Friday, August 18, 2017

Getting the Most out of UBI

A few tips and tricks before we ride off into the sunset


At a recent Fiscal Administrators’ meeting, the UBI Team shared some helpful information on frequent stumbling blocks experienced by UBI users.  In the coming weeks, we’ll recap those tips here on the blog. Check back for more tips during the month of August!



Shades of Gray: What it means to choose an item that’s in gray


What does it mean if you choose an item in gray within UBI? The short answer is, those grayed-out values have no association with what’s selected. If you click on a grayed-out value, it will reset the filters you’ve already applied.

For more information about field colors in UBI, visit UBIC!


Tabs, Tabs Everywhere:  Finding the AccessPoint


When you open a module from the AccessPoint, it opens up in a new tab.  This can make getting back to the access point a little confusing.  The good news is, the AccessPoint is always up above as a browser tab in the background. Users can even go back to the AccessPoint, open up a new module in a completely separate tab on their browser, and run two reports at once.  You don’t have to close down one to run another!




These tips and tricks will be updated regularly during August – check back for more or subscribe to our updates to know when new content is posted. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Complex problems? UBI team offers custom solutions

What do you do when you’re responsible for assuring compliance on a very important point, but you don’t have access to the data you need in order to check for compliance?

This was the problem research administrators across UVA were faced with: charged with helping to ensure that research faculty are in compliance with UVA policy regarding conflict of interest training, administrators found there was no easy way to check.

Some administrators weren’t able to see the data on who had done the training, and some weren’t able to access data on who had disclosed a possible conflict of interest. In effect, there was no simple way for the research administrators to check on who had completed the training vs. who needed to complete the training.

Because non-compliance with conflict of interest puts UVA at considerable risk, this was a pretty sizable problem.

Fortunately, the team from University Business Intelligence has a variety of tools in their toolkit, and they were happy to sit down with Kelly Hochstetler from Outreach and Compliance, as well as Cheryl Wagner from the Office of the Vice President for Research, to tackle the problem and come up with a custom-built solution.

“The UBI team provided us with a lot of options on how we could approach this challenge, as well as different ways we could present the data,” said Hochstetler.

In the end, the UBI team took all the necessary information from many different departments and married it together so that research administrators could easily cross-check the training status of their faculty.

The custom solution they built will be released in UBI on August 18, and will allows users to log in and quickly assess which of their investigators are compliant.

“This tool allows us to be more proactive managing compliance,” said Hochstetler.

“Now, we can ask the research administrators to check the status of their investigators as they process proposals – no surprises later!”

Users of the custom solution will also be able to see the date the investigator's patent policy was signed.
___________________________________________________________________________


Did you know?


UBI is more than a tool!  Have a thorny data problem? Consulting services are available through Engage UBI!

Tax Compliance and Contracting: the most interesting office you may have never heard of

Bill Define, Director of Tax Compliance and Contracting, will be the first to admit that the name of his office sounds a bit dry and technical, and perhaps not the most exciting position at UVA.

“People hear ‘taxes and contracts’ and they think ‘Wow, I’m glad that’s somebody else’ job,’ he laughed.

A man in a navy blazer and blue and white gingham shirt
Bill Define, Director of Tax Compliance and Contracting

“And if it we only handled ordinary, day-to-day tax matters,” he said, “then yes, it would take a lot of coffee to make it through the day. But our contracting responsibilities involve us in a lot of different UVA activities – often some of the most complicated ones – and that makes the job really interesting as well as really challenging at times.”

The Office of Tax Compliance and Contracting is located within the Financial Operations area of UVAFinance. Its primary duties are to ensure UVA’s compliance with all the various tax laws and to manage contracting activities for UVA’s central administration and operational units.

In layman’s terms, the offices’ duties fall in three big buckets: 
  • Institutional Contracting (outside of the areas of Sponsored Programs and Procurement), which includes agreements for student placements, real estate rentals, educational services, art loans, international exchanges, etc.
  • University Tax Compliance, which involves protecting the University’s tax-exempt status and providing guidance and oversight on all tax matters.
  • International entity administration. The Cornerstone plan prioritizes providing a global experience for UVA’s students, and establishing a legal presence is often a requirement for expanding our opportunities for student involvement in foreign countries. In conjunction with the Vice Provost for Global Affairs, Define assists in establishing and operating UVA’s entities in China, France and Italy, with entities in additional countries planned in coming years.

There’s plenty of interesting projects in those buckets, especially the contracting and international administration areas.

For example, the Office of Tax Compliance and Contracting recently assisted in setting up a joint degree program for the McIntire School of Commerce that included study at universities in Spain and China and granted students degrees from all three institutions (“That was a really complex deal both on the financial side and the academic accreditation side,” said Define). The office has also been involved in obtaining artworks for the recent Andy Warhol exhibition at the Fralin Museum, licensing radio airtime for WTJU, and helping to develop a framework for high-tech internships at UVA Wise.

Although he and colleague Tim Lingo, Tax and Contract Administrator, sometimes get involved in high profile projects, Define says the best thing about the work his office does is the synergy and reciprocal relationship with the schools and units.

“We have really strong bonds with the Dean’s offices at just about every school. On the tax side, we have to monitor their activities and keep them compliant, but on the contract side we act as a service unit and help them work through legal and policy issues so their programs can go forward,” he said. “That builds trust with the Dean’s offices and it gives us a chance to be involved with the educational and research missions at the University which can be really satisfying.”

Summer's end is just the beginning for Student Financial Services

August: it’s the end of summer, the last chance to get all the things on your summer ‘to do’ list checked off before school starts. For those of us in academia, it’s the beginning of a fresh new year, a new start.

For Student Financial Services, it’s the season of questions. Between now and August 25th, the office’s phone lines, email inboxes, and lobby will be buzzing with questions from students and parents – questions about financial aid, paying bills, and much more.

 As the SFS team wraps up its participation in 10 Summer Orientation Sessions, where they host a “Money Matters” talk attended mostly by parents, they’ll be ramping up their customer service coverage to make sure the multitude of student and parent concerns are properly and promptly addressed.

At the Money Matters sessions, SFS Communications Manager Chris Doran says the message to parents is simple: Our goal is the same as yours – we want your student to be successful at UVA.

