What are we trying to achieve?
The Research Accounting Project seeks to improve Research Accounting processes, predominately around the creation of General Ledger Codes (GLCs). In collaboration with Finance and Business Services, the Service Improvement Group commenced work on the project in May of 2018. The project will streamline and, where possible, automate 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, unifying and simplifying the GLC application process.
How will it improve the service?
The key benefits of the service improvement are:
- Staff across the University will have access to a consistent process when requesting a GLC
- The new policy and procedure documents will clearly identify each stage of the process
- The eForm will provide a platform that will identify where the form is in the creation process and better facilitate the approval process
- The roles and responsibilities of users will be clearly identified at each stage
Version 1 release deliverables and benefits:
- Ability to create a GLC when a grant is awarded and before contract is signed
- Updated Research Accounting (RA) policy and procedures will provide clear process guidelines
- 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 for S, Q and D funds
- 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
- 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
In early August 2018 the Service Improvement Group hosted a series of User Experience (UX) testing sessions, the outcome of which was to highlight several key changes which needed to be added to the eForm prior to its go-live. The insights of all participants were, as always, invaluable to the development process.
Having been endorsed at the GM SDD Meeting on 16 August 2018, the new policy and procedures written as part of the GLC Research Accounting Project are expected to be approved by the Vice Chancellor in the coming days. These documents will be available in the Policy Library and linked to the new eForm when it is launched. We are thankful for the participation of members of the ANU Community in drafting and revising these documents. We believe the new policy and procedure is inclusive of all University points of view in the GLC request process.
Our goal is to release Version 1 of the GLC Request eForm on 11 September 2018, with the policy and procedure updates in the Policy Library occurring at the same time. We will be hosting familiarisation training events for users on 13 and 19 September 2018 in order to demonstrate how the eForm works and answer any process or policy questions they might have. More information on the training events and go live date of the eForm will be distributed in the days leading up to the eForm release.
We are currently undergoing key analysis and planning with the Business Owner for the development and implementation of Version 2 of the eForm.