Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: Moving Finance into the Cloud
Year Submitted 2017
Person(s) Responsible for the Idea
Name / Nom Title / Titre
Bryan Boles AVP, Finance
Josh Sekel Senior Project Manager, Finance
Name of Institution Brock University
Office Address 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
St. Catharines, Ontario l2s 3a1
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Telephone: 9056885550
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.
Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Bryan Boles
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Associate Vice President, Finance
Office Address 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
St. Catharines, Ontario l2s 3a1
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Telephone: 9056885550
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.
Abstract

On October 27th, 2015, Brock University broke new ground in the Canadian University landscape by signing a contract with Workday to implement their financial package.  This project involved the replacement of a 30 year old homegrown system that was both unsupported and missing key functionality required in a modern University environment.  The move to Workday allowed for Brock University to provide a modern, user freindly, and fully supported finance system for its faculty and staff.  Now Brock employees have realtime access to key information on personal and departmental accounts, can enter expense reports from a mobile device anywhere in the world, and have full visibility into the progress of their transactions in the system.

A core team from the finance office, along with a team from Deloitte did what many said was impossible and delivered a cutting edge Finance ERP system in 6 months by going live on schedule on May 1st, 2016.  This implementation was fully integrated with our banking partnenrs and key systems on campus aloowing for automatic expense card transaction imports and automatic user population from our HR systems.  

Since signing our contract on October 27th, Brock University has also signed with Workday to implement thier HCM software, and we are excited to see many of our collegues accross Canada are also choosing to join us in this exciting journey.

Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.
Transferability

Moving to a true cloud (SaaS) platform provides an oportunity for any Canadian college or university to control costs around their ERP systems.  All Canadian Higher Education institutions are currently under budget constraints.  Moving to a cloud platform provides the opportunity to provide forcastability, and contain costs associated with their ERP systems.  

Many of our collegues are struggling with finding budget dollars to simply upgrade to the current versions of their ERP packages due to the complexity involved with the process because of customization.  Due to this cost and complexity, many institutions are forced to remain at their current software versions as they simply cannot afford to move forward.  Moving to a cloud platform eliminates this risk as the very nature of the cloud does not allow for you to customize the code behind the product, instead you are allowed to configure the software to meet your needs, while maintaining the ability to upgrade regularly.  

Brock University now benefits from knowing that they will always have the best functionality and capabilities that will keep pace with our rapidly changing world.

Quality Impact

Brock University now has the ability to provide answers to questions that couldn't be answered in the past.  If a department want to kow how much money they are spending on travel, all it takes os a few seconds and a couple of clicks and the answer is theirs.  This level of data availability and transparency lets Brock make more informed decsions about how to move forward with key decisions in a timely manner.

Productivity Impact

Brock University's new Workday Finance implementation has provided users, both in finance and accross campus with a modern toolset that allows them to perform their daily tasks in a user friendly, realtime environment.

The mobile application allows users to view their account balances, electronically capture receipts when they are presented, create and submit expense reports and approve transactions from abroad.  

The realtime nature of the data provides the University with the data it needs when it needs it, oftentimes, an question can be answered on the spot, intead of waiting for a report to be run.

 

Innovation

Brock University balzed the trail of moving to the cloud, providing others a traveled path to follow.  Our end users now benefit from a modern, easy to use, platform that allows them to perform their duties from anywhere they have an internet connection.  Brock University has taken advantage of the flexibility of the modern platform by developing a trimester reporting period that now allows us to report based on our teaching semesters.  A completely redesigned financial data model (chart of accounts), allows for a multi dimensional view of Brock's financial activities that provides the ability to take a single report, and view it accross any of these dimensions creating countless views of the data, answering questions that were unaswerable in the past.