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PJ-Q1: What is Workday and why did the University of Rochester choose it?

A1: Workday is a unified (integrated) administrative information system for financial management, human resources and related business functions.  The University has chosen to implement the financial management components of Workday; providing the UR Financials project an excellent tool to replace the current Financial Reports System (FRS).  It is a cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) solution.  This means that the system is operated off-site Workday while University of Rochester users utilize the service over a standard and secure internet connection.

The University of Rochester chose Workday as a form of risk mitigation which will carry on the business requirements provided by the current FRS system.  The legacy system, in place for over 40 years, is becoming increasingly vulnerable to functional and technical obsolescence with rising costs for upkeep and integration maintenance.  Because Workday is a cloud-based solution, it is easier, quicker and less-costly to implement and operate than traditional enterprise systems.

PJ-Q2: How do I get more information on the project?

A2: Regular updates will be posted to this website.  A schedule of upcoming events, training opportunities and announcements will be posted as the project progresses. If you require more information, feel free to reach out to the project team through the Contact Us link of this website.

PJ-Q3: Are we running FRS and Workday in parallel at Go-Live?

A3: No.  Because of the changes in terminology as well as the connection of the interfaces into Workday, it is not feasible to run both systems in parallel.

PJ-Q4: What is the timeline for implementing Workday software?

A4: Phase I of the Workday project will begin with four main sections: General Ledger, a new Chart of Accounts (COA), Accounts Payable, and Grants Accounting.  These will be part of the July 1, 2014 Go-Live.  Phase II will include additional finance business processes still to be determined and is tentatively scheduled for a release prior to July 1, 2015.

PJ-Q5: Are other universities and medical centers adopting Workday?

A5: Yes.  As a matter of fact, the University of Rochester is a member of the Workday University Advisory group with other universities, namely Brown University and Georgetown University.  The advisory group collectively works with Workday to provide enhancement requirements for needed functionality.

PJ-Q6: Who will be participating in the business design review sessions?

A6: Representatives from University divisions and affiliates are participating in the business process workshops.  These attendees will be providing input into the design of each “future state” process flow.  Additional subject matter experts will be involved in the process providing valuable suggestions/recommendations for the creation of Workday processes.

PJ-Q7: Is Workday connected to other recent and upcoming changes (ICD-10, eRecords, etc.)?

A7: The University of Rochester is dedicated to keeping current with technological advances and opportunities with sustainability and risk mitigation as stabilizing factors of growth.  The eRecords implementation successfully upgraded the medical information practices of the University Community while ICD-10 will assist with medical coding and definitions.  Those two initiatives are examples of the University’s commitment to quality service.  Workday is another step forward by the University to install forward-thinking technology while retaining business effectiveness.  It’s a great example of the University caring about its entire community: internal employees and external suppliers, vendors and business partners.





TC-Q1: What would be involved in becoming a Workday user?

A1: We are in the process of determining the user base for Workday.  At the very least, most FRS and COGNOS users will be users in Workday.  Depending on potential new functionality that may be implemented, additional users may need to be identified.

TC-Q2: How will users receive Workday training?

A2: There will be a wide variety of training forums for all levels of users.  Communications from the project team will detail the methods of training and all users will be informed of the availability and delivery of training.

TC-Q3: Where can I find out more about Workday?

A3: You can always reach out to the project team for assistance via the “Contact Us” section of this site.  Additionally, the Workday website (http://workday.com) has numerous demonstrations and various types of information depending upon your needs or the nature of your question.

TC-Q4: What is a Demo Day?

A4: Demo Days are presentations given by the UR Financials project team where University and Medical Center community members are given live demonstrations of Workday.  This event allows for real-time feedback with the project team and a peek at the functionality of Workday as shown by team members.

TC-Q5: What if I cannot personally attend a Demo Day?

A5: The UR Financials project team has scheduled WebEx (video conferencing) for the Demo Days.  If you’d like more information on attending these presentations via WebEx, please submit your request using the “Contact Us” tab.

If you cannot attend personally or cannot view the WebEx, feel free to ask questions via the “Contact Us” tab and/or check back to the site for news and announcements.  Any PowerPoint presentations shown at the Demo Days will be posted in the “Resources” portion of this site.

