Thursday, January 14, 2021

FST Update


Want to listen to this update instead of reading it?  Tune into our WFST Radio Broadcast!

Just need the high points?  Check out "Five Things to Know About FST"

Happy New Year!  Here at the start of 2021, Finance Strategic Transformation is not quite halfway through the configuration and prototype phase.  We’ll be in this phase until summer. (See the whole Phase 3 timeline on the FST website)

The team is currently taking feedback from the Customer Confirmation Sessions we in late 2020, and using it to build another iteration of UVA's workday tenant so we can have another round of confirmation sessions later this spring.  See more info on the sessions here. 

There will be lots of opportunities early this year and in the spring for stakeholders to get a look at Workday Financials.  There are plans in progress to deepen the engagement with the first round of Customer Confirmation sessions, including some video content and other opportunities to broaden exposure to the future state. For right now, you can see the slides from all of the Customer Confirmation Sessions in the Online Community.

In FDM news, the team’s goal is to have a solid structure on cost centers by the end of February.  They’ll be doing outreach to schools and units and socializing the structure, so that we can be sure all units understand the FDM basics.  The mapping tool for the FDM has been just slightly delayed but should be rolled out soon, and FST governance groups, as well as the FST project team, are meeting to review their cost center submissions.  Visit the FST Info Station for guidance on keeping up with FDM news.

There are six major decisions being discussed in FST governance circles this month:  requisition user access, data warehousing and trend reporting, per diem, Workflow control, receiving in Workday, and discontinuation of WebWire.  Remember that we keep track of these decisions in the FST decision log.

In all the decisions that surround our implementation of Workday Financials, it’s easy to forget that Finance Strategic Transformation involves more than just Workday.  FST is actually four parts;  Workday Financials, reporting & analytics, Adaptive Planning, which is the budgeting tool, and probably most importantly, Continuous Improvement.

The work the Finance Engagement team is doing to put together a future-state service model for UVAFinance is a great example of continuous improvement activity.  The Finance Engagement team is implementing Salesforce across UVAFinance departments to help make the customer service experience more consistent for our stakeholders, and to provide us with a more effective way to see problems as a whole, taking into account how different departments touch the processes in question, rather than trying to solve them in a siloed way. Read more about that here on the blog!

Another one of the four parts of Finance Strategic Transformation is the implementation of Adaptive Planning, Workday’s budgeting tool.  Last year, UVA started using Adaptive for its budgeting process.  The Adaptive team is currently working with stakeholders on a budget process redesign, pivoting from the 2.0 version of Adaptive Planning from last year to the 3.0 version that will integrate with Workday Financials and the new FDM.

Adaptive Planning offers us so much more than the shadow systems and excel spreadsheets we’ve become accustomed to for years.  The team moves through the budget process redesign, they're focusing on replacing the outdated and inefficient processes with a more streamlined process that focuses on customer service and support of our end users’ needs.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

May the Force be with you (Salesforce, that is)

As a part of their work constructing a future-state service model for UVAFinance, the Finance Engagement Team is steadily bringing all UVAFinance departments into the Salesforce fold.  And, in keeping with the Star Wars metaphor, they’re empowering team members in those areas to be customer service Jedis.

Incorporation of Salesforce is just part of the plan for more streamlined, consistent customer service from UVAFinance, and it’s a huge first step.  In late 2020, Travel & Expense became the first department to adopt use of Salesforce to manage stakeholder interactions.  Since then, the Finance Engagement Team has onboarded Business Intelligence, administrative services, and System Support, with many other units set to follow.

Using Salesforce to manage customer questions, track the resolution of issues, and provide cross-functional insight into operations, it has become easier for UVAFinance units to deliver great service to those who need the service.

“Traditionally, every unit in finance has provided service in its own way,” says Andrew Sallans, Finance Engagement Manager, explaining that units all have had different ways for stakeholders to contact them, different ways to get information, and different response times.

“What we’re trying to do is reframe UVAFinance services as an interrelated set, with interdependencies between them, and empower our service providers to support stakeholders both in their own unique, personalized way, but at the same time in an easier way that is consistent and takes advantage of all central finance units being connected in Salesforce,” he says.

Raegan Harouff Gaye of Travel & Expense says the experience has been overwhelmingly positive and has allowed her team to improve their internal processes in addition to better serving their stakeholders.

“When we implemented Salesforce, we looked at our processes and asked how we could make them work with the system (Salesforce) better.  We’ve truly been having fun, because our team has been taking a fresh look at what we do and asking a lot of questions,” she says.

Scott Adams of the Finance Engagement Team says those questions are important every time they onboard a new unit into use of Salesforce. 

