A MESSAGE FROM CAROLYN AINSLIE

The new finance site launches on February 25th

Welcome to the special web edition of The General Ledger newsletter, where we are proud to introduce our new website: finance.princeton.edu.

The new Finance and Treasury website is part of a broader focus on enhancing our customer service, communications, financial stewardship, and compliance. Over the coming months, we will share more news in these areas, including the opening of our new customer service center in New South.

The new website will continuously evolve to better serve campus financial needs. The February 25 milestone is a significant improvement over our old site. But there’s still work to be done. You may see pages that have errors or omissions, which we encourage you to bring to our attention so that we may address them. Even after the site is fully established, we want you to continue sending us your ideas for enhancements. Through this continuous feedback and improvement loop, the site will become an increasingly relevant tool to support your work.

carolyn

Reaching this milestone would not have been possible without broad support from the University community. Many of you provided feedback during this project. This input formed the basis of our development strategy, and inspired us to imagine new ways to communicate with you. Thank you for your support. We look forward to hearing more from you!

HOW TO

Step-by-step processes

One of the most important sections of the new site is “How To.” It provides easy step-by-step instructions for our most common financial processes, which are linked to related forms and policies.

ORGANIZED BY TASK

The old site was organized around our departments. The new site is organized around the way you work. Each category in the “How To” section was created to match the tasks and words you use every day. We want it to be easy for you to find what you need.

STEP BY STEP

How do I make a deposit? How do I get reimbursed? Many procedures are best explained in a simple step-by-step format. Look for links with “Step-by-Step” at the end of the title for easy-to-follow guides.

GETTING HELP

While the clarified web content is a big step forward, not every situation aligns with a standard process or form. Each page on the site has a link to a contact person who can answer your questions. The footer at the bottom of each page also lists helpful related links.

 

FORMS

Redesigned and housed in one location










A SINGLE LIBRARY

The new Forms Library is a single point of reference for all Finance and Treasury forms. You can browse the library by category or search by key word. There’s also an A–Z list of all forms to use when you know the name of the form you are seeking.

CONSISTENT DESIGN

We did not just collect the forms in one location. We checked for accuracy and relevance, and looked at how to make them better. Where possible, we consolidated certain forms. For example, instead of three separate undergraduate, graduate, and non-Princeton student vouchers, we now have a single student voucher.

FUNCTIONAL

Beyond the benefits of a consistent design, we wanted the new forms to be more useful. Now you can fill them out on your computer then print them to be signed. You can also prefill fields and save the form to your computer for the next time you need to fill it out.

OPEN TO FEEDBACK

The Forms Library and its contents will be an ongoing area of focus. We will continue to improve our forms with your input. We’re listening!

POLICY

Reformatted—clear, concise, and consistent

A new centralized Policy Library makes policies easy to find. Scroll the A- Z list of policy titles, browse the web categories for the policy title, or type a key word into the search function.

Every policy in the library is reformatted from existing and approved policies that were in memo or other formats. We have some areas that are in need of new policies, but these were not included in this phase of our web project. The goal was to organize existing policies in a clear, concise, and consistent way. You will find the structure and language of a policy is different–and clearer.

The web page for each policy has three tabs: overview, complete policy, and update log. Each policy header lists the effective date and last update; the policy footer lists the responsible executive and a contact name for questions. All related procedures and forms are linked.

Important changes to policy structure:

The former “Expense Guidelines” is now separated into four policies:

  • Business Expense Policy
  • Credit Card Policy
  • Travel Policy
  • Reimbursement Policy

policy screen shot

All purchasing policies are consolidated into six policies:

  • General Principles - Purchasing Goods & Services Policy
  • Suppliers and Contracts Policy
  • Capital Equipment Policy
  • Computer Equipment Policy
  • Mobile Communication Devices Policy
  • Sales Tax Exemption Policy
 
form library screen shot

TIPS & TRICKS

Prepare for February 25th!

