Worktags will replace account numbers in Workday

With Workday comes new terminology. Put "worktags" at the top of your vocabulary list because they're a fundamental part of how data and information is organized in the Workday financial and human capital management software that goes live July 1.

Instead of using account numbers, worktags will be attached to financial transactions. Worktags are identifiers -- most of them letter and number combinations -- that show where money is coming from and going, what it's being used for and who's associated with it. And they help with more than just keeping the books.

"These worktags are pretty powerful," said Kathy Dobbs, controller in the finance division. "They're not only recording financial information, they're also used for security and workflow."

Driver worktags

All financial transactions will have one of four "driver" worktags, with other worktags assigned as needed. The driver worktags designate one of four primary university accounts:

  • Gifts -- ISU Foundation spending accounts and endowments
  • Grants -- sponsored research funding and awards
  • Projects -- capital construction projects
  • Programs -- all other accounts (and the largest number of worktags)

"Those four driver worktags represent our current account structure and are going to replace our account numbers," Dobbs said.

Related worktags

Transactions also will have related worktags attached to them, such as the college (called a "business unit" in Workday), funding source, function or person assigned to the dollars. For example, a faculty member with a "grants" driver worktag would be assigned related worktags that define the college, department, funding source and function (sponsored research, for example).

Dobbs said a mapping tool is translating thousands of current accounts and subaccounts into new worktags in Workday. In most cases, employees will only need to know which driver worktag to use because most related worktags will automatically populate the transaction.

Additional worktags, such as a department detail, also may be assigned. Department detail worktags are similar to how units currently use subaccounts. They add another subset of information to transactions -- for example, a worktag that identifies highly specific data needed for a report.

Making the switch

Dobbs said employees won't have to know a long string of numbers every time they make a transaction, but they should become familiar with their new worktags. For example, a grant number being used now will be replaced by a worktag in Workday.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for campus to get away from using the Kuali Financial account numbers and start using worktags right away," Dobbs said.

Expert help

Workshops and training have been designed to introduce employees to worktags and prepare them for implementation. The WorkCyte team also featured worktags in its series of short, animated "CyByte" videos.

Local-level PIT crews and specialists on the service delivery teams will play a large part in the transition from account numbers to worktags.

"Specialists on the service teams will be knowledgeable resources and very in tune with employees to make sure they've identified the right worktags," Dobbs said. "They will fill in any missing worktags and make corrections to make sure they're aligned with the right units and funding sources."