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The Daily Tar Heel

Finance, HR system redesign costs $87 million

“The implementation cost for the HR/Finance (redesign) was estimated to be about $87 million,” said Brian Smith, director of Treasury and Risk Management Services of the Finance Division and chairman of the Finance Stakeholders Committee.

Smith said the funding came from central non-state funds, which do not include any money from students.

Changes to ConnectCarolina will go live Oct. 1. The new, integrated system will replace the older administrative payroll, finance and human resources systems. It is an enterprise research project that faculty and staff will learn to navigate instead of using the old payroll, finance and human resources legacy systems, Smith said.

Smith said the implementation included the software, trainings, hired consultants and other costs to get the system in place.

The processes of planning, researching and implementation have taken more than four years, said Matt Brody, associate vice chancellor for human resources and chairman of the Human Resources and Payroll Stakeholders Committee.

“It is a product that allows you to have HR data and finance data and student data presented in a single environment, and allows you to integrate information from those systems for analysis and reporting,” said Fran Dykstra, assistant vice chancellor for ITS Enterprise Applications.

Dykstra said she thinks there is less awareness about the changes and the system among many faculty. She said a message will be sent to faculty and staff later this week to provide information on the paycheck differences.

“Because this system is so comprehensive, it literally touches every single financial, accounting, human resources and payroll and budgeting process at the University,” Brody said. “So we’re talking about an organization that has an excess of 15,000 employees, if you count student employees.”

Though some of the changes may take time for employees to get used to, Brody said the new system will offer consistency, which may make it easier for those who previously had to use the different systems.

“That’s a real advantage for us — the commonality of how the system looks, feels and works,” he said.

The decisions made in this process were taken seriously, especially because of the cost and scope of the project, Brody said. He said all of the moving parts had to be considered.

“For the University, this is probably one of the largest administrative undertakings that we’ve done in all 12, going on 13 years that I’ve been here,” said Brody. “I mean this touches thousands of people in terms of utilizing the system.”

Dykstra said it might take time for faculty and staff to adjust to the new changes to ConnectCarolina, but that they are necessary.

“This is kind of like — at the simplest level — learning a new skill,” she said. “Learning how to swim, learning how to ride a bike, you know? When you first try to start, it’s hard, but when you can swim really well or you can ride that bike really well when you’re a little kid, it’s a brand new world.”

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