FMIS th Anniversary Review by jolinmilioncherie


									                      FMIS 5TH ANNIVERSARY REVIEW


  In the early 1990s, under significant pressure from an unfavorable audit, the University of
  Hawaii (UH) initiated a short-fuse replacement of its old Financial Information System
  (FIS) as part of its mandated Corrective Action Plan. The University selected a system,
  Software AG’s Financial Reporting System (FRS), that was in production at a number of
  major research universities and which was based on the software technologies best
  understood by the internal technical staff. The core of the new system, known as
  Financial Management Information System (FMIS), went into production on schedule and
  within budget in July 1996. It replaced the FIS system, which although 30 years old, was
  a custom built financial application system designed and programmed to meet the
  specific needs of UH users in central offices and in the field. Since 1996 new FMIS
  subsystems and services such as accounts receivable and departmental checking have
  been implemented while ongoing maintenance activities have addressed major
  requirements such as Y2K and GASB 35.

  As UH approached its 5-year anniversary of production-level operations with the system,
  a review was undertaken to identify shortcomings and to understand the greatest current
  needs and whether FMIS could meet those needs over the short- and long-term. The
  review process utilized individual and group meetings with key stakeholders of different
  types from throughout the UH system.


  There were four major general areas of need identified. The first two are functional
  limitations within FMIS as currently implemented, the third is the need for improvement of
  the extent and friendliness of services provided to end-users in the field, and the fourth
  reflects concern over the management of FMIS priorities.

  In comparison to the old FIS, FMIS lacks two critical elements for appropriated funds:
  budgets and fiscal controls at an appropriate operational level; and a budget monitoring
  capability that includes payroll projections. In addition, the FMIS interface and services
  have not kept pace with the changes in technology that have occurred since FMIS was
  selected, most notably user-friendly, web-based on-line services for the field including
  business offices, principal investigators and managers. Renewed attention is needed to
  involve users in how additional functional requirements are identified and how priorities
  are established, resourced and met.

  1) Level of Budget/Fiscal Control

     Currently, FMIS budget and fiscal controls are at the campus level 3. While there are
     differences among the major units as to the specific budget and accounting levels at
     which decisions are made, most units require fiscal control within the campus at the
     college/ school level, and possibly program within the college/school. In addition,
     units want to execute budget changes among programs within the unit without
     involving the central budget office as long as overall allocations are respected. A
     process is needed that “pushes down” or gives an allocation to the unit by the budget
     office, and then “rolls up” the multiple subsidiary program budget allocations under

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   that unit and ensures that these two levels of totals agree. Reporting and rollup
   reporting and comparisons at all levels are needed. The old FIS provided this kind of
   fiscal and cash control at the college/ school level and FMIS currently provides it only
   at the campus/ appropriation level.

2) Budget Monitoring and Management

   Payroll projections, which represent the major portion of the budget for almost all
   units, are not incorporated into FMIS. FMIS also currently lacks the ability to track
   other projected, planned, pending or in-transit transactions, such as
   interdepartmental sales to bookstore, facilities, telecom and documents that have not
   yet reached the stage of a formal encumbrance. The community colleges and certain
   Manoa units formerly had a VAX-based front-end system that tracked in-transit
   commitments and funds available. Many field business offices have created and
   maintain their own “shadow systems” that track their budgets and in-transit items.
   Considerable time and effort are spent on duplicate data entry and reconciliation
   between these shadow systems and FMIS. In addition to representing extra work,
   these activities create additional opportunities for potential errors to be introduced.
   Yet the lack of funds control and summarized reporting at the program level under
   FMIS make this work critical to program management. The task is made even more
   difficult by the FMIS report formats which are not considered readable or useful by
   many users.

   This area is further complicated by the new emphasis on funding sources other than
   the general fund. An urgent need is timely rollup reporting of multiple sources of
   funding at the program and department levels to show actual revenue and
   expenditure relative to budget. Although summary reporting at the school level 5 is
   available in FMIS, without budgets and projections in the official system, and without
   consolidations of multiple funding sources, summary reporting from shadow systems
   has become the means of knowing “where we stand”. A tremendous amount of effort
   and time is spent in collecting, organizing, inputting, summarizing and reconciling
   data from the “official” system to get to a starting point of doing the real work.