TC-Q6: Are the previous webinars archived?

A6: The previous demo day materials are archived on the UR Financials website; but the webinars are not recorded.

TC-Q7: Will Departmental staff be shown things in the Demo Days that the staff will ultimately not do in the future?

A7: Yes.  The point of the Demonstrations is to educate all Workday impacted personnel with what Workday has the general ability to do but not what it, with 100% certainty, will be doing in the future.  These decisions need to be vetted with all impacted areas at a high level.  Demonstrations will continue to show examples of functionality for the purposes of general knowledge of the University community.  Specifics regarding how Workday will work will be dependent on assigned Security Roles and configuration decisions which are still being worked on.  More specific training will be available prior to system replacement.

TC-Q8: Can we have a shuttle from the Medical Center to Demo Days?

A8: We are now offering three identical sessions for each Demo Day.  These sessions are conveniently located at the Alumni & Advancement Center, River Campus and Medical Center.

TC-Q9: How are fields that require data entry being identified?

A9: These fields will be accompanied by a red asterisk.  If the user attempts to proceed without entering the required data, a window will appear that details the necessary data fields.

TC-Q10: Can I contribute my ideas or voice my concerns regarding Workday?

A10: Yes.  We invite members of the University and Medical Center community to make suggestions, share ideas and voice their concerns to the project team.  All feedback will be given careful consideration; however, there should not be an expectation and there is no guarantee that any given suggestion or comment will be adopted into production of Workday.  Throughout the implementation and operation of Workday, the project team will be holding business process design reviews.  These will be a series of working sessions with functional representatives to design future processes.  As a starting point, the team will leverage existing “current state” information, where available, to highlight pain points in the process and key improvement opportunities.  During the working sessions, the project team will present drafted “future state” process flows to attendees.  All participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, challenge ideas and make suggestions on how the draft flows can be improved.  Outputs from the design review sessions will provide the basis of working documents needed for the system configuration workshops.




I-Q1: Will historical data be available?

A1: A limited amount of FRS data will be converted into Workday.  Data beyond the initial implementation will still be available through the Data Warehouse.  The intent is to convert the following data at Go-Live:

  • Journal Entries -  anticipated to be available for one year (FY14)
  • A/P Invoices – for open items at the time of Go-Live
  • Grants, Awards and Funds – from the beginning of the project to the Go-Live for open projects
I-Q2: Why isn’t all historical data being migrated into Workday? Why is separate information being kept in COGNOS?

A2: Many of the data fields of FRS do not map directly to those in Workday.  Additionally, the approach to data calculation and maintenance differs significantly between the two systems, making the complete migration of data from FRS to Workday impractical.  After reviewing expressed needs from users, it was deemed appropriate to rely on the current business intelligence tool (COGNOS) to allow users to look into pre-migration data.  On a going-forward basis, more data points will be available on Workday.

I-Q3: Will OnBase be going away?

A3: No, OnBase will still be used for scanning documents.

PC-Q1: Is FRS going away?

A1: Yes.  FRS has been in operation at the University of Rochester for over 40 years and is based on aged technology.  The skills to run and manage the application are scarce.  It is also becoming more and more distant to what is needed as the University and Medical Center move forward.  Workday offers an efficient, manageable and modern method to replace and improve the functions of FRS.

PC-Q2: Will the Chart of Accounts (COA) be changing?

A2: Yes.  Workday has different fields for the Chart of Accounts than what users experienced with FRS.  Enhancing the Chart of Accounts and using native Workday fields provides additional flexibility and renders improved reporting and analytic results.

PC-Q3: What changes will impact me, personally?

A3: In general, Workday provides an interactive and intuitive software tool to complete current business transactions and improve process and workflow.  Specifically, changes will be dependent upon an individual’s roles, customized to the business needs of job activities and the relationships to business functions.

PC-Q4: Is it possible to receive a complete explanation of options for each step of the business process?

