Latest information on operational modifications for fall 2021 Roadrunner Roadmap

Projects

We develop process improvements and enhancements to help with your budget-related processing and reporting.

Automated Budget Transfer Workflow Process

Through a collaborative process, we engaged with back-office and front-office users to develop an efficient workflow process that reduces the transaction touchpoints and processing time for completing budget transfers. The approach we followed for design and implementation included focus groups with our campus users, as well as engaging with subject matter experts and final approvers. The UTSA development and implementation team consisted of the following offices:

Budget and Financial Planning Grants and Contracts Financial Services
Elizabeth Bay Daniel Anzak
Rosanna Brewster Lisa Pettit
Paula Pierson Stacy Williams
Jacob Sanchez  
Jimmy Villanueva  

Business Information Services Research Service Center
Dennis Layman Amy Ossola-Phillips
Cynthia Orth Mary Riedel
Rene Paniagua  

 

Special thanks goes to representatives from across campus who participated in our focus groups: Academic Affairs (including colleges), Athletics, Business Affairs, Development and Alumni Relations, and Research and University Technology Solutions.

Every year, we fine-tune and strengthen our budget transfer process and business rules. The end goal is to develop a strong, automated process that recognizes efficiencies while incorporating automated checks against our business rules. In the fall of 2019, we saw this goal materialize as it became an official project with UTSA and the UT Shared Information Services group. The project timeline was as follows:

August 2019 Project Kick-Off
August – December 2019 Design Phase
September 2019 Focus Groups with Campus Users
January – February 2020 Testing Phase 
March – May 2020 Development of Training Materials and Resources 
June – August 2020 Campus Communications 
July – August 2020 User Training and Virtual Work Sessions 
Aug. 1, 2020 Implementation

 

In an effort to bridge the gap between how budget transfer processing occurs for cost centers and projects/grants, we put in significant effort to collaborate on a process that works in all cases. Although the business rules may differ depending on the funding source, the workflow functionality was built in a way to accommodate all funding types.

Cost Centers (OPE Ledger)

  • Department initiator (Level 1) prepares and submits budget transfer
  • College/VP financial lead (Level 2) can submit, review and approve budget transfers
  • Department approval is only required on “from” side of transfers
  • Depending on the funds in the transfer, it may route to Accounting Services or Grants and Contracts Financial Services (GCFS)
  • Budget transfers end in the Budget Office for final review and posting

Projects (GRT_CHILD1 Ledger)

  • Initiator can be departmental user or Office of Post Award Administration (OPAA)
  • Approval by project Principal Investigator (PI), OPAA and GCFS  
  • Budget transfers end with GCFS for final review and posting

Both Cost Centers and Projects

  • Additional reviewer/approver can be inserted by any approver
  • Automated email notification when budget transfer is posted
  • Approval chain is provided in PeopleSoft to identify the status of the pending transfer

Funds Not Included in New Automated Process
Transfers involving these funds should follow the current process, creating and saving the transfer in PeopleSoft, routing an email with approvals to the Budget Office

  • Funds 7xxx
  • Funds 9xxx

As a result of our engaging with our partners across campus, we identified the following benefits, which were expected as a result of this implementation. These key points were kept in mind throughout the design and implementation phases.

  • Automated workflow for review/approval process
  • Verification of allowable transfers between funds
  • Confirmation of sufficient budget prior to routing transfer
  • Faster, streamlined process with fewer touchpoints
  • Ability to track status through approval queue
  • Automated email notifications

 

The previous process for preparing, routing and approving budget transfers varied between funding types; however, in all cases, there was a manual portion. The time between creating and posting a transfer was longer and there was no simple way to identify the current status of a transfer. The new process significantly automates many of the steps involved and allows the system to provide warnings and tracking information. Below is a look at the previous process:

  • Cost Centers
    • Budget transfers were entered in PeopleSoft by the departments (but saved only)
    • An Excel spreadsheet was created to reflect the budget transfer details
    • Departments had to route emails to get various approvals
  • Projects
    • Budget transfer requests were submitted to Post Award for approval
    • Requests were routed to GCFS for processing in PeopleSoft
  • Cost Share
    • Cost share forms were submitted to GCFS with new award setup
    • GCFS created Cost Share Cost Centers and entered the transfer into PeopleSoft

As part of the training phase, several resources and tools were developed to help you with a smooth transition to the new process. These materials were shared during multiple training sessions and virtual work groups. Sessions included a presentation, discussion of business rules and review of the overall process, including the step by step user guide, and allowed time for you to bring actual budget transfers to work on together. Materials from the session are listed below.