Office scene

Communications History

The following offers a comprehensive listing of the various communications VIU has put out about this vital project. See News items for training specific communications.

Emails Sent to All Employees

Employee Portal (AURORA) Corner 

The Signing Authority form on the Finance Forms page has been updated to reflect FIS terminology. In addition, an option has been added to select “All Work Order(s)” in a Division or Sub-Division. Please contact generalaccounting@viu.ca if you have any questions or require assistance in completing the updated form. 

In-person sessions are being held over the summer at the Nanaimo campus for FIS Reports training. Contact AURORA_Help@viu.ca for information or check out details in ProD calendar at INVIU. 

Employee Portal (AURORA) Corner 

The Signing Authority form on the Finance Forms page has been updated to reflect FIS terminology. In addition, an option has been added to select “All Work Order(s)” in a Division or Sub-Division. Please contact generalaccounting@viu.ca if you have any questions or require assistance in completing the updated form. 

In-person sessions are being held over the summer at the Nanaimo campus for FIS Reports training. Contact AURORA_Help@viu.ca for information or check out details in ProD calendar at INVIU. 

Employee Portal (AURORA) Corner  

There is lots of activity happening to improve FIS Reports use. See the latest News post on the Employee Portal training website for details on reports improvements and in-person training sessions. As always, you can find tips, instructions, short videos and cheat sheets on the Financial Reports training page.   

New Cheat Sheets for FIS Reports are at the top of the Financial Reports training page and 18 short topic videos are at the bottom of the page. Updates continuing! Reach out to AURORA_Help@viu.ca if you need further support. 

Employee Portal (AURORA) Corner  

Financial Reports access is granted to employees who need to view all Work Order activity in their Budget Division. Please note we can currently only offer FIS Reports access to all of your Division’s Work Orders. Access is NOT granted by individual Work Order, but to ALL Work Orders in a Division. Request FIS report access via AURORA_Help@viu.ca and include approval from the Budget Owner.  
 
There are new Cheat Sheets for FIS Reports at the top of the Financial Reports training page. Short topic videos are at the bottom of the page.   

There is an updated Journal Entry Voucher Request form on the Finance Forms page. Please always use current forms from the website.  

Financial Reports access continues to be granted to employees who need reports so they can view all Work Order activity in their Budget Division. Please note that at this time, we can only offer access to your complete Divisional Reports. Access is NOT assigned by individual Work Order, but provides access to ALL Work Orders in a Division. Request access via AURORA_Help@viu.ca and include approval from the Division Owner. 

Deans and Managers: Please inform your teams, especially new and casual members, that they can only view their data in the Employee Portal while they are Active. The screen will be blank if they login in after their position ends. Their email address will still work for a few months, but the Employee Portal data specifically will not be available to view.

Employee Portal (AURORA) Corner

Financial Reports access continues to be granted to employees who need reports so they can view all Work Order activity in their Budget Division. Please note that at this time, we can only offer access to your complete Divisional Reports. Access is NOT assigned by individual Work Order, but provides access to ALL Work Orders in a Division. Request access via AURORA_Help@viu.ca and include approval from the Division Owner.

Deans and Managers: Please inform your teams, especially new and casual members, that they can only view their data in the Employee Portal while they are Active. The screen will be blank if they login in after their position ends. Their email address will still work for a few months, but the Employee Portal data specifically will not be available to view.   

Employee Portal (AURORA) Corner 

Financial Reports access continues to be granted to employees who need reports so they can view all Work Order activity in their Budget Division. Please note at this time we can only offer access to your complete Divisional Reports. Access is not assigned by individual Work Order, but provides access to all Work Orders in a Division. Request access via AURORA_Help@viu.ca and include approval form the Division Owner.

Deans and Managers: Please inform your teams, especially new and casual members, that they can only view their data in the Employee Portal while they are Active. The screen will be blank if they login in after their position ends. Their email address will still work for a few months, but the Employee Portal data specifically will not be available to view.   

Employee Portal (AURORA) Corner 

Financial Reports access has recently been rolled out to many more employees who can now view all Work Order activity in their Budget Division. Contact your Finance or Admin Assistant for more information on reporting.  

Reminders: 

  • simplified Goods Receipt process is in effect as of April 1, 2022.
  • You must download a fresh form for each new Employee Expense Claim or Payment Requisition for it to be processed 
  • New employees or folks moving to another VIU position automatically get appropriate access to FIS, Reports, Absence, etc. in the Employee Portal since setup is designed for your Position at VIU - not on you individually. No access requests are required. If something is amiss (such as when a new position is created) contact AURORA_Help@viu.ca for direction.
  • However, if you change positions and you are part of a Workflow process (receiving Alerts in Employee Portal) you must inform the appropriate Finance department of your switch until approvals are fully integrated. 
    • Procurement - approving Purchases
    • Accounts Receivable - approving Sales Orders

Employee Portal (AURORA) Corner  

Please note that effective April 1 there is a new process for generating Goods Receipts in FIS. Details were emailed by Procurement on March 28 and in the News post in Employee Portal training. The new process is simpler – you simply wait for AP to send you a Proposed Goods Receipt task! 

Employee Portal (AURORA) Corner 

Reduce AP Rejections 
Please use a fresh, up-to-date form for each new submission for your Payment Requisition or Expense Claim from Finance Forms or your claim may be rejected. Please do not copy and paste data or the form's formulae may not work. These forms were created to integrate with the FIS and they will not work as intended if they are out of date or missing formulae. This may delay your payment! 

Reduce Purchase Rejections 
Please read these updated instructions on the Procurement training page for what to include in your Purchase approval email request to reduce your Purchase Requisition rejections. Then scroll down to the Purchase Orders section to see the instructions (revised February 3) for how to request a PO Amendment. 

Following all instructions will improve your chance of having your request approved! 

Employee Portal (AURORA) Corner 

Reduce AP Rejections
Please use a fresh, up-to-date form for each new submission for your Payment Requisition or Expense Claim from Finance Forms or your claim may be rejected. Please do not copy and paste data or the form's formulae may not work. These forms were created to integrate with the FIS and they will not work as intended if they are out of date or missing formulae. This may delay your payment!

Reduce Purchase Rejections
Please read these updated instructions on the Procurement training page for what to include in your Purchase approval email request to reduce your Purchase Requisition rejections. Then scroll down to the Purchase Orders section to see the instructions (revised February 3) for how to request a PO Amendment.

Following all instructions will improve your chance of having your request approved! 

AURORA Corner 

There is a new notice posted on Accounts Payable training to remind everyone that they must use a fresh and new form for each Payment Requisition and Employee Claim form! 

Employee Portal (AURORA) Training  

  • We answer 10 common questions about Finance Reports and budgets in the linked News post. 
  • See instructions on the Finance Reports training page for two new finance reports -- Purchase Product Listing and Sales Product Listing -- to help you choose the best products for Purchase Requisitions and Sales Orders. 

Employee Portal (AURORA) Training  

See the Procurement Cheat Sheet to help you increase your Purchase Requisition approval rate and reduce your rejections with these tips. 

Employee Portal (AURORA) Training 

For a limited time a Project AURORA team member is joining the IT panel for their IT Ask Me Anything sessions! On December 9 from 1 pm - 2 pm you can pop into the session and ask specific questions relating to the Employee Portal (HR, Payroll, Finance, Reports, etc.) You can still email AURORA_Help@viu.ca, but pop into this session to ask your question live. If you have a confidential question, don’t worry – we’ll go into a secure break-out room and you can share your screen.   

There is now a revised Sales Cheat Sheet for Accounts Receivable (Invoicing) so be sure you have the updated version. We added 36 new Sales FAQs in November with most of them added in the last week! Answers to your Sales process questions may now be here so do check them out.   

There is a single page Procurement Cheat Sheet to help you increase your Purchase Requisition approval rate! Reduce your rejections with these tips. 

Employee Portal (AURORA) Training 

There is one more Q&A session on Tuesday, November 30 with the Purchasing and Accounts Payable specialists in Finance to get detailed and specific answers on the new FIS processes for Purchasing, Payments, and Reimbursements.

Plus, for a limited time we have a Project AURORA team member joining the IT panel for their IT Ask Me Anything sessions! Starting on November 25 from 1 - 2 pm everyday you can pop into our session and ask specific questions relating to the Employee Portal (HR, Payroll, Finance, Reports, etc.) You can still email AURORA_Help@viu.ca, but pop into this session to ask your question live. If you have a confidential question, don’t worry – we’ll go into a secure break-out room and you can share your screen.

