New Ascend Timeline

  • June 15, 2020

Office of the Administrative Vice Chancellor
Office of the Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer

To UCLA Faculty and Staff:

We want to provide you with an update on the Ascend Project’s new timetable for implementing Concur, Oracle Financials Cloud, and Enterprise Performance Management Cloud (EPM, previously known as ePBCS) that will replace UCLA’s legacy financial systems. Project leadership has recommended and we have agreed to move forward with a phased implementation timeline. This will allow more time for the campus community to transition to the new systems, while also looking for opportunities to reduce cost wherever possible during these challenging times. The need to upgrade and modernize our financial systems is not a choice, but how we do it is.

The new Ascend timeline includes five key phases:

  • Phase 1: CoA Finalization, Governance, Project Planning, and Scope re-validation through 2020.
  • Phase 2: Continued vendor training for project team; Concur Go-live in Spring, 2021
  • Phase 3: Change Management efforts and vendor training for project team continue in 2021 throughout the project.
  • Phase 4: Comprehensive system and operational/user acceptance testing, University readiness and training, leading to the Oracle Financials Cloud Go-live in July, 2023.
  • Phase 5: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud Go-live in January, 2024.

We feel this adjustment will benefit UCLA in a few ways. First, it will give the University more time to finalize, transition, and map the old Full Accounting Unit (FAU) to the new Chart of Accounts (CoA), a crucial component which impacts all UCLA units. Second, it recognizes the complexities of our campus and gives us more time to address the many operational and system changes across campus. Third, implementing Concur Expense, Oracle Financials Cloud, and Oracle EPM Cloud in phases will allow UCLA to realize tangible results sooner with the implementation of each phase. This transformation will support UCLA’s core mission while simultaneously upgrading and strengthening its financial systems with industry best practices. And finally, this phased approach is mindful of the significant operational constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unique burden currently placed on our institution.

The development of this strategy has come after careful examination of the unique issues facing UCLA. As the Ascend Project marches forward, we ask for your continued support, collaboration, and understanding with the system and process changes associated with such efforts. We recognize many of you have invested considerable time into this project, including preparing your departments for change. The time you have spent and the work you have completed thus far continues to be valuable and will contribute to the overall success.

As we work together to support the new phased implementation approach, we will continue to share regular updates and decisions through email, website updates, and Change Management outreach efforts. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to BTO Program Director Michael Lee at [email protected].

Sincerely,

Michael Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor

Gregg Goldman
Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer