Memo to Researchers: Supplementary details related to UNITY roll out
This memo for researchers has three important objectives:
1) To share more information about recent issues related to the rollout of UNITY and the solutions in place for all users of the system;
2) To offer supplementary information for researchers as you prepare for year-end using UNITY for the first time; and
3) To remind you that we have organized information sessions focusing on the topics above that are taking place the week of April
Please see below for further details. If, after reading this memo, you still have questions or concerns, please feel free to raise them at one of next week’s info sessions, or reach out to your research grant financial advisor.
We wish to thank you for your continued patience and your collaboration during this time of transition for our financial processes.
UNITY Grant Management lead, HRIS/FIS
Default cost object in My Expense Reports and My Purchase Requisitions
Since UNITY’s go-live, when users created an expense claim or a purchase requisition, it was allocated by default to the cost object corresponding to the department operating fund. We now realize this approach caused some errors and delays.
To ensure the correct cost objects are charged in all claims and requests, the default cost object feature has been removed. You now need to select a cost object for each expense as you submit your expense claims or purchase requisitions. If a cost object is not selected, the system will not allow you to move forward and submit. This change will ensure that the correct cost object is allocated.
Please note that in My Expense Reports, you can select more than one line item simultaneously and allocate them to a cost object instead of allocating line by line.
Issue with notice of termination for some research employees
Since go-live, there had been an issue of continued payments after the end of contracts for three employee groups: CARE, post-docs, and non-unionized research personnel.
The Office of the Provost rectified this issue in mid-February, and they are in the process of recovering overpayments. Rest assured that any overpayments not reimbursed in time for research year-end will be charged to a central fund, and the overspending will be removed from the research account.
For clarity, please be advised that the notice of termination feature has been working well for TRAC-RA employees in UNITY, and payments have been automatically ceased as appropriate.
Access to UNITY for non-employees
UNITY is designed to allow only active employees access to its applications, including My Expenses and My Purchase Requisitions. However, there are members of the Concordia community who are not on Concordia’s payroll but play an important role in our community and require access to some modules. Some examples include graduate students, visiting scholars, post-doc fellows, affiliate and emeriti professors. It is a priority for the project team to automate the process of granting access to these individuals when needed.
While the UNITY team develops a long-term solution, here are the processes for requesting access to specific UNITY applications for non-employees:
- If the individual has been invited through Concordia International, please contact Concordia International
- For graduate students, send a request to the IT helpdesk: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For any other cases, contact the Provost’s Office at email@example.com
Understanding UNITY’s financial terminology
In response to your feedback, a glossary of financial terms will soon be published on Carrefour to help all Concordians understand the new financial terms used in UNITY. Training will also be offered.
Another resource soon to be released is the new Journals features page on Carrefour, which will provide guidance on using journals to transfer funds from one account to another.
The UNITY team is continuing to add resources and tools to ensure researchers have the resources and support they need to manage their research funds:
- My Academic and Researcher Dashboard Features page on Carrefour includes resources for researchers, including manuals and one-pagers
- UNITY Training for Faculty is available on Moodle
- QuickAccess, UNITY’s in-app help, includes resources that you need to perform actions in UNITY
Financial Services provides key information for year-end on its Announcements page, including these two recent memos for researchers:
- March 16, 2022: UNITY transition issues and resources for researchers
- March 23, 2022: Research grants year-end 2021-2022
Reminder: Information sessions for researchers
We encourage all researchers to attend one of the upcoming info sessions which you have been invited to in Outlook:
- Tuesday, April 5 at 1 pm
- Wednesday, April 6 at 3 pm
We will take the time to explain the temporary circumstances causing some of the inconveniences that researchers have been facing since go-live. We will also share our current strategies and solutions to increase your access to your financial information and to ensure that this year’s research year-end reporting cycle is as smooth as possible.
If you have not received an Outlook invitation and you would like to attend, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.