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UBR Project:

Grants, Budgeting and Reporting

Saving time and making better financial decisions about contract development, contract management and financial management of grants, contract research and consulting, using more comprehensive and accurate financial information.

This project will provide Financial managers and Chief Investigators with access to a single source of complete and correct financial information, leading to decreased workload and frustration, increasing accuracy in financial reports, and reducing potential over-or under-spending. Project data will be integrated into the University budgeting and forecasting process, removing duplication of work effort. Staff will save time and make better financial decisions as a result of more comprehensive and accurate financial information. The project will:

  • Implement the Grants solution in PeopleSoft
  • Develop tools for project level budgeting
  • Provide more complete, better structured financial reports to more people

What is included in the project?

UBR is made up of three related work streams, which include:

  • Grants Solution
    • Improved data capture, reporting, procedures and processes relating to grant and contract cash flows.
    • Reduced risk of over- and under-spending as a result of improved visibility of available funds to all stakeholders, including researchers, through improved data capture, reporting, standardized procedures and streamlined processes.
    • Capture of expenditure plans for grants and contracts will improve budgeting and forecasting.
    • Consistent, up-front capture of awarded grant and contract information, together with billing milestones, will provide efficiencies in the billing process leading to faster receipt of funds.
    • Chief Investigators will have increased visibility of their available funds to support them in the management of their projects
  • Reporting

    Improved availability and access to core financial information for all levels to assist with effective financial management, decision making and allocation of resources.

    • New BI professional reports and/or self-service reporting tools will replace manual collation and data manipulation in Excel, saving time and effort and providing better financial information to a wider audience, leading to more effective financial management, decision making and allocation of resources.
    • Improved, easy to understand grants information will be delivered to researchers

    Quick Reference Guides have been prepared for all new reports.

  • Project Level Budgeting
    • Time savings in project budgeting will occur as a result of reduced duplication and streamlined methods.

Progress and who's involved?

  • In progress 

    Grants

    • Agreed on the process for capturing expenditure plans for research grants
    • Migrated the foreign currency invoice template to PeopleSoft
    • Migrated new supplemental data fields for RBP contracts to PeopleSoft
    • Demonstrated the Grants module pilot evaluation
    • 31 grants and 45 contracts have been entered into the grants/contracts modules (as at 21 July)

    Reporting

    • Delivered a new Finance Analyst Self Service package in BI
    • Provided new reports in BI
    • Developed the nVision decommission plan
    • Evaluating operational reporting tools based on requirements
    • Reviewing operational guidelines for operational reporting
    • Enhancing existing BI reports

    Budgeting

    • Finalising configuration in PeopleSoft required for tied project budgeting
    • Finalising design and process requirements for tied project budgeting
    • Undertaking detailed planning to incorporate key dates, decisions and milestones required to achieve outcomes for project budgeting
  • Coming up

    Grants

    • Another Grants module pilot evaluation demonstration
    • Creating the Research & Business Partnerships’ Contract Approval Form (CAF)
    • Reviewing Contracts WorkCentres in PeopleSoft - linking to processes, reports and queries from one location
    • Designing the invoicing process for grants and contracts
    • Designing the process for capturing expenditure plans for RBP contracts

    Reporting

    • Evaluating the standard suite of management reports
    • Standardising Net Operating Result reports in BI
    • Implementing the nVision decommission plan - further information and FAQs

    Budgeting

    • Establishing design and process requirements for discretionary project budgeting
    • Developing a prototype tied project budgeting and forecasting tool
  • Who is involved?

    Tony Mitchell, Chief Financial Officer, is the Project Sponsor and Andre Scott is the Business Owner. The project manager is Dani Hopkins.

    Key stakeholders involved in guiding the project include:

    • Finance & Procurement, Research Services, Research and Business Partnerships (RBP), and Adelaide Enterprise.
    • Faculty Finance, Research Accountants and Planning Managers.
    • Project advisory groups include subject matter experts and key stakeholders from Faculty Finance, Research Services, Research and Business Partnerships, Research Accounting, Academics, Business Intelligence and Financial Reporting.
  • Who is impacted?
    • Faculty and division finance teams, research development managers, business analysts and managers
    • Chief investigators and other researchers
    • Finance and Procurement staff
    • Heads of School and research institutes
    • Supporting teams in Finance & Procurement, Technology, Planning & Analytics

Want further information or to provide feedback?

For more information, contact the Project Manager, Dani Hopkins or email ubr@adelaide.edu.au.