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  1. FINANCE TRAINING Introduction to the Financial Front End (FFE) System 2011

  2. What is FFE? • Financial Front End (FFE) was created jointly by the Office of the Controller and CUIT • A financial and reporting interface that works with systems operated by CUIT, Office of the Controller, Budget Office (OMB), SIS, Alumni & Development, Human Resources, Payroll Accounting and Purchasing.

  3. What can FFE do? • Consists of various modules that offer services such as: • Budget and financial reporting capabilities • Fund transactions • Inter-departmental invoicing • Purchasing Office interface • Cash handling oversight • Certain payroll functions • Security access monitoring

  4. Journal Entries Financial Front End (VFFE / FinSys) How FFE fits in with the Neighborhood FAS Inter-Departmental Invoices Cash Receipts & Disbursements Budget > Account Revisions> Approvals > Charges>Reports >Reconciliations>Budget Budget Entries People @ Columbia (PAC) Payroll Time Collections APCAR PO, A/P, Petty Cash FFE CAPS P-Card Works Advance Endowments & Gifts FFE Tuition Student Info System Rent BJ Murray TMS Grant Set Up InfoEd / OPG

  5. How to Access FFE (cont.) FIRST, you need to apply for access using the Financial Systems Security Application Use this application to: - Set up a new DAF approver and/or FFE-AP/CAR User - Modify a User’s access - Change a User’s home department in security module if it has changed in People@Columbia (PAC) - Delete a User’s access FOR INFO:

  6. How to Access FFE FFE can be accessed in TWO different ways: • Access to the FinSys FFE modules requires entry into the My.Columbia portal, then navigation to the FinSys section. - Access to the FoxPro FFE modules (also called VFFE) requires a Columbia UNI and VFFE specific password assigned via email.

  7. Web-Based FFE On FinSys / MyColumbiaPortal • What is MyColumbia? • How the FinSys and DWR Tabs affect your work • Tips for New Users

  8. VFFE (FoxPro version)Downloading onto Your Desktop • Instructions on easy downloading • Go to:

  9. FoxPro VFFE Log-in • Make sure you have FFE access (To obtain access, you must fill out the Financial Systems Security Application Form – Go to: • Log in using proper ID (after 3 tries, you will get locked out of system and will need to have your ID re-set) • If problems, contact Help Desk at (212) 854-1919 • How to change your password

  10. VFFE Main Menu: System • Change Password • FFE News • Non-FFE Sites • Calculator • Calendar/Diary • Printer Set-up • About FFE

  11. VFFE Getting Started • You will only be allowed to view or use areas where you have access as determined by your security profile set up on the FFE Application Form • You will not be able to make changes without the proper authority • Some FFE functions are for the Controller’s Office use only (i.e. security admin.)

  12. FFE News • Why it is important to read FFE News items

  13. VFFE Main Menu: FFE • Basic FFE functions that will affect your departmental: • Budgets • FAS Statements • Fund management • Purchasing requests • Salary distribution • Internal invoicing • Security administration • Financial reporting

  14. VFFE Main Menu: Reports • 31 different FFE report capabilities having to do with budgets, accounting, purchasing, security and contracts • Plus (DWR) Data Warehouse reports are available at my.columbia or use DARTS system (not part of FFE)

  15. VFFE Main Menu: Contact • Where to go when all else fails …

  16. FinSys FFE AccessMain Menu • Many FFE Modules have been migrated over to FinSys section of My.Columbia Portal • Also see FinSys FFE Reports, and (DWR) Data Warehouse reports

  17. Using DARTS for reports • Access to DARTS • DARTS training – See Training link on Finance Gateway Website or view manual • Downloading and Printing from DARTS


  19. Remember Any mistakes you make in FFE can be reversed

  20. FFE Actions Account Creations (VFFE) • Used to create the following accounts (assigning available account number) on the General Ledger or Sub-Ledger • General ledger account (GL) including a prime (SL) account • Prime SL account • Scope SL account • Also used to apply approvals and collect information about the account. • Grant accounts are created by Sponsored Projects Administration as part of award process

  21. FFE ActionsAttribute Changes (VFFE) • Used to make limited “rule” changes to General Ledger and Sub-Ledger accounts • Used to modify non-restrictive FAS attributes. i.e. allows you to edit fields such as: • Department/Sub Department # • Distribution Codes • Gift numbers • Year Type • Expense functions • Personnel names • Account numbers • Start/End dates • Etc.

