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Orientation for New Business and Finance Employees

Business and Finance Employee Orientation

Welcome to the University of Illinois System!

This orientation will give you a basic understanding of the information and resources available to help you get started in your new role as an employee with business and finance responsibilities at the University of Illinois System. It will give you a sense of the complexity of the operations in the system, the various roles and responsibilities of business and finance employees, and the support offered by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The connections between units and their functions in business and finance operations at the University of Illinois System can be hard for newcomers to follow. We organized information into three easy steps to help you (1) understand the primary functions of the central business and finance units, (2) identify training opportunities, (3) and stay up to date with the latest information.

If you are a new employee with business and finance responsibilities, click on the Take the Course button below to register for a course which will provide basic understanding of the information and resources available to help you get started.

Throughout the New Employee Orientation course, you’ll learn some of the tasks most commonly performed by employees with business and finance responsibilities, including helpful resources. 

     Take the Course     


STEP 1: What are Business and Finance Units?

The University of Illinois System is subject to and complies with a variety of federal and state financial requirements and generally accepted accounting principles. The scope and diversity of system activities and facilities are complex. This array of system business operations is the result of our size, scope, diversity, and the external regulations that shape our policies and procedures.


Administrative Information Technology Services (AITS) delivers enterprise-wide IT solutions and services in support of the mission critical functions of the University of Illinois System.

  • Banner and banner related services
    • AITS supports the Ellucian Banner Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This system includes Student Administration, Student Financial Aid, Human Resources / Payroll and Finance modules, along with associated purchased applications - locally developed components or custom vendor- developed components.
  • Business applications
    • Business applications are applications that address a specific business function supporting the strategic goals of the University. These systems can be developed or purchased by the University, AITS, or a departmental partner. There are over 300 business applications that are developed, maintained, and/or hosted by AITS.
  • Network and desktop services
    • Backup Management, Power Management, Storage Management, Sustainability Efforsts and System Monitoring.
  • Reports and data
    • The Decision Support (DS) team is responsible for scoping, designing, and delivering solutions to business problems using a combination of enterprise data warehouse and business intelligence frameworks. DS supports the University by managing the data warehouse, providing data access, supporting staff report development, and providing data education and training. With new technologies, such as dashboards and OLAP browsers, DS continues to transform raw data into valuable information for strategic decision making.
  • Security and access services 
    • Directory, Firewall, Remote Access and VPN.
  • Systems overview
    • Enterprise applications and supporting systems form part of the university's integrated business environment and are mission critical in supporting core processes and key academic and administrative functions. These applications and systems are developed, maintained, or hosted as part of the broad IT Service Catalog offered by AITS. 

Office of Business Services

The Office of Business Services supports the system-wide policy and also includes the following units: University Bursar, Contract Services Office, System Government Costing, Office of Organizational Effectiveness, and  Operations Support.

University Bursar

The University Bursar Office manages all billing and payment processes, ensures compliance with university receivables and cash handling policies, and oversees distribution of payroll and account payables checks.

  • Accounts Receivable Operations
    • The University Bursar Office ensures the university’s compliance with all state, university, and accounting requirements for receivables. To facilitate compliance, the Bursar’s office maintains a monthly billing schedule, assess monthly late payments charges on delinquent receivables, and performs collection activities on all AR accounts.
  • Department Payments to Students
    • The University Bursar Office facilitates all payments to University of Illinois System students. The University Bursar Office maintains a website and a new workflow tool to help departments determine the appropriate way to process their payment.
  • Cashier Operations
    • The University Bursar Office oversees all department deposits, returned checks, and outgoing university checks at all three universities
  • Accounting and Reconciliations​ 
    • The University Bursar Office monitors all payments received and then posts and reconciles them in the Banner system. The University Bursar Office is also in charge of monitoring university accounts that may net against the university’s total receivables and process write-offs on all receivables that have gone through the collection process.

