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Finance FAQ’s

General Accounting

Q. How can an accounting adjustment be made for actual amounts posted prior to Workday go-live?

A. Please complete the Account Transfer Journal Voucher Form which can be found on the Finance and Treasury website under Forms.

Q. How do I deposit money with the Cashier’s Office?

The cash receipt transmittal form has been replaced by the Cash Sales function in Workday.  Please refer to Cash Sales job aid on the Workday Resources.

Q. How do I cancel a cash sale?

A. Once a cash sale is approved by the customer deposit specialist, a change cannot be made. A manual accounting journal can be used to correct the revenue category or to change a cost center. If the cash sale has not been approved, then, please contact the Cashier’s Office to Send Back the cash sale so the changes can be made or to Deny to discontinue the process.

Q. Where can I find my available budget for agency cost centers?

A. Run Agency Available Budget for Organization task in Workday


 Q. How do I find my cost center in Workday?

A. You can find the PeopleSoft to Workday Cross map under Workday Resources. There are also many ways to search in Workday.  If you have a Workday Cost Center Number, you can type it into the Search field on the Workday screen. You can also type in the name of the Cost Center into the Search Screen and Workday will return results that match your search. 

Cost Center Managers can also use the Cost Center Dashboard to view budget vs actuals and to Verify Procurement Card Transactions, Requisition Lifecycle, Find Requisitions, Find Suppliers, Find Receipts.

Q. What about budgets will stay the same after Workday goes live?

A. Budget policies will stay the same. Expenditures will be budget-checked against the remaining budget in the parent pool.Budget amendments (budget transfers) can be submitted for approval online. Budget amendments must be balanced, net $0. Only transfer budgets within the same Fund (e.g. fund 10 to fund 10). Only transfer budgets for non-personnel, and temporary and student employees. Budget Office is the final approver on all budget amendments. (See also Question 3)

Q. What about budgets will be different in Workday?

A. Budget transfers are called budget amendments. The system will not prevent a transfer of more budget than remains in a pool. You must first review report Operating Budget Variance to check budget availability in the pool. Requisitioners will also have access to view this report. P-card expenses will be budget-checked. You can now request Revenue and Expense budget amendments online. Note: An increase to a revenue budget (e.g. rental income) requires a negative amount.Revenue budgets require a “revenue category” worktag. Each budget amendment description must be truly unique. Therefore, always include a date and specific details in the description.Gifts (endowment and private donor funds from MSU Foundation) will be handled by the Budget Office. They will be budgeted annually, not as multi-year grants.

Q. What is a Budget Amendment?

A. Changes in spending plans, or a purchase that exceeds budget require a budget amendment. A budget amendment is an increase or decrease to the original approved budget, typically to transfer budget from one ledger account to a ledger account in a different ledger account summary (pool). Budget amendments are submitted online. They must be balanced (debits = credits) and approved. Cost Center Managers and Budget Office approve budget amendments. Budget amendments that involve cost centers in different divisions will also require approval of the Division Budget Manager. See job aid for Budget Amendment.

Q. How are budgets controlled?

A. Every budget is stored with a Business Unit, Fund, Cost Center ID, and Ledger Account. (Budgets for Gifts, Grants and Capital projects have an additional identifying worktag). Your purchases must use the same combination of worktags as the approved budget or your transaction will trigger a budget error.

Specific child ledger accounts roll up to a larger parent pool, known as a Ledger Account Summary. Budgets are controlled based on the remaining budget in the ledger account summary (pool) that the accounting on a transaction belongs to. The Ledger Account Summaries (parent pools) are:

Within each pool are multiple ledger accounts. For example, a purchase of Books will be checked against the remaining budget in the General Operating pool, as shown below. Clothing expense can be over budget so long as other accounts are under budget.

Q. How do I know which ledger accounts roll-up to which ledger account summaries (pools)?

A. Report R002 Operating Budget Variance will display the ledger account summaries (i.e. budget pools) for your Cost Center. Click the arrow next to a pool and the child ledger accounts that belong to that pool will be displayed. Note: The report will only display ledger accounts and ledger accounts summaries for which the particular Cost Center has budgets or transactions.

