Frequently Asked Questions - Financial Information System
31 May 2005 Questions
Q. Is there a report either in existence or being prepared that will provide an end-user totals by Object Code within an Organization?
A. The current Revenue and Expense Report will provide this. This report reflects both the total spent for the period selected and the cumulative amount spent by organization and object. Additionally, one could take the transaction report, export it to Microsoft Excel, sort on object and then do some summations. However, the R&E report does this.
(edited 17 Jun 2005)
27 May 2005 Questions
Q (Recd by email). All I do is approve vouchers and APO's. Do I need to attend these sessions?
A. The new eForms system will use the individuals eID and eID Password. However, everyone who gets into the new eForms system will need to complete a new web profile. The eForms session covers the establishment of the new 'web profile' as well as the multi-segment account structure and several modified forms and procedures. If you are not going to complete forms yourselves, one of your staff who has completed the training should be able to assist you in setting up your initial login and web profile.
With the above said, if you currently go into either KSUVM to look at FRS data online, or retrieve ePrint reports for financial information, you will need to attend at least the half-day FIS Reports training. Access to the new FIS reports will not be authorized until formal training has been attended.
(edited 17 Jun 2005)
26 May 2005 Questions:
Q. From voicemail - The 095 report lists transactions totals by subcode (object) allowing the end-user to see their indirect costs conveniently for each of their accounts. Is there such a report being prepared in FIS?
A. This idea was built into the Revenue and Expense reports in Discoverer. Now that the reports can be queried with a wildcard character, the end-user can pull up a department and review the IDC across their project just like in the 095.
Q. Regarding encumbrances - if a department consolidates many items into one DA 118, how will they do an APV to a specific vendor against that fund site (assuming that the APO makes the fund cite specific to a specific vendor?)
A. This years DA118s will roll into purchase orders as described earlier. However, as they will be processed against the GL they will not be tied to a specific vendor this year. As long as the full multi-segment account number is correct, there should be no issues with vendors.
24 May 2005 Questions:
Q. If an encumbrance is submitted but the final invoice comes in at a higher amount, what should they do to pay the invoice?
A. If not a year-end encumbrance, the end-user would need to do an encumbrance correction when the invoice is legitimately higher then the encumbrance. At the end of the fiscal year they (the end-user) can only pay the amount that was encumbered (you can not use FY06 money for an '05' obligation). Should this situation actually occur, the end-user is encouraged to contact the Division of Financial Services for specific one-on-one assistance.
Q. When can the end-user begin doing FY06 documents? The questioner stated that in years past they had to wait for encumbrances to process, year-end to roll, and then they could start doing payments.
A. All FY06 orders and encumbrances will be released on July 1. Payment processes will be the same as past years - that means that if you have an item to pay that is an encumbered FY05 item, you have to wait until General Accounting has rolled the year and moved encumbrances forward in our system and Topeka's before we process. Any unencumbered FY06 payment can be made immediately after July 1st.
Q. There are two FRS accounts converting to one award, one beginning with a '0' (zero) and the other a different number (a 5 perhaps). Why/How is this being done?
A. When this question was originally asked, my typed question differed from what was actually asked. When I typed the question the question concerned some awards in department 00000 and also in the separate department. The response from SPA is: The question [as answered in class] is not the same question you describe. The question answered was regarding the fact that there are two FRS accounts converting to one Award. In FRS there is a GL - 030546 for example, and an SL - 530546 in this example. BOTH of those have $$$ in them that need to be converted to FIS to properly establish the Award, so the FIS conversion table will show both of those going to one Award number is FIS. Most departmental end-users don't pay attention to the '0' account (GL) in FRS, and possibly were confused thinking there was some sort of duplication. The '0' account, or GL, is really what the question is about, not the '00000' organization. All grants going to the '00000' organization have ended and are not being converted to FIS.
20 May 2005 Questions:
Q. For encumbrances - does the Document Number and Funding Line (refdoc and sfx) number follow the vendor or can the end-user do a single encumbrance to (lets say) KSU and then use that fund cite to pay Fisher Electronics, Office Supply, Registration Fees, etc..
A. The encumbrance form for this year (FY05) will be exactly the same as in prior years. This form allows the user to note a vendor, but the vendor information is not critical to the eventual payment. As long as the user encumbers funds with accurate object code detail they can combine obligations on a minimal number of forms.
Q. If they are allowed to do a 'big' encumbrance, how do we get around eForms checking the Docno and line of funding against the specific encumbrance and Vendor name?
