About the Project

Financial Management Modernization (FMM) is UCSB's program dedicated to updating our campus financial system (CFS) as part of our commitment to modernizing systems and processes. This includes implementing Oracle Financials Cloud and Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budget software, as well as redesigning our Chart of Accounts (LAFSO) to a Common Chart of Accounts (CCOA) that will align with other campuses in the UC system. 

This project represents an enormous opportunity to improve overall financial management processes and reporting on our campus, as well as retire a number of aging systems. The goal of FMM is to ensure UCSB has the infrastructure in place to deliver high-value, reliable, and easy-to-access financial services that allow the campus to focus on our mission of teaching, research and public service.

The simple answer is that our existing system does not meet the needs of our campus and key components will soon be phased out. UCSB’s financial system is oriented toward central accounting administration and UC Office of the President reporting requirements. The system does not provide the level of reporting nor the financial management tools needed for campus departments and projects.

The campus currently operates Oracle’s legacy PeopleSoft Financial Supply Chain Management 9.2 product. The dual major concerns are 1) The UC has mandated adoption of a new Chart of Accounts (COA) structure be implemented by campuses, and; 2) Oracle announced that primary support for PeopleSoft may end in December 2031.

At present the campus utilizes an ancillary, campus-developed software system (GUS) to manage research and department finances. A lack of integration with the campus financial system necessitates manual entry of general ledger data and creates risks of errors and potentially greater risks to the growing Federal research funding portfolio at UCSB.

Furthermore:

  • The campus has not yet implemented significant components of the PeopleSoft system, and numerous processes remain manual or are reliant on aging, custom-developed applications
  • PeopleSoft is currently used primarily within Business and Financial Services
  • Departments rely on custom legacy applications that do not seamlessly integrate with PeopleSoft
  • Chart of Account fields reflect inconsistent utilization of the individual chart-fields and are not supported by all systems

Implementing a new COA essentially requires re-implementing the Campus Financial System and will impact/replace shadow, feeder and downstream systems. A restructured and managed COA, combined with standardized financial reports, will provide the campus with the opportunity for a singular, unified financial tool that will improve training and unify processes on campus, enabling the accurate and timely management of campus financial resources.

 

We assembled a team to lead the Financial Management Modernization program that represents divisional needs across UCSB. The project Steering Committee includes representation from academic departments, administration, budget, finance, Student Affairs, institutional advancement, and the Office of CIO. Within the project, a team of finance and budget subject matter experts is designing and configuring the system with our implementation partner, Deloitte Consulting LLP, bringing in campus stakeholders as their expertise is needed. Learn more about members of our project team here.

UCSB has partnered with Deloitte Consulting LLP to assist with the implementation of the Oracle Financials Cloud. Deloitte is providing functional and technical expertise for the implementation and integration of the new system, as well as supporting business process mapping and optimization, project management, change, communications, and training. UCSB is responsible for the overall leadership of the project and for staffing each workstream with experts to advise the configuration of the cloud and to design the new business processes.

After an initial project launch with campus financial system stakeholders in early February 2022, the project moves into implementation with design and configuration sessions occurring until Summer 2023. System testing will follow configuration up until the go-live date of July 2024. An in-depth explanation and visual timeline are available here.

The project team anticipates a go-live date of July 2024, providing a clean fiscal year crossover.

COA restructuring will unlock and enable the accurate and timely management of campus financial resources. The campus will experience enhanced divisional and departmental, budgeting, accounting and reporting to improve financial management capabilities.

Integration of research fund tracking within the Oracle Financial Cloud system improves extramural and intramural fund management, both in day-to-day operations and in reporting.  This will mitigate risks associated with Federal research funding.

A restructured and managed COA, combined with standardized financial reports will provide the campus with the opportunity for a singular, unified financial tool that will improve training and unify processes on campus. Core financial management training will be standardized across campus which will bolster compliance and mitigate the impacts of employee attrition on departments. Training will be further augmented by the development of reference guides and job aids.

