NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – After problems with Rutgers University’s new, digital accounting system left thousands of vendors without paychecks, the school’s president said today those debts should be settled in roughly one month.
Rutgers launched a cloud-based finance program called Cornerstone in October. The move was reportedly supposed to simplify accounting in the wake of the university’s merger with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
But, according to The Star-Ledger, more than 12,500 bills from guest speakers, utility companies and others went unpaid upon the software’s implementation.
Payments to outside vendors are now “essentially running within our normal business cycle,” Rutgers President Robert Barchi said today, during the Board of Governors’ meeting.
“We’re now in that cleanup period that we all knew was going to have to occur, where we’re cleaning up the accounts to which appropriate charges are being placed,” he said. “We won’t be able to finish that until probably the next four to six weeks.”
During what Barchi called a “very tough winter,” teams worked around the clock to solve the issues, he said.
Each week, the president has set new goals, which he said his staffers have reached.
“We have been, I think, as transparent as we possibly can be as we have moved through this very aggressive and broadly-ranging change,” Barchi said.
Cornerstone is a multi-year project designed to “modernize, unify and simplify” how Rutgers handles its finances, among other things.
The university reportedly does more than $700 million in business with tens of thousands of vendors each year. Many of those are small companies, like those on the long list of pre-approved local contractors, which was amended during the meeting.