About Saint Mary's

Service Excellence: Financial Services

The Financial Services Department manages the financial requirements of the University. It consists of several vital service units which touch most members of the Saint Mary’s community on a regular basis. They are Reporting & Audit, Accounts Payable, Financial Planning,Treasury, Bookstore, Procurement, Inventory & Distribution, Mail Services and Print Centre.

This is how Financial Services measures Service Excellence:

Reliability

a. Accounts Payable

  1. Payment requests processed in a timely and consistent manner
  2. Consistent and established practices for accurate transaction processing, investigation and follow up
  3. Consistent and established practices for invoice review and processing
  4. Adherence to deadlines (ex: month end closure, weekly cheque run)
  5. Availability for other depts/staff, external vendors for queries and advice
  6. Staff are cross trained for many provided services
  7. Staff have general awareness of co-workers roles & responsibilities
  8. Information sessions with University community to educate other staff about Accounts Payable processing and practices  

b. Bookstore

  1. Staff ensures correct course material, in various formats, is available on time
  2. Stores hours are adjusted to meet the needs of all customers
  3. Sales processing is accurate, fast and convenient
  4. Customer policies and procedures are comprehensive and well communicated
  5. Bookstore becomes the primary centre for all retail requirements related to course materials, general merchandise and special orders.

c. Financial Planning

  1. Accurate, timely and consistent reporting to both internal departments/researchers and outside agencies
  2. Consistent, accurate advise to faculty and staff regarding University/Agency policies and procedures
  3. Providing reliable forecasts to senior management that are based on the best information available at the time
  4. Providing projections for budget purposes that are based on the best information/assumptions available at the time
  5. Accurate and timely preparation of year end working papers according to GAAP

d1. Procurement

  1. Accurate processing of purchase requisitions – consistent application of procedures and thresholds
  2. Proper co-ordination of Tender/RFP/RFI processes - including evaluation and post award – consistency & knowledge in the application of regulations and thresholds
  3. Consistency in administering the regulations of the procurement cards, including adjustments to expenditure levels as required.
  4. Accuracy in response to inquiries on procurement processes, spending thresholds, and preferred sources for goods and services
  5. Accuracy in the preparation of reports as needed
  6. Consistency in implementing agreements for the supply of goods and services that meet dept’s needs

d2. Inventory & Distribution (includes Mailroom Services)

  1. Vigilant distribution of incoming goods to user customers
  2. Accurate planning of inventory – right item & quantity, at right time
  3. Accuracy in order fulfillment -
  4. Accurate processing and recording of internal and external mail

e. Reporting and Audit

  1. Accurate and timely review, recording and reconciliation of transactions
  2. Consistent and established practices for transaction processing, investigation and follow up
  3. Adherence to deadlines (ex: month end closure) including ensuring required entries are made
  4. Availability for other depts/staff for queries and advice
  5. Providing business process oversight & recommendations
  6. Staff are cross trained for services provided in the unit
  7. Staff have general awareness of co-workers roles & responsibilities

f. Treasury

  1. Accurate reporting on trusts, reserves & endowments to internal departments & external donors
  2. Provide advice on queries from employees regarding insurance, ex. insurance for rental vehicles
  3. Accurate reporting on investments to Investment Committee
  4. Thorough review of proposals for new endowments & trusts, ex. terms of reference for named awards
  5. Accurate set up of new users in RBC Express & Intellecheck

Assurance

a. Accounts Payable

  1. Knowledgeable and proficient in Accounts Payable processes and University policies
  2. Accuracy in transaction recording, invoice processing
  3. Maintaining confidentiality
  4. Approachable, available, willingness to assist, flexible
  5. Professional and polite

b. Bookstore

  1. Staff are able to provide accurate information on all product categories
  2. Staff members capable of communicating effectively with customers
  3. Customers must be satisfied that product information provided by staff is accurate and complete
  4. Financial transactions are executed accurately and with maximum security
  5. Retail marketing “best practices” implemented to serve widest possible customer base

c. Financial Planning

  1. Policies and procedures are interpreted and applied in a consistent manner
  2. People are dealt with in a courteous, respectful manner at all times
  3. Improved relationship building by applying a more personal touch i.e. more phone contact and less e-mail (especially where a paper trail is not important)
  4. Have a good understanding of policies and procedures or know where to go to seek advice 
  5. Hold new faculty /department head information sessions