You’ll now see two My Balances Reports – one for Hours (Vacation, OT, Sick) and one for Dollars (Payroll Advance, Computer loan, Prof Development Funds) to help you identify your balances.

Finally, Managers can now see their employees’ Vacation Bank Balances in a new report!

Employee Portal (AURORA) Training 

There is one more Q&A  session on Nov 30 with the Purchasing and Accounts Payable specialists in Finance to get detailed and specific answers on the new FIS processes for Purchasing, Payments, and Reimbursements.   

Plus, for a limited time we have someone from the Project team joining the IT panel for their IT Ask Me Anything sessions! Starting November 25 from 1 - 2 pm you can pop into our session and ask specific questions relating to the Employee Portal (HR, Payroll, Finance, Reports, etc.) You can still email AURORA_Help@viu.ca, but pop into this session to ask your question live. If you have a confidential question, don’t worry – we’ll go into a secure break-out room and you can share your screen. 

AURORA Education  

Check out Procurement training for all the education sessions relating to Aurora, which also includes all the notes on what was covered and the questions the team answered.

AURORA Corner 

Absence requests are now submitted through the Employee Portal. Check out the Absence Requests training page for details and instructions for employees, managers and reviewers. This News post has important tips and reminders so your request for absence goes smoothly!

AURORA Education 

FIS education: Purchases, Payments and Reimbursements
Attend an “Ask Me Anything” session and find out more about purchase requisitions, goods receipts, workflow tasks, expense claims, and payment requisitions!   

The following sessions are via Zoom: 

  • October 19, 10 to 11 am 
  • October 26, 10 to 11 am 
  • November 2, 10 to 11 am 
  • November 16, 10 to 11 am 
  • November 30, 10 to 11 am 

Meeting link: Join via Zoom 
Password: 674045 
Meeting ID: 641 4529 8180 

Mark your calendars and feel free to drop in during any of these sessions! 

AURORA Corner 

As of October 1, 2021 the Finance office has assigned access to one person in each budget division to view the current list of External User Reports. This is most likely the Finance or Administrative Assistant in your area. Further access will be assigned next month for other users as appropriate once data control details have been finalized.    

Dear VIU Community:

We welcome you back to campus and the new term. As you know, we are now live with the Finance module (FIS) in the Employee Portal. Our transition to this new finance system has gone well overall with no disasters and many people have jumped in to resolve issues quickly as they arise. No transition of this magnitude is ever without its bumps and hurdles and the VIU community as a whole has stepped up.

While you may think the new Finance system changes don’t apply to you, if you are at all involved with money coming into or going out from VIU, these changes impact you! Here are some reminders and important changes broken down so you can easily see which are most relevant for you.

All Employees

Employee Access

  • The Employee Portal and the Employee Portal Training website (your online system manual) are accessed using your VIU employee credentials as long as you are active.
  • If you approve Absence requests, please sign into the Employee Portal daily to ensure your Tasks are kept up to date.
  • All active employees at VIU have access to create Sales Orders or Purchase Requisitions once their computer account is set-up so there is no need to request access. Please seek approval before creating Sales Orders or Purchase Requisitions. 

Employee Training

Opportunities were provided for Finance (FIS) training last fall and this spring and nearly 300 employees took advantage of it. As there are many different topics to cover and base stabilization continues in the background, we encourage you to become familiar with the training website as your main means for self-directed or team training.

Please do not yet email the Finance department directly to answer questions as they are short-staffed, learning the new system/processes also (while doing their regular work) and assisting with system stabilization.

Please read this News post for an Onboarding cheat sheet (also attached), how to best use the training website, and how to get timely support.

Employees Involved with Finance (including making purchases)

If you spend any money at VIU or are involved with any money coming into VIU for any reason, these new finance procedures impact your role. Note there is now an updated FRS to FIS Coding Generator tool to help you translate from the former codes to new codes.

Please read this News Post to learn about:

  • Viewing Access and Signing Authority Clarification
  • A change for Incorrect Submissions
  • Activating your Substitutes
  • Procurement (Purchasing)Cheat Sheet
  • Sales Order (Invoicing) Cheat sheet
  • How to Fix Common Errors when creating Purchase Requisitions or Sales Orders
  • Reporting Update

Thank you for your time and don’t hesitate to contact us with further questions about the new systems.  

The Project AURORA Team

Vancouver Island University

The VIU community acknowledges and thanks the Snuneymuxw, Quw’utsun and Tla’amin, on whose traditional lands we teach, learn, research, live and share knowledge.

AURORA Corner

We are thrilled that the Financial Information System modules (FIS) are now live in the Employee Portal! Please go to AURORA Finance for answers to your questions.

NEW Absence Report! 

Managers can now access a report in the Employee Portal called "My Management Absences".  This report shows a summary of leave requests for employees who report directly to the manager and includes the employee's name, resource ID and position, the dates of leave, total hours of leave, and the type of leave.
Please note that this report returns results for the user logged in to the Employee Portal. This means that if a non-management employee logs in and tries to run the report, they will get no results. You will not be able to ask anyone else in your department to run this report for you.
For more information about accessing this report and the different types of statuses that you may see, please visit AURORA Absences.

Critical Dates

Event

Date/Time

Financial Records System (FRS) shut down

June 30, 9 pm

SRS/SLED and Student Portal blackout

June 30, 9 pm to July 5, 6 am

Financial Information System (FIS) available to users

July 5, 6 am

How do I access historic FRS information after June 30?

Although FRS will no longer be accessible after June 30, all FRS data will be retained and can be accessed through the following links:

How can I access reports in FIS?

User access to FIS reports will be rolled out over the next few months. The transfer of data from FRS into FIS must be completed before reporting can be done from FIS; this work should be completed near the end of July. Area access to FIS reporting will be rolled out in a phased approach, with the timing yet to be determined.  As a reminder, all data required to support reporting to June 30 will be available through the FRS links above.  In addition, the Budget Office is targeting July 15 for distribution of Q1 Departmental Excel reports and will be supporting the rollout of these reports with a workshop.   

What if I have an urgent need for current FIS data?

Urgent departmental requests for July FIS data can be submitted to AURORA_Help@viu.ca . Please include all specifics of the request, including the deadline, and the Finance department will extract and supply the data you require.

How do I get help or support when I am having problems using FIS?

The FIS training and support website at https://aurora.viu.ca/finance contains a wide array of support and training materials that will assist you in using FIS and understanding the many changes that are taking place as we implement this new system.  TIP:  key word searches (Ctrl-F) can be used to help you quickly locate the information you need.

If you are having challenges using FIS, and review of the support and training materials does not resolve the issue, please email AURORA_Help@viu.ca with the details and our support team will work to address the issue in a timely manner.

What other resources are available for understanding FIS?

The Project AURORA Finance Team appreciates your patience and support as we all work through this challenging transition together.

Cheers,

Andrew

Andrew Speed
Co-CIO and Director, Enterprise Systems
Director, Project AURORA

Vancouver Island University
Andrew.Speed@viu.ca

250.740.6292

 

AURORA Corner  

Finance modules Go Live on July 5! Find details on the Finance site on the training website under Finance – General Information.

To get caught up on all communications sent about the Project see the Communications Page on the main Project AURORA website.

Training materials for the Employee Portal are on the training website. Scroll down the home page to the News section for current updates.

No Access to Student Records During Finance Cutover

Students will not be able to access their records or add or drop a course from June 30 – July 5, 2021 while the Finance Cutover is underway. They have been notified and a banner will be on the website during this time to remind them. If you get questions, please let them know.

Employee Portal Notification Emails     

Keep an eye out for this email address in your inbox:

ERP-Notifications-DoNotReply@viu.ca  It will have this subject line: Subject: HR – Unit4 – (subject of notification)

This is not spam! It is the Employee Portal email address that sends you notifications from the UNIT4 system. It might be for an upcoming task, or a reminder of an upcoming certification expiry, etc.    
 
Head on over to AURORA Training for more info on Notifications and Alerts and the Unit4 system! 

This message is intended for users of FRS, SRS and SLED.

Just a reminder that tomorrow, June 23, is a the last day for submission of documents to Accounts Payable, Procurement, Treasury and Payroll for processing in FRS. 

