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Memo to Researchers: UNITY transition issues and resources

March 16, 2022

We have heard feedback that some researchers are experiencing inconveniences as part of the transition from legacy systems to the UNITY solution. We apologize if this is the case for you. Please be assured that the UNITY project team is working tirelessly to resolve the lingering issues.

Empath transactions now posted to UNITY

Since March 16, 2022, you can see all non-employee/non-salaried payments on your UNITY Researcher Dashboard, including student bursaries, scholarships, fellowships, awards, honorariums, and PI fees processed in Empath during the period since the launch of UNITY until February 26, 2022.

On your Researcher Dashboard in UNITY, all research accounts will reflect the Empath transactions in the Spent/Expenses columns of the My Grants and My Grants Report tiles. Moving forward, at the end of every pay period, an entry reflecting the Empath transactions will be automatically posted to research accounts.

Transactions processed in Empath will appear against their respective cost object in UNITY. A cost object is the code used to allocate costs or expenses in UNITY. To learn more about the various cost objects in UNITY, including cost centres, internal orders and WBS (i.e., research account-N99999), visit the UNITY Cost object page on Carrefour.

Please note that these Empath paid transactions will not be reflected in the My Grants Payroll tile, since the latter only provides details on salaried charges that occurred since the launch of UNITY.

Details available in My CU Account

For details regarding the Empath transactions, please consult the following:

1.  Available now: The legacy Pay Advice report. You will find this in MyCU Account > Faculty & academic > Faculty & staff services > Financial Reports for Pay Advice (Banner managers, General). If you do not have access to the Pay Advice report, please submit a request to Access will be granted exclusively to employees who had access to the research account prior to the launch of UNITY.

2.  The My Grants and My Reports tile will have the transaction line-item description. This information will provide transaction details such as student first and last name.

Future commitments for Empath transactions are not yet reflected

When you read your financial information in the My Grants and My Reports tiles, please be aware the future commitments for the Empath transactions are not yet included in the pre and committed columns. The UNITY team is working to ensure that these financial commitments can be reflected in the My Grants and My Reports tiles by March 31, 2022.

If you have any questions about the above information, please contact your financial officer in Research Funds.

Improved reporting tools will soon be provided

We acknowledge that employee salaries and student payments were accessible in the legacy system in a single pay advice report, and we understand that not having this information in a single place today is less than ideal. Improved reporting tools will soon be provided to you, and we will keep you updated on when they will be available. We thank you for your continued patience and support during this period while we wait for the UNITY finance team to complete their work to move towards this integration.

Following the posting of these Empath transactions, we anticipate some research accounts may be in a deficit situation. We will be providing guidance to senior faculty administrators in the weeks ahead to ensure solutions will be offered to resolve these potential situations.

Info sessions are being organized

We apologize for any inconvenience that you may be experiencing as part of the transition to the UNITY solution. The UNITY training team is working hard to improve the training materials to assist the Concordia community in adopting the new tools more easily.

In the meantime, we are organizing a series of important information sessions which we encourage you to attend for clarifications on resolving the many issues raised regarding research management to address any questions that researchers may have about reporting. The details of these sessions will be communicated shortly.

We are grateful for the feedback that you have provided, and we will continue to keep you informed about how we are addressing the issues and the improvements that are on their way. Please rest assured that the UNITY team and the executive sponsors remain fully committed to addressing all time-sensitive issues to secure the university’s reporting requirements for the March 31, 2022 year-end.


Gracy Pardillo, CPA,CA
Associate Vice-President, Finance, and Controller

*Cost objects are used to allocate costs or charges related to an expense, as well as revenues to a grant or a fund. More about cost objects in UNITY Cost object and GL account finder tool.

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