Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Renovation to Downstairs Vending Area

The vending area downstairs will be closed starting Wednesday, November 30, for renovations to that area.  This work should take about a month to complete.  A sink and new floor will be installed, and the walls will be painted.  The ice machine will be out of commission during this time.

The vending machines will be moved upstairs to the new vending area between the front restrooms beginning this afternoon.  The Pepsi machine will not be moved to this space since there is one located in the ITS area.  It will be returned with new machines once the renovations are done.

Questions?  Concerns?  Email Stacey Rittenhouse or comment below!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Financial Statements in Record Time

Despite inherent challenges and extra complicating factors, the Financial Operations and University Reporting team did something extraordinary this year:  they got UVA's complex financial statements pulled together, formatted, reviewed by auditors, and bound and printed, almost one month earlier than normal.  

The end of each fiscal year begins an intense and complicated process of  gathering a wealth of financial information from multiple sources, both inside and outside of the University, synthesizing that information into one consolidated financial statement, addressing questions from auditors, and, sprinkled throughout, a good amount of waiting.

There's the Academic side and the Medical Center side to be considered: two separate state agencies that are, from a financial perspective (and from the State of Virginia's point of view), one.   Ten foundations are also added into this mix.  And, of course, there's the scrutiny of state auditors and the State Department of Accounts (DOA) to be addressed.

Randy Ellis, Associate Comptroller with UVAFinance, explains the usual financial statement timeline this way: "We usually have the information from the academic side together by the third week of August, and get the information from the Medical Center by the first week of September.  The foundations that are part of our process have their own independent auditors, so we have to wait on them as we put the academic and medical center information together.  Everything bottlenecks during that second week of September, right up against the deadline of September 24 to get it to the state auditors and to the DOA."

Ellis admits the process can be fairly stressful for the team.  "I've been here at midnight the night before it's due, getting ready to hit the send button," he recalls.  

This year, he says, the academic side was prepared by the second week of August, and the medical center slid under the finish line a week later.  

Financial Operations team members celebrating their
achievements with Cav Man at a recent women's
basketball game.  Go UVAFinance! Go Hoos!
Financial Operations then had time to review the information and anticipate auditors' questions before the statements were submitted.  The review time was quite beneficial; normally the DOA has 20-30 follow-up questions, but this year, they had only seven.

One of the most significant benefits of being early is that the Board of Visitors will be able to review complete financial statements by the December board meeting, instead of waiting until February.

"Information in the statements will be more relevant to the BOV," Ellis adds.  "We're talking about three months versus six months after the year-end close."

What made the difference this year?  Ellis cites two big contributing factors:

  • Clear expectations:  "We wait on lots of different departments," says Ellis, "but this year we gave them attainable deadlines, asked for things earlier, and held them accountable to the deadlines.  The entire team worked to keep everyone on task."
  • Process improvements: "We got quicker, better, and more efficient.  We streamlined how we put things into the system and how we got information from departments.  We use UBI, which made things easier, and allowed us to give the auditors access to the financial records, enabling auditors to have temporary access to different schedules.  This improved their efficiency and  reduced our internal workload.  UBI speeds things up for everyone."
These improvements weren't done under the most ideal conditions, either.  

"We were climbing over filing cabinets most of the summer, due to construction, and we still got this done," says Ellis.  He's quick to give kudos to Karyn Tancredi in Finance  and Kim Holdren, the Comptroller at the Medical Center, for their roles in this achievement.

"I am very appreciative of my staff," he says.  "Without the dedication of the entire team, this would not have been possible."

Even with such a big achievement in their rear-view mirror, don't expect Financial Operations to pat themselves on the back too much:  "We've set an expectation now," says Ellis with a laugh.  

"We'll have to do this from now on.  Early is going to be the new normal."


 Know of another department or group of UVAFinance employees who have done amazing things? Please share your success stories!  Please comment below or send your ideas to bv8h@virginia.edu 

Assuring Integrity: UVAFinance Hosts Risk Management/Internal Control Meeting

UVAFinance recently hosted 21 people representing 13 in-state schools to discuss internal control standards and best practices that directly support the vision and objectives of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Specifically, the meeting was a practical forum to network and discuss state Agency Risk Management and Internal Control Standards (ARMICS). 

In 2006, the Commonwealth mandated through ARMICS the annual assessment of internal controls systems.  Each state agency is required  to provide reasonable assurance of the integrity of all fiscal processes related to the submission of accounting information and financial statements to the Department of Accounts, compliance with laws and regulations, and stewardship over the Commonwealth's assets.

