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Over the past year, Stanford Financial Management Services (FMS) focused on providing the financial community with the tools and knowledge needed to support financial stewardship of all our university resources. 

The efforts also built a common understanding of the key requirements around all our financial activities so that we can collectively operate more efficiently and effectively. Our faculty and staff’s time is also an important resource that we must steward, so we want to ensure that the university community is equipped with the tools and resources to facilitate financial transactions as quickly and easily as possible. 

Many of these changes were guided by feedback from the 2021 Client Satisfaction survey for several key activities related to supplier setup and onboarding, purchasing, approval of financial transactions, and invoice payment processing.

New or updated courses reinforce financial stewardship concepts

Several courses were updated or newly developed last year that cover general financial stewardship concepts, purchasing methods, and financial approval. The courses focus on key concepts to allow the university community to more effectively navigate the requirements around financial transactions. 

Course Who is required to take the course Why the course is important
FIN-PROG-0020: Financial Stewardship Expectations All faculty, staff, or students who need access to Oracle Financials systems. Fosters a shared understanding amongst the university community of the key concepts that are foundational to our stewardship of university resources.
FIN-PROG-0103: Approving Financial Transactions New approvers with requisition and expense journal privileges Reinforces the key expectations, concepts, and resources that surround financial approval, which represents one of our key controls in ensuring that financial transactions are reasonable and necessary, consistent with established university policies and practices, and consistent with sponsor or donor requirements.
FIN-0420: Preferred Purchasing Methods Faculty, staff, or students who need to access the iProcurement system and its suite of connected systems Equips purchasers with the knowledge and resources to choose the purchasing method that best meets their department’s needs, balances operational efficiency, and meets key compliance procedures required of the university. 

Resource toolkits help community to efficiently complete financial transactions

Updated Fingate tools were packaged into resource toolkits for each of these key activity areas, which include refreshed web content, subject-specific information sessions and office hours, and individualized customer support provided by the Financial Support Center to help the university community feel more equipped to efficiently and correctly complete financial transactions. 

Improvements to supplier setup and onboarding tools

Learn about two major enhancements related to supplier setup and onboarding, which were based on feedback received from the 2021 Client Satisfaction Survey, and include: 

  • New and updated status labels that are now available in the Supplier Query and Request tool for pending supplier or visitor payee requests
  • Refreshed Fingate resources to help schools and units to more efficiently onboard a supplier while continuing to protect the university from financial, operational, ethical, and reputational harm. 

Enhancements to purchasing resources

In addition to the recently launched FIN-0420: Preferred Purchasing Methods course, we compiled a toolkit of purchasing resources on Fingate that helps purchasers to complete tasks correctly and efficiently and include:

Updated tools to support critical financial approver role

Last year, FMS embarked on a new initiative focused on helping approvers perform their responsibilities for the university. The initiative includes a focus on refreshing and creating new resources and increased outreach and engagement to the approver community at Stanford. Learn more about this new package of tools, which includes:

  • Redesigned FIN-PROG-0103: Approving Financial Transactions course. 
  • Refreshed and enhanced checklists that serve as a framework to use when reviewing or auditing financial transactions.
  • Updated Fingate content covering the basics from authority to proper use of funds.
  • Helpful reporting and workflow tools.
  • Information sessions and events.

FMS is continually taking action on the feedback received from the 2021 Client Satisfaction Survey by developing new or updating existing resources to support financial activities, including enhancements related to invoice hold notifications. More information about these efforts can also be found on Turning Feedback Into Action and the FMS Change Roadmap. Thank you for your continued partnership in driving forward improvements to FMS programs and financial systems. 

Virtual events review policies, processes, and upcoming changes

FMS continually hosts virtual information sessions and office hours to provide overviews of complex processes, policy updates or changes, and new or updated financial systems. To view recordings of past events, visit the Procurement Services Events page. 

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