The Countdown Begins
Financials will go live on January 2, 2002, at 8 a.m., replacing
FinMIS, which will be no longer be available after December 19,
2001, at 8 p.m. Although the upgrade will directly affect those
of you who are FinMIS users, others may also be affected, especially
by the shutdown during Winter Break. This includes researchers whose
grants are closing, anyone planning year-end purchases, and faculty
and staff who want to access financial and grant information during
Winter Break. We therefore ask all of you to observe the key dates
and review the other information (below)
as you make year-end plans; we urge users to rely on the support
structure that has been put in place to help achieve a smooth transition.
Financials builds on what is familiar and working in FinMIS. It
still provides integrated purchasing, accounts payable, and general
ledger functions, but under new names: BEN Buys, BEN Pays, and BEN
Balances. Though many procedures and proven features have been retained,
they will be easier to use and sport a new graphical look and feel.
New functionality has also been added, most notably, the Penn Marketplace,
a purchasing environment that will be available to current FinMIS
users as well as faculty and other staff who would like to purchase
products and services. Featuring customized online catalogs from
a host of suppliers and an electronic shopping cart, the Penn Marketplace
will make purchasing easier and more convenient for everyone.
the introduction of BEN Teaches and BEN Helps during the past year,
training and support for users have been augmented significantly.
The comprehensive BEN Financials training program developed under
the BEN Teaches initiative covers policies and procedures and provides
hands-on experience both in the classroom and at users' desks. The
BEN Helps support service at 6-HELP has already started helping
users through the transition, handling questions arising from training
classes and post-training practice. In fact, Financial Support Providers
(FSPs) were among the first groups trained on BEN Financials.
January, training will begin for new users, and resume for those
FinMIS users who did not complete their BEN Financials training
by December 19. Refresher sessions will also be offered during January.
we move through the transition, the BEN Project Team asks for your
patience and continued cooperation. BEN Financials is a new system,
and it would be unrealistic to expect everything to operate perfectly
from day one. Users may need to make adjustments as it settles into
place. We will do our best to iron out any issues as smoothly and
efficiently as possible.
thank the entire Penn community for helping us to accomplish this
significant upgrade. BEN Financials will improve the way we do business
H. Beck, Vice President, Information Systems and Computing
B. Campbell, Comptroller
J. Masch, Vice President, Budget and Management Analysis
Michel, Director, Acquisition Services
are the key dates for the FinMIS to BEN Financials conversion.
December 19, 8 p.m. FinMIS
to BEN Financials upgrade begins.
is no longer available.
January 2, 8 a.m. BEN
Financials is available.
checklist will help you prepare for the launch and Winter Break:
All work on grants that require closing activities in December
must be completed by December 19.
there any items you will need during the Winter Break? Let your
business administrator know early as purchase orders have to
be completed before December 19.
you are a user, have you updated your desktop? If not, please
contact your Local Support Provider (LSP) at once.
BEN web site is a handy source of information, especially the
FAQs about the BEN Financials launch.
on to http://upenn.magpage.com/tools/faqs/index.cfm?action=faq&topic_match=447.
During the Winter Break
remains accessible during the Winter Break?
Reports, GRAM, and the Data Warehouse will be available, with
general ledger data as of December 19.
Services' staff will be on campus to assist with emergency purchases.
Call a procurement specialist for assistance.
complete schedule and instructions for December month-end closing
are accessible from the Comptroller's Home Page, under
Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 15, December 11, 2001
December 11, 2001
Volume 48 Number 15