Contract Services Office

The Contract Services Office ensures contracts entered on behalf of the University of Illinois System comply with system policies, applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

Some of the department responsibilities include:

  • Income generating, non-disclosure, inter-governmental agreements, etc...
  • Office of International Programs, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange      
  • Study Abroad and student exchange agreements
  • Capital Programs and Real Estate
  • Help with locating office space ad handling renting and leasing of the space

Business Solutions and Support

Business Solutions & Support (BSS) is a University of Illinois System shared services unit that focuses on all aspects of business operations, communications, training and the Business Administrator Certification Program, offering solutions to ensure that your department or unit runs more efficiently and effectively.

BSS offers a number of services to provide help with business operations and instructional design. System units can make use of these services free of charge.

  • Strategic Initiatives and Support
    • BSS designs, implements and administers the Business and Finance Certification Program. The program is comprised of a series of learning tracks with courses that foster proficiency in performing business transactions and operations. The training team also supports classroom training and live webinars to build procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding of business applications, processes, and policies. Finally, BSS designs, builds and delivers custom surveys to collect data that provide powerful insights into your targeted audiences, as well as evaluates various programs and initiatives.​​
  • Business Operations
    • BSS provides monthly statement reconciliations and accounting entry assistance that is in compliance with all state and system business policies, such as the policy manual and FCIAA. Business Support team serves as a Travel Arranger in iTravel to coordinate travel on behalf of unit employees. The team can also serve as Proxy in Chrome River to assist with reimbursing travel and business expenses. Additionally, the team can serve as Unit Security Contacts (USC) for your unit to process security requests. BSS can also assist with your Skype and Telecommunication requests.
  • Instructional Design
    • IDs develop tutorial videos, screencasts, and webinar recordings which offer self-directed instruction that can be accessed at any time in the Business and Finance Training Center. The team also creates job aids that outline step-by-step instruction for specific tasks in order to develop transactional proficiency and reduce errors. Handouts, user guides, and slide presentations can also be created to meet specialized needs.
  • Communications and Change Management
    • BSS provides professional solutions to meet and overcome customer challenges. Communications and Change Management team tailors and distributes strategic communications through multiple channels, including the Business and Finance News Service, to help you reach the desired audiences. Change Management team partners with system-wide projects and initiatives to help manage people side of change and ensure successful project delivery. ​

System Government Costing

System wide service center that supports all three universities in the calculation and negotiation of rates applicable to sponsored projects.

  • Fringe benefit rates
    • The universities calculate fringe benefit rates which are then charged to sponsored project agreements so that each project (federal and non-federal) pays its fair share of these support.
  • Service activities
    • Service and storeroom activities (service centers) are established primarily to meet the programmatic needs of the academic community, and usually provide goods or services to multiple internal users including sponsored programs.
  • Tuition remission
    • A tuition waiver policy for graduate assistantships and authority to waive tuition has been established by each university.
    • Not offered at UIS (not a large enough number of graduate assistants at UIS).
  • Facilities and Administrative rates
    • Facilities and Administrative (F&A), also known as indirect or overhead, costs of the university are those expenses incurred for the common objectives of the university and are not easily identifiable with a particular project or activity.
    • The F&A cost rate is the mechanism used to reimburse the university for the administrative and infrastructure support costs associated with sponsored research and other sponsored.


Treasury Operations supports the University of Illinois System leadership on capital and programmatic initiatives, protect and grow system assets, and promote student education, research, public service, health care, and economic development. Treasury provides services to the system that closely resembles that of a corporate treasury department. With the exception of the Springfield ID Center, all Treasury employees work in Urbana-Champaign. 

