Student clubs have had difficulty accessing and managing their finances due to glitches in the Georgetown Management System since a June update to the cloud-based site. Problems have also stemmed from an increased volume of activity, with 1,174 additional users joining in June alone, according to GMS.

These changes have temporarily barred student groups from accessing their finances and tracking records kept by the Center for Student Engagement on HoyaLink.

HoyaLink Finance, which is operated by GMS, has faced technical errors recently, and often is unavailable for students.

In a statement on GMS’s website, Vice President of Finance and University Treasurer David Rubenstein said that the system is experiencing delays in invoice processing, issues with data conversion and troubles with viewing research and start-up funds. “Overall, from a system perspective, the financial system is working as planned,” Rubenstein wrote. “Any downtime has been minimal and the system is quite responsive, despite the volume of activity.  However, we are aware of some issues that have come up primarily in three areas.”

Joseph Laposata (COL ’16), treasurer of the Georgetown University College Democrats, said the lack of HoyaLink Finance has made it difficult to balance the organization’s finances.

“The absence of HoyaLink Finance is preventing me from doing my job the best I can, because I have no way of detecting discrepancies between how much money I think we’ve spent and how much money CSE thinks we’ve spent,” Laposata said.

Laposata added that overall, he still thinks the new system has potential, and that the problems may just be an issue of poor execution.

“The new system isn’t the end of the world, and I’m sure it provides a legitimate service to CSE,” Laposata said. “However, as far as I can see on my end, it’s an annoyance, another line of red tape to deal with.”

Running Club Treasurer Alden Fletcher (SFS ’17) said that he has not had access to real-time budget information through HoyaLink Finance all semester.

“I don’t know how much I’ve taken out, how much I’ve put in. What I’ve been going by for now is just my own bookkeeping,” Fletcher said. “It’s a source of worry, not having that indicator of how well we’re doing with the finances.”

Fletcher said that he has been in touch with the CSE about the inconvenience.

“We were aware, and CSE told us that it would take them a while to put up the budget.”

Curt Topper, Assistant Vice President for Purchasing, Contracts and Accounts Payable, attributed these issues in the system to the natural adjustment to new protocols.

“It is to be expected when undertaking a system conversion for something as large and complex as a university financial system that there will be some issues that crop up upon conversion,” Topper wrote in an email to The Hoya.

According to Topper, staff members have been working to speed up invoice processing and to reconvert data to resolve grant issues. Additionally, faculty who need information about balances have been able to access it from GMS using alternative methods.

Topper said that the updating system to be a cloud-based program was a necessary progression for GMS to accommodate the needs of the community.

“With the new system, we will continue to grow more efficient and identify potential cost savings opportunities over time,” Topper wrote.

Alyssa Russell (COL ’17), one of the Welcome Week student coordinators, said while the new system caused some delays in transferring money to student groups during the week of events last month. She added that she does not think this new system will have a noticeable impact on planning in the future.

“I did not notice any changes to GMS that were major benefits for the planning of Welcome Week but there weren’t any negative consequences that I observed either,” Russell said.

One Comment

  1. Adelina Lancianese says:

    Alyssa Russell’s quote was a much-needed and vastly important contribution to this article; and I feel as if my time was best served dissecting it for its economic brilliant. Ms. Russell is a talented young mind, akin to those of Paul Krugman or Max Weber and a true Hoya treasure, Her skill and organization of Welcome Week added a whole new dimension to the event and I cannot wait to see what else she has in store in her time at Georgetown. Russell’s critique of GMS was well-founded and I’m sure it will be the basis for many more debates. The Hoya should consider her as a staffer or perhaps senior editor.

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