Manuals and Training Materials

Click on the topic below to view manuals, training presentations, and quick guides.

Check out the New Fiscal Administration Training Sessions Presentations!

All upcoming training dates and links to register on the fiscal calendar, here: https://fiscal.gmu.edu/calendar/


Fiscal Manuals and Training Materials

Fiscal Basics

Click below for a list of commonly used terms and forms.

Commonly Used Fiscal Terms

Account – An abbreviated term referring to the expenditure account code used in Banner to classify an expense by type (i.e., service, supply, equipment).
Banner Finance – The university’s administrative system allows departments to review budget and expenditure information, including transaction details.
Encumbrance – Budget funds that are reserved for making payments toward certain salaries and purchase orders.
EP# – A purchase order issued to a vendor for the procurement of goods or services. The number is generated through eVA.
eVA – The electronic procurement system used to purchase goods and services. It is mandated that all purchases are placed in eVA unless specifically exempt by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Fund/Org Approver – A fiscal officer with signature authority for a university fund or organization.
Grant Code – A code used in Banner to identify a specific sponsored research project. This code is used to retrieve grant transaction data and is used to make payments against purchases for the grant.

Mason Finance Gateway (MFG) – Travel and expense management system for all reimbursements (travel, food, beverage, or other).
Org Code – An abbreviated term referring to the organization code used in Banner to represent a department unit. This code is used to retrieve financial transaction data and is used to make payments against purchases for the department.
P-Card – A purchasing charge card issued to an individual on behalf of Mason. The P-Card is the preferred method for making purchases of goods and services less than $2,000. It may be registered with eVA for ease of use. The credit card bill is paid by Accounts Payable on a monthly basis.
PI – A Principal Investigator (PI) is a faculty member who has responsibility for a grant project.
PR# – a purchase requisition (request) submitted through eVA for the procurement of goods or services.
PCO# – a purchase requisition (request) submitted through eVA and paid for with the P-Card.
Recharge – The method in which a department unit may recover costs incurred by providing a service to university departments (i.e. telecom services).

Commonly Used Forms

All Fiscal Services forms may be found on the Forms and Instructions page. Users should avoid saving copies of the forms to their desktops as these forms are often updated.

Honorarium Payment Request – To request a token of appreciation payment to a non-Mason employee when a contract or invoice is not required.
Journal Voucher – To move revenue and expenditures between orgs and accounts.
Payment Request – To request advance payment of conference registration.
Sales & Use Tax Certificate of Exemption – To present to vendors for removal of Virginia Sales & Use tax on goods, services, and food purchases made on behalf of Mason.
Sponsorship Justification – To justify the business need for Mason to provide event sponsorship.
Substitute W-9 – To request a domestic vendor’s tax ID information to establish or update a Banner record.

Banner Finance

Banner is a comprehensive information system for the university. Banner Finance is the administrative software used to record financial information resulting from transactions at the university. Banner Finance Self-Services is a web-based interface used by department representatives to query budgets, revenues, and expenditures. To learn more visit the Banner Finance page.

Banner Finance and Reconciliation Manual

Banner Quick Navigation Guide

How to Close an Encumbrance

Cash and Payment Card Transactions

The guides below provide an overview of the state and university policies and guidelines for revenue collection.

Cash Transactions Manual

Cash Handling PowerPoint Presentation

Overview of Mason Marketplace – the designated online payment portal for card acceptance

Equipment Procedures

The guides below provide an overview of the equipment procedures for the university. To learn more visit the Equipment Inventory page.

Equipment Procedures Manual

Equipment Management Information

eVA Purchasing

eVA is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s e-procurement system for goods and services purchased by state agencies and institutions. Use of eVA is mandatory, except for the exemptions noted in the training material. Most non-P-Card orders integrate with Banner Finance and the funds are immediately encumbered against the department’s budget. Some registered vendors in eVA provide a Punchout Catalog which allows the user to easily order items and place them in the cart. If the vendor does not have a Puchnout Catalog, the user will complete a Noncatalog Order and is required to provide greater detail on the items being purchased. It is recommended that the user obtain a quote from the vendor prior to completing a Noncatalog purchase in eVA. In-depth information is available on the Use eVA Purchasing page.