  • Merchant Card Services (MCS)
    • Assists system units with all facets of processing card payments, including in-person and online payments MCS helps units get started as a merchant as well as oversee payment operations, training, and compliance to related payment data security standards.
  • Cash Management
    • Oversees and manages the daily cash flows and bank balances for the university. 
    • Cash Management is responsible for gathering information for the cash flow forecasting, monitoring bank portal user access and overseeing fraud controls for all the university’s bank accounts. 
    • Manages all of the university bank relationships and are responsible for negotiating the banking services contracts, including assisting departments with setting up bank accounts and services.
    • Processes ACH and wire transfer payments that we receive from Payables and work with departments on setting up electronic payments.
    • Processes stop payments for payroll and payables.
  • i-card Programs
    • i-card Programs provides the equipment, supplies, and support that ID Centers need to issue ID cards. Our office issues all University Identification Numbers (UINs)—as requested programmatically by Banner and individually by university units.
  • Worker’s Compensation
    • Workers’ compensation insurance includes four types of benefits: disability (loss wages), medical care, rehabilitation, and survivor.
    • Workers' Compensation and Claims Management is responsible for the investigation and management of the workers' compensation claims for all University of Illinois System employees who are injured on the job.
  • Tax Compliance and Analysis
    • Tax Compliance and Analysis (TCA) manages tax and other business-related issues, oversees policies and procedures that protect the system’s exemptions and identifies exemptions that are available, and maximizes efforts to ensure and promote awareness of and compliance with relevant laws and rules.    
  • Risk Management
    • Risk Management is the insurance agent for the University of Illinois; serving its universities, regional sites, Extension offices, and system offices. Risk Management purchases commercial insurance, as well as administers established self-insurance programs for the university’s property and liability risks as circumstances require.
  • Capital Financing
    • Capital Financing issues debt to fund the construction of facilities for the universities in Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana-Champaign. These generally include Auxiliary, Health Services, and Utility Infrastructure facilities, although other facilities have been financed.  Capital Financing administers the construction funds, debt service payments, compliance, and continuing disclosure after bonds are issued. Capital Financing maintains relationships with financial services vendors and strives to provide superior service to its customers.
  • Investments
    • Directs management of the University of Illinois' investment programs, with approximately $2.25 billion market value. Investment programs include endowment funds, operating funds, and plant funds.  A majority of the U of I System's assets are managed by external investment manager firms. Staff directs these investment manager relationships with assistance from the University of Illinois' investment consultant. The investment managers who are entrusted with assets ensure they comply with manager guidelines and investment policies approved by the Board of Trustees.
  • Agricultural Property Services
    • The Agricultural Property Services office manages over 13,000 acres of endowment and non-endowment farmland for the University of Illinois System. Management of endowment farmland began when the first farmland was gifted in 1923. Endowment farm properties generate income to support the wishes of each farm's donor. Earnings generated by the endowment farms support research and student fellowships, scholarships, and loans.


The Controller reports to the Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for University Accounting and Financial Reporting (UAFR), University Payroll and Benefit (UPB), and University Payables (UPAY).


UAFR Supports the financial accounting and reporting needs of the University of Illinois System, including:

  • Developing accounting policy to support organizational needs
  • Issuing the University of Illinois System’s annual financial statements
  • Monitoring the general ledger, operating ledger, and property data Financial reporting
  • Assisting units in addressing complex accounting transactions and various other accounting-related operational needs
    • UAFR strives towards providing consistent guidance, as this helps ensure more accurate financial reporting that is in compliance with the various standards
  • Ensuring compliance with various regulatory requirements and externally imposed restrictions
    • The university receives funding from all types of sources, such as state appropriations; student tuition and fees; grant revenue; gift revenue; self-supporting and service plan revenue; and so forth. Each revenue source tends to have a different and unique set of required guidelines
  • Coordinating and operating the University of Illinois System’s annual fiscal-year end close process
    • UAFR completes on an annual basis many audit schedules summarizing financial data for the audit, as well as providing numerous reports to satisfy the external auditors’ sample selection needs


The UPB office facilitates accurate, timely payment and benefits enrollment of employees on each of the three universities. The office also manages payroll schedules, earnings, deductions, taxes, time reporting, counsels employees on insurance benefit concerns and coordinates the administration of benefits.

  • Customer service

    • The University Payroll & Benefits Customer Service Center provides a variety of services for employees and units. Service requests range from providing guidance on how to process pay adjustments and troubleshooting Banner error messages within the payroll related forms to processing benefits and benefit choice changes.

