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Meet Your Colleagues: UIT Accounting Team

UIT's Accounting Team, L-R: Lisa Kuhn, Susan Shult, Cathy Burbidge, Alijana Kahriman, Matt Timpson, Brandon Zimmerman, Elaine Gallegos (Inventory), Jeanne Krogen, and Melissa Ulfich. Not pictured: Cindy Hanson.

UIT's Accounting Team, L-R: Lisa Kuhn, Susan Shult, Cathy Burbidge, Alijana Kahriman, Matt Timpson, Brandon Zimmerman, Elaine Gallegos (Inventory), Jeanne Krogen, and Melissa Ulfich. Not pictured: Cindy Hanson.

What historically defined accounting — number crunching — inadequately describes the profession today.

"We're heavy into customer service," said UIT Finance Manager Brandon Zimmerman. "There's a lot of face-to-face interaction. We really like it when budget managers are comfortable coming to us with questions, even with they're worried they made mistakes."

Added Director/Chief Financial Officer Lisa Kuhn, "People are always looking for confirmation that they are doing things the right way."

UIT's Finance Department plans and manages all financial activities for UIT and the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN). Finance also comprises the U's Office of Software Licensing (OSL), and the Inventory team that administers the flow of materials at the Eccles Broadcast Center (EBC) and Downtown Data Center (DDC) warehouses.

To facilitate interaction with budget managers, Financial Analysts Susan Shult and Matt Timpson, and Accountants Cathy Burbidge and Melissa Ulfich split their time between EBC and 102 Tower, the downtown location for a number of UIT employees. Sr. Accountant Jeanne Krogen, who oversees accounts for UIT's Teaching & Learning Technologies (TLT) with support from TLT Executive Secretary Cindy Hanson, works out of Marriott Library.

Accounting team members administer accounts for various units, generally divvied up based on functional area. They also lead different projects. Accountant Melissa Ulfich, for example, prepares and "trues up" annual Microsoft/Adobe user counts for OSL.

Alijana Kahriman sees the job as "problem-solving for 400 people." In addition to serving as administrative officer in University Support Services, she serves a dual accounting support role for three units in the UIT organization.

They all share the workload (see just some of their ongoing and daily projects, at right). Among these things is helping employees fill out their Kronos time cards and get paid, which is pretty important. In fact, to ensure business continuity, paying people promptly after a catastrophic event is a top priority in disaster recovery (DR) planning at the university.

Where finance involves budgets and transactions, inventory administers the flow of materials. The common link between the two is procurement, or purchasing of items and materials. Purchases in UIT tend to be communication- and infrastructure-related, such as telephones, cable, wireless access points, and servers. Kuhn said part of the Accounting team's role is to enforce university guidelines around procurement.

Inventory Supervisor Elaine Gallegos thanked Burbidge for "always checking to make sure we've received the materials before paying the invoices." The appreciation was clearly mutual. Turning to Gallegos, Burbidge said, "You're my go-to person, too. I couldn't do my job without you."

Note: This list is meant to be broadly representative, not exhaustive.

Budget responsibilities

  • UIT's annual budget
  • Ambulatory Care Complex (ACC) project
  • Avaya, Skype for Business, and Centrex systems
  • University Television (UTV)
  • Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
  • Network node hardening

Ongoing tasks

  • Revenue and expenditure
  • Cost and funding models
  • Contracts and procurement
  • Cash management
  • Reallocate and sign off on Purchasing Card (P-Card) orders, checking all aspects of compliance
  • Travel/conference expense planning and reimbursements
  • UIT's personnel database
  • Pinnacle billing
  • Capital improvement project purchases
  • Educause annual reporting
  • DDC power usage tracking
  • Higher Education Technology Initiative (HETI) fund management
  • Evidence of Review (EOR) activities
  • Allocate student computing fee funds

Daily activities

  • Prepare or approve UShop carts; checking chartfield(s), and ensuring documentation is correct and complete
  • Pay invoices
  • Check the status and close out completed purchase orders (POs)
  • Enter or review prepared electronic purchase requests (ePRs)
  • Approve Electronic Personnel Action Forms (EPAFs) for assigned budgets
  • Prepare sole source requests or assist/write request for proposal (RFP) documentation
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Last Updated: 4/11/22