In addition, when entering requisitions or other transactions, the Spend Category selection will display what budget pool the transaction will be checked against. If you have no budget in that pool, you first need to submit a budget amendment to transfer budget before proceeding with the transaction.

Q. Must there be budget in the “child” ledger account that I’m using for a purchase?

A. No, but there must be adequate remaining budget in the total ledger account summary (parent pool) that the ledger account being used belongs to. See Question 

Q. What are validation errors and budget errors and what do I do if I get one?

A. Errors are designed to prevent invalid combinations of work tags, or to prevent overspending of a budget. Review the error message to see what type of error it is and what accounting line has the error.A validation error will occur if you use a disallowed combination of worktag, such as the wrong fund with a cost center. A budget error means you have insufficient budget remaining, or you have no budget at all for the combination of worktags you used in your transaction. Submit a budget amendment to transfer budget from an account in a different pool. Or, clear the worktags and enter a Cost Center that has available budget. If you have no budgets from which to transfer, or if the transfer is denied, you may not proceed with the purchase.

Q. What if I’m a requisitioner, get a budget error, but do not have rights to view budgets?

A. A requisitioner should be able to run report R002 Operating Budget Variance. That said, you should always be in communication with the Cost Center Manager or other fiscal staff member before making a purchase, to make sure the available budget is in fact available for the purchase you are making.

Q. How can we review Transaction Details?

A. Report R002 allows you to filter, view details, and drill down on transactions, as well as go to the source of a transaction. Drillable numbers are in blue. See job aid for Report R002 Operating Budget Variance for Organization.

Q. If a person uses the “Save for Later” feature while creating a Budget Amendment, will that transaction affect the remaining budget balance?

A. – No, the budget amendment in draft status will not affect any current budget lines.

Supplier Invoice

Q. How do I enter Supplier Invoice Request (previously known as the Quick Invoice)?

A.You will find this under forms on the Finance website. This form should be used ONLY when requesting a payment for a supplier who has not provided an invoice. Payment requests MUST coordinate with one of the Payment Purposes listed in the highlighted field. When completing the Supplier Invoice screen in Workday, use the automated Supplier Invoice Number above for your request. You must save this form to your computer and attach it onto the Supplier Invoice screen in Workday. Include all backup (i.e., receipts, registrations, memberships, etc.) with this form in your attachment in the Supplier Invoice screen in Workday. This may not be used for reimbursement. For reimbursements, please use Expenses worklet application

Q. Now that we will be using the Supplier Invoice functionality in Workday, how do I request a petty cash reimbursement?

A. Petty Cash Reimbursements will be done through the Supplier Invoice functionality, using a Petty Cash spend category which can then be reallocated if needed.

Q. How can I get a spend category added on as an approved Supplier Invoice reason?

A. The allowable spend categories are aligned with Procurement and Accounts Payable policies. They can only be changed if the policies change.


Q. Can expenses activities be delegated?

A. Yes, please see the expenses job aid.

Q. Can we attach supporting documents to an expense report?

A. Yes, you are able to upload receipts and attach them directly to specific line items in the report. 

Q. As a cost center manager, how can I see my team’s or direct reports expense reports?  

A. You can run the “Find My Team’s Expense Reports”.  

Q. Can you create a Spend Authorization from the mobile app?

A. No, the mobile application does not allow a spend authorization to be created through it.

Q. If I have a receipt in Euros instead of American Dollars, will the system read the Euros or will it translate the amount to dollars?

A. No, the Workday system will not convert Euros to Dollars.

Q. Do we still need to attach the Google maps printout to confirm mileage? Can it be done digitally?

A.  If you print the Google maps page as a PDF, you can attach the file electronically.

Q. Why doesn’t the line information on a Spend Authorization carry over to the Expense Report?

A.  As the Spend Authorization is still only an estimate of expenses for a specific trip, the Expense Report reflects the actual expenses incurred on behalf of the University. These can be different from the original estimates listed on the Spend Authorization.

Q.  Can I spit lines when I am creating a Spend Authorization if the cost needs to be absorbed by more than one department or between a department and a grant?

A. Yes, lines can be split but will need to be done as separate lines for the singular expense. So if a hotel cost is absorbed by two Cost Centers, then there should be two lines for the hotel cost, each with the corresponding cost center and cost listed.

