Tips for Using the Kuali Financial System (KFS)

Kuali Financial System (KFS) is a web-based service that enables University of Maryland staff to conduct financial record keeping using online forms known as eDocs. Take a look at the brief guide below for some tips on navigating KFS:

Users must be connected to VPN when using KFS.

Before accessing the KFS through a web browser, KFS users must be connected to the University's virtual private network (VPN). By connecting to the University of Maryland VPN, all processes conducted within the KFS will be secure and private. For more information, see Connect to GlobalProtect Virtual Private Network.


KFS logs out after 30 minutes of inactivity.

KFS will automatically log users out of the system after 30 minutes of inactivity. It is best to save all eDocs during processing in order to avoid losing the eDoc in the event of an automatic logout.  Users may receive an "HTTP" error message if the KFS logs out while an eDoc is in process. To retrieve an interrupted document, log back into the KFS and go to the Action List, which contains a complete record of all current and in-process documents.

Do not rely on the Back button. Use the menu navigation tools.

As a web-based system, KFS contains a built-in navigation structure that allows users to move between resources without utilizing their web browser's navigation tools. Users should avoid using the forward and back buttons on their web browsers as doing so may cause a loss of critical data. User should utilize the navigation tools built in to the KFS to move between eDocs and other KFS resources.

Need a To-Do List? Check the Action List.

The best way to keep track of all eDocs in progress is to use the Action List. The Action List can be accessed by clicking the Action List button on the KFS Main Menu. The Action List contains a list of all eDocs that are in progress or in need of review and/or approval. It is recommended that users keep the Action List open in a separate tab while working on any eDoc. Once you have taken the action requested (approval or acknowledgement) on the eDoc, it is removed from your Action List and will appear in your Outbox. If you want to verify an eDoc that you sent, check your Outbox. If it is an action that is just an FYI, from within the Action List, you have a drop down on the item where you can select FYI and Save it. 

Know the object code. Object codes determine documents.

KFS requires the use of process-specific object codes as a way to classify the types of transactions that may be processed through the KFS. A list of codes is accessible through the magnifying glass icon located next to the Object Code field in an eDoc. For more information on object codes, view the KFS Disbursement Voucher Code Guide.

Start an eDoc by collapsing it.

KFS eDocs contain a number of tabs, which can appear overwhelming at first glance. To minimize the amount of open fields, click the Collapse All button in the upper right corner of the eDoc window to collapse all tabs and create a more manageable working environment.

Save eDocs constantly during processing.

KFS users are advised to constantly save eDocs as they progress through multiple tabs and fields within the documents by clicking the Save button at the bottom of the eDoc. It is also recommended that users save eDocs before submission or in advance of any anticipated periods of inactivity. This will prevent the loss of data in the event of an automatic logout or unforeseen emergency.

Assign an Ownership Type Category and attach a W-9 when creating or editing a vendor in the Vendor eDoc

KFS users must populate the Ownership Type Category field in the KFS Vendor eDoc with on of the three options: Employee Reimbursement, Student Reimbursement, or Vendor. KFS users should not populate the field with the McKeldin Library Only option. Additionally, a completed and signed W-9 form must be attached to the Notes and Attachment tab of any Vendor eDocs where a new vendor is added or edited. A completed and signed W-9 form is not required when the Employee Reimbursement or Student Reimbursement categories are selected. NOTE: For Honorarium presenters, a signed acceptance letter may be substituted for a completed and signed W-9 form.

Only add a Note when necessary. They are permanent.

All eDocs contain an Additional Notes tab where users can add notes about eDocs and upload related documents. Notes and documents added to theAdditional Notes tab become permanent additions to the eDoc once the eDoc has been submitted. These notes cannot be removed without proper authorization. Be judicious when choosing to add a note or when uploading an attachment.

Wildcards and magnifying glasses are the best search tools.

The KFS allows users to easily search for an eDoc or useful codes with the help of wildcards and magnifying glass icons. Wildcards are operators, usually asterisks, which can be combined with search terms to broaden the scope of a search for an eDoc, staff member, or resource (e.g. *Van Munching* is a search term with wildcard operators). Magnifying glass icons also appear in many eDoc fields and can be used to initiate a basic or advanced search.

Records from fiscal years prior to 2014 are archived in FRS and ProWeb.

Data from fiscal years prior to 2014 will be archived in the FRS and will accessible for review only to authenticated users through FRSWeb. Imaged invoices will be accessible through ProWeb for invoices paid through December, 2013.

Additional resources

KFS provides a number of valuable resources to help users manage the transition from the FRS to the KFS. Most resources can be accessed by visiting the KFS homepage.