3) Interface and Services

   There has been a sea of change in technology since the 1993 selection and 1996
   implementation of FMIS. Clearly the emergence of the World Wide Web and related
   Internet-based technologies is significant. UH deployed FMIS using Internet-based
   network technologies, such as TCP/IP and PCs running tn3270, so the UH
   infrastructure is already Internet-ready. And while for many business offices, the
   implementation of FMIS in 1996 was the first encounter with a computer workstation,
   today the use of the web and the Internet is commonplace in the daily work of
   administrators and support staff. The UH community now expects online services
   including transaction support and access to information and reports that use friendly
   interfaces and are available as close to 24x7 as feasible. In this regard the current
   user interface to FMIS needs improvement. This is especially important as more
   people with varying backgrounds need to access FMIS services – from new
   employees who have never experienced an FMIS “green screen” to experienced
   managers and principal investigators who want direct access to information.

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     The pressure for straightforward and intuitive FMIS services is amplified by the many
     other changes its users face. There have been any number of specific changes in
     human resources and financial processes that have involved new forms and
     procedures, from both UH and RCUH. And at a much more fundamental level, the
     University's entire approach to financial management has changed substantially since
     the introduction of FMIS with the retention of tuition, a new philosophy of revenue
     generation and the concept of "autonomy." The entire University has had to keep up
     with waves of both detailed and high-level changes, some of which have struck
     during critical peak processing periods. This pace of change will not slow down, so
     users and managers at all levels – project offices, business offices, central system
     offices – need to be supported with first-rate tools that don’t require intensive training
     and that make their jobs easier, not harder.

  4) FMIS Project Management and Communication

      The University has implemented the primary modules in the core FRS product –
     general ledger, accounts payable, purchasing, fixed assets -- and developed UH-
     specific subsystems – contracts and grants, accounts receivable, budget level
     summary, departmental checking, cash receipts -- while successfully accomplishing
     the Y2K and GASB 35 transition with no additional resources. The UH component of
     the FMIS project team over the various implementations has included about eleven
     functional and six technical staff. The FMIS project office is currently staffed by a
     manager and two functional support staff. There is a technical support staff of about
     six, depending on assignments, and additional staff are assigned by the central and
     field offices on a project basis.

     Initially, the focus of FMIS activities was primarily directed at ensuring compliance
     and required central system office processing, e.g., correctly producing vendor
     checks and financial statements. However, following the Y2K transition, along with
     required regulatory changes such as GASB35 and required RCUH interfaces, the
     requirements of users in the field offices have received increased attention. This
     focus needs to be enhanced by by formalizing the involvement of the university
     community in FMIS project directions and priorities.


  FMIS Technology

     Based on the review discussions and subsequent analysis, there is no compelling
     reason to abandon FMIS. Currently, the Adabas Natural environment is familiar and
     operationally stable. Most of the required financial data is there, and the major
     functional needs can be met given adequate resources and priority. The need for
     integration among the major application systems will become more urgent and may
     become the compelling factor in eventual replacement of enterprise systems.
     However, in the short term, meeting current needs with FMIS will be less expensive
     and more timely than replacing the entire system with another off-the-shelf, albeit
     more modern, product. New services can be deployed through modern technical
     architectures and tools using FMIS as the backend General Ledger such that the
     front-end services can be migrated to a new backend if desired when FMIS is
     ultimately retired.

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  FMIS Management and Communication

      In addition to identifying needed services, the study indicates that improvements in
      FMIS process and support should be made. Users need better education and
      information about the capabilities and nuances of the system so that its full power can
      be exploited. A process for meaningfully engaging users in decisions about project
      priorities and communicating status is also needed.


     The most frequent request was to be able to “know where we stand” from a financial
      perspective at various levels – detailed account, by program, by department, by
      campus, by specific fund, by type of funding source, etc. Information is needed for
      actual and projected revenue and expenditure, informed by past performance and
      activity. This request came from all levels, the fiscal staff as well as management
      levels, from field business offices and central system offices.

