Board Approve University-Wide Financial Shared Services Proposal 

FileQuarterly Budget Officers Meeting TIER Presentation

University-Wide Financial Shared Services Mission:  The mission of the University‐Wide Financial Shared Services Model is to utilize and leverage the current technology and best practices. The model will engage highly trained staff to provide exceptional, streamlined financial services in an efficient and accurate manner in order to reduce overall administrative costs by minimizing redundancies and improving quality across campus.

Implementation of a University‐Wide Financial Shared Services unit will occur over a three‐year time frame. The transition to shared services will occur in four phases:

  • Design/Change Management 
  • Building Infrastructure and Pilot
  • Implementation
  • Optimization

Bi-Weekly Highlights

October 15, 2015 - University Shared Services

Athletics Beta Site

The project team has reviewed Shared Services Key Performance Indicators (KPI), specifically the turnaround time for travel expense vouchers and procurement card vouchers, and has noted significant reduction in time till payment and reconciliation.

College of Dentistry Beta Site

Shared Services at the College of Dentistry will expand services to include cash deposits and review of transactions via the Transaction Detail Reports (TDR).

Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development organization

Project planning continues with OVPRED for the design and implementation of University Shared Services.  

Sourcing and Procurement

Office Supplies

Responses to the Regent’s Institutions joint Office Supply RFP is due Oct. 30, 2015.

PCs/Laptops and Peripherals

Each Regent Institution has members from its Purchasing and IT department involved on this category team. The team is reviewing PC and laptop configurations purchased in FY2015 to develop standard models.

Prime Food Vendors

Currently all Regent Institutions utilize Martin Brothers for their Prime Food Vendor. UIHC utilizes Sysco for their patient care needs.

September 15, 2015 - University Shared Services

College of Dentistry

The College of Dentistry is hosting follow up meetings with the four beta departments. Four individuals were able to take advantage of ERIP and only three positions were replaced. Initial responses from the first two department meetings were very positive, with reports of money being saved by using a contracted vendor, and orders arriving faster than before. Processes on how to handle transactions and what transactions are included continue to be refined and adjusted. The beta sites are providing great insight into how Shared Services can be successful. We want to thank the staff and faculty within the College of Dentistry and specifically, Associate Dean Scott Arneson and Dean Dr. David Johnsen, for their continued support of this endeavor.


The athletic department is moving full speed ahead with the beta implementation. With the start of fall sports, the two Shared Services staff are getting very involved in setting up trips, completing travel expense vouchers, reconciling procurement card vouchers, and many other tasks. Follow-up meetings with the various departments will be scheduled in the near future. We want to thank the staff and coaches within the athletic department—specifically, Associate Athletic Director Mary Curtis, Sr. Accountant Greg Davies, and Athletic Director Gary Barta—for their continued support of this endeavor.

Staffing guidelines created by the subcommittee for Shared Services Staffing Methodology were presented and approved by the University TIER Leadership committee.

Kevin Ward, Dick See, and Debby Zumbach met and discussed requests from campus to have joint project implementations. At the request of a College or Org Unit, HR and Finance agreed to consider joint project implementations. Data from both projects is being gathered into a Transaction Dashboard. The Transaction Dashboard will enable the individual projects and orgs to use the information in decision making. 

August 15, 2015 - University Shared Services

Chazey Consultants approved the project plan during a Board of Regents meeting Aug. 5.

The Beta Shared Services units continue to progress by taking on additional responsibilities. Shared Services at the College of Dentistry will add miscellaneous cash deposits and transaction review in the near future.

A subcommittee on Staffing Methodology was created and has met twice. Members include: Josey Bathke, Diana Leventry, Hans Hoerschelman, Trevor Glanz, Dani Weber, Cheryl Reardon, Sue Sager, Laura McLeran, and Debby Zumbach. This committee is responsible for creating the Shared Services Guiding Principles for staffing the new University Shared Services organization.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development will kick off the pilot project with a general information meeting Aug. 14. Plans for implementation continue to be developed.

August 1, 2015 - University Shared Services

  • The University Shared Services Staffing (USS) Sub-Committee met July 17. The members of this team are: Josey Bathke, Hans Hoerschelman, Sue Sager, Dani Weber, Trevor Glance, Cheryl Reardon, Audra Haddy, Laura McLeran, and Diana Leventry. Several options on the methodology were discussed. The team will meet again to finalize recommendations.
  • The USS Data Sub-Committee is working on a dashboard methodology for reviewing transaction data. This committee will meet in the near future with Dick See from the HR-01 project to discuss combining HR-01 data with the USS Financial Data.
  • Cash deposits have now been added as a potential service to be provided by USS.
  • Two new team members have been added: Sara Jedlicka, Treasury, and Ben Barreras, Printing and Mailing Services.  

July 15, 2015 - University Shared Services

  • The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development is currently working with the University Shared Services and the HR-01 project teams in planning for the first full-scale pilot.
  • The project team has been expanded to include Sue Sager, Hans Hoerschelman, Renee Funk, and Rodney Anderson.

