OneFinance:Project lead update – October 2023
October 18, 2023
Our North Star
To enable Yale’s mission, simplify and standardize financial services in order to make life easier where everyone has a role in building a strong culture of financial integrity, insight, and stewardship of Yale resources.
Since our last update in July 2023, progress continues on several projects key to our mission. Our monthly OneFinance At-a-Glance documents our progress. We encourage you to review and share the At-a-Glance document with your staff during team meetings to keep them fully informed about the initiative. Go to our September 2023 At-a-Glance for our most recent update.
OneFinance Key Deliverables
OneFinance has established a number of key deliverables for the initiative. We are proud to share the progress being made in support of these deliverables.
We are performing risk assessments of end-to-end financial processes to identify opportunities for improvement. The assessment results completed for source-to-pay, payroll, gift accounting, budget, and grant revenue have informed the identification of the projects currently in progress. Assessments will occur continuously to identify future opportunities.
- Current assessments are underway for medical services revenue, student accounts, investment accounting, land, buildings, and equipment.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Focusing first on the Financial Review Checklist (FRC), we are identifying areas where we can enhance SOPs to simplify and standardize monthly and quarterly processes within the business offices through the Financial Review Enhancement (FRE) project.
- A new policy for advances and spend authorizations for study participant remuneration is in progress, along with an enhanced procedure and several new forms. In addition, several Source to Pay (S2P) initiatives have resulted in new or enhanced SOPs, including recent enhancements to AP Supplier Banking Setup, Policy 3201 General Purchasing, Policy 3210 Purchase Contracts, and 3201 PR.01 Purchase Order Process.
- These updates support the OneFinance North Star by establishing clarity in process and procedure and making your job easier by minimizing confusion and reducing work and rework.
Reporting & Analytics
As part of the Financial Review Enhancement (FRE) project and other projects, teams are creating new and refining existing reports. Enhanced reporting will allow departments to better analyze financial data in support of monthly and quarterly close activities to reduce the time it takes to complete the Financial Review Checklist (FRC).
- Recent examples include clarifying the payroll schedule cost allocation deadlines and adding a new column for “Grant End Date” to the Find Spend Authorization / Cash Advance - Yale report.
- Report enhancements are underway for payroll analysis completed at the department level, supporting several FRC checklist steps.
We are creating risk-sensing dashboards and other monitoring reports and tools that allow us to identify significant frauds, errors, or other irregularities in our financial information. Initially, these efforts are focused centrally; however, future iterations will include information available to departments to allow for better analysis and self-review. In addition, this effort will highlight areas where we can better support the departments in executing financial processes.
- The Dashboard Monitoring project has developed and launched a Central Finance Dashboard that includes discretionary spend trend analysis, count of transactions under a threshold, and top vendor spend metrics.
- The project team is now focused on brainstorming the addition of payroll metrics as the next focus area.
Financial Training Program
We are developing a comprehensive and cohesive financial training program to ensure a well-trained staff with the resources available to help reinforce a consistent, standard approach to administrative operations across the university. Readily available training provides the community with the tools and resources to be successful in their roles.
- Recent examples include the Creating Expense Report training currently being piloted at the Yale School of Medicine and Finance Foundations Onboarding that was piloted in Central Finance with plans to expand more broadly in Q3.
We are working to clarify the financial responsibilities of programmatic leaders (Deans, Directors, Chairs, VPs) and Lead Administrators to drive a consistent, connected, and cohesive financial management structure across the university. This work also includes evaluating the dual reporting relationship and increasing consistency in its application.
- This project is expected to launch in November 2023.
- Clarity in financial responsibilities makes life easier at all levels by eliminating confusion, enhancing process efficacy, and improving collaboration.
The OneFinance program aims to evolve the culture through every aspect of the work and create a more unified finance function campus-wide where everyone is enabled and responsible for being a good steward of the university’s assets.
- A key example of this is the OneFinance Think Tank. Comprised of 43 members across the university, these individuals contribute their time, expertise, and valuable input to advancing our work. We are grateful for their commitment to strengthening our financial processes.
- More recent examples of the Think Tanks involvement include:
- Finance Training Centralization
- Integrated Source to Pay Platform
- AP Supplier Onboarding
- Payroll Management
The OneFinance Program and the OneFinance North Star
As Stephen Murphy, Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer, recently stated, OneFinance is a collection of projects with an overarching North Star as our guiding mission. In addition to the work of the OneFinance project teams, we want to recognize that the effort toward achieving our North Star involves the entire Finance team, central and distributed, working together.
Thank you for your engagement and support.
OneFinance Program Leads:
Brian Rebeschi, Executive Director, F&A – YSM Business Operations
Lisa Varni, Associate Controller, Internal Controls and Compliance