     The most frequent complaint was the reporting – needing to go to multiple reports to
      get status, unreadable format and codes, waste of paper, not knowing how to read
      the report or how the report could be used. The comment came from fiscal staff and

     Another frequent complaint was the unavailability of the system: scheduled limited
      daily hours, perceived non-availability on weekends, few days close at every month-
      end, few weeks close at year-end; and seemingly frequent unannounced
      unscheduled unavailability of the system. With substantially more data entry in the
      field offices, especially for purchasing, and heavy reliance on the online capability for
      reporting and status given the “unreadable” printed reports, greater and more
      predictable availability was requested.

     FMIS users would strongly prefer “one system” of policy and processing, philosophy
      and guidance, rather than dealing with two entities (UH and RCUH) and two sets of
      management objectives.

     Many comments were not so much criticisms of specific features of the system but
      questions on how to use the system: understanding and knowing where and how to
      navigate the system; to gain access to and use the data.

     It was often suggested that a financial “data warehouse” would address the problems
      of reporting and system availability as it would be easily accessible by the end-user,
      separate from the production operational environment. It would need to be refreshed
      sufficiently frequently (e.g., nightly) to support timely management decisions.

     There may be some structural limitations within FMIS that should be addressed.
      These include the two-digit numeric school code which limits Manoa to 99 such units,
      identification of an account with one particular special or revolving fund, 35-character
      one-line limit on vendor name and linking of vendor “families”. These limitations
      need further study to determine if they are resolvable without substantial revision to
      the FMIS data structures.

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     FMIS prints too much paper. The paper count increased substantially from FIS to
      FMIS and continues to grow, while users indicate that the paper reports provide
      limited value to their operational needs.

     Visual identification of the account – what program and who (what department) it
      belongs to – was lost when the generic 6-digit account code replaced the 14-digit
      number. The seemingly random assignment of the account code and the general
      ledger/ subsidiary ledger entity relationships have complicated operations, especially
      as the volume of accounts increased and impacted the number of accounts that any
      given user needed to be familiar with. The increased number of accounts is believed
      to be a factor in the errors made in account assignment and data entry, and in being
      able to keep on top of the status of relevant accounts.

     Nonetheless, as unhappy or frustrated as the user community may be, no one said
      “dump FMIS”. Even the most vocal critics noted that the information we need is
      within the system but that we need to be able to use it more effectively. Users felt
      that we’ve got too much invested in FMIS to just dump it. Field users indicated that
      they have been and continue to be willing to work with the FMIS application system
      and the central offices. These users are willing to do more work to get the information
      and processing they need. For their efforts, they want to be recognized as having a
      stake in the system as a whole, to have their concerns heard, to know what the plans
      and projects are, and to have a say in setting the priorities for system development
      and improvement.


  Based on the general and specific findings, the following action list was developed by the
  Financial Management Office and Information Technology Services and will be
  incorporated into the units’ operational plans, resource assignments and priorities:

  1. Establish a formal FMIS advisory committee:
       Re-examine the in-progress projects and establish priorities;
       On an ongoing basis, identify and jointly define and develop the priority list and
        communicate that list and status to the user communities;
       Create a list/ web page that shows current projects in-progress with a summary
        description, milestones, contacts.

  2. Accomplish some “quick wins” that have long been on the request list but are fairly
     easy to accomplish, e.g. update the quick reference manual; provide descriptions and
     use of reports; update the FMIS web site with hours of operation, scheduled down-
     times and contact information; put the training material, user guides and “short cuts
     and tips” on the web; update the administrative procedures.

  3. Increase the daily system availability times and reduce the month-end and year-end
     shutdown periods.

  4. Improve FMIS reports and their utility:
       Reformat the useful standard reports to consolidate data into readable formats
        and make them more accessible on-line for web viewing, local printing on
        demand, and downloading in common formats;
       Provide guidance in using the reports and available information and in defining

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       the general ledger and subsidiary ledger relationships.

5. Develop new status reports at program and organizational levels:
     Include payroll projections;
     Include pending and in-transit items, e.g., from the e-purchasing and web travel
     Allow flexible aggregation of accounts of different types and across organizational
     Include budget allocations at relevant levels to provide budget tracking and
      budget-to-actual reporting.

6. Stop central printing and distribution of the rest of the reports.

7. Investigate reported coding limitations, cleanup the existing codes (account
   attributes) and mapping of accounts; provide “visual” account identity to reduce errors
   in account assignments, enhance vendor coding including relationship of “families”
   and history, and address any other structural issues relating to the chart of accounts
   and data structures.

