Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Finance and Budgeting

Account Structure and Chart of Accounts

All University Financial Systems are accessed through the portal (except for FFE - see University Financial Systems and Management section). Job Aids for all types of financial transactions can be found on the Finance Gateway under “Helpful Tools/Training”.

The University has structured its chart of accounts around an 11-field Chartstring. The Arts & Sciences has established rules governing the use of chartfields when processing transactions and entering budgets in the Budget Tool. Various documents and guidance on those rules can be found in Courseworks, on the “A&S Department Collaboration Resources” site. This site is available to officers in A&S Departments, Institutes and Centers. Officers who need access to the site should contact Qamar Said in the Budget and Finance Office.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences has centralized the process of creating new chartfields to ensure consistency and accuracy across Arts & Sciences departments. A chartfield create request form must be sent to Audrey Rosenblatt. Audrey will e-mail you confirmation once the chartfield has been approved by the Controller’s Office. Please allow several days for completion of this process.

Finance Applications

University Financial Systems and Management

Columbia University uses several applications to meet its financial management needs. The University’s Finance Gateway [link] provides comprehensive information on all financial applications. Following are the most commonly used applications, with appropriate links: – a central location for Columbia’s faculty and staff to find needed information and resources:

·         ARC portal tab – entry into ARC for accounting transactions and FDS for all financial reporting

·         Fin/Sys tab – entry to the Budget Tool and the Cash Module

·         HR Manager Resources tab – access to Labor Accounting to manage employee account profiles, salary distribution, additional compensation (add comp) and cost transfers;  Labor Accounting Reporting for suspense

DARTS – The financial reporting system for generating reports for periods prior to Fiscal Year 2012.

FFE – For processing payroll transactions related to casual employees and support staff (ZTs). The application must be downloaded from link:

ECRT – Effort Certification and Reporting Technology for the annual certification by effort coordinators and Principal Investigators (PIs)

Finance Security Access

The University has various ways through which a user applies for access to a financial system, but the most common is through submission of a combined application, the Financial Systems Security Application (FSSA). This is the procedure to use for access to ARC, FDS, and other systems, such as DARTS, FinSys, FFE, and the Endowment Termsheets, and for obtaining transaction approval ability, known as DAF authority. For users that require reporting access only, the shorter Financial Inquiry Application (FIA) should be submitted. PAC and Staples access applications are also available at this same link.

(See the Finance Gateway for Financial Systems Security Application Information for access to the forms.)

All security role requests must be approved by both the requestor’s manager and the relevant Department Security Administrator (DSA). For the most senior financial manager in an Arts & Sciences department, except in the case of PAC applications, the manager is Audrey Rosenblatt (Director of Budget Operations). For PAC applications, the manager is Tanique Dunkley Senior (Assistant Vice President, Human Resources Administration). For all other financial applications, the manager is the appropriate department supervisor, usually the Business Manager of Academic Department Administrator. The DSA is, in all cases, Arts and Sciences, which should be selected from the list of options that comes up when you click on the search option (magnifying glass next to the box on the form).

Arts and Sciences has standards for the roles and authority that should be requested by both officers and support staff personnel. (See link.)

Once the appropriate application is submitted, final approval and access to the financial systems will not be granted until the required training for each role is completed. Required Trainings by Role lays out which classes are required according to one’s ARC system roles being requested. For Endowment term sheet access, individuals must take the Endowment Compliance and Certificate Training, a classroom session offered by the CU Finance Division.

{Link for Classroom trainings}

Purchasing and Travel Cards

Purchasing Card (P-Card) and Travel Card roles and privileges are applied for on the Financial Systems Security Application (FSSA). Arts & Sciences requests that officer in the department who approves the FSSA form contact the Arts & sciences DPAD (Audrey Rosenblatt) to identify the reconciler and approver for the card. 

Once the application is filed, the P-Card team will contact the applicant by e-mail requesting specific information for that card (e.g., monthly credit limit, single transaction limit and Chartstring). 

If travel privileges are being requested, the applicant will be sent the Roles and Responsibilities Form, which must be signed by the applicant and forwarded to Ellen Binder for approval. Once all forms are submitted, the P-Card Team will contact the individual to schedule an in-person training class, after which the applicant will receive the card.