The UC Office of the President (UCOP) has adopted Oracle and the new common COA, both for their internal financial reporting and UC-wide financial reporting. UC San Diego and UC Merced are currently utilizing the new chart and Oracle. UC Davis, UC Riverside, and UCLA are currently implementing Oracle, and will also go live with the new chart and new system simultaneously. UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley already operate on a chart similar to the CCOA, so they do not expect significant chart changes and are staying with their current PeopleSoft systems. UC Irvine may retrofit its current Kuali system with the new chart and is evaluating moving to Oracle. UC Santa Cruz is expected to remain on Banner.
 

Systems Sunsetting

Features within Oracle Financials Cloud will replace TOE, TOF, Gateway, and GUS. Portions of the GMC may remain in place to provide support for some Concur functions. Additionally, we expect new reporting tools in place to replace Hyperion prior to July 2024. As we learn more about the functionality and fit of OFC, we will identify solutions based on business requirements if there are essential capabilities that cannot be accommodated by the product. 

There are various reasons:

  • In the current state, there is considerable effort expended by the GUS user to “reconcile,” or match later actual expenditures from the General Ledger with the anticipated “liened” expenditures, and adjust the liens and account for variances. OFC provides that integration without any manual intervention
  • GUS was designed around the current COA structure and created to meet departmental needs for more granular budgeting, tracking, and reporting. OFC will provide real-time data (no more manual entry), as well as the level of granularity and reporting capabilities that departments haven’t had in prior financial systems
  • In addition, overhauling & redesigning GUS to align with OFC and the CCOA would be extremely difficult to achieve, virtually unsustainable to maintain, and result in redundancies/duplications with delivered OFC functionalities

It makes sense to replace Gateway with OFC to take full advantage of the integration that OFC offers between Procurement and the General Ledger.

The Data Warehouse is a key asset and will not go away. Historical data will continue to be available in the Data Warehouse. Reporting that may rely on payroll/HR data, or multi-year reports which rely on historical data, will be provided in the Data Warehouse. Work is currently underway to replace the Hyperion reporting tools with new tools.

While much of the functionality of the Gateway Management Console (GMC) will be replaced by Oracle Financials Cloud, portions of the GMC may remain in place to provide support for some Concur functions. As we learn more about the functionality and fit of OFC, we will identify solutions based on business requirements if there are essential capabilities that cannot be accommodated by the product. 

Not at this time. During scoping we assessed all boundary and feeder databases, and ORBiT was excluded from the scope. The use of OFC begins with award setup. However, it is of longer term interest to have a proposal and award management system that can feed data into OFC to streamline award setup.

We are confident that FMM will result in fewer shadow systems on campus. With that said, we don’t really know how many shadow systems departments use, so we cannot guarantee that they will all disappear after FMM is implemented.

Oracle Financials Cloud (OFC)

 UC San Diego evaluated Oracle, SAP and Kuali in their "cost-per-quality-point" based RFP (request for proposal), and Oracle prevailed under this analysis. UCLA also conducted an RFP in which Oracle also prevailed. 

Historical data will continue to be available in the Data Warehouse. Reporting that relies on payroll/HR data, or multi-year reports that rely on historical data, will be provided in the Data Warehouse. By that time, we expect new tools to be in place to replace Hyperion. At this time, Oracle is anticipated to have only “summary” financial totals from the prior 1-2 years to allow a certain degree of year-to-year comparison.
 

Yes, Equipment/Asset Management is a component of the new system. It is part of the “Record-to-Report” (RTR) workstream. We are currently assessing the process of replacing EIMR.

We understand that there are significant impacts resulting from decisions on where and how business functions are performed. At the same time the campus is hoping to adopt stream-lined “leading practices” based on business requirements rather than historical practices, which are informed by the experiences of both our implementation partner and the other campuses who have moved to Oracle.
 

While we haven’t yet had hands-on experience adding comments/notes (this will come during testing), there will be options for adding free form notes to transactions at the time of charging in respective subledgers. Some users can also add freeform descriptions/comments on specific project-related transactions in the Projects & Grants Management (PGM) module.

