Re: Written Financial Reports to investigators Doug Wilde 22 Nov 2000 14:47 EST

I'll take this one.  UA changed over to an online system more than a year
ago.  As one on the "receiving" end, I have some observations.

First, you must supply some canned report format that contains the exact
same information as the paper version.  Why?  Because every user has
developed his or her systems to track expenses.  They are not going to
change that or else there will be a BIG discontinuity in recordkeeping.

Second, test, test some more, then really test the system.  Find your most
difficult users, the ones whose projects or funding or whatever always
pushes the envelope.  This was me.  Within the first week or so I had come
up against things that the new system either could not do or did with great
difficulty.  Circumstance or activities that were obvious to ANYONE who used
the system were absent.

Third, when your end users make suggestions (demands) respond quickly by
making necessary corrections/additions to the system.  If we feel that
someone cares about us, we won't feel as if this has been dumped upon us
like a box of kittens.

Four - Twenty-six I'll leave for later.

Remember there are different types of end users and the ones closest to the
Admin building are treated better than those in the far-flung campus

We all end up printing a copy that looks like the one no longer delivered to
us.  But instead of simply opening an envelope and starting to work, we have
to submit a query, retrieve the file, massage it into usable form, THEN
print it.
I am sure that if the University did a full cost analysis they will see that
although Accounting may be saving money, such savings are more than eaten up
by all the end users.

The only reason the sytem works is because all of us humans decised to make
it work.

Doug Wilde

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