University of Minnesota
Controller's Office or
612-624-1617 or

Requesting access to EFS (PeopleSoft Financials)

Access to financial systems and data is generally granted only to University employees, student employees, and certain temporary employees. If you have questions about what access may be appropriate for your role, speak with your supervisor, department administrator, EFS cluster director, or contact the University Financial Helpline.

The process is simpler than the list below might indicate. It boils down to: take training, pass assessments, ask for the access appropriate to your job, get the request approved, get the access.

What are the access granting standards?
  • Access to the financial data and systems will be granted to authorized individuals with competencies they have demonstrated as it relates to the processes with which they deal.
  • Upload or download capability will be granted as it relates to specific job responsibilities.
  • Access to private or confidential information will be provided to individuals authorized by law, contract and University policy and for purposes defined in said law, contract or policy.
  • Once a unit has determined appropriate access necessary for an individual, the unit will follow specific University access policies and procedures.
  • One or more designated individuals within that requestor's business unit, as appropriate, must authorize access for an individual.
  • Designated individuals are responsible for ensuring that the level of access granted is appropriate for the duties performed by their personnel . Separation of duties ensures that one person does not have sole access to the assets (e.g., make a purchase, approve transactions, receive cash) and accounting records (general ledger, subsidiary ledgers, reconciliation, etc.) of the University. This separation helps ensure financial data integrity and protects the University's assets.
  • Designated individuals are responsible for reviewing job duties and making adjustments whenever personnel status or responsibilities change.
  • Designated individuals are responsible for complying with and adhering to all associated policies, procedures and responsibilities they have agreed to.
  • When a user?s access to data and systems becomes inactive, the access will be removed.
  • Access to data and systems does not transfer with the employee when they transfer positions within the department that affects access or changes University departments.
  • Changes in personnel status that affects access rights (e.g. termination, change of University departments, leave of absence, change of job responsibilities are immediately implemented unless otherwise approved by the Financial Security and Privacy Officer.
  • The Controller's Office is authorized to revoke access to the financial data and systems in the event of a security non-compliance.
  • Financial data and business process owners are involved in the authorization process when applicable.
  • A designated individual within each users business unit validates periodic verification of user access.
  • Access to financial data and systems requires the completion of defined related financial competencies.

How do I determine what access is necessary for my position?

Your supervisor or department administrator can assist, otherwise contact your cluster director for guidance or the University Financial Helpline. Access to the financial system is granted based on a person's assigned work, completion of any required Training Services financial system courses and assessments, and completion of an access request.

Do I need to register for and complete training?

There is training available for all of the end user roles in EFS. Most tasks in the system require training--it isn't necessarily the most intuitive system. Therefore the business process owners and Training Services have created a number of courses and materials to help people learn to use the system, be aware of applicable policies, and so on. Training is required in order to obtain access for most data entry roles.

Register for and complete training and assessments related to the access role(s) that are being requested.

If you or your supervisor are unsure of what training is required, contact the University Financial Helpline for guidance.

Do I need to complete an access request?

Yes, in order to gain access to the financial system, you should download, complete, and sign an access request (pdf). Route the completed form to:

    Your supervisor, who should send it to:

    Your cluster director, who should send it to:

    The Controller's Office.
    (see address at top of the form itself).
    Fax: 612-625-9841

The Controller's Office will validate that any training requirements have been met, contacting the requester, supervisor, or cluster director with any questions, or to alerting the requester if access will not or cannot be granted for some reason.

  • If access will not be granted for some reason other than 'training requirements not yet met', the Controller's Office will contact the requester, supervisor, and cluster director with an explanation.
  • If required training or assessments have not been completed, the Controller's Office will hold the access request until the individual has an opportunity to get through the necessary training/assessments (forms will be held for up to six months if needed).
  • Those who require access to the financial system must use two-factor authentication.
  • Those who work from remote locations may also need Virtual Private Network (VPN) software in order to connect.

The Controller's Office will submit the form to the Office of Information Technology within three business days. Normally the form is processed the same day it comes in but please understand that during busy times, staff absences, etc., it make take some time to process the form.

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) configures access profiles in the financial system itself.

OIT will notify the requester when access has been granted.

Student employees/student workers

Students with work assignments that require them to use the financial system or data are authorized to have access to the system, just as other employees may, and must meet the same requirements.

Summer 2012: Students no longer need a "departmentally sponsored ID" in order to access UM Reports. Students may access UM Reports under their own ID.