d1. Procurement

  1. Professionalism in coordination of competitive procurement processes – knowledgeable and confident
  2. Competence in the processing of purchase orders, when and how queries are addressed
  3. Assistance and support of end users of the procurement card program (recommendations on applications and transaction levels)
  4. Positive relationships with business community (professionalism in the confidential nature of the work)
  5. Timely and efficient follow up to requests and inquiries (customer not left hanging)
  6. Consistency in administration of policies (one set of procedures for all)

d2. Inventory & Distribution (includes Mailroom Services)

  1. Ability to respond to requests for inventory and non-inventory items
  2. Willingness to provide enhanced service, above and beyond
  3. Ability to respond to requests for assistance in solving delivery/logistics problems

e. Reporting and Audit

  1. Knowledgeable and proficient in best practices/business processes
  2. Accuracy in transaction recording, working papers/reconciliations
  3. Maintaining confidentiality
  4. Approachable, available, willingness to assist, flexible
  5. Professional and polite

f. Treasury

  1. Repeat customers - when others are satisfied with the service provided they tend to come back with other queries or requests
  2. Professional treatment of and respect for customer concerns and requests for confidentiality and knowing when required.

Empathy

a. Accounts Payable

  1. Meeting the needs of others, problem resolution, satisfaction of providing assistance
  2. Conveying and demonstrating understanding
  3. Business practices within other units are clearly understood

b. Bookstore

  1. Staff interact in a positive and friendly manner with all customers
  2. Bookstore purchase and refund policies must reflect an awareness and a sensitivity of the unique university environment, keeping in mind that students must make purchasing choices and changes based on academic regulations, ie. unplanned course and timetable changes
  3. Staff able to make discretionary customer service decisions, using established guidelines, for customers with special needs

c. Financial Planning

  1. Take the time to listen and make an effort to clearly understand concerns raised
  2. Explain the reasons for intensions of policies and procedures
  3. Respond in a reasonable time frame and give notice/explanation for delays
  4. Make an effort to recognize cultural and language differences
  5. Maintain an open door policy supporting accessibility
  6. Showing support for faculty by attending events like research expos
  7. Seek feedback from Department Head/Grantees to determine if we are meeting their needs

d1. Procurement

  1. Attention to details when responding to end user requests (re: for goods, preparing procurement documents, etc)
  2. Appropriate body language during face to face discussion/meetings
  3. Tailoring suggestions/solutions to meet unique needs (ie RFP vs Tender vs REI)
  4. Language used and tone of voice
  5. Open dialogue –sharing relevant information so as to operate in an environment of transparency
  6. Going the extra mile when investigating/tracking incoming material, student mail etc

d2. Inventory & Distribution (includes Mailroom Services)

  1. Attention to details when responding to end user requests (re: for goods, preparing procurement documents, etc)
  2. Appropriate body language during face to face discussion/meetings
  3. Tailoring suggestions/solutions to meet unique needs (ie RFP vs Tender vs REI)
  4. Language used and tone of voice
  5. Open dialogue –sharing relevant information so as to operate in an environment of transparency
  6. Going the extra mile when investigating/tracking incoming material, student mail etc

e. Reporting and Audit

  1. Meeting the needs of others, problem resolution, satisfaction of providing assistance
  2. Conveying and demonstrating understanding
  3. Business practices within other units are clearly understood

f. Treasury

  1. Offer constructive and creative ideas re. creation of new endowments & reserves 
  2. Offer creative ideas about funding from reserves & trusts for capital projects and other initiatives
  3. Good listening skills

