Stratus is Towson University’s business platform and budget planning system. Stratus Financials replaces PeopleSoft Financials and lays the foundation for the upcoming Stratus Human Capital Management (HCM) system.
Stratus provides TU with a modern business and financial experience through improved agility, streamlined processing, engaging analytics dashboards, and collaboration options. This cloud-based business application system is the first step and one piece of a long-term modernization effort. With Stratus, information that you use will be more efficient, more interactive and easier to understand, enabling the university to make more strategic, data-based decisions.
The Stratus Financials foundation will result in long-term financial and operational benefits for TU. Using the Stratus system:
- standardizes, streamlines, modernizes, and integrates business processes.
- enhances self-service functionality, and eliminates duplicate systems currently used to support manual processes.
- provides much-needed and easy-to-create reporting capabilities, including dashboards, reports and visual analytics.
- improves budgeting, planning, and decision-making by offering simplified data interpretation.
How the decision was made
TU’s existing, on-premise PeopleSoft Financial systems needed to be upgraded. They were more than a decade old and out of support. The complexity, cost, and lack of return on investment for the necessary upgrades prompted TU to reassess those current systems. We identified the need to replace them with a modern set of applications.
TU used an external third-party consultant to investigate products and held internal discussions with key stakeholders from across the university. After conducting more than two years of extensive research and soliciting cross-campus input, a collective decision was made to move to the modern cloud system, Oracle Financials Cloud and Budget Planning Cloud.
Stratus Financials is live and accessible through the tile on MyTU. The project team will be meeting with stakeholders in each division to gather feedback on how things are going. Training materials continue to be available in functional areas. If you have questions, reach out to the Stratus Financials team. Stay tuned to TU Today for tips and tricks on using the system.
About the project
The Stratus Financials project included a redesign of the university’s Chart of Accounts, implementation of new financial and budget planning systems, and foundational work on a Human Capital Management (HCM) system. Work on HCM was initially limited to functions that support the workflow and automation of the financial and budget planning systems.
Stratus HCM is up next, and efforts will turn toward planning for the full HCM implementation project.
- July 11, 2022 – Stratus Financials is live and accessible through MyTU.
- 2023 – Stratus HCM project planning work begins.
Support & Self-Help Resources
Here’s where to find self-guided training materials and contact information for using Stratus Financials:
- General Navigation, Chart of Accounts, Reporting and Journals: Stratus Financials Training & Resources.
- Payables and Employee Reimbursements: Stratus Accounts Payable Resources & Training Materials.
- Travel: Stratus Travel Resources.
- Budget Transfers and Review: Stratus Budgeting Information.
- Purchasing and ProCard: Stratus Procurement Training & Resources.
- Accounts Receivables: Online Invoice System.
Frequently asked questions
What are the benefits of Stratus for employees?
Besides offering streamlined and modernized business systems, Stratus Financials provides TU employees with:
- Improved efficiency and fewer manual processes
- Convenience through notifications and mobile access
- Simplicity with reduced add-ons and workarounds
- Real-time information on budget availability
- Fewer external spreadsheets
- Quarterly updates providing new functionality
How does Stratus Financials affect me?
Employees can enter their own requisitions and expenses, including travel, ProCard and employee reimbursements. Supervisors review and approve expense reports. Cost center managers and financial stewards review and approve them. Depending on your office's business process, you might be an individual delegated to enter expense items and reports on someone else's behalf. Students do not have access to Stratus Financials-they'll use DocuSign for travel expenses.
Did PeopleSoft Financials go away?
Yes, now that Stratus is live, project work focuses on phasing out PeopleSoft Financials. Once the FY22 year-end processes are complete, PeopleSoft Financials will be decommissioned. Historical PeopleSoft data will still be accessible.
What does “foundational work on HCM” mean?
A benefit of Stratus is automated workflows. To support these workflow capabilities in the new system, we need to configure basic components of Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud, such as organizational and approval structures. The work that was done serves as a foundation for our future implementation of HCM Cloud. Components such as benefits, compensation, talent management and payroll will remain in PeopleSoft HCM.
How does this affect the Chart of the Accounts?
As part of the Stratus Financials project, the Chart of Accounts was redesigned to be a modern, flexible system for tracking financial transactions. This integrated system supports the institution’s ever-growing reporting needs and empowers the university to make better financial decisions
Archive: Stratus Financials News & Updates
- Stratus Tips & Tricks - 7/28/2022
- Stratus Financials Training & Information - 7/14/2022
- Stratus is live! - 7/11/2022
- TU News Story: TU modernizes business, financial systems with Stratus - 7/7/2022
- Training: Customized Budget Monitoring and Transfers. Go-live in 6 days! - 7/5/2022
- Training: Payables, Working with Invoices & an update on Reporting - 6/28/22
- Training: Purchase Requisitions, Orders & Receiving - 6/21/2022
- Training: Reimbursements, Travel & ProCard - 6/14/2022
- Training: Stratus Navigation, Roles & Live Training Orientation - 6/7/2022
- Training kicks off! - 5/31/2022
- Training is on the horizon, plus a single system for invoices and paying attention to current business processes - 4/14/2022
- Testing continues, process-specific roadshows begin and the Change Agent Network relaunches - 2/17/2022
- We’re passing with flying colors! Plus, testing expands and two new roles are established - 12/2/2021
- Full steam ahead: Conference Room Pilots underway, testing and training up next - 9/16/2021
- Processes, Simplified: Requisitions, Invoices and Travel authorizations - plus a new go-live date - 6/3/2021
- A simpler Interface, redesigned Chart of Accounts, and mobile features - 4/13/2021
- Budget Planning System goes live this spring - 2/4/2021
- Chart of Accounts redesign is complete - 7/16/2020