Between now and the end of the first week of classes, that goal will guide ten full-time SFS staffers in the call center and at the front desk (plus numerous other SFS staffers who will pitch in) as they focus on direct customer service to new UVA students and their parents.

“It’s all hands on deck during this time,” Doran said.

Doran says SFS will answer many “frequently asked” student and parent questions in the next couple of weeks: how do I use my 529 college savings plan to pay? How do I use my Veteran’s Administration benefits to pay tuition? How do we incorporate outside scholarships? How does my student pay at laundry facilities? How do I charge items at the bookstore?

Many of the questions SFS staffers get won’t actually come under SFS’s purview, said Doran.

“Because we have the word ‘finance’ in our name, pretty much everything under the sun comes to us,” he said.

Fortunately, SFS staffers are willing and able to answer those questions as well, explaining questions about credit hours and tuition, and referring students to their academic offices as needed.

The days will be long and busy for SFS staffers during this time, but it’s all worth it.

Jenn Bari, who manages the SFS Contact Center, said, “We don’t mind answering the questions and helping students to understand their finances. We have the opportunity every day to impact students’ lives and to help them succeed.”

More than decluttering: Onsite storage cleanup brings many benefits

The junk drawer in the kitchen. The hall closet. The spare room. Under the bed. These are the places that collect clutter in our homes.

Workplaces often have “catch all” locations, too . . . places where you can find old files, ancient office equipment, and musty holiday decorations.

For UVAFinance, this location was the “caged storage” in the Carruthers Hall basement.

a small space with boxes of files on shelves
Caged storage prior to cleanup completion.
For years, departments in Finance had been using their designated space in the basement to store everything from filing cabinets to microfiche. A new plan to renovate the basement space meant that the caged storage got the attention it had long needed, not only in terms of a clean-up, but also in terms of reevaluating records storage.

The newly-formed Administrative Services Group (ASG) within UVAFinance partnered with UVA Records Management to tackle the mess in the basement. Patrick Wood is a member of ASG and fulfills a lead role in records management and retention.

Wood reports that the monumental cleanup effort took a total of seven weeks, and involved a team of nearly a dozen people from UVAFinance and Records Management, working diligently to sort, inventory, and properly dispatch everything.

Caroline Walters, University Records Officer, leads the Records Management Team. It is this team’s job, among many other duties, to assist and guide faculty and staff on the proper management of all records. She has seen many instances of records landing in these “catch all” spaces.

Walters says that one of the hazards of on-site storage is that records often go unmanaged, which isn’t safe for the records and may put the University at risk when it comes to potential audits, Freedom of Information Act requests, and so on.

The group worked in dim, cramped quarters, painstakingly going through stacks of records, boxes of old files, and envelopes of microfiche, determining with Records Management’s careful guidance which to keep and which to destroy.

“It was dusty, dark, dingy, and claustrophobic,” said Wood. “But Caroline Walters and her team from Records management helped us immensely, and we gradually cleared the space out to the point that it’s now well organized, clean and spacious.”

And what happened to all of that . . . stuff?

“We had four loads of shredding, five loads of furniture and equipment taken to surplus, a ton of trash, loads of recycling, and a heap of things sent to Goodwill and the Rose Project. A few things were sent to the University archives,” said Wood.  

And, notably, over 1200 boxes of records were sent out for off-premises storage.

 
“Records Management helped us make decisions on what to keep and what to throw away, and even more importantly, how to manage what we kept so that it was stored safely and accessibly,” said Wood.

“Not only is much of the basement area now clear and ready for additional construction with cleaner, smaller storage spaces still available, but also, we have our records stored in a way that guarantees safety, compliance, and transparency,” he said.

Wood says the ASG team is writing Standard Operating Procedures for UVAFinance departments on how the storage should be used in the future, so the space doesn’t get cluttered up again.

Special thanks to all involved in this project:  Connie Alexander, Cindy Rodgers, Elizabeth Jackson, Caroline Walters, Jessie Graham, Jessica Burgess, Esther Grace, Stacey Rittenhouse, Patrick Wood, Ashley Rogers, Warren “Hubba” Wood, Mary Fields, Lori O’Connor, Ann Criser, Samantha Morris, Dorothy Moyer, Bess Landolt, and Peggy Johnson.

What you need to know about the GL Recon Procedure Updates

As many of you are aware, the General Ledger (GL) Reconciliation Procedure required some updates to work with the new reporting environment, UBI. One of the recent module enhancements to UBI involves General Ledger Reconciliation.

First and foremost, there are no formal changes to the actual GL Reconciliation process – that remains the same. However, the data locations in UBI and printing requirements have been modified with the GL Recon updates.

In the recent UBI Release 5.1, a new tab, “GL Recon Certification," was added in the GL Recon module. The information shown on the GL Recon Certification tab is the only data required to print for auditing purposes (other tabs also allow printing; however, the formatting is limited).

General Ledger Reconciliation Procedure


The GL Reconciliation Procedure includes helpful, step-by-step instructions for assisting departments and users with their monthly GL Reconciliation and certification. Also found within the GL Reconciliation Procedure are definitions, documentation, checklists, and resources for assistance. We strongly recommend GL users reference the Procedure when reconciling each month. The GL Reconciliation Procedure may be downloaded from the FOC website.

Outlined in the Procedure are steps for reconciling monthly accounts in a timely and accurate way within UBI, including the following GL Reconciliation UBI walkthroughs (and modules below):

Finding GL Recon Reports in UBI

  • GL_Cash_Balance_Summary 
  • GL_Details_Recon 
  • GL_Recon_Certification (Tab) 

Preparer (Fiscal Contact) Procedure

  • GL_Cash_Balance_Summary 
  • GL_Detail 
  • GL_Recon_Certification (Tab) 


Approver (Project Approver/Manager) Procedure

  • GL_Cash_Balance_Summary 
  • GL_Details_Recon 

Please review the following sections below for information on the updates, what’s changed (or not), and any actions needed moving forward.

How does this change affect GL reporting?


All FY18 GL recons are expected to work in UBI, including the recon for July, due August 15. The UBI Team is also developing a permanent solution for printing within UBI to update within a future release.

Please remember the planned sunset for GL reporting in Discoverer is August 31, 2017.

Resources


The GL Reconciliation Procedure, a handy PDF reference guide with walkthroughs and directions, is your source for the GL recon process. Any enhancements or updates to the UBI modules or the GL recon process will be amended in the GL Reconciliation Procedure, available on the FOC website.

