Many universities today face a similar challenge—continuing to manage the academic institution while growing academic research and supporting areas that bring in additional revenue. The University of Central Florida (UCF) is a national research university and its College of Medicine is the leader of UCF Health, the college’s physician practice. Budget and revenue for UCF is attributed to three very different areas—the university, professor research grants, and the physician practice business. Fine tuning the academic institution budget over the years, meant it followed a predictable systematic flow, but grant donation timing fluctuated outside the fiscal year and the physician practice changed daily. Developing a fiscal year plan for three very disparate businesses was increasingly difficult using existing tools such as spreadsheets. A better solution was needed; and a committee was formed to research alternatives. Workday Adaptive Planning was chosen based on its ease to implement, friendly user interface, ability to integrate data from multiple sources, and ability to manage budgeting and reporting in all three missions of the College of Medicine.
Today, budgeting in Workday Adaptive Planning gives stakeholders increased access to budgets while also making it easy to manage their budgets from year to year. As the single source for budget information, the College of Medicine leadership has confidence in the budget data, while being able to track that data by mission and organisational structure. Workday Adaptive Planning flexibility allows the College of Medicine finance staff to add dimensionality to the budget that does not exist within the university’s chart of accounts. With data entry and control requiring less time, more time can be spent on strategic discussions on integrating the College of Medicine budget at a higher level. Despite budget growth (from $4 million in 2009 to $130 million in 2020) the UCF the finance team has not had to expand—largely due to the efficiencies resulting from Workday Adaptive Planning.
- Building a plan for three very different businesses—Working with three very different budgets presented a problem for the finance team. The college budget was predictable after many years, but university research grants have different cycles and the physician practice fluctuates rapidly making it challenging to build a cohesive financial plan.
- Difficulty managing physician practice—The UCF Health Physician Practice operates quite differently from the rest of the academic institution as a separate source of revenue that is a separate legal entity, with a separate bank account. This made it hard to reconcile the physician practice alongside the university budget.
- Verifying data rather than giving strategic advice—The finance team was finding miscalculations in financial budgets and revenue forecasts that had just been created, which meant two weeks were spent just gathering and verifying data and little time remained to discuss the data itself.
- Trusting the data—One of the toughest challenges to overcome was convincing 30 different users and stakeholders in the different departments within the College of Medicine to trust the budget data.
- Three businesses, one income statement—Each of the three unique business entities operates quite differently. Workday Adaptive Planning helps the finance team integrate data from all three businesses and produce a single income statement for the university.
- Alignment with physician practice—With Workday Adaptive Planning, the finance team is able to manage the UCF Physician Practice with a high-level business plan they are constantly measuring against, and also integrate the practice revenue planning into the overall university financial plan to create a single report.
- Confidence in budget data—By looking at the successes and weaknesses of the previous year, the finance team confidently develops a budget they are certain doesn’t contain hidden contingencies, which allows them to instead focus their energy on discussions around how to grow funds.
- Single source of information— Workday Adaptive Planning provides the finance team with a platform in which the budgeting and reporting is trusted around the university because it's a single source of information that aligns all of the stakeholders on the same page.