Next Steps:

  • A subcommittee to begin discussions on the methodology for staffing the Shared Services Organization will host their first meeting on Friday, July 17th.
  • Data analysis is being finalized and formatted in departmental dashboard to help with decision making.
  • The subcommittee for the Shared Services funding model will meet again to work toward drafting recommendations.
  • The project team is finalizing the draft “Menu of Services” to be offered by University Shared Services.
  • Developing communication plan for the broad campus community, department heads, deans, directors, supervisors and potential affected staff.

July 1, 2015 - Sourcing and Procurement

Board of Regents TIER leadership is currently reviewing and assessing the next steps with Huron Consulting. 

Finance 01: Revise Distributed Finance Delivery Model

  • Chazey Partners is finalizing its report and recommendations, which will be presented in the near future.
  • The Project Team is currently scheduled to visit with members of the University of Kansas Shared Services Implementation team the week of September 21.
  • Bi-weekly status meetings are being held with both beta Shared Services sites in Athletics and College of Dentistry.
  • The beta Shared Services initiatives are already beginning to show success with faster payments to vendors and employees.

Meet the Beta Site Shared Services Staff:

University of Iowa TIER Shared-Services Staff

Weston Marling - College of Dentistry (left)

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, IA
Education: The University of Northern Iowa, BA in Accounting
Employed: April 2013
Fun Facts: Fan of Iowa Wrestling. Hobbies include running and fishing. I enjoy being outdoors with my wife, Amy, and training our new puppy.
Quote for Shared Services: "The shared services model will improve transaction processing at the University. Allowing specific employees to specialize in transaction processing should improve accuracy and efficiency."

Brian Wildemuth - Athletics (middle)

Hometown: Atkinson, IL
Education: Western Illinois University, BA in Finance and Accounting
Employed: December 2012
Fun Facts: Have a two-year-old daughter, huge Cubs fan and love watching movies
Quote for Shared Services: "I enjoy the challenge of doing something that is brand new to the university. I think this new opportunity will have great potential for growth in my accounting career."

Brian Harken - Athletics (right)

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, IA
Graduation: The University of Iowa in December 2011, BBA in Marketing and Finance
Employed: July 2012
Fun Facts: Fan of all things Jurassic Park and Harry Potter; Reigning Iowa City Adult Men’s Rec-League Basketball Champion
Quote for Shared Services: "I think the shared services model will improve transaction processing at the University. Allowing specific employees to specialize in transaction processing should improve accuracy and efficiency."

June 15, 2015

Sourcing and Procurement:

  • Huron Consulting will present their findings to the TIER Board of Regents Management team later this month.
  • Informational meetings with campus users of these particular products and services will be scheduled in the near future to discuss the specific findings and recommendations.

Finance 01: Revise Distributed Finance Delivery Model

  • A question-and-answer session with the various sport staff in Athletics was held June 10. Staff from the various sports departments discussed their concerns and asked thought-provoking questions. Similar sessions with Athletics and other departments will be extremely important to the overall success of this project.
  • June 15 marks the beginning of the beta shared services site at the College of Dentistry. These beta sites provide the project team with insight on how shared services will work on the rest of campus. Support from the College of Dentistry and Department of Athletics is critical to the success of shared services and their entire units as other staff position responsibilities change.
  • Analysis of transactions is 80 percent complete. The project team will be reaching out to each Org Unit in the next two to three months to set up preliminary meetings. Org Units will be requested to assign a Project Sponsor for their unit as well as an implementation team that will work with the project team throughout the implementation.
  • A subcommittee will be engaged to design and document the process that will be used to “lift and shift” individual employees from their current department to University Shared Services. The proposed process will be reviewed and approved by the Financial Advisory Committee and the TIER Leadership Committee.
  • Jason Hornberger, associate provost at the University of Kansas, provided an overview of their implementation with Debby Zumbach. Hornberger will be working with Zumbach on potential dates for a one-day session with key implementation personnel from each institution. The University of Kansas has successfully implemented shared services for 70 percent of their campus.

June 1, 2015

Sourcing and Procurement:

  • Purchasing leads held a final meeting with Huron Consulting on May 27. Huron presented their findings and recommendations for the categories of food, scientific supplies, travel, audio visual, and print management.
  • Debby Zumbach, project lead, met with members of the Facilities Management department to answer questions related to janitorial and MRO recommendations.
  • Informational meetings with campus users of these particular products and services will be scheduled in the near future to discuss the specific findings and recommendations.

Finance-01: Revise Distributed Finance Delivery Model

  • The beta shared services unit at Athletics is progressing forward and is now handling all potential transactions currently under review for shared services. Additional communication with the beta units has helped to understand the goals of Shared Services. A future question and answer session with the remaining units in Athletics was held.
  • The first meeting with the College of Dentistry occurred on May 28. Chairs and support staff from the four departments participating in the beta shared services unit attended for a question-and-answer session. Additional communication will be created and shared with the faculty members in these departments.
  • The project team is currently analyzing transaction timings and transaction counts to help determine the appropriate staffing level needed per various transaction or service.