“As an IT person, I constantly ask myself how I can empower those around me, how I can enable them to accomplish what they want to accomplish, and free them up to do what they are best at,” he says.

Another customer service solution offered by Salesforce that has benefitted UVAFinance units is the tracking and reporting that allows them to gather data that is needed for continuous improvement.

Sallans adds that as Salesforce provides more transparency into how work is happening, there are many more opportunities to recognize those involved in the provision of the services.  When services are delivered with that coordination, alignment, and visibility, more of the work that people do ends up being seen, and we can celebrate those who do the work and learn from them.

Adams sums it up: “Our implementation of Salesforce and our future service model work is definitely about the bigger vision of the University.  We’re setting up for the future, laying the groundwork for people to think differently, and providing the opportunities to build on that; and we all have insight into what’s being tried – we move on from failure and learn from it, moving constantly toward a better future,” he says.

Or, to slightly reframe the words of renowned Jedi Master Yoda, “Do, or do not; there is no ‘not trying.’”


If you’d like to hear the Finance Engagement Team and Travel & Expense talk more about this process and their pursuit of continuous improvement, listen in to this recent conversation on Finance Matters:

Read more about the Salesforce Implementation on the UVAFinance blog here:

Monday, January 11, 2021

Five things to know about FST: January 14, 2020


  1. In December 2020, UVA got its first look at UVA data in Workday Financials by way of 17 Customer Confirmation Sessions (CCS) attended by representatives from 93% of UVA campus areas. Attendees previewed the applications and shared their feedback; another round of CCS is planned for Spring 2021. See more on the CCS in the Online Community.
  2. During January, FST Governance Groups will be sharing feedback on the following upcoming decisions: requisition user access, data warehouse trend reporting pre- and post-Workday go-live, per diem policy, workflow control and approval requirements, invoice matching redesign, and use of WebWire. See more information in the FST Decision Log
  3. The FST project team will be socializing the FDM – the foundation data model – to university-wide representatives, starting in January of 2021.
  4. The Adaptive Team is working on the budget process redesign, pivoting from the 2.0 version of Adaptive Planning that was rolled out to all of UVA last year to the 3.0 version that will integrate with workday and the new FDM.
  5. Besides the implementation of Workday Financials (set to go-live on July 1, 2022), FST consists of four parts. See them on the FST website here!

New email for administrative support in UVAFinance

In their quest to deliver the best possible service, the Business Services Group has transitioned to working in Salesforce (read more about UVAFinance and Salesforce in the blog).

The only change for you is that effective today, you can email all requests for assistance from their staff to instead of emailing them individually.

This transition allows BSG to collaborate and delegate between team members in a way they haven’t been able to before, resulting in faster and more effective service to you.

Seeing the Future Clearly: Optical Character Recognition for Invoice Automation

As part of the Finance Strategic Transformation (FST) project's continuous improvement efforts, the spend team has recommended UVA implement the Jaggaer Optical Character Recognition (OCR) product called Digital Mail Room. OCR technology recognizes text in scanned documents, such as invoices, or images and turns it into text data readable by other software.

Adopting usage of an OCR tool would decrease the manual entry of invoices. For example, in fiscal year (FY) 2020, UVA employees manually keyed roughly 55,000 purchase order invoices. Automating the process would reduce the manual efforts of those across Grounds currently keying data and potentially reduce errors. 

When evaluating options, usability factored highly in the decision-making criteria for potential OCR vendors. Jaggaer Digital Mail Room ranked tied for number one in terms of ease of use for end users. An added benefit of Digital Mail Room is that it will work well with Workday Financials' standard interface to enable automated communication between systems; this means invoice information will transfer from Digital Mail Room to Workday smoothly with little added integration preparation.

The RAPID decision whether to act on this recommendation has gone through the review and input process and will likely be finalized soon. If adopted, as expected, Jaggaer Digital Mail Room may be implemented prior to Workday Financials or would go-live with Workday on July 1, 2022.      

For information about project decisions, see the FST Decision Log

Annual T&E Card Training this February

Annual T&E card training begins on February 1, 2021. We look forward to providing this training to give cardholders the most current information on T&E Card policies and procedures.

If you are no longer using your T&E card, please follow the link to cancel your card:

If you will be on leave in February, please contact us to prevent your card from being canceled for not completing annual training.

Forward With the Foundation Data Model

As we dive into 2021, the Foundation Data Model (FDM) continues to move towards finalization. 

The Finance Strategic Transformation (FST) functional team anticipates having a solid base with cost center structure in place in February. In Workday, cost center is akin to the legacy Oracle terminology "Organization" (see Workday Words for definitions and legacy term correlations). Changes to cost center will still be possible based on the feedback of school/unit partners as they review the setup for their areas. Sharing information about the FDM and getting people used to the future approach will occur over the next several months. 