A4: Yes.  Over the coming year, documentation and training applications will be created that cover all of Workday’s business processes.  The overall goal is to develop and publish thorough yet efficient documentation with online, on-demand, step-by-step instructions readily available.

PC-Q5: Can Workday accommodate the attachment of supporting documentation for transactions/requests?

A5: Yes.  Business processes that require attachments will be designed to allow the uploading of documentation.

PC-Q6: Will Workday affect the Medical Center and River Campus equally?

A6: Workday is the financial replacement system for FRS.  This will affect all FRS users by utilizing one platform with uniform account numbers and terminology across the system.

PC-Q7: Can you delegate approval?

A7: Yes, Approvals can be Delegated to another Workday user.  This can primarily occur two ways in Workday.  If this is for one specific Task, Workday calls this a “Delegate Task” Related Action and the Task would then be passed to another user once complete.  If this is for multiple instances for a period of time (Say someone is on vacation) Workday can temporarily Delegate a series of tasks.  This assumes that the Business Process is configured to allow Delegation and assumes that each user has the appropriate level of security defined by the Security Role.

PC-Q8: What will happen if a person is out sick and has not had the chance to Delegate tasks to an Assignee?

A8: Workday allows Workday Administrators and other authorized users to view and manage user’s Delegation Settings in their absence.

PC-Q9: Are Business Processes configurable/customizable?

A9: Yes, Business Processes are configurable based on the business requirements for the institution as a whole.  Standardized Business Processes for Tasks such as invoice processing and others will be the future goal.

PC-Q10: Can you have multiple approvers?

A10: Yes, multiple approvers are a feature of Workday.  Approvals can either occur in parallel or sequential meaning a single step in the Business Process can be completed by many users (Parallel) or one after the other (Sequential).  Business Processes will be configured to fulfill the requirements of the University as a whole.

PC-Q11: How will the cycle time be affected by additional steps in the Business Process?

A11: With each approval in the Business Process, additional cycle time is required before the Action completes the Business Process.

PC-Q12: What are the possible Actions that can be accomplished after the initiator creates a Workday Task (such as the creation of an invoice) awaiting approval?

A12: Different Actions can be accomplished dependent on how the specific step in the Business Process is configured.  There are many Actions that can be taken in a Business Process.  The following is specific to Business Processes configured to include an Approval step only.
(1) Approve – Previous step in the Business Process is verified as valid and the Business Process continues onto the next step
(2) Deny – Ends the Business Process
(3) Send Back – The current Business Process step can be pushed back to a prior step in the Business Process

PC-Q13: Will historical paper invoices be uploaded into Workday?

A13: No historical invoices will be loaded into Workday.  Cognos will remain for historical transaction level information.  OnBase Doc Viewer will also be accessible for historical transactions.

PC-Q14: If a user is splitting invoice payment across multiple departments, will each part go to different approvers?

A14: Yes, each invoice line can be routed dependent on how the Business Process is defined.  It has not been decided yet how multiple department transactions will be handled.

PC-Q15: Is the initiator the only one that can make corrections?

A15: No, the Business Process is configurable to allow correction by other users. Specifically, a Review step would allow for this type of Action.  A Review step allows users to Edit the Submission as well as Approve, Deny, or Send Back.  This is opposed to a Approval step where Edit is not an option.  Business Processes will be configured to fulfill the requirements of the University as a whole.

PC-Q16: How will 312 REQs filled out for POs be handled with Workday?

A16: PMM is out of scope for the project so all 312 requisitioning procedures for procurement of items will remain the same.  PMM will be integrated with Workday just as it is integrated with FRS today.

PC-Q17: How will Employee Expense Reports (T&Cs) be handled with Workday?

A17: HRMS is out of scope for the project so all Employee Expense Report procedures will remain the same.  HRMS will be integrated with Workday just as it is integrated with FRS today.

PC-Q18: Is there a communication of when an action such as an approval is needed or do you have to stay logged on at all times?

A18: Workday can communicate with users through email when action items hit their Workfeed.  The approver would need to then sign directly into Workday to actually facilitate the approval.  However, Workday does have an app for mobile devices that allows approvals to occur remotely.

