Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the schedule of availability for FMS banner and bar? The normal schedule is Monday through Friday (8:00 AM to 8:00 PM) and Saturday (8:00 AM to 2:00 PM). Please consult the C&IT website for the most current systems schedules and any changes. (www.wayne.edu/~webucc/mvssys.html)
- Who is available to help me with my FMS related questions? There are a number of resources available. In general it is recommended that you first direct your questions to your school/college/division business offices. For FMS related questions, each school/college/division also has Facilitators of Banner Instruction (FBIs). The central unit to contact depends upon the subject matter and fund/organization involved. In general, you should contact Fiscal Operations Accounting Department for all funds except grants, contracts and indirect cost return accounts and Sponsored Projects Administration for grants, contracts and indirect cost return accounts. Please refer to the questions and answers below, for more specific information about the central unit to contact.
- What is a FOAP?
A FOAP is a way to record financial activity within the general ledger. (F=fund, O=organization, A=account and P=program.) The fund is the source from which the funds are drawn. The organization identifies the school/college/division and department. The account identifies the category of activity, such as revenue, expense, and transfer. The program identifies the purpose of the related financial transactions, within the context of the University's major activities, such as instruction, research, public service, etc..
Many fund/organizations have an index code. This is a six-character code, which allows the University to link, and update financial activity from its other automated administrative systems (e.g., HRS, PPS) that are not SCT Banner products, into the Banner general ledger. These other administrative systems can't accommodate the SCT Banner chart structure.
- How can I determine the index associated with a particular fund/organization?
Using Banner Form FTMACCI, one can either obtain the Index code for a fund/organization or the fund code for a given index. Hit F7 to clear the form and put in known information (i.e. index, fund, or org) then hit F8 to execute the query.
The BAR reports also include a section entitled Chart of Indexes. There are several reports, which are available by school/college/division. They include sorts by department and grant fund code. The grant fund sort (Grant Indexes - BAR001C) also lists the principal investigator/financial manager.
- Where do I submit requests for new fund/organizations (FO), formerly known as accounts?
Requests should be submitted to your school, college or division business office for their review and approval. The business office will then forward the request to the appropriate central unit, which depends on the type of fund/organization involved, and whether or not it is for gifts. The various units, and the funds/organizations they establish, are listed below:
Gifts - Submit to Development Office (In turn, they submit unrestricted gift and endowment index requests to Fiscal Operations Accounting Department for processing, and restricted gift index requests to Sponsored Programs Administration for processing. Gifts are restricted, when the donor specifically stipulates how the funds must be spent.)
General (except indirect cost return and cost sharing), Designated (except gifts), Auxiliary, Independent Operations, Endowment beneficiary, Student Loan, and Agency funds - Submit to Fiscal Operations - General Accounting.
Plant fund - Submit to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration.
Expendable restricted fund - Grants and contracts and General fund indirect cost and cost sharing accounts- Submit to Sponsored Programs Administration
- Where can I obtain more information about the university fund structure and program descriptions?
Please refer to the Fiscal Operations website.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL REPORTS, WHOM YOU SHOULD CONTACT VARIES BY THE NATURE OF THE TRANSACTION (SUCH AS GIFTS) AND THE TYPE OF FUND. CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF YOUR FOAP WILL TELL YOU ITS FUND. WITH THIS INFORMATION, YOU CAN GENERALLY DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE CENTRAL UNIT TO CONTACT. THE KEYS TO IDENTIFYING THE FUNDS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Fund (first digits of the Fund/organization)
General fund - indirect cost return ..................... 11x41
General fund - cost sharing................................ 1170, 1180
General fund - other....................................... 11xxx
Designated fund ........................................... 12
Auxiliary fund ........................................... 37
Independent Operations ................................... 39
Expendable Restricted - endowment beneficiary............ 29
Expendable Restricted fund - other ........................ 21-28
Agency fund ............................................ 90
Plant fund................................................ 71-77
Student Loan fund......................................... 51,59
Endowment fund............................................ 60-69
- Should I use banner or bar to perform my financial administration activities?
You will need to use both Banner and BAR. The report tool that you use will be dependent upon the funds, which you are responsible for administering, the aspects of financial administration, which you are trying to manage, and the timeliness of the information required.
BAR is updated each night. Banner is updated each night, and in addition, during each day it is also updated for journal entry and commitment entries posted that day. As a result, Banner financial information is somewhat more current than BAR, which could lead to differences between the amounts recorded within BAR and Banner at a point in time.