A. FY05 encumbrances will be 'dropped into' FIS order encumbrance numbers. Those order encumbrances will carry KSU as the vendor name this year. Because the type of encumbrance KSU is using for this purpose is not closely tied to the vendor, payments against a 'mass encumbrance' should not produce results significantly different than the current payment process against DA118s.
Q. What happens to excess monies encumbered - does the end-user have to do a correction or is it automatically liquidated?
A. The end-user will have to an an encumbrance correction (liquidation) when appropriate, just as they do today. Also, using the appropriate "P" or "F" code on the funding line will automatically take care of this for the user if used correctly.
Q. Encumbrances from prior years (subcontracts to grants in this specific question); will there 'refdoc' numbers be carried forward or will new numbers be assigned -- i.e. currently there is an 'A04XXXXXX' number which corresponds to FY04; may also have 'A05XXXXXX' to the same vendor for FY05; same grant number, etc. What happens in these cases?
A. New order encumbrance numbers will be assigned. This new number is what we will request in the eForms payment documents (Agency Payment Vouchers). However, the original (prior year) encumbrance number will be rolled into FIS in a Descriptive Flex Field (DFF). This DFF will be accessible to the end-user.
Q. If a Department creates an Agency Purchase Order but does not want it to actually process against the system (maybe funds still need to be transferred; perhaps a vendor wants an APO to render a valid cost estimate) what steps can they take to keep it from processing.
A. The original answer to this question has been removed -- the Agency Purchase Order (APO) now has a release button on the final form page. Clicking on this button releases it to the FIS system and will encumber funds. If you do not release the form, the encumbrance is never picked up by the system and processed.
Q. When an account (grant account I believe was originally stated) goes into the red, the department has 90 days to resolve. If, at 90 days, the account is still in the red, FRS automatically places a 'Freeze' on the account. So, the question is, when / how does FIS do this?
A. Per Shannon Fisher, Sponsored Projects: The new system has no automatic freeze capabilities. With the procedures we use with 'FRS', the 90 days doesn't really apply to those that are in the red and haven't ended yet. However, in those cases where the freeze is applied, it (the freeze) is automatically set and stays on until resolved one way or another - the unfreeze is a manual process. For 'FIS', a design document has been created for a report that lists over expended awards and SPA will have to manually set the award to 'On Hold' status to 'freeze' the award. If there are multiple projects on the award, and only one project is over expended, the is no way at this time to just 'freeze' the one project.
In FRS SPA also automatically freezes anything that is 90 days past the end date whether or not over expended. This is where the 'End Date' and 'Close Date' will take over. End-users are encouraged to visit the SPA web site News section for detailed explanations of End Dates and Close Dates. (http://www.ksu.edu/finsvcs/spa/news)
Q. Can we make the KSU Prior Authorization form savable?
A. Perhaps - however, all enhancements to the eForms system will need to be prioritized and addressed well after FIS go-live.
17 May 2005 Questions:
Q. In eForms, will there be a search established for Project Numbers?
A. There will be a search established. However, it will probably not be done before go-live. Additionally, as the account number is now made up of multiple segments that each 'stand alone', the results screen will only provide your Project Number. You may want to go http://www.ksu.edu/finsvcs/systems/fis and go to the FRS to FIS conversion. Do a Ctrl-F and enter the item you are looking for -- if a match is found the line will provide you the Project, Award (if applicable), Source, and Organization for that item.
Q. An office needs to do a 'credit' against a bill. Under FRS they currently do not feed credits to the system but under FIS they will. Do they use the same Object code but with a negative amount, or do they now use a 'Revenue' Object?
A. Since it is a reversal to an earlier expense, they should use the E(Object) code with a negative amount.
11 May 2005 Questions:
Q. Will / can flags be added to the BPC payment documents -- particularly Sponsored Projects flags?
A. This could possibly be added to the funding summary page (the cover page). However, given the programming priorities currently being faced by our staff, adding such flags would not be a high priority. Additionally, we must ensure that adding such flags do not alter year-end processing within our 'work flow program OutBack'.
(edited 17 Jun 2005)
Q. Can more than three (3) flags be put on the Agency Payment Voucher (APV)?
A. It appears that by adjusting the bottom of the form down some, programmers may be able to gain sufficient space to add a fourth flag. However, this definitely impacts upon our 'OutBack' routing program and will require substantial program modification and testing. If there is sufficient demand for a fourth flag, then it can be added to our systems priority schedule, albeit, at a very low priority at this time.
Q. Several trainees indicated that they use the monthly 'Statistics' pages. Is this page being ported over to the new eForms III system?
