January 11, 2011 – The Project to Date

Stevens Institute of Technology has partnered with other colleges and universities in a community-source model to develop the Kuali Financial System (KFS). KFS is a contemporary, comprehensive suite of financial accounting software built as a collaborative effort between higher education and business partners to meet the unique requirements of higher education.

Stevens is implementing KFS (which we fondly refer to as Kuali for Stevens!) to replace the existing, aging and unsustainable mainframe financial systems. KFS will bring Stevens' financial technology into the 21st century to allow us to keep pace with the innovation for which Stevens is known.

Current financial systems have been in place since the 1970s. The Institute's ability to support and maintain the legacy mainframe application is a significant risk to the Institute's integrity. KFS addresses this risk. Implementation of KFS will improve financial transaction processing with standardization across departments. It will introduce new workflow features including a single inbox of action items for users as well as enhanced reporting.

This system will provide better financial data for decision making through more effective and efficient use of reporting tools. This will minimize the number of different tools used and will eliminate the need for ancillary systems.

An important part of this new system is SciQuest eprocurement software. System features include on-line access to and control of information throughout the purchasing process; identification of and negotiation with preferred vendors for online catalogs; streamlined ordering and paying; and establishment of dollar thresholds for receiving. The driving premise is to create a more efficient procurement process by spending the university's resources wisely, delivering the necessary items to campus and placing them into service as quickly as possible.

The Kuali and SciQuest project implementation will include establishing uniformity in processes and approvals, achieving efficiency in transactions and moving decisions as close to the end user as possible while still maintaining appropriate checks.

Where are we in the overall implementation process?

A planning structure has been mapped out with attention to transitions and change management requirements.

Key to this project is the collection of the information needed to be captured in an ideal financial system.

We are about 95% complete with regard to the accounting structure. This includes the chart of accounts and object codes and the mapping between Kuali and the legacy system.

Interfaces with the other administrative systems of information have been identified and analyses of those structures are underway.

The team has designed a single standard for the disbursement of funds, initiation through approval, referred to as the workflow.

Conversations continue regarding the details of paying bills and collecting funds due.

Thank you for visiting, see you next week!