For any questions regarding General Ledger Reconciliation, please feel free to email recon@virginia.edu. Danielle Hancock, Training & Development Specialist with FOC, will be holding training classes and labs covering the GL Recon Procedure – please note the FOC training calendar for upcoming dates. Have questions regarding the GL Recon module(s) and reporting within UBI? Please email the UBI Team or check out the UBI Community, a support community packed with trainings and tutorials, release notes, and helpful answers provided by subject experts, fellow users, and the UBI Team.

August & September Training Opportunities

Listed below are upcoming courses, workshops, labs, and Brown Bag Sessions for August and September 2017. 

We hope you will take advantage of these professional development opportunities for finance professionals. Links to enroll via Employee Self-Service are available from the Events section on the Finance Outreach and Compliance website at http://foc.virginia.edu/.

Brown Bag Sessions
                                                                                                                           
  • Using UBI: Tips and Tricks
Discoverer will soon be unavailable for GA, GL, and LD reporting, but like many, you may be reluctant to start using UBI to run your reports. In this session, you will learn about basic navigational tips, how to tag favorites, best practices for exporting and printing data, and customizing and sharing reports. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the UBI Community. This course offers tips for using UBI and is not meant to replace the Introduction to UBI or Advanced UBI courses.
o   August 23, 12:00-2:00 pm
o   Presented by Ashley Bagby, Managerial Reporting Project
o   Carruthers Hall, Conference rooms 1 and 2

  • SecureUVA: Ways to Avoid Hacking and Phishing
Whether you are trying to protect your bank account or the University’s financial systems, this presentation will give you great information about identifying malicious activity. Using some easy to follow tips and techniques, you will take control over the security of your information. Topics include how to choose an easy to remember, secure password; protect your mobile device; identifying “phishy” email; and more!
o   September 27, 12:00-1:30
o   Presented by Jason Belford, Chief Information Security Officer
o   2400 Old Ivy Rd., room 189

Courses, Workshops, and Labs
https://is.admin.virginia.edu/OA_HTML/cabo/images/skyros/t.gif
  • Finance Fundamentals
What is UVA’s mission? What is the Code of Ethics and why is it important? What is the organizational structure of UVA and where do you fit in? What is a PTAEO? What are the sources of revenue at UVA and how are funds processed? What do you need to know about internal controls, and what are some best practices to follow? In this class you will get answers to these questions and more, as well as have an opportunity to interact and network with other administrative professionals. This class is a required course for access to the finance applications in the Integrated System, but is also open to anyone who wants to learn about UVA’s financial operations.

    • August 22, 1:30-4:30
    • September 12, 1:30-4:30
    • September 26, 1:30-4:30
    • All sessions are held in Carruthers Hall, Conference room 2

  • Reconciling General Ledger Revenue – New Class!
To maintain strong Internal Control standards, it is important to reconcile your revenue accounts as well as your expenditure accounts. This course is diesgned to help UVA staff and faculty who prepare, review, and approve revenue reconciliations navigate the General Ledger (GL) revenue reconciliation process at UVA using University Business Intelligence (UBI). We will discuss how accurately complete your monthly revenue reconciliations in compliance with UVA policy and procedures.
o   September 5, 1:30-4:00
o   All session held in Carruthers Hall, Conference room 2

  • Reconciling General Ledger Revenue: Lab – New Class!
Do you need help with the new Monthly GL Reconciliation Procedure? During this lab, you will be able to log into UBI and complete your monthly revenue reconciliation with help from the UVAFinance team. IMPORTANT: This a lab where you can bring your work with you to get help in completing your revenue reconciliations using the new procedure. It is not intended to replace the instructor-led, Reconciling General Ledger Revenue class where you learn about policy and procedure.
o   September 6, 1:30-4:00
o   All sessions held at 2400 Old Ivy Road, room 136

  • Reconciling Expenditures in Recon@UVA (formerly Mastering Account Reconciliations)
All departments spend money, whether it is for office supplies, equipment, or personnel. It is important to reconcile these purchases each month to maintain strong internal control standards. This course is designed to help UVA staff and faculty who prepare, review and approve expenditure reconciliations navigate these processes in the Recon@UVA system. We will discuss how to accurately complete monthly expenditure reconciliations for transactions that occur in the Integrated System’s Grants Management (GM) module in compliance with UVA policy and procedures.
    • September 14, 1:30-4:00
    • Carruthers Hall, Carr-2

  • ExpenseUVA: Lab
Do you need help with UVA's new expense management system, ExpenseUVA? During this lab, you will be able to log into the live system and submit expense reports help from the UVAFinance team. You will also learn where to go for resources and help. IMPORTANT: This class is a lab where you can come for help with entering actual expenses, and is not intended to replace the online training. Please complete the Expense Management System - Online Training prior to attending the lab and bring your work with you. Please arrive at the stated time of the class and then stay as long as you like. For immediate training and help, please refer to the online training Expense Management System - Online Training
    • August 17, 1:00-3:00 pm
    • August 28, 9:00-11:00 am
    • All sessions held at 2400 Old Ivy Road, room 136

Also, there is still space in the Fall 2017 Certified Research Administrator (CRA) Review Course, a weekly series beginning August 17. Click HERE for more information.

As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, or need to discuss training needs, please contact us at foc-training@virginia.edu.


Feel free to forward this information to other colleagues, and managers, please forward to your staff.  Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Day of Caring 2017 to be held September 20


Save the date!  Day of Caring 2017 is rapidly approaching.   UVAFinance and HR team members will receive a sign up email on Monday, August 14.  See below for a preview of our chosen projects.

            Worksource Carnival (8:00 am – 1:00 pm)
            60 Volunteers
WorkSource Enterprises is a non-profit organization that provides job training and employment to people with special needs.  The carnival is something these individuals (as well as UHR employees) look forward to every year and a project we are excited about collaborating with UHR on to bring to life again this year! 

Piedmont Virginia Community College – Community Garden (9:30 am – 12:30 am)
20 - 25 Volunteers
Come help in the PVCC Community Garden as we make improvements to the site and tidy up for fall. We have eight raised beds in which we grow food for the hungry in our community. Our native plant beds have become a bit overgrown and we could use some help getting them back into shape, as well as getting some unwanted vining plants off our back fence. We'll also be incorporating some aged manure into the beds to help with soil fertility for the next growing season. If time allows, we'd also like to dig  a new bed for flowers along the wall of our hoop house (greenhouse).

