Spring rollout planned for Workday budgeting module

A large portion of next year's university budget will be built in Workday, but it can't happen until a budgeting tool is built into Workday.

That capability will come from Workday Planning, a budget development module that will be added to the software platform that has handled Iowa State finance, payroll and human capital management functions since July 1. The project to integrate Workday Planning kicked off Nov. 5, interim associate vice president for institutional finance strategy Ellen Rasmussen said in a Dec. 5 presentation to the Professional and Scientific Council.

"We have spent a very fast month asking a lot of people a lot of questions about what they need," Rasmussen said.

Answers will help shape the customization of the planning tool, which is expected to be ready for testing by March and use campuswide in April, before final decisions are made in May and June for the budget year that begins July 1, she said. The rollout will be on a far smaller scale than the build-up to Workday's go-live this summer.

"This is for a group of budget planners at a higher level in the organization, probably at the college and divisional level," she said.

After its initial implementation, the planning module likely will expand to others. Varying levels of access will include roles limited to viewing budget plans or running reports, she said.

In its first stage, for fiscal year 2021 plans, Workday Planning will be used solely for general fund budgets, the roughly half of the university's overall $1.5 billion budget funded primarily by state appropriations and tuition. That excludes athletics, grants and contracts, ISU Dining, the residence hall system and fee-for-service units.

"The goal ultimately is to include them all. Right now, we're going for half of the pie," Rasmussen said.

Workday Planning wasn't included in the initial launch of Workday because it wasn't available yet, she said. It is based on software from Adaptive Insights, a company Workday acquired in summer 2018. Workday spent about a year assimilating the module into its enterprise platform.

Creating budget plans will be easier with the new tool both because Workday Planning is a robust and sophisticated improvement over the old and clunky system it is replacing and because it is drawing on Workday's centralized collection of updated data, Rasmussen said.

"You never have to worry about 'Do I have the right version of this?' because there is only one version," she said. "This moves us toward the future."