The Financial Systems and Data team is charged with monitoring the data flow when one sector of the Institute makes a financial or systemic change that will affect others. For example, when campus parking rates change, the team ensures the HR/Payroll system that initiates payroll deductions for parking fees is updated and accurate. And when Mail Services offers new shipping software, they’re on it, making sure the software is integrated across all financial platforms.
This six-person team is hyper vigilant when new systems are introduced or changes to existing systems are made, knowing that sometimes a small change designed to improve one system can break others down the line. When a system breaks or fails, they fix it, and find the root cause of the problem. They look far beyond the original incident and test and retest systems, question everything, and take nothing for granted.
The work of this team is not limited to financial transactions on campus—it also supports financial systems for MIT projects across the globe. If an MIT researcher buys a 3-D printer in Singapore, the team makes certain the data connected to that purchase is reflected in MIT’s general ledger, supplier files, property accounting database, and the project’s individual financial reports.
Data quality is essential to MIT’s overall economic strength and its compliance with federal policies and regulations, including audits. Even though principal investigators manage sponsored research activities and finances, they do so on systems set up and maintained by VPF, which holds ultimate responsibility for the integrity of the financial data.
The Financial Systems and Data team works to ensure systems are well supported, well integrated and continually improved. They respond to changing needs and new technologies and offer smart solutions to the MIT community.