Carysbrook Elementary (9:30 am – 3:00 pm)
                10 - 15 Volunteers
The plan is to do a lot with the playground from an aesthetic view as well as creating opportunities for kids to play and even create their own games.Specific plans include:Painting back boards of the basketball hoops.Painting the basketball court lines (one full court, other individual basket lines).Painting four square blocks on the blacktop.Painting hopscotch games on the sidewalk.Painting multiple player and board skip counting hopscotch on the blacktop.Painting kickball bases on the blacktop.Painting a multiplication grid on the blacktop.Painting a mirror me game on the sidewalk.Painting open ended boxes in row on the sidewalk.Painting a clock face on the blacktop.Paining lines to follow- curved, straight, angled, etc.Painting chess or checkerboards on the picnic tables.Painting a human sundial on the blacktop.Painting run and round circles on the sidewalk, circles can be blank.

Martha Jefferson House (9:30 am – 3:30 pm)
15 – 20 Volunteers
Volunteers will touch up paint inside the Martha Jefferson House and outside as well.


Please reach out to finance_engagement@virginia.edu if you
have any questions/concerns.

Nominations are open for the Spotlight on Excellence Class of 2018!

The Office of Organizational Excellence wants you to recognize individuals or teams that exhibit the principles of OE in their daily work, and contribute to an overall institutional culture of quality. All UVA individuals (staff, faculty, students) are eligible for nomination through this peer-recognition program.

Read more about the award criteria here.  

Nominations are open year-round!  

Mark your calendar: Quality Core Events this Fall!

OE has announced its Fall 2017 Quality Core Events.

Melody Bianchetto, Vice President for Finance, will share her reflections from the NACUBO Annual Meeting at the August 31 "What's Going on in Higher Education?" session.

Register for that session here.

See the rest of this fall's Quality Core lineup here.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Computer behaving badly? Check out these troubleshooting tips!

Technology.  We tend to take it for granted until it doesn't work the way we need it to, and then, well, we get frustrated pretty quickly.

When time is of the essence and the computer is malfunctioning, we tend to call the LSP first and ask questions later.  While some of your computer's technical difficulties require professional intervention, many others can be easily solved, even if you're not a "technical person" yourself.

Mike Hayton, an LSP in UVAFinance, put together a handy reference guide to reduce frustration and provide quick solutions for those he and his fellow LSPs serve (click on it to view more closely).   The LSP team hoped these suggestions might help their colleagues avoid waiting for external help and get back up and running quickly.

Click the graphic for a larger view
And yes, "restart your machine" is a suggestion at the top of the list.

"You'd be amazed how many problems a reboot solves," Hayton said, adding that this guide is meant to be a quick first line of defense, not a complete 'fix it yourself' guide.

Hayton also offered this "pro tip" to act on now, while your computer is functioning well:  to prevent data loss, save your files in your personal folder on the U drive, not in "My Documents."  When you save to this folder, your files will be safe and sound no matter what happens with your actual machine.  Your LSP can help you set up this folder if needed.

UVAFinance folks:  printed copies on heavy duty, coated cardstock are being distributed so you can keep the info handy!

Happy Fiscal New Year!

In January, we celebrate the beginning of a new calendar year, with all its unwritten possibility. There’s a similar feeling surrounding the beginning of the academic year each fall – the new school year is another fresh start. In the financial world, the real New Year is July 1, when the new fiscal year begins. The transition between old and new doesn’t involve clinking champagne and singing Auld Lang Syne, however: it’s a lot of very hard work done by a team of dedicated financial professionals.

Here’s an inside look from UVAFinance Financial Planning & Analysis and Comptroller team into the hectic transition of putting the old year to bed and getting the new one started, financially speaking.

Judy Rowe, Director of Academic Budgets

June and July are busy months for Financial Planning & Analysis. We have multiple deadlines associated with the Board of Visitors and State, plus deadlines for closing the current fiscal year and opening the new one. One of the interesting activities that some may not be aware of is that every year, on July 1, even if the 1st falls on a Saturday or Sunday, three or four of our staff, along with support from IT, actually load the operating budgets into the Integrated System. We manually stage files to process the uploads, ensuring that installments, funding and budgeting are entered accurately on every PTAO with a year to date boundary code.

Imelda Carter, Manager of Operational Accounting

I guess you could say I’m the keeper of the cash. All of the cash accounts the departments use are reconciled each month in Oracle by Judy McDaniel and me, every month of the year. The only time we stop this ongoing process is on June 30 when Oracle shuts down. That’s when we make sure the cash object codes equal to the bank statement. We love that moment . . . it’s just beautiful when it all comes together. Our Oracle close went very smoothly this year. We had been watching our projections and making the entries we could before the system went down. On Saturday, July 1, I came in to prepare the state expenditure files, and that was a little more tricky. But basically, it is just like reconciling your bank accounts, and it allows you to get a clean start for the new year.

Judy McDaniel, Local Bank Reconciliation Accountant

In my role, I make sure the eight bank accounts we have with Bank of America are reconciled for year-end closing. Every line for each statement must be reconciled or amounts won’t balance with Oracle. It gets hectic at year end, and you always have the feeling that you need to get this done, because something new is coming tomorrow. Then, we basically start the new year for each bank account, making sure all lines are reconciled and researching any problems that may occur. My biggest achievement this year was that I had all bank statements reconciled and reports run by July 5, which was a new record for us.

Anne Marie Cumiskey, Budget Analyst

I assisted units with their FY17 close out activities, and I processed budget reductions for the FY18 budget, preparing for the load into Oracle and making any final changes. I started this job last year and had heard many anecdotes about prior budget loads on July 1. I was full of anticipation, and although this year July 1 was on a Saturday, it was fun. In the middle of the morning, a coworker surprised us with coffee and donuts. We were all huddled together, watching the computer screens, and making certain the load ran smoothly. Richard Parkins from ITS was great help to us getting everything loaded (and kudos to Mike Hayton, our own technical support person, for getting me up and running in a day when my laptop died during the last week of close)!

