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OBFS Certification Program

Certification Tracks 

Certification tracks are comprised of a varying number of courses and are modeled either as a cohort or self-paced. A cohort emphasizes collaboration, and self-paced tracks are arranged at your convenience. For information on participation guidelines, see the Eligibility and Requirements page.

Select a certification track to learn more:

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Business Administrator Certification Program

The Business Administrator Certification Program (BACP) is a professional development initiative that provides broad, advanced knowledge for managing business processes and understanding policies, procedures, and resources. The BACP covers more than 25 individual topics dealing with a wide range of subjects that impact the jobs of business administrators at the University of Illinois System.

This certification track enhances understanding of the system's organization, processes, and fiscal administrative requirements. It establishes a more consistent and standardized fiscal approach that leads to more effective and efficient administration of the system's colleges, units, and departments.

The BACP is for university and system administrators, business managers, OBFS personnel, and those seeking a professional development opportunity. Nominees must have at least one year on-the-job experience at the University of Illinois System.

Locations: UIC - MAB 208 & 614, UIUC - Illini Plaza 204 Main, UIS - BSB 81.

Select the day below to learn more about the individual courses.

Day 1 - September 18, 2018

Overview of University Structure and Resources (9 - 10 a.m.)

Course Description: An overview of the University campuses’ and University System’s structures to gain a sense of how the structures and resources relate to them.
Instructor(s): Dave Byers

Fund accounting (10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.)

Course Description: An overview of fund accounting at the University, along with tips on how to properly manage some of the common fund types at the University (such as state, ICR, self-supporting, gift, and agency funds) as well as understanding the importance of the account code and program code segments of the C-FOAP accounting string.
Instructor(s): John Laroe & Jason Bane

OBFS Policies and Procedures: Environment, Development, and Impact (1:15 - 2:45 p.m.)

Course Description: Learn about the process for creating and revising policies and procedures at OBFS. Find out how customers are included as stakeholders in the development process, and how OBFS maintains a system-wide standard for policies and procedures. This course will include a discussion on how OBFS policies and procedures relate to other polices in the University of Illinois System and its universities.
Instructor(s): Scott Zalatoris

Day 2 - October 26, 2018

Internal Controls for Your Unit & Internal Audits (9:30 - 11:30 a.m.)

Course Description: This course will provide an overview of internal control concepts and tools for which to assess the design and strength of your unit’s controls. It will also include information about the State’s Fiscal Control and Internal Auditing Act (FCIAA) certification, basic fraud awareness concepts and procedures, an overview of internal and external audits, and your role in all of these.
Instructor(s): Darla Hill & Jason Bane

External Audits (12:30 - 2 p.m.)


Course Description: An overview of audits and examinations conducted annually by the State of Illinois Office of the Auditor General to include a financial audit, as required under Government Auditing Standards (GAS); a compliance audit for State statutes; and a Federal compliance audit (Single Audit), as required by the Single Audit Act and 2 CFR 200 Subpart F. Also discussed will be the Legislative Audit Commission.
Instructor(s): Jennifer Erickson, Tosha Waller-Mumm, Mike Godsell

Ethics and Accountability (2:15 - 3:45 p.m.)

Course Description: An overview by the University Ethics and Compliance Office regarding ethical behavior and compliance with laws, rules, and regulations.
Instructor(s): Donna McNeely

Day 3 - November 29, 2018

Human Resources (8:45 - 10:15 a.m.)

Course Description: Information regarding human resources issues, practices, and policies related to business management.
Instructor(s): Jami Painter

University Access and Equity Units and Diversity in the Workplace (10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

Course Description: A description of the services of the Office of University Access and Equity, which includes increasing access to employment and diversity, programs, and services in an environment free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. The Office of University Access and Equity also provides confidential consultation, facilitation and mediation services to faculty, academic and support staff. If the department feels they have time, this session will also include information shown as the Faculty Search and Appointment Process course: A detail of the position search process and its requirements as well as the actions and documentation required for initiating the various types of faculty and administrative appointments.
Instructor(s): Caryn Bills (UIC), Heidi Johnson (UIUC), Deanie Brown (UIS)

University Payroll & Benefits Overview (1 - 4 p.m.)

Course Description: Information regarding the payroll cycle including the payroll calendar, processing of tuition waivers, taxable benefits, overpayments, and awards.
Instructor(s): Mark McGiles, Alma Turner, Kami Van Bellehem

Day 4 - December 11, 2018

Office of University Counsel (8 - 9:30 a.m.)

Course Description: An overview of the Office of University Counsel which provides legal advice and representation to the Board of Trustees, the University and its employees arising out of their official University responsibilities on a variety of legal issues.
Instructor(s): Teresa Temples

Understanding University Contracts (9:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

Course Description: The course will address various types of non-research and non-payable contracts processed across the University of Illinois System. Attendees will learn: what offices process which types of contracts; red flag and deal breaking issues; how to process contracts at the University; contract policies; contract signature authority; University and State of Illinois contract filing requirements; emerging topics; and real life examples of dos, don’ts, challenges, and pitfalls.
Instructor(s): Stacey Ballmes and Ed Seighman

Day 5 - January 31, 2019

Procurement at the University / Procurement Diversity (9:30 - 11:30 a.m.)

