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Financial Foundations

The Financial Foundations series is designed for Vanderbilt University staff with financial responsibilities, including, but not limited to, budgeting, general ledger reconciliation, purchasing, and grants and contracts.  Each course in the series contains interactive content and reference material that is designed to equip staff members with the tools and perspective necessary to manage departmental financial responsibilities, spanning the basics of accounting at Vanderbilt to the process of monthly financial review and sign-off.  (Click here  to view Financial Foundations course information for Medical Center staff.)

Delivery Method:  Online course series

Registration:  Click the registration button to go to the Learning Exchange, enter "Financial Foundations" in the Find a Course search box, and then enroll in Financial Foundations for University Central Staff.

Curriculum Overview

The Foundations series begins with two courses for all staff members that are designed to teach them the foundation of the accounting systems and business processes used at Vanderbilt and then proceeds to courses on the transaction reconciliation and review processes that are specific to the system used for sign-off in the specific department - eDog or DMS.   Courses must be completed in sequential order.

Detailed course descriptions and resources are available below:



Courses for All Staff with Financial Responsibilities

Financial Foundations I: Intro to Financial Systems & Privilege Management

Course Description:

This is an introductory course for Vanderbilt financial and accounting systems. This class is designed to provide an overview of the many systems at Vanderbilt which feed our general ledger and other reporting systems in an interactive learning environment. Privilege Management, the application which manages secure access to Vanderbilt systems, as well as authorization for many business processes, is covered as a tool to enhance understanding of the systems and business processes introduced in this class. After completing this class, participants will be prepared to:

  • Go to course resources Summarize the basics of Vanderbilt's accounting systems 
  • Identify financial reporting systems
  • Understand Center Numbers and Account Numbers
  • Use the Narrative Chart of Accounts (NCOA)
  • Navigate the Privilege Management System (as non-administrators)

Audience: This class is recommended for all Vanderbilt staff with financial responsibilities. These responsibilities may include, but are not limited to budgeting, general ledger reconciliation, purchasing, and grants & contracts.

Prerequisite: None

Access (Recommended): Privilege Management


Financial Foundations II: Internal Controls, Purchasing, & APPO Reports

Course Description:

This class continues business process and financial reporting system training from Financial Foundations I with a focus on departmental financial responsibilities, particularly around purchasing. The importance for departmental Internal Controls is discussed in the context of Vanderbilt’s policies and procedures. Internal Controls around the purchasing process and the APPO reporting system will be covered in detail from a departmental perspective as well as from a systems perspective. After completing this class, participants will be prepared to:

  • view course resources Recognize departmental financial responsibilities and the importance of Internal Controls
  • Track a purchase  transaction through APPO BI launch pad reporting
  • Discuss departmental Best Practices
  • Identify and manage Match Exceptions using BI launch pad reporting

Audience: This courseis recommended for all Vanderbilt staff with financial responsibilities. These responsibilities may include, but are not limited to budgeting, general ledger reconciliation, purchasing, and grants & contracts.

Prerequisite: Financial Foundations I​

Access (Recommended): eDog and/or eProcurement Viewer privilege and Business Objects APPO Universe



Courses for Departments Using eDog for General Ledger Review & Reconciliation

Financial Foundations - eDog: Non-Salary Ledger Sheet Reconciliation

Course Description:

This class continues the financial process training from Financial Foundations I and II. This class provides interactive training for the eDog general ledger application for non-salary expenses. Financial reports, reconciliation, journal entries, and approval requirements are covered. Additionally, the responsibilities around monthly accounting reports are discussed in detail. Certification requirements for the Transaction Review Verification role and document retention policies are also taught. After completing this class, participants will be prepared to:

  • view course resources Assess and analyze the eDog monthly accounting reports
  • Complete eDog monthly ledger sheet reconciliation requirements
  • Complete and submit a correcting journal entry 
  • Explain certification requirements for the Transaction Review Verification

This class is part of the Financial Foundations series. Please be sure to register for classes in order.

Audience: This class is recommended for all Vanderbilt staff with financial responsibilities. These responsibilities may include, but are not limited to budgeting, general ledger reconciliation, purchasing, and grants & contracts.

Prerequisites: Financial Foundations I & II​

Access (Recommended): eDog Viewer or Transaction Review Verification.