Q. Can a PCard be used for registration for a conference, and how will it be accounted for on the Spend Authorization and Expense Report?

A. The Pcard transactions cannot be brought into expenses. Therefore, if a PCard is used to pay for a conference registration (or any other expense item), that item should not be included in the Spend Authorization or the Expense Report. The PCard transaction will need to be processed using the Verify PCard Transaction functionality within Workday – a separate function outside of expense reimbursements.

Q. What if I want to be reimbursed for the actual amount I spent on a meal, and it is less than the per diem rate? Can I adjust the per diem rate?

A. The domestic meals per diem rate cannot be changed in the system as it set by the site. If a traveler does not use the per diem rate, they can select the “Non-Per Diem Meals” option on the expense line item, indicating if it is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner,  and enter the actual expense of the meal. Receipts are REQUIRED when choosing any other option than domestic meals per diem, and the expense will only be paid up to the amount of the per diem rate for the specific city.

Q. What is the difference between cancel and close on an expense report?

A. You can cancel a spend authorization/expense report if it has not been fully approved.  You can close if it has been approved but has not been attached to a paid expense report or connected to a settlement run.  A cancel will unencumber the funds.


Q. How do I find a vendor/supplier? 

A. Enter “Find suppliers for Requester – Report” into the search bar

Q. How can I enter a requisition?

A. Enter “Create Requisition – Task” into the search bar

Q. What is a spend category?

A. Represents the commodity being requested (previously called the Account/Category Code).

Q. How do I find worktags and what are they?

A.  A named attribute that you can assign to events and objects to indicate their business purpose. For example, you can create a Customer worktag, whose values are the names of your customers. You can use the worktag to assign a customer to an expense in an expense report or a product sales event.

Q. How do I look at my budget?

A. Run the “Operating Budget Variance for Organization.” For Grants, run the “Grant Summary by Ledger Account.”

Q.  Are there unofficial purchase orders that can be printed in Workday?

A. No. In Workday, if you print a purchase order, there is no unofficial purchase order available. If a purchase order is printed, then make sure to write “COPY” or “UNOFFICIAL” on the page to ensure it is not mistaken for an original, official purchase order.

Q.  On the Find Supplier report, what does the IRS number mean at the top of the Supplier page?

A. That is a reference number used within the Procurement department and will not be displayed in production.

Q.  How can I set up defaults on a multiple line requisition if I am charging the requisition to another cost center?

A. During checkout, on the Line Defaults screen, the requester can select Default Worktags and Splits, then make the changes to the worktags that should appear on all line items.


Q. How do I know my award is setup in Workday?

A. Once a new award is completed by the Grant Accountant in Workday, whomever has the role of Award Analyst or Grant Manager/PI in the Business Office will be notified in their Workday notifications. The notification will include a link to the Workday Award which will then identify the active Grant(s) for charging. 

Q. How do I find an Award or Grant in Workday?

A. There are many ways to search in Workday.  You can first go to the Grants Management Dashboard.

Q. How do I find my gifts in Workday?

You can go to R002- Operating Variance Report and select “All gifts”. 

Q. Can there be multiple PIs and Grant Managers on a grant in the system?

A. Yes, if there are multiple PIs for a grant, they can all be listed as the PI/Grant Manager in Workday.

Q. What is effort certification?

A. It is the verification of the percent of time people worked on specific grants. The request for effort certification is launched to the appropriate PIs by the Grant Accounting department.

Q. Can the “Other Transactions” name be changed in the system to something more descriptive?

A. Yes, we will rename Other Transactions to something more descriptive.

Q. Can there be a “Total” column for actuals plus obligations in the Budget report?

A. Yes, there can be a total column added for actuals

Q. The Obligations tab in the Grants Reports shows all of the open POs issued a grant. Can we get the same type of report showing the Actual payments made against a grant?

A. Yes, we can provide a Supplier payment report that will indicate paid.

Q. Can we get a report showing detailed information by vendor for purchases for a grant – like we see in the Obligations tab?

A. Yes, we can provide a supplier payments report for grants.

Q. Where will I see all of my PCard transactions? Will they show up in the R134 (Grant Summary by Ledger) report?

A. The P-card expenses will show up in the expense columns as every other expense transaction will