Revised Implementation, Scope & Schedule for Ascend

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

To:  Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, and Administrative Officers

Colleagues,

After careful and thoughtful consideration, the Ascend Executive Committee has decided to extend the go-live date of our new financial system until July of 2021. This provides us the opportunity to more closely align our capabilities with the strategic vision for the UCLA community, accommodate additional functionality, and ensure sufficient time to build the number of required system integrations. Within this timeline, the planning and budgeting solution for Ascend, including the new Chart of Accounts, will become operational in January of 2021 to enable the FY2022 budget preparation to occur within the new system. We will also have the additional benefit of providing a longer transition and stabilization period for staff to learn the new financial language of UCLA.

The Ascend project is a major transformational opportunity for UCLA and we are committed to delivering a comprehensive, long-term solution for our campus community. This transformation will provide a more robust Chart of Accounts that supports the intricacy of our organizational units at all levels, improved controls using online workflow approvals, and enable standard reporting/analytics tools that ensure we all have access and share the same information. The extension will provide a longer training timeframe with more robust tools including “hands on keys” practice and offerings to aid knowledge transfer, campus readiness, and overall acceptance.

The current UCLA financial system has been in place for over 30 years, resulting in a very complex ecosystem of over 200 integrations to other business systems and reporting applications, such as UCPath, as well as internal programs supporting Facilities Management, Housing and Hospitality, Transportation, the medical enterprise and nearly every other department on campus. Because these applications play such a pivotal role in departmental business operations, it is important that we ensure there is sufficient time to seamlessly migrate to these systems with the new financial solution.

The revised schedule still requires focused cooperation from the community for consultation, testing, preparation, and implementation. We sincerely thank you for your continued engagement, as our partnership with each department is crucial to the sustained momentum and overall success of the Ascend Project and UCLA.

With best regards,

Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor

Gregg Goldman
Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer