Up for BEN Financials
Financials, the comprehensive upgrade of FinMIS, is scheduled
for launch on January 2, 2002*. The
cutover to BEN Financials is to begin on December 19, to overlap
with the Winter Break and minimize disruption to operations. During
this time, the purchasing, payables, and general ledger functions
that FinMIS provides will be unavailable. However, other financial
systems like Payroll will be unaffected. When the cutover to BEN
Financials is complete, BEN Buys, BEN Pays, and BEN Balances--the
new versions of the FinMIS purchasing, payables, and general ledger
functions--will be in place, and FinMIS will no longer be operational.
Although the upgrade primarily affects current FinMIS users, it
will also affect many others indirectly. (For planning advice,
please see the sidebar at right.) We encourage all faculty and
staff to keep abreast of important dates and activities occurring
this semester to gear up for BEN Financials.
The web-based BEN Financials will offer many new and improved
capabilities to make it easier to conduct business at Penn. These
are some of the enhancements that build on what users already
fresh, graphical look and feel, making the system easier to
new features, such as the ability to export data shown on screen
in spreadsheet format to Excel, and
"grand opening" of the Penn Marketplace, the new electronic
commerce capability of BEN Buys. Users will be able to shop
for supplies, materials, and equipment from a collection of
electronic catalogs featuring tens of thousands of Penn-specific
items marketed by dozens of our leading suppliers, available
at contracted prices.
In line with the BEN Project's commitment to community readiness,
the Financial Training Department (FTD) has developed BEN Teaches,
a new training program featuring:
online prerequisite courses for BEN Buys and BEN Balances. The
prerequisites provide a thorough understanding of the business
processes that the applications support. Users can complete them
at their convenience through October 19.
classes tailored for BEN Financials responsibilities, taught by
trainers who know both the Penn environment and the applications.
Current users must complete classroom training by December 19
to access BEN Financials after the January 2 launch.
- Plenty of
hands-on exercises, both in class and to be done independently,
after attending class.
Teaches provides a comprehensive introduction to BEN Financials,
addressing procedures and policies as well as system navigation
and use. The combination of targeted classroom sessions with online
prerequisites and post-class practice sessions offers not only
convenience and flexibility, but minimizes time away from the
will be supported throughout the transition by BEN Helps Financial
Support Providers (FSPs), who will be among the first groups trained.
Users should dial 6-HELP (215-746-4357) for assistance.
Guide to BEN Teaches
To register for classroom training: www.finance.upenn.edu/ftd/registration.html.
complete the knowledge-building BEN Buys and BEN Balances prerequisites:
review desktop hardware and software requirements:
stay abreast of the latest news, updates, and FAQs: www.finance.upenn.edu/ben/benfin/.
The BEN Project Team wishes to acknowledge the invaluable contributions
of users and advisory groups to the development of BEN Financials
and appreciates everyone's cooperation throughout the various
stages of the project. We ask for your continued support this
semester, as your colleagues juggle their day-to-day responsibilities
while completing the required BEN Financials training.
you, and welcome back to a new academic year.
H. Beck, Vice President, Information Systems and Computing
B. Campbell, Comptroller
J. Masch, Vice President, Budget and Management Analysis
Michel, Director, Acquisition Services
Ahead for BEN Financials Upgrade
FinMIS will be unavailable beginning at 8 p.m. on December
19, 2001. On January 2, 2002, BEN Financials will be in
place, and FinMIS will no longer be operational. Faculty,
staff, and researchers may be affected by this scheduled
downtime, and we ask that you plan accordingly.
We encourage you to work earlier on grants that require
closing activities in December, because of a slightly shorter
than usual close-out period.
Please review your purchasing needs and issue required purchase
orders before December 19. The Procurement Credit Card can
be used for purchasing, where appropriate, while the system
Emergencies. The Acquisition Services staff will be available
on campus during the Winter Break to assist you with emergency
procurement; please contact the appropriate procurement
specialist for commodity-related assistance.
with your School or Center's BEN Representative if you have
The BEN Project Team appreciates your cooperation during
Scheduled release date is January 2, based on current understanding
of availability and performance of the software products from
the various vendors from whom we purchased applications. We have
every expectation that all software releases, testing and training
components of the upgrade will support this release date.
Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 2, September 4, 2001
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September 4, 2001
Volume 48 Number 2