Please also note the other key critical dates approaching that will impact access to FRS, SRS, SLED and the new FIS.

Thank you for your continued support during this critical cut-over period.

From: Wendy Young
Sent: Friday, June 4, 2021 4 PM
Subject: Project Aurora - Key Critical Dates
Importance: High 

This message is intended for users of FRS, SRS and SLED.

 The July 1 cut-over to the new Finance Information System (FIS) is fast approaching!  To support users in navigating through this period, a detailed schedule of key critical dates has been developed and is attached. Please review the dates carefully to plan the timing of your work over the next two months. The schedule includes both FRS early cut-off dates as well as FIS, SRS and SLED blackout dates.

FRS early cut-offs dates

Migration of data to the new FIS will require extensive data preparation. To support this, early cut-off dates for processing in FRS are necessary to allow sufficient time for the Finance team to process all final FRS entries and to prepare the data for the new FIS. This means, as indicated in the calendar, that June 23 will be the last day to submit documents to Accounts Payable, Purchasing and Treasury for processing in FRS.

Blackout dates (no FIS, SRS or SLED access)

The new FIS is a heavily integrated system with Finance, Payroll, and HR sharing the same system core. Loading of June 30 FRS data into the new FIS needs to be planned and executed very carefully to ensure there are no adverse impacts on existing system users (HR and Payroll). The team will require a number of ‘blackout’ days in the FIS where the only users permitted in the system will be the Finance Data Load Team. This work is taking place over the July long weekend to ensure as little disruption as possible. This is a traditionally quiet week at VIU, which we hope will decrease the impact of the blackout.  

Why weren’t dates communicated sooner?

System cut-over and data load plans are complex and evolve as risks are identified that need to be addressed. The final system cut-over timeline has just now been finalized. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through these vital and complex stages in the adoption of the new system.

There will be more communication coming soon about what you can expect when you start using the new system on July 5. Training is critical for your comfort and success in using the new system. If you haven’t had a chance yet to check out the training materials that have been created, you can find them at Finance.

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions or concerns, please send them directly to me.  

Wendy Young, CPA, CA  
Associate Vice-President, Finance

Financial Services

Vancouver Island University
Ph:  250.740.6565

This message is intended for Financial Information System (“FIS”) users.

 In preparation for the Finance Go-Live AURORA Bulletins have been developed to provide users with specific information on focused Finance topics.  These bulletins are intended to help users understand FIS functionality that will be delivered as part of the Phase 1 rollout as well as planned Post Go-Live activity.

All bulletins can be accessed through AURORA Finance training,

Bulletin            

Users Impacted

Identified Areas of Impact

External Sales

 

Users who sell goods and services to the public

Registration (all locations), Trades (all locations), Milner Gardens, Theatre, and Food Services

Internal Sales

 

Users who sell goods and services between University Departments

Financial Assistants and Budget Holders (all departments)

Internal Transfers

 

Users who request internal transfers between departments

Financial Assistants and Budget Holders (all departments)

Student & Trade Cashiering

 

Users involved in Student & Trade Cashiering functions

International Finance, Registration (all locations) and Cashiering (all locations)

Grant and Contract Revenue Recognition

Users who manage Grant and Contract Revenue within their department

 

Field Schools and Education Abroad

Users who are involved in the operation of Field Schools and Education Abroad

International Education Field Schools and Education Abroad, Registration (all locations)

Honorariums, Fee for Service and Stipends

Users who request Honorariums, Fee for Service or Stipend payments

 

Central Charge Allocations

 

Users who monitor budgets that have Telus and Ricoh (photocopier) charges

Financial Assistants and Budget holders

 

Additional bulletins will be added as required.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

 

Wendy Young, CPA, CA  
Associate Vice-President, Finance

Financial Services

Vancouver Island University
Ph:  250.740.6565

AURORA Corner 

With Finance rolling out live on July 5, please see Finance on the training website for pertinent Finance information under Finance – General Information. 

Scroll down the page to the News section for more updates. 

After over 30 years of service, FRS will be shut down and we will be bringing our new Financial Information System (FIS) online on July 5, 2021. While FRS has served the institution well, its reliance on obsolete technology posed an increasing risk to financial operations.

It is important to understand that this go-live is the first step of many on our path to deliver a fulsome and robust financial system to VIU. This first phase of the implementation will bring online all the foundational pieces of our new FIS. After we stabilize the base FIS product, we will begin to roll out enhanced features and automation that will continue to improve the user experience.

What will change?

Many processes FRS users are familiar with will change in order to match the requirements of FIS. As with learning anything new, it will take some time to learn the new ways of doing things and become comfortable with the new system. We are here to help you through this transition. 

Initially accessibility to some system features and reporting may be limited, but we will be working to distribute this access and functionality to appropriate users as they are identified post go-live.

If FIS is not completely ready to do everything, why are we going live right now?

While there are many factors that have gone into the decision to go live at this point in time, the two main reasons are outlined below:

  1. It gives us an opportunity to validate and implement FIS functionality in a phased, sustainable approach. A base go-live allows both Finance Operations and other users to become familiar with the core features of FIS.
  2. Going live at a fiscal quarter boundary is optimal for a clean cut-over between systems. July 1 is by far the quietest fiscal quarter boundary date from an institutional perspective and will be the least disruptive for all stakeholders. 

What training is available?

Training sessions will continue to be available up to go-live. In addition to the live training, we strongly encourage you to engage in the relevant training materials available at Finance training. It will make the system more familiar on July 5 when we begin using it across the institution. Please contact aurora_help@viu.ca if you have questions about the training materials or for any FIS issue.

The Project AURORA Finance team and Finance Operations appreciate the efforts of the new FIS users who attended the training exposure and Q & A sessions, as well as utilizing the self-directed training materials available on the training website.

What are the next steps?

More detailed information on the FIS go-live will be made available as we approach July 5. Targeted communications to departments and areas outlining specific impacts will be sent over the next couple of weeks. Be sure to review the Key Critical Dates calendar located at AURORA Finance training.

We anticipate some challenges as everyone gets used to the new system and ask for your patience as we all work through this transition together. The new FIS will be of major benefit to all users in the medium and long term.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions about the upcoming FIS go-live.

Cheers,

Andrew

Andrew Speed
Co-CIO and Director, Enterprise Systems
Director, Project AURORA
Vancouver Island University

andrew.speed@viu.ca
(250) 740-6292

AURORA Corner 

Be sure to read your email from Wendy Young, Associate Vice-President, Finance, titled Project Aurora - Key Critical Dates sent to all employees on Friday, June 4. It outlines the important dates associated with the finance module cut-over to the new system. The calendar attached in the email can also be found at AURORA Finance. See the image below for the location on the page. 

Finance training home page with red arrow pointing to item under general - Finance called FIS Go Live calendars for June and July 2021

Keep up to date with all the latest updates for the Employee Portal by checking out the News section at the bottom of the AURORA training

This message is intended for users of FRS, SRS and SLED.

The July 1 cut-over to the new Finance Information System (FIS) is fast approaching!  To support users in navigating through this period, a detailed schedule of key critical dates has been developed and is attached [below]. Please review the dates carefully to plan the timing of your work over the next two months. The schedule includes both FRS early cut-off dates as well as FIS, SRS and SLED blackout dates.

FRS early cut-offs dates

Migration of data to the new FIS will require extensive data preparation. To support this, early cut-off dates for processing in FRS are necessary to allow sufficient time for the Finance team to process all final FRS entries and to prepare the data for the new FIS. This means, as indicated in the calendar, that June 23 will be the last day to submit documents to Accounts Payable, Purchasing and Treasury for processing in FRS.

Blackout dates (no FIS, SRS or SLED access)

The new FIS is a heavily integrated system with Finance, Payroll, and HR sharing the same system core. Loading of June 30 FRS data into the new FIS needs to be planned and executed very carefully to ensure there are no adverse impacts on existing system users (HR and Payroll). The team will require a number of ‘blackout’ days in the FIS where the only users permitted in the system will be the Finance Data Load Team. This work is taking place over the July long weekend to ensure as little disruption as possible. This is a traditionally quiet week at VIU, which we hope will decrease the impact of the blackout.  

Why weren’t dates communicated sooner?

System cut-over and data load plans are complex and evolve as risks are identified that need to be addressed. The final system cut-over timeline has just now been finalized. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through these vital and complex stages in the adoption of the new system.

