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Financial Planning & Analysis

 

Finance

Number of Manual Journal Entry Lines           

       Number of Manual Journal Entry Lines

  • Fiscal year-to-year comparison.
  • Beginning June 2016, there was a reduction of several thousand JE lines due to Facilities reducing volume from their department.
  • Since the elimination of cross charges, there has been a reduction of several thousand JE lines.
  • The spike in volume that occurs in May of each year is due to fiscal year end journal entries.
  • Goal: To reduce the number of manual journal entries processed.

Average Days Between Invoice Date and Receipt of Invoice in A/P      

       Average Days Between Invoice Date and Receipt of Invoice in A/P

  • Fiscal year-to-year comparison.
  • May 2018 totals were adjusted to filter out reissued unclaimed property payments from 2015-2017.
  • In the first quarter of FY 2017, the Accounts Payable department initiated testing, on a limited test group, an initiative whereby vendor invoices are received centrally to Accounts Payable, at which point an electronic approval workflow is initiated. The goal of this initiative is to shorten the period during which an invoice makes its way through various coding/approval channels before arriving in A/P for processing and payment. With the electronic approval mechanism that this workflow provides, approvers can view and approve invoices on their mobile device and forward on to the next approver in the workflow and so forth, until the approved invoice arrives, in electronic form, to A/P for processing.
  • As of April 2017, centralized receipt of invoices was implemented for all academic areas.
  • In December 2017, there were several vendors who submitted batches of invoices with dates that went back as early as March of the same year. It was not clear if these invoices were held at the various departments or if the vendors resubmitted them for payment.
  • Goal: To reduce the number of days between invoice date and receipt of invoice in A/P.

 

 


 Average Days Between Receipt of Invoice in A/P and Date Entered   

 

       Average Days Between Receipt of Invoice in A/P and Date Entered

  • Fiscal year-to-year comparison.
  • Goal: To reduce the number of days between receipt of invoice in A/P and date invoice entered into system

 Average Days Between Invoice Date and Payment Date    

       Average Days Between Invoice Entered in A/P and Payment Date

  • Fiscal year-to-year comparison.
  • Beginning on December 5th, 2017, the A/P department started processing check runs Monday through Thursday, as opposed to only Monday and Wednesday, which was the previous practice.
  • Beginning on January 9th, 2017, the A/P department started processing check runs Monday through Friday. As a consequence, this metric will likely show an increase in the average number of days due to a large percentage of invoices being entered well before their due dates. However, the benefit of more frequent check runs is that invoices that are received in A/P with immediate due dates will be paid in a much more promptly – effectively 4 days sooner than under the previous schedule in some cases.
  • Goal: To optimize the number of days between invoice entered in A/P and payment date.

Average Days Between Invoice Date and Payment Date    

       Average Days Between Invoice Date and Payment Date

  • Fiscal year-to-year comparison.
  • In the first quarter of FY 2017, the Accounts Payable department initiated testing on an initiative whereby vendor invoices are received centrally to Accounts Payable, at which point an electronic approval workflow is initiated. The goal of this initiative is to shorten the period during which an invoice makes its way through various coding/approval channels before arriving in A/P for processing and payment. With the electronic approval mechanism that this workflow provides, approvers can view and approve invoices on their mobile device and forward on to the next approver in the workflow and so forth, until the approved invoice arrives, in electronic form, to A/P for processing.
  • In December 2017, there were several vendors who submitted batches of invoices with dates that went back as early as March of the same year. It was not clear if these invoices were held at the various departments or if the vendors resubmitted them for payment.
  • In December 2017, there was a high volume of unclaimed property that was reissued, which was a factor in the increase in average days.
  • Goal: Since most invoices have 30 day terms, an ideal average number of days for this metric is approximately 30.

Percentage of Vouchers with Purchase Orders   

       Percentage of Vouchers with Purchase Orders

  • Calculation is based on all regular vouchers greater than $5,000 and grants greater than $3,000.
  • As more and more vouchers have corresponding purchase orders, efficiency will rise due to the fact that incoming invoices will be processed without spending valuable time figuring out who ordered the products or services, obtaining approval and account coding.
  • Goal: To increase the percentage of vouchers with purchase orders.

Users with Journal Entry Capability 

       Users with Journal Entry Capability

  • Journal entry capability was removed from users in various phases, which did not occur at regular intervals. Therefore, the dates above do not follow a particular pattern.
  • Goal: To reduce the number of manual journal entries and to increase controls and data input accuracy and consistency.

 Student Accounts Payments Received Electronic vs. Cashering (Number of Payments) 

       Student Accounts Payments Received Electronic vs. Cashering (Number of Payments)

  • Electronic payments include online credit card, electronic check and wire transfer payments.
  • Cashiering payments include incoming paper checks and cash.
  • The processing of paper checks is very labor intensive, as such payments must be processed manually and bank deposits need to be prepared. By receiving electronic payments, this process is automated.
  • By minimizing manual processing associated with cashiering payments, staff is able to use time more effectively by focusing on providing service to students and working to collect outstanding student balances.
  • Goal: To increase the percentage of electronic payments.

 Student Account Refunds Electronic (ACH) vs Paper Checks     

       Student Account Refunds Electronic (ACH) vs Paper Checks

  • The Bursar’s Office started offering electronic refunds for student accounts beginning July 1, 2016.
  • Students are informed about the electronic refund process during their orientation session, which is conducted through Academic Advising, Registration, and Orientation (AARO).
  • Main benefits of using ACH payments:
    • (1)Cost savings: Cost per ACH is $0.95 and per paper check is $2.95.
    • (2)Time savings: Paper checks use up valuable time with lost checks, stop payments, re-issuing of lost checks, checks that are never cashed and have to eventually be voided, etc.
  • In Summer 2017, SMU transitioned to a new vendor for refund processing. Therefore, there was a drop in the percentage of electronic refunds during the Fall 2017 semester. It is expected that the percentage of electronic refunds will increase over time.
  • Goal: To achieve and maintain 75% ACH for all student refunds.