Christine Maxwell, Senior Budget Analyst
During the year end process, I work very heavily in both current year actuals and the future budget year, which as you can imagine can become confusing…sometimes I even forgot what year it really is and I found myself signing and dating things as 2018 instead of 2017. Although we’re often working in the future budget year, at year-end time, it’s nice to really work on actuals and look at the variance with what we had planned and budgeted a year prior. This was my 2nd budget season and I think every year I’m getting better and improving. The budget process involves lots of moving pieces from all members of our team and I think the process brings us closer. The veterans on our team have lots of knowledge to share and they are willing to share it. I think our new team members are caught up to speed in record time.

James Cathro, Budget Analyst
In my role, I see an uptick in picking up loose ends and cleanup work as we try to reconcile everything for year end. I spend more time than usual in Oracle updating awards and projects and submitting ICOMs on behalf of units. I jumped in with the budget team and EA for a few hours on Saturday, July 1, as they performed the upload, and I was struck by the great attitude and enthusiasm everyone had, even on a Saturday morning. They know they’re doing the necessary work to keep the University on track and on budget.

Rohan Patel, Senior Budget Analyst

The FY18 budget review process was challenging and exciting at the same time. This year, for the first time, I reviewed the budget submissions from the submitting unit from both a budgeting and University Financial Model (UFM) perspective. The challenge was to get the budgets balanced in UFM with zero or positive bottom line with the unit’s budget and allocated/calculated provost support, central services cost, crossing funding, and tuition dollars in the least amount of steps possible and get it ready in time for the Academic Unit’s budget review with the Provost. It was a big achievement for me to do that as accurately as possible, given all of those moving parts, for every single unit.

Yvonne Metheny, Accounting and Financial Analyst

Year-end is different from the rest of the year because of the greater intensity and urgency. My main year-end duties include estimating the State funds that the University needs to spend down before year end, updating and maintaining the files we have to send to the State (which Imelda worked tirelessly on during the July 4 weekend), maintaining the year-end calendar, analyzing data for accuracy, and generally running around trying to put out one fire after another. Almost every day I got asked some unique questions, which meant for multiple collaborations to figure out the correct answer or solutions. The biggest achievement is knowing that as a team, we made it through. I like the fact that I can help with workloads, answer questions, and be a go-to person for those who need help, both centrally and in the departments, and I’m very appreciative of the great bunch of people I work with!

Announcing the Fall 2017 Certified Research Administrator Review Course

Spaces are still available in the August 17 kick off session!

We are pleased to announce the University of Virginia’s Fall 2017 Certified Research Administrator (CRA) Review Course. This is the 12th year that we’ve partnered with subject matter experts from across grounds to offer these study sessions, providing help to those attempting to master the body of knowledge specified by the Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC). Although UVA subject matter experts will be leading these sessions, they are NOT targeted to address practices specific to UVA. Rather, the experts will speak about the requirements for obtaining and managing sponsored awards from a global perspective.

For those interested in pursuing the CRA certification, please review the specific educational and experience requirements available on the RACC website.

The exam to be administered this fall will include some questions drawn from the Uniform Guidance as the RACC has decided to phase those in gradually. Here is the proposed phase in schedule:
  • May and November 2017 – approximately 2/3 of the relevant questions will be based on the new regulations 
  • May 2018 examination – All relevant questions will be based on the new regulations
Fall testing dates are early this year, so our kick off session is scheduled for Thursday, August 17th, with weekly sessions to follow through Thursday, November 2.

These sessions:
  • include a minimum of 10 meetings focused on specific examination topics 
  • will be no longer than two hours (scheduled from 11-1pm or 12-2pm … you are encouraged to bring lunch!)
  • are limited to the participation of 15 individuals
  • will be provided at no cost to you or your department
  • will require a time commitment from you outside of the formal study sessions, particularly if you plan to take the CRA exam
  • will require the support of your supervisor
All sessions will be held in Carruthers Hall.

For more information: Click HERE to be directed to the CRA Review Course information page on the Finance Outreach and Compliance website.

To Register: If you would like to be a part of this intense and rewarding program, please register in OLM. If you are already logged into the Integrated System, clicking HERE will take you to the class, where you can enroll using the button in the top right corner. Otherwise, complete the following steps:


1) Log into Employee/Manager Self-Service from the Integrated System home page.

2) Navigate to your Learner Home.

3) Use the search bar to select “Class” and enter “796783” in the next field, then select “Go.”

4) Enroll using the “Enroll” button.


If you want to study for the CPRA or CFRA exam, please contact Erika Priddy (esp5f@virginia.edu), and we can discuss which sessions you should come to.



UBIC: Come for the information, stay for the Community support

We’re used to going online for information. We go to Wikipedia for a quick history lesson, weather.com to see what the weekend forecast looks like, and, of course, almighty Google for just about anything from how to fix our computer to checking out our health symptoms.

If you’re a UBI user, one online resource you shouldn’t miss out on is the UBI Community (UBIC). From information on the latest releases and quick access to training and resources to connections with other users’ solutions and ideas, the Community is your one stop shop for getting the most out of UBI.

UBIC is like having that one colleague who always knows everything available all the time. UBI users from across Grounds offer solutions, tips and tricks, and share troubles they’ve encountered that can lead to the development team making needed fixes.

The Community becomes more useful (and fun) with each new, active member. It’s your space to ask questions, share solutions, and it won’t be the same without you.

Haven’t joined yet? You already have access as a UBI user; it only takes a moment to sign in. Haven’t checked in a while? Go visit!


What’s new on UBIC:


· Read more about Featured User Rhenea Niece of UVA Wise Check out the tips Niece shares for other users!

· Get the lowdown on what’s changing with GL reconciliation

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Training Available Online

Anti-corruption laws like FCPA are of great relevance to UVA, as we strive to increase global experiences for students and global impact our academic community.

Finance Outreach and Compliance has provided general guidance, complete with FAQ, Additional Resources, and access to short online training at http://foc.virginia.edu/fcpa-compliance

Compliance with requirements of the FCPA is consistent with the expectations of UVA’s Code of Ethics and is specifically required by University Policy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sponsored Programs Welcomes Matt Winter, Grants and Contracts Assistant

Matt Winter recently joined the Sponsored Programs team as a Grants and Contracts Assistant, working on the pre-award side. Winter is a two-time UVA grad, with a M. Ed. in Higher Education and a B. A. in History. He also studied Secondary Education at the University of Alberta in Canada. Winter became interested in sponsored programs through graduate internships at the Curry School and UVA’s radio station, WTJU. His diverse background includes experience teaching in the public school system, as well as working with local publishing firms. Winter enjoys playing soccer, being outdoors, and following UVA Athletics.

