- Financial Management Systems Security Access Forms
- Visitor Expense Reimbursements
- Contracted Services Form
- Foreign Payments
- Expense Policy Exception Request Form
- 90 Day Rule Justification Memo Form
- New Purchasing Documentation Process
- Chartfield Request/Inactivation Forms
Security access requests to Northwestern’s financial management systems require forms. These forms must be used when requesting for new access, modifying access, or inactivating access for an individual. There are four separate security access request forms.
- FFRA General Security Access Form
- FFRA Systems Express Form
- Row Level Security (RLS) Form for Multiple Users-Express
- FFRA Central Office Security Access Form – To be used only by individuals that work in the Central Office
Once the security access request form has been signed by both the individual and the individual’s department, please forward the form to your Financial Administrator in our office. If the person is an NU affiliate (i.e. Lurie, NMH, etc.) then a Non NU Employee Security Access form should be included as well. The administrator will review the form, approve, and send to email@example.com for processing.
The Financial Management Systems Security Access Forms, along with additional information, can be found on the Financial Operations website.
It is the policy of Northwestern University (NU) to reimburse individuals who are not University faculty or staff, but who have incurred expenses for University-approved, business-related expenses, including transportation, lodging, and other travel or non-travel costs. This would include, but not limited to:
- guest lecturers or researchers
- prospective faculty or staff
- non-employee students
The department/school is responsible for informing the visitor of the University's expense reimbursement policies prior to his/her incurring of expenses, providing the visitor with the Visitor's Expense Report form to document expenses, collecting from the visitor the vendor information required for processing the reimbursement, and having all visitor forms properly completed and processed.
Visitor’s Expense Report
- Uses: Reimbursement of individuals who are not university faculty and staff, but who have incurred expenses for university approved, business related expenses, including transportation and lodging.
- Submission Method: Payment Request with attached electronic documentation.
- Signatures Needed: Visitor, Department, Dean, or Principal Investigator, as necessary, on form, then NUFinancials workflow approvals related to chart string (original is not needed).
- Documentation Needed: Receipts or other support for expense (original is not needed).
- Reimbursement will be made via check to the visitor.
To make payments to U.S. resident independent contractor individuals, you must submit a completed and signed Contracted Services Form for U.S. Residents with the invoice and all pertinent documentation.
- A new Independent Contractor Questionnaire (ICQ) has been created to help determine the correct status of an individual. This form must be completed and submitted to HR Compensation for review, and will be returned to the requestor with the final decision on independent contractor status.
- An employee must be rehired and paid via University payroll if it has been less than one year since the employee was terminated as a benefits-eligible employee. These individuals are not eligible to be independent contractors.
- Before submitting the Contracted Services Form, the department/school may need to add the contractor as a supplier. For more information about registering a supplier, please see Vendor File Management.
- Any request for a new independent contractor must be approved by the HR Compensation Division prior to processing by Accounting Services.
- The Contracted Services Form is also used for honoraria, regardless of dollar amount.
- For reimbursable travel expenses, a completed Visitor’s Expense Report documenting pre-approved expenses must accompany the Contracted Services form and Payment Request.
- For more information on paying U.S. resident independent contractors, see U.S. Resident Independent Contractor Payments to Individuals.
- For information on paying non-U.S. resident independent contractors, see Non-U.S. Resident Independent Contractor Payments to Individuals.
Accounts Payable (AP) can make payments to a foreign country by using a service provided by Travelex Global Business Payments, Inc. (formerly Ruesch International). The payment can be in a foreign currency or U.S. Dollars and paid via a draft/check or electronic funds/wire transfer as required by the vendor.
To make an international payment fill out a Direct Payment Request form and, for wire transfers, also fill out an AP International Wire Transfer Request form. Obtain all needed approvals, and send the DPR, AP International Wire Transfer Request (as required) and pertinent documentation either to Accounts Payable or, for sponsored projects, to ASRSP. Please note that all direct payment request forms for international wire transfer requests should be emailed to FinanaceandAdministration@northwestern.edu for signature by the Dean's Office.
For more information, refer to the following:
- Payments to Foreign Vendors
- Bank Accounts, Banking Services and Wire Transfers
- Accounts Payable Electronic Funds Transfers
In those instances where requests for travel and other business expenses do not conform to stated University and/or Feinberg School of Medicine policies, an Expense Policy Exception Request Form, available on the NUPortal Financial tab under Payments, must be submitted with the transaction (expense report, payment request, requisition, etc) in NUFinancials explaining the reasons for not conforming to stated University policies. All expense policy exception forms must be signed by the dean, vice dean or their designees.
- For FSM departments, Department Chair or Department Administrator approval is required. Supervisor approval on an Expense Policy Exception Request Form is not adequate unless that person has been assigned as a designee.
- The approved Expense Policy Exception Request Form should be included with the NUFinancials transaction for review and approval via the electronic workflow.
- For instructions on how to complete the form, please see the FSM guide on using the expense policy exception request form.
- To request approval by the Dean's Office, email the form and supporting documentation to FinanceandAdministration@northwestern.edu.
Under university policy, all expenditures and other costs should be posted within 90 days of their occurrence; in addition all cost transfers, including salary, should be completed within 90-days of their original transaction date. When a transaction falls out the of this 90-day window, a justification is required and subject to review and approval by central accounting staff before the transaction is accepted for posting. For these instances, the 90 Day Rule Justification Memo Form must be completed and included with the transaction.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Any 90 day form that is affiliated with an invoice or non-salary related journal of $5,000 or more charged to non-sponsored accounts must be signed by the Dean’s Office. All 90 day forms for any dollar amount involving sponsored projects must also be signed by the Dean's Office.
