Enterprise Financial System (EFS)

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Access to financial systems and data is generally granted only to University employees, student employees, and certain temporary employees. If you have questions about what access may be appropriate for your role, review the information on this page, speak with your supervisor, department administrator, EFS Cluster Director, Chief Financial Manager, or contact the University Financial Helpline. Financial leaders may review specific financial systems role combinations or access held for an individual or group. Contact the University Financial Helpline at [email protected] to request the data.

The University's financial system is made up of people, policies, procedures, and systems. (Systems include PeopleSoft Financials, also known as the Enterprise Financial System or "EFS", Chrome River, and other software.) EFS is one of the five enterprise systems groups that form the core of the University's administrative information systems: student, human resources, grants management, libraries, and financial.

Financial System Data Integration

ARF (Access Request Form)

Each person requesting access to a specific role in the system must complete training requirements, pass any assessments, and complete/submit an access request form. Access requests require supervisor approval, Controller's Office approval, and may require other financial leader approvals from the campus, college, or administrative unit. 

Be aware that simply attending training and passing the associated assessments does not guarantee access to the system. Similarly, supervisors, cluster directors, RRC contacts, and chief financial managers should be aware that simply because they wish to grant the access to someone does not necessarily mean the access will be granted. There should be a compelling business case to add access to the financial system.

Contact [email protected] if a situation arises where there is an urgent need for access or a concern about getting access for additional people in the unit.

Access Reports for Finance Leaders

Periodically a list of who holds which financial systems access roles in each unit is prepared for cluster directors, RRC contacts, or chief financial managers. Contact [email protected] for an ad hoc reporting need or more information.

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Steps to Gain Access

Keep in mind that not all access requests are granted. Some roles are limited to people with specific job duties, specific training, certain departments, etc.

  1. Determine access needed to perform your assigned work.
  2. Take training and pass any required assessments.
  3. Request the access appropriate to your job.
  4. The request will be routed to your supervisor and others for approval (if someone else completes the form for you, it will route to you first for approval).
  5. Watch your email for notification that your PeopleSoft Financials (EFS) access has been granted. Contact [email protected] if there are issues with the request or with the access after it is set up.

Separation of duties guidelines

To help ensure appropriate controls are in place for high risk activities, there are some guidelines that must be followed when requesting access to the financial system. Information about these guidelines, as well as advice for assigning approval roles, is available. Generally, individuals may not both initiate and approve a transaction.

Removing access or employee transfers

Use the Change of Employment Status form to report terminations, retirements, transfers, or leaves of absence. When an employee transfers to a new department, their access must be removed and re-established in the new department.

Access for Student Employees (Student Workers)

Students with work assignments that require them to use the financial system or data are authorized to have access to the system and must meet the same requirements as any other employee. To support the University's internal control model, student workers cannot be granted "journal entry preparer" access nor can they be assigned any of the approval roles.

Standards for Granting Access

  • Individuals must be authorized for access.
  • For some access roles, individuals must complete training and demonstrate competencies related to the task(s).
  • Access is limited to those with a specific business need.
  • Access to private, protected, or confidential information is provided to individuals authorized by law, contract, and University policy and only for purposes defined in said law, contract or policy.
  • Designated individuals are responsible for ensuring that the level of access granted is appropriate for the duties performed by people within their college or administrative unit. Separation of duties practices ensure that one person does not have sole access to the assets (e.g., make a purchase, approve transactions, receive cash) and accounting records (general ledger, subsidiary ledgers, reconciliation, etc.) of the University. This separation helps ensure financial data integrity and protects the University's assets.
  • Designated individuals are responsible for reviewing job duties and making adjustments whenever personnel status or responsibilities change.
  • Anyone with system access is responsible for complying with and adhering to all associated policies and procedures.
  • When individuals with system access change job duties, transfer units, or terminate employment, access to data and systems will be removed. Each unit is responsible for promptly reporting changes, transfers, or terminations.
  • Access to data and systems does not transfer with the employee when they change job duties, move to a different position, or transfer to a different department.
  • The Controller's Office is authorized to revoke access to the financial data and systems in the event of non-compliance with policy, procedure, or system access controls.
  • Financial data and business process owners are involved in the access and authorization process.
  • Chief Financial Managers, RRC Contacts, and EFS Cluster Directors are responsible for periodic verification of access held by individuals within their unit or related to the business functions for which they're responsible.

Separation of Duties for System Access

Transaction preparation

  • One individual may not hold both the procurement specialist and voucher specialist (a.k.a. vendor payment) roles.
  • For PCard reconciliation, the cardholder may act as the transaction preparer.
  • For Expense Reports, the subject of the reimbursement request should act as the transaction preparer.
  • Individuals may not be the transaction "initiator" and the approver. That is, they may not direct staff to create a specific transaction and then act as the approver. Examples of this unallowable activity:
    • The approver for Department X may not tell someone to enter a transaction to transfer funds from account A to account B and then act as the approver for that transaction.
    • The approver for a PCard may not direct the cardholder to make a specific purchase, and then approve the PCard reconciliation report.
  • Individuals holding Certified Approval and DeptID Approval roles in EFS may not approve transactions that they have initiated.
  • It is strongly recommended that one individual not hold both the Certified Approval role and a DeptID approval role for the same DeptID.