8. Implement tools to assign fiscal and budget controls at multiple levels to meet needs
   of units for assigning varying levels of responsibility and accountability.

9. Implement FMIS data warehouse for reporting and ad-hoc queries (also related to
   items 4 and 5 above), with pre-formatted reports and additional point-and-select
   parameters for customized formats, with adequate security on reporting access.

10. Complete on-going projects and initiate new projects to improve processing and web-
    enable FMIS:
      Complete development of journal vouchers for payroll, general, accounts
       receivable, inter-departmental sales, year-end; selection of charges -- and make
       this available as a web-based service;
      Finish e-purchasing redesign including interface from SuperQuote as well as a
       generic order that identifies in-transit documents;
      Continue to enhance P-Card program, establish a Travel Card program;
      Complete travel website as recommended by travel task force;
      Automate account creation leveraging data available in specialized systems, such
       as ORSIS, and reduce re-keying of critical data elements;
      Improve inventory process for identification of controllable assets, physical
       inventory and related reporting;
      Implement other process enhancements and corrections identified in this review.

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                      REVIEW SESSIONS, June – August 2001

Name                Title, Affiliation
Asato, Paula        Admin Officer, Intercoll Athletics
Au, Dave            Admin Officer, Pacific Biomed Research Center
Andaya, Juanita     Admin Officer, SOEST                                     (for Judy Rubano)
Au Hoy, Joy         Fiscal Acctg Spec, Gen Acctg & Loan Collection
Awakuni, John       Fiscal Officer, Library Services
Ball, Jane          Asst Dir, HI Institute Marine Biology
Chang, Annette      Admin Officer, Social Sciences Dean’s Office
Chun, Elaine        Fiscal Acctg Spec, Gen Acctg & Loan Coll
Cutshaw, Kathy      Director Admin, SOEST
Daida, Dale         Fiscal Acctg Spec, Honolulu Comm College
Enokawa, Marvin     Director, Office of Research Services
Enos, Greg          Admin Officer, Kauai Comm College
Fountain, Blanche   Admin Officer, Co-Curricular Activities                  (for Shirley Hamakawa)
French, Sandy       Admin Officer, Cancer Center Research HI                 (not attend)
Fujii, Don          Financial Management Office
Fujishige, Wayne    Director, Aux Enterprises
Fujiyoshi, Lois     Admin Officer,UH Hilo                                    (not attend)
Hamakawa, Shirley   Admin Officer, Office of VP for Student Affairs          (not attend)
Hamura, Betsy       Fiscal Acctg Spec, Fiscal Srvc Ofc
Hatakenake, Irene   Budget Specialist, Budget Office
Hirata, Susan       Budget Specialist, Budget Office
Hiromoto, Edlyn     Fiscal Acctg Spec, Gen Acctg & Loan Coll
Hiyoto, Eric        Fiscal Acctg Spec, Gen Acctg & Loan Collection           (not attend)
Ho, Wendall         Fiscal Acctg Spec, Treasury Office
Inafuku, Derek      Admin Officer, Windward Comm College                     (not attend)
Inouye, Susan       Director, Info Tech Srvcs, Mgmt Info Systems
Ishikawa, Shirley   Secretary, Admin Services, UH West Oahu
Iraha, Janet        Admin Officer, Chancellor’s Office for Community
Ito, Henry          Director of Fiscal Systems, Fiscal Services Office
Jorgenson, Emily    Proc & Prop Mgmt Spec, Proc Real Prop & Risk Mgmt
Kamei, Wes          Admin Officer, Aux Enterprises
Karimoto, Carol     Admin Officer, Natural Sciences Dean's Office
Kashimoto, Kalvin   Director, Facilities, Grounds & Safety
Kashiwada, Susan    Fiscal Acctg Spec, Gen Acctg & Loan Collection
Katahira, Jack      Arts & Humanities Dean’s Office                          (not attend)
Kataoka, Dwight     Fiscal Acctg Spec, Prop & Fund Mgmt
Kawamoto, Barbara   Director, Cashier’s Office                               (not attend)
Kawata, Janet       Fiscal Admin Officer, School of Medicine
Keliikuloa, Susan   Asst Director, Disbursing & Payroll
Kikuchi, Paul       Director, Gen Acctg & Loan Collecn
Kinningham, Ann     Director, Admin Services, Kapiolani Community College
Kuroda, Gilbert     Admin Officer, Leeward Comm College
Lassner, David      Director, Info Tech Services
Leialoha, Mike      Admin Officer, Hawaii Comm College
Luke, Pat           Account Clerk, Aux Enterprises
Masutani, Carol     Admin Officer, Kapiolani Community College
Miyake, Russell     Director, Financial Mgmt Office
Morita, Janis       Admin Officer, Sea Grant
Morton, John        Provost, Kapiolani Community College
Nagafuchi, Mike     Business Mgr, Intercoll Athletics