Basic eVA Purchasing Manual

eVA Exemption Guide

NEW!! eVA Quick Reference Guide – Create a Requisition

General eVA Guides
Manage P-Card InformationeVA Procurement Transaction TypeSWaM Vendor SearcheVA Banner Integration Error Resolution
Delegating Approval Authority in eVAeVA Approver's GuideeVA Order Receiving GuideeVA Change Order Guide

International Tax Matters

The International Tax Office provides resources for determining the tax implications for transactions involving non-U.S. citizens. Foreign national non-immigrant visa holders (including Canadian walkovers) receiving payments of any type of financial benefit from Mason are required to visit the International Tax Office (Merten Hall, Ste 4403). In-depth information is available on the International Tax Office page.

International Tax PowerPoint Presentation

Common Payments Flowchart

MicroStrategy for Reconciliation

Reconciliation is a systematic review of Banner financial activity to verify that all charges and credits are accurate and appropriate. This process usually compares source documentation (invoices, purchase orders, payment requests) to the Banner data to confirm the accuracy of postings and identify expected transactions that have not yet occurred. All funds/orgs must be reconciled on a monthly/bi-monthly basis. MicroStrategy is the business intelligence tool recommended for reconciliation. In-depth information and examples may be found on the Reconciling page.

Banner Finance and Reconciliation Manual

Reconciliation Procedures

MicroStrategy User Guide

MicroStrategy PI Reports Guide

Purchase Card (P-Card)

Small Purchase cards (P-Cards) offer state agencies and institutions the opportunity to streamline their procedures for procuring and paying for small dollar goods and services. Standard P-Cards have single transaction limits up to $5,000 and monthly limits up to $10,000. P-Cards are only issued to Mason employees. Mason uses Bank of America Works for online cardholder reconciliation and supervisor approval. In-depth information and resources may be found on the Use a P-Card page.

P-Card Manual

P-Card Allocation Quick Guide

P-Card Approver Quick Guide

Bank of America Works Receipt Upload Guide

Purchasing Resources

Individuals within the department have delegated purchase authority and may purchase goods and services up to $5,000 or less without seeking approval from the Purchasing Office. These individuals must still utilize proper procurement and payment methods. A purchase of more than $5,000 must be initiated through eVA for Purchasing Office approval. In-depth information and procedures for various types of purchases are available on the Purchasing Office page.

Purchasing Made Easy Manual

Travel, Food and Beverage

The Mason Finance Gateway, powered by Chrome River, is our new expense management system. It replaces the current Travel Request System and several manual reimbursement forms (Food & Beverage, Payment Request) that are currently submitted for reimbursement and processed through Accounts Payable.

The Commonwealth of Virginia imposes limitations on travel expenses including per diem and lodging amounts.  In-depth information is available in the Travel, Meals and Entertainment Manual. Additional guides may be found on the Mason Finance Gateway page. Business travel prerequisites:

  • Travel must be consistent with the university mission
  • Travel must be performed in the most economical manner
  • All expenses must be incurred while in travel status
  • Actual expenses must be reported (except for meal and incidental per diem)
  • Expenses must not exceed Commonwealth limitations

State rules prohibit expenditures for employee personal expenses, including meals, snacks, entertainment, and refreshments. There are limited circumstances in which it is considered appropriate to provide food and beverages to personnel who are not in travel status. Food/Beverage may not be provided at regularly scheduled or routine meetings (i.e., monthly staff meeting, quarterly unit meeting) or as a way to boost morale or promote goodwill among employees. Alcohol and Flowers are prohibited. Participant Funded events, where the food/beverage costs are paid solely from participant fees (i.e., registration fee) are not subject to the policy. Please refer to the Food and Beverage Overview webpage for additional information.

For official business purposes there are three basic types of food purchases that occur at Mason:

  1. Catering is the activity of providing food and drink for a group of people, typically with services such as setup, staffing, and cleanup included. Catering must be billed directly to the university and is not a reimbursable expense.
  2. Business meals are defined as a meal provided at a commercial dining establishment open to the general public, or at a university location as long as no service other than delivery/pickup is provided. A business meal may occur in travel or non-travel status.
  3. Supplies/Food and Drink is the purchase of food, drink and supplies that does not include any vendor-provided services.

Workflow

Workflow is a tool that is used to automate business processes and electronically route the right information to the right people at the right time. Workflow users are notified of pending work, which helps information move through the review/approval process more efficiently. Additional information is available on the Workflow page.

Equipment Surplus Workflow Guide

Financial Aid Award Workflow

New Org Initiator Guide

New Org Approver Guide