New Request Tracking System
ConnectionPoint is transitioning to a new online system to manage your requests. ConnectionPoint Services, our service request system, will be available on July 3 and provide a more functional and user-friendly platform for faculty, staff and students. Many of the enhanced features introduced in the new service request system are based on the feedback from members of the university community since launching ConnectionPoint in 2016. The implementation will begin in July with future enhancements planned to further improve your experience and ConnectionPoint service offerings. Thank you for your feedback and please continue to provide it via the Let’s hear it! button on connectionpoint.usask.ca.
Information sessions are scheduled to showcase the changes and provide you with an opportunity to learn about the new system. To register for a session, please visit the ICT Training Services web page and look for the ConnectionPoint – Portal Basics listing under Courses.
Help pages for using the new system are also available in the ConnectionPoint Knowledgebase.
ConnectionPoint Services, will provide the university community with enhanced functionality to submit and more efficiently manage service requests. You will notice an improved interface when submitting online requests, along with the following benefits:
- Ability to add colleagues to your requests, to make it easier for you to arrange coverage for vacations and EDOs
- Easier ability to route requests for approval and grant subsequent approval
- Update and add information to open service requests, with improved line of sight into your college/unit requests
- A number of new electronic forms (eForms) to replace current paper-based forms
- A more dynamic online Knowledge Base to search and share support resources
- Improved ability to track the status, sort, filter, and search your submitted service requests
- Improved system response time
Yes! We are currently working on transferring all of your historical requests into the new system so they will continue to be available to you for reference. Your old request will be searchable in your request and will look something like this:
Yes! We have several new eForms that alleviate the use of paper forms, or simplify the process of existing forms. New eForms that you can expect to see include:
- Apply for a Travel Card
- Make Changes to a Travel Card Account
- Apply for a PCard
- Request a PCard Change
- Correct an EJS
- Extend a Term
- Request an Employment Verification Letter
- Request a Concur Guest Profile
- Service Income Requisition
- Create a Letter of Offer
- Assistance Scheduling Interviews
- Extend or Amend a Contract
- Liquidate or Cancel a Purchase Order
- Reset Your About-US Password
Many of our current eForms will continue into the new request system, but with some improvements or changes based on your feedback!
Added drill down capability in FAST
As part of on-going enhancements to the information and service available to campus users, we have added a new drill down capability in FAST. Where a document starts with I0, and is payable to a company, you are now able to see an image of the Invoice related to the charge in your fund. It is recommended that you right click on the link in the “Inv/Ref #1” column to view the invoice in a new browser tab within the document management tool. Banner documents with a transaction date of January 1, 2017 or later will have the associated documents available for viewing through these FAST links.
If you have not logged in to FAST through PAWS you may be asked to enter your NSID and password before being taken to the document management tool and access to the supporting documents is based on your UniFi security.
If you still have questions associated with expenses charged to your fund, please reach out to the Payments team in ConnectionPoint, we are here to help you.
NOTE: The original YouSask communication inidcated banner documents with a transaction date of January 1, 2016 or later. This was a typo and has since been corrected to 2017.
Salaried (AboutUS) Move Transaction (JV) processing start dates published
Processing start dates for the Reimbursement for Expenses Including Travel eForm, Pay a Company Invoice eForm and Move Transaction (Joural Voucher) non-salary eForm were published on the ConnectionPoint homepage in the fall. In February 2018, we added the processing start dates for salaried (AboutUS) Move Transaction (Journal Voucher) eForms for your information.
Semi-monthly payroll transition
The University of Saskatchewan transitioned from a monthly payroll cycle to a semi-monthly payroll cycle on January 1, 2018. The ConnectionPoint team will continue to work to reduce paper burden, streamline workflows and continue with process improvements for payroll related activities in the upcoming months.
If you have any questions regarding the transition to the semi-monthly pay cycle, please refer to the semi-monthly payroll project website, contact the semi-monthly payroll project team, or ConnectionPoint.
