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Navigating OneStream Administration and Strategies for Success: Insights From the Webinar

16 minute read

Whether it's dealing with quarter-end crunch time, resolving mysterious validation issues, or finding ways to streamline workflows, the Ascend Partners’ team know all too well the realities OneStream admins face day-to-day to keep such a robust application (and all its data) running smoothly. 


That's why we were thrilled to have our VP of Project Delivery, Richard Masterman, and our MSO Manager, Ted Aitas, share their winning strategies for OneStream admin in our recent webinar, Navigating OneStream Administration and Strategies for Success. It's here that they explored best practices, actionable tips and sage advice for administrators and users looking to level up their skills in OneStream, as well as provide an overview of Ascend Partners' Managed Service Operations (MSO) - a flexible service designed to help businesses unlock their OneStream investment with ongoing support and enhancements. Let's recap the key takeaways from this informative session.


But first, what is MSO?

Ascend Partners MSO is a flexible subscription-based service for those looking for continued support after their OneStream Software implementation. Through MSO, customers gain an extension to their in-house teams with ongoing access to our experts including administrators, Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA), OneStream-certified architects, technical developers and consultants.


With MSO, we offer end-to-end care for your OneStream stack including:

  • End user support
  • Financial close task processing
  • Application stability and performance optimization
  • Training
  • Enhancements, infrastructure support and maintenance

Learn More about MSO


Ensuring Continuity in OneStream Administration

Vacation. Sick leave. Mat leave. Unexpected turnover. These are all common scenarios that could potentially threaten continuity in OneStream administration. When the primary administrator is not available, here are things organizations should think about to ensure seamless admin:

  • Plan Ahead: When possible, organizations should look several months ahead to anticipate when extra coverage might be needed for staff absences. Schedule regular touch bases to forecast upcoming staffing changes and build in enough time for training.
  • Identify a Key Support Person: Designate at least one other key OneStream support person in the organization who is prepared to step in when needed. Maintaining training documentation and scheduling regular training refreshes can equip them for success.

MSO KEY BENEFIT: With MSO, organizations can stay staffed year-round with a dedicated team of experts, ensuring optimized platforms and streamlined financial processes, even during staff absences.


Cross-Training Team Members

Knowledge management is essential in any department and OneStream admin teams are no exception. To handle essential OneStream tasks during the absence of the primary administrator, Ted and Richard recommend these cross-training strategies to ensure your team isn't caught unprepared:

  • Involvement During Implementation: Ascend Partners are highly collaborative and involve the client admin team during the implementation process, which leads to natural, organic knowledge transfer between all those involved. Leverage this collective knowledge when you can to gain context and new perspectives.
  • Design Documentation: If you initially implemented with Ascend, our team will have provided you with comprehensive design documents with vital information about your OneStream application. Keep a copy readily available to refer back to when needed.
  • Seek Available Training and Resources: OneStream offers a plethora of training opportunities for admins including live instructor-led training both in the classroom and remote, self-paced on-demand training (through OneStream Navigator) and onsite training. Immersive learning events like the OneStream Splash User Conference and OneStream Connect events are also great opportunities to learn new skills and connect with like-minded people. Check the OneStream event calendar often to see what is available in your region.
  • Develop Your Own Training Resources: We also recommend maintaining your own in-house training manuals and videos on an ongoing basis. Schedule regular reviews to make ongoing changes to your documentation as processes evolve.

MSO KEY BENEFIT: MSO provides an extension for continued knowledge transfer, offering access to our wide range of experts and enabling you to get personalized training and support when you need it.


Managing Workload During Critical Reporting Periods

OneStream admin is a cyclical function, with demands increasing during month-end, quarter-end and year-end in particular. It's natural to feel overwhelmed during these critical periods, so keep these strategies in mind to help you stay afloat:

  • Stay Calm and Organized: Sometimes the best advice is the simplest advice: stay calm. When pressure builds and work piles up, it’s important to not panic but, rather, analyze, gather your thoughts, and implement tools—like ticketing systems—to stay organized.
  • Prioritize Tasks: Once your tasks have been gathered in one place, it’s time to review them for priority and urgency. Tackle one task at a time to maintain focus and avoid getting pulled into too many directions.

Be Strategic: Keep the big picture in mind and strategize to get your desired result. Does it make the most sense to knock down your list and get the quick, straight-forward tasks out of the way first? Or should you tackle the larger tasks that make the most impact? Every admin is different so find a strategy that works for you.


Streamlining Work During Peak Reporting Periods

"Work smarter, not harder" is the name of the game when it comes to OneStream admin but accuracy is just as important. To streamline work without compromising data integrity during peak reporting periods, administrators can consider these enhancements:

  • Ticketing Systems: Utilize ticketing systems to maintain organization. Check with your organization to see what support management tools are available in your ecosystem or check out our favourites like SmartSheet, Asana, ClickUp or Notion.
  • Tools and Templates: Leverage tools and templates to accelerate and standardize process work when you can.

MSO KEY BENEFIT: MSO provides scalable plans and flexible coverage to support organizations during busy periods. Ascend's arsenal of templates also make process work and data loading quick and easy.


Seeking Help or Advice

OneStream is an ever-evolving solution and the skills needed to maintain it are equally as dynamic. When administrators encounter challenges beyond their expertise, knowing where to seek help or advice can be crucial to finding a timely solution.