Course Description: An overview of the requisition-to-check process with a discussion of how the services of the Strategic Procurement and Procurement Diversity offices are incorporated into the purchase process including procurement units, systems and strategy.
Instructor(s): TBD

Making Payments at the University (12:30 - 2 p.m.)


Course Description: An overview of policies and protocols guiding processes and mechanisms for processing payments to vendors, employees, students, and human subjects successfully. Topics include purchase order, direct pay and card-related payments.
Instructor(s): Jim Martinie, Darren Strater, Susie Baker

University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations (2:15 - 3:45 p.m.)




Course Description: Student assessment, billing, payments, and refunds; student scholarships, tuition waivers, fellowships and associated tax reporting; student financial holds and collections; non-student receivables (GAR) and University Receivables Policy.
Instructor(s): John Hockersmith, Karen McFarlin, Susan Cotter, Joe Shroyer, Tamara Chapman

Day 6 - February 28, 2019

Governmental Relations (8:30 - 10 a.m.)

Course Description: An explanation of the functions of the Governmental Relations Office which serves as the University of Illinois System liaison to state, federal and local governments.
Instructor(s): Jennifer Creasey

University Relations (10:15 - 11:15 a.m.)



Course Description: This course will include a discussion of the services of the University of Illinois System-wide office responsible for media relations and communications, consistent application of the system’s images and messages, and responses to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Instructor(s): Kirsten Ruby

Enterprise Risk Management (12:15 - 1:45 p.m.)


Course Description: An overview of the University Enterprise Risk Management framework and process, resources, and tools available including a template for a risk mitigation strategy action plan and risk-based budget planning.
Instructor(s): Joda Morton

Treasury Operations (2 - 4:30 p.m.)

Course Description: A review of the operations managing the system's banking relationships, debt issuance, credit card services, i-card services, investments, risk management, and tax law compliance.
Instructor(s): TBD

Day 7 - March 28, 2019

Sponsored Project Lifecycle (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

Course Description: A presentation of the complete lifecycle of a sponsored project through the pre-award and post-award processes. Topics include a high-level overview of: Uniform Guidance’s cost principles and allowability, University policies, proposal development and submission, agreement review, and financial management. Additional topics covered: rates developed by University Government Costing, resources for non-financial compliance issues (e.g., OTM, IACUC, IRB, Export Control) and who to contact for information.
Instructor(s): TBD

Property Accounting (1 - 3 p.m.)

Course Description: An overview of state and federal regulations and compliance issues along with related university equipment management policies and procedures.
Instructor(s): Jeff Weaver

University Government Costing (3:15 - 4:15 p.m.)

Course Description: An overview of cost accounting at the University of Illinois System, which includes facilities and administrative rates (F&A), fringe benefit rates, tuition remission rates, service activity rates, and the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey. Learn about the related rate development and federal negotiation process for F&A, fringe benefit, and tuition remission rates. Attendees will learn about the importance of maintaining compliant service rate calculations and the available tools, resources, training, and policies for calculating service rates. Information including the system's rankings will be provided, which is related to the national recognized HERD survey. 
Instructor(s): TBD

Day 8 - April 25, 2019

Tax Compliance and Analysis (9 - 10 a.m.)

Course Description: The Tax Compliance and Analysis session will provide an overview of the department, tax reform, sales tax matters, and nexus requirements. It will also review tax implications of and reporting requirements for gifts, prizes, and award payments, accountable plan reimbursements rules, and taxability of fringe benefits.
Instructor(s): TBD

Planning and Budgeting (10 - 11:30 a.m.)

Course Description: An overview of the deficit reduction plans (budget review processes), the university’s RCM budget allocation model, funding allocations/ modifications, and discussion of the principles under which the campus and individual units work to achieve their goals.
Instructor(s): TBD

Acquiring Data and Running Financial Reports (12:30 - 2 p.m.)

Course Description: Introduction to the various tools available to managers for getting data and writing financial reports, for example, My-UI-Financials, View Direct, and EDDIE.
Instructor(s): TBD

University of Illinois Foundation (12:30 - 2 p.m.)

Course Description: An overview of the fund-raising and private gift-receiving opportunities provided by the University of Illinois Foundation. An overview of the University of Illinois Alumni Association, an independent, not-for-profit 501C3 organization and its purpose to foster and maintain a mutually beneficial relation between the University and its global alumni community.
Instructor(s): TBD

Day 9 - May 23, 2019

Information Security, Records Management, and Related Issues (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

Course Description: This presentation will include the annual review related to unit security access, the process to grant access to new employees, the process to terminate access when employees leave or change positions, challenges and risks of records management, and other pertinent issues.
Instructor(s): Chris Barton & Joanne Kaczmarek with Ed Zawacki (UIC), Christ Barton & Joanne Kaczmarek with Joe Barnes (UIUC), Chris Barton & Joanne Kaczmarek with Clayton Bellot (UIS)

Meeting Your Technology Needs (1 - 2:30 p.m.)

