Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael J. Beck and
Vice Chancellor and CFO Gregg Goldman
To UCLA Faculty and Staff:
In our last update in the summer of 2020, we shared our vision and timetable for UCLA’s financial system transformation project known as Ascend. We are now pleased to announce that the Ascend Project will relaunch on October 1, 2021.
The extended timeline and reconfigured project governance will help ensure we can successfully deliver on our goal to replace our 30-year old legacy mainframe with a more modern, secure, functional system to better support the various needs of campus departments and related reporting obligations. This extended timeline allows the campus to implement changes thoughtfully and at a manageable pace. The capabilities offered by the new systems — Oracle Financials Cloud and Enterprise Performance Management Cloud — will result in one common and shared data source for reporting that will provide more and better financial data to aid in departmental decision making and allow staff to focus on UCLA's core mission.
The Ascend relaunch and go-live schedule is as follows:
- October 2021: Ascend Project Relaunch
- July 2023: Oracle Financials Cloud Go-live (for accounting)
- January 2024: Enterprise Performance Management Cloud Go-live (for planning and budgeting)
We are also excited to share that the Ascend Project Team recently reevaluated and further refined the UCLA Chart of Accounts (CoA). The finalized CoA is a critical milestone that is the basic building block for UCLA financial operations. The CoA will replace the current Full Accounting Unit (FAU) structure for recording financial transactions. Several adjustments were made within the available Oracle Financials framework to ensure the CoA will more readily meet campus needs and offer key functionality our campus depends on. The CoA will also offer new capabilities not available in the current FAU structure. As we approach relaunch, foundational activities such as FAU to CoA mapping will resume.
We are committed to an implementation process that actively seeks input and engagement from the various partners across the campus. We look forward to sharing more information on the project relaunch and engagement opportunities as we approach October 1. With Fiscal Year End rapidly approaching and many campus-wide initiatives in-progress, we are in an especially busy time of year. With that in mind, Financial officers can expect more detailed information about Ascend activities in August, after Fiscal Year End. Those interested in learning more about Ascend in the meantime should visit the Ascend website for the latest project updates and CoA details.
We remain grateful for the immense investment of time and energy that so many across the campus have made thus far on Ascend and look forward to more shared accomplishments across the life of the project.
Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor, Ascend Executive Sponsor
Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer, Ascend Executive Sponsor