DFL weekly update - October 7, 2022

Upcoming Deadlines at a Glance

  • Friday, 10/14 - Submit completed and approved org tree change requests
  • Friday, 10/28 - Submit DeptIDs for inactivation in BFS
  • Friday, 10/28 - Complete Q1 Key Controls

Action Items

Submit completed and approved org tree change requests by Friday, October 14

If you would like to submit changes to the Org Tree, please submit your completed, Budget and Financial Operations (BFO) Committee approved request by Friday, October 14. The Org Tree is now open to all changes. Note, the last opportunity to process approved DeptID and Org Node movements will be November 30. We recommend that you submit your change request form for review as soon as possible to allow time for the BFO team to review your request, follow up with you for any necessary clarification, approve your request, and allow you time to obtain all required signatures before the submission deadline. The time needed to review change requests will vary, depending on the complexity of the request. For more information:

Submit a list of DeptIDs for inactivation in BFS by Friday, October 28

We are rolling out the process to begin clearing the backlog of DeptIDs which are currently on planned inactivation but have not been cleared in BFS. These are the DeptIDs that are currently restricted for planning in CalPlanning. While we have been able to inactivate DeptIDs in CalPlanning, we have not been able to do so in BFS until now. There are instructions on how to complete the BFS inactivation process on the Planning DeptID Inactivation page. Please plan to follow the BFS DeptID inactivation process and submit the list of inactive DeptIDs by Friday, October 28.

We will announce the process for ongoing or new requests for DeptID inactivation at a later date, so for the time being please continue to submit new requests via the inactivation form or with your Entity Hierarchy Redesign request. This new process does not apply to all divisions; therefore, if you do not have a DeptID inactivation spreadsheet in your shared Divisional Folder, you don’t need to submit the DeptID list. Please feel free to reach out to Latina Kamau-Kirika at dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu with any questions.

Complete Q1 Key Controls by Friday, October 28

Please complete and submit both the Financial Reporting Review and System Access Review by Friday, October 28. Please visit the Division Key Controls page for instructions and more information. Email questions about the financial reporting review controls to the Financial Accounting & Controls team at gao@berkeley.edu and questions about the system access review controls to the BFS System Access team at secbfs@berkeley.edu.

Review STAR Award funding allocation

The FY23 Staff Appreciation and Recognition program (STAR) has been allocated. Please review the linked STAR Allocation FY2023 spreadsheet to view the funding for your unit. The amount available to spend is in the last column called “2023 Beg. Bal + Distribution”. Please share this information with the person responsible for allocating funds for STAR awards within your unit. We recommend Vice Chancellors and Deans consider funding awards from a centralized pool to maximize flexibility in managing these resources. It is important to use the proper chartstring when submitting an award. Failure to use Account 51231, will result in GAEL rates being applied. More information is available on the FY23 STAR Award Program Allocation page of the CFO website. If you have questions about the allocation, please contact the Budget and Financial Operations team at centralresourcemanagement@berkeley.edu.

Informational Updates

UC Berkeley Business Air Travel Carbon Mitigation Program

The Office of Sustainability partnered with the travel office, IT, campus leadership, and financial groups to launch the UC Berkeley Business Air Travel Carbon Mitigation Program! This program mitigates the high environmental impacts of UC Berkeley’s business air travel by funding campus projects that reduce our carbon footprint. Starting this year, a small fee will be assessed for business air travel that is funded by UC dollars ($10 for domestic trips, and $25 for offshore/international trips). The fee is assessed for trips booked with unrestricted funds when the travel report is submitted. So far, 19 units have opted into the program to cover the fee for air trips booked with restricted funds through a once a year true up. The fees will be invested in essential campus projects. Some of these projects will also save the campus money, particularly those that reduce energy use or the need to travel. UC Berkeley business travelers can continue to book flights with no changes to the booking and reimbursement process. Learn more at the Office of Sustainability’s website and contact sustainability@berkeley.edu for any additional questions.

FY23 Forecast and FY24 preliminary Operating Budget are now available

The CalPlan and HCP planning applications are available with the FY23 beginning balance and July through August Actuals (this data is already available in CalRptg). The FY2023-24 Operating Budget has been seeded with preliminary numbers to assist planning activities but remember that these are subject to change. Please review the September release notes for details about this update.

