Cal Answers Financials is now available with Financial Management Reporting dashboard

August 31, 2017

Cal Answers and BAIRS Community,

We are pleased to announce Cal Answers Financials is now live with the first dashboard, the Financial Management Reporting dashboard. Cal Answers is an analytical tool that brings together integrated information from various campus systems, enabling staff, faculty, and students to locate reliable, consistent answers to critical campus questions. The Cal Answers Financials project consists of a series of releases which will create the ability to report on financial data using Cal Answers to improve financial reporting capability and prepare for the retirement of BAIRS.

What is changing

Over the next 12 to 18 months, the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Finance (VC Finance) will release a series of new dashboards designed to gradually transition financial reporting from BAIRS to Cal Answers. BAIRS will remain available during the life of the Cal Answers Financials project; we are aiming to retire the system in late 2018/early 2019 in order to ensure that campus’ reporting needs are well served in Cal Answers before BAIRS is retired. The draft of the Cal Answers Financials release schedule is available on the Cal Answers website. The core project team will be soliciting feedback from campus members on each release.

New to Cal Answers?

If you are new to Cal Answers, the next few months are a good time to log in, become familiar with the tool, and think about what will be necessary for the eventual transition from using BAIRS reporting. There are training materials available on the Cal Answers website for new users, including videos and job aids, as well as quarterly training classes on basic Cal Answers navigation.

Financial Management Reporting dashboard

The Financial Management Reporting dashboard allows users to review their financial reporting from a summary level to the transaction detail level. Before logging in to to access the dashboard, please review which browsers are compatible with Cal Answers and clear your browser cache. The reports available in the dashboard include:

  • SRECNA: Displays the Statement of Revenue, Expense, and Changes to Net Assets for the selected organization.

  • Summary by Chartfields: Summarizes transactions for each chartstring combination, in order to view available balances for a unit.

  • Transactions: Provides the lowest level of transaction detail for reconciliation after the close of each month.

We will be presenting an overview of the Cal Answers Financials project and a demonstration of the Financial Management Reporting dashboard with the Cal Assessment Network (CAN) on Friday, November 3, from 10:30am-12pm. You may sign up to receive updates on the event and be included on the invite by emailing c_a_n-join@lists.berkeley.edu. We’re also scheduling additional demonstrations of the new dashboard for those that can’t make it to CAN, and we’ll announce the dates/times for registration in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit the Cal Answers Financials training page for training material related to the Financial Management Reporting dashboard.

Access to Cal Answers Financials

Access will be automatically granted to current BAIRS users who have access to the Financial Reports module and is subject to approval by the unit Divisional Finance Lead. This access is “global financial access," which includes the ability to access compensation and non-compensation data to the transaction level for all of campus. If you have questions about access, please contact the project team at calanswersfinancials@berkeley.edu.

Questions

If you have technical questions about using Cal Answers or the new Financial Management Reporting dashboard, please contact the Cal Answers Help Desk at 664-9000 (ext. - option 1, then option 2) or calanswers-help@berkeley.edu.

Thank you,

Cal Answers Financials Team

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Office of the Vice Chancellor of Finance