  22. FFE ActionsBudgeting Tool (FinSys) • Used to create original departmental budget requests and revise budget projections • Does not change original budget allocation created by Office of Management and Budget • Also shows current month to date, year to date, and fund balance information • Meant to be used after dept. budgets have been developed • See OMB site for learning tools

  23. FFE ActionsJournal Entries (VFFE) • Used for • Fund Transfers (GL to GL) • SL to GL or GL to SL adjustments (Controllers Only) • Expenditure Corrections (SL to SL) • Equipment Expenditure Transfers (SL to SL) • Bank Transfer accounting (Controllers Only)

  24. FFE ActionsInter Departmental Invoices(FinSys) • ONLY TO BE USED to create invoices for services provided to other departments • Individual information entered interacts with accounting details recorded in departmental licensing agreements • What to do if you receive an incorrect or unexpected charge from another department?

  25. Forms for Manual FAS TransactionsRequest for Journal Entries • Use manual JE to transfer “funds” from one account to another using a “double bookkeeping entry” (debit + credit) only when FFE Journal Entry is not an option (i.e. for certain grant transactions, SL to GL, when requested, etc.)

  26. Forms for Manual FAS TransactionsRequest for Expenditure Corrections • When requested by Controller’s Office, use this form to correct mistakes or make needed changes regarding an expenditure. (i.e. to change account of a charge)

  27. Forms for Manual FAS TransactionsInterdepartmental Invoices • When requested by Controller’s Office, use this form to charge CU services (i.e. printing, facilities, etc.) to other departments • See Controller’s website to download form

  28. FFE ActionsCash Entry Module (FinSys) • Departments bring checks and cash to the University Bursar Teller, but will enter into FFE first. • Tellers will view and approve batches electronically • Tellers have the authority to edit or reject a batch if cash presented does not equal amount stated in system. (Email will be sent to dept. approvers if any changes are made or problems are detected.) • Batches will be fed into FAS on a nightly basis • Read Cash Handling Policy for more info.

  29. Purchasing Modules in VFFE To create a requisition for a Purchase Order or to create an EZPO for certain vendors, go to the Purchasing Req. Module in VFFE.

  30. FFE Actions Purchasing Requisitions (VFFE) • Used to create and administrate Purchasing Dept. requisitions for Purchase Orders and EZPOs. • Also used to liquidate EZ-PO encumbrances • Facilitates obtaining necessary approvals • Will print EZPO requisition form for ordering • Used for administration of consultants • Ties in with Purchasing Office system • AN ONLINE PROCUREMENT TRAINING also needs to be completed before obtaining access to this module. (For info, go to: )

  31. Purchasing Modules in FinSys You need to navigate to FinSys – My-Columbia Portal to process certain transactions

  32. PO/EZPO Change Orders (FinSys) • Are entered in new Change Order Module – found in FinSys section of My.Columbia • Are used to • Change the amount of a PO • Change the agreement or contract with a vendor as set up by a PO • Change the terms or amount of an EZPO (EZPO Liquidation Module in FFE FoxPro Version is still working)

  33. FFE Time Collection Module (VFFE) • Use for • Casual Employees (See HR site for policy) • Overtime/Deduction Action for Support Staff • Overtime/Deduction Action for Weekly Union Staff • Must be approved by 5:00 of Day End • Only available during certain times • FOR ALL OTHER PAYROLL TRASACTIONS, USE PEOPLE@COLUMBIA (PAC) – Hire/Rehire, Add-Comp, Salary Distributions, Cost Trans.

  34. For Additional Payroll Info • HR Process Center – 851-2888 • Taxation issues, general deductions, direct deposit, policy and process info. • DAs can contact for additional employee info • Monday – Friday 9-5 • Email:

  35. FFE APPROVALS • Items (account, batch, SAF, etc.) that have been released for approval are listed in the “Approval List” screen • Steps to approve are same for each level • Select approval by type: “Preliminary”, “Final” • If an item fails to be approved, it is “recalled” and system removes item from “Approval List”.

  36. Knowing Your FFE Security Access • Go to VFFE • Under reports, go to “User Security Access” • Choose parameters • Click on “Generate Report” • Or, Go to FinSys • Fix/View My FFE Profile

  37. What if you have an FFE problem? Email: Or Call: (212) 854-1919 CUIT Help Desk (212) 305-0213 CUMC