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iCS Resource Page

iCS Frequently Asked Questions

System Setup

Roles Within The System

Documents Within The System

Routing/Approval Process

System Functionality and Process

Miscellaneous


System Setup

Q. What are the System Requirements?
A. Refer to the System Requirements link on the iCS Resource page for more detail.

Q. How do I configure my machine for iCS?
A. Refer to the UI Desktop Configuration Setup link on the iCS Resource page for more detail.

Q. How do I request access to iCS?
A. Refer to the Request System Access document under the Business Office Functionality section of the iCS resource page.

Q. I am being prompted to update my Java; what should I do?
A. In most cases, there should not be an issue with iCS and new releases of Java. If AITS becomes aware of a significant change or impact to iCS users in an upcoming release of Java, we will communicate that to our list of iCS IT Support, in addition to sending a communication to all users. Your local IT support may prefer to push upgrades like this to users in a unit or college in a controlled way and/or on a specific schedule. You should always check with your local IT support before downloading a new release of Java.

If you do perform a Java upgrade, you are likely to see the message below the first time you log into iCS. Check the “Do not show this again” box and click “Run.” The pop-up will be suppressed going forward.

Do you want to run this application?

If you receive the following prompt when updating Java, uncheck the box next to "Restore Java security prompts."

Restore Java Security Prompts image

Roles Within The System

Q. What are the user profiles and corresponding responsibilities that can be given to employees during set-up in iCS by the Unit Security Coordinator (USC)?

A. The campus roles available in iCS are: Unit Requestor, Business Manager, Unit Head, Dean/Director, and Chancellor/Vice Chancellor.

  • A Requestor is a user in a unit or college who initiates contracts and contract requests. A user in a Requestor role cannot also be in a Business Manager role. If a unit has only one individual who initiates and routes contracts and that individual is not a Business Manager, then they should be in the Requestor role; a Business Manager role is not required for every unit. This role is Chart-Org specific (e.g. 1_100_requestor). It primarily governs access and permissions and may have multiple users assigned to it. An individual may be assigned to the Requestor role in multiple Chart-Orgs. Checklist tasks are typically assigned to users in this role by name.
  • A Business Manager is a user in a unit or college who typically oversees and reviews contracts and contract requests initiated by Requestors. They may also initiate some contracts and contract requests themselves, serve as a proxy for their direct supervisor, and/or cover for other staff in their unit when necessary. A user in a Business Manager cannot also be in a Requestor role. If a unit has only one individual who initiates and routes contracts and that individual is a Business Manager, then they should be in the Business Manager role; a Requestor role is not required for every unit. This role is Chart-Org specific (e.g. 1_100_business_manager). It is assigned to only one user per unit. An individual may be assigned to the Business Manager role in multiple Chart-Orgs. Checklist tasks are typically assigned to the role, rather than to the user by name.
  • A Unit Head is a department head or higher. Some units do not have department heads; some small colleges do not have departments. When there are only College-level offices for administration, the Associate Dean or Dean may be assigned to the unit head role. A user who is assigned to the Unit Head role may not be assigned to a Requestor or Business Manager role. A user in a Unit Head role may also be assigned to a Dean/Director role if they are the Unit Head equivalent in their department and have a title of Director, Executive Director, or Dean. This role is Chart-Org specific (e.g. 1_100_unit_head). For every Chart-Org with one or more Requestor(s) and/or Business Manager(s), there must be a user assigned to the Unit Head role. It is assigned to only one user per Chart-Org. An individual may be assigned to the Unit Head role in multiple Chart-Orgs. Checklist tasks are typically assigned to the role, rather than to the user by name.
  • A Dean/Director is the administrator who is authorized to approve contracts $25,000 and above for their unit or college. A user who is assigned to the Dean/Director role may not be assigned to a Requestor or Business Manager role. A user in a Dean/Director role may also be assigned to a Unit Head role if they are the Unit Head equivalent in their department and have a title of Director, Executive Director, or Dean. A user in a Dean/Director role may not be assigned to a Chancellor/Vice Chancellor role. This role is Chart-Org specific (e.g. 1_100_dean_director). For every Chart-Org with one or more Requestor(s) and/or Business Manager(s), there must be a user assigned to the Dean/Director role. It is assigned to only one user per Chart-Org. An individual may be assigned to the Dean/Director role in multiple Chart-Orgs. Checklist tasks are typically assigned to the role, rather than to the user by name.
  • A Chancellor/Vice Chancellor is the administrator who is authorized to approve contracts $50,000 and above for their campus. A user who is assigned to the Chancellor/Vice Chancellor role may not be assigned to a Requestor or Business Manager role. A user in a Chancellor/Vice Chancellor role may also be assigned to a Unit Head role if they are the Unit Head equivalent in their department and provide approval as to concept and business purpose for routine contracts processed within their department. A user in a Chancellor/Vice Chancellor role may not be assigned to a Dean/Director role. This role is Chart specific (e.g. 1_chancellor_vice chancellor). It is assigned to only a few users per campus. Checklist tasks are typically assigned to users in this role by name.

