About Financial Clusters

Financial activities at the University are accomplished in three general areas:

  • Business Process Owners (BPOs), who are responsible for central financial activities (the linked page is a partial list of the activities central units perform).
  • Financial clusters, which are responsible for high-risk financial activities within each campus, college, or administrative unit.
  • Department (local or distributed) financial areas.

Cluster Directors

We maintain a list of current Cluster Directors on the Cluster Director List

Note that the University of Minnesota system is in the process of transitioning to a new service delivery model as part of the PEAK Initiative, and some units are being served by the Finance Operations Center rather than a financial cluster office on their campus, or in their college/administrative unit. The areas are noted on the Cluster Director List.

Clustered Functions

Key functions located in the cluster include the following:

  • Cluster Director provides overall leadership and management to the financial operations clustered within a college, campus or administrative unit. 
  • Procurement Specialist provides oversight and maintenance of the procurement process, will receive assets, and resolve all match exceptions. 
  • Voucher Preparer completes transactions that allow for the paying of internal or external suppliers of merchandise or services.
  • Billing Specialist processes bills to external organizations, adjust bills, and monitor aged receiving reports.
  • Journal Preparer processes journal entries including intra-and inter-fund transfers, mandatory transfers, balance sheet transactions and correcting entries.
  • Enterprise or Data Analyst defines, analyzes, measures, interprets, and presents key institutional data for management, strategic and executive level decision making.
  • Position Management is not required to be in the financial cluster; however, as the U of M anticipates position budgeting, there needs to be a dotted-line relationship between Position Management, and the financial cluster.

Benefits of Financial Clusters

  • Allows the University to balance efficiency, service delivery, accountability, and risk.
  • Promotes consistency of processes and procedures.
  • Increases data integrity.
  • Pools staff resources, which allows:
    • Specialized skills and expertise to be available to all campuses/colleges/admin units.
    • Consistent coverage during leaves and absences.
  • Allows for a higher level of data analysis and reporting.

For a visual depiction of financial responsibilities, view the Integrated Services Framework.

Cluster Imaging Exception Reporting

University of Minnesota policy requires that support documentation for all payment transactions be retained. All documentation should be scanned and linked in the imaging system by the end of the month. Many of the processes that generate payments are part of a cluster's responsibilities. Cluster directors are charged with periodically running imaging exception reports (queries) in the reporting instance of EFS and then ensuring supporting documentation is found and stored in the imaging system. These are the two queries:

  • EX_IMAGE_EXCEPTION_RPT (PCard-related)

Any questions about system functionality, access to EFS, financial policy, or financial business processes may be directed to the University Financial Helpline or email [email protected]

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.