Additionally, our new Common Chart of Accounts (CCOA) will provide a new and more robust approach to expense categorization in the future state. That said, unlike the current state, fields will be pre-defined and not user defined in order to have consistent data across campus.

Our Projects & Grants Management (PGM) module design approach has integrated GUS user requirements that were gathered a couple of years ago through a lengthy grassroots effort. That said, because we are not trying to replicate all individual GUS functionalities, there will certainly be changes. There are lots of capabilities for reporting, filtering, searching, etc. based on various project attributes, similar to the way departments use various fields in GUS to achieve similar means. The big difference in the future state will be a standardization of field use vs. user-defined fields.

We've identified three key areas in current state where departments 'lien' expenses in GUS or other shadow systems: (1) gateway requisitions, (2) subawards, and (3) anticipated payroll expenses. Luckily the new procurement module is fully integrated with the financial system, so new requisitions will be automatically posted as 'commitments' in real-time, and then updated throughout the lifecycle of the requisition (e.g. move from a 'commitment' to an 'expense'). This includes subawards in the future state, which will be processed via the procurement module. Other expenses will be posted in real time, eliminating the need to post a separate shadow transaction and then reconcile at month end.

We are evaluating opportunities to import anticipated payroll expenses as 'commitments' directly from UCPath, particularly for sponsored projects, but this solution is still in development.

Oracle Financials Cloud provides robust reporting functionality for users in the future state. Oracle combines three main reporting tools - OTBI, Oracle Analytics Cloud, and Business Intelligence Publisher - to meet the individual cost and expense reporting needs of UCSB. OTBI is likely the primary tool used by end users and combines subject areas, filters, and search criteria to create an easy to use, easy to adjust report based on your needs. For example, if I need to see all salary costs for a specific Sponsored project, I can use OTBI to search for that specific project and filter by Salary cost types.  This functionality is available across modules - we can create reports for Project and Grants Management (PGM), but also for any data in Procure to Pay, the General Ledger, etc. 

Additionally, the system is set up to allow the modules to communicate with each other and allows drill down features in certain areas. For example, if I am in the PGM module reviewing a specific cost from a Purchase Order, I can typically click into that reference Purchase Order and see all of the information available on the Procure to Pay side. 

Common Chart of Accounts

The transition to a new chart of accounts is a significant shift that we know will require a lot of training and support. It is a mandate that all UC campuses have to fulfill and, while the transition will be difficult, it is a much needed change. Stay tuned as we plan to host more detailed sessions on this topic shortly after fiscal close.

As part of the data conversion, departments will be providing data (in many cases from GUS) about their projects.  Projects may need new numbering, but there would be tools to cross-walk old project numbers to new.

Some current state GUS projects may not meet the criteria for a future state project (using PGM module) whereby local tracking needs may be met via other available chart segments such as FUND, ACTIVITY, or FRU.

There will be defined mappings for most existing chartfields. Specific aspects of the mapping between the current COA and new CCOA, such as flexfields and projects, are still being evaluated. We want to use a tool to support this process and do some of the heavy lifting, but departments will need to be involved to some extent as the data owners. 

In general, it will be a collaboration between departments and BFS with the support of ETS.  In particular, departments will be very involved with Project and FRU mappings.

Updating funding strings is still being discussed with the UCPath Center.  We hope to use the mappings that are developed to allow us to upload new budget and funding chartstrings. Regardless of what happens behind the scenes, all employees will get paid when we go live with the new CCOA.

The UCOP/UCPath team will implement a redesign of system pages associated with Funding Chartfields. Planning is in progress with detailed analysis and testing September through November.

GMC functionality will be reduced. It will primarily be used only for DSAs to assign roles to BARC & ServiceNow for Equipment Management. The functionality to create FAUs in the GMC will not be used anymore.

To allow more consistent and standardized reporting, a new chart of accounts governance process will be instituted, which will include the ability for departments to request new chartfields.