If you are in a University Administration (UA) unit, the available roles are: Requestor, Director/Executive Director, and AVP.

  • A Requestor is a user in a UA unit, who initiates contracts and contract requests. This role is Chart-Org specific (e.g. 9_100_requestor). It primarily governs access and may have multiple users assigned to it. An individual may be assigned to the Requestor role in multiple Chart-Orgs. Checklist tasks are typically assigned to users in this role by name.
  • A Director/Executive Director is the administrator who is authorized to approve contracts up to $49,999 for their UA unit. A user who is assigned to the Director/Executive Director role may not be assigned to a Requestor role. A user in a Director/Executive Director role may not be assigned to an AVP role. This role is Chart-Org specific (e.g. 9_100_director_executive director). It is assigned to only one user per Chart-Org. An individual may be assigned to the Director/Executive Director role in multiple Chart-Orgs. Checklist tasks are typically assigned to the role, rather than to the user by name.
  • An AVP is an Assistant Vice President in UA. These administrators are authorized to approve contracts $50,000 and above for the UA units reporting to them. A user who is assigned to the AVP role may not be assigned to a Requestor or Director/Executive Director role. This role is Chart-Org specific (i.e. 9_100_AVP). It is assigned to only one user per Chart-Org. An individual may be assigned to the AVP role in multiple Chart-Orgs. Checklist tasks are typically assigned to the role, rather than to the user by name.

Q. Does the system allow for a delegate or proxy to review/approve contracts on behalf of another user?

A. Yes, users may designate a proxy to receive and complete tasks and other notifications in iCS on their behalf. Note that the audit trail will capture any actions taken by a proxy in iCS and will record those actions as having been done by the individual acting as proxy, not the individual upon whose behalf the proxy is acting, nor the role in which the action is being performed. Delegation should only be used to the extent that policy allows.

Documents Within The System

Q. How do I know what types of contracts exist in iCS?

A. To see what types of contracts are housed in the general repository, refer to the job aid Contract Type and Subtype Definitions. Note that access to certain document types, such as Research and HR, is restricted by role. Users without sufficient privileges will not even see the Cabinets in which these documents are stored.

Q. Will contracts executed prior to iCS be accessible to units in the system?

A. Although legacy contracts (contracts executed prior to May 2012) will be imported into iCS, they will not be accessible to all iCS users because there was no mechanism for identifying which of those contracts had a confidentiality provision, or some other criteria that would make them inappropriate for public consumption. If you are searching for a copy of a legacy contract for your unit, please contact the appropriate OBFS office for your campus for assistance.

Q. Can other users in my unit access contracts in development on my Personal Tab?

A. Other users cannot access your Personal Tab, per se; however, if another user’s security privileges allow (e.g. if they are in a role under the same Chart and Org and if that role has at least Write access to contracts in development), they may perform a search for a contract that exists on your Personal Tab and may take action on that contract (assuming that it is not checked out to you).

Routing/Approval Process

Q. How do I know which checklist to select?

A. Which checklist you should select is dependent on several factors, including your campus, the type of contract you are routing, the source of funding, whether it is a pre-approved template, etc. For assistance in determining which checklist you should select for a particular contract, please reference the job aid Managing Checklist Tasks.

Q. How do I know which role I should select for each checklist item?

A. For assistance in determining which role to which you should assign a checklist task, please reference the job aid Role Descriptions for Assigning Checklist Item.

Q. How do I know when someone has received and is working on a checklist item that I assigned to them?
A. If you assign a checklist task to a role that contains several people, you will be able to tell when the task has been viewed by one of those individuals. In the checklist, the status of the task will change to “Task Acquired” and the individual’s name will replace the role name in the Assigned To field.

Q. How do I know when a checklist item has been completed?

A. If you check the “Notify Me When Complete” box when you are assigning the task, then you will receive a system notification in your email and in your My Tasks list once that task has been completed. If a task is rejected, you will receive a system notification in your email and in your My Tasks list. You can also return to the Document Dashboard and click on the checklist at any time to see the status of any pending checklist items.

Q. Is it possible to reassign a checklist task?

A. Yes, the checklists are completely flexible. If you assigned a task to one individual or role, and then needed to assign it to someone else instead, you could simply go into the Checklist and click the Reassign Item link next to the task. The task will automatically be deleted from the initial assignee(s)’s My Tasks list and a new system notification will go out the current assignee(s)’s email and My Tasks list. The checklist information will be automatically updated to reflect the new assignment, but the original assignment information will be retained in the Audit Trail.

