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Project Financial Management Process (Administrative Systems)

Overview

Here at Stanford, financial management of UIT projects is an important responsibility of the Project Manager (PM), unlike many corporations where budget and actual costs are outside the purview of a technical PM. While the Stanford PM has the support of the Practice Area Director and UIT Shared Services Financial Analyst, it is the PM's responsibility to ensure the project funding is spent appropriately.

Process

1

In the Fall, during SGG Meeting #1, the UIT (AS and ITS) PMO and UIT Shared Services Financial team will receive preliminary budget ranges from project proposers and the SGG members will rank the initial project proposals. The CFO will decide which projects will receive discovery funding and which will possibly not go forward to the SGG Winter meeting. Those proposals that the CFO designates to go forward to the Winter meeting must complete full funding project charters before that meeting.

2

Be sure to record the URL of your Project Resource Plan Smartsheets and notify the assigned UIT Shared Services Financial Analyst as soon as the plans are "baked," i.e., they are to the point that the Practice Area Director is more or less in agreement, but still early in the full project charter drafts process. See the Project Initiation Checklist for more details.

3

Ensure the assigned UIT Shared Services Financial Analyst receives the Winter meeting full project charters before the AVPs are asked to approve them (Google Team Drive folder for Project Charters).

4

Prior to the Winter SGG Meeting #2, the Project Manager must work with Project Sponsors to complete full funding project charters (though they may not be ready for CFO approval) with a solid budget estimate. The SGG portfolio final voting takes place in the Winter SGG meeting(s) and the CFO decides what will be funded.

5

Before the project is officially green-lighted, the CFO must approve a final project charter with the budget that everyone is committing to live to. The Project Manager must provide an AVP-approved version of the charter to the assigned UIT Shared Services Financial Analyst in advance of the meeting with the CFO and the Assistant Vice President for Business Affairs Finance and Facilities to approve the final charter. Sometimes CFO Office approval is done via email, but more often in person. After CFO approval of the funding charter, the assigned UIT Shared Services Financial Analyst will request a PTA from the Assistant Vice President for Business Affairs Finance and Facilities. Note: A new task, or set of tasks, on the existing project will be used for a multi-year/multi-phase project, not a new PTA.

6

Funding Memos are required by the CFO Office anytime there is a material change to the project, e.g., when the project will require additional funding above the base budget (not counting approved contingency), will run over its timeline, or requires some other significant change to the chartered plan. Funding Memos are also the preferred mechanism for requesting permission to use any surplus funds. Funding Memos, before they get presented to the CFO and the Assistant Vice President for Business Affairs Finance and Facilities for approval (usually via email), should first be reviewed by the assigned UIT Shared Services Financial Analyst (place in the PMO Google Team Drive folder, Funding Memos).

 

7

The assigned UIT Shared Services Financial Analyst will schedule monthly meetings with, and provide monthly reports to, the Project Managers, who will also be granted access to view project expenditures directly in OBIEE (opens in a new window). During those meetings, Project Managers need to ensure the budget on the project resource plan (which will be used to calculate SPI and CPI in the UIT Project Dashboard) stays in sync with Finance's records and discuss any issues observed with expenditures in general.

8

The assigned UIT Shared Services Financial Analyst will deep dive on any financial discrepancies that aren't driven by the project per se and that the PM can't track, e.g., any discrepancies or reconciliation issues with payments, invoices, rates on reqs/POs, backfill, iJournals, labor distributions that are incorrect, etc.

9

The assigned UIT Shared Services Financial Analyst will handle all interface/support for the Assistant Vice President for Business Affairs Finance and Facilities going forward as needed to provide SGG and operating funds oversight, i.e., questions on charges, forecasts, surplus accounting, financial summary reports for SGG meetings, etc.

10

The rule for contingencies is that they are not used without a CFO-approved funding memo.

Tips

Topic Best Practice
Project Budget

Be sure to keep current on the spending on your projects. Manage contractor time via Unanet, log all expenses, etc.

Do not start any contractors or incur any expenses on your projects before the project has been approved, unless you have explicit prior approval from applicable UIT AVP.

If your project charter has not yet been approved, be sure your financial projections are correct, complete, and foot (i.e., total correctly). Ensure that all funding sources are clearly identified.

Invoice Processing UIT Shared Services Finance will not process any invoices for payment until a PTA has been assigned for your project.
Unspent Funds Any unused funds on your project must be returned to the designated pool of funds. Only the CFO's office has the responsibility for reallocating surplus funds.
Project Closeout

Close out your project no later the there months after go-live; for more information see the Closeout Checklist.

When announcing that your project has gone live in production, be sure to CC: Shachi Chopra, UIT Shared Services Financial Analyst, and Noel Hirst, Assistant Vice President for Business Affairs Finance and Facilities.

When contractors roll off your projects: (1) be sure to remove their names from the project or team distribution lists and; (2) inform infrastructure and support teams to deactivate application, tool, and database access.

Contractor Renewal Be mindful of when contractor terms end. If renewing, be sure to submit renewal paperwork before expiration.
Contractor Requests and Onboarding

When requesting contractor resources, be sure you have confirmed that the supervising manager (could be you for a Business Analyst) has submitted a SOW via the JIRA Contractor Process (for Administrative Systems).

Work with your manager or practice director for the current process of onboarding contract resources; every practice area does things slightly differently.

Labor Distribution If a project resource will charge through labor distribution, make sure to factor in benefits loading, which is about 40% for permanent and fixed-term staff.
Project Charges If a purchase requisition is required for some software, tool, or other approved project expense, be sure you have received a formal vendor quote and submitted it to the Finance department for review and approval. (Fingate guidance on contract purchases.)