Finance Fundamentals

Finance Fundamentals was developed several years ago by the FAS Administrative Operations team to help new financial administrators become familiar with the various aspects of financial management relevant to FAS departments and centers. Over the years the program has been expanded to include those who have an interest in gaining knowledge of financial responsibilities for their current or future role.

The sessions are spread over a six month period and cover a wide range of financial topics from Cash Management, Payroll, Reimbursements and their associated policies and procedures.  The goal is to help you become more familiar with FAS and University financial policies and procedures and to understand your responsibility as a financial steward of the University, while at the same time allowing you to network with other new administrators in an environment that is comfortable, informal, and friendly.

While we think that all together the program provides a broad and complete picture of financial policies and procedures in FAS, each of the classes is stand alone, meaning you may pick and choose the sessions that appeal to you or cover your work area!  This series of sessions does not contain any hands-on systems trainings, these were developed to give administrators more of the "why" behind the different processes they will encounter.

2022 Finance Fundamentals

The Administrative Operations ASAP Team is pleased to once again be offering a full curriculum of Finance Fundamentals in 2022.

These trainings are free and open to all FAS exempt and non-exempt staff members with financial responsibilities*.  You can attend just the session(s) that pertain(s) to your current position or join us for all six and receive a certificate! All sessions will be held over Zoom. Remember, if you are a Finance Fundamentals graduate you are welcome to attend any session as a refresher.**  Register for the classes on the Harvard Training Portal at or by using the links below:

* All Finance Fundamentals attendees must have a working knowledge of the Chart of Accounts. Register for an upcoming Chart of Accounts class (next available: Monday, Feburary 28 – 2:00pm – 3:30 pm).   

**NOTE: due to space constraints, please note that we may ask those who have taken a session one or more times previously to allow someone from the waitlist to attend for the first time.

Course Overview & Materials

Session I: Managing Cash

The "Ins" and "Outs" of Procurement

  • Differences between and usage of:
    • PCard and Corporate Card
    • Petty Cash
  • Responsible handling of cash and checks
  • Processing credits from vendors

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Session II: Managing Compensation

Payroll and Absence Reporting

  • Aurora to PeopleSoft data flow
  • Timing of payroll and running reports
  • Additional pay rules and processes
  • Off-cycle rules and processes

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Session III: Mastering Reimbursements

Travel, Business Meals & Entertainment

  • University business expense policy
  • FAS travel meal policies and guidelines
  • Reporting requirements; exceptions
  • Performers/Lecturers - MA Tax
  • Intracies of Object Code 8450

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Session IV: Monitoring Funds

Budget, Reports and Journals

  • Review of annual budget process
  • Key budget factors (salary increase, EIE, inflation)
  • Budgeting 101
  • OBI reports
  • Journals - What, Where and Why?
  • Inter vs. inter-tub journals

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Session V: Maximizing Funds

Gifts, Endowments & Faculty Funds

  • What is a gift / endowment / fund?
  • How are they created? Who is involved?
  • Endowment overview (strategic payout?)
  • Review AEAs, interest / deficit fees, gift tax
  • Use of faculty funds
  • Gift vs. grant/Gift vs. Endowment

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Session VI: Mastering Procurement

Buying, Paying & Reporting

  • Use of Preferred Vendors
  • AP Forms
  • How to avoid holds (price, quantity)
  • Reporting - Detail Listing, Vendor Detail, Committed Funds Report
  • Vacation rules and share worklist
  • Copying requisitions

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