Responsiveness

a. Accounts Payable

  1. Expectations of others are clearly communicated (ex: timeliness for payment processing)
  2. Timely response to queries/requests for assistance
  3. Timely transaction processing
  4. Awareness of co-workers roles & responsibilities so that service is not disrupted during absences
  5. Take ownership of service request or problem, develop an appropriate response and engage others in the response to the request as appropriate

b. Bookstore

  1. Bookstore operational schedule is synchronized with the Academic timetable
  2. Provide increased staff and resources during peak service periods
  3. Bookstore timetables, booklists, course product information and scheduled events made available in print and on-line formats

c. Financial Planning

  1. Take a proactive role by reviewing reports prior to distribution to department heads/grantees
  2. Publishing and meeting reporting deadlines
  3. Varied or interim reporting to meet individual needs
  4. Keep voice and e-mail out of office notices up to dateImplement online J/E processing or a revised FUPLOAD process

d1. Procurement

  1. Ensuring accuracy in the timelines published for the processing of orders, preparation of procurement documents, delivery of goods, processing of mail etc, and meeting those timelines
  2. Recommending changes/modifications to processes and procedures as necessary to provide quality service, ex. Improved procedure for incoming hardware deliveries
  3. Thinking outside the box for problem resolution – what additional steps are available?
  4. Timely response to all procurement / inventory inquiries

d2. Inventory & Distribution (includes Mailroom Services)

  1. Ensuring accuracy in the timelines published for the processing of orders, preparation of procurement documents, delivery of goods, processing of mail etc, and meeting those timelines
  2. Recommending changes/modifications to processes and procedures as necessary to provide quality service, ex. Improved procedure for incoming hardware deliveries
  3. Thinking outside the box for problem resolution – what additional steps are available?
  4. Timely response to all procurement / inventory inquiries

e. Reporting and Audit

  1. Expectations of others are clearly communicated (ex: business practices, deadlines etc)
  2. Timely response to queries/ requests for assistance
  3. Supplies for departments are up to date (deposit books, receipts books)
  4. Timely transaction processing
  5. Awareness of co-workers roles & responsibilities so that service is not disrupted during absences

f. Treasury

  1. Timely issue of insurance certificates
  2. Timely & accurate reporting on trusts, reserves & endowments to internal departments & external donors
  3. Timely response to queries from employees regarding insurance, ex. insurance for rental vehicles
  4. Timely & accurate reporting on investments to Investment Committee
  5. Timely review of proposals for new endowments & trusts, ex. terms of reference for named awards
  6. Timely & accurate set up of new users in RBC Express & Intellecheck

Tangibles

a. Accounts Payable

  1. Office/workspace is clean, organized and neat
  2. Files are well organized and labeled
  3. Staff are professionally dressed
  4. Files and supplies required by others are accessible

b. Bookstore

  1. Bookstore infrastructure designed to achieve an open and attractive retail environment
  2. Focus on tangibles such as lighting, fixtures and signage to reflect a non-institutional image
  3. Sales area must be designed to facilitate special operational activities, e.g.; book buybacks, refunds
  4. Point of sale system maintained to achieve maximum performance capability

c. Financial Planning

  1. Maintain a neat work environment
  2. Use labels for external mailings
  3. Possible dress and office etiquette standards

d1. Procurement

  1. Organization of the office environment – confidential files in secure cabinets, not on desktops to be viewed by others
  2. Well organized environment in I&D – no debris on floor, inventory items on shelves and in the appropriate location for accurate order fills
  3. Organization in the mailroom environment, ie tidy mail stacks and bins, avoidance of huge mounds of unprocessed mail, proper labelling and storage of courier shipments etc
  4. Handling equipment well maintained and in proper working order
  5. Safe environment & equipment for the proper handling of large, heavy shipments

d2. Inventory & Distribution (includes Mailroom Services)

  1. Organization of the office environment – confidential files in secure cabinets, not on desktops to be viewed by others
  2. Well organized environment in I&D – no debris on floor, inventory items on shelves and in the appropriate location for accurate order fills
  3. Organization in the mailroom environment, ie tidy mail stacks and bins, avoidance of huge mounds of unprocessed mail, proper labelling and storage of courier shipments etc
  4. Handling equipment well maintained and in proper working order
  5. Safe environment & equipment for the proper handling of large, heavy shipments

e. Reporting and Audit

  1. Office/workspace is clean, organized and neat
  2. Files are well organized and labeled
  3. Staff are professionally dressed
  4. Files and supplies required by others are accessible

f. Treasury

  1. Neat and tidy offices.  No piles of paper or unfiled paper.

Senior Manager(s)/Department

  • Ron Cochrane