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Department Manager

A multi-module management system designed by Information Technology Works for educational services and government & public administration companies.
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Department Manager is a powerful financial and personnel management tool designed for administrators of large departments, centers, institutes and schools at universities and research hospitals. It is flexible, easy to use, and provides a host of reporting features designed for both senior management and department faculty. Multiple database modules are used to manage information pertaining to accounting, personnel, grant, space, equipment, and patient management.

These modules can be used independently or as an integrated system. When used as an integrated system, the modules pull data from one another to eliminate redundant data entry and to report information in an organized manner. The result is a powerful system for day-to-day management and financial planning.

Accounting Module

Department Manager’s Accounting Module is a powerful, managerial accounting and reporting system designed specifically for department level administrators. It allows users to simultaneously manage both university-controlled accounts (funds) and user-defined cost centers for tracking internally controlled budgets or special commitments.

In addition, it supports multiple account structures for organizations needing to manage budgets that combine funds from different corporate entities or affiliates such as universities, hospitals, and foundations. When used with Department Manager’s Personnel Module, a salary and fringe benefit calculator can project and encumber personnel transactions for individual or groups of employees and accounts.

The three most important benefits of Department Manager’s Accounting Module are its reports, its reports, and its reports. They turn numbers into usable information. They are easy to generate and easy to interpret. They can be generated for individual or groups of accounts or cost centers. And, they are available in a variety of formats that are easily read by both administrators and faculty.

Highlights

  • Provide easy to interpret reports to faculty and senior administrators including:
    • Summary information by individual or groups of funds
    • Detailed transaction information
    • Projected salary & benefit costs
    • Consolidated information from multiple corporate entities
    • Profit / loss statements by department, division, or faculty
    • Monthly burn-rate analysis
    • User-defined formats
  • Obtain better control of account and project expenditures
  • Increase office efficiency
  • Set quality control standards
  • Project and encumber personnel costs from multiple funding sources
  • Manage special commitments & information unique to your department with user-defined coding systems
  • Electronically interface to your college or university financial system
  • Allow simultaneous data access to multiple users
  • Comprehensive, multi-level security system
  • Obtain training, continuous user support, and software modifications to meet unique departmental needs

Department Manager’s Accounting Module is the tool for the day-to-day operation of your entire organization. It handles all fund types. Examples include: grant, state, clinical income, gift, endowments, overhead, revolving, departmental, trust, clinical trial, operating, and more. In the simplest case, the Accounting Module is an excellent tool for balancing an individual account or all of a faculty member’s research projects. From a more advanced perspective, the Accounting Module can be used to analyze the financial state of your entire organization. In any case, the Accounting Module is a valuable tool for effective management in any department.

Additional Information

User Interface

Department Manager’s Accounting Module uses a standard Windows Interface. It contains validation code, budget, and transaction data entry screens as well as reconciliation, balance check, and numerous reporting options. A robust, multi-level security system controls system functionality and which data a user can access. On-line help and documentation is available to answer users’ questions.

Data can be manually entered or electronically imported from most systems used by the research, academic, and medical institutions. Department Manager allows users to track blanket or standing orders, soft encumbrances, as well as projected personnel and indirect cost encumbrances. A forms option can be customized for individual institutions to allow users to enter detailed information into the software and print requisitions, purchase orders, check requests, travel expenditures, and other form types on either laser or multi-page university forms.

Field labels can be modified to match local terminology such as sub-code vs. object code. User defined codes allow for the tracking of information unique to your organization.

Reports

Reports are the mechanism by which users retrieve previously entered or imported information from the database and display, print, or export it in a meaningful format. Department Manager comes with a comprehensive set of hard-coded reports that have been developed at the request of administrators from numerous major universities and research hospitals. These reports have been used by thousands of faculty, administrators, and accounting staff nationwide.

Report generation is a two-step process, criteria selection and format definition. The criteria selection step determines which records will be retrieved from the database. To complete this step, the user enters parameters on a criteria selection form to define the data that is to be selected. For example, to pull the records for a single account, an account code is entered in the corresponding field in the criteria selection form. Examples of other criteria include: date ranges, cost centers, object codes, and other user defined codes.

