PUEBLO – After nearly a two-year transition, Colorado State University-Pueblo will go live on Tuesday with a new financial system that is expected to reduce paper processes, enable faster turnaround, and allow for decisions to be made based on up-to-date information. The new system also will provide a built-in checks and balances system, which will give more control and flexibility to documents and create audit trails.
Begun in April 2012, the transition to the Kuali Financial System (KFS), an integrated set of financial services designed by higher education for higher education, has spanned nearly two years. Budget, accounting, and procurement staff were involved in training in March followed by departmental staff in May and June. The conversion of existing financial data to Kuali occurred last week with operations going live tomorrow (July 1).
“This is an exciting moment for CSU Pueblo, and I want to commend the many folks in our Business Financial Services Office, who carried the burden of this conversion,” said CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare. “We all know that conversions are never easy and sometimes you think you will never see the light at the end of the tunnel. But today, that light is blinding!”
Project Coordinator Lisa Ramos said that while loading 2015 transitions into the system is gratifying, much work remains to be accomplished in the coming months. Over the next two years, Business Financial Services staff will be re-engineering processes, updating policies, and procedures, and deploying additional KFS modules to campus users.
The decision to transition to Kuali was based in part on these major benefits:
- Reduced implementation costs: No vendor or licensing fees. The goal of the Kuali Foundation is to lower the total cost of ownership of such software for higher education. KFS is much less expensive to implement and maintain than a commercial product.
- Consistent look and feel of integrated modules: All KFS modules have the same look and feel, and information is readily available across the system.
- Electronic security and workflow: KFS provides for electronic routing of all financial transaction and maintenance documents with attachments and notes. Monitoring document status is simplified through e-mail notification and action lists.
- Streamlined processes and data entry: KFS reduces paper processes, enables copy functionality for routine transactions, and facilitates uploading transactions from Excel spreadsheets.
- Robust query and reporting functionality: KFS allows drill down from the highest level to detailed transactions and source documents. Results can be downloaded into Excel.
- Increased business office and end user control: Streamlined processes and data entry, electronic security and workflow, and simple query and reporting functionality enhances faster turnaround and decision making by business financial services and department staff.
Indiana University developed the foundation of the Kuali system, which allows institutions to implement only those functional elements they need based on their size and campus structure from complex, multi-campus, research-intensive institutions to smaller private, liberal arts, or community colleges. CSU-Pueblo joins a growing list of universities who have similar processing and reporting needs, including several UC campuses (UC Davis, Irvine, Santa Barbara), other public universities (Indiana University, CSU Fort Collins), private universities like Cornell, and community colleges like San Joauquin Delta College.