Finance and Business Affairs Division Issue

A Message from the CTO:

The work groups effort has proven beneficial for IT.

Below, are the September 2013 updates for the Business and Finance Projects.

These projects are also tracked on

Feel free to contact me directly to discuss the activities associated with these efforts.



Vendor ACH

The Accounts Payable office has been working to pay vendors by direct deposit rather than by paper check.  During the last test process the bank accepted the test file which was the last step in the testing phase.  Kathy Bradshaw has requested that the bank move their test processes to production so that we can start using this process with ‘Live’ data.  At this point we are waiting for a ‘go’ date from Kathy to move setup to live.

GL Chart of Accounts Conversion

Accounting Services has requested for the current general ledger number to be expanded.  The current general ledger number of 15 digits will be expanded to 18 digits.  A separate test account has been set up for just this project.  A test conversion has been completed using all data and all fiscal years.  This process took approximately 51 hours to complete.  Accounting Services is now verifying data by comparing live 2012 data to GL Test Account 2012 data.


Synoptix is a self-serve financial reporting tool that will replace the current FRx software.  IT and Accounting Services will begin the implementation of this software as soon as the General Ledger Conversion is complete.   A scoping call is scheduled for September 13, 2013.

Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

The financial aid shopping sheet has now been implemented by the Financial Aid office and IT as part of the 2013/2014 awarding process. This tool was developed by the Department of Education for use by the Institution to notify students about their financial aid package. It is a standardized form that is designed to simplify the information that prospective students receive about costs and financial aid so that they can easily compare institutions and make informed decisions about where to attend school.


FA-Link is a real-time, two-way interface allowing students to use Financial Aid and Sponsorship funds set up in Colleague directly at the bookstore cash register. Students may purchase their books as soon as they are registered for classes, or as soon as their campus rules allow. Charges are authorized in real-time and an invoice is created on the student account eliminating unnecessary work for Business Office staff. IT programming staff is currently working with Trimdata on business processes to finalize set up for testing.


Blackboard Card Managagement System Upgrade

IT Networking and Systems are currently planning a upgrade to the Blackboard Card Management System at the Troy Campus. This upgrade is to get the server and services compliant with the latest version of available coded software T03 from Blackboard. The tentative schedule for the upgrade is currently planned for the December break 2013, and to be completed by the time students return for Spring semester. IT is working with Blackboard to finalize all details associated with the upgrade.


Fax Server

Beginning July 2013, Systems implemented a new Fax Server for the Financial Aid Department.  The fax server helps streamline several processes in Financial Aid.  It eliminated the need to purchase paper, toner cartridges, and having an employee come in during the weekend to replace these items. Since all faxes are automatically converted to PDF and are placed in a central repository forms are easily managed and distributed to the proper person for processing. Once processed the forms are imported in the imaging system without the need of a scanner.  Since implementation;  4,152 faxes totaling 18,905 pages have been processed.   Currently Systems is working with Student Financial Services to start testing and implementation of the fax server for their area.

Document Imaging

Systems is currently working with the imaging vendor to implement three new applications for Accounts Payable and HR to store 1099,W2 and I9 forms.

Imaging Toolbar Test

Systems has been working closely with Financial Aid and our imaging vendor with testing of an addon toolbar for the Document Imaging System.  The toolbar will allow the user to retrieve supporting documents from the imaging system while they are working within WebUI.  This will save the user time by eliminating the need to log into imaging and manually typing in the information twice to perform a search for a document.

Imaging Training

During the month of August 2013, Systems offered two training sessions that covered the WebExtender interface for imaging.  In these training sessions users were shown features that they may not have been aware of and how to use the system more efficiently using shortcuts, functions, and advanced query searches.

Contract Reporting

Systems and eSystems is working with Student Financial Services on a solution possibly using the Parature CRM to maintain a list of University contracts that could be used to generate a report of when University contracts come up for renewal. 

Technical Services and eSystems

Advanced Excel Training

During the month of August 2013, eSystems offered two hands on training sessions that covered advanced topics in Microsoft Excel. This training was offered at HR’s request. In these training sessions we covered creating and using formulas and functions in addition to creating and managing pivot tables. We had approximately 40 individuals from across the University participate in these training sessions.

EchoSign - Automated Workflows

eSystems currently has two forms deployed through automated workflows that directly impact Finance and Business Affairs. These forms are the Leave Request and the Asset Pickup & Delivery. We are currently in the review process with several forms that would impact Finance and Business Affairs. They include: Faculty Pay Authorization, Employee Tuition Assistance, and Employee Dependent Tuition Assistance.

EchoSign - MegaSign Portal

eSystems began development of an online Adjunct Contract in August 2012. Deployment began January 2013 with select colleges on the Troy, AL, campus. This process was fully deployed to all colleges and locations in June 2013. All adjunct and overload contracts are now being sent through the MegaSign Portal. Assistance with this process and managing of these contracts is provided to processors when requested. New accounts for processors are being set up when requested. Processing of these contracts were estimated at 5 months prior to online deployment. Currently the average time to complete the signature process on an adjunct contract is 4.02 days (including weekends). A reporting feature was deployed for the MegaSign Portal July 2013. This feature has allowed eSystems to easily run detailed reports on signed contracts for payroll. Reports are currently being sent to payroll on a weekly basis and the contracts in the report are being entered into payroll on a weekly basis.  


On June 19, 2013, TrojanTXT (ExactTarget) was opened up for students to sign up for the service in conjunction with the new HERMES site. Since this time 2,034 individuals have signed up to receive TrojanTXT SMS messages. New registrations are being imported into ExactTarget on a daily basis.

Asset Management

On July 12, 2013, eight older Apple iMacs were re-formatted with no data installed by Technical Services for Asset Management.  The older units will be part of Asset Management’s upcoming sale/bid process. On July 18, Technical Services pulled hard drives from 8 more PC’s and Mac’s to assist Asset Management.  The hard drives will be crushed and destroyed, and the shells will be part of Asset Management sale/bid process. On June 21, 2013, four older Apple iMacs were re-formatted with no data installed by Technical Services for Asset Management.  The older units will be part of Asset Management’s upcoming sale/bid process.      

Athletic Department

On June 21, 2013, Technical Services completed the setup of three laptops for Athletics Department. These laptops will be used for Academic Services and student athlete usage within this department.

Security Camera System

The installation of a security camera system was completed at the Phenix City which covers all entrances to the Adams Administration building and the Student Center.

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