There will be more communication coming soon about what you can expect when you start using the new system on July 5. Training is critical for your comfort and success in using the new system. If you haven’t had a chance yet to check out the training materials that have been created, you can find them at AURORA Finance

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions or concerns, please send them directly to me.  

Wendy Young, CPA, CA  
Associate Vice-President, Finance 

Financial Services
Vancouver Island University
Ph:  250.740.6565

AURORA Corner 

Unit4 Notifications coming soon  
A notification of an event which is sent through the Unit4 system [Employee Portal] directly to an individual or a group. Notifications will be sent by email to your VIU email address, or in some cases an alert will show up in your Unit4 account [in Employee Portal].  

Email Notification 
You will receive an email from ERP-Notifications-DoNotReply@viu.ca with the subject line:   
HR – Unit4 followed with the subject of the notification.  

Alert Notification 
A system alert notification will be at the top of your Unit4 account [Employee Portal] with an orange number beside the grey bell [icon]. 

Notifications are a functionality that can be used from any module in Unit4 [Employee Portal] and will increase over time as HR, Payroll and Finance implement their use of [this] feature.  

Additional information on the Notifications can be found at AURORA.

AURORA Corner 

In anticipation of the upcoming absence request module and new Finance modules (coming in July), here are tips (including videos!) on using the Employee Portal and some new forms coming your way: 

  • To learn what it is, how to sign on and how to move around – see Orientation 
  • To view payslips, vacation and other accrual balances, or set up Mclotto, United Way, Milner Gardens or Foundation donation - see the Payroll section of HR & Payroll
  • To verify or update your Personnel info or view details for your position - see the HR section of HR & Payroll 
  • Travel and Expense Advance Claim forms on the Get up to Speed on the new (July 1) Employee Expense or Employee Expenses and Travel
  • For the new way to create a Purchase Requisition or Receive Goods - see Procurement
  • For new PCard and Supplier Invoice rules, Petty Cash processes and Payment Requisition forms - see Accounts Payable
  • To see the way the new absence module will work, look over Absence Request
  • For a sneak peek at the new Customer and Sales processes – see Accounts Receivable

The Project AURORA Team is pleased to announce that the online absence module will soon be in full use throughout the institution.

The absence module will allow employees to create and manage requests for leave and submit them to their manager for review and approval. The online system will replace leave requests that had previously been submitted either by email or on a triplicate Request for Leave form.

The Project AURORA Absence Team is rolling out this functionality to departments in a phased approach. The first group will go live with the module starting May 31, with the rest of the institution going live in stages over the following two to three months. Keep an eye on your email for additional information from the Absence Team about your department’s access to the online absence module. You may notice the absence module in your Employee Portal, but until your department is granted access, you won’t be able to submit requests for leave through the system.

*VIUFA instructional faculty – this system will not be utilized for tracking vacation. Vacation exchanges will continue to be managed by the deans' offices.

Please note that sick leave will continue to be reported to the Time Entry Designates (TEDs); it cannot be submitted through the absence module.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this exciting new process, please send them to AURORA_Help@viu.ca 

Cheers,

Andrew

AURORA Corner   

We are well under way for finance training of over 250 employees learning how to place Purchase Requisitions, Payment Requisitions (formerly Cheque Requisitions), how to receive goods and more in the Employee Portal test environment. This “sandbox” is where you practice using the new finance tools! This “sandbox” will close June 30 so if you or someone in your area needs Finance training, email AURORA_Help@viu.ca to request to be added.  
 
You can now also see how the new Employee Expense form and the Employee Travel Advance form will work (launching on July 1) by checking out the training website page for Employee Expenses and Travel. Get your basic skills ready before July 1. See the Orientation page which provides self-directed training for the Employee Portal. Take the Quiz and fill in the Checklist so you won’t get left behind! This is your Employee Portal online training manual! Check it out to get a head start!

UNIT4 IntellAgent notifications are coming!   

Keep an eye out for this email address in your inbox: VIU DoNotReply <donotreply@unit4cloud.com>!  This is not spam! It is the Aurora IntellAgents email address that sends you notifications from the UNIT4 system. This is the tool used to send email notifications to employees. It might be for an upcoming task, or a reminder of an upcoming certification expiry, etc.   

Over 250 employees have begun learning how to place Purchase Requisitions, Payment Requisitions (formerly Cheque Requisitions) and more in the Employee Portal test environment. This is a “sandbox” where you practice using the new finance tools! This “sandbox” will close June 30 so if you or someone in your area needs Finance training, email AURORA_Help@viu.ca to request to be added.

You can see for yourself how the new Employee Expense form and the Employee Travel Advance form will work (on July 1) by checking out the training website page for Employee Expenses and Travel. Be sure you have your basic skills before July 1. See the Orientation page which provides self-directed training for the Employee Portal. Take the Quiz and fill in the Checklist so you won’t get left behind! This is your Employee Portal online training manual!

Many huge thank-you's to everyone who attended the launch session for the Finance "Procure to Pay" training. There were great questions, respectful dialogue and tremendous support for all of the work the Project AURORA Finance team has been doing behind the scenes to bring this cloud-based technology on board at VIU. Many have already dug into the training materials on the website despite their workloads or nervousness about the coming changes. The Project team thanks you for your ongoing patience as we prepare for this next phase of the project going live this summer!

AURORA Corner  

We’re excited to announce the launch of training sessions for the new Finance modules started Apr 27! Over 250 employees have begun the process to learn how to place Purchase Requisitions, Payment Requisitions (formerly Cheque Requisitions) and more in the Employee Portal test environment. They’re also learning how the new Employee Expense form and the Employee Travel Advance form will work. You too can learn about these new processes by checking out the Finance training. Be sure you have brushed up your basic skills before July 1 on the Orientation pagewhich provides self-directed training for the Employee Portal. Take the Quiz and fill in the Checklist so you won’t get left behind! This is your Employee Portal online training manual!

AURORA Corner 

In anticipation of the new Finance modules rolling out this summer in the Employee Portal, we’ve begun loading Finance training materials! If you have not been contacted directly about taking Finance training and wish to do so, please email AURORA_Help@viu.ca
Before taking finance training please brush up your basic skills on the Orientation page which provides self-directed training for the Employee Portal. Take the Quiz and fill in the Checklist as a prerequisite for Finance Training. This is your Employee Portal online training manual

AURORA Corner 

In anticipation of the new Finance modules rolling out this summer in the  Employee Portal, Finance training materials are being loaded to the  training website  as they are ready! If you have not been contacted directly about taking Finance training and wish to do so, please email AURORA_Help@viu.ca

Before taking Finance training please brush up your basic skills on the  Orientation page  which provides self-directed training for the Employee Portal. Take the  Quiz  and fill in the  Checklist  as a prerequisite for Finance Training. This is your Employee Portal online training manual

AURORA Corner

In anticipation of the new Finance modules rolling out this summer in the Employee Portal, training materials will be on the training website later this spring! Before taking Finance training please brush up your basic skills on the Orientation page which provides self-directed training for the Employee Portal. Take the Quiz and fill in the Checklist as a prerequisite for Finance Training. This is your Employee Portal online training manual

AURORA Corner

For help with the Employee Portal, there is now a Troubleshooting Flow Chart on the landing page of the training website (use your employee username and password to logon). This will guide you towards how to best get help for any challenges you may have with the Employee Portal. The website and Flow Chart are kept up to date as new functionality is rolled out. Your first step should be the training website for assistance. Consider it an online training manual!

AURORA Corner

Payslips: You can now watch a one minute video on viewing and printing payslips in the Employee Portal. You need to be an active employee to view your data in the Portal. If your position is ending, print your payslips before your last day. Contact payroll for your final payslip if you no longer have access.

AURORA Corner

There are some new items available in the Employee Portal. There are two new reports and the 2019 T4s have been uploaded into the “Document archive.” The 2020 T4s will be available by February 28.

The first new report is “My Personal Tax Credits” to help you manage your payroll tax deductions. See the Jan 22 email sent from Payroll for more details.

The second report is “My CUPE Sick Transactions” to help CUPE Employees monitor their sick time. Scroll down to the News section on the training website home page to stay up to date on new functionality in the Employee Portal.

