SFSU models financial scenarios with Oracle Cloud
With Oracle Fusion Cloud EPM, San Francisco State University’s budgeting team gains new forecasting and modeling tools—and the time for more analysis.
“The foundation we’ve built with Oracle Cloud EPM for our budget processes has enabled us to quickly adapt to unexpected conditions, especially when building budgets and financial plans for the coming years. We have been able to model scenarios to increase efficiency, reduce risk, and provide our school leaders with the correct information to allow them to make informed decisions.”
Founded in 1899, San Francisco State University (SFSU) has cemented itself as a top recruiting school for employers such as Oracle, Google, Apple, Kaiser Permanente, and Wells Fargo. The institution serves more than 28,000 students and employs more than 3,500 faculty and staff.
But SFSU faced challenges in its business operations. The university relied on spreadsheets and out-of-date systems to manage the budget, resulting in tedious manual processes for staff and incomplete information for the budget office team to work with, making accurate and timely forecasting difficult.
The university needed a finance system that would provide real-time business insights and allow for strategic modeling by examining deficits, reserves, enrollment, tuition costs, buyout packages for employees, and other factors. While the statewide California State University system already provided access to a well-known software system for university budgeting, SFSU leaders didn’t believe it offered the long-range planning capabilities they needed.
Why San Francisco State University chose Oracle
The university ultimately selected Oracle Fusion Cloud EPM for budgeting and planning due to its flexibility in modeling financial scenarios and handling new challenges that could potentially arise in the future.
Oracle Cloud EPM’s ability to filter, analyze, and break down data has also allowed the university to meet its goal of removing reporting errors and giving the finance team the accurate data it needs. Previously, SFSU did not have complete information or insights due to limited resources for building reports and a lack of filtering capabilities in those reports.
Moving SFSU’s financial reporting, analytics, budgeting, and forecasting to Oracle Cloud EPM has given the finance team tools to improve insights and enhance business decision-making. That capability was tested under the stress of closing campuses and the resulting financial hits caused by COVID-19. For instance, the unpredictability of the pandemic left SFSU to forecast budgets based on estimates of how many students will enroll, how many will live on campus, which faculty members might retire, whether tuition will have to change, and other scenarios.
SFSU’s budget office also used Oracle Cloud EPM to remove tedious manual processes and replace them with simpler and more useful reporting and analytics about changing economic conditions. Cloud EPM lets the university use Oracle’s scenario modeling to assess possible responses to various situations and construct a 10-year strategic plan.
Eliminating manual processes and embracing standardized budgeting formats in Cloud EPM saves time for the budget office, giving finance staffers the opportunity to analyze and think strategically about their data.
SFSU’s implementation of Oracle Cloud EPM came in two phases. The first helped the university improve the precision and timeliness of reporting, and the second focused on position management, an HR strategy that manages the roles a university needs and the cost of those roles.
SFSU selected Performance Architects to help migrate its financial processes to Oracle Cloud EPM.