Streamlining Cash Transfer and Chartfield Request Processes
Description: At UCCS the cash transfer JEs and new ChartField requests are a centralized process. After fiscal year-end close, I was responsible for disposing outdated records which included backup documents for the cash transfers and ChartField requests. While making several trips to the recycle bin to dispose of these documents, I saw resources being wasted and thought there should be a better way. I had already requested that campus personnel send their requests for cash transfers and new ChartField setups by email. Unfortunately, there are as many different ways to ask for cash transfers as there are people. Deciphering exactly what each request was trying to accomplish (e.g., SpeedTypes involved, amounts transferred, and business purpose for each request) took quite a bit of time and back-and-forth communications. To bring uniformity to the cash transfer requests, I created a Multi Cash Transfer template.
Transfer requests were documented by printing the transfer template, any backup documentation, the email request (if it contained supplemental information about the transfer), and the completed two line journal entry (JE). Then I learned how to do the cash transfers by an upload process, allowing more than one journal entry at a time. With this groundwork laid, I was able to move cash transfers to a fully electronic process. I take a screen shot of the transfer template, the backup report and the journal entries, and paste them into the email request. This allows me to forward the information to my approver, with all the paperwork included in one document. Once the JE is approved and I receive the notification, I save the approval email with the JE number in a folder on the network drive.
I used a similar process to record and store Chartfield requests. Upon receipt, I enter each request in a ChartField log which assigns a unique number. I add the coding needed on the form and save the completed form in a folder on the network drive with the log number and the ChartField description. Next, I send an email to my approver and note in the subject line, the log number and the description of the ST. If there is any additional backup for the request, I attach it to the email and ask the approver to forward the approval back to me. Upon receipt of the approval I save the email in a designated folder on the network drive. When creating the program I include the log number for easy reference in the long description field of the Program CU Attributes tab.
How does this impact the University? Moving both the cash transfer requests and new ChartField requests to an electronic process saves not only money but also man hours, resources, and storage space. By not printing all backup documents we save paper, energy, time, filing, and storage of the documents for three years plus current. Additionally, we no longer have paperwork to dispose after the retention period. The estimated cost saving for UCCS in one year for both the cash transfer requests and ChartField requests is as follows:
Binders (for storing documents) $ 50.04
Paper $ 23.21
Time 6.25 hours at $20/hour $250.00
Printing black and white $ 26.00
Total savings for one year $349.25
If the forms are printed in color the cost would increase by $206.85.
I did not consider the amounts for storage and energy as they are too small for the UCCS campus. Also, not calculated in savings is the time spent deciphering emailed cash transfer requests, along with the time the departments save by having a completed template with their information for future use versus generating a new email each time for recurring cash transfers.
Implementation status: In fiscal year 2009-10 I began asking that new ChartField requests be sent to me attached to an email. The cash transfer requests already came via email. When I received a form in campus mail I would call the issuer and ask if they saved the completed form electronically and if they had, I would ask if they would mind sending that to me attached to an email. This was received well by the whole campus. Within a year the UCCS campus found out there was a shorter turn-around from the time they requested a new ChartField until they had a new SpeedType. Along with this, they did not have to print the form, print any backup, put it in an envelope (all extra costs to the requesting department), and send it through campus mail. By fiscal year 2011-12, the new Chartfield request process was fully electronic.
Next, I moved on to cash transfer requests by creating the Multi Cash Transfer template in February 2012 and an Upload Multi Cash transfer Request template in August 2013. Both templates have been received well and are being used by campus personnel. These templates save time for me as well as campus personnel requesting the cash transfers. I no longer have to take the time to figure out what is being requested, nor do I need to have a place to store all of the documentation. The departments that request numerous cash transfers quarterly or semi-annually can save the template with all the information needed and only have to change the amounts and description.
Submitted by Mary Lile, Accountant I, Financial Services – Accounting Office, University of Colorado Colorado Springs