Separation of duties guidelines

To help ensure appropriate controls are in place for high risk activities, there are some guidelines that must be followed when requesting access to the financial system. Information on these guidelines, as well as advice for assigning approval roles, can be found here.

Approval roles

  • Individuals holding Certified Approval and DeptID Approval roles in EFS may not approve transactions that they have initiated.
  • Procurement Card (PCard): one individual may not hold both the Certified Approval role and the DeptID approval role (system limitation).
  • It is strongly recommended that one individual not hold both the Certified Approval role and a DeptID approval role for the same DeptID.

If you would like to review specific role combinations or access for an individual or group, please contact the University Financial Helpline.

Notes on individual approval roles available

There are several approval roles within a department. It is recommended that units not establish one individual as both the primary and alternate approval for any "level" of approval, to avoid transactions getting stuck in pending status when one individual is absent or unavailable.

  • Primary and alternate Certified Approver
  • Primary and alternate requisition approver, under $10,000
  • Primary and alternate requisition approver, over $10,000 (an additional approval is required; this is not "in lieu of" the under $10,000 approval but in addition to it)
  • Primary and alternate vendor payments approver, under $10,000
  • Primary and alternate vendor payments approver, over $10,000 (an additional approval is required; this is not "in lieu of" the under $10,000 approval but in addition to it)
  • Primary and alternate travel and reimbursement approver
  • Primary and alternate Journal Entry approver
  • Primary and alternate PCard approver

Taking into account that one person may not approve transactions they have initiated, it would be prudent to avoid assigning the requisition approval roles to requisition preparers, avoid assigning the vendor payments approval roles to those who can prepare those transactions, and so forth. Certainly avoid making the person who also holds preparer access both the primary and alternate approver for that activity within the department.

Clustered Functions

Certain access roles are granted on a limited basis to those who work within the financial cluster for a college or administrative unit. If you are unsure whether these roles are appropriate for you, contact your supervisor, cluster director, RRC manager, or the University Financial Helpline.

  • Procurement specialist
    Note that procurement specialists are responsible for the receiving function when capital assets are involved. Depending on unit procedures, they may also perform routine receiving or act as a backup receiver.
  • Voucher preparer/voucher specialist/vendor payments
  • Bill preparer/Cluster billing specialist (two levels: no HIPAA data access, or HIPAA data access included)
  • Billing Spreadsheet Upload (highly restriced access)
  • Journal Preparer
  • Journal Spreadsheet Upload (highly restricted access)
  • Budget Journals (establish budget lines during the year)

When requesting one of the roles above, it is necessary for the unit to provide additional information: if the person requesting access is a replacement or an addition to those who already hold the role for the unit; if applicable, the name of person being replaced/when that person's access was removed; if not a replacement, the specific business reason for the additional person in the clustered function (what changed about the local business activity that requires more people to have access to the role).

Other "end user" access roles available

As with any system, there are multiple kinds of access roles available. The list below is not comprehensive but does include the roles most used. Access should be appropriate to the work assigned to the individual, keeping separation of duties in mind. Take care not to simply request everything because it may be needed. Request only that access that is truly necessary.

  • Inquiry includes Query Manager level access to EFS reporting instance, inquiry access for the data warehouse (DWFS, historic CUFS information prior to July 2008; DWEF, information from July 2008 to the present), WebNow view access (which works with the ImageNow desktop client as well), nVision for EFS reporting instance. If a student employee is involved, it also includes access to UM Reports (regular employees all have UM Reports access by virtue of employment).
  • ImageNow. There are various slices/dices of this access. People may have View access to a number of different transaction types, Scan access for transactions departments normally prepare, or special Bursar access intended for Bursar Office employees.
  • Accounts Receivable Monitoring (includes AR Inquiry access)
  • Accounts Receivable Inquiry (a bit less access than AR Monitoring)
  • Departmental Deposits
  • Endowments
  • PCard reconciliation. Units requesting this access must contact the PCard Program Office at to arrange which specific cards/cardholders will be associated with the reconciler.
  • PCard approvals. Units requesting this access must contact the PCard Program Office at to arrange which specific cards/cardholders will be associated with the approver.
  • PCard view only. Units requesting this access must contact the PCard Program Office at to arrange which specific cards/cardholders will be associated with the viewer.
  • Create Requisitions
  • Receive Purchases
  • UStores ordering only
  • Travel and Expense Reimbursement
  • BPEL. Customer/charge code maintenance requester, request any COA field setup, approver/alternate approver COA field setups for a department, sponsored re-budgeting (GPC) requester.
  • Budget Entry (the annual process to enter budgets, also known as "budget prep"). There are three types of access: department level, RRC level, and RRC designee.

