The Kuali Financial System (KFS) was developed by a number of academic institutions for use by colleges and universities. This system has several features such as: manages impediments, endowments and cost sharing; permits institutions to establish various business rules and workflows for diverse fund groups; and utilizes features that are relevant to the reporting systems of colleges and universities (University of Arizona 3). This paper will therefore discuss a number of transaction processing capabilities and benefits of KFS.
The KFS is designed to sustain the distribution systems of colleges and universities. Given that KFS is an online-based system, it permits all sanctioned users easy online access irrespective of their locations. Although most of the users in these institutions have limited accounting knowledge, they are able to use KFS to enter various types of financial transactions using custom-made electronic forms (known as e-docs). When the user submits an e-doc, the KFS system routes it for authorization and processing on the basis of the business regulations set up by the specific organization and institution(s) involved. This personalized routing system sustains both the college’s internal controls and every unit’s requirements regarding business transactions. In addition, the KFS system stores business transaction data on line (Becker 7).
Given that different organizations have diverse needs, the KFS’s parameter tables allow each university and college to establish personalized business rules. These business rules may be based on a number of criteria (i.e. transaction type, fund group, dollar amount, and object code). For example, the accounting systems used by colleges and universities require that income and expenditures be classified according to the sources of funds. The source of funds shows the income/expenditures that are permitted on a specific account. The KFS enables colleges and universities to systematize funding sources into fund clusters and sub-funds. The system then permits the institution to establish workflow and business rules suitable for each fund group. For instance, KFS enables grants, fund groups and contracts to be evaluated by the specific regulations of their sponsors (Becker 8).
In both colleges and universities, budgets are set up for accounts. Depending on the source of the fund, budgets must not be habitually moved between fund groups-such as restricted funds and general funds. The KFS system employs a budget adjustment restriction code (an aspect of both the fund group and sub-fund groups) to ensure that budgets are not regularly transferred between fund groups. The Budget Adjustment e-doc employs this aspect to curb budget adjustments by fund groups. Usually, sources of funds bear restrictions. Within the KFS system, restrictions are spelled out for every sub-fund group via a restricted status code. Consequently, when end-users open new accounts and link them to the restricted sub-fund, the restricted status code is mechanically applied to these new accounts (University of Arizona 4).
Departments of institutions of higher learning require the latest account balances for use in decision-making processes. To fulfill this obligation, the KFS financial transactions generate pending ledger entries which are revealed on the online balance inquiry screens. In addition, these online screens offer a simplified feature that facilitates assessment and problem solving. For example, the end-user can easily shift from complex levels of transactions to the individual levels by clicking on the links displayed on the screen. The end-user is thus able to put on view all relevant data for this transaction as well as a route log that displays all workflow progress for it (Becker 8).
In a nutshell, there are many benefits that colleges and universities can get from using the Kuali Financial System. The system simplifies all the business transactions and provides up-to-date information needed for making sound decisions.
Becker, James, et al. “The Kuali Financial System: Community-Developed Software for Education. 2010. Web.
University of Arizona. “Mosaic Project: Financial System Review.” 2010. Web.