Concur expense report status explanations
Expense Reports in Concur go through several status changes between creation and payment of reimbursement. The following list gives a brief description of each status indicator. In general, once an Expense Report has been approved by all primary approvers and reaches back office approval in ConnectionPoint, it will take 5 to 7 business days for your payment to be direct deposited to your account. Please note that payment/cheque runs happen every Tuesday and Friday morning.
- Expense report created by either employee or delegate, but not submitted
- Both employee and delegate can edit or submit (based on permissions for delegate)
Pending approval – (Approver Name)
- Expense report has been submitted to approvers by employee or delegate
- Cannot be modified by employee or delegate except to attach receipts
- Employee or delegate can recall
- Approver can add comments, modify allocations, approve, send back, or approve and forward to additional approver.
Sent back to employee
- Expense report either sent back to employee by approver or recalled by employee or delegate
- Both employee or delegate can edit or submit
- Approver cannot see or make changes
Approved and in Accounting Review
- All approvals have been done and expense report is in queue for final back office review and approval
- Cannot be modified except to attach additional receipts
- Employee or delegate can recall
- All approvals, including final back office approval, have been done, and payment is either in processing or extracted (see payment status below)
- No editing or recall possible
- Employee or delegate can still attach receipts
- Expense report is still in approval status process (see above)
- Will be extracted for payment to employee at next payment run
Extracted for Payment
- Payment has been processed, and direct deposit or cheque issued.
Auto Notification Added for Injuries at Work
If you are injured at work, your Manager or Supervisor will submit a Submit Leave eForm through PAWS to ConnectionPoint. As soon as we receive the eForm from your Manager/Supervisor, Safety Resources will automatically be notified of your injury and will follow up with you to best assist you. This will also improve Safety Resource's visibility for worker's compenation claims that require immediate attention.
Supporting Paper Payroll Cheques
ConnectionPoint now sends an email to individuals who have paper cheques ready for pickup. The email notifies recipients that the cheque is ready for pick up as well as information as to where, when and how to pick up the cheque.
Important dates published
A list of important dates for certain types of activities has been added to Knowledge Base for your reference. The article, titled Cut-Offs and Other Important Dates provides the campus community with a list of important dates such as EJS submission and flexible spending allocation deadlines. A button has also been added to the PAWS channel linking you directly to the relevant Knowledge Base article for quick reference.
Offer letter template improvements
As we continue to work with the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Offer Letter Templates, the campus community has identified additional improvements that can be made to the letter. The intention of the improvement is to ensure that all necessary information is gathered on the form, that it is simple and concise for both the person filling it out and the person processing it, and that there are no redundancies with other sources of information.
As a result, additional fields and clarifications have been added to the forms and the revised versions have been published to Knowledge Base and linked through the employee's application in ATS.
ExpenseIt now available through Concur
Welcome to ExpenseIt
We recently implemented ExpenseIt from Concur to make it easier and faster for you to file expenses. ExpenseIt is a feature within the Concur mobile app that automatically turns receipts into expenses for you. No manual entry required. It’s like having your own personal assistant in your back pocket.
How it works
Take photos of your receipts directly from the Concur mobile app
For digital receipts, just forward your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every receipt gets analysed and automatically creates a line item for you
Review before including in your expense report.
Add to any expense report
Submit and you're done.
- Download the Concur Mobile app from iTunes or Google Play.
- Log in with your Concur credentials (username, password or mobile pin)*
*Can't remember? Go to the Concur channel in paws and click on the Go to My Concur button, select the profile tab and click the mobile registration link to find your username. You can create a new password by clicking on the 'Create a Mobile PIN' link.
New eForm improvements
In the spring, ConnectionPoint released the Hire and Onboarding Services eForm. Four months after the release of this form, Managers and Process Effectiveness team members consulted with staff, clients, leadership and you, the members of the campus community, to obtain feedback and suggestions for improvement to the eForm, associated services and processes. Thanks to your suggestions, the following improvements are now available:
- Redesign of the onboarding email hiring managers will receive when a new employee has accepted an offer. The email is designed to assist hiring in managers in identifying other activities that may be required when onboarding a new employee.
