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Transaction Sampling: SIO's Experience and Helpful Hints

Read about SIO's experience with the Pilot Workload Reduction Project and gain some helpful hints about the transaction sampling process.

The Pilot Workload Reduction Project (PWRuP)

PWRuP is a multidepartment team that developed transaction sampling, a process that can dramatically reduce month-end financial workload.


In 1999, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) formed a committee to review department monthly financial reconciliation processes. The goal was to streamline review processes, encourage full implementation of FinancialLink, and eliminate other SIO financial systems.

SIO made the following procedural changes after implementing transaction sampling

  • Changed the filing system:
    Most divisions had filing systems with only two categories: pending and paid. With transaction sampling, divisions set up the following filing system for each index:
    • Pending purchase orders for goods not yet received, filed in numerical order
    • Paid/ complete purchase orders (with signed and dated packing slips) for goods received within the contract period
    • Recharges, batched by month with the most recent in front, with separate files for charges that have payment dates that significantly differ from invoice dates, such as FedEx and shipping charges
    • Travel for all completed travel vouchers
    • Journals/ etc. for all journals, ENPETS, encumbrance adjustments, transfers of funds, etc.
  • Established a sub index for each approved subcontract on an approved budget so staff could quickly verify that the appropriate indirect cost (IDC) was taken on the first $25,000 and that the payment and lien drop were processed correctly
  • Established a sub index for each fabrication to quickly provide a fabrication equipment inventory closeout and verify that the PI was within the approved allocation