Category: BUworks – General
Look for news and information related to BUworks on IS&T’s TechWeb site – www.bu.edu/tech.
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 email@example.com.
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.
It was recently discovered that punchout catalogs are not functioning properly when accessed through Firefox 16 (released on October 9). You will be able to get to the punchout catalogs and put items in your cart. However, when you attempt to purchase them, you will get a blank screen. Firefox 15 (and prior versions) still work correctly.
Until Firefox releases an update that solves the problem, we are recommending that Windows users shop with Internet Explorer. Alternatively, instructions are provided so that Windows users can revert to version 15. Unfortunately, all Mac users must revert to Firefox 15 since Safari and other browsers are not supported by BUworks.
The affected punchout catalogs in SRM include:
- Bio-Rad Laboratories
- Fisher Scientific
- Office Depot (Which is limited to only a select number of users.)
- SHI International Corp
If you have any questions, or any problem downgrading to an earlier version of Firefox, please feel free to contact us.
Every year in early fall, SAP releases Support Packs. These software updates are required to bring our implementation of SAP up to the current support level, as well as provide the necessary payroll and accounts payable tax software updates for producing W-2′s and 1099′s in January.
The BUworks team has devised a schedule for installing the Support Packs over the Thanksgiving break. These updates are tested by the BUworks team in our test environments, and then thorough “user acceptance” testing is done by key central and distributed end user representatives. This testing will occur over the course of several weeks preceding the Thanksgiving break.
Installation of these updates into the SAP Production system takes about three days. After that, we require another day to check out the system to ensure that everything is working as expected. Access to the BUworks (SAP) system will therefore not be available starting at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, November 21 through 6:00 pm on Sunday, November 25.
Additional reminders will be provided as the Thanksgiving break approaches. The Payroll Office and Student Employment will be making changes to the November monthly and weekly payroll schedules to accommodate this work, and those changes will be communicated well in advance.
We apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Boston University Information Services & Technology
IT Help Center
A schedule of upcoming training sessions is now available via the IS&T Training Calendar. Details are provided on the BUworks Training Schedule page.
BUworks will be unavailable from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Sunday, October 14th, due to scheduled maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Please contact the IT Help Center at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (617)353-HELP (4357) if you have any problems or questions.
BUworks will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m on Sunday, September 9th.
BUworks will be unavailable from 12:00 a.m. (midnight) on 8/26/ to 4:00 a.m., due to hardware repair. Please contact the IT Help Center if you have any problems or questions – email@example.com or 617-353-4357.
UPDATE: Business Warehouse (BW) Cycle Improvements and Initiation of the Cycle Optimization Project
Within the past few weeks, the BW team has worked to identify and test a series of improvements that will increase the efficiency and timeliness of the nightly BW data load cycle for reporting.
Below is a list of BW nightly load cycle improvements that will be migrated to production this weekend. As a result of these improvements, we expect the cycle to improve by at least one hour; with a regular completion time well before 8:00AM. This change is being implemented in advance of the work to be done as part of the Cycle Optimization Project (described further below) where we anticipate additional improvements as we proceed in conjunction with BUworks, mainframe, and other teams to improve efficiencies and interdependencies of the entire end-to-end nightly process.
Initial cycle improvements being put in place this weekend include:
1. Optimization of Some SRM Data Load Code– Brings the total runtime for a particular process down from 4 hours to 4 minutes.
2. Elimination of Unnecessary Steps of the Load Cycle– Saves approx. 90 minutes of time and allows new Phase3 PBC reporting loads to finish by 6:30AM (estimated).
3. Introduction of New Text “Scrub” Transformation Routine– Removes erroneous character-set issues that otherwise cause load failures and create a hard-stop in the cycle. This occurred previously if illegitimate characters were passed from the data source into the Business Warehouse (where such data issues cause failures). This one change should greatly improve the reliability and likelihood of full cycle completion.
4. Grants Management (GM) Loads to Start Approx. 2 Hours Earlier– After consulting with functional teams, we are moving the Grants Management (GM) loads to start almost 2 hours earlier; now at 1:30AM. As such, this takes fuller advantage of parallel processing and should yield a significantly earlier delivery of GM reporting.
5. Code Review and Improvements of 2 HCM Processes– Will reduce related load processing time by approximately 45 minutes
6. Introduction of Analytical Metric Tracking and Statistics Enhancements– To better capture and understand the dynamics and trends of load cycles
In addition to these improvements, the Cycle Optimization Project has begun this week. It is a targeted project to have the entire BW cycle fully optimized. The BW Team has been augmented with additional resources to assist with this effort and there is an equivalent effort with up-stream SAP processes. It is anticipated that the full set of long-term BW cycle improvements will be in place by mid-October.
The long term goal being pursued collectively among all BUworks functional teams, the BW reporting team, and representatives from mainframe and other integrated system processes, is to achieve an end-to-end event-driven process with greatly improved cycle monitoring and management routines.
Due to a scheduled maintenance update, BUworks will be unavailable on Sunday, August 12, from 8am thru 6pm. We apologize for any inconvenience.