  • Foreign national service center
    • Job aids, infographics and online courses are available to assist in making a payment to a foreign national nonresident alien.
  • Payroll Schedules
    • Pay dates for the current and upcoming year.
  • Payroll transaction processing
    • Employees of the University of Illinois System are paid either on a bi-weekly or a monthly basis. Monthly employees’ pay is calculated based on job information. Bi-weekly employees’ pay is calculated based on job information and approved time entry.
  • Payroll distribution
    • In the event a payroll check must be generated, the check will be distributed via campus mail to the Campus address (C1 Address) in Banner for the employee. Earnings statements are available online via HR Services Website three days prior to payday and history up to 48 months is kept in HR Services website for viewing purposes.
  • Payroll deductions
    • My UI Info is the primary method for entering and changing most deduction information; however, there are certain payroll deduction transactions that cannot be accomplished through the Self-Service Application and must be entered into Banner directly by Payroll staff.
    • Tax information
      • The Tax Information section of the Payroll & Benefits Web site provides you with information relevant to tax forms, understanding tax withholdings, and accessing additional tax related resources.
    • Tuition and fees: waivers, departmental payments, and reimbursements
      • The University of Illinois System is required to document and track the taxability of tuition and service fee waivers provided to Graduate Assistants (GAs) and Pre-professional Graduate Assistants (PGAs).
    • Payroll report
      • ​Payroll Expense by person reports list payroll labor distributions by account code and allow departments to view details that correspond to the charges posted to their departmental FOAPALs in UI-Integrate/Banner.


University Payables processes financial transactions for the entire University of Illinois System while ensuring compliance with federal and state law, and university policies and procedures.

  • Payments to vendors
    • This site provides information regarding vendor payments, including Contact information regarding payment issues, for both University of Illinois System departments and vendors.
  • Payments to students
    • University of Illinois System students may receive payment from the system for assistantships, awards, fellowships, grants, research support, scholarships, traineeships, travel, etc. The type, purpose, and primary beneficiary (student or University of Illinois System) of a payment determines how it is processed and whether it must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Deputy Comptroller

The Office of the Special Advisor to the President & Deputy Comptroller encompasses the capital delivery, real estate, utilities, procurement diversity, and system procurement functions, as well as system advocacy at the state level. Partnering with university units and state and local leaders, the office focuses on the issues that affect the University of Illinois System’s ability to run more efficiently and effectively by developing, collaborating and coordinating legislation that has direct effect on the needs of the universities. Business and Finance Deputy Comptroller’s office provides the university community with opportunities to advance their mission through System Purchasing, Utilities, serving as a State Liaison, Capital Delivery, Real Estate and Supplier Diversity.

System Purchasing

The mission of System Purchasing and Support Services is to serve and support the University of Illinois System by providing data analytics and procurement services to deliver efficient, accurate and innovative solutions.

The purchasing function consists of business processes related to the acquisition of goods and services for the University of Illinois System. Purchases of equipment, materials, commodities, supplies, and services for the U of I System are made competitively where practicable. Performance, quality, suitability, delivery, and service are factors considered in buying. All purchases are made according to the provisions of the Illinois Procurement Code and the Procurement Rules of the Chief Procurement Officer for Public Institutions of Higher Education and other applicable state and federal regulations.

Office of Procurement Diversity

The Office of Procurement Diversity (OPD) is committed to vendor diversification by ensuring diverse businesses are included in the University procurement process. OPD oversees Supplier Diversity at the University of Illinois System.

  • Supplier Diversity Program
    • Supplier Diversity promotes and encourages the continuing economic development of minority, women, and persons with disabilities-owned businesses by creating an equitable and competitive business environment through encouraging campus departments to proactively consider qualified certified businesses.
    • The Supplier Diversity Program goals are to:
      • Encourage campus departments to work with certified diverse vendors
      • Provide business opportunities for community-based diverse businesses
      • Exceed State of Illinois goals for expenditures with certified diverse firms

Capital Programs and Real Estate Services

The University Office of Capital Programs and Real Estate Services (UOCP&RES), in collaboration with the three universities and other System colleagues, oversees the development of and adherence to policies, procedures, and systems pertaining to the University. UOCP&RES is responsible for all University of Illinois master planning and acquiring property to meet the needs of the master plans. Real Estate Services also assists University departments in obtaining leased space off-campus.

