Crosswalk Newsletter

Crosswalk January 2014

PeopleSoft Go-Live Date

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The UTShare Executive Committee for the PeopleSoft project has determined that PeopleSoft will go live on May 5, 2014. According to a memo sent to the campus executive committees by Dr. Scott Kelley, the UT Share executive sponsor for the project, the revised date will give campuses additional time to finalize interim campus processes, communicate important changes to campus, and train our end users.

“We will use this additional time to fine-tune important aspects of this implementation that affect our campus users,” said Cindy Villa, Vice President for Business Affairs and member of the UT Share executive committee. “As the change impacts our training schedule, we will be providing campus with more details over the next few weeks.”

The project teams will continue to work towards achieving system readiness by ensuring that all testing is completed, critical issues are resolved, and the system is working as expected. Timelines and training schedules will be established in alignment with the go-live date. For more PeopleSoft information, check the PeopleSoft website and continue reading the Crosswalk newsletter.

Stabilization Period and Interim Approval Processes

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A stabilization period is a key component of an implementation; it is dedicated to minimizing risk and identifying and resolving system issues. “After we go-live, we’ll need this time to work out any kinks that we encounter, before we grant additional users access to the system,” said Iris Niestas, project manager for the PeopleSoft project.  In the short term, the project team has developed interim approval processes that will be used during the go-live stabilization period. With the interim approval processes, the project team is ensuring that key HR and Finance transactions will have the appropriate approvals in place before they are processed within PeopleSoft.

“At go-live we’ll start by laying down the groundwork with PeopleSoft’s core functionality. Over time we’ll be adding more features,” said Iris. “We’re developing temporary workarounds in order to bridge the gap between what we’ll start with and what we need, so that we can complete our key business transactions.”

In some instances, campus will continue to use paper processes for approvals—for example, timesheets will be submitted in hard copy. In the future when the system has been stabilized, employees will submit their timesheets electronically, which will then route for approval within PeopleSoft.

Other transactions may require electronic forms for approvals. Electronic forms will be developed using BP Logix, a software solution that is used to collect and route data for approvals and processing.

For example, position funding changes will be initiated electronically through a BP Logix form. Department administrative support staff will fill out the electronic form that will route for approvals within BP Logix. After approvals are acquired, the department admin will enter the transaction in PeopleSoft, which will then route to the Budget Office for approval. The BP Logix approvals must be in place before the transaction is final approved.

“In the long run, we’ll be using PeopleSoft’s robust routing mechanism to facilitate approvals for those transactions,” Iris said. “I want to emphasize that these short-term workarounds are a normal part of stabilizing the system.”

Interim approval processes will be addressed as a part of training.

SME Spotlight: Lupe Gomez

Lupe Gomez is the subject matter expert (SME) for the PeopleSoft project overseeing the Grants Management module. She has a bachelor’s of accountancy from New Mexico State University (NMSU) and has over 20 years of accounting experience of which 7 have been grants management.

Prior To Your Assignment To PeopleSoft, What Was Your Job At UTEP?

Prior to being assigned to the People Soft project, I was the Manager for Contracts & Grants Accounting Services.   Our department is responsible for the accounting and financial reporting of all sponsored projects at the University.

What Is Your Involvement With The PeopleSoft Project

I am the subject matter expert (SME) assigned to working on the Grants Management module. I’m working to ensure that the PeopleSoft Grants module is configured to meet the needs of the university, making sure that converted data is going to be accurately loaded and reflected in PeopleSoft, and training the back-office staff.  We’re currently testing to make sure that the configuration setup is working, and that all of our current processes can also occur in PeopleSoft.

During Your Time On The Project, What Has Surprised You Most?

Even though 6 of the 7 institutions involved in this project use the same accounting system, many of our grant processes are done differently.   We’ve been able to share tips with each other as we’ve been working together.  In one case we shared a simple tip with one of the other universities that allowed them to automate one of their processes.

What Advice Do You Have For People To Help Them Through The PeopleSoft Conversion?

Attend the training sessions that are made available to them. Ask questions, and not be fearful of change. It might seem overwhelming at first but like any new process you learn or new system you work with, it’s unfamiliar territory that becomes familiar after a certain amount of practice.  After you get it, you get it.

When You Were Little, What Did You Want To Be When You Grew Up?

When I was in grade school I wanted to be an airline stewardess! Later on in high school I got involved in accounting and business classes which led me to my career path.

Module Spotlight: Grants Management

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Grants Management is the PeopleSoft module used to track and manage accounting and financial reporting information related to grants. The Grants Management module consists of 6 different parts related to the life-cycle of research administration: proposal information, award setup, project, contracts, billing, and accounts receivable.

According to Lupe Gomez, the PeopleSoft subject matter expert (SME) overseeing the Grants Management module, once we move to PeopleSoft, all grants information will be stored in one environment.  Currently, grants information is spread out between BIS/Define, budget tools managed by the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP), and multiple external databases.

Considering that the Grants Management module deals with accounting and financial reporting (largely back-office functions), most campus users are unlikely to see major changes. Though, there are a few that will see some positives. Employees like Principal Investigators (PIs) who deal with their grant-funded research projects will see some automation of processes that were previously handled manually. For example, cost sharing, which refers to the way funds are committed towards a project or award, will no longer require that information be certified and tracked through a manual process. PeopleSoft will manage and track expenses for cost sharing.

Speak PeopleSoft!

glossary imageWant to learn more about PeopleSoft? Start with PeopleSoft terminology. We’ll define a few PeopleSoft terms in every newsletter. See more by viewing the UTEP Glossary of PeopleSoft Terms.

BP Logix

A software solution that is used to collect and route data for approvals and processing.

Stabilization Period

The period of time following an implementation dedicated to minimizing risk and identifying and resolving system issues.

Trivia Questions: Answer and Win!

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If you answer all four trivia questions correctly (answers can be found in the articles in this newsletter), you will be entered in a drawing to win one of three $10 gift certificates to Starbucks. Just enter your answers in the fields provided and click on Submit below. Make sure you provide your name and email address so that we can notify you if you win.

1. The UTShare Executive Committee has determined that the revised go-live date is May 1, 2014. True, or False?
2. The revised go-live date will give us additional time to do what?
3. What is BP Logix?
4. What are the 6 different areas that make up the Grants Management module? These correspond to the activities involved in the life-cycle of research management.
We'll need both your name and email address to contact you if you win the drawing. Please enter both in the field below.

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