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Research Newsletter Update 8/19

August 19, 2022

A report from Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Kurt Schnier:

Our team is nearing the end of the fiscal close process and working diligently to prepare the university for the upcoming year. One area where we have made significant improvements in maintaining data consistencies in the system for the upcoming year. We have established a process to conduct regular reconciliations to evaluate data consistency and this has been working well over the past month or so. This will pay dividends for supporting the research enterprise.

One area of increasing focus for our team is invoicing process. We are doing an internal assessment of this process as part of our restructuring of the Division of Finance and Administration and have uncovered a number of areas for improvement. I appreciate the team’s dedication to refining this process and ensuring it better serves the research community, as well as our partnership with your RAs in establishing our respective roles.

We have not provided any recent updates regarding the gift accounts many of you use to fund your research, but we are making progress on that reconciliation as well. Working with our partners in External Relations we have completed the conversion of existing projects from the project sub-ledger to the general ledger, provided locations for many of the projects that were co-mingled in the Oracle conversion process and addressed the budgets for our Regents endowment payouts. We now are in a position to work with External Relations to correct budget inaccuracies and establish separate budgets for the co-mingled projects. We intend to make progress on these efforts over the coming months.

All in all, our teams have worked exceptionally hard to prepare the university for a better start than last year and have made significant progress to improve the Oracle system and its ability to support UC Merced’s core functions. We still have work to do, but through our team’s efforts the university is in a far better place than it was a year ago. Moving forward, the main focus for our team will be on process improvements, streamlining workflows and improving reporting capacity. We look forward to working with you all to support this effort.