A. Based upon the complexity of the program, it had not been put on the table to be ported across. However, given the number of trainees asking about it, it is being added to the priorities list and will be brought across after all other forms have been coded and are working.
Q. From email: According to [various individuals named], I don't need this [eForms and / or Reports] FIS training. What forms / reports exactly does Ron plan to cover?
A. As currently delineated by the Controller's Office, the only people who
MUST attend the training are those who will need access to on-line and
end-of-month reports and/or on-line query of the FIS/Oracle Financials
System. If you do not get the end-of-month reports (i.e. you don't go into FRS on-line or into ePrint to get reports) then you do not have to attend. However, if you do these, then you must attend the reports training at a minimum.
Now, if you do eForms only, I do recommend you attend the training (of course - I'm the trainer :) ). To get eForms access you don't have to attend the training but then again, how are you going to get the knowledge on the new formats, new log-in procedures, and new account structures. I am doing a couple of half day sessions on eForms only, and may do some more in early July (not scheduled yet since I don't know what the demand will be).
Bottom line - you don't have to attend eForms training but I heartily recommend it. Regardless of who gives you the training, someone will have to show you the new account structure, new login requirements, etc.. (edited 17 Jun 2005)
As for what forms I'm currently showing -- we are using the new Agency Purchase Order and the new Agency Payment Voucher (the current APO has been split into these two documents), and then the new Allocated Budget Transfer Form with discussion on its twin the 'Funds Transfer Form'. Since only the account structure has changed, we are not demonstrating the Travel voucher at this time.
Q. Is the current 'Monthly Forms Status' (aka Statistics Summary Page) going to be ported over to the new eForms III system?
A. It is going to be done, however, it is a lower priority at this time.
10 May 2005 Questions:
Q. How do we process End-of-Year 'Expedite payments' for charges on on your BTA (Business Travel Account) where part of the travel needs to be paid with FY 05 funds and part needs to be paid with FY06 funds.
A. Two different documents will need to be prepared - one under the old eForms and then one under the new eForms. The old eForms must be done and submitted no later than noon on July 6th, 2005. This includes payments for such things as the travel above but also BTA account and BPC or utility type expedite payments. (edited 17 Jun 2005)
Q. In eForms III and FIS, will an end-user be able to continue preparing a single payables document that will generate checks to several recipients. (i.e. a multi-pay document using same acct number and dollar amount)?
A. No. With eForms III and FIS each document will result in a single check. Therefore, a separate document will need to be prepared for each check to be printed. Recommend a single document be initially prepared and then use the 'new' feature to duplicate the basic document and only update the Vendor name and applicable description as necessary.
Q. Will Inception-To-Date data be preloaded on Grant Projects?(edited 17 Jun 2005)
A. Sponsored Projects will be taking the FRS balances as of June 30th and loading those into FIS (Expenditures to date as well as Total Budget amounts).
Overview Training Questions and Answers
Q. Will departments continue to have access to 'Quickfill' buttons for funding in CASHNet?
A. The only change to CASHNet is the change from the current 6 plus 4 account structure to the multi-segment account format. Therefore, if you have 'Quickfill' buttons available to use now you will still have them once we convert to FIS.
Q. Will the logon to CASHNet change?
A. No. There should be an additional link from the FIS homepage to CASHNet but the actual logon will remain unchanged.
Q. If paying for services, and the vendor does not provide an invoice number, will it consider a second payment a duplicate?
A. Not currently. At this time we will be using the eForms Document Number and the Remittance Date as the invoice number and invoice date, respectively. Therefore, the system will see each document as a different invoice and not a duplicate.
Q. Shall you use the new FIS or old FRS account number to post a 'correction' after June 30, 2005? What about a situation where we need to do a 'Transfer of Payment' type document?
A. Just as in past years, there will be a few weeks during July when we are still 'closing the books' on the past year. During that time, the FRS account numbers will continue to be used. Access to eForms will be limited to a select few during the time period. Once we have gone to the new fiscal year, and for any 'new fiscal year' transactions, ONLY the FIS multi-segment account will be used. This includes the situation where you do a 'Transfer of Payment' type document.
Q. How will we know what Project Number Sequence to use? How will I know what my Project Numbers are?
A. Departments will be provided with a listing that translates FRS accounts to FIS (Oracle) accounts – we referred to it as a ‘cross-walk table’ during our briefings.
Q. Will the Department Number be the same in student system as it is in FIS?
Q. Will encumbrances (DA-118s) from FY05 be loaded to FIS?
A. Yes - the data will be converted internally.
Q. Will reporting capabilities be available out of 'Labor Distribution'?
A. At this time, the short answer is No. We are preparing 'canned' reports that will provide selected information from the Projects module, however, these are closely aligned to the normal GL reports provided. LD reporting is a Phase II topic.
