Frequently Asked Questions

  • I need to have a new Smartkey created or I need to change a Smartkey attribute. Whom should I contact?
  • What is the benefit rate?

    For fiscal year 2023-24, the full benefit rate is 39.5% and partial benefit rate is 7.65%.  The full benefit rate incorporates the cost of FICA, retirement contributions, and the projected cost of medical, life, dental and tuition benefits.  By distributing these budgets and the costs out to the departments, we can track and report on expenditures where they are incurred and budget adequately for new staff positions.  The partial benefit rate represents the cost of FICA.  

    The benefit rate is determined by Account Code.  See the complete list of compensation Account codes for more information.

  • When should I use a journal entry and when should I use a budget transfer?

    Journal entries should be used to correct an error to an expense that posted to the wrong Smartkey, transfer cash between Smartkeys, accrue expenses, and record prepaid or deferred expenses. It should not be used to transfer funds from one account to another.  Journal Vouchers should be used to correct the Smartkey or Account on a voucher.

    Budget transfers should be used to move funds within a Smartkey or between Smartkeys.  Designated users on campus have the ability to transfer budget.  If you do not have access to transfer budget, please contact your fiscal manager. 

    For more information on the use of each Smartdoc in WFS, please see the Smartdoc Usage tip sheet.

  • What are the different types of budget?

    The Wesleyan Financial System classifies budget into 3 main groupings: Total Original Budget, Total Adjustment Budget, and Total Budget.  The definitions of each are below.

    • Total Orig Budget: The sum of the Orig Budget and Transfer Orig Budget.  This budget is recurring.
    • Total Adj Budget: The sum of Adj Budget, Transfer Adj Budget, and Roll Rwd Budget.  This budget is available for spending in the current fiscal year only.
    • Total Budget: The sum of Total Orig Budget and Total Adj Budget.  This budget is the total budget available for spending in the current fiscal year.

    The details of the above budgets are below.

    • Orig Budget: budget (base budget) that is loaded using the budget planning system or entered using the Budget Journal page.
    • Transfer Orig Budget: permanent budget (base budget) that is entered using the Budget Transfer page.
    • Adj Budget: a one-time budget that is entered using the Budget Journal page.
    • Transfer Adj Budget: a one-time budget that is entered using the Budget Transfer page.
    • Roll Fwd Budget: a one-time budget that is uploaded centrally to carry forward the prior fiscal year's available balance.
  • How do I look up position number?
    There are two ways. In HRMS, use View Position Cross Reference. In WesPortal, use Position Lookup under Employee Information.
  • What Detail Account codes fall into specific Account Subgroups?
    For Departments that budget at the Account Subgroup level, each Detail Account code rolls up to a specific Account Subgroup that holds the budget. For example, if a department budgets at the Subgroup level, budget for travel would be held in 84500 (Subgroup Travel). The department would still use the Detail Account codes for their expenses (i.e. 84505 Airfare). Budget checking for the airfare expense would occur at Account 84500. For a complete list of Subgroup and Detail Account codes, please click this Account Codes List link.
  • How do I contribute or co-sponsor an event on campus with another department?

    Note that this is a change in process intended to simplify and bring consistency to the process for co-sponsoring events or expenses in other departments.  This process should be used for all fund types except grants. Please contact the Grants Office for guidance.

    1. Use journal or open journal to move expenses among Smartkeys/accounts
    2. To eliminate budget warnings when expenses charge a Smartdoc:
      • Journal can occur before event or charges takes place
      • Make sure the journal charges the appropriate account (ask event sponsor, etc. for the Smartkey/Account combination to use)
    3. Provide sufficient information in comment section of the journal for approvers
    4. Agree beforehand how charges will be handled if the event or sponsorship does not take place
    5. This process also applies to co-sponsoring WSA events. Remember to credit the Fund 100 WSA Smartkey.
  • What do I do if I have an invoice that needs to be paid from a Smartkey that I cannot access (regular or PCard voucher)?
    Please see the following document for instructions on how to pay an invoice from two separate Smartkeys.
  • What is a Commitment Accounting Change and why do I need to submit one?
    A Commitment Accounting Change Request is used to change the Smartkey/Account which a position is tied to.  In the case of grants, positions need to be reassigned to a new Smartkey/Account once a grant has ended.  These changes are effective dated based on the request from the user.  Please note that the commitment accounting on temporary and student positions is rarely changed.  Normally, a new position is created when a new Smartkey is created.  Directions for filling out the form can be found here.
  • What is Budget Checking?

    There are two levels of budget checking in the financial system.  Budget planning (aligning budgets to where expenses are most likely to occur) is strongly encouraged for all smartkeys that budget either at the account detail or account subgroup level.  Budget planning will not only minimize the number of budget errors and budget warnings on transactions but will also improve reporting at an institutional level.

    1. Budget Checking at the Smartkey Level; Budget Errors will be in Red

    The first level of budget checking will check whether there is adequate budget at the smartkey level.  If there is not enough budget at this level, the lines that fail budget checking will be displayed in red with a budget line status of “ERROR.”  Users will not be able to submit a transaction that has any lines in error status.  Users will need to clear the error either by charging the expense to a different smartkey that has budget and is appropriate for the expense or by transferring budget to the smartkey that is being charged and re-budget checking the transaction. 

    2. Budget Checking at the Account Subgroup and Account Detail Level; Budget Warnings will be in Yellow

    After the transaction has passed budget checking at the smartkey level, a second level of budget checking will check whether there is adequate budget at the account subgroup or account detail based on the budget level of the smartkey.  If there is not enough budget at this level, the lines that fail budget checking will be displayed in yellow with a budget line status of “Warning.”  Budget warnings will indicate that there is enough budget at the smartkey level, but not enough budget at the account subgroup or account detail level.  Users will be able to submit transactions with budget warnings to workflow, but the decision to approve or push back the transaction to have the budget warnings cleared will be made by each executive level area. 

    Under limited circumstances, a fiscal manager may request a budget override for a budget error by sending an email to  and providing information on the transaction and justification for the budget override.