Kuali Financial System

best practices

Best Practices


Click on the links above to read tips and tricks to make your KFS processing as efficient and easy as possible. If you have a tip that isn't listed, let us know at fishelp@ucdavis.edu!

General Navigation

  • Make sure you are using a supported Internet browser.
  • Use a screen resolution of 1280 X 1024 if you wish to minimize horizontal scrolling of the documents.
  • Use the buttons provided in Kuali; using Internet browser buttons can cause errors.
  • Most lookup screens allow for the use of wildcards. The asterisk (*) wildcard represents all other characters and can be entered before and after the search text. The only lookup screen that does not allow for the use of wildcards is the Person Lookup. The fields on the Person Lookup automatically assume wildcards; simply enter a portion of the text you wish to search against.
  • When using the lookup screens, do not use special characters, such as ! or other characters.  Search against other known text in order to locate the data you are searching for.
  • When entering a date, click on the provided calendar icon to do a lookup and save data entry time.
  • Principal Name refers to the user ID of the person that you wish to enter/perform a search against.
  • Use the Tab key on your keyboard to move from one field to the next.
  • Don't click on a button multiple times. This will cause the query to be run again and can result in a processing delay.
  • If required to enter a document type, and you want to see all document types, enter KFS as the document type.
  • When an Add button is provided, you must click on it in order for the data to be validated and accepted by the system. If you receive the error message "Errors Found in this section" without any fields highlighted, it is most likely because the Add button has not been clicked.
  • Working on a document for more than 10 minutes? We recommend clicking on the Save button periodically at the bottom of the document to save your work. This will ensure that you won't "lose" your document if there is a power outage or network interruption.

  • Text too small on the screen? Use the Ctrl and + keys on your keyboard to make the display larger.
  • Need to add more detailed information to a document? You can add a note at any time to any document, even one that is already in routing or one created by another user. For your convenience, the Notes tab will indicate a number in parentheses next to the tab title to indicate how many notes have been added to the document.
  • Need to change or cancel a document you just submitted? Some KFS documents have a RECALL button at the bottom of the document that allows a user to return the document to their Action List. Please note that you cannot use the RECALL functionality after the document has been approved by the Fiscal Officer.

  • To REACTIVATE an attribute (e.g., sub-account, sub-object, project code, etc):
    1. Search for the attribute on the applicable search screen
    2. Click on the Edit link of the code that you want to re-activate
    3. Check the Active box on the document in order to reactivate the code
  • Create the same types of financial transactions documents frequently? Click on the Copy button at the bottom of a financial transaction document you previously created, and all of the information will appear in a brand-new document. Save data entry time and avoid typos, too!
  • Need to reverse an incorrectly-processed financial transaction document? Click on the Error Correction button at the bottom of a fully approved financial transaction document you previously created, and a brand-new document will be created with the same data entered but with reverse financial signs.
  • When entering data in free-form fields on a document, including the Description field in the Document Overview section of each document, avoid using quotation marks or other non-alphanumeric characters.  In some cases, the quotation marks can be read as a “command” in Excel and cause display issues if running reports in FIS Decision Support and returning results to a spreadsheet.  For example, a double quotation mark causes Excel to lump everything after the quote into ONE cell!  If copying and pasting information that includes quotation marks or any other special character, we recommend removing them before submitting your KFS documents. 


Description Field

The Description field is one of the primary fields that displays in the KFS Action List, and is one of the first fields that approvers see when accessing a document in KFS.   Since the field only allows for 40 alphanumeric characters, using it wisely can ensure that document approvers, can quickly identify the reason your document is being created.  This can reduce approval delays and expedite the processing of your transactions.

  • High-Level Description of what the Request is for:  Identify why the document is being created
  • Business Reason for Transaction:  Identify how the transaction furthers the university mission of teaching, research, or public service;  server for Chem 101 Spring 2017 class; spectrometer for Dr Smith NIH Grt 245-78
  • Keep the information in Lay Person’s Terms: As much as possible, use terminology that can be easily understood. Avoid simply copying and pasting technical data from a supplier’s website.
  • Refrain from Special Characters:  Avoid using quotation marks or other non-alphanumeric characters; these can sometimes cause issues with the data properly formatting in FIS Decision Support (DS); they also “use up” the limited amount of space available in the Description field.


Document Search

  • The Document Lookup screen initially defaults to a basic search. You may switch between the basic search and detailed search by clicking the Basic Search or Detailed Search buttons.
    • The basic search is the best option if you are searching by document number.
    • The basic search is also good if you want to search for the data you entered in the Org. Doc. # field (equivalent to the Tracking Num field in DaFIS). In order to search by the Org. Doc. # field, you will need to enter a document type first, and then the lookup screen will display additional search options, including the Organization Document Number.
    • The basic search can also be used to search for documents created against a specific account. If you enter a document type, such as ACCT (Account) or ADEL (Account Delegate), an Account Number field will appear.
    • The detailed search screen gives you more options for search criteria. The detailed search is the best option when you don’t know the document number, or you want to search for a group of documents.
    • The detailed search is a good option if you want to search for information you entered in the Description field on a document.
    • The detailed search is also good if you want to search on a specific routing status of a document, you want to see a document approved by a specific user, or you want to search for a document in the Action List of a specific user:
      1. Approver: If you want to search for documents already approved by a specific user, enter their user ID in this field.
      2. Viewer:  Allows you to see documents that routed to a specific user’s Action List, enter their user ID in this field.
      3. Group Viewer: Allows you to see documents that routed to the Action List of a specific group (click on the lookup icon to search for the group).
  • At the bottom of the Document Search screen is a Name This Search (Optional) field. If you enter a name for your search before you run it, you can later refer back to that named search and run it again! In the upper right corner of the Document Search screen is a Searches drop-down menu which will include any of your saved named searches as well as the search criteria for the last 10 non-named searches you completed.
  • The Org. Doc. # field allows up to 10 characters. The Org. Doc. # is not case-sensitive in searches.