Most historical data will continue to be available in the data warehouse. We are evaluating the level of data which will be available for purposes of analysis which would span multiple years across the two charts. The specific details of this are still under discussion.

Because of the importance of purchasing records, we expect to extract much of the Gateway historical data and documents, but we are still evaluating the most appropriate reporting and retrieval tools. We plan to make Gateway available for a period of time to be used for reporting purposes. 

We are still in the design phase for the new CCOA, and we don’t know exactly how many funds there will be in the future, but we are confident there will be less than there are now.

The expenditure accounts will be very similar expense categories as our current object codes. The expenditure accounts will also have a hierarchy, which will enable easier reporting by major expense categories.
 

We are still in the design phase of the CCOA segment values. As we begin the work of mapping, we will assess the need to use the two flex fields for campus reporting. The goal is to have consistent campus-wide reporting.

Change, Communications, & Training

Departments all across campus are currently experiencing record hiring and resource shortages. Although FMM may increase workloads for some staff, the program leadership has negotiated a 12-month extension from the initial proposed go-live date to provide ample time for training and addressing impacts.

Staff will need to allot ample time for completing the required training activities for system users. However, the training timeline has been shifted to reduce overlap with fiscal close activities to address resource constraints during this time of year. The training approach will include both instructor-lead and self-paced training for greater efficiency and convenience. 

We realize that past project implementations have been difficult. A program of this magnitude will be challenging, but we are doing several things to make this transition as smooth as we can, particularly in the area of training: 

  • We are learning from other UC campuses that are ahead of us with similar implementations of what worked and what didn’t, and taking that into consideration
  • We have also included lessons learned from past projects into planning this effort. For training, there will be an environment - like a sandbox - for end users to become comfortable with the system. We know that different people learn differently, and you can expect the training program to also offer a blended approach in an effort to cater to as many learning preferences as possible

One of the most challenging aspects of UCPath was the approach to go-live, which involved groups of campuses going live at the same time, sacrificing campus-specific needs in some cases. 

With Financial Management Modernization, we have much more control over the entire project, the approach we follow and the related timeline. We also plan to have readiness assessments performed during the duration of the project to help us understand and address risks and issues well in advance of go-live.

Chuck Haines, Associate Chancellor for Finance & Resource Management and FMM Executive Sponsor, has already met with the Deans to discuss this program and its objectives.

The first year will be difficult because every few months we will be learning and doing something on the system for the very first time. After that, using the system should become more and more straightforward and we should all start reaping the benefits from the new system in very tangible ways, like more skills transferable between departments and better reporting for planning purposes.

Campus Involvement

Reach out to your divisional representative in the project, or contact us directly through our contact form.

The GUS Board and power users began engagement with Enterprise Technology Services in 2019 to document the unique needs of the user community and critical functionalities within GUS in order to better inform the future state environment. This partnership and preparatory work is a critical component to the success of this implementation. Key members of the GUS community continue to be engaged in the project to ensure that Oracle Financials Cloud addresses departmental needs.

Divisional CFOs are part of the project governance to ensure that departmental needs are documented and addressed. System requirements & needs from the GUS user community (via detailed user stories) have been integrated into the project design.

In addition, the project leadership remains committed to continue to meet with critical campus stakeholders, such as UCAMP, to continue to discuss and understand departmental context.

Yes. We have 36 subject matter experts (SME) from departments across campus who attend design sessions for the Oracle Financials Cloud module(s) in their respective area of expertise. We identified individuals from departments whose business processes and end user experiences reflect a wide range of campus needs to ensure that all potential system requirements are taken into account.

Additionally, the change, communications, and training (CCT) team has begun and will continue to conduct interviews with departmental stakeholders to document areas of concern and share these findings with the project governance.

The UCSB graduate division is working with graduate divisions at other UC campuses to gain a full understanding of potential challenges that may be faced based on their experiences implementing OFC. Our graduate division is also coordinating with the FMM project team to ensure that the unique needs of this group are taken into account. More information about specific impacts will be shared as these conversations progress.