The format definition step determines how the selected information is to be presented. Examples of report formats include balance views that present totals by account and budget reports that summarize information by object code. Salary distributions of employees currently paid from an account can be printed with the account balance. More detailed transaction information is available in monthly expenditure tables and breakdown reports. More advanced management reports project salary & benefit costs, consolidate information from multiple corporate entities, and present profit/loss statements by department, division, or faculty.

More advanced users may develop their own report formats using MS Access or Crystal Reports. These reports may extract data from the Department Manager database via an ODBC connection or by connecting to temporary table generated by our standard user-interface.

Cost Accounting

Department Manager’s Accounting Module is a double-ledger system. It maintains accounts (funds) defined by your university or affiliated institution and user-defined cost centers. User defined cost centers allow users to perform cost accounting functions. Cost centers are codes that, like accounts, are used at the transaction level. They may be used to subdivide accounts or they may ‘cross’ accounts.

In the first case, they are often referred to as sub-accounts. In the second case, they are independent of accounts and may be used to manage special commitments or budgetary units. Examples of budgetary units may include a department’s administrative division, a facility such as a computer lab within a department, or individual faculty members. The term “crossing accounts” refers to cases when cost center expenditures use different accounts. An example would be when a faculty member is given startup funds.

At the time the initial commitment is made, department administrators may not know what account will be used when the actual expenditure occurs. Department Manager allows the cost center budget to be kept independent of any account budget. When future expenditures are made, the user may use any account.

Cost centers are controlled by Department administrators and are not usually part of the mainframe general ledger package used by the University. During the report generation process, users may select subsets of information by cost center or produce reports that are grouped and totaled by cost center.

Projection of Personnel Costs

The management of personnel costs has long been a centerpiece in the design of Department Manager’s Accounting Module. Considering that 70-80% of the typical budget is used to support personnel, the management of this money has to be a priority. This is accomplished via a link with Department Manager’s Personnel Module.

When the Accounting Module is used with the Personnel Module, a salary and fringe benefit projection system allows users to generate projections of personnel expenditures for individuals or groups of employees. The results of the projections may be loaded as encumbrances in the accounting transaction file or printed in various report formats. When encumbrance transactions have been created, they are available for report generation. This process makes it appear as if the personnel budget has been ‘set aside’. If the balance of the personnel object lines are negative, then the personnel budget is being over spent.

If it is positive, the personnel budget is being under spent. Because these balances are being created by the encumbrance transactions, administrators can correct these situations before they actually occur.

Additional reports can be generated without loading the encumbrances in the accounting transaction file. These reports present information in tabular formats sorted and totaled by individual or groups of accounts, cost centers, or employees. Report columns may include amounts totaled by budget period, month, or pay period.

Managing Multiple Corporate Entities

The architecture of Department Manager’s Accounting Module (and other modules) allows users to simultaneously manage or combine financial information from multiple corporate entities. This need is sometimes found at medical research institutions where departments are managing university, practice plan, and/or hospital funds that are controlled by different corporate entities or affiliates, with each entity using a different general ledger system.

Department Manager accomplishes this task by allowing each entity to have its own distinctive account structure. A map is used to combine information from the different entities in order to generate consolidated reports. Financial information may be combined by income and expense categories (often called object codes or sub-codes) such as salary, fringe benefit, supply, travel, patient income, etc. as well as user-defined cost centers and other user-defined codes. Because Department Manager is not locked into a single fiscal year, consolidated financial reports may combine information that crosses the fiscal year of individual corporate entities.

This feature provides the flexibility needed for the management of complex clinical and research environments. An example of how Department Manager has been implemented in such an environment can found in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati Customer Story.

Data Security

Department Manager stores information in a secure MS Access or SQL Server database. Access to this information is controlled by a sophisticated, multi-level security system built into the Department Manager application. It allows an administrator to control the functionality as well as the data-access for each user.

The first security level controls access to menu items. This level of security controls access to data display forms, user setup screens, data transfer procedures, etc.

The second security level is used to control whether or not a user has the right to edit data or just view data. Users with view only access cannot modify data in the database.

The third security level controls which transactions a user can access. In the Accounting Module, data level security can be defined by account, cost center, or object code. When data level security is invoked, users can only access the accounts, cost centers, or object codes for which they have been given access. This level of security allows installations to use Department Manager with a decentralized accounting staff.

The fourth security level controls whether or not a user has access to the salary and fringe benefit projection system and to budget reports that list the names and salaries of individual employees. This level of security only applies to installations that have both the Accounting and Personnel Modules.