In general. it is easier to interpret overall budget balances with BAR reports, since it calculates budget balances available in total and for various components or pools of the overall budget. For budget balance information about fund/organizations in the General, Designated, Auxiliary and Independent funds, and Sponsored Programs using the University's fiscal year please refer to BAR Operating Statements - Summary BAR006D. For budget balance information about grants/contracts that use a project year different than the University fiscal year; please refer to BAR Research/ Project Accounting - Research Accounting Summary BAR007A or Grant Code Summary BAR007F.
In general, it is easier to sort, identify and investigate detail transaction postings by using Banner.
BAR can also be used to create your own customized BAR reports, and as a tool for down loading FMS information into spreadsheet software. Please refer to the Fiscal Operations website,Instructions Converting BAR to Excel or Word.
- How can I get my current available budget balance for general, auxiliary and independent operations funds?
Most FMS users will find that it is easier to read their available budget balances using the BAR reports, generally BAR report BAR006D. On this report, one should refer to the "Available Balance" column. However, the row on this report that one should refer to in order to determine the available budget balance will depend upon the type of financial activity posted to the fund/organization. In general, one can use the bottom row (Summary by Location) or last line in the "Available Balance" column, except when there are budgeted revenues and the amount of these budgeted revenues exceeds the actual revenues. When budgeted revenues exceed actual revenues, then the correct available budget balance is the "Total Expense" row in the "Available Balance" column. However, in this particular circumstance, one must keep in mine that the budgeted expenses are predicted upon your unit achieving the budgeted revenues. If a unit knows that it will not achieve its budgeted revenue levels, it should reduce its budgeted expense levels accordingly.
Also, one other caution regarding General fund budget balances. If the Budget Office funds the composite fringe benefit budget of your General fund fund/organization, check to see if there is a budget balance for this line item. If so, eliminate the impact of this amount from your available budget balance calculations.
Please note that this information only allows one to determine the current available budget balance, based upon what financial activity has actually been posted to FMS. In order to understand what financial transactions comprise your available budget balance, you must periodically review and reconcile the detail financial transactions posted to your fund/organization. In addition, effective financial planning requires one to periodically project revenue and expense financial activity for the balance of the fiscal year.
- How can I get my current available budget balance for the designated funds?
Use the bottom row (Summary by Location) or last line in the "Available Balance" column of BAR report BAR006D.
Please note that this information only allows one to determine the current available budget balance, based upon what financial activity has actually been posted to FMS. In order to understand what financial transactions comprise your available budget balance, you must periodically review and reconcile the detail financial transactions posted to your FOAP. In addition, effective financial planning requires one to periodically project revenue and expense financial activity for the balance of the fiscal year.
- Where can I review the detail transactions posted to my fund/organization? Within BAR, please refer to the "BAR Operating Statements (OS) - Detail" report 005 series. For a particular fund/organization, please refer to BAR report 005B and 005C. Within Banner, please refer to form "Detail Transaction Activity" (FGI TRND).
- In reviewing the detail transactions posted to my fund/organization, how can I determine the source of the posting? Each transaction is assigned a Batch ID code in the detail transactions reports. This code identifies the source of the transaction posting. Please refer to pages 32 and 33 of the FMS Quick Reference Guide (see Fiscal Operations website) for an explanation of these codes.
- For each pay period, FMS only posts the total bi-weekly payroll expenses for each fund/organization. How can I determine the payroll expenses for specific employees charged to an account?
Within the FMS BAR 005 series detail transactions reports, there is one bi-weekly payroll posting to each account for the bi-weekly payroll. This posting summarizes the payroll charges for all of the employees within that account. The BAR report description field refers to this charge as the "P/R EXP". Labor distribution reallocations, which are discussed in more detail within the next question, are posted separately. Within the BAR reports, these are noted by the use of the phrase "Real loc" within the description field.
In order to determine the payroll charges by employee for that pay period, one must refer to the Human Resources (HR) system payroll reports noted in the following paragraphs. These reports are distributed by Fiscal Operations to your S/C/D business office on a monthly basis. If you need this information, and your S/C/D business office has not yet distributed these reports to you, please contact them to obtain this information. (In addition, each payperiod the Payroll Direct Cost Verification Report is distributed. This report lists the bi-weekly wages charged for each employee within an index.)
