Transforming Finance - General Ledger Redesign


The General Ledger (Finance) transformation will rebuild the core financial structure. The goal is to reduce the complexity and inflexibility of our current financial structure across the university. A simple, standardized format will increase our data quality, provide consistent financial reporting and reduce paper and manual processes.

The General Ledger (Finance) overview document provides a snapshot of the project.

General Ledger implementation timeline

Project Progress

As the project team continues through the ‘build’ phase and prepares for testing, the conversion process includes the following steps:

  1. Finalize account structure design
    • Finalize cost center hierarchy completed by late September 2017
    • Create Faculty WBS projects by late September 2017
  2. First, train business and financial units on SAP system functionality and changes to master data
  3. Utilize a pilot to test the new structure and conversion strategy. A select group of departments from across the campuses tested the mapping concept of moving current accounts to the future state account structure
    • Pilot helped fine tune account mapping instruction materials
    • Pilot data will be used to create reporting prototypes
    • Pilot helps develop SMEs at each campus to assist with full conversion
  4. Train all business and financial units on the conversion strategy.
    • Presentations were facilitated at every WL cluster meeting and each regional campus
    • Existing account strings will be mapped to the new objects from late September through late November 2017
      • Project team reviews/edits mapping
      • Project team prepares for initial object conversion testing set to start in December 2017
  5. Cleanup and data freeze strategies announced through various communication channels

Reference Materials

SAP Functionality

Our foundation will be based on the following definitions and standardization's. All areas will use these elements in the same consistent manner, which increases data integrity and simplifies reporting.

  • Funds will represent specific funding source, rather than operating activity
  • Fund/Cost Centers will represent an organizational unit and include the ability to track major activities across campus
  • Orders will represent a specific account tied to an organizational unit. Order types and groups will be used to categorize orders. Orders are intuitive account numbers, important information can be derived for transaction and reporting.
  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) will represent a specific account tied to a funding source. It will be used to provide structure for faculty allocations. Important information can be derived for transactions and reporting.
  • General Ledger represents an accounting record used to keep track of financial transactions

Introduction to Finance Structure Basics

Project History

Current Challenges
  • Complex and inefficient structure
  • Inflexibility
  • Multiple accounting, analyzing and reporting structures used  throughout
  • Limited institution-level reporting, ability to utilize standards and maintain data integrity

Simplified General Ledger Structure

Through standardization and redesigning our structure, we will be able to reduce:

  • Funds by 97 percent to replace the 19,274 currently in use with the select few needed to do business
  • Cost centers by 88 percent and create a one-to-one relationship between cost centers and organizational units
  • General Ledger accounts  by 27 percent while also ensuring the right accounts to do business are maintained
  • Simplified General Ledger Structure

  • Redesign the University Chart of Accounts and business processes supporting financial and operational management will decrease complexities and allow both transparent and consistent reporting.

  • Process redesign will utilize standardization, decrease paper forms and manual processes.

  • Improve quality of data.

  • Reduce need of ad hoc reporting.

  • Faster realignment after reorganization.

  • Common language developed for all financial processes and systems.

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