  • Capital Programs
    • The delivery of new building and major maintenance efforts to existing structures, the capital delivery service continues to grow the universities facilities to attract students, faculty, and researchers.
  • Real Estate
    • Private Partnership (P3) development utilization of third-party vendors, managing leases, and acquisition of real estate furthers the mission of the university and invests in the communities we are located.

University Specific Units

University Specific units include Purchasing, Budgeting, Grants and Sponsored Projects.

  • Purchasing
    • Manages business processes related to the acquisition of goods and services for the University of Illinois
    • Purchases of equipment, materials, commodities, supplies, and services
    • Compliance – State, Federal, and university rules and regulations
    • Ordering and payment methods (iBuy, Banner, P-Card)
    • Chrome River
    • Competitive Purchasing
  • Budget Offices
    • The CFO Budget Offices coordinate the annual budget development processes that result in the preparation of the University of Illinois System Budget Summary for Operations document presented to the Board of Trustees for approval.
  • Grants and Contracts
    • The Grants and Contracts units at each university supports the Post-Award administration of grants and sponsored projects. Each university unit supports university faculty and their departments in the administration and expenditure of sponsored project awards by:
      • Developing and disseminating policies and procedures
      • Managing the financial interactions with sponsors
      • Assuring compliance with university and sponsor policies
      • Minimizing the administrative burden on faculty
      • Protecting the interests of the faculty and the university
  • Sponsored Projects
    • Support the research enterprise throughout the entire lifecycle of an externally funded sponsored project, from proposal submission to award closeout
    • Award setup in university systems
    • Award management
    • Complete award closeout requirements
    • Develop External project proposals
    • Negotiate and execute sponsored agreements
    • Ensure compliance with university and sponsor policies
    • Conduct sponsored projects financial audits

University of Illinois Foundation

The nonprofit corporation is separate from the University of Illinois System and is responsible for encouraging and administrating private gifts made to further the university's mission.


  • Review, accept, deposit, and process all gifts received by the university
  • Train university personnel on the handling and processing of gifts
  • Provide stewardship assistance to all university units
  • Ensure donor intent is clarified and conveyed


Unit Head: James Moore, President
Unit Structure:
Contact Information:

Web page:


STEP 2: Business and Finance Training Opportunities

There are a variety of training options available to Business and Finance employees from basic how-to courses to full certifications. You can access information about the Business and Finance Training Center, AITS courses through Web Intelligence, System HR and Ability LMS by clicking on the options below.

 To receive training announcements notifying you of new courses, updates to training materials, or special events, please subscribe to the Business and Finance News Service (select the Training check box). You can find more information about the news service in Stay in the Know section below.

Other training reources are available:


STEP 3: Stay in the Know

Stay informed with the latest updates and useful reference materials. Here you will find information to help you in your day-to-day operations. Some of these things you may want to access include the Policy Manual, Business and Finance News Sign-Up, Business Managers Group (BMG) information, and a variety of forms.

  • Policy Manual
    • The official policies and procedures to follow when conducting University of Illinois System business and financial activities. Policy resides within The Office of Business Services (OBS) and provides support to all system units under the umbrella of Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
  • Business and Finance News
    • Subscribe to the Business & Finance News Service to receive emails informing you of policy changes, deadlines, upcoming events, and more. A link to update your subscription or unsubscribe is included in every email.
  • Business Managers Group
    • The BMG is an independent organization. We encourage all business managers to consider joining that organization to attend helpful meetings and meet your colleagues who can also assist you in achieving success in your role.
  • Forms
    • All forms for the CFO organization can be accessed here.




Last Updated: October 26, 2020

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