Strategic Sourcing = Serious Savings

In the fall of 2014, Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services, in partnership with Organizational Excellence, began a Strategic Sourcing initiative. The aim of the initiative was to deliver increased savings and better service to those who buy at UVA.

Nearly three years in, the results have been impressive: $2.8 million in contract savings in FY ’17 alone (including office supplies, inbound freight, catering, promotional products and Virginia Higher Education Procurement Collaborative savings such as Grainger, Enterprise and Fisher).

An additional $2.5 million has been saved in FY ’17 on department specific contracts, bringing the grand total to $5.3 million in FY ‘17. That’s no small change!

It’s the everyday support of those who buy at the University that makes these contracts work. Thank you for making the choice to buy on contract!

Travel & Expense Tip

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Traveling to work, staying to play: work life balance through “Bleisure Travel”

The rise of technology has made it easy for professionals to take their work with them. We answer emails in the evenings, we log in on the weekends, we’re committed to productivity to the point of becoming workaholics. Risking burnout and enduring rising stress levels, we stockpile vacation days without ever using the bulk of them.

A growing trend in business travel may go a long way toward alleviating this tension between career and personal life. This type of travel is called “bleisure” (a portmanteau blending “business” and “leisure”), and Travel and Expense Administrator Raegan Harouff of Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services is seeing an increasing amount of it.

Harouff, who worked as a travel agent for 17 years before joining UVA in PSDS’ Travel and Expense Team, says the name “bleisure” may be silly, but the concept is valuable.

A few snapshots from Harouff's travels to Gambia, Thailand, and Cambodia.
“It may be hard for people to work a full week or more of vacation into their schedules, while it’s much easier to tack on a few days at the end of a trip to a conference,” she said.

“Especially when people are traveling abroad, with the commitment of time and money involved in that kind of travel, it makes sense to make the most of the experience while you’re there – to get out and actually experience the city and the culture you’re working in,” she said.

An Expedia Media Solutions study found that 43% of all business trips are extended to include some kind of leisure activity. According to a recent Forbes magazine poll, 78% of employees interviewed said that by adding a few personal days to a business trip, the professional assignment became more rewarding.

Harouff’s familiarity with the ins and outs of corporate travel, gained during her years as a travel agent, have given her an insight that is helpful for UVA’s travelers. She knows the ins and outs of handling arrangements for busy travelers with complex agendas.

An avid traveler herself, she has lent both her corporate and personal travel experience to UVA travelers who want to make some time for fun on their business trips. She says what usually happens is that, once they return, travelers have questions about how to expense their trip, separating the business from the personal.

For all UVA bleisure travelers, Harouff recommends making the required cost comparison between the business/personal itinerary and what the cost would have been for a business-only itinerary at the time of purchase. Doing the comparison at the same time of purchase instead of waiting until later (or even, upon return) means travelers won’t be shortchanging themselves on reimbursement or requesting more reimbursement than actually necessary.

Bleisure travel is a good option for those dealing with tightly scheduled work and personal time. And, as Harouff points out, it’s a great use of time and money.

“Even heading out to a conference a day early – sometimes flights are cheaper that way, too --- can be a great stress reliever. It doesn’t always have to be something big. Even if you’re just heading out a day early to check out the beach or the local food scene, some me time can do a lot to make you feel more relaxed and productive,” she said.

Training & Development Opportunities for Finance Professionals

We hope you will take advantage of these professional development opportunities designed for our finance colleagues across Grounds. Links to enroll via Employee Self-Service are available from the Events section on the Finance Outreach and Compliance website at http://foc.virginia.edu/.

As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, or want to discuss training needs, please contact us at foc-training@virginia.edu.

Feel free to forward share this schedule with other colleagues, and managers, please share with your staff. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Brown Bag Sessions


Supplier Diversity 

Why is Supplier Diversity important? Increasing and maintaining relationships with diverse suppliers helps to support UVA’s mission of delivering high-quality education, research, public service and healthcare. We are committed to supporting this mission by developing and maintaining sustainable and positive relationships with qualified and reliable small, women, and minority-owned (SWAM) businesses. In this session, we will provide information and answer your questions about the mission and history of supplier diversity at UVA, how a supplier qualifies as a SWAM business, resources to help you find and work with SWAM businesses, and SWAM contracts.
July 26, 12:00-2:00 pm
Presented by Les Haughton, Directory of Supplier Diversity, PSDS
Carruthers Hall, Carr-1 and 2


Sustainability and UVA’s Green Workplace Program

Do you know about UVA’s Green Workplace Program? Team members from the Office for Sustainability will join us to discuss actions we can all take to conserve energy, advance sustainability at UVA, and even save money! Come join your colleagues for this session to hear more about the Green Workplace Program, the certification program, and other ways to increase sustainability efforts at UVA.
August 9, 12:00-2:00 pm
Presented by Dana Schroeder, UVA Office for Sustainability
Carruthers Hall, Carr-1 and 2



Using UBI: Tips and Tricks

Discoverer will soon be unavailable for GA, GL, and LD reporting, but like many, you may be reluctant to start using UBI to run your reports. In this session, you will learn about basic navigational tips, how to tag favorites, best practices for exporting and printing data, and customizing and sharing reports. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the UBI Community. This course offers tips for using UBI and is not meant to replace the Introduction to UBI or Advanced UBI courses.
August 23, 12:00-2:00 pm
Presented by Ashley Bagby, Managerial Reporting Project
Carruthers Hall, Carr-1 and 2




Courses, Workshops, and Labs


Finance Fundamentals

What is UVA’s mission? What is the Code of Ethics and why is it important? What is the organizational structure of UVA and where do you fit in? What is a PTAEO? What are the sources of revenue at UVA and how are funds processed? What do you need to know about internal controls, and what are some best practices to follow? In this class you will get answers to these questions and more, as well as have an opportunity to interact and network with other administrative professionals. This class is a required course for access to the finance applications in the Integrated System, but is also open to anyone who wants to learn about UVA’s financial operations.
July 25, 1:30-4:30
August 8, 1:30-4:30
August 22, 1:30-4:30 

All sessions are held in Carruthers Hall, Conference Room 2


Reconciling Expenditures in Recon@UVA (formerly Mastering Account Reconciliations)

All departments spend money, whether it is for office supplies, equipment, or personnel. It is important to reconcile these purchases each month to maintain strong internal control standards. This course is designed to help UVA staff and faculty who prepare, review and approve expenditure reconciliations navigate these processes in the Recon@UVA system. We will discuss how to accurately complete monthly expenditure reconciliations for transactions that occur in the Integrated System’s Grants Management (GM) module in compliance with UVA policy and procedures. 
July 20, 1:30-4:00 
Carruthers Hall, Carr-2


Reconciling General Ledger Revenue – New Class!

