on: Mon 06 June 2016

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