A financial system replacement that could potentially affect all University employees and students is scheduled to go live next month.
As of January 1, 2015, Workday Financials, a cloud-based program, will replace the Financial Records System (FRS)—a system that has been used for more than 35 years to record the University’s financial and accounting activities. Many of the financial forms that are currently used will be replaced with new forms under UR Financials.
“It’s like learning a new language,” says Jim Dobbertin, deputy controller and project manager for the financial systems replacement project.
The transition to Workday has been in the works for nearly two years, Dobbertin says, with a team consisting of 30 members from across University units. There will be more than 80 different training events—adding up to about 8,000 hours—for the approximately 1,150 employees who will be regular users of the new system. Employees have provided feedback throughout the process. The goal is to make members of the University community feel comfortable with the Workday interface and forms.
Dobbertin acknowledges that there is some uncertainty among employees about the forthcoming change, but he says that many will appreciate the features of Workday, such as the opportunity to issue vendors electronic payments instead of paper checks and to electronically approve some transactions.
In addition to modernizing finance and accounting practices and reducing the need for corrections, the new software also provides added security for the University’s financial data, Dobbertin says.
The UR Financials website is the source of information for status updates, project timelines, and resources. It contains videos, printable reference cards, FAQs, a place to sign up for regular email updates, and more.