AURORA Corner

With the implementation of the new cloud-based Human Resource Information System module (HRIS), employees, in addition to information provided in their employment offer letters, can now access position information details through HRIS. Once you sign on to the HRIS, go to your My Position Report (under Reports/Shared) to see your: position hire date, job title, position number, pay schedule, pay type (hourly or salary), work schedule, FTE %, work order name and number, and cost centre. This information is available for all positions in place on January 2020 and that commenced on or after January 2020 when we went live with the HRIS. If you require any information related to your position, please contact Payroll or HR directly.

AURORA Corner 

Since the StarGarden payroll portal was retired at the end of June 2020, our amazing Enterprise Systems team wrote a program to provide employees with continuing access to their StarGarden payslip data. Everyone with a current VIU computer account can access our VIUWEB portal. Under VIU Apps-> Pre-2020 Pay Slips you will find your old payslip information. Find more detailed instructions.

AURORA Corner

Did you know that you can sign up for all of the current automatic Payroll Deductions right from within the Employee Portal? Just choose “Payroll Deductions Management” under “Your employment” and choose from simple dropdown menus. Press [Tab] to accept the value and move through to the next field. See detailed instructions for McLotto, the VIU Foundation, Milner Gardens or United Way deductions on the training website!

Project AURORA Update

Training for the HRIS (and future) FIS  has been streamlined to more easily find answers to your questions. You will now be required to sign in with your VIU credentials. There are a few quick links on the home page and the training topics are accessed via the Menu. See the Glossary to help you learn more about new terms you may be hearing for the first time. Scroll down on the page for the News blog post with a video explaining the new naming conventions.

Project AURORA Corner

The help email address for UBW/ERP has been updated to AURORA_Help@viu.ca and any emails going to the previous UBW_help@viu.ca will be redirected. Training plans for the Finance module roll out April 2021 are underway and a kickoff session was held with the Senior Admin Support Staff and Finance Assistants with fall dates for Exposure sessions already in the calendar! If you believe you should attend an exposure session and do not receive a meeting request to do so over the coming weeks, please contact AURORA_Help@viu.ca.

Since VIU has taken another step forward and officially implemented UBW/ERP’s sick leave absence entry and reporting capabilities, we are moving forward to safely retire our current sick leave system on September 1, 2020.

Please continue to report sick leave to your Supervisor and the Time Entry Designate (TED) - the person you report your absences to (formerly sick leave designate) - who will enter it into UBW/ERP (and the current leave system for a few more weeks). The system has the ability to look at current/active positions and work schedules to apply sick leave hours, which is efficient and impressive! Our 78 newly trained TEDs have acknowledged that the system is “simple to use”, “straightforward”, and “slick”.

Please also note that the software vendor (Unit4) has rebranded the product from UBW to ERP so you may notice the name change in mid-August when you login, but it remains the same system.

Project AURORA Update

It seems the dust never really settles completely before more changes come around the corner. The Project Team continues with heads down preparing the Finance module for Go Live in April 2021. There are a number of small news items coming that may impact you personally as an employee so we invite you to look regularly for News updates on the homepage of the Unit4 Systems Training site. The latest good news is that you can now see your vacation and overtime transaction details in new reports according to your affiliation. As always, the specific training instructions are on the Employees page of that microsite.

Hi Everyone,

VIU is in the process of replacing our Finance, HR, Payroll, and Student Information systems. This venture is referred to as Project Aurora.

Spring has been a very busy time for the entire Project AURORA team. Like so many groups across the University, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to change the way we work and find innovative ways to collaborate. The upcoming Finance module go-live date in April 2021 means that we cannot take our foot off the gas and have been working hard to prioritize and focus activities for both Project and Enterprise Systems (ES) team members. 

We continue to be pleased with the successful January go-live of our Payroll and core HR modules. The stabilization period for this piece of the project is coming to a close. Additional Payroll/HR functionality will continue to be rolled out throughout the remainder of 2020.

We have an important project update to share as it relates to the implementation of our Student module. To supplement this update, we would like to provide a bit of historical context as to VIU’s selection of Unit4 Student Management. 

In 2015, VIU approached the Ministry of Advanced Education for financial support in replacing our core legacy systems. The Ministry was supportive of this initiative provided it aligned with their vision of moving these systems from on-premise to cloud-based systems. This was a large motivator in our attraction to the Unit4 products. At the time, Unit4’s HR, Finance, and Payroll modules were established and fully functioning marketplace solutions, however their Student solution required significant build-out and development. Unit4 was able to demonstrate that over time, and in alignment with our implementation timelines, the required functionality would become available.

The Unit4 solution suite was chosen through our procurement and assessment process. It is also important to note that Unit4 was the only vendor that met the guidelines for Ministry support and its expected features and functionality very much exceeded the other non-cloud products available on the market. While we recognized the risks of selecting an enterprise solution that included one product still under development, we felt no other option met our requirements and that the risk of selecting Unit4 was within our pre-determined tolerance threshold.

Unfortunately, we have now experienced significant slippage in our Student module timelines due to slower than expected development of product functionality. Unit4 has acknowledged this shortcoming, and after discussions with their top leadership representatives, we have decided to take a pause on our Student implementation until Unit4 is better positioned to meet our needs.  Unit4 has committed to accelerating the pace of product development, and we are still waiting to hear the details from them on how long a pause will be required for sufficient functionality to become available. 

While this isn’t the news we were hoping for, one positive effect is that it does help us address some capacity challenges we have been experiencing in trying to support efforts for both the Finance and Student implementations concurrently. The pause on our Student Management implementation puts us in a position to focus our efforts on a successful Finance go-live next spring, then we can shift our efforts when the Student Management product is developed enough to fulfill VIU’s requirements.

We understand that this news may be disappointing to the VIU community. However, we would like to reiterate that this decision is best for the institution at this current time. In the interim, we will continue to use our existing Student system (SRS), which is still provides a level of functionality that meets the needs of the Registration Centre and our students. We will provide ongoing updates to the community as to the developing timelines of the Unit4 Student implementation. As always, we are grateful for the ongoing support of our Project Sponsors, and the business owner of the Student system, Fred Jacklin.

We welcome any comments, questions and concerns. Our regular channels for project communication are open and we would be happy to discuss these developments with anyone in more detail. 

Cheers,

Andrew

Andrew Speed

Co-CIO and Director, Enterprise Systems

Director, Project AURORA

Vancouver Island University

Andrew.Speed@viu.ca

250.740.6292

AURORA Corner Update

Remember to visit AURORA for short news updates about Unit4 Business World (UBW). You will find notes about the new payroll system, which include the latest on Payroll Bank Balances being updated and will show up in your UBW account soon.
 

AURORA Corner 

Unit4 Notifications coming soon  
A notification of an event which is sent through the Unit4 system [Employee Portal] directly to an individual or a group. Notifications will be sent by email to your VIU email address, or in some cases an alert will show up in your Unit4 [Employee Portal] account.  

Email Notification 
You will receive an email from ERP-Notifications-DoNotReply@viu.ca with the subject line:   
HR – Unit4 followed with the subject of the notification.  

Alert Notification 
A system alert notification will be at the top of your Unit4 [Employee Portal] account with an orange number beside the grey bell [icon]. 

Notifications area functionality that can be used from any module in Unit4 and will increase over time as HR, Payroll and Finance implement their use of [this] feature.  

Additional information on the Notifications can be found at aurora.viu.ca.

Login changes for VIU employees effective March 9 / Project AURORA integration

With the hard work and expertise of Enterprise Systems programmers, we are preparing to integrate library systems infrastructure with UBW. As you know from past communications, the first digit of all VIU employee numbers has changed from 0 (zero) to 3.

At 6pm PST on Monday March 9, your employee record number used by integrated library systems infrastructure will change to match the new employee numbers in the UBW HR system.

This means that at, or immediately after, 6pm on March 9, VIU employees will use the new employee number, beginning with 3, as the Library ID/username for:

  • the library catalogue (to renew loans, check holds)
  • online library resources from off campus, or as required
  • placing and managing interlibrary loan requests

Your library password will remain the same. 

Please don't hesitate to let us know if you have questions or concerns about this change: Library@viu.ca 

Ultimately, VIU will shift to a single sign-on environment to ensure more fluid access to resources. Read more about identity management.

Project AURORA Corner 

The Absences and Timesheets modules of the latest AURORA implementation will not be going live until at least April or May. It will be phased in, department by department, to ensure it goes smoothly for everyone. If you have any questions, visit AURORA employees or contact UBW_help@viu.ca.

