Journal Entry Changes – Important Update

in BUworks - General, Finance
October 23rd, 2012

In the first few months of our BUworks SAP implementation, one of the key functions identified as in need of improvement was the journal entry transaction; department submitters needed the ability to initiate journal entries to any fund center across the University; and schools, units and departments wanted more visibility to and control over journal entries charged to their fund centers. To make sure as many needs were addressed as possible, Financial Affairs and BUworks met with a focus group of users, and has now completed many of the requested changes to the journal entry functionality; these changes will be moved into the SAP production environment on October 26th.

What is changing?

  • The basic functionality of the transaction itself isn’t changing; the same menu paths and transaction codes will work, and the same fields are available for keying.
  • With the new functionality, any department submitter will be able to enter transactions on any fund center.
  • Journal entry transactions can contain debits for up to 10 fund centers, and when saved as complete, the entry will flow for approval to the designated approver for each of the fund centers in the document. (Note: if an approver is authorized to approve on more than one fund center in the journal entry, the approver will only be asked to approve once; he/she will not see the journal entry multiple times.)
  • Journal entries created by central users will flow to their designated supervisor to approval.
  • Journal entries to grants will flow directly to the PAFO research administrator assigned to that grant, reducing the turn-around time for approval and posting.
  • Entries using transfer GL accounts will now flow to the Budget Office for review. Please remember that transfer GL accounts are only to be used to 1) move funding between cost centers and internal orders and 2) moving prior year funding between two internal orders. These GL accounts do not represent actual revenue and expense activity. DO NOT USE transfer GL accounts for moving expenses between cost centers. The proper transfer GL account numbers to use in SAP are: 479999, “transfer in – operating” and 579999, “transfer out – operating”. All other transfer GL accounts are for central use only.
  • Documentation of these changes in the approval process and any screen changes will be posted to the BUworks website by October 23rd.

Future changes planned

Some schools have requested the ability to approve journal entries at the school level as well as at the department level; this functionality is planned, but is not yet ready to be put in place

Impact on journal entries in workflow in SAP on October 26th

Our journal entry workflow “queue” needs to be empty at the time of the transport of the new functionality to production; any journal entries in the queue will be lost. To prevent loss of data, we are putting in place a short “freeze” on submitting journal entries in SAP, as follows:

  • The freeze on “submitting” journal entries will start at 5 PM on Thursday, October 25 and end at 9 AM on Saturday, October 27.
  • Department approvers should be sure to approve all submitted entries by noon on Friday, October 26; PAFO and General Accounting can then complete their approval processes by 5 pm on Friday so that no entries are lost.
  • If you would like to check the status of your submitted journal entry during this period or at any time, instructions are available in this online document. Refer to page 35 (Tree On/Tree Off), pages 37-41 (Track Journal Entry through workflow), and page 57 (Services for Object).
  • If your approver is away on vacation, or you are having any issue with completion or approval of the journal entry before the freeze, contact Israel Elmeus at ielmeus@bu.edu.

Please contact General Accounting with any questions about these changes or the Journal Entry process. You can reach us at 353-4266, or send e-mail to Israel Elmeus.

Submitted by:

Gillian Emmons
University Comptroller