- Knowledge Base article: A new Knowledge Base article was added to better support the onboarding email to managers while providing more comprehensive information and resources to better assist managers when hiring new employees.
- Clarified language: In an effort to improve your experience using our eForms, we clarified the language that is associated with field inputs.
- Addition of mouseover help text: Also designed to improve your experience using our eForms, we added mouseover help text to provide additional explanations for field inputs where more explanation may be required.
- Addition of mandatory CFOAPAL information: In an effort to speed up processing times and reduce the number of times an Agent needs to reach out to you for more information, we have added fields that require CFOAPAL information. If you know your CFOAPAL information, please include it with the request. If you do not know your CFOAPAL information, please include the name of the person our Agents can contact to find out the appropriate information to process the request.
- Addition of multiple CFOAPAL information fields: Multiple CFOAPAL information fields have been made available for split distribution positions. Only the first CFOAPAL field will be mandatory.
- Ability to indicate the distribution of salary amongst CFOAPAL fields: In the case of split distributions, you will be able to indicate how your employee's salary should be split amongst CFOAPALs by amount or percentage.
- Removal of default title field: The eForm's previous title field had information filled in by default. We have changed the title field to be blank so you can fill it in with a title that is meaningful to you and easy to search in your history of requests.
- Clarified definition of "supervisor" and "manager": In some units, the "supervisor" is a different person from the "hiring manager", causing confusion as to whether the supervisor or the manager should be included on the eForm for particular cases. We have clarified the definition of each in mouseover help text to help reduce confusion.
- Provided option to include "time approver" and "hiring manager": In some units on campus, the "time approver" is a different person than the "hiring manager". Allowing a user to identify both the time approver and the hiring manager will allow Agents to set the correct person for time approval while directing relevant communications regarding the employee life cycle to the appropriate person (such as the hiring manager). This change is intended to provide a better experience for both the user and the hiring manager and reduce potential errors.
- Addition of checkbox to indicate if "time clock" is required: We have added a checkbox to indicate if time clock is required for employee set up to improve more efficient processing of the request and provide better support for the hire and onboarding function.
- Streamlining of behind the scenes workflows: We have made several improvements to our systems workflows and the way we handle Hire and Onboarding Services requests to streamline the workflow between the teams here at ConnectionPoint and around campus to improve more efficient handling of your request and improve turnaround times.
Our Pay a Company Invoice eForm was one of the original eForms rolled out by ConnectionPoint in December 2016. Several months later, Managers and Process Effectiveness team members consulted with staff, leadership and you, the campus community to obtain feedback and suggestions for improvement to the eForm. Thanks to your suggestions, the following changes have been rolled out and are now available, with several more to come in the following months:
- Mouseover help text: We added mouseover help text to the eForm with tips and tricks providing clarity for you and making the eForms easier to use.
- Added an option to choose the amount ($) or proportion (%) of expense allocations when using multiple CFOAPAL fields.
- Receiving function clarification: We added clarifying language regarding the receiving function when initiating payment to vendors.
- Two fields added to the eForm: In an effort to expedite payments and ensure adherance to deadllines, two fields were added to the eForm. 1) Invoice amount and 2) invoice due date, which allow our agents to quickly identify high priority requests.
- Improvement of esthetics and field inputs: We have improved the esthetics and consistency of all eForm fields to provide clarity for data entry.
- Addition of approver field: To reduce incidents where requests are transferred around multiple people for approval, we have added Approver field to allow you to indicate who the appropriate approver would be for the CFOAPAL indicated on the eForm. This will result in more timely processing of payment.
- Standing orders: The option to submit invoices for standing orders has been added to the eForm.
- Removal of the "default" title: The default title has been removed from the request title field so you are able to populate this field with your own title making it meaningful for your request and allow you to easily identify specific requests in your history.
- Relocate Tri-Agency fund checkbox: Based on your feedback, we have moved the tri-agency checkbox to appear earlier in the eForm near the PO number and CFOAPAL fields to be more intuitive for users.