To maintain strong Internal Control standards, it is important to reconcile your revenue accounts as well as your expenditure accounts. This course is diesgned to help UVA staff and faculty who prepare, review, and approve revenue reconciliations navigate the General Ledger (GL) revenue reconciliation process at UVA using University Business Intelligence (UBI). We will discuss how accurately complete your monthly revenue reconciliations in compliance with UVA policy and procedures.
July 21, 1:30 - 4:00
August 3, 1:30-4:00
Carruthers Hall, Carr-2


Reconciling General Ledger Revenue: Lab – New Class!

Do you need help with the new Monthly GL Reconciliation Procedure? During this lab, you will be able to log into UBI and complete your monthly revenue reconciliation with help from the UVAFinance team. IMPORTANT: This a lab where you can bring your work with you to get help in completing your revenue reconciliations using the new procedure. It is not intended to replace the instructor-led, Reconciling General Ledger Revenue class where you learn about policy and procedure.
July 24, 9:00-11:30
August 10, 1:30-4:00
All sessions held at 2400 Old Ivy Road, room 136



ExpenseUVA: Lab

Do you need help with UVA's new expense management system, ExpenseUVA? During this lab, you will be able to log into the live system and submit expense reports help from the UVAFinance team. You will also learn where to go for resources and help. IMPORTANT: This class is a lab where you can come for help with entering actual expenses, and is not intended to replace the online training. Please complete the Expense Management System - Online Training prior to attending the lab and bring your work with you. Please arrive at the stated time of the class and then stay as long as you like. For immediate training and help, please refer to the online training Expense Management System - Online Training 
July 21, 9:00-11:00 am
July 27, 9:00-11:00 am
August 17, 1:00-3:00 pm
August 28, 9:00-11:00 am
All sessions held at 2400 Old Ivy Road, room 136






"Intro to UBI" now available as an online course!

click for a larger view


Users can now access the introductory UBI course from OLM in the Integrated System by choosing the Intro to UBI - Finance (Online) offering.

The entire course runs approximately 1 ½ hours and is divided into 13 lessons. Lessons do not have to be completed all at once, and learners can close and return to the course at their convenience and pick up where they left off to complete it.

This course is required to be completed for approval for the EDW_P_Finance permission in ESHARP.
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For the latest developments in UBI, visit www.ubi.virginia.edu


Get more from your UBI experience by participating in the UBI Community!

Mindfulness as a practice in the workplace

UVAFinance has embarked on a workplace mindfulness program, offering a variety of activities to team members, all geared toward stress reduction and personal growth.

Patrick Wood, who leads events coordination on the UVAFinance Administrative Services Group, spearheaded the effort to bring the initiative to fruition.

“The purpose of the program is to promote a work environment where people have the strategies they need to cope with stress, where they can develop better relationships, and make proactive changes,” Wood said.

Studies show that mindfulness can help ease stress, provide resilience against negative experiences, and promote empathy and compassion. Preliminary studies even suggest that mindfulness has a positive effect on productivity and can reduce the number of sick days a person takes.

Activities on the calendar include chair massage, yoga and guided meditation, and sessions promoting mindfulness through art.

Wood says the response to the mindfulness offerings has been very positive so far. Attendance was high at the recent art session, and all of the chair massage appointments were spoken for within five minutes of the announcement.

Raegan Harouff from Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services attended the Mindfulness through Art session. She cited it as a great stress reliever.

“I’ve been practicing mindfulness for some time and have been a lifelong art lover,” she said. “I really enjoyed blending the two, and I’ll definitely check out future sessions.”

Mindfulness sessions are offered every week in UVAFinance and are announced via email.

Want to know more about how mindfulness can positively impact your work experience, no matter where you work? Check out this site. There are also several apps you can download for individual practice of mindfulness, including meditation, yoga, and more!

From Melody's Desk

July 13, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Launched April 17, ExpenseUVA has been live now for almost three months.  Last month, we invited all of those who had a hand in its development, testing, and rollout to a celebratory reception at Carruthers Hall. 

The successful launch of ExpenseUVA is definitely a reason to celebrate.  The system streamlines and automates a labor-intensive and paper-based process, and reduces the amount of time it takes to receive reimbursement, which is great!  Beyond those benefits, though, we sought to celebrate and honor the collective effort given by people from all roles, all over Grounds, to make this rollout successful. 
  We could not have succeeded in this launch without the guidance, feedback, and unflagging support of our Ambassadors, the Core Team, Associate Deans, unit chief operating officers, the Organizational Excellence team, and finance professionals across Grounds.  There were bumps along the road, and the process wasn’t easy, but you stuck with us, and we are very thankful.  

ExpenseUVA is just a case in point of how our colleagues from all across UVA support us with their guidance and feedback.  As we work to deliver excellent service and improve the processes that affect you, it is great to know we can rely on your partnership.

In the coming months, we will continue work to deliver new functionality and improved processes and services (more on ResearchUVA’s major launch of the electronic Proposal Routing Form to come!) throughout UVAFinance.

Once more, thank you all for joining us in this massive work of collaboration.  Our work is not complete – we will continue to improve the system to solve the challenges you face in the field.  We invite you to keep the conversation going – I look forward to what we will achieve in the next fiscal year.











PS:  ExpenseUVA training is available online and on demand!  Access it and other helpful materials (including the database of all Ambassadors, who are ExpenseUVA experts in your area) here!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Stay Up to Date with Travel & Expense


Did you know that the Travel and Expense teams put out a monthly e-newsletter full of tips and tricks on how to use the TravelUVA and ExpenseUVA systems, savings opportunities, events, and more?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

UVAFinance welcomes new Assistant Vice President of Financial Operations

Jerry Burke likes to build things: new crown molding in his son’s house, a new deck and fence for his own home. He enjoys the work he puts in crafting these projects, and seeing the resulting transformation once the job is complete.