To promote a smooth transition, please keep the following in mind:

  • The new site address is finance.princeton.edu. The old site will be removed on February 25.
  • Your bookmarks may not translate to the new site. However, you will be directed to the homepage or to a page that closely matches your bookmark.
  • All forms have been updated; please make an early effort to use the new forms. (New forms will be required as of July 1, 2011).
  • Use the e-mail button on any page to share content with your colleagues.
  • We have a new financial codes sheet to offer you. Look for it in the upper right corner of the page under the search box.
  • Attend a training session next week to become familiar with the site. Register here.
  • Need help or can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact customer service at finance@princeton.edu or (609) 258-3080.
 

STEP-BY-STEP

How many people does it take to make a website?

Lots. This project has been in the works for a year, and has touched on all parts of our division. We heard from academic managers, administrative managers, business officers, and faculty. We wanted to hear: What’s working? What needs improvement? What are you trying to do?

We met with staff members to test the “user-interface” of the new site. This informed how content would be organized and what language we used to categorize the content.

In parallel, we reviewed our existing web content, forms, and policies. We mapped core business processes in the key areas of purchasing, accounts payable, and loans and receivables to use as the basis for our step-by-step pages. Throughout this process we received significant full-time support from our design partner, Rolling Orange, and our content writer, Aleta Delaplane.

A website is never done. We will rely upon your feedback and support to make continuous improvements to the site. Thank you for your contributions and efforts.

stack of papers

THINKING AHEAD

The web is a two-way communication channel

FEEDBACK

The feedback link at the bottom of each page isn’t decoration. We are actively soliciting feedback on ways to improve your experience of working with us and managing your financial activities. Please let us know how the new site is working for you. Can you find what you need? Does it make sense? Is there anything missing? Are there things we could do to improve it even more?

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Our new financial customer service center in New South will open in spring 2011. We invite you to stop by to speak with a customer service representative in person. You can certainly always call (609) 258-3080, or email finance@princeton.edu as well. In addition, each page of our site has a link to a person in Finance and Treasury who can answer questions about that specific page. Look at the bottom of the content in the For More Information block.

 

PEOPLE

Meet the Web Working Group

web working group

Many people in the Office of Finance and Treasury contributed to the development of our new website, especially the Web Working Group. Representing a broad cross-section of the division’s departments, the Web Working Group brought day-to-day functional expertise to the project. The group met at least bi-weekly for nearly a year. During this time they focused on reviewing forms, writing new content, and reviewing the site’s architecture and design. The group was also instrumental in providing regular two-way communication with their respective departments throughout the project.

We’d like to extend thanks and recognition to the team members of the Web Working Group:

  • Susan Johansen
  • Dan Richlin
  • Pam Muscente
  • Joanne McLaren
  • Steve Semenuk
  • Mark Aanonsen
  • Hanna Bigelow
  • Julie Lines
  • Becky Steika
  • Jeremy Harvey
  • Maureen Ciambrello
  • Mary Pinney
  • Brandon Gaines

A special thank you to Mark Dingfield, who provided focused leadership and creativity as the project manager.

GLOSSARY

“breadcrumb”

/bred-kruhm/ - noun

A navigation tool that tracks progressive steps through a hierarchy of pages.  A user can use the breadcrumbs to find their way back to other pages in the section. Example: Home > How To > Reimbursement > Get Reimbursed > Non-Travel Business Expenses.

WHAT NOW?

what now?

Register to attend a training session the week of February 28 to become familiar with the site, or visit our preview site to see more features.

CONTACT US

finance@princeton.edu
Tel (609) 258-3080
Fax (609) 258-0442

Princeton University
Office of Finance & Treasury
701 Carnegie Center
Princeton, NJ 08540

Google Map
Princeton Shuttle

CASHIER HOURS & LOCATION

New South Building - 7th Floor
Monday through Friday,
10:30 am — 1:30 pm

FINANCE NEWSLETTER

The General Ledger is your link to updates on people, policies, and other information related to financial transactions at the University.

Subscribe

WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK!

How can we better serve you? Submit comments, questions, and ideas to our customer service department.

finance@princeton.edu