Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Coffee and Collaboration with Colleagues

Hi everyone,

Following on the heels of our recent Coffee and Donuts with Pat series, I wanted to offer another opportunity to increase collaboration and build relationships with our colleagues in other organizations. With special thanks to Ana Lynch for her work with Greenberry’s on this, I am excited to launch Coffee and Collaboration with Colleagues.

Is there an issue that needs resolution, a question that needs to be answered, or a process that can be improved, but you need the help of someone in another department to develop a response or solution? Is there a procedure that you do not understand and it would help your work to get feedback from someone else? Then this is an opportunity for you to work on a common issue or problem in a face-to-face conversation with someone from outside of Finance.

How does it work?

  1. Identify your issue/question/topic and who you need to work with for resolution.
  2. Invite that person (or persons) to meet over coffee to work through the question.
  3. Go to see Lynne Schwar, Kelly Hochstetler, Kelly Mays, Sarah Doran, or Christina Frederick to pick up Greenberry’s gift cards.  
  4. Complete a simple log, describing (in 10 words or less) the issue and who you are taking to coffee.   
  5. Follow-up on the log to report on any progress made on the issue.  This is important so we can measure success of this program and whether it should continue.

Please let me know of any feedback you have on this or any other ideas that you have to increase collaboration with other groups at UVa.


Affordable Excellence Model Significantly Lowers Student Indebtedness

The Board of Visitors adopted an innovative program of “Affordable Excellence” that significantly reduces student indebtedness for qualifying Virginia residents, affirming U.Va.’s position as one of the best values in higher education.

The new model reduces student indebtedness for both low- and middle-income Virginians and increases grant aid, while offering options for a stronger degree of predictability for families over the course of a student’s four-year career on Grounds.

For about 70 percent of Virginia households, Affordable Excellence reduces the net cost of a U.Va. education.

Click here to read the full story at UVA Today.

Not on Our Grounds: One Green Dot at a Time

The University has been working for some time to develop and implement programs aimed at ending sexual violence and interpersonal violence in our community through a series of awareness campaigns and prevention efforts. In connection with this mission, the University has partnered with the organization Green Dot etc. to bring their comprehensive violence prevention strategy to UVa.

Green Dot is built on the premise that in order to measurably reduce power-based personal violence, a cultural shift is necessary. In order to create a cultural shift, a critical mass of people will need to engage in new behaviors that will make violence less sustainable in our community. Those new behaviors are Green Dots.

The Green Dot program is officially launching on Thursday, March 26 in the Amphitheater from 1 to 4 PM. For more information on the Green Dot and other initiatives, visit

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Excel Tips & Tricks: Pivot Tables

Pivot tables are one of Excel's most powerful features. They help extract meaningful intelligence from detailed data sets. They also provide quick summaries, and help ‘slice-and-dice’ or analyze large data sets.

Pivot tables have many unexpected uses as well—limited only by your imagination. For example, you can quickly extract a list of unique values from a table to easily compare to two sets of similar data. Or you can create a formatted summary report that is linked to a data set that is regularly updated with new data. If you work with detailed tables and data, don’t miss these examples of pivot tables.

SFS at Days on the Lawn

"Days on the Lawn" are events held every spring that provide admitted undergraduates and their families the opportunity to visit Grounds and experience U.Va. firsthand. This year, there will be eight events: March 30 and April 3, 6, 8, 9, 15, 17, and 20. During each event, the students learn about the various undergraduate colleges and schools, enjoy tours of Grounds, and engage in informational panels and presentations.

Student Financial Services representatives will be on hand at the Resource Fair in Newcomb Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., then participate in the informational panel for parents from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. SFS staff will answer questions about billing, payment, financial aid, and more to help newly admitted students and parents negotiate the often new and foreign terrain of university financial life. They will also take walk-in appointments to meet with attendees one-on-one. This is an important outreach activity for SFS, as it introduces our office to our newest cohort of students and is an opportunity for us to help them get on the right path from the very start.

For a schedule of Days on the Lawn activities, click here. The SFS presentation that is given at Days on the Lawn is still being fine-tuned for publication. When it is available, you will find it here.

Important Town Hall

On Thursday, March 26, join the Managerial Reporting Project Town Hall. Leaders across grounds have valuable perspective on our projects, and will be a part of this important conversation. We want you to participate in the dialogue, and we’ll also have fun raffle prizes too. Don’t miss this exciting event!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Managerial Reporting Project Town Hall – March 26, 2015

Join the conversation and be a part of our very first Managerial Reporting Project Town Hall. Leaders across grounds have valuable perspective on our projects, and will be a part of this important conversation. We want you to participate in the dialogue, and we’ll also have fun raffle prizes too. Don’t miss this exciting event!


University Policy FIN-023 requires departments to reconcile their financial activity at least once a month by the 15th calendar day of the month for the previous month’s activity (or by an approved alternate schedule).

Over the past year, on-time reconciliation rates have increased from 56% to 81% - up by 25 points! This is largely due to implementation of the system-generated emails designed to improve compliance. Reminders are sent to all reconcilers each month 5 days prior to the due date, as well as monthly notices to Deans and Vice Presidents when reconciliations are overdue.

Additionally, we have found that reconcilers appropriately continue to review and approve transactions after the due date passes - resulting in a less than 1% rate of reconciliations not approved.

A big thank you to all of our reconcilers who strive to ensure this important internal control is met!