If you would like to review specific role combinations or access for an individual or group, please contact [email protected].

Cluster Preparer Roles

Clustered functions

There are many transaction preparer roles in the financial system. Some roles involve more risk than others, require additional training, and typically are more complex to perform in the system itself. A decision was made to create shared service areas called "clusters" in each college or administrative unit to handle these more complex, higher risk functions. The roles below are considered "clustered functions" and require business process owner approval prior to the access being granted. These access roles are granted on a limited basis to those who work within the financial cluster for a campus, a college, or a major administrative unit. If you are unsure whether these roles are appropriate for you, contact your supervisor, cluster director, RRC contact, chief financial manager, or [email protected].

  • Procurement specialist procurement specialists ensure orders are dispatched, perform change orders, and are responsible for the receiving function when capital assets are involved. Depending on unit procedures, they may also perform routine receiving or act as a backup receiver.
  • Voucher preparer/voucher specialist/vendor payments
  • Billing specialist (two levels: no HIPAA data access, or HIPAA data access included)
  • Billing spreadsheet upload 
  • Journal entry preparer
  • Journal entry approval
  • Journal spreadsheet upload
  • Budget journals (establish budget lines during the year, is obtained with journal entry preparer access)

When requesting one of the roles above, it is necessary for the unit to provide additional information: if the person requesting access is a replacement or an addition to those who already hold the role for the unit; if applicable, the name of person being replaced/when that person's access was removed; if not a replacement, the specific business reason for the additional person in the clustered function (what changed about the local business activity that requires more people to have access to the role).

Approval Roles

Approver Roles

Most approval roles require that a primary approver be designated and at least one alternate approver. Some approval roles allow for multiple alternates. Units should avoid establishing one individual as both the primary and alternate approver for any one level of approval or type of approval, to avoid transactions getting stuck in pending status when one individual is absent or unavailable. Taking into account that one person may not approve transactions they have initiated, it would be prudent to avoid assigning the requisition approval roles to requisition preparers, avoid assigning the vendor payments approval roles to those who can prepare vouchers, and so forth. Certainly avoid making the person who also holds preparer access both the primary and alternate approver for that activity within the department.

  • Individuals holding any approval roles in the financial system may not approve transactions that they have initiated.
  • Procurement Card (PCard): one individual may not hold both the Certified Approval role and the DeptID approval role (system limitation).
  • Recommended: One individual should not hold both the Certified Approval role and any other financial approval role for the same DeptID.

There are several approval roles within a department. It is recommended that units not establish one individual as both the primary and only alternate approver for any "level" of approval, to avoid transactions getting stuck in pending status when one individual is absent or unavailable.

  • Primary and alternate Certified Approver
  • Primary and alternate requisition approver, under $10,000
  • Primary and alternate requisition approver, over $10,000 (an additional approval is required; this is not "in lieu of" the under $10,000 approval but in addition to it)
  • Primary and alternate vendor payments approver, under $10,000
  • Primary and alternate vendor payments approver, over $10,000 (an additional approval is required; this is not "in lieu of" the under $10,000 approval but in addition to it)
  • Primary and alternate travel and reimbursement approver
  • Primary and alternate journal entry approver
  • Primary and alternate PCard approver
  • Primary and alternate credit/rebill invoice approver (related to accounts receivable and billing activity)

Taking into account that one person may not approve transactions they have initiated, avoid assigning a person who holds preparer access for a type of transaction to approval roles for that type of transaction. At a minimum, do not make someone who is a preparer of the transaction type both the primary and alternate approver for that activity within the department. (The system will stop a preparer from approving their own entry but without other valid approvers, transactions will get stuck.)

Other Access Roles

As with any system, there are multiple kinds of access roles available. The list below is not comprehensive but does include the roles most used. Access should be appropriate to the work assigned to the individual, keeping separation of duties in mind. Take care not to simply request everything because it may be needed. Request only that access that is truly necessary.

  • Inquiry includes Query Manager level access to the financial system reporting instance, view access to the enterprise imaging system, nVision for EFS' reporting instance. All employees have access to certain financial reports within the Reporting Center of MyU by virtue of their employment.
  • Imaging system. There are various slices/dices of this access. People may have View access to a number of different transaction types, or Scan access for transactions departments normally prepare.
  • Accounts Receivable Monitoring (includes AR Inquiry access)
  • Accounts Receivable Inquiry (a bit less access than AR Monitoring)
  • Departmental Deposits
  • Endowments
  • PCard reconciliation
  • PCard approvals
  • Create Requisitions
  • Receive Purchases
  • U Market ordering only
  • Travel and Expense Reimbursement within EFS. (Note that Chrome River access is granted to all employees by virtue of their employment.)
  • COA Request. Request any COA field setup, approver/alternate approver COA field setups for a department.
  • Budget Entry (the annual process to enter budgets, also known as "budget prep"). There are three types of access: department level, RRC level, and RRC designee.

Central Access

If you are an employee of a central unit, please contact your supervisor or the University Financial Helpline for assistance or more information about access.

Contact Us

Financial Helpline: 612-624-1617
[email protected]

1300 2nd Street S Minneapolis, MN 55454 (WBOB)
Campus Mail Code: 7529

Controller's Office units are housed in the West Bank Office Building (WBOB) and in the McNamara Alumni Center on the Twin Cities campus.