Click on the topic below to view the related manual. Most manuals include an Appendix section which contains relevant quick guides for the selected topic. As an employee with fiscal duties it is your responsibility to remain informed of all policies and procedures. We encourage you to engage with the Fiscal Support and Connections Network in order to stay up-to-date on changes to fiscal procedures, network with colleagues, and collaborate with Fiscal Services.
This manual provides a basic overview of finance at Mason including common terms, forms and resources. Please refer to the onboarding guide for recommended training and development for new fiscal staff based on their responsibilities within the unit.
George Mason University maintains an effective financial management system in order to provide accurate and reliable fiscal reporting and to protect university assets. A strong financial system is achieved by managing fiscal risk and maintaining accountability and effective controls.
The following resources are available to assist units in effective financial management.
Reconciliation Procedures – This guide provides an overview of reconciliation roles and responsibilities along with a step-by-step guide to MicroStrategy Organization Reconciliation reports.
Reconciliation Basics Video – This short video provides a demonstration of the MicroStrategy Organization Reconciliation reports along with helpful tips for reconciling with the unit.
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.
Cash and Payment Card Transactions
The guides below provide an overview of the state and university policies and guidelines for revenue collection.
The guides below provide an overview of the equipment procedures for the university. To learn more visit the Equipment Inventory page.
Equipment Management Information
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.
The new eVA platform went live on November 1, 2022. Please refer to Use eVA Purchasing page for system updates and other resources.
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.
Video: Introduction to International Tax (Must log-in to MasonLEAPS to view)
Video: International Employee Hiring Guide (Video) (Must log-in to MasonLEAPS to view)
Video: International Tax Training – Global Employment (Remote Work) (Must log-in to MasonLEAPS to view)
Video: U.S. Tax Training for International Students and Scholars (available here and in MasonLEAPS)
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.
Individuals within the department have delegated purchasing 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.
Travel, Food and Beverage
The Mason Finance Gateway, powered by Chrome River, is our new expense management system. In February 2021, it replaced the Travel Request System and several manual reimbursement forms (Food & Beverage, Payment Request).
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Supplies/Food and Drink is the purchase of food, drink and supplies that does not include any vendor-provided services.
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.