Course Description: Understanding the technological support available for your unit including infrastructure, network, desktop support, security, etc.
Instructor(s): Candice Solomon-Strutz with Elizabeth Romero Fuerte (UIC), Candice Solomon-Strutz with Greg Gulick (UIUC), Candice Solomon-Strutz with Kara McElwrath (UIS)

Training Your Employees (2:45 - 4:15 p.m.)

Course Description: Effective tools, frameworks, and techniques for managers who are developing employee learning content and delivering training to their staff.
Instructor(s): Tiy Goddard

Service Activity Basics

The Service Activity Basics certification track follows a self-paced model and is designed to provide information and training related to the actual performance of service and storeroom rate calculations. The course moves beyond the Introduction to Self-Supporting funds (GL 105) and Managing Self-Supporting Funds (GL 205). You will also learn about specific rate components and considerations related to service rates.

Program Enrollment Month

If you enroll in...

Program Completion Deadline

You will complete by...

January May 31
June 30
March July 31
August 31
May September 30
June October 31
July November 30
August December 31
September January 31
October February 28
March 31
December April 30

Service Centers

A number of storerooms and service facilities have been established at the University of Illinois System to provide services and supplies to University System departments and units, including sponsored programs administered by the University System. This lesson helps the customer to understand when and when “not” to establish a storeroom or service center.

Accounting Practices

Accurate accounting for service center expenses and revenues is critical for accurate fund balance recording and proper rate calculations. This lesson outlines key elements of proper accounting practices for storeroom and service centers including the like and similar requirement, expense and revenue tracking, usage tacking, billing, rate demonstration, etc.

Identify Risks

The University must comply with federal costing principles for service centers. In addition, as a major state-supported research university, state regulations related to service activities must be followed. This lesson assists with identifying consequences when policies are not followed.

Allowable/Unallowable Expenses

This lesson helps the customer identify typical allowable operating expenses and fixed asset depreciation for inclusion in storeroom and service center rate calculations. In addition, the training assists with differentiating between allowable and unallowable expenses.


Policy and regulations state that only the annual depreciation expense of capitalized assets can be included in service rate calculations, not the full cost of the equipment in the year purchased. This lesson assists the customer in identifying the appropriate depreciation expense for inclusion in storeroom and service center rate calculations. 

Internal/External Rates

Service centers primary purpose is to provide services or goods for the University community, internal users; therefore, sales to external entities is not the primary focus. This lesson describes internal vs external users and provides guidance on how to compile and set rates for internal vs external users.

Over/Under Recovery

Storerooms and service centers are required to operate on a break-even basis. The over- or under-recovery of the service activity adjusted fund balance must be incorporated into the rate calculation. This lesson presents the three step process necessary to meet this requirement. 

Determine Base

Service center managers must track actual usage in order to compile compliant service rates. This lesson addresses usage and base requirements and assists the customer in identifying the appropriate number of goods or services sold to include in rate calculations. Usage examples are provided for customer reference.

Inviting and Onboarding Foreign Nationals

The Inviting and Onboarding Foreign Nationals track is structured as a cohort and reviews regulations, procedures, and resources to help you navigate hiring and paying foreign nationals both within and outside the U.S.

Immigration Overview

Course Description: The University of Illinois System invites foreign national scholars/professionals and students from all over the globe to cultivate its learning community. Foreign nationals who will receive payment of any kind must have the proper documentation. This course reviews the agencies, immigrant categories, and documentation required for foreign nationals studying and/or receiving payment from the University of Illinois System.

Critical Pre-arrival and Arrival Procedures

Course Description: Due to federal documentation requirements, the University of Illinois System's onboarding process for foreign national scholars, professionals and students begins before they arrive, whether it be from another country or another organization. This course gives business managers and other relevant employees a general understanding of the hiring and onboarding process for foreign nationals at the University System. It also covers the required procedures and employment documentation (visas, I-9, i-card, SSN, ITIN, etc.) as locating and using informational resources and contacts when hiring and onboarding issues arise.

Payment Eligibility and Taxation for Foreign Nationals

Course Description: This course will explore the federal regulations and related processes that apply to the payment eligibility of foreign national students, scholars, and other professionals. Immigration status, payment types, and taxation issues will be reviewed and tools that provide guidance and support to University of Illinois System units will be introduced. The consequences of non-compliance with established federal laws and U of I System policies will also be addressed.

Employing Foreign Nationals Working Outside the U.S.

Course Description: Hiring and paying foreign national employees outside the United States is complicated and requires special steps in order to comply with federal regulations. This course will help you learn what you need to do to hire a foreign national employee outside the United States. You'll also learn the special steps to take when you have to pay a foreign national employee outside the U.S., and what to do if a foreign national employee who has been working outside the U.S. enters the United States for a period of time. Finally, you'll see where you can find help for hiring and paying foreign national employees outside the U.S.

Last updated: June 11, 2018

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