University of Cincinnati Chooses IBM to Transform Financial Management

The University of Cincinnati has selected IBM to modernize its financial management processes and systems that account for $1.7 billion in assets and an annual budget of $750 million.

The university made the competitive award to IBM Business Consulting Services for the Financial Systems Replacement Project (FSRP) implementing SAP Enterprise Software to transform business processes and technology for all financial transactions at the university.  UC is state-supported, with approximately 33,000 students and staff of 13,000.  It is the largest employer in the Cincinnati region.

 “We must have a world-class financial system to manage a 21st century university and to succeed as a national, research-intensive institution.  It is up to us to protect the university’s assets, endowment, and tuition payments on behalf of students and their families,” said Nancy Zimpher, president of the University of Cincinnati.  “The steps we are taking to transform our financial management processes and systems will help us achieve that goal.”

During the 18-month project, UC and IBM will work together to replace  the university’s current aging systems with a single Web-based system for the university’s budgeting, planning, accounting, purchasing, payments, grants and endowment management functions.

"Teaching, learning, and research are at the top of the university's agenda. We are committed to providing world-class information technology tools for their conduct," said Fred Siff, vice president and CIO at UC. "This project provides similar tools to the business operations of the enterprise."

“The new financial system will be the cornerstone for fiscal knowledge of our core missions.  Only with this knowledge can we design the policies, services, incentives, and key investments to support our academic programs at the highest level of quality.  We must not only be more efficient in operations so our resources can be focused on core missions, we must also be able to use financial data to model and forecast and make timely decisions in a competitive environment,” said Dale McGirr, UC CFO and vice president for finance.

Many academic institutions continue to use antiquated technology or manual tracking to account for finances. Modern financial management, that FSRP will enable, can help lower administrative costs and prevent wasteful errors as demonstrated by most large companies today.  For higher education, that can impact both on academics and tuition payments.

“We are committed to bring best-in-class financial management services and technology to help the University of Cincinnati maintain the highest level of financial stewardship, while focusing their resources on the core mission higher education and research,” said Ken Hefner, IBM Business Consulting Services Partner. 

With consultants and professional staff in more than 160 countries globally, IBM Business Consulting Services is the world’s largest consulting services organization.  IBM Business Consulting Services provides clients with business process and industry expertise, a deep understanding of technology solutions that address specific industry issues, and the ability to design, build and run those solutions in a way that delivers bottom-line business value.


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