Users can be granted combinations of these four security levels. For example, a faculty member may be given view only access (tool bar level security) to only his or her accounts (data level security).

Import Procedures / Interfaces to Other Systems

Department Manager’s system architecture is compatible with and integrates with all major financial packages developed for research, academic, and medical environments. Budget, Income, Expense, and / or Encumbrance transaction data as well as payroll data can be electronically imported from most University financial packages. And multiple import procedures may be used for a single installation, especially in cases where multiple corporate entities are being managed. These procedures can be run automatically or at the request of a system administrator.

Our import procedures validate all data before it is loaded into the Department Manager database. An Exception Processing System allows users correct transactions that contain invalid information.

Facility Management

Department Manager’s Facility Module is designed for organizations that operate various re-charge centers or research facilities that charge for services. This module generates invoices, tracks their payments, and produces reports to aid in the management of the facility. Multiple billing rates can be established for different services or groups of facility users. For example, University faculty may be charged a lower rate than users from organizations outside of the University. Management reports allow users to track facility usage by work completion date, type of work completed, or principle investigator. One installation can be used to manage multiple facilities.

Highlights

  • Manage multiple facilities with one installation
  • Differentiate between University and Non-University employees or Center and Non-Center members for the purposes of setting billing rates
  • Invoices formatted to meet University specifications
  • Electronic imports from electronic systems available for automating the billing process.
  • Generate aging and reminder reports to aid in the collection process
  • Management reports to improve facility effectiveness

This module is incredibly flexible and is able to manage a wide range of facilities. Information regarding unbilled work is either manually or electronically entered for each facility being managed. Information can be recorded in detail or in summary form. Detailed information may include date, quantity, and description for each item to be billed or service that has been completed. This information can be tracked both by the principle investigator and research staff for whom the service was provided.

Invoice generation procedures apply the proper billing rates to the work and create invoices for each investigator using the facility. Once invoices have been sent out, the system can be used to track payments and outstanding balances. Aging reports and late notices can be generated to aid in payment collection. Management reports can be generated in various formats to analyze work or services by the date it was completed, invoiced, or paid. These reports can be used to monitor the quantity and cost of individual items sold or services provided by the entire facility or to individual investigators.

Grant Management

Department Manager’s Grant Module is a macro-level management tool for helping organizations track and manage their active and pending grants. It is designed for organizations that have a significant amount of grant funding.

The Grant module tracks information such as:

  • Grant status (active or pending)
  • Principal investigators as well as their effort
  • Funding agency (NIH, DOD, ERA, NSF, etc.)
  • Proposal type (New, Competitive renewal, etc.)
  • Award type (R01, PPG, Training Grant, etc.)
  • Budget and project periods
  • Direct and indirect costs
  • Other user definable fields
  • IRB information

This module is used to answer questions such as:

  • How many of our pending grants may be awarded three months from now?
  • Of these, which are competitive and which are non-competitive?
  • Which are peer reviewed and which are non-peer reviewed?
  • How does this break down by department, division, or Faculty member?
  • How much grant support (FTE) does a faculty member currently have?
  • How much funding does a faculty member have?
  • Which grants are ending next month?
  • How many grants were applied for or awarded last month? Last year?

This module generates various reports that allow users to retrieve previously entered information from the system and display, print, or export it in a meaningful format. Various report formats are available. Examples include Table reports, List reports and Other Support Pages reports. Users can retrieve or sort information by Principal investigators, grant status, department, funding agency and other user defined criteria. This powerful system for department or central university administrators is an amazing administrative tool.

The Grant Module is particularly useful for NCI Cancer Centers. It provides reports, such as other support pages and Summary Form 2 that are designed for submission to the NCI as part of an NCI Cancer Center Core Grant. Example reports include reports for NCI Cancer Centers.

Online Management

Online Management is a web-based reporting system for Department Manager’s Accounting and Personnel Modules. It is extremely easy to use and requires virtually no training. Online Management is designed to deliver our most popular reports to faculty and research staff without the involvement of administrative accounting staff. Using “drill down” technology, faculty can retrieve live information from a database maintained by university or department accounting staff from their own office.