For those who use timesheets: Continue your current process for timesheets. You will be directly notified when the timesheet process change is going to affect you. This change will slowly take place in phases and you will be given ample opportunity for training, to ask questions and generally learn about it before the change occurs. Learn more about timesheets and if you still have questions, contact UBW_help@viu.ca.   

Sent on behalf of Dr. Deborah Saucier, President and Vice-Chancellor    

I wanted to take the opportunity to recognize the incredibly successful roll-out of the latest phase of Project AURORA, which was launched on Friday, January 10, 2020, to all VIU employees.

This phase marked the culmination of months of work for the Project Team, led by Andrew Speed, Information Technology Services Co-CIO and Director, Enterprise Systems. To successfully deliver a transformational project like this phase requires dedication and hard work, alongside a willingness to innovate and trust your team members and team leads. This team has exhibited these qualities exceptionally well.

I am thankful for the professionalism, dedication and drive that each of you have brought to work every day. The improvements that this project brings to VIU will make our systems more efficient, flexible and secure.

I also want to recognize those of you who are most deeply affected by these new systems. Change is not easy. However, the professionalism and enthusiasm of the Payroll and Human Resources teams has made the implementation of phase two straightforward and your participation has made all the difference in the realization of this phase of the Project. The retirement of our payroll and human resources legacy systems will enhance VIU’s effectiveness and efficiency.

Please join me in showing our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to everyone who has supported the project to date. The success of this module gives me great confidence in the work underway for the finance and student records modules.

On behalf of the Project AURORA team, I am excited to share the news that each VIU employee now has their own Unit4 Business World (UBW) account. This marks our second implementation phase, which introduces payroll and base human resources functions (HR functionality that affects payroll, such as appointments). This implementation continues the initiative to streamline many of VIU’s administrative processes and provide flexibility for growth into the future.

As shared in previous communications, at this time most employees will only need to access UBW to view their payslip.  Appointment creators who will also use UBW have received separate communications and training on this functionality.

The remainder of this email provides instructions for how to login to UBW and view your payslip.

Please read the instructions fully before logging on. Our new UBW systems utilizes a technology called Single Sign On (SSO), which will allow you to use your VIU network account credentials to login to the UBW system.

(actual link removed)

You can login with either your VIU network username or VIU email address.  If you use your username, you must precede it with VIU\.  For example, the username “testuser” is entered as viu\testuser (note: be sure to use the back slash, and not a front slash).

If you choose to login with your email address, use the standard VIU format, Firstname.Lastname@viu.ca.  Then enter your current VIU network password.

VIU login page

The first time you login to UBW, you may be presented with a screen similar to the one below. Please ensure that the checkboxes are checked and that you click “Allow”.

Boxes check

Once you have logged in, you will see a screen similar to the one below.  If not already selected, click on the “Your employment” menu item underneath the red arrow.

Click on the item “Personnel information”, which is located underneath the green arrow.

Find Personnel information

You are now on the Personnel information screen. Click on the paperclip button located near the top right corner for the screen above the red arrow. It will take a few seconds to load the document window.

Find paperclip icon

Click on the folder called “Payslips 2020”, this will bring up a list of payslips that have been generated for you. Click on the payslip you wish to view.

Payslips 2020 folder

Troubleshooting:

If you are unsuccessful in logging into UBW, contact ITHelp@viu.ca or call local 6300.  If you can login to UBW but have difficulty accessing your payslip or your payslip is incorrect, contact UBW_help@viu.ca or call local 6588.

Training:

A series of training videos and documents have been created to help you navigate the new system. Check it to learn UBW navigation tips and tricks, about the UBW home screen, a reminder about how to sign on if you forget and much more. It might be a good idea to bookmark the page while you acquaint yourself with the system.

NOTE: General project information and high-level overviews about the Unit 4 software systems can be found on the Project AURORA webpage under the menu item Employee Training Videos.

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at UBW_help@viu.ca.  As always, I also welcome any direct correspondence regarding Project AURORA.

Sincerely,

Andrew Speed

Co-CIO and Director, Enterprise Systems

Project Director, Project AURORA

Vancouver Island University

(250) 740-6292

Andrew.Speed@viu.ca

This Friday, January 10 is the launch date for next phase of Project AURORA. On Thursday, January 9, every VIU employee will receive their own Unit4 Business World (UBW) account and Friday, January 10 pay will processed in this new system. Keep an eye on your email for a link and instructions on how to login to your new account. If you run into any issues, be sure to email UBW_help@viu.ca

Watch this special holiday video with a great reminder from AURORA Project Director Andrew Speed. If you think you may have missed some of the Project AURORA communications, you can get it all on the communications history page. For more, as always, you can visit Project AURORA

Project AURORA Corner

All available training for Project AURORA is currently listed on the training site. Check it out and get up to speed. If you think you may have missed some of the Project AURORA communications, you can get it all on the communications history page. For more, as always, you can visit Project AURORA.

I would like to begin by thanking everyone who took the time to complete the recent survey regarding Project AURORA. Your feedback is valuable and will be used to inform our communications, training and engagement activities going forward.

Project AURORA has experienced great success to date. The Recruitment module went live in January 2019.  In a few short weeks, our Payroll and HR modules will go live on January 1. We are pleased with how testing is progressing and are confident these systems will rollout as anticipated. Work will continue on both these modules throughout 2020 to provide additional functionality, ensuring a comprehensive user experience.

 Within the scope of Project AURORA, there are two remaining modules under development, Finance and Student. Originally, these two modules were slated to go-live in the fall of 2019.  As the project progressed, it became apparent there was a need to re-evaluate the implementation timelines for these two modules. The leadership team for Project AURORA has been working in close concert with the various business owners to assess what would be most prudent for the VIU community. As such, we would like to announce revised go-live dates for these modules which are as follows:

  •  Finance module: April 2021
  • Student module: October 2021

There are several reasons for this revision to the timeline. To promote transparency and understanding, below is a summary of the detailed aspects impacting the project and this decision-making process.

 Scope. A fundamental piece of work associated with Project AURORA is ensuring the new system enhances the functionality of VIU’s legacy systems being replaced and integrates where required with the legacy systems that will be maintained. This is a large volume of work for both Enterprise Systems resources and the Project AURORA team. Due to enhanced understanding of requirements at this point in the project and the capacity of the Project AURORA and ES teams, additional time is required for this integration work.

 Alignment with Institutional Timelines. The revised go-live dates are now aligned with institutional timelines. The Finance module go-live slated for April 2021 will coincide with the fiscal new year starting on April 1. The Student module go-live will align with the start of the annual admissions cycle. In both cases, this will improve the experience for end users and provide for a clean cut-over between Unit4 and legacy systems.

 Fiscal Responsibility. This revised approach to the Finance and Student modules continues to align with VIU’s budget forecasting, as managed by our AVP of Financial Services, Wendy Young.

 Resourcing. This change will further support the Project AURORA team in achieving implementation success while respecting their health and well-being and is aligned with the VIU People Plan and VIU’s values. These revisions will protect our employees from burnout and ensure the proper rest and breaks to create the best possible results for the project.

 I would be remiss if I did not emphasize just how proud I am of our project team. Their diligence, ethic, dedication to quality and positive attitudes have been the driving force each and every day on this multi-year, complex, transformational project. We have an amazing team of problem-solvers ensuring we will have a world-class system going forward.

 Ongoing project information and updates can be found on the Project AURORA website. If you do not find your answers on the website, please send any questions to UBW_help@viu.ca. We are here to support you in answering any outstanding questions. Furthermore, if you would like me to attend any of your team meetings to explain more, please send me an email directly and we can set up a time. I would be thrilled to do so.

Sincerely,
Andrew

Project AURORA Corner

Confused about the acronyms associated with Project AURORA? Watch this acronym video to learn the language. The team adds new videos and training material regularly, so be sure to check back regularly to the Employee Training Videos on the Project AURORA website. 

Project AURORA Corner

Can't recall what is happening with Project AURORA in January? Watch this video for an easy-to-understand overview. The team adds new videos and training material regularly, so be sure to check back regularly to the Employee Training Videos  on the Project AURORA website.

Project AURORA Corner

Watch this new video to learn how to sign on to your Unit4 Business World (UBW) account when you receive it in January 2020. The team adds new videos and training material regularly, so be sure to check back regularly to the Employee Training Videos on the Project AURORA website.