Printing Documents from KFS

The information below applies to the printing of documents other than Purchase Order documents. In order to print a Purchase Order, click on the Print or Re-Print button at the bottom of a fully approved PO document.

In general, printing is discouraged, but you may occasionally have a need to print a copy of a document. Click on the printer icon in the upper right corner of most documents and lookup screens in KFS. This print icon will format the document/screen in the best possible way for printing purposes.

Alternatively, you can print a document from the Internet browser. Locate the document, then right-click and select the "open in a new window" option. From there, use the File Print option that is available on your Internet browser. We recommend using the landscape, not portrait option for best results.


Searching for Purchase Orders and Payment Information

Looking for information on that Requisition you created last week? Want to know if a Purchase Order was created? Or, want to see if any payments were created against that Purchase Order? Great! We can help!

  1. On your KFS Main Menu, in the Purchasing/Accounts Payable section, in the Lookups section, click on the Requisition link.
  2. Use any desired search criteria to locate the Requisition(s) you are looking for. When a Purchase Order has been created against a Requisition, the Requisition will show a status of CLOSED.
  3. If you click on the document number, you can view the Requisition. Towards the bottom of the Requisition is a View Related Documents tab. Click on the SHOW button to open this tab, and you will see not only the Purchase Order created for that Requisition, you will also see any Payment Requests and Amendments issued against that Purchase Order. We hope that having all of the transactional information in one place on the Requisition makes it easier to track your purchasing and accounts payable processing.

Please note the Purchase Order document also has the View Related Documents tab. Great way to stay on top of all of the activity on the document.

Looking for Payment Data? In the Purchasing/Accounts Payable section on the KFS Main Menu is a Lookups section. Under the Lookups section, click on Disbursement Voucher, Payment Request, or Vendor Credit Memo to see transactions based on a variety of search criteria; in fact, you can search against most of the fields on the document.

The KFS Payment/Credit Lookup (401) query is the KFS "equivalent" of the Payment/Credit Lookup (112). The 401 gives you information on all of your KFS Accounts Payable transactions (Disbursement Voucher, Payment Request, and Vendor Credit Memo) in one report. You can use this query to search for KFS AP transactions going back to when KFS AP first went live (2/18/14). You can run the 401 query by a variety of criteria, including Organization Code, Account, Vendor, Purchase Order Number, and by a specific KFS user. Results can be returned to your browser or spreadsheet. We hope this report will make the management of your KFS AP documents easier and more efficient.


Optional Fields

  • Organization Document Number: In the Document Overview section of every document, this 10-character field can be used for entering any information that helps you to identify it later, including a phone number of the processor or the name of the person for whom the transaction is being created.  The Organization Document Number field is searchable from the KFS Document Search screen after you have entered the document type for which you are searching.  For example, if you enter REQS in the Document Type field (or KFS for ALL document types), the Organization Document Number field is then searchable.
  • Explanation:  This field, also in the Document Overview section, is very helpful when the 40-character Description field doesn’t allow you to provide all the details you would like.  This field allows 400 characters, and is the perfect location for adding details on how the proposed transaction supports the university mission of teaching, research, public service, or patient care.  It can also be used to provide more details on the requestor, the class the item(s) are for, or any other information that can assist your document approvers in fully understanding what the transaction is all about.
  • Org Ref Id: In the Accounting Lines section of each document that contains accounting lines, this 8-character field can be used for entering information that helps you identify the transaction on your FIS Decision Support (DS) reports.  Data from this field appears on FIS DS transaction reports, such as the Transaction Listing (2) and Transaction Log (54) in the Reference # field. For example, if you are processing a membership request for Dr. Smith, you could enter SMITH in the Org Ref Id field.    The accounting line would then appear in FIS DS with the Reference # of SMITH, making it easier to identify who the transaction is for.

There is another optional field specific to several CAMS documents:

  • Principal Investigator:   Available on many of the Capital Asset Management System (CAMS) documents, including the Asset Global (Add) and Asset, this field is used to identify the faculty or staff member responsible for or assigned to that specific capital asset.  This field is very helpful, as it can be used when performing searches on the Equipment Physical Inventory Listing (375) in FIS DS.  You can easily run a report on the equipment assigned to a specific UCD employee.  This can be helpful when completing a department physical inventory and if that employee will be separating from your department/taking on different responsibilities.

Try out the optional fields if you haven’t before.  They just might make your document tracking a little bit easier!


Adding Attachments in KFS

The maximum file size for each attachment is 5 MB. File types allowed when adding attachments to documents:

  • PDF
  • CSV
  • DOC
  • DOCX
  • JPEG
  • JPG
  • MSG
  • PNG
  • TIF
  • TIFF
  • TXT
  • XLS
  • XLSX
  • SML

Additional information can be found on the Notes and Attachments page.


Maximum Number of Lines

Is there a limit to how many lines you can have on a GEC or a BA? The maximum number of lines recommended is 200 total, or 100 on each side (from/to). If your document has many more lines than this, it is likely to get stuck when you try to save or submit, or when your approver tries to take action.

Why is this? Check the General Ledger Pending entries tab after you save your document, and you'll notice there are many more lines there. Each line in your document generates additional lines reflecting processes that take place to complete the transaction.


Supplemental content

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