Highlights

  • Easy to use
  • Retrieve budget, encumbrance, and expense data by individual groups of accounts
  • Sort and total information by object code (sub-code/expense category) or other user defined grouping system
  • Sort and total information by object code (sub-code/expense category) or other user defined grouping system
  • Display the names and amounts paid to employees supported by individual funds
  • Access human resource data for college, department, or laboratory personnel
  • No paper needed
  • Send announcements to individual users
  • No client software needed

Online Management provides faculty with accounting reports that are easy to interpret. When Department Manager is interfaced to your general ledger system via our electronic import procedures, Online Management can revolutionize the use of your general ledger accounting data. For the first time, your faculty, the people who generate most of your money, can immediately see and understand how much they have left to use.

Patient Billing

Department Manager’s Patient Module is designed for clinical departments that bill for patient services. It tracks and bills for work performed in different services such as in-patient, out-patient, and ER. Billing rates are assigned by service and CPT codes. An abbreviated medical record is maintained that includes patient demographic, insurance, and diagnosis information.

Highlights

  • Easy to use
  • Bill for multiple services with one installation
  • Invoices formatted to meet University specifications
  • Utilizes industry standard CPT and ICD codes
  • Automated notification system to remind physicians when new treatment plans need to be developed
  • Management reports monitoring physician activity
  • Flexible security system limits access by service or provider (physician)
  • Electronic invoice formats for transfer to central or external billing agencies

Department Manager’s Patient Module allows administrators to access and manage their own patient billing records at their desktop. It tracks patient diagnosis information for each admission or visit as well as a historical account of services provided to each patient. Management reports provide information by service, provider, attending physician, diagnosis (ICD), and procedure (CPT) code.

Data Security

Department Manager stores information in a secure MS Access or SQL Server database. The Patient Billing Module further ensures data security by maintaining all patient information in a separate database from the other Department Manager modules. It incorporates a multi-level security system that limits data access by service and/or admitting provider (physician).

Personnel/HR

Department Manager’s Personnel Module is a comprehensive human resources management system. It provides both general and financial information about faculty and staff employees, as well as students, post docs, temporaries, residents, and volunteers as required for the day-to-day operations of a departmental business office. This module is often used with Department Manager’s Accounting Module for projecting future salary and benefit costs and with the Grant and Space Modules for generating comprehensive faculty profiles and reports for faculty evaluation.

The Personnel module includes information such as:

  • Total salary and salary distributions
  • Fringe benefit packages for individual and groups of employees
  • Demographic data such as date of birth, gender, race, marital status, VISA, veteran, handicap, and several user-definable codes Home and office addresses for mailing labels and department directories
  • Rank, Title, and tenure information for faculty with joint appointments in multiple departments
  • Work performance review, leave, education, effort (for tracking RVU’s), and certification
  • Committees and who serves on them
  • Position numbers and a position control system for managing position budgets at state supported institutions

Department Manager’s Personnel Module is a powerful tool for both department and school administrators. It is a robust system, capable of putting detailed data for several thousand faculty and their supporting staff at your fingertips. Its architecture is integrated with our Accounting Module in order to manage tomorrow’s personnel costs, today.

Space/Equipment

Department Manager’s Space and Equipment Inventory module is a state-of-the-art space and equipment tracking system. The Space component tracks information such as room square footage, room ownership by department, division and faculty, room usage, and the equipment located in it. A user defined coding system allows organizations to tailor the database to their individual needs. When used with the grant module, it can compare department faculty based on the amount of their grant funding per square foot of research space.

The Equipment Inventory component records specific information about each piece of capital equipment used by your organization. Over 45 variables, including equipment description, manufacturer, origin of purchase, cost, location, and current status (missing, discarded, or in use) are tracked for each item. When used with a bar-code scanner, it can completely automate your equipment tracking process.

Highlights

  • Track space use from two points of view:
    • An architect’s: lab, office, conference room, etc
    • An administrator: research, teaching, administration, etc
  • Track shared and borrowed space Space and Equipment ownership assigned by corporation, department, division, and faculty
  • Assign employees and grants to individual rooms
  • Records total square feet and number of workstations per room
  • Supports industry standard (Hegis) and user-defined coding systems
  • Tracks research dollars per square foot of research space by individual faculty or department
  • Track space utilization to aid in Indirect Cost Calculations
  • Interfaces to bar-code scanners for automating equipment location verification
  • Quickly identify missing equipment
  • Compute Equipment Depreciation

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