- To determine when a 90 day form will require signature by the Dean's Office, see the FSM Exception Signature Decision Tree. To request approval by the Dean's Office, email the form and supporting documentation to FinanceandAdministration@northwestern.edu.
- The 90 day form is integrated into the electronic correction journals and internal sales journals in NUFinancials. Workflow approvals are applied to non-sponsored 90 day memos via the portal; wet signatures by the PI are still required to be provided for sponsored transactions (contact ASRSP for details).
Procurement and Payment Services has implemented a new streamlined process to document purchasing decisions made by departments and schools. Staff no longer need to choose Bid Documentation Form (BD-1) or Sole Source Justification Form (SSJ-1) at the beginning of the process. The new online process prompts staff to answer a series of questions, and when finished, the appropriate form will be generated:
- Bid Documentation Form - when multiple bids were solicited and received
- Sole Source Justification Form - when the product or service can only be acquired from a single vendor
The new process is now available to use at Purchasing Decision Documentation. You can visit the Bids by Departments/Schools page for more information on the process, including the form link, job aid, an overview of what information is needed for submission.
Beginning January 1, 2019, only the online form will be accepted. For more information, please see the Purchasing Decision Documentation job aid.
Chartfield Request Forms
A new ChartField (or Chart String) is requested when an existing ChartField value or management Chart String does not meet a need to capture unique financial activity for appropriate monitoring or financial accounting purposes. ChartField Request Forms support requests for new Department IDs, Project IDs (non-grant), Program Codes, ChartField 1 values, or Account codes. The ChartField Request Form also supports updates and inactivation of these fields. However, you will still need to use the previous business process for combination chart string inactivations. This will be discussed in detail in the following section.
To have a ChartField/Chart String created a department must utilize the electronic Chartfield Request Form available in NUFinancials. To access this form, go to Chartfield Request Form in NUFinancials. Please note, that only non-grant (non-sponsored) chartfield values may be requested using this online form.
As stated above, the form supports the requests of several options.
- Department ID - Tracks information according to a divisional breakdown of the organization. It is the lowest level at which you can manage staff and/or control, secure, or report on budget/activity performance within unrestricted funds series 110-160 (includes recharge activities)
- Project ID - Captures activity detail and additional description about the activity useful for management and reporting. Used with funds in the series 170’s through 800’s; the project value, fund/project value, or deptID/project value is the lowest level at which you can manage staff and/or control, secure, or report on budget/activity performance for chart strings that use Project IDs.
- Program - A linking mechanism used to identify collaborative activities across units and allowing multiple user access and reporting.
- Account - Classifies a specific revenue, expense, or balance sheet type of activity.
- ChartField 1 Values – are opened on a case by case basis. Currently, there is a list of chartfield 1 values that are already established. These values can be used by any department at their discretion if the need arises. However, it is up to the department to keep track of which value is being used and for what reason. You can find a copy of the most current chartfield 1 values at
Most requests will be those that fall under the Project ID option, however, please choose the option that best suits your department’s needs. Once the option has been chosen, the system will take you to through the proper screens for your use.
When submitting your request, please make sure to attach all appropriate supporting documentation. For example:
- Confirmation of funding sources
- For gift requests, gift or deposit transmittal slip
- Budget journal template if budget to be established
Chartfield Inactivation Forms
The same online form that is used for requesting (adding) Chart Strings can be used to inactivate a department or project. Just choose Inactive as your option in the drop down box. To inactivate a project, a GL005 Cognos report showing a zero balance for the project must be submitted with the online form.
Combination Chart String Inactivation
In the event that a department is closing a project that is linked with multiple chart strings (same project housed in more than one department or same project linked to more than one fund, 171/172), then the online inactivation form discussed previously cannot be used. One must fill out the Inactivation of Chart string Combinations excel template, which can be found under the Inactivate a ChartField or Chart String Process section. The GL005 Cognos report showing a zero balance is required as additional documentation.
Visit Request or Inactivate A Chartfield Value or Chart String for more information.
Things to keep in mind
- It is best practice to inactive chart strings during budget season, in addition to following the steps above. Inactivating chart strings during the budget process will eliminate the chart string from showing up as a $0 budget on your reports during the following fiscal year.
Use the Electronic ChartField Request Form :
- To inactivate a project/department that is only associated with one chart string, which should be closed. If a project/depart is link to multiple chart strings and they all are being closed, than you can use the online form.
- You can close projects or department IDs at any time during the fiscal year using the chartfield request form.
Use the Chart String Combinations Template (Excel Form):
- To inactivate a chart string that uses a project id that is being used in another string (i.e., a 171 was converted to a 172 and the 172 is still being used).
- To inactivate a string that was created in error (i.e., in keying a CRT someone transposed two numbers in the project id and created a new chart string).
- You can submit requests for combination chart string inactivations to your Financial Administrator at any time throughout the year. However, they are only processed quarterly throughout the fiscal year. An email will be sent by the Office of Finance & Administration to departments when we will begin to accept these inactivations for the quarter. Please see Accounting Services Chartfield Maintenance Policy for the yearly schedule.