BASIS II Project Summary

April 16, 1992

Table of Contents

BASIS II Project Summary
  • Background
  • Activities
  • System concept
  • Features
  • Plans
  • Conclusion

  • BASIS II Project Summary

    This document provides an overview of the the BASIS II project. BASIS is an acronym standing for Business Administrative Strategic Information Systems.


    The university decided in early 1991 to replace the existing MSA financial and human resource systems with internally developed applications written in Natural using the ADABAS data manager. The BASIS I project is addressing the human resource and budgeting requirements. BASIS II is addressing other financial systems, with a target date of October 1993 for the implementation of new Requisition, Purchasing and Accounts Payable systems (only the first phase of BASIS II).

    The BASIS projects are directed by the BASIS Steering Committee composed of the following members: Gerry Bomotti, Gene Buckley, Dick Cottrill, Tom Dorre, David Holmes, David Martinson, Susan Unger David Wimberly, and Bob Zimmerman. The core project team for BASIS II is made up of Craig Brown, Donna Carter, Daniel Jones, Lana Hoskins, and William Rains from Purchasing; Colleen Briney, Lisa Danley, David Hyatt, and Tina Lester from Financial Affairs; and Paul Bixby, Kathryn Cantrell, Sandra Twiggs, and David Wimberly from Computing Services.


    The BASIS II project officially got under way January 29, 1992 with a kickoff meeting where ideas and concepts for the system were discussed and the scope of phase I defined. Since then the project team has been gathering information and requirements by interviewing offices which have significant responsibilities or special needs dealing with purchasing or invoice processing. Each of these meetings has been followed by a written summary of the meeting prepared by Computing Services and distributed for review and comment. The following meetings have been conducted:
    1/31 Agriculture Experiment Station
    2/03 Accounts Payable walk-through
    2/04 & 05 Purchasing walk-through
    2/06 Bookstore
    2/08 Library
    2/12 & 14 Vendor data requirements
    2/18 Departmental receiving
    2/26 Travel walk-through
    2/28 Research Accounting walk-through
    3/02, 04 & 11 Available funds checking
    3/09 Credit memo processing
    3/10 Functions of the voucher examiner
    3/12 Vouchering requirements
    3/13 New concepts for voucher processing
    3/24 Treasurer's office
    3/25 Physical Plant
    3/26 & 27 Cooperative Extension Service
    4/03 Dining Services

    System concept

    The general system concept for the BASIS applications is quite different from any existing university application. BASIS will rely on distributed access to the systems by all departments. Further, these applications will rely on management to use the system to review and approve electronic transactions initiated within the departments. Paper forms will be eliminated and information and data will immediately be available. This concept is dependent upon departments having mainframe access and individuals being security conscious and carrying out their responsibilities in a timely manner. These functions will be built around an application development approach named TARGET (Transaction Approval & Review Gateway via Electronic Transmission). TARGET has been documented separately from BASIS, but is required by both BASIS I and II.

    Application of this general concept with the current ideas for the BASIS II system can best be presented through the following simplified operational scenario.

    1. A departmental representative signs on to the mainframe, accesses the BASIS II application, and builds a requisition.

    2. A transaction is initiated indicating that the requisition is complete and ready to be reviewed.

    3. The requisition immediately shows up on a list available to the department head (or his proxy) indicating the requisition is waiting his or her approval.

    4. The requisition is similarly presented for approval to any other reviewers as defined within TARGET.

    5. After all approvals have been obtained, the requisition is immediately placed in Purchasing's "work queue" where a buyer will review the requisition. If all necessary information has been provided, the buyer will assign the vendor, perform other necessary coding, and turn the requisition into a purchase order. One copy of a physical PO is printed and sent to the vendor.

    6. A departmental representative may wonder what the status is of the requisition and sign on, inquire on the requisition number, see who approved the transaction, see that a PO was generated, and see the date and time each activity was performed.

    7. When the order arrives at the department, a representative records within the system the receipt of the merchandise via an electronic receiving report. This provides the necessary departmental approval for payment to the vendor (invoices will not have to be reviewed by the department).

    8. The Accounts Payable office receives the vendor invoice, identifies the PO to our system, verifies that the merchandise being invoiced has been received and not previously paid, and enters the invoice information for processing.

    9. The voucher examiner reviews the physical invoice and verifies all other data via the system. This includes the necessary purchase order and invoice coding, system assigned appropriation coding, and required attachments such as bid sheets.

    10. The system generates the necessary checks and vouchers in the sequence needed for subsequent packaging and processing.

    11. Payments not requiring Little Rock approval are immediately mailed to vendors. Vouchers requiring approval from Little Rock are sent via courier.

    12. A vendor calls inquiring about the status of his payment. The department or the central office can look-up the status of the invoice via the PO number or the vendor invoice number and relay appropriate information to the vendor.

    13. When approval is received for vouchers sent to Little Rock, the Treasurer mails the checks and records within the system the date the check was sent.

    14. When the check clears the bank, the date the vendors payment was processed by the bank is added to our records to create a complete audit trail going all the way back to the requisition.


    Some of the major features planned to be incorporated into BASIS II include:

    1. Data will be entered at its source and will only need to be keyed once.

    2. Approvals will be obtained electronically, eliminating handling delays and paper.

    3. Extensive inquiry capabilities will be built into the system allowing vendors, requisitions, purchase orders, receiving reports, invoices, vouchers, and checks to be selected by any common attribute.

    4. Existing requisitions may be referenced and copied to build the base for new requisitions.

    5. Requisitions may include multiple Company Cost Center distributions to be charged for the purchase. These distributions will carry over to the purchase order and the invoice.

    6. Available funds checking will be performed for selected cost centers and requisitions or purchase orders will not be accepted for processing if funds are not available.

    7. This application will be integrated with other mainframe systems. This means that data will be shared with these other systems via direct access to the appropriate master files, data will not have to be copied and attempted to be maintained in duplicate forms. For example, checks to employees for travel or to students for financial aid will use the names of those individuals accessed directly from the human resource and student systems.

    8. Vast improvements will be made with our vendor file. The search facilities will be greatly improved, multiple vendor names will be allowed, and multiple vendor addresses will be maintained.

    9. The vouchering and check production operation will be highly customized to support our very unique needs in this area.


    The immediate plans for the BASIS II project team include:


    Hopefully this document provids a brief update on, and insight into, the BASIS II project. Requests for additional information are welcome. Please feel free to direct requests, comments or provide further input directly to members of the BASIS II project team.