BASIS II Project Summary
April 16, 1992
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
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:
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:
||Agriculture Experiment Station
||Accounts Payable walk-through
|2/04 & 05
|2/12 & 14
||Vendor data requirements
||Research Accounting walk-through
|3/02, 04 & 11
||Available funds checking
||Credit memo processing
||Functions of the voucher examiner
||New concepts for voucher processing
|3/26 & 27
||Cooperative Extension Service
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
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.
- A departmental representative signs on to the mainframe,
accesses the BASIS II application, and builds
- A transaction is initiated indicating that the requisition is
complete and ready to be reviewed.
- 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.
- The requisition is similarly presented for approval
to any other reviewers as defined within TARGET.
- After all approvals have been obtained, the requisition
is immediately placed
in Purchasing's "work queue" where a buyer will review
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.
- 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
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- The system generates the necessary checks and vouchers in
the sequence needed for subsequent packaging and processing.
- Payments not requiring Little Rock approval are immediately mailed
Vouchers requiring approval from Little Rock are sent via courier.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Data will be entered at its source and will only need to be keyed
- Approvals will be obtained electronically, eliminating handling
delays and paper.
- Extensive inquiry capabilities will be built into the system
requisitions, purchase orders, receiving reports, invoices,
vouchers, and checks to be selected by any common attribute.
- Existing requisitions may be referenced
and copied to build the base for new requisitions.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Presenting the BASIS II concepts to a broad university audience
in order to obtain feedback and support.
- Develop a system overview including a high level definition
- Analyze the systems data requirements, build data models and
define data elements within our data dictionary.
- Address, in detail, issues that have been raised during initial
discussions and develop solutions.
- Develop detail functional specifications for TARGET.
- Develop the models and framework for application processes
including the unique needs of TARGET.
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.