Research Accounting Project Update

24 August 2018

Purpose:

The Research Accounting Project seeks to improve Research Accounting processes, predominately around the creation of General Ledger Codes (GLCs). The project will streamline and automate (when possible) the GLC creation process through an eForm solution. Additionally, the project will establish updated Research Accounting policy and procedures that will standardise these processes across the University.

Benefits:

Staff will be provided a consistent process with defined roles and responsibilities. The eForm will provide a platform that will identify where the form is in the creation process and better facilitate the approval process.

Version 1 release deliverables and benefits:

  • Ability to create a GLC when a grant is awarded and before contract is signed, where allowed by the funds provider.
  • Updated Research Accounting (RA) policy and procedures.
  • Defined and consistent roles and responsibilities for RA procedures and GLC requests across the University.
  • University-wide defined interim GLC structure and guidelines.
  • Replacement to APOLLO GLC request form.
  • Streamlined workflow for GLC request processing.

Anticipated deliverables and benefits for Version 2 release:

  • GLC codes automatically generated versus current process in which RA manually creates next code. 
  • D Funds workflow will be automated instead of manual approval by Alumni Relations and Philanthropy (AR&P) and manual creation by RA.
  • Users will be able to make changes to their GLC in the eForm automatically, versus current process in which RA has to manually check, approve and action them.
  • Temporary GLC inactivation process will be automated.
  • Closure of GLCs require requests to establish zero balance in ES Financials will seek to be facilitated by the eForm.

Timeline:

We continue to push for the release of the GLC Request eForm at the beginning of September. We intend to release the policy and procedures updates in the Policy Library at the same time as the eForm is released.

Progress:

On 16 August 2018 the new policy and procedures written as part of the GLC Research Accounting Project were endorsed at the GM SDD Meeting. They are being sent to the Vice Chancellor for official approval in the coming days. Those documents will be available in the Policy Library and linked to the new eForm. We are thankful for all the participation in the ANU Community in drafting and revising those documents. We believe we have written policy and procedure that is inclusive of all University points of view in the GLC request process.

On the 6th and 7th of August 2018 Service Improvement Group hosted eight User Experience (UX) testing sessions. We had an incredibly strong turnout of 57 participants from all areas of the University. The feedback we received in those sessions was invaluable, providing several tweaks that need to be made before going live with the form at the beginning of September. Thank you to everyone who participated.

How To Get Involved:

We have a workshop on 23 July 2018 to review the Research Accounting policy and procedures. This will provide an opportunity for our customers to be a part of the development process for this body of work.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns please contact the Project Manager, Jonathan Rich, at jonathan.rich@anu.edu.au or 55675.