The University Record, June 10, 1998

Transition to new financial systems under way with M-Pathways

By Gretchen Weir

Loyer trains Pathways Student Recruiting systemTransition to new financial systems has begun. With the start date of July 1 less than a month away, more than 2,000 staff members are learning about the new accounting codes, practicing new purchasing procedures and becoming familiar with new reports. Staff in the central offices of Financial Operations, Purchasing Services and Accounts Payable were among the first to be trained.

More than 35 trainers from Financial Operations, Purchasing Services, the Flint and Dearborn campuses and M-Pathways are teaching school, college, and non-academic staff throughout the summer.

Unit liaisons, who were appointed by deans and directors to coordinate transition activities in their areas, have identified staff members to be trained before July 1. These "lead users" are being granted access and assigned to M-Pathways courses based on their job responsibilities. They are attending two- to five-hour classes offered in 10 classrooms on the North, Central and South campuses. More classrooms for hands-on training are being added at Arbor Lakes this month. After the lead users are prepared for the July 1 start up, training will continue into the fall term for remaining staff.

Because it is essential that information in M-Pathways databases be entered accurately and used responsibly, users will not be given access without training. They also must sign a statement affirming their commitment to using U-M data appropriately.

Reaction to M-Pathways training has been positive. Students like the hands-on nature of the curriculum and the quality of the support materials. They leave with detailed user guides to help them remember what they learned and "job aids," small color-coded reference sheets listing shortcuts and step-by-step procedures.

Online help is another method M-Pathways is using to help users get comfortable with the new financial systems. Currently available to users of the Student Recruiting system, which went into operation in April, M-Pathways' "home grown" help connects users to U-M procedures and policies while explaining the "how to" of common tasks. Online help for financial transactions will debut with the rest of the M-Pathways Financial system July 1.

Use M-Pathways newly reorganized Web site ( to:

• Look up your unit liaison by clicking on the Unit Liaison List under "Getting Started."

• Lean more about M-Pathways classes by reading course descriptions under "Training."

• Install Citrix, the software you will need to use M-Pathways, by following the instructions under "Getting Started." (Note: Staff from LS&A and the Health System should contact their liaison to have software installed.)

• Translate your current six-digit legacy account codes into ChartFields, using the ChartField converter on the Financials page.

• Contact the M-Pathways Help Desk (or call 936-7000) with questions.