09:58 AM

Ohio State to transition to Workday for financial management

COLUMBUS – In a major step to enhance operational excellence, The Ohio State University will be moving to a cloud-based financial management system.

Ohio State has selected Workday as its new financial management system used to track and report how the university manages its $5.6 billion annual budget.

“This is not simply about choosing a new technology solution,” said Geoff Chatas, the university’s CFO and senior vice president for Business and Finance. “We are putting more business insights in the hands of our analysts and leaders so that we can be more agile in how we use financial data to inform decisions.”

Universities across Ohio and the nation have recognized the importance of real-time, actionable data in the pursuit of access, affordability and excellence. In surveys of efficiency committees at Ohio’s public colleges and universities, the systems that provide this data were often named as key tools that could enhance operational excellence.

Ohio State chose Workday after a comprehensive, competitive process, which included a year-long review of possible systems by university employees with a wide range of financial roles. By improving the system, the university will reap three main benefits:

  • Real-time data: University employees and leaders will have access to real-time financial and operational data, helping to inform decision-making. As part of this, university leaders will have in-the-moment access to reports and dashboards.
  • Mobile access: Leaders and staff will be able to manage financial transactions, approvals and reporting more efficiently using Workday on their laptops, tablets or mobile phones, regardless of their physical location.
  • Always current: Moving to a cloud-based system means Ohio State will always be using the most current version of Workday, with security measures in place to protect university data. With a cloud-based financial system, Ohio State will be able to eliminate costly and time-consuming upgrades associated with on-premise systems.

“With the move to a cloud-based system, we have the opportunity to truly change how we support the university,” said Mike Hofherr, vice president and chief information officer. “This strategy significantly improves the ability for users of the university’s financial system to quickly enter information, process transactions, and extract insights from data.”

“Workday equips Ohio State with a modern, flexible finance system that administrators and academic leaders expect in today’s fast-paced and dynamic higher education market,” said Mike Duffield, general manager, Education & Government, Workday. “By combining industry best practices with greater visibility into real-time data and analytics, administrative and academic leaders will be able to make more strategic decisions that increase efficiencies across university operations.”

Given the wide scope of activities and data connected to the system, the transition will involve the entire university, including the Wexner Medical Center.

To enhance the power of the new system, Ohio State’s project team will embark on a collaborative process to simplify and standardize processes across the university. The team will be sharing more information about that process in the next few months.