Sunrise at Pulley Tower

October 2015

Workshop Procedures

In 2012, Accounting began a Lean project to map out the financial processes associated with workshops, especially those that have travel expenses. Due to the initial scope of this project, it was ultimately broken down into three phases:

  • Implementing new declining balance cards from JP Morgan that increase rebates for Miami;
  • Redesigning processes and procedures for issuing, tracking and reconciling workshop transactions; and
  • Creating a shared spreadsheet that has all related information that General Accounting, Global Initiatives and Accounts Payable need to process workshops transactions.

The new declining balance cards and the new travel module enabled the team to redesign processes for workshop directors that simplify the reconciliation process for workshops. By sending out monthly statement of transactions, directors can now view receipts associated with the transactions simplifying the reconciliation. The travel module can also track the due date for reconciliation on cash advances in accordance with IRS guidelines for documenting those travel costs.
In addition, the team created a new document to show the status of a workshop and to identify the reconciler. The spreadsheet is created when the workshop begins and is closed by General Accounting once all transactions are processed. Team members for the three phases included: Phase I: Co-Led by Susan Bolser and Melanie Brunner, with team member Joyce Looby. Phase II: Led by Susan Bolser, with team members Tonya Barger, Donna Gouvan, Rosanne Gulley, Jason Resar, Rosemarie Volk and Jessica Williamson. Phase III: Led by Susan Bolser, with team members Tonya Barger, Donna Gouvan, Emma Lester, Joyce Looby and Jennifer Morrison.

University Advancement Volunteer Management

A Kaizen was held earlier this year to develop a campus-wide process to alert University Advancement in the event an alumnus is to speak with students or groups on campus or to participate in other activities. Prior to this Kaizen event, alumni engagement with visitors was not always tracked which often led to duplicated effort and miscommunication. The Volunteer Management Lean team led by Emily Berry, along with team members Kelly Katz, Clark Kelly, Caroline McClellan, Lesley Pihlajamaki, Michelle Rosencrans, and Kevin Wilson, recommended that the university could better encourage alumni engagement by providing recognition gifts to alumni speaking to classes, hosting private campus tours for them and assisting with better advertising and communicating of these events. The system developed by the Volunteer Management Lean team is expected to improve engagement with alumni who are back on campus, and in turn, assist in future development activities.