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Name                 Title, Affiliation
Nagao, Bob           Manoa Budget Dir, Sr VP/Exec Vice Chancellor's Office
Nagoshi, Lyn         Fiscal Support Specialist, Institute for Astronomy            (for Larry Sakima)
Nakahara, Ken        Assoc Dir, Info Tech Srvcs, Mgmt Info Systems
Nakamoto, Michele    Fiscal Acctg Specialist, Fiscal Services Office
Nakamoto, Sharyn     Institutional Analyst, Institutional Research
Nakamura, Claire     Dir, Sys Admin Affairs, SVP Admin Office
Nakasone, Nancy      Admin Officer, UH West Oahu
Nishihara, Wallace   Director, Fiscal Affairs, Chancellor Office for Comm
Nishino, Dennis      Prog & Budget Mgr, Budget Off
Nobriga, Robert      School of Medicine
Okihara, Bert        Dir, Bursar’s Office
Omuro, Clayton       Admin Officer, Arts & Humanities Dean’s Office                (for Jack Katahira)
Oride, David         Fiscal Officer, Honolulu Comm College
Ozaki, Shelby        Fiscal Acctg Spec, Gen Acctg & Loan Collection
Pang, June           Fiscal Acctg Spec, Gen Acctg & Loan Coll
Patterson, Myrna     Fiscal Acctg Spec, Gen Acctg & Loan Collection
Robb, Allan          Director of Bus/Hosp Affairs, School of Medicine
Rubano, Judy         Director of Fiscal Services, SOEST                            (not attend)
Sakaguchi, Rodney    Director, Budget Office
Sakamoto, David      Office of Internal Audit
Sakima, Larry        Assistant Director, Institute for Astronomy                   (not attend)
Shigano, Jill        Admin Officer, Intercoll Athletics
Tagawa, Mike         Interim Dean of Instruction, Kapiolani Comm College
Tanaka, Suzanne      Fiscal Officer, Outreach College
Tanaka, Mike         Admin Officer, Facilities Planning & Mgmt
Tashima, Sheryl      Admin Officer, UH Press
Tomori, Jeff         Fiscal Acctg Spec, Gen Acctg & Loan Collection
Unebasami, Mike      Vice Chancellor for Admin Affairs, Chancellor's Ofc for Comm Colls
Uyeda, Alex          Director, Office of Internal Audit
Vandevender, Tammy   Computer Spec, Info Tech Srvcs, Mgmt Info Systems
Wakabayashi, Wayne   Fiscal Acctg Spec, Office of Research Services
Whittaker, John      Vice Chancellor for Admin Affairs, Admin Affairs, UH Hilo
Wong, Kathleen       Account Clerk, UH West Oahu
Wong, Leighton       Admin Off, Lang Ling & Lit
Wong, Mike           Director, Disbursing & Payroll
Wong, Ruddy          Director, CTAHR Admin
Wong, Sandy          Fiscal Acctg Spec, Gen Acctg & Loan Collection
Yago, Jaime          Computer Spec, Info Tech Srvcs, Mgmt Info Systems
Yamamoto, Cindy      Fiscal Officer, Maui Comm College
Yamamoto, Norene     Acct Clerk, Co-Curricular Activities                          (for Shirley Hamakawa)
Yano, Mike           Director of Admin Services, UH - West Oahu
Yoshida, Carol       Admin Officer, Director’s Office, Facilities, Grounds and Safety
Yoshimura, Mike      Acting Dir of Budget & Plan, Chancellor's Office for Comm Colls
Zwald, Duff          Director, Proc, Real Prop & Risk Mgmt

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