Workday is the system all Universities of Wisconsin universities will use to standardize and streamline finance, human resources, and research administration processes, including accounting, completing payroll, and closing out research awards.

Everyone who works at the UW will use Workday to do employment-related tasks like submitting time off, managing their employee profile, and accessing job-related training.

Workday will also make it easier for administrative staff to perform much of their work. An integrated system, it will bring administrative tasks into a single platform, replacing the Human Resource System (HRS) and Shared Financial System (SFS), as well as hundreds of ancillary systems we use now.

Workday & You

Select the tab or tabs that most closely resemble your role to see some of the ways you may use Workday after July 2025.

These lists are not comprehensive, and more tasks may be added in the future.

All faculty and staff will use Workday to:

  • Update personal information, including name, address, and emergency contact
  • Manage direct deposit accounts and tax withholdings
  • View and print payslips
  • Submit and manage time off and leaves of absence
  • Submit and track expense reports
  • View benefits information
  • Access job-related training and learning opportunities
  • And more

Anyone who manages or supervises UW faculty or staff may use Workday to:

  • View and approve their team’s time-off requests and leaves of absence, as well as timesheets
  • Enroll or assign learning courses to their staff
  • Complete onboarding setup for new hires, including sending welcome messages
  • Generate reports using real-time data
  • Start a request to hire
  • And more

If you serve in a finance role or perform finance-related tasks as part of your job, you may use Workday to:

  • Complete and adjust accounting journal entries
  • Review and approve expense reports
  • Generate, maintain, and/or cancel customer invoices
  • And more

See Workday finance processes

If you serve in an HR role or perform HR-related tasks as part of your job, you may use Workday to:

  • Correct time off and leaves of absence
  • Enter and complete payroll
  • Manage job requisitions and applicants
  • Approve new hires and set up onboarding
  • Manage academic appointments
  • And more

See Workday HR processes

If you serve in a research administration role or perform research administration tasks as part of your job, you may use Workday to:

  • Manage billing, including creating invoices and recording customer payments
  • Oversee the effort certification lifecycle, from survey creation to certification run
  • Perform grant close-out
  • Validate award expenditures against types of expenditure allowed or disallowed by sponsors
  • Manage and capture grant-related expenditures
  • And more

Tasks related to proposal development and submission, research contracting, non-financial post-award management, and more will be performed in the Research Administration Management Portal (RAMP).

See Workday and RAMP research admin processes

Benefits of Workday

Workday will deliver many benefits to the UWs, from improvements at the university level to efficiencies for all faculty and staff. Some benefits include:

  • Independent access: You will be able to see or change personal information more easily — meaning fewer phone calls or forms.
  • Data accuracy: Job details and personal information are documented and accessible within Workday. Because data is entered electronically, there is less risk of losing papers that contain sensitive and important information.
  • Increased compliance: Workday offers a detailed audit trail through reports, so authorized users can see what is happening — and who is doing what — in the system. The ability to assign access based on staff roles ensures only authorized staff will be able to perform or approve certain business processes and review data.
  • Greater automation: Workday automates certain processes, saving you from manual entry or input — and saving you time.
  • Improved efficiency: Workday lets you see which step of a business process you are on. It also allows several users with the appropriate security access to act on a step, reducing delays in the case of staff absence.

Want to know how Workday might affect you?

View Workday benefits by role

Workday Timeline

High-level graphic timeline of Workday implementation timeline, from configuration through end-user training delivery.

Expand the panels below to see the key activities for each Workday implementation stage.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Planning: July 2021 to April 2022

Finalize project scope, schedule, and budget
Project details including resources, costs, deadlines, and scope for the Workday and Huron Research Suite implementations are finalized.

Build and train ATP project team
Design Team Leads and team members are onboarded and trained on relevant Workday modules. The system implementation firm, Huron, joins the team. Focus and Validation Groups begin to form.

Architect: May 2022 to December 2022

Business Process Design
Administrative end users, process owners, and leaders from across the UWs meet with ATP Design Teams to provide input on high-level business process needs and learn how Workday can meet those needs.

  • Design team members identify business processes not addressed during the Planning Stage and suggest solutions in Workday or alternative systems.
  • Initial reporting requirements for finance, human resources, and research administration are identified.
  • Design decisions are documented for finance, human resources, and research administration and updated if needed as business processes are configured in Workday.

