University signs agreement for PeopleSoft Finance implementation

Montclair State University has contracted with Cognizant, a global leader in business and technology services, to implement PeopleSoft’s Financial Management System (FMS), version 9.2, which will provide greater workflow visibility, and enhanced transaction processing and reporting capabilities.

PeopleSoft FMS will be implemented in a phased approach using the software’s delivered functionality to the maximum extent possible. FMS will replace the University’s outdated and unsupported Financial Records System (FRS) with this state-of-the-art enterprise-wide system. The anticipated go-Live date for the first phase is July 2015.

The first phase of the implementation will include the following modules:

  • Purchasing, supporting MSU’s central purchasing functions and encumber budgets
  • Accounts Payable, supporting central payment processes
  • General Ledger, providing the backbone for MSU’s financial data
  • Commitment control, enforcing budget control over all MSU financial transactions
  • Cash Management, improving MSU’s ability to collect, handle and use its cash
  • Accounts Receivable and Billing facilitating collection of non-student accounts
  • Contracts and Grants, replacing the current pre-award, post-award and grant accounting functions on campus
  • Project costing, performing project financial management at MSU

We are redirecting our focus from a highly transaction-based financial system to one that will provide financial information for more timely and comprehensive analysis,” said Donald Cipullo, vice president for Finance and Treasurer. “This will allow those of us in Finance to become strategic partners throughout the campus by getting away from mundane tracking tasks so we can concentrate on providing beneficial analyses.”

Catherine Rush, director of Financial Systems Administration, said the new software will significantly reduce the number of manual processes and paper documents.  She explained, “We discovered through business process review sessions that we have too much paper and too many approvals, and that our information cannot be easily accessed.  Our vision is online approvals with visibility into status. These are key benefits that will come from this implementation.”

 The second phase will implement modules for:

  • Strategic sourcing
  • e-Settlement
  •  e-Supplier Connection
  • Asset management
  • Travel and Expenses
  •  A mobile application capability will also be implemented

The anticipated go-Live date for the second phase is January 2016. Representatives from Cognizant were on campus April 2 to kickoff the Finance project. (View a PowerPoint from the kickoff.

“Cognizant will also help us manage the impacts on cross-functional business procedures to ensure overall, institutional-wide effectiveness,” Cipullo said.

The FMS implementation is part of the larger OneMontclair program that will improve business system processing in the areas of Human Resources and Student/Campus Services.  “There will be many moving parts to manage in integrating the Student, Human Resources and Financial functions,” said Sam Bakane, executive director of OneMontclair. “We are confident that we are building the right team to achieve this admirable goal.”