Central access

If you are an employee of a central unit, please contact your supervisor or the University Financial Helpline for assistance or more information about access.

Removing access or transferring to new department

Use this form called "Change of Employment Status" for reporting terminations, retirements, transfers, or leaves of absence.

Keep in mind that when an employees transfers to a new department, their access needs to be removed and re-established in the new department.

Other frequently asked questions

I can't log in today but I could yesterday!

Call the University Financial Helpline at 612-624-1617. The staff there can check if your access is still active. For those with a little patience remaining, follow these steps. As absurd as the procedure may seem, many people report that it actually works.

  • First try closing your browser, then open it back up again and attempt to access EFS again.
  • If this does not work, clear the cache in your browser, close the browser, open the browser again, and sign in to EFS again.
  • If that does not work, log out of everything and turn your entire computer off/on again, then make another attempt to log in.
How do I get access to the Enterprise Financial System?
  1. Verify that you have completed the required training and assessments. If your training record does not reflect the financial system training or assessments you completed, contact Training Services at or 612-624-UOHR.

  2. Confirm with your supervisor or cluster director that the appropriate access form has been completed for your specific needs.

    Note: Completion of training and assessments alone does not grant access to the system. Completion of training and assessments, along with a signed access request also does not grant access to the system. There must be a busines justification for the access, and there cannot be a conflict of duties for the individual (for example, one individual cannot currently hold Voucher preparation access and also be a Procurement Specialist).

    Once your training and assessments are completed, the signed access request received, the request is reviewed and approved as needed, then access is granted. Watch your email for notification that your PeopleSoft Financials (EFS) access has been granted.

  3. Make sure you are logging into PeopleSoft Financials--EFS--and not HRMS or the Student System. Go to the Staff One Stop page:
    Look for the "PeopleSoft EFS Access" link. The login for the PeopleSoft page should appear. Log in using your two-factor credentials and it will take you to PS Financials.

If you still cannot access PeopleSoft Financials, contact the University Financial Helpline at or 612-624-1617.

May I work from home?

Off campus locations and some coordinate campus locations need Virtual Private Network (VPN) software running in order to access PeopleSoft Financials.

That's a question for your supervisor but if you have approval to work from home, you'll need VPN software installed on your home computer. See link below for the software/installation instructions. Hint: after the software is installed, open it and log in using your Internet ID/Internet password. Then open your Web browser and access PeopleSoft Financials. Please ensure your home computer is secured, has current virus protection, etc. and follow safe computing practices using that computer, just as you would your work computer.

VPN software and instructions are available from the Office of Information Technology, here:

Questions about which access to request?
Your Cluster Director, supervisor, or RRC Manager can be of assistance in determining which access to request. Or you can contact the University Financial Helpline and ask for help determining which access to request.
Will the system itself enforce separation of duties?

While the University relies on each unit's data entry staff and managers to behave appropriately and ensure they or their staff are not violating the spirit or letter of the separation of duties guidelines, the system does indeed enforce that:

  • Requisition preparers cannot approve requisitions they have created.
  • Voucher preparers cannot approve vouchers they have created.
  • Expense reimbursement preparers cannot approve expense reports they have created, nor can they approve expense reports for which they are the payee.
  • PCard reconciliers cannot approve reconciliations they have performed.
What's the timeout for inactivity? (08/01/2008)
The inactivity timeout for PeopleSoft Financials is 60 minutes. This "error" appears just before/after you time out--a pop-up box that states there is a system error or an authorization error, and directing you to contact your system administrator. It appears to simply be an alert that you've timed out/are about to do so.
My two-factor fob for authentication doesn't seem to be working.

Some two-factor key fobs are defective. The fob displays characters, if you can clearly see that there are characters displayed, you probably do not have a defective fob. A defective fob can be easily identified, part of the display will not be working. Sometimes the fobs get crushed in the mail so there is a big black blob on the LCD.

If you think you may have a defective two-factor key fob, contact 1-HELP.

Off campus locations and some coordinate campus locations need Virtual Private Network (VPN) software running in order to access PeopleSoft Financials.

Training records and assessments

For issues with your training and assessment records, go to the HR Employee Self-Service page and review the section "Track Your Training History".