I have recently been working with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) on improvements to their budget reporting process. These improvements included the development and distribution of a weekly report for those responsible for the budget.
Utilizing Connected Query and BI Publisher, we have developed several reports to support budget users in managing their budgets. Many ad-hoc reports to manage the overall college budgets had already been developed for the business officers who use PeopleSoft on a regular basis. But what was really needed, was the ability to email reports to the non-PeopleSoft users who were in charge of the budgets.
Automation of Reports
To automate the distribution of budget reports, a set up table was created identifying the owners of the budget strings by HR position number. The position number or position numbers are assigned to the budget strings by the colleges. The position number is used to determine the employee holding the position. The employee ID is used in the bursting of the report and to email the report to the employee on a weekly basis.
Users receiving the reports do not have to be users of the PeopleSoft Financial system but do need to be set up in PeopleSoft Financials as a valid user. These users are set up with just basic access and never use the PeopleSoft system. They use the reports to manage their budgets instead of having to rely on the college business office to provide this information when issues come up.
Weekly Reports
Two reports are delivered on a weekly basis. The first report is for general funds and gift accounts which are managed on a yearly fiscal budget. This report includes the current year budget only. The second report is for grant funds, which are managed based on the grant dates, not on a fiscal year basis. This report includes any grants that are active in the current fiscal year and includes the information for the entire period of the grant.
We started distributing these weekly reports about a year ago. At the start of the process, we were sending reports to around 300 individuals. One year later, we are now sending out reports to over 1,000 individuals.
Challenges Overcome
The three biggest challenges that we faced with this project were (1) determining the format of the reports, (2) identifying the users who needed the reports, and (3) determining how to communicate this information to the colleges. We started by looking at some of the existing reports and working with a pilot group on final requirements. We worked with the colleges to identify the users and determine which users needed to be established in PeopleSoft Financials for receiving the reports.
Meetings were held at the various colleges to review the reports and what was available to them. We provided them with training on setting up users to receive the reports. Colleges were provided with information regarding their employees and position numbers. They determined who needed to receive the reports and this information was initially upload into the set up tables. Once the reports were ready and the distribution information was loaded, we scheduled the reports to be run weekly.
Working with KCTCS staff on this project—especially Jessica Corbin, Financial Report Database Support Specialist—has been a great experience.
Interested in learning more?
I will be co-presenting a session at Alliance 2015 with Jessica Corbin (Financial Report Database Support Specialist at KCTCS) titled “Where Do I Stand with My Budget?” (Session #34067) on Tuesday, March 17, 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.