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Stanford University’s financial account structure identifies each organization by a four-character alphabetical organization (org) code. The Organization Code Hierarchy Tool enables effective governance of this structure by defining parent-child organizational relationships and group information, such as employees and financial data, and is used by authorized budget officers and “downstream” system administrators/financial staff to request and approve org code changes. The tool produces a “tree view” resource used by the university community.

University Budget Office (UBO), Stanford Financial Management Services, and University IT (UIT) partnered to develop a new robust organizational hierarchy management tool in Oracle Financials to more effectively and efficiently support a broader set of the university’s needs, which launched June 30, 2023.

Past state/problem

The organizational hierarchy maintenance process relied on a combination of homegrown and outdated tools that were due for an update. In addition, it was mostly managed and disseminated through manual, inconsistent, and error-prone processes, which resulted in 50% of quarterly updates requiring rework.

Future state/solution

This project built a new hierarchy management tool in APEX (Oracle Application Express) that could better support the Stanford community by including specialized functions for budget officers, system administrators, and UBO staff. The tool can be accessed from the Oracle Financials SU Inquiry Tools and Forms folder or directly from (active SUNet ID required). A simultaneous policy update also allows org moves within budget units throughout the year. Benefits of this project include a better user experience, efficiency gains by reducing total cycle and processing time, and improved accuracy by reducing processing errors.

Important updates for system administrators and budget officers

  • "University Org Code Hierarchy" export files: The two export files in .xlsx and ASCII formats provided by UBO on Topic Overview: Find Existing Org Codes will only be updated as of July 1, 2023 and will be retired on Aug. 31, 2023. Starting June 30, 2023, utilize the Organization Code Hierarchy Tool to access the new combined organization code hierarchy export file (available in .csv and .xlsx formats); see Reporting: Organization Code Hierarchy Tool for details and download instructions.
  • Move within a budget unit:
    Currently, org code moves within a budget unit are only allowed for the Sept. 1 hierarchy each year. Starting Sept. 1, 2023, org code moves within a budget unit will be treated the same as any other change request and will be allowed throughout the year, following the existing quarterly change request deadlines (e.g., if submitted by the appropriate deadline, the org code move will take effect Dec. 1, March 1, July 1, or Sept. 1.)
    Note: Org code moves across budget units are still permitted only for Sept. 1 hierarchies.
  • Org code insert:
    Starting Sept. 1, 2023, org code insert request types will be retired.
    Currently, the “insert” request type is used to facilitate limited movement with budget units throughout the year, but it is processed as the creation of a new org and the movement of existing orgs to it, resulting in a mismatch between the submitted information and the actual process. With the new policy, which will allow moves within budget units throughout the year, the insert request type will no longer be necessary.

The Organization Code Hierarchy Tool will provide features based on users’ roles. The general Stanford community, or “public users,” will see the “tree view” with several new features. Authorized budget officers and system administrators/financial staff will have access to the Org Code Hierarchy Tool and various functions based on their role as detailed below.

Functionality access by role

User Role Authority Manager Privilege Tool Functionality Access
Public user Stanford user with SUNet ID.
No authority privilege.
  • View hierarchies in Final status.
  • Download export files for hierarchies in Final status.
System administrator/
Financial staff
SU Org Hierarchy Preview
  • View and compare hierarchies in Published and Final status.
  • Download export files for hierarchies in Published and Final status.

Budget officer

SU Org Hierarchy Requests

  • Submit change requests.
  • View and compare hierarchies in Draft, In Review, Published, and Final status.
  • Download export files for hierarchies in Published and Final status.

Functionality details

  • Enhanced request form (only available to authorized budget officers):
    • Automated system validations to ensure accuracy prior to submission.
    • Live preview of requested changes in tree view layout prior to submission.
  • Workflow notifications and tracking capabilities (only available to authorized budget officers).
  • Enhanced tree view:
    • View org code details and history.
    • The ability to compare Final and Published versions of the tree view, with changes highlighted (only available to authorized budget officers and system administrators/financial staff).
  • Enhanced export files:
    • Org Code Hierarchy: This file includes all active and inactive org codes with up-to-date attributes for a selected cycle (replaces previous two files, export_campus.xlsx and export_sys.txt files).
    • Change Request Details: This file includes only approved requests for a selected cycle, capturing updated org code attributes. Format: One request per row. (Note: Historical attribute values, as well as deferred or canceled requests, will no longer be available in this file, which was previously titled “Change Log.”)
    • Summary of Changes (new): This file displays final approved changes for a selected cycle, capturing differences from the previous version. Format: One org code (and its changes) per row.
  • New org code attributes:
    • Additional attributes managed by UBO to support different needs for reporting (management view) and budget processes (general fund allocations).
    • Three optional custom fields for units to use at their discretion.

More information will be broadly shared with the financial community throughout the project. Bookmark this page for more resources as they are updated below.

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