The Compliance Team led the meeting of peer in-state schools in informal workgroup style, sharing experiences, lessons learned, and discussing common questions and approaches. 

"ARMICS was essentially the Commonwealth of Virginia's response to the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a bill that was enacted in response to a number of major corporate and accounting scandals, such as Enron," says  FOC Senior Compliance Analyst Lynn Galasso.

"This meeting was a great opportunity for all of us to discuss ARMICS objectives."

The group plans to continue with ongoing meetings; the next discussion will be scheduled before Spring Fiscal Officers of Colleges and Universities State Supported of Virginia (FOCUS).

UVAFinance /HR Cornhole Tournament Results

They came, they took aim, they lobbed their beanbags.

On the left, Runners-Up Mike Hayton and Mike Beverage
On the right, Champions Logan Hobbs and Brandon Kenty
Friday, November 11 marked this year's UVAFinance / HR Annual Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign Cornhole Tournament.  Teams from UVAFinance and HR enjoyed beautiful weather and fun with colleagues while vying for the top spot.

For the second year in a row, the winners were Brandon Kenty and Logan Hobbs, from HR.  The second-place team was "The Mikes" (Hayton and Beverage) from Finance.

Excellent form from Stacey

You can see full tournament results here.

Stacey Rittenhouse and Josh Breeden represented UVAFinance at the CVC Cornhole Championship on the South Lawn on November 3, and won third place!

See more pictures of the UVAFinance / HR Cornhole Tournament

Take a look at HR's Cornhole pictures 

Community Feast Project a Great Success: Thank You for Your Donations!

UVAFinance donations filled Assistant Vice President for Budget
 and Financial Planning Nicole Ferretti's vehicle.
Thank you to everyone who made food and monetary donations to the Community Feast Project.

 UVAFinance donated 12 full baskets, along with three additional bags filled with other food donations, and a check for $250 to go toward the purchase of turkeys.

This past Saturday, the Community Feast Project distributed baskets to over 200 families in the Charlottesville area.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Parking Changes at Carruthers: More Detail

Progress is being made with the changes to Carruthers parking you may have read about in a previous blog edition.  Below you can read more about the new options.  Pedestrian safety improvements to walkways and crosswalks are still being planned.  Watch the blog for further updates, and as always, please comment below if you have questions. 

Parking and Transportation is excited to announce some changes coming to the parking options at Carruthers Hall. These changes include new visitor parking spots in the Y1 parking lot, new Y3 permitted parking between Carruthers and Michie North, and a rate change in the existing Y1 parking lot.

Parking changes that employees and visitors can anticipate in the near future:

·       Y1 permit parking will see a rate decrease. The new permit rate will be $47.00 per month.  If you currently park in Y1 and do not wish to change your parking location, Parking and Transportation will handle changing your rate. The new rate change will be reflected in your 12/16/16 paycheck.

·       New visitor parking within the Y1 lot.  Spaces facing Emmet Street will be designated as visitor parking.

·       Y3 permitted parking will be established between the Carruthers and Michie North Building. Y3 permit parking will have a total of 18 spaces.

·       Parking in the upper Blue lot at Carruthers will remain unchanged and the parking rates will remain the same ($20 per month).

Employees who wish to change their parking location, please bring your current UVA parking decal to the Parking and Transportation Main office and a customer service representative will assist you in obtaining your desired location.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Parking and Transportation at 434-924-7231 or by visiting our main office. Parking and Transportation’s office is located at 1101 Millmont St, directly behind Barracks Rd Shopping Center. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 7:30am-5:00pm. 

Free Event: Minimizing the Impact of Stress and Maximizing Your Wellbeing

Holidays, deadlines, election results:  these are just a few of the things that might be stressing you out this season.  

The Center for Leadership Excellence (CLE) and the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) are proud to present an event spotlighting resiliency. Learn about recent resiliency research and strategies to transform stress. Discover how it is possible to mitigate your internal stress response in order to maximize your overall wellbeing through the practice and implementation of key coping strategies.  You’ll learn how to deploy your own energy resources wisely.

Facilitators:   Anna Delong, Faculty and Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) Consultant and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Trainer; and Cynthia Moore, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Emotional Brain Training provider. Master of Ceremonies: Janet Turner-Giles. Wellness Break hosted by Erin Erickson, Hoo’s Well Wellness Program Coordinator.

The event is free and open to all UVA employees. It includes breakfast and a snack and is a great opportunity to connect with colleagues!