Q. Do all of the tasks in a Checklist have to be completed in order for the contract to be fully executed? Do checklist tasks have to be completed in order?

A.Checklist tasks are not mandatory. This allows for the fewest number of checklists and the greatest amount of flexibility. However, checklists will be reviewed by a Comptroller delegate prior to contract execution and the contract signature step may be rejected if a task that is required by policy has not yet been completed by the appropriate individual. The order of the tasks reflects the recommended path for approvals.

Q. Is it possible to change checklists in the middle of the routing / approval process?

A. Yes, this was one of the biggest benefits identified in using checklists for routing contracts. At any point before a contract is fully executed, you can go into the Checklist, click the Select Checklist link and choose a checklist to apply (even if items have already been completed on a previous checklist). The new checklist will be applied and any steps that were previously completed will transfer over to the new checklist, including all assignment and completion information. There is no need for any previously completed steps to be repeated.

Q. Can vendors/clients sign contracts electronically? Will vendors/clients have access to iCS?

A. Contracting parties will not have access to iCS. Contracts residing in iCS may be sent to contracting parties outside of the system (refer to the Job Aid entitled Routing to Others Outside of iCS).

The University cannot accept digital signatures, but can accept facsimile signatures. A digital signature is a type of electronic signature that is essentially a security procedure. A digital signature involves use of an encryption system in which one key (the private key) creates the signature and another key (the public key) verifies the signature. Facsimile signature simply means a reproduction of a manual signature by a mechanical or photographic process. It is best practice for all contracts to contain a standard clause stating that counterparts and facsimiles constitute originals.

Q. When is a contract fully executed? How do I know when my contract has been fully executed?

A. A contract is fully executed when it has been signed by all parties, including the University Comptroller (or authorized delegate). When the Contract Signature step in a checklist has been completed, the contract’s status is automatically changed to Fully Executed; the contract disappears from the Requestor’s Personal Cabinet and is auto-filed in the Contracts Cabinet.

Q. How do I send my contract to OBFS?

A. For assistance in determining how to route to OBFS offices, please reference the job aid Assigning Contracts to OBFS .

System Functionality and Process

Q. Why do some fields pre-populate, but others don’t?

A. Fields that contain special characters (like Email Address) and fields that are beyond a certain length (like City, State and Zip) do not cache. This means that when you start typing in them, they don’t offer suggested entries based on what you previously typed in them.

Q. Is it possible for a Unit Requestor to make changes to a contract template in iCS?

A.Contract templates in iCS are designed to allow units to add and edit text in certain predefined fields. These fields appear on the Enter Info tab during the contract creation process. At any point while the contract is still in development, a Requestor may return to those fields by selecting the Version from Original Template button inside the Document Dashboard. For more information about this, please refer to the job aid Editing a Contract.

If changes to any part of the contract outside of these predefined fields is required, the Requestor must route the contract to the appropriate OBFS office for assistance.

Q. When versioning a contract, should I select Minor or Major Version?

A.There is no substantive difference between a minor and major version. It is recommended that users always select Major Version only because the version numbers appear cleaner and it allows for some consistency.

Q. Why do unit heads have to print contracts and apply a wet signature? Why can’t unit heads sign pre-approved templates under $5,000 electronically?

A. In order for OBFS and UA delegates to apply their Comptroller signature to contracts in iCS electronically, there must be a signature card on file in the office of the Senior Associate Vice President (SAVP) for Business and Finance for that individual. In addition, a designated staff member in the SAVP office must upload an approved electronic image of that individual’s signature to iCS and apply custom security to that file. There is a very stringent process for ensuring that these signature files are always up to date and that they are promptly removed when an authorized individual changes jobs or leaves OBFS. It would simply be too much to manage that process for every unit head on all three campuses.

Q. Does iCS communicate / integrate with any other University system, such as Banner, TEM, or iBuy?

A.No, there is no link between iCS and any other financial system. However, there are plans to create reports in the Data Warehouse that will link iCS data with PO data and allow units to report on contract spend. Additional information about this capability will be shared when it becomes available.

Q. Can I access iCS from home?

A.You can access iCS from any location with internet and VPN access. For more information about how to download and access the VPN client, please see:

On the Chicago campus (http://accc.uic.edu/service/vpn)
On the Springfield campus (http://www.uis.edu/informationtechnologyservices/connect/vpn/)
On the Urbana campus (https://techservices.illinois.edu/services/virtual-private-networking-vpn)

Miscellaneous

Q. Will RFP, Bid, Sole Source, and other procurement documents be included in iCS?

A. No, iCS is a repository for University of Illinois contracts. At the discretion of the Purchasing Division, procurement documents may be uploaded as Attachments in the Related Documents area of a contract.

Last Updated: January 28, 2015

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