Financial Foundations - eDog: Labor Reconciliation with Waldo

Course Description:

This class continues the financial process training in Financial Foundations. Participants will learn how to reconcile salary transactions in eDog to Labor Data in BI launch pad. This class provides interactive training for both the Waldo application and BI Launch Pad Labor Data reporting. After completing this class, participants will be prepared to:

  • view course resources Reconcile eDog monthly ledger sheets for payroll accounts
  • Generate BI launch pad Labor Data reports
  • Navigate the Waldo application
  • Identify contacts to correct errors in payroll transactions

Audience: This class is recommended for all Vanderbilt staff with payroll reconciliation and review responsibilities.

Prerequisites: Financial Foundations I, II, & Foundations - eDog​: Non-Labor Reconciliation

Access (Required): Waldo Viewer privilege and access to Business Objects Labor Data universe.



Courses for Departments Using DMS for General Ledger Review & Reconciliation

Financial Foundations - DMS: Non-Labor (Part A) Encumbrances & Expenses

Course Description:

This class continues the financial process training from Financial Foundations I & II for Departmental Management System (DMS) users. This class provides interactive training for non-labor encumbrances and expenses. All aspects of system-generated and manual encumbrances are covered. Additionally, notifications, reporting, and best practices for non-labor encumbrances are discussed. After completing this class, participants will be able to:

  • view course resources (DMS) Identify all types of non-labor encumbrances
  • Create a manual non-labor encumbrance
  • Manage encumbrance notifications
  • Generate DMS encumbrance reports
  • Describe the DMS remaining balance formula
  • Assess DMS remaining balance reports

Audience:  This class is recommended for all Vanderbilt staff with financial responsibilities using DMS in their area. These responsibilities may include, but are not limited to budgeting, general ledger reconciliation, purchasing, and grants & contracts.

Prerequisites: Financial Foundations I & II​

Access (Required): Either DMS Encumbrance Viewer (with the non-labor attribute = yes) or DMS Encumbrance Initiator (with the non-labor attribute = yes), Transaction Review Verification, or DMS Corporate Viewer depending on departmental responsibilities. Access to the Business Objects DMS universe is also required.


Financial Foundations - DMS: Non-Labor (Part B) Reconciliation & Transaction Review Verification

Course Description:

This class continues interactive training from the DMS Non-Labor (Part A) Encumbrances & Expenses. Reconciliation, record keeping, and approval requirements are covered. Additionally, Non-Labor Worklist responsibilities are discussed in detail. Certification requirements for Transaction Review Verification and document retention policies are also included. After completing this class, participants will be able to:

  • view course resources (DMS) Complete DMS ledger sheet reconciliation requirements
  • Analyze and reconcile exceptions
  • Complete the Journal Entry process for VUMC or VU
  • Conduct the certification requirements for the Transaction Review Verification
  • Generate DMS reports

Audience: This class is recommended for all Vanderbilt staff with financial responsibilities using DMS in their area. These responsibilities may include, but are not limited to budgeting, general ledger reconciliation, purchasing, and grants & contracts.

Prerequisites: Financial Foundations DMS: Non-Labor (Part A) Encumbrances & Expenses

Access (Required): At least one of the following: Transaction Review Verification, DMS Encumbrance Departmental Administrator, DMS Non-Labor & Other Transaction Reviewer or DMS Corporate Viewer. Access to the Business Objects DMS universe is also required.


Financial Foundations - DMS: Labor Encumbrances, Expenses, & Reconciliation

Course Description:

This class continues the financial process training from Foundations DMS: Non-Labor (Part B) Reconciliation and Transaction Review Verification. This class provides interactive training for the Departmental Management System (DMS) for labor encumbrances and expenses. Labor Worklist responsibilities are discussed in detail. Certification requirements for Transaction Review Verification are also included. After completing this class, participants will be able to:

  • view course resources (DMS) Identify the different types of labor encumbrances
  • Reconcile monthly payroll accounts
  • Analyze and reconcile labor exceptions
  • Complete the certification requirements for the Transaction Review Verification
  • Generate DMS reports
  • Correct errors for payroll transactions

Audience: This class is recommended for all Vanderbilt staff with payroll reconciliation and review responsibilities using DMS in their area.

Prerequisites: Foundations DMS: Non-Labor Part B or Permission of instructor.

Access (Required): At least one of the following: DMS Encumbrance Viewer (with the labor attribute = yes), DMS Encumbrance Initiator (with the labor attribute = yes), Transaction Review Verification, or DMS Corporate Viewer. Access to the Business Objects DMS universe and Waldo Viewer access are also required.