If you do not have access to the Integrated System, you can contact Rachel Parsley to register. Just email leadership@virginia.edu or call 434-924-3645.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Carruthers Hall Holiday Blood Drive December 13

Get festive - Donate Blood - Support Life. 

The Bloodmobile will be here on Tuesday,  December 13 from 10 am - 2:30 pm.  A festively tacky holiday t-shirt will be given to all donors while supplies last.

Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.  To sign up, please contact Stacey Rittenhouse at 4-4294, or go online to https://vadonor.org and use sponsor code Carruthers Hall.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

FOC Lunch and Learn this December: Using Lynda.com for FREE Online Training!

The next Lunch and Learn session is on Thursday, December 8, 12-1 and the topic is How to Enroll in and Use Lynda.com for Online Training. (This is a repeat from the first session.) The session will be held in Carr-1.

Did you know there is a place where you can learn skills online at your own pace, and that since you are a UVA employee, it is absolutely FREE?  Lynda.com offers many courses and learning paths in the following areas: 

·         Project management
·         Graphic design
·         Excel
·         Communication
·         SQL
·         Data Analysis
·         Photography
·         … and many more!

About our Lunch and Learn Sessions

What are Lunch and Learn sessions?
Lunch and Learn sessions are “mini-training” sessions that are one hour long and will be held mid-day, sometime between 11:30-1:30, depending on the availability of space.  

How are the Lunch and Learn sessions different from the Brown Bag sessions coordinated by Finance Outreach and Compliance?
Lunch and Learn sessions are optional, informational sessions open only to UVAFinance employees. Brown Bag sessions, while also optional and informational, are open to any interested employee. They often are directly related to the work of finance and business professionals in the departments, and are held in various locations across grounds.

Will lunch be served?
No, but please feel free to bring your lunch to the session.

How often will the Lunch and Learn sessions be held?
Initially the sessions will be held monthly. We may add more depending on interest and the availability of space (both physical and on the UVAFinance calendar!)

Do I need to enroll in advance?
No. In fact you will not be able to enroll in advance, so it will be first-come, first served with regard to space. We will capture attendance and enter it in the Integrated System, so you’ll have record of it in Employee Self-Service, Learner Home.

Will sessions be recorded if I am interested but cannot attend?
We do not plan to record sessions. However we will repeat sessions, so if you’re unable to attend then hopefully the next time it is offered will fit with your schedule.

Where will the sessions be held?
The Lunch and Learn sessions will be held in Carruthers, for the convenience of most UVAFinance colleagues. However, if a particular session is of interest and you work remotely and are unable to be here in person, we will work with you.  Please contact us at finance_engagement@virginia.edu or foc-training@virginia.edu to discuss the best way to accommodate you.

Where can I look for information on future sessions?
Lunch and Learn sessions, including a description, will be listed under events on the FOC website – http://foc.virginia.edu.

Please contact us at finance_engagement@virginia.edu or foc-training@virginia.edu if you have questions or suggestions for future sessions. (Or, just leave a comment or suggestion below!)


UBI October Featured Users Chosen

"We're all learning, and we're all teaching."

Beth Grimm, Finance Generalist, Department of Medicine

Diane Wendelken, Senior Budget Analyst, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Diane Wendelken is not afraid of change.  “As soon as you find something better and quicker, it’s worth the exploration time to make it a habit,” she says.

As one of two recently-recognized “Featured Users” of the University Business Intelligence system, Wendelken has embraced the new reporting environment without looking back. 

Wendelken uses UBI frequently in her role and has enjoyed its increased functionality and its speed, as compared to Discoverer, the reporting program being phased out.

“I hardly ever go back to Discoverer for reports,” she says. “It takes too long.”
 Shilpa Narayan from the Managerial Reporting Project
presents Beth Grimm with a "goodie bag."

Beth Grimm, also a Featured User for October, agrees that UBI’s speed is impressive, in more ways than one: “The new system is quick, but also, when I have encountered any problems, the response I get is very quick, too.”

Grimm, whose work involves in-depth reporting on grant balances and expenses, remembers a time a few years ago when she found a broken report in Discoverer:  she reported it, but heard nothing back.  When UBI came along and she ran the same report, there was still a glitch.  The difference that time was that once she reported it to the UBI team, “it was fixed within a week.”

Grimm and Wendelken were chosen as Featured Users not only because of their proactivity and willingness to help test new modules, but also, for their commitment to helping others in their respective areas learn the tool and feel comfortable with it.

Both say they work quite a bit with other users to help them dig into the system to run the reports they need.