The next implementation phase of Project AURORA will take place in January 2020. This is the payroll and base Human Resources* implementation. It features a couple of exciting changes that will affect all VIU employees.

Your Own UBW Account

Everyone will receive a Unit4 Business World (UBW) account. Starting on the January 10, 2020 pay day, this account will display all your pay, personal information such as address, leave requests, deductions, position and tax information. Depending on your role, much more functionality will be built into it over time as all UBW tasks will take place through this account. You will receive instructions on where and how to log in after you return from the semester break.

Right now, much of the information listed above is found in StarGarden – the current VIU Payroll Portal. You will continue to be able to access StarGarden for at least six months after this implementation occurs. However, StarGarden will not be updated with new information as of January 2020. Conversely, you will not find the information currently stored in StarGarden in your new UBW account. If there is anything you feel you may need to retain that is in StarGarden, be sure to download it before StarGarden is retired. The exact date of this is to be determined and you will receive ample notice.

To prepare for this change, please watch this video to learn how to sign on to UBW.

Changing Employee Number

Each VIU employee is going to receive a new employee number. This is because the UBW software does NOT recognize the zero at the beginning of all employee numbers. Watch this video for a complete explanation and to learn what your new number will be.

New Employee Number FAQ

1)      What does a new employee number mean?

It means that all systems that are migrating to UBW during this implementation will use the new employee number. Systems that are not migrating will continue to rely on your old employee number.

Please refer to the following chart that compares StarGarden and UBW.

Items

StarGarden

UBW

Personnel Information

Position Details

Password Change

Pay Slips/T4s

Balances/Accruals

Taxation Information

Banking Information

 

2)      Do I have to get a new employee card?

No you do not. None of the security programming for building access will be affected.

3)      What systems will not be affected?

Dining cards for employees, gymnasium access and benefits access. Although VIU employee numbers are used as an identifier for Manulife (VIU’s benefits provider), nothing will change as this is not a VIU system. The number starting with a zero will continue to be used by Manulife.

4)      Will employee numbers be issued differently in the future?

Going forward, VIU will follow best practices in assigning employee numbers, which means they will begin with a “3” or a “4”.

If you have a specific question not addressed in this FAQ, please send it to UBW_help@viu.ca. We will answer it and add it to the FAQ, which will posted on the Project AURORA microsite.

Training

The changes brought about by this implementation will affect jobs for some VIU employees. A variety of Employee Training Videos and other materials, as well as training sessions are in development and underway. Ongoing support will be provided to these individuals until they are fully comfortable in the new systems. If you anticipate your job will be affected, expect to receive an invitation for a training session soon. If you have not heard by December 1, 2019, please contact UBW_help@viu.ca.

Although jobs will be affected, it is important to remember that these systems are replacing old ways of completing certain tasks. Once training is complete, these systems will not create additional work.

If you have any questions or concerns relating to this implementation, or Project AURORA in general, please email UBW_help@viu.ca.

*Base Human Resources refers to all activities that impact payroll.

Cheers,

Andrew

Project AURORA Corner

Watch this new video to learn how to sign on to your Unit4 Business World (UBW) account when you receive it in January 2020. The team adds new videos and training material weekly, so be sure to check back regularly to the Employee Training Videos on the Project AURORA website.

This information is also posted on the Payroll

In preparation for the implementation of the payroll module of Project AURORA, the Payroll Office will be focusing all efforts on payroll go-live essential tasks. This focus is to ensure the implementation, which takes place on the January 10, 2020 payday for all VIU employees, goes smoothly.

Training and testing on the new system is required for payroll office employees. This will mean increased response times to non-urgent requests now through January 2020. Some services will be temporarily unavailable or restricted. As an example, cost centre changes submitted in December and January will be processed in February.

High priority issues will receive the same attention they always do. If you have one such issue, please contact Payroll Office Manager Francis.VanDenDam@viu.ca or Payroll@viu.ca.

We appreciate your understanding and support during this time. The increased capacity this phase of Project AURORA will add to VIU is an important part of streamlining operations and will enable us to be more nimble and efficient going forward.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Wendy.Young@viu.ca.

Project AURORA Corner

Wondering about all these Project AURORA acronyms? Watch this video titled Project AURORA's Acronyms Explained to get straight on what they mean. The team adds new videos and training material weekly, so be sure to check back regularly on the Project AURORA website.

AURORA Corner

Check out the The Project AURORA website for some new updates including a new menu item: Employee Training Videos. And be sure to watch the Employee Orientation video to get a great overview of UBW, which stands for Unit4 Business World and is a term you will be hearing a lot as AURORA's implementation continues.

We are inviting all VIU employees to share their opinions on the upcoming HR/Payroll rollout of AURORA. This survey is meant to gather feedback from VIU employees, to help the AURORA project team focus its communications and training.  The survey should take under 5 minutes to complete, depending on the amount of detail you provide, and will be available to fill out online from Monday, October 28 until 6 am, Tuesday, November 12. All comments received will be confidential and no individual will be identified in any reports resulting from this consultation.

Take the survey.

Thank you in advance for providing your feedback!

Andrew Speed, Project Director, Project AURORA
Vancouver Island University

All of your comments will be confidential and no individual will be identified in any reports resulting from this consultation. However, your unedited written comments will be read by VIU employees on the project team. Although we appreciate your feedback very much, this survey is voluntary and your response or non-response will not affect you in any way. You can skip any survey question for any reason. Data collected in this survey will be used for informing VIU's HR/Payroll AURORA implementation.

Replies to this email containing comments or questions about AURORA will not be included with the survey data. If you have any questions or want to verify this survey, please reply to this email or email ubw_help@viu.ca.

AURORA Corner

Check out the The Project AURORA website for some new updates including a new menu item: Employee Training Videos. And be sure to watch the Employee Orientation video to get a great overview of UBW, which stands for Unit4 Business World and is a term you will be hearing a lot as AURORA's implementation continues.

This information is also posted on Payroll

AURORA Status Update

The hard work on Project AURORA continues and it is time to start communicating about how the next implementation phase affects VIU employees. Please read below and stay tuned to your email and the Project AURORA webpages for important information.

Next Implementation Date The Payroll and Base Human Resources phase of Project AURORA is on track for the planned implementation of Unit4 Business World (UBW) in January 2020. This is the second phase to “Go Live” and includes Payroll and the Human Resources functions that support payroll such as changes to employment, vacation accrual and leave requests. Watch this Update Video for a comprehensive explanation of this phase.

The HR/Payroll Project AURORA team have been dedicating their time to testing payroll and HR functions in the UBW system to ensure a smooth transition from the legacy StarGarden system.

More detailed communications will continue over the next few months to keep you informed of progress, and training opportunities. For those who use HR/Payroll systems as part of their jobs, training sessions will be provided and we will work with you until you feel comfortable and confident in completing tasks in the new system. For the broader VIU community, stay tuned for details on how you will be using UBW.

Weekly Timesheets There will be two changes to timesheets.

  1. Submission from biweekly to weekly
  2. Paper format to Electronic format

We recognize this will take some time as we need to ensure everyone affected by this is comfortable with the process and doing it correctly. If you are an employee who uses timesheets, you can expect to hear more from the payroll team. However, essentially the process is exactly the same, just every week. Timesheets will be due to the payroll office on Thursday each week.

Phase 1- Submission from biweekly to weekly: A new process for employees who use timesheets will be implemented. We are moving from a bi-weekly to weekly timesheet process. This means all timesheets will need to be filled out in paper form, submitted and approved every week instead of every two weeks. This is being done to streamline the process in preparation for the Payroll Implementation.

Phase 2 - Paper format to Electronic format: After weekly implementation, the Project AURORA team will start contacting small groups of timesheet employees to train on the new digital process and move from paper timesheets.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email UBW_help@viu.ca. For a reminder about the scope and phases of Project AURORA, please visit the AURORA webpage.

Student Weekly Timesheet and Schedule

AURORA Corner

The next phase of Project AURORA is now on the horizon. Stay up-to-date on what's new, what's coming and what might affect you directly. The website is also full of fantastic information about the project. Watch Payroll Manager Tracy Zandee's video about project updates, training and more helpful tips.  

AURORA Corner

The next phase of Project AURORA is now on the horizon. Stay up-to-date on what's new, what's coming and what might affect you directly. The website is also full of fantastic information about the project.

