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Major changes to UCL finance systems will be introduced in August 2014

9 May 2013

The Abacus Programme will introduce new system functionality, improve business processes and procedures, restructure the entire chart of accounts, replace the existing suite of reports, upgrade to a new version of the software, and change the technical architecture.

The original planned go-live date of August 2013 was considered an ambitious but feasible target when the project started in March 2012. In November 2012, the board took the decision to review progress and evaluate the plan in light of a more detailed understanding of the complexity and the scale of what needs to be done to achieve a transformation that will deliver benefit to all users of financial data across UCL. As a result of the review, the board have taken the decision to move the implementation date to August 2014.

Among other benefits, the extension allows us to introduce a full test of the new Chart of Accounts design with six sample departments to provide additional confidence and work through issues prior to implementation. This test will run through May and June 2013, after which we will be running workshops with all departments and asking them to redesign their accounts with the support of their School Finance team.

The programme team will be working directly with Finance Officers from each department who will now start to receive regular updates from the programme and requests for participation in various activities.

Several months prior to go-live, we will have a full chart of accounts in a working system which will provide opportunities for the 5,000+ impacted staff members across UCL to prepare for a smooth cutover through various training and familiarisation events.

The programme will continue to introduce additional functionality prior to this date where it is feasible to do so. Foreign currency purchasing and electronic invoice scanning are two examples of early releases that will start delivering benefits this year.

To find out more about the Abacus Programme, visit the website at www.ucl.ac.uk/projectabacus or contact Lee Jenner, Abacus Change and Communications Manager, at lee.jenner@ucl.ac.uk.