  • Utilize OneStream Communities: OneStream user communities and forums are available for general troubleshooting.
  • Customized Support: For more complex questions, an ongoing relationship with Ascend’s MSO can provide tailored and customized support.

MSO KEY BENEFIT: Extend your knowledge-base and skill-set with MSO, which gives you access to Ascend's complete team of CPAs, Certified Architects and Developers. Our experts are just a phone call away.


Real-Life Example

A recurring real-life OneStream administration challenge our MSO team has experienced is when a user creates a new account in the GL system that flows into OneStream resulting in validation errors. What now? 

According to Ted, again, it's important to stay calm, analyze your data to find the root of the issue, and create new mappings if needed to resolve the validation issue. Oftentimes the solution is right in front of you and all it takes is a level head to make sense of a problem!


Balancing Customization and Best Practices

Striking the right balance between customization and best practices is something at which Ascend Partners is adept. With every implementation, Ascend uses a standard application as a foundation with best practices already integrated.

"We have a number of tools and processes that we use throughout our implementation cycle, where we have a standard application that we install with a lot of ‘best practices’ built in. ... If you've got an application that we've already installed, it's following the ‘best practices’ and we can show you how that's done and maintained." - Richard

From there, our team of experts collaborate with each client to better understand what customizations are needed to create more value in their OneStream investment. As a general rule of thumb: best practices should be baked into your application from the start, while customizations should work to enhance the system without overburdening administrators.


MSO Service Level Tiers

Ascend MSO offers four service level tiers, allowing organizations to choose the level of support that aligns with their needs. Service can range from day-to-day admin, to training and support, and even complex development and redesign—our service tiers provide flexibility and can be adjusted as needs evolve.

Screenshot 2024-06-06 at 4.41.27 PM


Creating a Resilient Administration Team

Resilience at work, or the ability to withstand difficulties and bounce back from setbacks, is what keeps teams afloat when times get hectic and pressure builds. So, what does that mean for OneStream admins?

According to Ted and Richard, a resilient admin team is a proactive admin team. This means taking the time to truly understand the business and equipping yourself with the right knowledge and tools so that you can effectively respond- and resolve - challenges as they arise. As mentioned before, being familiar with your design doc, participating in online forums and taking training classes to keep current with the latest developments are all ways to be proactive.

If you are an Ascend MSO customer, you can also rest easy knowing that our team is looking out for you too. We make proactive recommendations to optimize your application and can provide on-call support to resolve issues right away. The same is also true before making changes to your workflow - whenever you need a sounding board, our team can be there to support and flag any potential issues that may arise.


Effective Communication and Collaboration

It’s no secret that effective communication is essential in any workplace, especially for teams in charge of managing a system as robust as OneStream. That said, ensuring clear communication and collaboration between OneStream administrators, IT teams, and other departments means establishing clear roles within the organization and doing regular touch bases to share information and set expectations. It’s also important to create an environment where team members feel empowered to ask proactive questions or be vocal about recommendations. 

Our MSO customers certainly see this in action, as our model fosters two-way communication and offers collaborative, proactive support.

"We've made a point of being proactive so we're not waiting for the client to come and ask us for things. We're looking at the system and we're making suggestions as well. ... It's a two-way communication here; we're not passive and just waiting for you to say, 'I've got a problem, help me.' We like to be more active than that." - Richard



In the world of OneStream administration, challenges are common, but with the right strategies and support, success is attainable. Ascend's Managed Service Operations (MSO) stands ready to be your trusted partner in ensuring the smooth operation of your OneStream application, offering expertise, flexibility, and the support you need to thrive. Whether it's ensuring continuity during absences, streamlining workload, or seeking help for complex issues, Ascend MSO has you covered. 

Watch the webinar now: Navigating OneStream Administration and Strategies for Success, featuring Richard Masterman and Ted Aitas. 

Interested in exploring MSO for your organization? Click here or contact our team to learn more.


About Ascend Partners

Ascend Partners, the most-trusted OneStream Diamond implementation partner, proudly serves our clients globally from our Canadian headquarters in Toronto, ON, and our US headquarters in Philadelphia, PA. Our sought-after accounting and technical expertise combined with our deep experience with OneStream ensures that we consistently deliver solutions tailored to meet our clients’ unique needs. Over many years, we’ve developed a proven and repeatable methodology and toolset for implementing sophisticated OneStream solutions to address your current and future business challenges. This translates to faster launches and immediate realization of the benefits of the OneStream Intelligent Finance platform. 
Our professional staff members, senior Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) and highly skilled OneStream specialists, including OneStream certified architects, data integrators and developers, will work closely with your team to provide training and learning opportunities to help you make the best decisions for your OneStream configuration. The Ascend advantage is experience. From the deep functional and technical knowledge of the leadership team to the unrivalled knowledge of the inner workings of the OneStream platform, our expertise as a cohesive team is derived from our collective experience. This experience, deep product knowledge and alignment with OneStream’s commitment to quality and 100% customer success make us their most trusted Diamond partner.

Industries we serve

From real estate to manufacturing, mining and everything in between, discover why OneStream is the CPM of choice for over 1,200 global enterprises across all verticals.

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Why Ascend?

Our team possesses the perfect combination of technical expertise and extensive knowledge to provide cutting-edge solutions that perfectly align with the constantly evolving technological landscape of today and tomorrow.

Discover the Ascend difference

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