PC-Q19: When creating an invoice and you notice a mistake, can you retrieve it?

A19: The initiator can make amendments to a Submission.  There is a “Change” Related Action that the initiator can use after Submission.  Technically speaking, this Cancels/Withdraws the first Submission and Creates a new Submission simultaneously with the click of a button.  An Audit Trail is still recorded for Cancel Actions.

PC-Q20: How long will it take to get payments out?

A20: The electronic routing of approvals will save time due to the elimination of intermural mail transit.  It has not been quantified as how much actual time savings will be captured.

PC-Q21: Is there some guideline as to how long paper documents are kept at the department?

A21: Documentation supporting financial transactions must be kept for 7
years.  If supporting documentation is attached to a Workday transaction
or available from OnBase, electronically stored centrally, then the department
does not need to keep an additional copy, paper or electronic, in the
department.  However, if there is other supporting documentation such as
correspondence or contracts that are not part of the centrally stored
documentation associated with the financial transaction, then the department
should keep that additional documentation for 7 years.  Keep in mind that
some invoices are not stored centrally because the department is responsible
for all supporting documentation – for example, Pcard and Supplier On-Line
Order (SOLO) transactions.   If your financial transactions have a
longer time period for reporting/auditing, for example for external support or
granting agencies, then the department is responsible for retaining all
supporting documentation for those financial transactions knowing that Central
Finance will only be retaining the documentation in their possession for 7

PC-Q22: Are subcodes going to be standardized or will we be able to create our own? With getting rid of the 4th digit of subcodes, can a department create new subcodes?

A22: With the move to Workday, we will be standardizing FRS subcodes (called Spend Category, Revenue Category and Ledger Accounts in Workday) and eliminating the fourth digit. This is consistent with leading practices for modern financial systems and prevents misalignment between responsibility and expense purpose. We understand that subcodes are used for different purposes and are therefore providing some alternative options for users. Please refer to the Hot Topic on this subject for more details.

PC-Q23: Will Batch Prefixes (e.g., ORA, BUG) be going away in Workday?

A23: Some FRS Legacy Batch Prefixes will not be needed for entries made directly in Workday since there will be a detailed Audit Trail.  Specifically, within the Business Process History, users can drill down to see initiation details (who, what, when).   For additional details, please reference the Demo Days presentation slides on this site located on the Resources page below “Demo Days Presentations” select the “UR Financials – Demo Days April 17, 2013″ presentation slides.  However, there will still be a Journal Source for entries made outside of Workday.  These entries will be fed into Workday through a batch feed (integration).  This Journal Source will indicate where the transaction originated from.

PC-Q24: When a grant is involved, can we build approvals for PIs?

A24: Approvals can be built for Grants.  We will be soliciting input as to what the appropriate approval level will be.

PC-Q25: How are invoices linked to a PO?

A25: The actual linkage of invoices to POs occurs inside of PMM.  This information will then be fed into Workday daily.  Workday will show the PO # for each transaction in Workday just as FRS shows a PO # for each transaction in FRS today.

PC-Q26: Can backup of documents be attached and scanned?

A26: Yes, documents can be scanned and attached to Workday transactions.

PC-Q27: Are 312 Requisitions going away?

A27: 312 Requisition forms today are used for multiple purposes.  The UR Financials project will have unique use forms.  The 312 Requisition form will most likely be renamed to “Purchase Requisition Form” which will be its sole purpose.  A new Journal Entry Form” will be used for all journal entries.

PC-Q28: What about Journal Entries for Ledger 5s?

A28: Journal Entries can still be used for grant related entries (ledger 5s), and will be routed for approval as appropriate.

PC-Q29: Can an initiator be an approver?

A29: Not for the same transaction.  An initiator requires an approval by some other individual.

PC-Q30: Would the approval process be the same if the company is different for the debit and credit?

A30: Each journal line will be routed to the appropriate approver.  If there are multiple journal lines with different companies listed, each journal line will be routed to the appropriate approver.

PC-Q31: Can a company initiate a journal entry for a different company?

A31: An individual can only initiate for companies that they have authority to do so.  If they have access to multiple companies, they can initiate for those companies.