“I like people to be able to be independent and do their jobs well,” says Grimm.  “UBI has more potential than Discoverer ever did; it’s just a matter of people taking some time to learn.”

Wendelken agrees.  “Once people realize how easy it is and what the advantages are, they love it,” she says, adding that users should always be willing to ask questions within the UBI Community and to experienced users like herself and Grimm.

“Being helpful and encouraging is all part of what I do,” says Grimm.  “I’m happy to help.  We’re all learning, and we can all teach one another, too.”

Narayan and Diane Wendelken discuss some
 new UBI developments

Advice from Our Featured Users on Working with UBI:

  • ·        Don’t wait until Discoverer goes away to start learning.  Get familiar with reports in UBI now – don’t procrastinate! (Grimm)
  • ·        Run UBI next door to Discoverer.  You’ll see how much faster it is, and you and also see the same numbers and feel confident. (Wendelken)
  • ·        Don’t be hesitant to try new things.  There’s lots of community support and people to help. (Grimm)
  • ·        Just get in the system and play with it, one report at a time, 15 minutes a day. (Grimm)
  • ·        Don’t labor alone when you don’t understand something within the system:  reach out for help! (Wendelken)

Congratulations, Beth and Diane!  Thank you for being awesome UBI Community Members!

For more information on UBI Training, the UBI Community, and a full timeline for the project, visit ubi.virginia.edu

Notes from the Mayor

A collection of upcoming dates, useful info, and general intelligence you need, straight from the desk of Carruthers Mayor Stacey Rittenhouse  . . . just in case you deleted the email.

 Carr-1 & Carr-2 in Transition

Carr-1 (left) and Carr-2 (right) are now available to reserve separately.  If you need to reserve the rooms as one, please book both in Outlook.  Training sessions will be held soon on the AV equipment in the rooms.  

Do remember that Carr-1 and Carr-2, as well as the front lobby, will be closed December 19-January 2 to install the storefront glass.

Coffee & Tea in Carruthers Lobby

Two Keurig machines and a water cooler have been installed in the coffee/break area in the new Carruthers lobby.  Now you can grab a cup of coffee or tea and catch up with your colleagues in our new shared space! 
In the new lounge area you will find some basic items for ourselves and guests to the building:
  • K-cups in Regular, Decaf, & Basic Tea
  • Disposable cups and stirrers
  • Sugar, equal, and sweet & low
  •  Creamer
  Starting 1/1/2017 an honor payment will start: $1 per cup for coffee and $0.5 per cup for tea

What you need to provide:
  •  Your own coffee/tea cup (be green!)
  • Your own K-cups if you prefer a flavor besides the basics listed above.  No honor payment required.
More good news:  You can order K-cups at Supply Room prices.  Just call Shelby Haigh of TSRC at 434-979-3392 and order with your personal credit card.  Your K-cups will be delivered to Carruthers with the next departmental order. 

Coffee area etiquette:
  • Keep the area clean
  • Remove your used K-cup
  • Be mindful of others waiting in line
  • Replenish supplies from cabinets when they run low, and let Stacey know if we’re low on stoc
Thank you to Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services for working with TSRC to secure this discounted pricing for all of us! #PSDSRules

Show Your Gratitude This Thanksgiving

Looking for an opportunity to give back during the Thanksgiving season?  You don’t have to look any further than Carruthers Hall!

This year, UVAFinance will partner with churches and other organizations around the Charlottesville area to distribute Thanksgiving baskets to needy families.  Our goal is to collect food and monetary donations for as many as ten baskets (each basket feeds a family of 4-6 members).

Collection boxes are currently located around Carruthers and O’Neil Hall.  All donations must be received by Wednesday, November 16.  

Boxes are located in the Comptroller’s area (middle of the 2nd floor), OSP, PSDS, and SFS.

Each basket is made up of the following items, which you can donate:

·        Cash donations to purchase a 12-14 lb. turkey (see Nicole Ferretti or Stacey Rittenhouse to donate cash)
·        2 cans of yams
·        2 cans of green beans
·        5 lb bag of potatoes
·        Dozen dinner rolls
·        2 jars of turkey gravy
·        2 boxes of macaroni
·        2 boxes of stuffing
·        1 canned milk
·        Box of brown sugar
·        Box of granulated sugar
·        Can of cranberry sauce
·        Box of cake mix
·        Container of frosting

Each donation box will have a checklist to make it easy to see what is still needed.
All donations are greatly appreciated!  

Contact NicoleFerretti with questions or concerns.

Please feel free to share other opportunities in your community for giving back this Thanksgiving!