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The Challenge: Inconsistencies and Inefficiencies in Unit Financial Processes

A departmental reorganization of Information Technology Services (ITS) did not address support for financial processes within the operational units. As a result, different units had different procedures, forms, and staffing structures to handle financial processes. This resulted in process inefficiencies and inconsistencies in the data available at the managerial and executive level in ITS, for both detailed financial information and the overall perspective. While IBIS, Penn State's Integrated Business Information Systems, performs central accounting functions, it does not provide the financial management functionality ITS needed.

The Solution: A Standard On-Line Form and a Hybrid Staff Structure

A team with representatives from all of the operating units was formed to examine processes and structure and improve financial reporting processes across all ITS units. The team first addressed processes and forms, focusing on the purchasing process as the most complex. They reviewed forms used by all units, and designed a standardized, on-line form and related processes which could and would be used by all.

ITS Purchase FormTo view purchase form...

Second, a smaller team addressed the staffing structure and organization for financial processes within all of ITS. They designed both centralized and decentralized structures, and evaluated both, before selecting a hybrid structure that could provide customized and efficient support to all divisions, useful reports to management, and professional development and advancement opportunities to staff.

Carol McGahen, one of the members of the reorganized staff, said, "The opportunity to combine all the talent we have under one roof provides a comfortable atmosphere for positive and effective change. Processes can be evaluated more easily...throughout all of ITS...Our new Financial Team will participate in cross-training and obtain back up support in areas that, in the past, haven't had any. This, in effect, opens avenues for us to take on new challenges and promotional opportunities...I'm looking forward" ITS will be seeing the results of these changes in their daily operations.


For more information about Improving Unit Financial Processes in Information Technology Services, visit or contact Pam Fuller at

January 2006

Gary Augustson
Gary Augustson,
Vice Provost for Information Technology Services
"I am very pleased that the team met the overarching goal, which was to find solutions for the entire ITS organization. The recommended..."more
Pam Fuller
 Pam Fuller ,
Senior Financial Advisor
Information Technology Services
"The ITS Financial Services staff is very proud to support ITS's financial processes along with the Unit Financial Advisors. It's our job to provide ..."more

   Gary Augustson
   Robin Anderson
   Paul Peworchik
   Rhonda Brown
   Wes Bumbarger
   Angie Capone
   Kathy Deck
   Debra Ellenberger
   Janda Hankinson
   Steve Kellogg
   Molly Kline
   Jerry Krawczyk
   Tracy Leitzel
   Colleen Reese
   Mel Rupert
   Barbara Smith
   Scott Smith
   Cathy Snyder
   Sheri Vail

   Barbara Sherlock

© 2006. Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment   502 Rider II University Park, PA 16802-4819   (814) 863-8721   fax (814) 863-7031