Johns Hopkins leadership has decided that the
budgeting process for fiscal year 2006/2007 will begin six
weeks earlier than usual for the university and four weeks
earlier for the health system.
Fred Puddester, executive director of budget,
financial planning and analysis for the university, and
Kathleen Rogers, director of financial planning and budget
for the health system, said that the recommendation was
made after determining that staffs needed to be more
available to participate in
the project to streamline and modernize Johns Hopkins'
business and administrative systems.
"Many of the same people that we rely on for budgeting
we will also need for Hopkins-One training and testing,
particularly during the April through June training
period," Puddester said. "We knew we had to try and even
out the workload."
Any budgeting process involves some forecasting, and
an accelerated time frame could make that forecasting even
more difficult than usual. But in the long run, Puddester
said, spreading out the workload should help to smooth the
transition to the HopkinsOne system. "Budget leaders
collaboratively analyzed what's to come and decided that
this is the best approach for handling this volume of
work," he said.
At the university, deans usually make some budgeting
assumptions in December and then, after working with those
figures, meet with the provost during March and April to
discuss how their budgets fit into the university's goals,
Puddester said. This year, however, the deans will present
their budgets in February, with the goal of completing the
process by the end of the month.
Likewise, health system leaders recognized that
budgeting earlier will enable staffs to more fully focus on
HopkinsOne. "We needed to complete the budget one month
earlier, by March 18 instead of April 18, in order to have
all the information we need to load into the [outgoing]
legacy system by April 15 and convert the data to the
HopkinsOne system by May," Rogers said. "This means we will
have to make more assumptions with fewer facts, but with
the talent that we have at Hopkins, I'm sure we can
accomplish our goal."
Rogers said she was impressed with the cooperation of
budgeting entities from throughout Johns Hopkins and by how
receptive people have been to changing the budgeting time
frame. "I think people recognize the importance of pulling
this together and accomplishing this ambitious task," she
Adjusting to the transition means looking at the
long-term benefits, Puddester said, because "the HopkinsOne
system will give us the tools we need to make our jobs