As the new Assistant Vice President for Financial Operations in UVAFinance, Burke will be in charge of building a robust and modern internal controls system and transforming core business practices at the University.

The AVP for Financial Operations itself represents a transformation; during a late-2016 search for a new Controller, UVAFinance leadership and the search team realized that the process and system changes coming up were going to require something slightly different than the traditional role entailed.

In this new role, Burke has oversight of accounting, financial reporting, procurement, payroll, and tax and accounts receivable. The alignment of these functions will allow for more responsive service to UVAFinance stakeholders, and allow UVAFinance to tackle upcoming changes with more speed and ease.


Most recently the Chief Financial Officer at Bloomberg Tradebook and Bloomberg Capital Markets, Burke brings deep experience in financial operations, internal controls and financial reporting. He has implemented financial systems and led a chart of accounts redesign, both of which will be required in UVAFinance in the near future. A new internal control framework, standardized and documented business practices, migration of payroll to Ufirst, and, inevitably, a new finance system are also on the horizon for UVAFinance.

“Jerry’s background and skillset will allow him to lead this change,” said Melody Bianchetto, Vice President for Finance.

“He has the specialized knowledge necessary to ensure success; he can help us handle the changes that are coming while keeping us on track with our mission and core values,” she said.

With a 30 year career in financial services based in Manhattan, Burke’s choice to work in academia in Charlottesville might seem potentially jarring, but he is philosophical about it.

First, he points out that he commuted to his work in the city, while he and his wife lived in small-town New Jersey, bringing up three children, now grown.

As for the shift from business to academics, he said, “This is a unique opportunity for me to leverage 80 to 90% of my background while working on subject matter that’s completely different.”

“It’s sort of like being a carpenter who builds houses, but one day you wake up and decide to make fine furniture. You can leverage a lot of your skills and do something new that interests you. UVA’s mission is something I want to be a part of.”

Burke looks forward to working collaboratively with University and school financial leaders, as well as those in financial roles at the UVA Medical Center, UVA’s College at Wise, and our affiliated foundations.

Building partnerships across the University will be a big priority for Burke: “We want to make sure we’re providing people with the information they need to make decisions and understand trends, and help them forecast the future as accurately as possible,” he said.

“We’re all part of the same team,” he commented.

“I look forward to building up our team and moving us forward quickly and intelligently during a period of many changes.”




UVAFinance Brand and Communications Resources Available!


Beasley finds happy homes for unclaimed payments

Not everyone at UVA knows who Laverne Beasley is, but those who do, know that a call from her could mean good news.

Beasley works in accounts receivable in UVAFinance, handling all of the payments that come into Bank of America for the university: payments to sponsored programs, UVA Press, Student Financial Services, and all of the state to state payments, just to name a few. In the course of a year, she receives and books over $2 billion each year . . . and sometimes, the money comes in with no indication of to whom it belongs, and that’s when Beasley starts researching.

Laverne Beasley of Accounts Receivable
Sometimes the confusion is on the part of the sender of the money. Beasley says wires can get sent to the wrong place, and there can be confusion over all the different UVA accounts. But sometimes, she says, the transfers arrive with no direction on where to apply it. On the day of this interview, Beasley was holding a $20,000 payment in a suspended account as she worked to find its owner.

“You might think people would be looking for their money,” Beasley laughed, “but I do have to call around. Sometimes people in the schools will know the money is coming, but they’re not sure exactly how much it will be. It’s my job to find out where the money belongs.”

Beasley doesn’t mind doing the investigative work it can take to properly allocate payments. Over the course of her 20 year career, she’s enjoyed talking to people all over Grounds and having great conversations.

“When I go to events like UVAForward and introduce myself, people will say, ‘oh, so you’re Laverne Beasley!” she said.

Beasley says the advent of QlikView has made her job easier, and she anticipates it getting even better once accounts receivable is in UBI. She has seen several changes since she came to UVA in 1997, and overall she has enjoyed working with people, especially when she locates a payment that belongs to them.

“It’s funny,” she said. “Now when I call someone on the phone and say ‘this is Laverne,’ the first thing they say is, ‘hi Laverne, do you have money for me?’”

UVAFinance Softball Team builds collaboration on and off the field

Think about the last “team-building” exercise you took part in. Hopefully it didn’t involve any “trust falls,” but even if it didn’t, it probably wasn’t as fun as playing softball with your colleagues on a lovely summer evening.

This is the second summer that UVAFinance has had a softball team available for staff and their families. The team, originally called the “Carruthers Crushers,” was formed last year in Student Financial Services (SFS) to take part in UVA’s summer Faculty and Staff league.

“We had a blast in the Faculty and Staff league,” said Xavier Wiltbank, an application and systems analyst and programmer in SFS and team organizer.
The Carruthers Crushers (crushing it!)


Wiltbank and his SFS teammates soon realized that with the growing number of people from UVAFinance who were interested in playing, it might be easier, and less intimidating for all, if they removed some of the competition and rules that came with league play and just formed a league of their own.

That’s exactly what they did, and this summer’s UVAFinance team plays in a very relaxed environment, usually one night a week on Copeley Field. Staff members of all skill levels come out to play, often bringing family members. Some just come to cheer their colleagues on.

For Danielle Hancock, Training and Development Specialist in Outreach and Compliance, the best part of playing on the team has been getting to know her colleagues.

“There are so many people I don’t work with regularly,” she said, “but I get to know them on the softball field, and we’re smiling and laughing the whole time.”

Participation on the team spans all departments within UVAFinance. Wiltbank says a group of 30 people from all departments regularly take part in the (mostly) weekly games. Players also represent all ages and all skill levels.
Email Xavier Wiltbank if you'd like more information.


“We have people who’ve never played before, and people who used to play in school. We’re not really looking for players of any particular skill level; we just want people to come join us and enjoy themselves,” said Wiltbank.

For an organization made up of many departments, softball has been a fun, team-building endeavor – a great way to open up channels across departments.

“Work is work,” said Wiltbank, adding, “but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself while you’re doing it, and playing a game of softball together helps build relationships to make work more enjoyable.”