A priority in the new year is mapping. As we prepare to transition from our current Chart of Accounts (COA) in Oracle to the FDM in Workday Financials, translating PTAO/General Ledger strings to the new worktag approach is on everyone's minds. The FST team remains focused on providing a mapping tool that will help clarify this process as partners across Grounds determine how their information will be captured appropriately with the functionality within Workday. The timing to implement the mapping tool will be delayed a bit, due to the resource the team hoped to use not being able to do what we expected. Mapping work will still occur in preparation of finding a tool that will meet UVA's needs. 

For more info about what's coming for the FDM in 2021, see the timeline below (click to enlarge image)

Foundation Data Model Timeline

Want to stay informed about all things FDM? Check out the FST Info Station for tips on how to easily stay in the know. 

Wellness Resources


Contemplative Sciences Center

Anthony DeMauro, Associate Director of Dalai Lama Fellows at CSC, has curated a special Contemplation and Racial Justice Playlist on the Insight Timer app that is especially relevant during this January’s annual celebration of civil rights, racial justice, and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

More information on the Contemplation and Racial Justice Playlist is available on our website.

If you’re new to Insight Timer, check CSC’s resource page.

For a list of events during UVA's 2021 Community MLK Celebration, visit

COVID-Related News

Employees on Grounds now available for saliva testing. University employees who are working on Grounds will be eligible for voluntary asymptomatic testing through UVA’s saliva testing program beginning on Monday, January 11, 2021.   Read more on UVAToday.

Other Wellness Offerings

Common Grounds Healing Arts Virtual Yoga Offerings:

Boost Your Motivation to Reduce COVID Energy Drain
Jan 13, 12 PM & Jan 26, 3:30 PM
Presented by FEAP
Find other FEAP sponsored events HERE.

Virtual Offerings

Hoos Well Virtual Resources

IM-Rec Virtual Recreation

Range of quality programs, services & venues that support all dimensions of wellness through sport, fitness & recreation.

FEAP Virtual Resources

Collection of resources to support mental & emotional wellness.

WW (formerly Weight Watchers)

Digital subscriptions and virtual workshops are available at a discounted price. You may also be eligible for 50% reimbursement.


Employees on UVA Health Plan have access to hundreds of on-demand fitness and nutrition classes via the web or mobile app. To create your account, click the "Login" button, type your UVA email address and enter the password HoosWell.

eM Life

Online mindfulness platform to promote health, happiness, stress management and self- care.

UVA Walking Paths
(not virtual)

Interactive walking paths throughout the university. Use the interactive map on your smart phone or print a PDF.

Customer Confirmation Sessions Recap

As of the end of last year, we finished with the first round of Customer Confirmation Sessions (CCS).  The FST team is now refining our first configuration of the Workday tenant for UVA based on stakeholder feedback.  This spring, we'll have another iteration of the tenant ready for another round of CCS.  

See the graphic below for a "by the numbers" recap of the first round of CCS.  

Click image for a larger view.

You can also view the slide decks from all of the CCS sessions in the Online Community:

Plans are currently in place to deepen engagement with the  content of the first round of CCS, including some video content and other opportunities to broaden exposure across UVA to our Workday Financials tenant. 

Thank you to all who attended a Customer Confirmation Session and shared your feedback!  

In addition to the overall satisfaction expressed by attendees in a follow-up survey, our presenters were also happy with the sessions.  Listen in to three of them (Josh Breeden, Elissa Morton, and Addie Coe) in the video below.

Lights, Camera, Conversion Lead Action: FST Welcomes Ashok Jain

Just before winter break, Ashok Jain joined the finance transformation team as the Conversion Lead. Jain has 14 years of Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) experience and has worked on many implementation projects.

“I am very excited to join UVA,” Jain says, “and will work towards successful Workday implementation.”

Prior to joining UVA, Jain worked as a software engineering manager for in Optum Service, Inc. for roughly nine years. In that role, he implemented Oracle EBS for various Optum acquisitions. With him, Jain brings a deep breadth of technical proficiency in in Oracle SQL/PLSQL, reports, and forms as well as experience with modules such as Oracle General Ledger, Accounts Payables, Accounts Receivables, Purchasing, Order Management, Inventory, and Advanced Supply Chain Planning.

Jain says, “I am quick learner and have learned various other technologies.” His work on the FST project will benefit from Jain’s ability to learn quickly as he helps manage the transition from Oracle EBS to Workday Financials.

For Jain, thankfully it’s not all work and no play.

“In my leisure time I love to watch movies and spend time with my family,” he says.