BASIS Steering committee
W. David Wimberly
Colleen Briney, Jim Isch, David Keith,
and Bill Overby
Computing Services BASIS December/January Status
The BASIS Steering Committee has been extremely active during this period and there has been a great deal of emphasis put on the project by Vice Chancellor Isch. This increased priority for BASIS and the structural changes in the project organization that are forthcoming show the support necessary for an effort of this magnitude. Computing Services looks forward to the new BASIS and its team concept, and is committed to the success of this project.
Other general activities during this period included assisting with training for Kay Dickens and Karen Grigsby from COEX, participation in the investigation of MICR check printing alternatives, and the initiation of steps to get network printers defined to the mainframe so that BASIS applications can direct output to those printers.
This subsystem went to production to support 1994 1099 reporting. The vendor file was used as the repository for vendor names and addresses for that purpose. That was thought to be as far as the BASIS relationship would go. However, a great deal of Paul Bixby's time during this period was absorbed by the development of online and batch programs to facilitate the preparation of data for 1099 reporting. Hopefully these same programs will have some value next year and this experience will aid us in the design of this component of BASIS.
The Travel Authorization function seems to dominate this entire subsystem and has continued to absorb most of our energy. During this period the following activities were done with the TA:
In addition to development activities, we have been experiencing time out errors when using the TA function and had a great deal of difficulty isolating the cause of these errors. We were finally able to determine that these are being caused by Natural and not our programs. This has been reported to Software AG and we are hoping they will provide a fix soon.
Other Travel support functions that have been developed include:
A significant amount of time has been spent designing and hashing out definitions for the Invoice, Invoice Line, and Payment files. Receiving information has also been folded into this effort since the latest thinking is to store this data on the Invoice Line file. The rational is that the acknowledgement of receipt is the approval to pay an invoice line, and therefore these two must come together anyway. These files are needed to support processing of travel claims and invoices against travel related POs.
Remaining development tasks include developing facilities to manipulate in process POs, writing all travel advance processing functions (an online override for advance information, generating checks, interfacing with MSA, and producing reports), writing travel claim and travel invoice functions and batch MSA interfaces, completing some additional list functions, and developing MSA transactions to represent the encumbrances at end of month.
Most of the online components of this application are now in place. The major exception is a time entry facility for hourly appointed employees which is currently in design and development. The following are new functions which were added during this reporting period.
In addition to these new functions there were numerous fixes and enhancements applied: a comment field was added to W4 and a decode provided for the tax methods, edits were added to ensure that the work study cost center is used correctly, defaults were added to the BLOCk function and the screen was redesigned to facilitate data entry, the default effective dates were removed from Wage Rate while the ability to default the work study cost center for work study wage rates was added, and corrections were made to the automatic maintenance of employment location information (data describing where an employee is working based upon his active wage rates).
Development is now focused on the processing for hourly appointed employees and the hidden batch interfaces with MSA. Subsequent efforts will be required to enhance the overtime routine to make special provisions for appointed employees; address major modifications to Leave Accounting including its use of the Employee file, modified extra time processing for appointed employees, and special enhancements for the Cooperative Extension Service; develop an MSA Payroll system built with the same test population as BASIS; add a SAFARI interface for determining the student status of hourly employees; develop an employee time consolidation function to aggregate and display all time reported for a period; and develop a function for recording hours worked at other state agencies. The goal is to have all components in place for end user training by the end of March and production use by July.
A great deal of time was spent during this period working out the details for the accounting entries to be generated as a result of various Labor activities. In doing this two very positive developments occurred involving COEX: it was determined that they could charge back a fringe benefit percentage instead of actuals (like the rest of the University) and the proportion of fringe benefits attributable to County earnings could be assigned to a fixed company cost center. The only remaining complication now involves certain federal funds for which the maximum charge back for retirement is 5%. This rule applies to any formula funds which we hope will translate to only selected "companies" within our chart of accounts. Since our standard 21% fringe benefit rate for professional employees is made up of 8% from retirement, this rate cannot be used. The percent fringe benefit for these formula funds will have to be limited to 18% and that creates a need to account for the other 3%. This accounting could get very complicated when retroactive changes are done to move to and from formula funds. Methods to accommodate this requirement are still being discussed.
The basic online components of the system were also developed during this period and are are now available in DEMO. These include a bare bones Payroll Distribution (PD) function and the following lists:
|LLDE||List Labor Data for an Employee|
|LEOC||List Employees Originally paid from a Cost center|
|LLEC||List Labor data for and Employee for a Cost center|
|LEC||List Employees paid from a Cost center|
|LRAN||List Retroactive Adjustments by Number|
|LTPR||List Transactions Pending Review|
Many development activities remain to be done. Additional edits and features such as forced balancing, a de-code window, A21 certification, and an extended description still need to be added to PD. File changes will most likely be required to support the special fringe benefit rate for formula funds. Other online functions will include facilities for changing FTE percentages and title codes, predefining special compensation periods, spliting an earnings record into two parts to permit the definition of separate compensation periods, a list to monitor use of predefined compensation periods, and maintenance routines for system control information. Primary batch developments remaining are to generate the necessary accounting entries for GL and to develop the necessary supporting reports and data extracts.
A problem was discovered in the Monthly Balance adjustment process. Once a person eligible for extra time was processed, the system considered all subsequent employees processed to also be eligible for extra time. This was a problem we experienced in other functions last year and we thought we had already corrected. The result of the problem was that some individuals were given comp time for holidays when they should not have been. Reports were written to identify individuals potentially affected and Human Resources has been working to correct their leave balances. The program has been fixed and is residing on DEMO pending approval of other TARGET function changes.
Cooperative Extension Service is now comfortable with the Leave application and plans are being made for them to be brought into the system. This will probably occur in April or May and be done without some of the special system changes being in place for their unique needs. The most significant item is a separate catastrophic leave pool, but this should be able to be maintained by hand with little difficulty.
The basic plan continues to be to make major changes to the Leave system as soon as all pieces of the HRLY-TS application are in place. These changes will include use the Employee file, restrict leave reporting for hourly appointed, restrict Extra Time reporting to only appointed employees and integrate this data with the HRLY-TS data, and make the necessary changes for COEX.
The Journal Entry Maintenance function (JEM) has been modified to not require a balanced document total in order to be saved. Instead, this requirement and validation is now done at the time the document is submitted (JETP). This change will make it easier to enter documents with a large number of lines by allowing the user to periodically save what has been entered prior to the complete entry of the document.
All GJIM TARGET processes were also modified to use the new program models. The only significant difference is in the IITP function which now retains the original account numbers that existed at the time the document was submitted for approval. All of these changes have been moved to DEMO and are pending user approval before being implemented in production.
Assistance was also provided in setting up Research Accounting to use the facilities for loading JEs in batch.
There has been no activity involving this application.
The changes in TARGET processing to retain the "old" values that exist at the time an update transaction is created have been implemented in our program generation macros. All TARGET processes have been regenerated to use these new models and are currently on DEMO awaiting user approval to move to production. In production there are currently 5 TARGET functions in GJIM, 2 in Leave, and 1 in UPS.
There were several minor enhancements, fixes, and consistency changes made to practically all program models. These mostly dealt with the proper handling of our equivalent values used for input of dates, social security numbers, and vendor IDs. The NSM-MS and TARGET applications were completely regenerated to implement these changes, although these latest versions have not yet been moved into production.
Please feel free to raise any questions or concerns prompted by this