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Shared Services Initiative / OEI Priority Initiatives

OEI Priority Initiatives


Travel and Expense (T&E)

The T&E project was underway prior to the Phase I Shared Services Benchmark project.  The University of Missouri had identified that the paper-intensive process used to manage travel expense reimbursement was inefficient and could be more effective and this was confirmed by the benchmark results.  Compliance with existing travel policy was enforced by the Accounting Offices through manual review of all expense reimbursement requests.  Therefore the process lacked automation and requires manual intervention for ensuring policy compliance slowing down reimbursement to the traveler.

The project was put on hold and reevaluated under the OEI methodology that developed from the shared services benchmark initiative.  Significant changes to the policies, processes, functionality, communication strategies, and implementation strategies have occurred as a result.  Because of these changes the University believes the T&E process has been greatly improved and will result in a better, more efficient, process for the traveler, their delegate, or the processors in the campus Accounting offices in such ways as:

  1. Fewer approval transactions required
  2. Automated population of T&E data requiring less data entry by the traveler
  3. Faster reimbursement of travel expenses for the traveler
  4. Better data for making travel decisions at the college, school and division level
  5. Better data for achieving greater cost savings on vendor contracts


The T&E module was phased in throughout the 2012 Fiscal Year with all travelers receiving reimbursement through the T&E module by the end of the fiscal year.  The University estimates, based on the experience of its peers from the benchmark, that in excess of $1.3 million in annual process savings has occurred freeing up resources to be used on more mission-critical activities.


COMPASS (Commitment Planning and Support System)

The expenditure base of the University of Missouri is heavily weighted, approximately 85% annually, in personnel costs which needs to be actively managed; especially given the present environment of limited resources.  But, the University had lacked a coordinated budget development process to effectively manage these resources.  Further, budget reporting tended to be single purpose and was not flexible for “what if” analysis without a significant amount of rework.

The goal of this effort was to reduce the disparate planning processes (e.g. Access database, excel spreadsheets, etc.) in use today to a standardized budget template populated with production data resulting in a reduction in data entry, and dual data entry throughout the budget planning process.  Further, it was to create a desired and automated set of management level reports to assist leaders throughout the organization in making resource based decisions.

The COMPASS project was in process prior the Phase I Shared Services Benchmark initiative.  The resulting OEI strategy, however, changed the nature of the project dramatically.  The 2010 Shared Services Benchmark estimated full cost of Planning and Performance Management and Business Analysis was $12.7 million.  The University’s peers used in the study experienced an equivalent cost of $3.9 million so COMPASS project has the potential to achieve millions in efficiency savings just by reaching the efficiency level of our peers.

The implementation of COMPASS resulted in the first phase going live in July of 2012.  Please consult the COMPASS website found here for updated information about the implementation schedule.


Vendor Payment Audit

As part of the Phase I Shared Services Benchmark project Accenture helped the University identify that there may be opportunities to capture savings through a vendor payment audit that could help fund other OEI priority initiatives.  Based on typical industry experience for an organization of our size and complexity, they estimated that an audit of payments to the University’s major vendors for the past 3 years may yield as much as $1 million in savings.

Internal audit was engaged to perform the audit in August of 2011.  Internal Audit (IA) obtained a download of the University's disbursements for the period July 1, 2009 - April 30, 2011. IA worked with management to evaluate the University’s disbursements and identify possible duplicates.  The University chose to investigate payments that looked unusual in nature and reviewed all of those in excess of $5,000.  Only one payment was found to be a true duplicate and was resolved in conjunction with the vendor. 

While this audit did not result in recovery of a significant amount of overspend, it reaffirmed the quality of our control environment around vendor payment processing and the University is encouraged by the results.


Order to Pay

Order to Pay (OTP) allows the University to:

  • Automate the invoicing process
  • Automate the payment process and capture early payment discounts
  • Reduce the amount of time and effort associated with voucher processing related tasks
  • Offer vendor flexible payment options such as check, ACH, wire and single pay credit card)
  • Using predefined University parameters for accepted discounts suppliers can choose to receive payments in a time frame that best meets their needs

Conservative projections show 65% of vouchers moving to this method in the first 5 years.  Order to Pay provides a portal through which suppliers upload invoices, assure that invoices match PO’s and then receive payment per pre-negotiated discount terms.

Based on the projections above the estimated total net savings and new revenue to the University as a result of implementing OTP will be in excess of $9.4 million over the first 5 years.  The results will to some extent depend on the effort exerted by the University in encouraging suppliers to enroll.  The initial implementation will take approximately 3 months, occurring within Fiscal Year 2013, with an ongoing roll-out after that. 


Personal Action Form

The current Personnel Action Form (PAF) is a paper based form used to create and change employee records.  Forms are physically routed for approval (sometimes as many as 5 or 6 approvals) and then entered into our systems for further processing.

The Shared Services benchmark concluded that HR spends the equivalent of 93 FTE’s and over $5,000,000 annually to support the development, administration and execution of employee data structures and changes and other related activities.  It further concluded that our rate of automation was less than 10% and our error rate was significantly higher than our peers.  While our cost per transaction was very low that result was due to lower than average wage rates for our employees as well as the large number of transactions factored into the denominator.

The ePAF project will automate the processing of personnel actions throughout the System with the opportunity to positively impact thousands of faculty, staff and students System-wide.  The HR Work Team has chosen Gideon & Taylor as the University’s partner for developing the ePAF solution.  The goal of the team is to implement the ePAF by the end of FY 2013.  Click to view Organizational Chart


Strategic Project Management

The Strategic Project Management Office is being implemented to provide leadership, organization, coordination, quality assurance and oversight of enterprise and large scope and / or high-priority projects across the campuses.  The principal objectives of the SPMO are:

  • Provide ongoing monitoring, oversight, guidance and quality assurance to SPMO activities and projects
  • Teach, coach, train and mentor SPMO staff
  • Develop project prioritization approach and coordinate the prioritization of DoIT projects
  • Oversee the development of charters, governance, organization, budget, cost-benefit analyses, work plans, key milestones, deliverables and phase entry/exit criteria for all SPMO projects
  • Facilitate identification and resolution of dependencies between projects
  • Oversee portfolio and resource planning, management and prioritization
  • Establish and enforce formal project management standards and controls for progress monitoring, costs, issues, risks, go-live readiness, communications, deployment and user support
  • Oversee management of SPMO projects
  • Conduct periodic quality assurance reviews of SPMO projects
  • Initiate corrective actions and other management interventions wherever gaps in the portfolio are identified or issues arise
  • Provide reports on status of the SPMO projects to key stakeholders

The SPMO efforts will be integrated and executed with other OEI initiatives to plan, prioritize and deliver successful outcomes for projects.  The SPMO is a cooperative effort between campus IT Groups; methods and practices developed by the SPMO will be available for adoption by campus IT Groups.

Reviewed 2014-05-14.