May 15, 2015

Sourcing and Procurement

  • Computer and peripherals - Standards pricing and discount levels analysis indicates that pricing for CY2015 standard configurations are market competitive and within Huron’s range of experience. In addition, The University of Iowa Purchasing and ITS departments worked together in January to commit to a purchase of 1000 units of the OptiPlex 7020 SFF model configuration. The pricing from this competitive negotiation received the highest discount level at 61% off list price demonstrating the cost savings potential of standardization and volume commitment. This is one example of the how the University of Iowa departments can work together to achieve great success. Future savings in this category can be found through additional standardization.
  • Janitorial supplies- Huron’s analysis of the Regent’s purchasing data revealed opportunities exist to achieve pricing and discount improvements on products currently being purchased by leveraging the entire Regent’s spend.
  • MRO supplies – Huron’s discovery shows that roughly 5% of the joint regent spend in this category if for similar items. Making standardization of products difficult. However, a couple of MRO commodity management strategies show the potential for additional savings at each institution.
  • IT Peripherals – Upon review of the purchases in this category, Huron shows additional savings by a more aggressively priced contract as well as directing the various categories of purchases to the more appropriate contract as well as standardizing on specific models of printers.

Finance-01 University Shared Services

  • April 27th, the beta shared services site for Athletics began. The staff are excited to have been given this opportunity and are quickly learning the business process at Athletics. Gary Barta has welcomed the staff into their “family” by introducing them at a staff meeting.
  • May 11th, TIER updates were provided to the campus Budget Officers
  • On May 12th, Sue Sager and Rachel Napoli met with the FN-01 project team for introductions and to share ways in which they can provide help to us as change management consultants.
  • Debby Zumbach presented updates to Staff Council on May 13th and to the HR Reps on May 14th.

April 30, 2015

Sourcing and Procurement

  • A conference call was held with Huron to discuss the University’s fund structure to determine how additional savings from this business case would impact the university.
  • Huron presented their findings and recommendations for three commodity areas, janitorial supplies, MRO and computer peripherals.

FN-01 University Shared Services

  • Chazey Partners have been working to summarize data collected from the Stakeholder interviews as well as the opportunity matrix and ABA survey. Preliminary results suggest that the University has a significant savings opportunity by implementing shared services.
  • Discussions continue on the future design of shared services. Potential transactions and services for financial shared services include procurement card purchases, procurement card reconciliation, request for travel, travel expense vouchers, procurement requisitions, eBuy requisitions, general accounting entries, pay cv’s, web cv’s, TDR reconciliation and cash handling. Future meetings will continue to define the “menu” of services offered.
  • Dani Weber and Debby Zumbach met and toured the staff locations in Athletics and College of Dentistry for the beta shared services sites. April 27th marked the beginning of the beta shared services site at the Department of Athletics. The two Shared Services staff were very excited to be given this opportunity and look forward to exceeding expectations while helping the project team understand potential issues or concerns that arise. Immediately the team has documented specific process issues that need to be addressed for the larger campus roll out.

April 13, 2015

Sourcing and Procurement

  • Huron presented to the TIER subcommittee. Their presentation included estimated savings potential for Office Supplies as well as preliminary comparison of Regent Institutional Policies and University Policies. The University of Iowa currently utilizes the Iowa Biotech Association consortium contract for Office Supplies as well as Scientific Supplies. The Office Supply master agreement expires September 2015. Further discussion on next steps for office supplies will continue upon completion of Huron’s review of the computer peripherals contract as well as the print management business case.
  • Huron will return to campus to review MRO supplies, Computer Peripherals, and Janitorial Supplies.

FN-01 University Shared Services

  • Chazey Partners also presented to the TIER subcommittee based on their initial analysis of the ABA survey, preliminary discussions of the University’s “To Be” Shared Services structure and review of current state.
  • The University Shared Services project team met April 8th with the Financial Advisory Committee to complete Chazey’s Leading Practices Diagnostics document. The group discussed the need to review the survey data with Orgs to validate and finalize the actual time spent on specific processes. The implementation team is planning to review the data with the College of Dentistry initially in an effort to streamline the process prior to working with the other Orgs.

April 1, 2015

Sourcing and Procurement

  • 7 Categories of spend have been selected for review for potential savings opportunities: Office Supplies, PC’s/Laptops, MRO Supplies, Computer Peripherals, Prime Food Vendor, Janitorial Supplies and Scientific Supplies
  • Huron Consulting is reviewing spend data and contract terms for all three Regent Institutions vendors.
  • The week of March 16th, Huron held meetings on campus with Purchasing and high end users of MRO Supplies, Janitorial Supplies and Prime Food contracts. Huron will Preparing business case on potential opportunities
  • Huron is also reviewing Board of Regent Procurement Policies and the individual Purchasing organizations.


Proposed Timeline

Future State Model:

Future State Solution