23, No. 18, April 22, 2004
finance software helps units prepare budgets
Forrest, Assistant Editor
Campus units will
be using new software packages when they begin preparing their budgets
for FY05, which begins July 1.
A finance package called Budget Development and a human resource package
called Salary Planner, the final components of the finance and human-resource
modules in SCT Banner, are replacing the Budget Create software that
units have used to prepare prior years' budgets. Budget Create, a software
package that was developed by university staff members, has been used
for about a decade.
Colleges and departments will use Budget Development to build their
annual operating budgets and Salary Planner to create personnel budgeting
scenarios, such as annual reappointments and salary changes, that are
then applied to Banner later.
Budget Development is the first finance application at UI to use SCT's
Web for Finance, which contains forms with a Web-based look and feel
and incorporates hyperlinks for easy navigation.
Users may be pleased to learn that the Budget Development application
has only three forms, fewer than its predecessor.
Users who are apprehensive about learning a new system will find that
hints will be available on every screen to guide them.
"As you're working with the product, you'll always be able to see
tips about how parts work," said Dennis Owen of the UI-Integrate
Users also will notice that the hints and online help have been customized
so they use UI terminology. Beginning April 26, users will be able to
try out a Web-based tutorial that includes full-motion video of common
tasks and access a realistic test site where they can practice their
Salary Planner, unlike Budget Create, has the capability of making salary
changes in both percentages and flat amounts.
"We hope this will save a lot of work because everyone in a unit
usually gets close to the average increase," said Connie Caveny,
associate project manager.
Other personnel budgeting transactions, such as appointment additions,
terminations and transfers, will be conducted in Banner itself.
To ease users' transition to the new system, the budget and reappointment
process this year will be very similar to prior years.
"For this year, the process will be as close to how it was with
Budget Create as we can make it,"Caveny said. "We will do
just what we think we can handle with a new tool."
Beginning in mid-May, users of Salary Planner and Budget Development
will be invited to attend weekly open learning labs that will be proctored
by trained team members who can answer users' questions about the new