Modernization of Financial Reporting (MFR) Project Update

October 12, 2017

MFR “By the Numbers” – September 2017

  • 757: Number of distinct users that ran financial dashboards in OBI (~200 more than August!)
  • 35,689: Number of distinct requests made using the financial dashboards, almost half of which were made of the “Transaction Listing All” dashboard (14,226 requests).
  • 334: Number of individuals registered for the Introduction to OBI Financial Dashboard training
  • 750: Number of users who have completed training
  • 50%: Percentage of target audience who is trained on OBI.  If you are one of the other 50%, register for OBI training today!

CREW Decommissioning Update: New Decommission Date is December 15

The Modernization of Financial Reporting (MFR) Project Team has been working diligently with business leadership in the schools (specifically, the Financial Deans), its partners within the Data Management Services team and HUIT to improve the quality of the OBIEE (OBI) dashboards.  Through that process, project leadership has decided to set an updated CREW decommission date of December 15, 2017.  This grants the schools and units sufficient time for training on, and testing of, the dashboards and will allow the Project Team enough time to ensure that the showstopper needs are met. 

Until December 15, financial reports will be available in both CREW and OBI.  As of December 15, OBI will serve as the primary source for financial reporting.  Dashboard Update: Transaction Listing with Balance Forward

The Project Team successfully implemented an off-cycle release on Friday, September 15.  This release significantly improved the performance of the Transaction Listing with Balance Forward All and Transaction Listing with Balance Forward Summary Comp dashboards.  Since this release 97.5% of all dashboards have rendered results in 1 minute or less!

While the subtotal functionality was removed to ensure better performance, users can still add a subtotal in this dashboard using other existing OBI functionality.  Users should simply right-click on the column they want to see the subtotal on and select Move Column to Sections.  This groups information in that column together and provides a total for each section.  For example, if you right-click on Object Code and select Move Column to Sections, it will group all transactions with the same object code together and provide a total for each object code.

Dashboard Update: Journals General

The September release saw the addition of two new pages to the dashboard entitled Tub Correlated Journals and Org Correlated Journals.  (Users have either Tub or Org access, so will either see the Tub and Tub Correlated Journals pages or the Org and Org Correlated Journals pages depending on their access.)  These new dashboard pages allow the user to enter any chart of account segments into the prompts without the results being limited to those specific chart of accounts.  For example, if a user enters object code 7670 (Foreign Travel- General) into the prompt, and they have a journal with a transaction to object code 7670 and to 7650, both lines will return in the results.  This new functionality mirrors that of the CREW Journals General report.

TLX Macro

A new tool has been created, called the TLX Macro, and is now available on the Job Aids wiki page.  The TLX Macro is an Excel Macro that is compatible with all 3 Transaction Listing and both Transaction Listing with Balance Forward dashboards.  Users can export the results in .CSV format from those dashboards, and import them into the TLX Macro for easier review and analysis of transactions.  Built into the macro is functionality that will also aid in the creation of manual journals when transactions need to be journaled to a different account string.  Instructions and FAQs are provided on the Job Aids wiki page as well.

Each school will choose how to roll-out the TLX Macro to its OBI users.  Please contact your Local Implementation Manager for information.

October Monthly Release

The next OBI release will begin on Friday, October 20th at 8pm.  The release will occur over the span of 2 weekends, during which time systems will be unavailable.  All changes will be implemented and the release complete by 7am on Monday, October 30th.  Please see the OBI Release Notes wiki page for details of dashboard changes.

  • Friday, October 20th, 8pm through Monday, October 23rd  9am:
    • OBI, CREW and Interactive Reporting (BRIO) will be unavailable during this time.
    • Corrections to data attributes for the 3 Transaction Listing and 2 Transaction Listing with Balance Forward dashboards will be implemented for FY10 through FY18.
  • Monday, October 23rd  9am through Friday, October 27th, 6pm: the systems will be available for use
  • Friday, October 27th, 6pm through Monday, October 30th 9am:
    • OBI, CREW and Interactive Reporting (BRIO) will be unavailable during this time.
    • Corrections to data attributes for the 3 Transaction Listing and 2 Transaction Listing with Balance Forward dashboards will be implemented for all remaining years back to July 1999.
    • All remaining dashboard changes will be implemented at this time.

The next monthly Sprint Review will be on Wednesday, 11/1 from 10:30am-11:00am and will be open to all CREW and OBI users.  Users can join the Sprint Review WebEx by clicking this link and by calling 866-890-3820, with a participant passcode of 29534685#.

Financial Dashboards Instructor Led Training

The MFR Project Team continues to deliver Instructor Led Training (ILT) on the OBI Financials dashboards to schools and departments.  Users can view availability of training sessions through the Harvard Training Portal or the OBI Training CalendarSchool-specific training sessions will run through October 31 with university-wide trainings available in November and December.  The Project Team recommends attending training as soon as possible to ensure users are prepared for when CREW is no longer available (November 1st).

Webinar Update

The project team has been conducting weekly webinars for each of the financial dashboards as a resource for users to learn more about the new dashboards.  These webinars are the main source of training for those dashboards not covered in ILT.  More information on the webinars can be found on the OBI Training Calendar.  Key dates and topics for upcoming webinars are as follows:

  • Thursday, October 19, 10am: Trial Balance (replaces the following CREW reports: Trial Balance- Summary 2, TB – Detail, TB – Expanded)
  • Thursday, October 26, 10am: Budget & Actuals Comparison (replaces the following CREW reports: Budget Variance Report, Monthly and FYTD Budg Analysis, Budget History Report, Budget Data Dump, and Budget Report by Fund Type)
  • Thursday, November 2, 10am: Fund Management (replaces the following CREW reports: FGUUBR, Loan Funds Summary, and Fund Summary Report)
  • Thursday, November 9, 10am: GL Account Monitoring (replaces the following CREW reports: Treas. Rpt – All Moneys, Treas. Rpt – Fund Type, Summary Actuals Report, and Summaries Actual and Bud)

Additional Resources

MFR Project Questions

If you have questions about the MFR Project, please visit the MFR Wiki or reach out to your Local Implementation Manager.