I have recently been working with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) on improvements to their journal entry process. These improvements include streamlining their entry process and reducing redundancy.
With the upgrade to PeopleSoft Financials 9.1, we were able to streamline the entry of journals by utilizing several of the new delivered functionality. This included the new approval framework for workflow and the attachment feature for journals.
Old Processing Redundancies and Issues
The old procedure for processing the majority of the journals, IntraUnit and multiple funds, was very cumbersome. When a college had a journal which included another college or multiple funds, a paper form was completed. If ithe journal was large, i.e., more than 100 lines, a spreadsheet was also completed. The paper copy and spreadsheet, if needed, then had to be routed and signed by all appropriate parties. Once all necessary signatures were obtained, the information was then sent to the system office Accounting staff via email.
The Accounting staff had to key the journal information from the paper form into PeopleSoft. If the journal information was in the spreadsheet, the Accounting staff had to transfer the spreadsheet information into the Journal Upload template and upload the journal into PeopleSoft.
New Processing Efficiencies
With the upgrade to PeopleSoft Financials 9.1 at KCTCS, we were able to implement workflow for the journals using the new approval framework. The paper form has now been eliminated. Instead, the college creates the journal directly in PeopleSoft. Also, since journals now support attachments, supporting documents are attached directly to the journal. This has allowed for all journals to be entered at the individual colleges rather than centrally. The journal is then routed through workflow for electronic approval.
The three biggest challenges that we faced with this project were (1) determining the overall configuration requirements, (2) determining who was responsible for what, and (3) determining how to communicate and train the colleges. We started by looking at the existing signature requirements for each area, including the differences between various funds and between the System Office and colleges. Since business unit security is in place at KCTCS, this also had to be reviewed to determine security requirements at the colleges for IntraUnit journal entry. Discussions were held to determine who would be allowed to handle the IntraUnit journals as this impacted all areas. Users entering IntraUnit journals would also have the ability to view documents from other business units besides their own.
We spent a lot of time working on the configuration requirements and business procedures. All of these things were documented thoroughly. We asked colleges and System Office departments if they would be willing to help design and pilot the new process.
Once the key decisions were made, all of this had to be communicated to the colleges. We started by doing an overview presentation of the process to the business officers for the colleges at their annual meeting at the System Office. In addition, emails were sent out well ahead of time informing the users of the upcoming changes and training schedules. This allowed for planning by the colleges in advance of the training. Training was held regionally with the colleges in order to cut down on their travel time. We asked several of the colleges to host these training sessions in their computer labs. We used UPK to create the training documents. All training documentation was then placed on the web for users to access after the go-live.
Working with KCTCS staff on this project – especially Doug Allen, Interim System Director of Business Services and Dedre VanHoose, Interim Director of Accounting – has been a great experience.
Interested in learning more?
I will be co-presenting a session at Alliance 2015 with Dedre VanHoose (Interim Director of Accounting at KCTCS) titled “Implementing GL Journal Workflow” (Session #34075) on Wednesday, March 18, 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.