- Accommodation for keyboard-only use of drop-down menus: We heard from some users that it is more convenient to tab through fields rather than using a mouse to click on each field. As a result, drop-down fields have added functionality where users can tab through the fields, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move through options and use the "enter" key to make a selection.
Changes to the ConnectionPoint webpage
Processing Start Dates now available
We are now publishing Processing Start Dates on the ConnectionPoint homepage!
Thanks to suggestions from you, we have begun publishing our processing start dates on the ConnectionPoint homepage and our PAWS channel to help you better understand where your requests may be in our processing queues.
Ongoing improvements and projects now available
We have added information to our webpage summarizing the improvements we are making to our services and processes and the projects we are working on to help serve you better!
Check out our new What we're working on page for information on improvements we are implementing based on feedback from you and what changes you can expect to see in the coming months. We have also included the projects we are working on and where you can find more up-to-date and detailed information about related projects around campus.
Improvements to Knowledge Base
Knowledge Base is an information portal for the campus community providing articles and forms relevant to staff and students on campus. When Knowledge Base was originally introduced, it housed 198 articles and 10 forms. Since that time, ConnectionPoint has added 103 new articles, 71 forms, and has made 398 enhancements to existing articles and forms!
New Articles in Key Areas:
- Recruitment information related to the roll out of the University's newly implemented Applicant Tracking System (ATS), and guidance for responsibilities of departments and ConnectionPoint
- Onboarding checklist for departments to aid in creating a positive experience for new employees
- Job Posting and Letter of Offer Templates are available
- Time away from work including vacation information for each union, and a 2 year holiday schedule
- Total rewards information including benefit eligibility, plan summaries and premiums for each union/group, as well as continuing to provide content on benefits and claims administration
- Flexible Spending Program information on allocating funds and claims submissions
- Procurement policies and guidelines including PCard usage and transitioning to the new service provider
- Travel & expense policies and guidelines including CVA rentals
- FAQs for new programs such as incentivized exit, total rewards statement and introduction of PST on insurance premiums
- Payroll information including topics such as personal tax credits and direct deposit
- Administering student stipends for tri-agency and non tri-agency funds
- Leave of absence information including application instructions, leaves, and guidance for employment insurance and supplemental benefit for maternity/parental leaves
- Important deadlines and cutoff dates for things like EJS cutoff, holiday deadlines, year end dates etc. This page will be updated often throughout the year
A few new sub-categories have also been added to help you find articles more easily if you are navigating through Knowledge Base. They include PCard, Job Posting, Leave of Absence, and Holiday & Vacation/Other Time Off.
Electronic job submission (phased approach)
ConnectionPoint provides an opportunity to support the EJS process in a more user-friendly way that helps to connect many services and processes that are complementary, but historically not aligned. The information received through an EJS is a trigger to initiate many other processes that are integrated into the onboarding and off boarding processes such as: access to systems and professional development funds, enrollment in benefit and pension plans, keys and space. It also helps to deliver a positive user experience for both the hiring manager and employee.
As a result of these changes, the goal is to:
- ensure the timely and effective co-ordination of job actions and leaves, which can often be complex and involve many units
- support the employee onboarding process to ensure items such as benefits and system access are set up prior to an employee’s start date
- support the employee off-boarding process to ensure items such as pension transfer, system access and benefits termination are taken care of
- support the transition to semi-monthly pay and the new EJS submission deadlines that will accompany this change
Beginning in May 2017, faculty and staff in the College of Education and units within the Office of the Vice-President Finance and Resources will provide the following job actions through new e-forms located in the ConnectionPoint PAWS channel for:
- hires and terminations of permanent and term CUPE 1975, CUPE 3287, ASPA, exempt, faculty and senior administration employees; and
- leaves and returns for all employee groups.
At this time, units outside of the College of Education and the Office of the Vice-President Finance and Resource will see no change.
For the College of Education and the Office of the Vice-President Finance and Resource (pilot units), please continue to submit casual hires and terminations, job changes and casual hours for all other employee groups through the EJS in AboutUS.