The HR Charge Report by Organization/Department/Account (HRS 5744) lists the wage and composite fringe benefit expenses for each employee charged on the bi-weekly payroll (by index number). In addition, this report notes which of the charges represent labor distribution reallocations in the column entitled "Recast/Reallocation".
Also, the HR Cumulative Labor Distribution by Department report (EBC 444) is distributed each month. This report shows the payroll expenses by fund/organization for each employee (by index number). It shows these payroll expenses for the current period, month to date and fiscal year to date. For each of these periods, it also indicates the amount related to labor distribution reallocations in a column referred to as "Reallocations".
- How can I determine that my labor distribution reallocation request has been processed and posted to FMS?
FMS BAR 005 series detail transaction reports note that a labor reallocation has been posted to your account; however, they do not indicate the employee or employees associated with this charge. In order to obtain this information, one must refer to the HR payroll report HRS 5744, as noted in the previous question. Please note that the FMS posting description field indicates the pay period when the adjustment took place.
In the rare case where an individual employee has more than one labor reallocation outstanding for a fund/organization, the account administrator will also need to go to the HR on-line system to determine which labor reallocation is involved. They will need to refer to HR screen L36 for this employee. Screen L36 lists the index number an employee is charged to, and the date the charge is effective. If the account administrator does not have access to the HR on-line system, they should refer to their appropriate department or school/college/division business office or personnel office for this information.
- Who should I contact to check the status of monies that I submitted for deposit?
The answer depends upon the type of fund/organization, and whether or not it is for gifts. The various units, and the items they process, are listed below:
Unrestricted gifts, private grants and contracts monies - Development Office
Restricted grants and contracts monies - Sponsored Programs Administration
All other monies - Fiscal Operations - Cashiers Office
- Whom should I contact to ask about budget entries posted to my index or fund/organization?
This depends upon the type of fund/organization. The various units, and the funds they process, are listed below:
General, Auxiliary and Independent funds - University Budget Office
Grants and contracts - Sponsored Projects Administration
Designated and Plant funds - Fiscal Operations - General Accounting
- Whom should I contact to ask for an explanation about revenue, expenditure or commitment postings to my index or fund/organization?
Disbursements payments - Fiscal Operations - Disbursements
Payroll payments - Fiscal Operations - Payroll
Internal Service Center charges - contact the service center initiating the charge.
General, Designated, Auxiliary, Independent Operations, Endowment beneficiary, Student Loan, Endowment, Plant and Agency funds - Fiscal Operations - General Accounting
Expendable restricted fund - Grants and contracts and General fund indirect cost accounts- Sponsored Programs Administration
Gift, private grant and contract revenues only - Development Office
- Whom should I contact with questions about how to process commitments?
First, you should refer to the self-paced training regarding the commitment process, which is available at http://www.fmstraining.wayne.edu/
Next, you should contact your school/college/division business manager's office.
If neither of these approaches resolves the issue, then contact Fiscal Operations HELP Desk (577-3676).
- Who should I contact to make changes or corrections to my revenue, expenditure postings, and to process transfers of funds?
This depends upon the type of fund. The various central administration units and the funds they are responsible for are listed below:
General, Designated, Auxiliary, Independent Operations, Endowment beneficiary, Student Loan, Endowment, Plant and Agency funds - Submit to Fiscal Operations - General Accounting.
Expendable restricted fund - Grants and contracts and General fund indirect cost accounts- Submit to Sponsored Programs Administration
- My bar reports aren't working properly. Where can I get help?
First, contact your school/college/division technical support staff.
If they aren't able to help, contact the C&IT HELP Desk (577-4778) for assistance.
- I would like to learn more about FMS? What training is available?
The FMS Quick Reference Guide is available at the Fiscal Operations website, FMS Information section.
There are also six FMS related programs presented by trainers. They are as follows:
Encumbrances, Purchase Requisitions, Using FMS Effectively, Research Accounting, BAR - Introduction and BAR - Advanced
Please refer to the Training and Staff Development website for course descriptions, schedules and registration information.
Four of these training programs (Encumbrances, Purchase Requisitions, Using FMS Effectively, Research Accounting) are also available on line for self paced study. In addition, this website contains a number of FMS job aids. All of this information is available at http://www.fmstraining.wayne.edu/
- Where can I obtain information regarding access to banner or bar or help in setting up my desk top computer to access banner, bar and related systems? Please refer to Wayne State University Banner Support Page