Q. What keeps another Department from using the same 'last six' characters as we use?
A. There is nothing that prevents another from using the same last six characters - in fact, we expect departments will use similar if not exact abbreviations for common needs. The last six characters are for the departments use and can be alpha or numeric. It is the entire 10 digits that make up the Project Number so the Departmental Alpha will differentiate between various Project Numbers.
Q. Can we use the same Project Number as another Department?
A. This is a 'No' but 'Yes' answer. Initially, each project number will be unique to a particular organization. However, let me explain further.
For GRANTS, the answer is ‘No’. Grant accounts are budgeted differently than non-Grant accounts. We can not budget to the ‘Organization’ segment on grant accounts; and as such, each ‘Project’ and ‘Award’ can be associated with only one ‘Organization’. This is not unlike FRS in that each FRS account is associated with only one Department.(edited 17 Jun 2005)
For Non-Grants, the answer is ‘Yes’. Each ‘Project’ will have a ‘Project Owner.’ However, for non-grant accounts, departments can share a project by depositing and charging to an ‘Organization’ that is different than that of the ‘Project Owner.’ An FIS (Oracle Financials) General Ledger (GL) account is made up of a ‘Project’, a ‘Source’, and an ‘Organization.’ It is the unique /combination/ of these segments that makes a complete account. By looking exclusively at a particular segment such as the ‘Project’, you can obtain valuable views of the information; however, cash is managed at the full account level. The ‘Organization’ segment of the account will delineate responsibility for the account.
For example -- Biology is the owner of a Project and needs Entomology to assist. With FIS, we can add Entomology's Organization number to the original project number. In this way, Biology can query all of its Projects and get reports showing all expenditures made under that Project Number and also see which Organization did the spending, etc.
Q. Can the Project Number be changed to be more meaningful to the end user once FIS is implemented?
A. Short answer is ‘Yes’, however, the ease of doing so depends on whether transactions have posted to the current account or not. New Project Numbers can be set up for the end-users by the Controller’s Office. In the case where no transactions have posted to the old (original) Project, the end user will then change to the new Project Numbers. If there is any activity in the ‘old’ project, transfers will need to be completed to the ‘new’ project. Departments need to work closely with the Controller’s Office and Budget Office if they desire to change these numbers.
Q. Is it still possible to use one document for multiple invoices?
A. Yes, eForms will still allow you to pay multiple invoices from the same vendor, just as you do today.
Q. Invoice Numbers. Oracle requires a unique invoice number and date for each payment voucher. Will departments have to worry about not having duplicate invoice numbers?
A. We are initially going to use the unique eForms Document Number (DocNo) and the 'Remit Date' as provided by the document preparer to satisfy Oracle's invoice number and date requirements. This use of the eForms DocNo will ensure a unique number is provided for each payment voucher. Additionally, renewed emphasis will be placed during training and ultimate end-user preparation on the 'Date and Inv Number' field of the payment voucher. This is for future use as we progress in the system.
Q. Also concerning Invoice Numbers. What about invoices that are paid by the BPC?
A. This procedure is still being developed at this time.
Q. If an order is placed using the eForms APO, will Departments be able to convert the purchase order to a payment voucher within the system?
A. Short answer - No. At this time we are not implementing the ‘Purchasing Module’ of Oracle Financials. Therefore, there is no interface between the two documents that allows us to transfer information between the two. That said, there will be edits in eForms to ensure that if you 'encumber' funds using a Purchase Order, that the payment voucher used to pay that encumbrance uses the same funding. Hands-on training will cover this in more detail.
Q. Will departments still be able to enter their own internal numbers into eForms for tracking purposes?
A. Yes - a 'User Number' field will be on the Purchase Order and Payment Voucher forms for departments to use. This same number will also be provided, along with the eForm's system generated Document Number, on the Transaction Report provided.
Q. Would you clarify the significance of the Start, End and Close dates as they pertain to the Grants module?
A. First, these are not 'new' dates - the current FRS system already has the Start and End dates, however, there are no edits against them. The Close date is new but you can think of it as the "Freeze" date that SPA currently uses. The Start date is the first date of the Award and the End date is the last day of the Award. Items to be paid for by that Award must be purchased and received between those two dates. If not, the FIS system edits prevent you from paying for them using Award funds. The Close date is a date by which you must finish all financial transactions for that award. Anything to be processed after the close date will not post against the award.
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