Update on the Uniting Online System Upgrade

We have been working with the upgraded system for several months now. There have been some highlights and a more modern look provided, but there’s no denying that some aspects of the system have not been what everyone had hoped for or expected.

We thank you for your patience and wish to assure you that we understand your frustrations because we certainly have experienced them too.

We also acknowledge we’ve reached the point where apologies may no longer be meaningful. Action is expected. While many of the issues are out of our control, we’re committed to working through them with our vendor and resolving them as quickly as possible. Our priority is to address those that are affecting the majority of our partners first. It’s vital that we get the system working to a standard that will allow us to get our focus back onto working with the church and other partners to meet their financial goals.

The main issue has been around extracting information to produce statements and transaction listings in Uniting Online. Not all of our investors are impacted, but it might be useful to understand the issues some are experiencing:

  • When extracting a transaction listing in Uniting Online there have been different carried forward balances and some transactions have appeared out of sequence or had not shown on previous downloads. This is because the system is running on a value date basis as opposed to a booking/posting date. This has also affected some paper statements resulting in longer than expected delays in getting them to
  • Issues relating to the Self Help and loan range of products continue to delay the production of statements and supporter

 

Our desire and aim is to be transparent throughout the process. We realise that there’s been little communication of late, asking that you can understand that this is more to do with having no concrete information to provide rather than not wanting to disclose issues. The core system – which UFS staff see and work with - is handling transactions and basic functions, as we would expect, so we can see that transaction and balance information is being accurately maintained in the banking database. The problems are occurring when information is being extracted from the database to generate some reports and statements. So you can rest assured your funds are safe and there have been no losses.

We continue to work with our providers to rectify these issues, but we also understand we cannot continue to delay your efforts to reconcile and audit your accounts. With this in mind, we’ve decided to produce statements that, while correct, may not look quite right to you. The issues will be corrected for future statements as soon as possible. Meanwhile you may or may not see some of the following issues in the next statement run:

  • Interest credits made out of This is because when transactions are backdated an automatic adjustment is made rather than including it in the next interest payment.
  • The interest to date field at the top of the statement showing an incorrect
  • You receive a statement for July on a product that you might normally receive a statement for at the end of The subsequent statement that will issue in September will have transactions from 1 August through to the end of September.

Our vendor is well aware of our dissatisfaction with the Go Live experience so far, especially since these issues mostly did not arise during our extensive User Acceptance Testing earlier in the year. Unfortunately, the problems now can’t be fixed as quickly as you or we would like. Again, thanks for your patience.

Linda Johnson - Uniting Financial Services, Head of Partner Solutions and Support