The Advance Budget Request process has been revised, in order to introduce streamlining and address pain points in the current process. Below is a comparison of current state to future state process.
- Advance eligibility determined by system, streamlining processes through
- Deprecation of Advance Eligibility web form
- Elimination of OSP role in Advance Request process
- New design for ease of entry
- Electronic routing replaces paper approvals and expedites SFI reviews
- Streamlined business unit processes
- Prepares for future Workday forms and processes
- GIM 9 alignment with new process
Advance Eligibility Determination Automated
With this release, users will go directly to SAGE as Step 1 of the Advance Budget Request process. SAGE will systematically determine if your eGC1 is eligible for an advance, based on the following business rules:
Advances will be allowed if:
- The eGC1 is in “Approved” or “Awarded” status
- The eGC1 is not a Non-Award Agreement or a Pre-Application
- The eGC1 does not have a related Funding Action that has made it to GCA for processing
As a result of this automation, two major streamlining shifts are introduced:
- OSP will no longer be involved in the eligibility determination process. This allows requests to go directly to GCA once campus approvals are complete and any compliance issues are resolved.
- The Advance Request Eligibility web form will be deprecated. Users will complete the entire advance request process from within SAGE.
The system eligibility check will not cover whether a sponsor allows pre-award spending. Advance preparers will still need to verify pre-award eligibility before proceeding.
New design for ease of entry
The advance request form is redesigned for a more intuitive and streamlined entry process. Design features include:
- Left navigation panel contains sections to be completed or reviewed, with status symbols indicating when sections are considered complete
- Data collected at time of proposal defaults from the eGC1 for reduced entry
- Key eGC1 details are visible in a collapsible right side panel for reference
- Helpful alerts indicate when SFI disclosures or PHS Training requirements are not met.
- Easy review and update of Non-Fiscal Compliance responses from the original eGC1. Users are prompted to update missing protocol information at time of Advance. This allows the SAGE system to connect to Zipline and Hoverboard, and expose the protocol status and details within SAGE over the life of the Award. Users will be asked to confirm that they have reviewed the non-fiscal compliance questions to further ensure accuracy and completeness.
Electronic routing for approval and SFI reviews
Approvals of advance budget requests will now happen within SAGE, eliminating the former paper process. A new ASTRA role is available for departments to use in designating their Advance Reviewers. Preparers will also be able to include ad hoc approvers on Advances.
Streamlining Business Unit Processes
By taking a holistic approach to business process reengineering for advance requests, three of our business units will experience time savings and improved processes.
- OSP removal from review role for advances. By automating the eligibility checks for advances, and systematically confirming when SFI reviews have been completed, OSP no longer needs to be a part of the advance request process. The time savings realized can be applied to other areas. OSP will still have visibility into advances through SPAERC, and will be alerted to their presence in a more prominent way when setting up Funding Actions.
- Office of Research SFI alerts. The Office of Research will now receive notifications of only the relevant SFI reviews associated with the advance request, upon submission of the Advance Request. FIDS reviewers will also benefit from improvements to their tasklist that call special attention to reviews required for advances, to aid prioritization of work.
- GCA SERA updates. Grant and Contract Accounting will no longer need to print paper copies of key documents like approvals, and will have more relevant SAGE and Finance system data in their request view, reducing the number of systems/views they need to hop between to complete processing. The SERA user interface will also have a more modern and user friendly layout.
GIM 9 Alignment with advance request process
The GIM 9 policy updates will reflect business process changes introduced in conjunction with this release, to add clarity, bringing policy and system behavior in sync, including providing flexibility on the length of the request, and contributing to overall streamlining of advance processing.
Helps Prepare for Future Workday Forms and Processes
The redesign and technical infrastructure work in this release are significant in laying the groundwork for the SAGE Finance Transformation work to come. The improvements that will directly support the FT efforts include:
- New design patterns will be used in future post-award intake forms. Users will benefit from a familiar data entry experience across advance, award setup, and award modification requests when Workday goes live. This will allow them to navigate easily within and between forms, and simplify training and onboarding efforts. The new design patterns will also allow ORIS to develop the new FT intake forms more quickly, as they leverage the existing work done on Advances.
- Creation of a new Approvals and Workflow engine. With this release, a new Approvals and Workflow engine has been developed using more modern technologies and a configurable design that will scale well for the FT work to come. Eventually this new engine and approvals design will replace the eGC1 approvals as well.
- Development of new Microservices for Advances. The development of microservices for advances lays the groundwork for being able to easily flow data between SAGE and Workday, as well as support data flows to MyResearch and EDW in the future.