Delay in processing time for new suppliers

The Vendoring Team is happy to announce that we have completed recruitment for additional staff to help with the vendoring workload (essentially doubling our vendoring full-time workforce). The new hire is an internal candidate who starts next week and since they are already a UC Berkeley employee and familiar with the process, we are hopeful they can make an impact very quickly. Since our last update on July 15th, due to a continuing high level of requests, the backlog peaked in August at nearly 40 business days to add a new supplier. Our team has continued to do our best to manage the backlog and since it peaked last month it has been coming down steadily, currently at 25 business days, which we realize is still an unacceptable level of service for our campus customers. But we feel that we have now turned the corner and are hopeful that we can bring the backlog down to our goal of no more than 5 business days for both new supplier requests and inquiries by the end of the calendar year. In the interim, if you have a legitimate urgent need for escalation of a new supplier request or update, please reach out directly to Dan Parnas, Accounts Payable and Travel Operations Director at dparnas@berkeley.edu. We apologize for the ongoing delays and appreciate your patience.

Beat the ConnexUC expert

The UC Berkeley Travel Office has long asserted that airfare you find in ConnexUC should always be equal to or better than prices you can find on any other airline booking site, including direct from the airlines with some minor exceptions. How would you like to put that to the test? If you think you can find airfare on a major airline that is cheaper than can be found in ConnexUC, contact us at travel@berkeley.edu and we will set up a 15-minute zoom slot where you can try to “beat the expert”. If you win, you will receive a $20 gift card and we will gain valuable information that we can then use to better understand why the UC negotiated rate was not the best available rate. If you can’t beat the expert, you still win because maybe it’ll change your opinion of ConnexUC and allow you to take full advantage of the many benefits that it offers for both business and personal travel. If you’re interested in participating, email us at travel@berkeley.edu and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

BFS update in November - improved search features

The Berkeley Financial System (BFS) team is releasing a new set of updates for BFS in November. These enhancements are designed to make navigating and searching in BFS easier for the user. For example, when the release goes live, users will be able to search in the menu for key words and phrases across all of BFS, instead of having to know which tile to start from or which search sequence they have to use. The new keyword search page will allow users to search by key word terms and the global search and module feature will allow users to search across BFS using descriptive phrases. In addition to the new search features, the update will make the software current, improve security, and ensure that Oracle supports the BFS. User Acceptance testing will be occurring between October 19, 2022, and October 28, 2022. The changes will be implemented on the weekend of November 5, 2022, and November 6, 2022. Direct communications will be sent to those participating in the test cycles. Reach out to the BFS Help Desk at bfs@berkeley.edu with any questions.

Refreshed FY2022-23 Intersection Detail Reports available

We have refreshed the Intersection Detail Reports (IDRs) for FY23. These will be published to your divisional folders with the title "FY23OB Refreshed". The refreshed IDRs will include any changes as well as budget decisions and will help clarify what is loaded to CalPlan as of the September 16 IDR report run date. Any changes to commitments made after September 16 will not appear on the IDRs. If amounts change, the affected units will be emailed and the amounts will be updated manually in CalPlan. Please contact the Financial Planning & Analysis team at dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu with questions.

CalPlanning training

The next series of CalPlanning and Smart View training classes begin Thursday, September 8. The curriculum uses a blended learning model. Courses begin with self-study using online “books” divided into chapters supplemented with practice exercises and short videos. Courses culminate with a group session using Zoom in which participants work on case studies in small teams to apply the material covered in the self-study. The self-study materials are available on the website for everyone to use; they can be a helpful resource for those that have already completed the training and are looking for a refresher. Review the CalPlanning training page for schedules, links to enroll, and to access the self-study materials.

Office Hours for CalPlanning and Smart View

Office hours are available so that you can ask specific questions about CalPlanning and Smart View. Request office hours and indicate the topic for which you are requesting support. Office hours are an opportunity to get individual support for a specific challenge your unit is facing; they are not a replacement for training.

Cal Answers Training

Please review the self-service learning resources on the Cal Answers website, where Cal Answers users will find a complete course in basic navigation as well as short videos, job aids, wiki documentation, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Additionally, the two-hour instructor-led classes build on the basic navigation skills covered in the self-study. There are separate courses focusing on financial dashboards and student data dashboards. In the class, a subject matter expert will guide a deep dive into the reports and data available in the dashboards and answer specific questions.

Changes to the DFL in your division?

If the DFL role in your division is changing, email fpa@berkeley.edu to ensure our website, communications, and training plans are updated.

DFL Weekly Updates Page

As a reminder, these updates are regularly posted to the DFL Weekly Updates page so you can reference past updates at any time. Additionally, the Operational Deadlines page provides an overview of deliverables by quarter.

Thank you,

Office of the Vice Chancellor of Finance