At the end of the Architect Stage, the initial setup of Workday is configured to manage Universities of Wisconsin processes and ready for more specific work in the Configuration and Prototype Stage.

Information Technology
Hundreds of administrative ancillary systems currently in use are evaluated and selected for continued use or disposition. A plan for evaluating ancillary systems in the future is drafted.

Configuration: December 2022 to June 2023

Business Process Design
Subject matter experts from across the UWs attend Customer Confirmation Sessions (CCS), where they collaborate with ATP Design Teams to validate and refine business processes in Workday. This is the final step of business process design before the ATP teams move on to end-to-end testing in July 2023.

The primary milestone of this stage is the configured version of Workday that will be used in testing.

To prepare for end-to-end testing, the IT teams create and test individual components of the Workday design, including integrations and reports. Used to validate the setup of Workday, this testing will continue until November 2024.

Additionally, the ATP team develops the first draft of a cutover plan to guide the transition from current systems to Workday. This includes a timeline of activities, information about the Workday setup, staff roles and responsibilities, logistics, and communications.

Engagement & Training Development
ATP Readiness Teams attend Workday Walkthroughs, which provide high-level overviews of how select business processes have been designed in Workday. Workshop recordings are available to anyone with a UW login.

The ATP Training Team begins developing the training plan to be delivered in the next ATP stage.

End-to-End (E2E) Testing: July 2023 to July 2024

During end-to-end (E2E) testing, the entire lifecycle of a business process is tested within Workday and across integrations to other institutions’ systems. E2E testing is used to ensure that processes and data flow as expected and usability and security requirements are met.

There are two rounds of E2E testing:

  • E2E round one involves ATP team members.
  • E2E round two involves design focus groups and includes testing of security role mapping, with a focus on testing institutions’ individual integrations

The goal of E2E testing is to prepare for user experience testing.

User-Experience Testing: August 2024 to October 2024

During user-experience testing, invited end users, including members of ATP’s Readiness Teams, test processes in Workday, providing feedback about their experience using the system and related training materials.

Final Test & Prep: November 2024 to February 2025

Final Testing

Following user experience testing, ATP and selected end users perform the following tests:

  • Performance testing: validates that important functions and integration schedules will perform as needed
  • Payroll parallel testing: validates that the Workday payroll result matches  the current UW payroll data
  • Regression/release testing: tests anything not included in the second round of E2E, such as retrofits of campus systems and integrations; also confirms the system functions as planned following new releases from Workday

After testing is completed, ATP performs a dress rehearsal, which lets us practice moving to the final Workday setup and helps us validate or refine our cutover plan.

Deployment Activities

ATP’s functional and technical teams work together to complete the activities needed for Workday go-live, which includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Data cleanup and validation
  • Establishing and communicating transaction freeze dates for legacy systems
  • Executing cutover
  • Planning the Workday processes needed to support institutions after go-live

End-User Training Delivery: March 2025 to August 2025

Training for UW staff is scheduled to begin in March 2025, with support continuing past Workday go-live in July 2025.

As we get closer to go-live, a practice Workday environment will be available for training purposes. This environment will allow staff to access Workday with test data and configuration specific to Wisconsin.

Once live, computer-based training will be available 24/7 for staff to take at a time that fits their schedule.

Key Dates

March 2025: Workday end-user training scheduled to begin

July 2025: Workday goes live at all UW universities

Why Workday?

Based on feedback from hundreds of end users, Workday was selected for its excellence in three areas:


Workday provides robust functional capabilities for finance, human resources, and research administration. Other advantages include improved security, more accurate reporting, and close alignment with the benefits ATP plans to deliver through this transformation.


With strong representation at higher education institutions across the country, Workday’s technology successfully supports the operations of many large college systems and research universities. Workday uses its learnings from peer institutions to continuously improve its features, delivering benefits to all.

Technical Capabilities

Workday offers advantages around data backup, testing, and overall user experience.

Measuring Our Success

ATP will use Workday’s value realization framework to track business process improvements and identify areas for growth following go-live in July 2025. Detailed capability metrics captured before and after go-live will be compared with both Universities of Wisconsin and Workday benchmark data to help ATP prioritize and track improvement initiatives over time, ensuring the best possible outcomes for the new ERP system across the UWs.