Join Our BI Experts for a FREE Data Science Webinar on September 2nd

UVA & Avicado – Staff Augmentation Success Story

“The speed and quality from Avicado are excellent.” —Tony DiTolve, A Business Process Analyst at the University of Virginia

The following case study outlines a set of successful problem-solving steps taken by Avicado consultant Daniel Gerardo, who currently works alongside Tony DiTolve and his dedicated e-Builder® team at the University of Virginia (UVA). 

The issue arose when one of UVA’s experienced contractors communicated to Tony that he was experiencing difficulties submitting a payment application. After attempting to troubleshoot the problem on his own without success, Tony needed to get back to his top-priority items. That’s when he reached out to Daniel for assistance. 

Within a day of being contacted, Daniel correctly identified the problem: The invoice from the contractor was greater than the commitment amount in e-Builder®. Together, they quickly implemented the following solution. 

The Question Posed: How Can e-Builder® Allow Us to Approve/Pay More Than the Committed Amount?


Note: In this scenario, UVA had not been over-billed; the team concluded that a commitment change reduced the commitment below the actuals paid amount.

What are some of the factors that impacted the outcome for this scenario?

  1. The commitment is controlled by Line Item.
  2. The actuals approved align with the commitment line item current values. No actual billing exceeded the Current Commitment Line Item Amount.
  3. The commitment change reductions were done by adding line items, which does not violate any of the original commitment items. Since they are new line items, they have nothing to validate against.

In the snippet below, which is not all inclusive of the entire sample commitment, there was unused amount of money that was to be removed from the commitment remaining balance.

Due to a miscalculation during data entry, the reduction in the commitment value, resulted in what appeared to be an over payment of 17 cents

To have prevented this, the reductions should have been placed on the existing commitment line items that still had a remaining balance. The controls would have prevented the ability for the user to reduce the current item amount below what has already been approved.

What if our policy mandates always adding commitment scope items? What can we do?

In one option, the Cost Settings for Commitments could be set to Controlled Total.

This setting would not allow any billing combination any SOV item to exceed the overall current commitment total.

The violation you will get when attempting to approve this invoice:

However, a drawback with this option is that the dollar values can go into any line item and would pass validation if the invoice amount does not go over the current commitment value.  

As illustrated in the sample commitment below, this allows for invoicing against line items that go above and beyond the Scheduled Value, if the total sum of the invoiced amount does not exceed the Current Commitment Value.

For example, this gives the ability to invoice the $1,709,300.00 to a commitment line item that has a $0.00 value. 

What can we do if we want the commitment control settings at the line item level, while preventing this issue in the future?

One way to prevent this is to have a conditional within your invoice process to validate that the Actuals Approved + the current invoice amount does not exceed the current commitment value.

Please note: While this solution may work for some, it may not work for all. Timing and frequency of invoices is an important factor to consider when designing a preventative solution such as the one described above.

As this case study demonstrates, difficult or complex e-Builder® scenarios have the potential to arise at any moment, with the possibility of grinding your projects to a halt. Having a dedicated e-Builder® consultant from Avicado ensures your projects run as smoothly and efficiently as possible at all times, saving you both time and money and providing your team with the peace of mind and expert, on-demand resources to succeed.