Colorado State University
Total Cost of Kuali
Colorado State University attracts significant
research funding and conducts...
"We believed that
we saved mil-
lions of dollars by
the Kuali Finan-
cial System," says
Patrick Burns,
Chief ...
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Colorado State University: Cost of Kuali


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Colorado State University: Cost of Kuali

  1. 1. Colorado State University Total Cost of Kuali Colorado State University attracts significant research funding and conducts world-class research in infectious disease, atmospheric science, clean energy technologies, and en- vironmental science. Despite these success- es, the university’s systems to support financial management and administration of research had become an obstacle. Colorado State University (CSU) sought a new financial system that would enhance, rather than constrain, the strong research capabilities of the univer- sity. When Troy Fluharty, Director of Business and Financial Services, first heard of the Kuali project, he expected that others on campus would hear of it as well. Mr. Fluharty’s initial impression was that the Kuali Financial System would not suit CSU’s needs, and he planned a trip to Kuali Days to gather information to support this conclusion. That trip did not go as planned. As Mr. Fluharty learned about the system, the project approach, and the proj- ect community, he became convinced that the Kuali Financial System offered the func- tionality to meet CSU’s complex sponsored re- search accounting and reporting needs. At that point the path ahead was not clear. The university had used an RFP process to se- lect its student system, but given the commu- nity source approach of Kuali, an RFP would not provide further insight. CSU needed to assess the Kuali Financial System’s ability to meet its functional needs, with broad campus engagement in the evaluation. Additionally, CSU needed to understand how to transition from its current system, Information Associates’ FRS. When CSU made the decision to implement the Kuali Financial System, cost was a key consideration. Mr. Burns explains: “We believe that our selection of Kuali saved us millions of dollars in licensing and implementation fees. Some of the savings has been re-invested in our staff, and that investment stays within our institution and continues to provide benefit. The financial savings in this economic climate are important to us and to our constituents.” Colorado State University’s key requirements for the new financial system included: • Multi-year budgeting for long-term research projects • Online workflow and tracking to increase transparency of financial approvals • Document attachments to provide context for financial reviews and audit trails • Ease-of-use that would allow prima- ry investigators and departmental leaders to easily input and review financial information
  2. 2. "We believed that we saved mil- lions of dollars by implementing the Kuali Finan- cial System," says Patrick Burns, Chief Information Officer, "Through the course of our project, we shifted budget dollars be- tween line items, but the project has run right on budget." . Implementation Budget Data Conversion rSmart provided the methodology and converted data from the legacy system to the Kuali Financial System. • Converted the chart of accounts and all as- sociated legacy data • Developed key system interfaces to Human Resources, Accounts Payable and Purchasing System Configuration rSmart provided expertise in configuring the Kuali Finan- cial System to meet Colorado State’s needs. • Reviewed options and impacts with CSU staff • Iterated through training and configuration to ensure that CSU staff could make informed configuration decisions • Completed and documented final system configuration Testing rSmart employed test automation tools and continuous in- tegration tools to streamline testing and improve reliability. • Developed test plans and scripts • Completed initial system testing • Trained lead users on testing processes Budget Item Kuali Financial System Kuali Research Administration Total Budget Technical Staff $1,345,000 $720,000 $2,065,000 Project Managers $138,000 $230,000 $368,000 Hardware & Support Software $350,000 $100,000 $450,000 Travel $165,000 $55,000 $220,000 Consulting $275,000 $240,000 $515,000 Kuali Foundation Membership $50,000 $50,000 $100,000 Total $2,323,000 $1,395,000 $3,718,000 Modification Development rSmart developed new functionality in alignment with community models, allowing contribution back to the Kuali community. • Identified community members with similar needs • Facilitated collaborative development • Programmed needed modifications • “Packaged” modifications to ease sharing Risk Mitigation rSmart provided flexible resource loading as institutional needs changed. • Completed unplanned system modifications • Provided hands-on training and validation for technical resources using new technologies and skills • Addressed issues • Provided essential expertise to assist both in analysis and development How did rSmart assist Colorado State University in its implementation of the Kuali Financial System?