SOFiE (Status of Funds, Internet edition) is a powerful software program for viewing and managing your organization's accounts.
SOFiE offers all the existing functions of prior versions, including the link to Excel, plus a number of significant new capabilities:
SOFiE runs on a web browser, which means that you can run it from home, and Lab Chiefs can run it on a MacIntosh. Complex workstation installations are not required. If you have Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari, and the necessary NIH security profile, you can log onto SOFiE from any Internet connection at any time.
The new Account Summary screen offers a single-year balance of accounts report which, at a glance, shows up-to-date information on expenditures, remaining balances, and projected year-end balances. As with most other SOFiE screens, users can drill into any dollar amount to get more detail, simply by clicking on it. The Account Summary report is “live”, enabling users to drill into numbers of interest, and navigate up or down through their account structure. This feature potentially eliminates the need to distribute standard monthly reports to your Branch and lab chiefs; they could just point their browser to this page.
Users can choose to view OC detail by Allocation Category, then expand each category to see OC detail by each OC code defined for the category.
The OC Detail screen can now be toggled to view actual expenditures by Allocation Category instead of OC Codes. This allows your program staff to review expenditure values grouped in a more meaningful way than just by Object Class codes. In addition, the new Allocation Category Group feature allows different units within your organization to define their own sets of allocation categories.
Users can assign budget limits to other users; if budget limits are exceeded, SOFiE’s reports to that user reflect this.
SOFiE allows Budget limits to be entered and assigned to other users for subsequent allocation. (In the SOFiE system, the original "budget owner" is the person who entered the budget amount into SOFiE; that person can add co-owners to the budget record. "Budget owners" can not only assign budgets to sub-accounts, but can also edit, adjust, or delete the budget entries of which they are owner. A "budget manager" is a SOFiE user designated by the owner, via SOFiE's "Budget" option, to be able to assign budgets to sub-accounts in SOFiE as needed. SOFiE allows more than one budget owner and manager. The terms "owner" and "manager" in SOFiE budget functions have meaning only within SOFiE; they are not meant to describe the professional responsibilities of the user.)
Users can choose a set of Allocation categories, for instance Intramural categories vs. Extramural, without having their screens cluttered with data that is not pertinent to their own accounts.
SOFiE Excel functions are available in an add-in program which, when downloaded to your workstation, allows the user to download data from SOFiE to a spreadsheet. New functions are added often.
SOFie screens can integrate FTE Projections and staffing information for Institutes who also use NetComm’s Employee Database, Internet Edition (EDie). From the YTD Projected FTE column on the Account Structure screen, users can display all employees paid from a given CAN.
One of the new columns available on the Account Structure screen is "Projected FTE". Clicking on an FTE column displays a list of all employees paid from CANs within that account.
SOFiE's enhanced Transactions screen offers quick new filtering options and a place to enter notes for other users.
You can group and pull up transaction lists either by very narrow criteria, or by general "list them all" groupings.
Clicking on a transaction in the list, brings up the transaction record with links to related transactions (related by root document number).
Transactions now support the addition of user-maintained notes to track issues related to individual transactions. A complete listing of transaction notes can be easily retrieved from any level of your account structure.
SOFiE can restrict access to Personal Services data for selected users.
Within SOFiE, it is possible to restrict a user profile such that no Personal Services (PS) information will be displayed on any screens for that user. Users with access to both Personal Services (PS) and Other Objects (OO) data can filter the data to work with both OO and PS, just OO, or just PS.
SOFiE includes the ability to schedule data updates from Data Warehouse daily in a manner that is quick and that does not require users to exit the system. SOFiE's download process is significantly faster than prior versions, enabling even large institutes to update the system nightly and still be ready for early-morning users.
One of our goals for SOFiE is to expand the list of potential users so that budget office personnel can be freed from the need to distribute monthly reports to Branch and lab chiefs. The Account Summary and the ability to run SOFiE on a MacIntosh are two steps toward this goal.
For more information about SOFie, or to schedule a free demonstration session, contact Mark McWilliams (301-979-7456) or Rebecca Uberall (301-979-7464) at NetComm.