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Update State Software Rewrite November 2

To:  District Treasurers currently using USAS/USPS, ITC USAS/USPS Fiscal Support Staff, ITC Directors

Date:  November 2, 2017

The Fiscal Redesign Oversight Committee (FROC) met in June and in August, and has made recommendations to ODE intended to assure the long term financial health of the State Software project.  This includes establishing a revenue stream funded through modest fees from school districts so the project will not be as impacted by the biennial budget process.  No decisions have been made and implementation of such fees would only occur following input from schools and would require ODE approval.  The FROC recommendation involves a gentle phase in of fees over several years.

PILOT UPDATE: The Pilot sites (Lisbon, C-TEC, Elida, OMERESA) have now been using the USAS/USPS Redesign in parallel with USAS/USPS Classic for approximately 6 weeks. Each Pilot site began operations with all of their same data, in its same form (including historical information), as exists in Classic. Pilot sites are doing "dual entry" of all monthly transactions into both the Classic and Redesign systems.  As the Pilot sites close their books on September processing, any discrepancies between the Payroll systems are being rectified and financial results are being reconciled.  Most significantly, Pilot users and their supporting ITC/hosting support staff have quickly become comfortable with the new software after just a few days of formal training.  Some of the users had not seen the Redesign until right before Pilot operation began. This is a testament to the user-friendly application of Redesign.

Results During The Pilot

  • No data translation or data cleansing is required when moving from Classic to Redesign.  
  • The data migration from Classic to Redesign is both quick, and seamless.
  • Transactions entered in the Redesign are yielding virtually the same results as those entered into Classic. Where dollar totals have differed between the two systems, the differences have been researched, explained and fixed.
  • The Pilots are identifying some software bugs in the testing process.  SSDT has been able to correct these minor bugs as they have come to light.
  • The Pilot sites are reporting some instances of slow response times (SSDT had requested response time feedback as part of the Pilot testing). SSDT has been able to improve the majority of these response times.  A handful of computationally intensive transactions (e.g. process payroll) will require several seconds to complete because of the number of calculations the system needs to perform to complete the task. 
  • Transactions can be performed in the background allowing the user to do other online transactions while the background tasks complete.  The Redesign allows for multiple windows to be open simultaneously. For instance, a user can generate a payroll while have another window open for entering new employees for a new month.

We are grateful for the hard work, positive attitudes, and great suggestions made by the Pilot users.  Everyone at SSDT has been pleased with the Pilot users feedback and suggestions. SSDT and all of the Pilot sites continue to teleconference on a weekly basis to discuss progress, answer questions, and address issues.

Pilot user feedback is transforming the Redesign into an improved, more user friendly, product.  The SSDT is anticipating it will roll out the production Redesign system to as many as a dozen school districts as 2018 calendar year begins.  Potential users should recall the rollout schedule from earlier updates, which indicated that the Accounts Receivable and Inventory modules are slated to be completed by the end of Calendar Year 2018.  Users contributed significantly to the requirements for those modules earlier this summer.

If you are interested in more information regarding the Redesign, contact your ITC.  The new software and a training database is available for you to review.  A wealth of related Redesign information is also available on SSDT’s Wiki website https://wiki.ssdt-ohio.org/display/ssrd .

Respectfully,

Fiscal Redesign Oversight Committee (FROC) co-chairs

fiscal.redesign@ohio-k12.org

Ed Weisenbach

State-Wide Technology Coordinator

Ohio Department of Education