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Real-Time Financials Project: Overview and Benefits

The Real-Time Financials project was a collaborative effort between MAIS, Financial Operations, and University units to improve financial reporting. The project had multiple phases: Financial Estimate Data (Phase I), Transaction Frequency and Reporting Enhancements (Phase II-a), and eReconciliation (Phase II-b).

Phase I of the Real-Time Financials project was completed as of April 2007, with the addition of estimate data to the U-M Data Warehouse and the Project/Grant Budget Status Report (PBSR).

Phase IIa was completed as of January 2008, with the addition of Benefit Recharge Distribution (BRD) and Indirect Cost (IC) estimates to the U-M Data Warehouse, daily posting of Accounts Payable vouchers and journals to the General Ledger, and enhanced Unit Defined Commitment functionality.

Phase IIb was completed as of June 2008, with the implementation of eReconciliation (i.e., online Statement of Activity reconciliation) in the M-Pathways Financials & Physical Resources System.

Enhancements to Real-Time Financials

Financial Estimate Data (Phase I)

In April 2007, the following estimate data joined the existing gross pay estimate data (available as of 2002) in the U-M Data Warehouse and became available in applicable financial reports.

  • FICA Estimate (University cost only)
  • Employee benefit estimate (University cost only)
  • Financial Aid estimate
  • General Ledger estimate summary

Payroll, employee benefits, and financial aid expenses represent well over 70% of the direct expenses for most University units. The addition of this estimate data to the U-M Data Warehouse provides:

  • A broader level of financial information available from a single source.
  • Enhanced fiscal planning and reporting without requiring duplicate data entry.

Real-Time Financials estimate data is also displayed in M-Reports. For more information, view the demo of the Sponsored Research Financial reports on the UM Business Intelligence Web site.

Transaction Frequency & Reporting Enhancements (Phase II-a)

Transaction Frequency

The University maintains a financial transaction processing schedule. This schedule represents the minimum frequency of activity to ensure that transactions are posted to the General Ledger by month-end close so that the data is available on the monthly financial reports. With M-Pathways you can submit, post, and reconcile transactions throughout the month (i.e., Accounting Period).

The following transaction processes were enhanced to allow posting, reconciling, and reporting to be timelier. Your unit's financial data will more closely reflect "real-time" activity and the decisions you make using that data will be more robust.

  • Service Unit Billing upload (enhanced as of December 2007)
  • PO and Non-PO Voucher posting (daily as of January 2008)
  • Online Unit Defined Commitments (enhanced as of January 2008)
  • Online & Upload Journal Entry processes (ongoing unit training by Financial Operations in 2008)

You can better leverage the M-Pathways system and improve your report data by examining your unit’s business processes for these financial transactions.  ITS continues to partner with school/college administrators, service units, and central offices to identify opportunities that allow for the timelier posting of transactions to the General Ledger.  Contact mais.fincpu.bsa@umich.edu for more information.

Reporting Enhancements

The following enhancements were made to the U-M Data Warehouse:

  • The Budget Reporting Ledger table (August 2007) facilitates “All Funds” or non-sponsored activity budget reporting.  This addition is considered a pre-cursor to providing “all funds budget-to-reconciliation” functionality through the central systems.
  • Benefit Recharge Distribution and Indirect Cost Allocation estimates added (January 2008)

eReconciliation (Phase II-b – Early release June 20, 2008)

eReconciliation offers online Statement of Activity (SOA) reconciliation in M-Pathways.  Click here to learn more.

Reconcilers can:

  • Navigate to the online SOA Detail by Fund/Department, by Fund/Department/Program, and/or by Project/Grant views.
  • View journal transactions
  • Link to Payroll, Financial Aid, Accounts Receivable, Billing, and Procurement transaction detail
  • Mark transactions as reconciled from the SOA Detail or the detail pages
  • Add comments to journal lines or detail lines.
  • Print reports for unit distribution or unit records.

Other Real-Time Financials Pages
Project Introduction |  eReconciliation |  Resources &Consulting