Information Sent to Specific Groups

Hello Managers,

The HR Project Aurora team is continuing to create, test and release enhanced Unit4 functionality and are pleased to introduce IntellAgents to VIU Employees.

As previously shared at the Manage Here session in December 2020, an IntellAgent is a notification of an event which is sent through the Unit4 system directly to an individual or a group (a recording of the session and the PowerPoint presentation are saved on the excluded drive).

Intelligent notifications will be sent by email to your VIU email address, or in some cases an alert will show up in your Unit4 account. Either type of notification may require an action to be done on your part or it may just provide you with information about a change in the system that applies to you.

In the next short while, and over time, the use of IntellAgents will become a common way to get key and important information out to employees and managers. HR will be first to incorporate IntellAgents into daily processes.

Examples of IntellAgents

  • an email sent to an employee reminding them of an expiring First Aid certification
  • a notice to a manager of an upcoming employee probation evaluation

Email Notification

If you receive an email from VIU DoNotReply <donotreply@unit4cloud.com>

with the subject line noted below, it is not spam; it is an IntellAgent from HR:

Subject: HR – Unit4 – (subject of IntellAgent)

Alert Notification

A system alert IntellAgent notification will be at the top of your Unit4 account with an orange number beside the grey bell as seen below. As we start to roll-out alerts, you are encouraged to login to Unit4 daily or weekly to view these in-system alerts.

Screen shot of Action menu at top of Employee Portal workspace showing a number 1 in an orange box beside a bell icon with an arrow pointing to it. 

IntellAgent is a functionality that can be used from any module in Unit4. As noted above, IntellAgents will increase over time as HR, Payroll and Finance implement their use of this tool.

Thank you,

 

Brenda McKay

Director, Human Resources

What is happening on January 10, 2020?

The Payroll and base Human Resources (those that items that impact payroll) modules of Unit4 Business World (UBW) are going live on January 10, 2020. These modules will replace StarGarden, our current HR/Payroll system. While most of the changes on this date will be to back-office systems, you will experience a change in how you access your pay advice and appointment creators will follow a new process.

January 10 is the first payday in 2020 and will be the first pay processed in the new system. On this date and going forward, you will be able to access your new UBW account to see your pay slip and payroll information.

StarGarden will still be available for historic payroll information until June 30, 2020. You will still use StarGarden to access your last pay advice posted on December 27, 2019 and your 2019 T4.

Your new UBW account

Each employee at VIU will receive their own UBW account. Please expect a separate communication about this on January 8, 2020 in advance of being able to view your pay advice and payroll information on January 10.

Absences

Further into 2020, as part of this module, all absences will be logged through your
UBW account. Information related to your vacation, sick leave, bereavement and family days will all reside in UBW. This will replace the current paper triplicate system. You will receive detailed information related to this in the months leading up to implementation.

Timesheets

Also in 2020, paper timesheets will be replaced with an electronic version in UBW. This will be a weekly system, as opposed to the current bi-weekly system.

Readiness for implementation

The Project AURORA team is very confident in the functionality of these systems, which is why this rollout is taking place. The project team currently meets twice per week with the business owners (Finance and Human Resources) to assess progress to date and potential risks. Parallel testing has gone extremely well, and the team is confident the new system will execute as expected.

Proper project management processes require contingency plans to help mitigate potential risks. There are robust contingencies in place that will ensure, even in the very worst-case scenario, that all VIU employees are paid on January 10, 2020 and going forward.

New UBW employee numbers

Each employee at VIU will receive a UBW employee number. This number will replace your current employee number for all the business systems affected by Project AURORA. However, it will not replace your employee number anywhere else you use it such as the cafeteria, library, gymnasium or your benefits through Manulife.

The new number will be the same as your current number, with the first zero replaced by a three.

Two examples:

  • Employee number 012345 will become number 312345.
  • • Employee number 001234 will become number 301234.

Project AURORA overall

Project AURORA is transformational for VIU. By replacing our current systems, which are in some cases 40 years old, Project AURORA will revolutionize most of VIU’s business systems in four separate implementations. The first implementation replaced VIU employee recruitment systems and if you have served on a selection committee since January 2019, you would have used it. The next of the four modules is Payroll/base Human Resources, which we have just
discussed. The next is Finance, which will go live in April 2021 (the beginning of the fiscal year), followed by Student in October 2021 (the beginning of the annual application cycle).

As a VIU employee, how does this affect me?

Most VIU employees will experience indirect benefits from Project AURORA through streamlined business processes, better tracking and improved interdepartmental communications. Project AURORA helps to ensure that VIU is well aligned for future technological changes and reduces risk associated with the continued use of legacy systems.

The direct impacts for VIU employees are as follows:

  1. There will be a new payroll portal, which will be found in your UBW account.
  2. There will be a new way to request absences and timesheets.

For many, this is the most impact they will experience, meaning that at this point in time, Project AURORA will not be changing the way most people perform their work duties. Those whose work processes are changing are receiving training now or have already been trained.

People whose jobs will change considerably are receiving continuous training. Many of them are involved in the design of the systems.

If you have any questions, please send them to ubw_help@viu.ca. Also, there are many videos and communications on Project AURORA.

This document was issued to Deans and Directors in early December 2019 from Wendy Young to assist them with the transition for their teams. 

This document has been or will be issued to groups (in December 2019) who have employees who don't generally access computers in the course of their work at VIU. This will help them access VIU emails to ease the transition to the new system.

Thank you for having Diane and myself attend your meeting last Thursday. In summary, here are the following details on how your role may be impacted in January, specific to employee questions and system changes in January 2020. Please watch the short videos. They provide a thorough and concise overview on many of the changes. If you have any questions, there is a good chance you will find your answers there rather than emailing us, but if you do not, please do reach out!

Employee Questions/Support

Questions

Current Process

Future Process

Action for Employee

What is happening in January?

  • Please watch video (5m 25s) for overview Video link

Pay Slip and T4 Access

After confirming with Andrew S., StarGarden will be accessible into 2020. Exact date access will be turned off, TBD

  • UBW will be made available for pay slip access in Jan 2020
  • Support for log in access to new system
  • Determination of StarGarden ‘turn off’ point is still outstanding
  • Email communication to all employees in January for direction to access the new UBW system.
  • There will be a means to store/access historical Pay Slip and T4 data should employees require it

Timesheets and Request for Leave forms (RFL)

Paper format

  • Paper format will continue
  • Online format will be rolled out in a staged approach to Managers and Senior Support Staff after January 2020
  • There will be a move to weekly timesheets in 2020 (from biweekly)
  • All paper timesheet formats will continue to be processed by payroll, but weekly timesheet format will be encouraged
  • All Request for Leave (RFL) paper forms will be processed by payroll (as is currently)

UBW Screens Experience

  • Employee access
  • Watch technology review video (2m 26s): video link

What next?

Employee number

  • Changes to come with employee numbers
  • Watch Employee # Change video (2m 32s): video link

Questions or Comments

  • An all employee survey coming soon

 

Systems

Systems Impacted

January 2020

Beyond January 2020

Next Steps

Notes

StarGarden

Access Available

Yes. Exact date access turned off - TBD

N/A

N/A

Appointment System

No access

No access

Plan A: Appointment Form training starting in November. Diane to send schedule soon.

 

Plan B: Support from HR Department with continued one-on-one support after go-live.

  • Training will continue into the new year of 2020
  • Training will rolled out 1. in person (Building 180, Room 248 Nanaimo Campus) 2. Zoom (online) Meeting
  • Training will be focused on jurisdiction (CUPE, BCGEU, VIUFA, etc.)

Sick Leave System

No access

No access

Plan A: Sick Leave Reporting Training starting in November.

 

Plan B: Sick Leave recording will continue to be supported by Payroll Department via email communication (as is currently)

  • Training will continue into the new year of 2020
  • Sick Leave Designates will be called TEDs (Time Entry Designates)
  • Daily reporting of sick leave is required; however, it is important to note there are additional ways extended sick leave absences will be reported in the future (i.e. Employee Status) that will mitigate sick leave recording.

SAWS

Access Available

Yes. Exact date access turned off - TBD

N/A

N/A

I hope this summary captures your questions from Thursday. Should you have any further questions, please contact us directly or email ubw_help@viu.ca.

Warmly,

Tracy Zandee, PCP

Manager, Payroll – Project AURORA