What is Kuali Financial System?

Kuali (ku-wah'-lee)

1. A wok, a humble but important kitchen utensil.

2. The growing community of universities, colleges, businesses, and other organizations that have partnered to build and sustain open-source administrative software for higher education, by higher education. Kuali software is designed to meet the needs of all sizes of institutions, from land-grant research universities to community colleges. The members of the Kuali Community share a common vision of open, modular, and distributed systems for their software requirements. Kuali software is released under the Educational Community License. Kuali Financial System (KFS)is a comprehensive financial software. KFS is one of the systems supported by the Kuali Foundation, a consortium of Colleges and Universities, of which University of Maryland, College Park is a major participant.  The Kuali systems are open and community-sourced ERP systems and support a wide range of campus operations. KFS is a suite of software built with modular architecture so an Institution can implement only those functional elements they need. Below are the modules of KFS that will be implemented by the University of Maryland, College Park.

Kuali Financial System (KFS) Modules

The University of Maryland, College Park's KFS implementation will include these modules:

Chart of Accounts - The KFS relies on a variety of Chart of Accounts (COA) tables to function. These tables define the attributes and values used by the system to validate transactions. They also control the often complex relationships between elements in the Chart of Accounts that must be leveraged for internal and external reporting.

Chart of Accounts Structure Comparison


The PHR Unit Code in KFS will be the Organization Attribute: Chart + Organization (Executive) + Organization (Division) + Organization (School) + Organization (Department) + Organization (Dept-Sub Department).

Financial Processing - The Financial Processing (FP) module of the Kuali Financial System (KFS) allows users to create and maintain various journal voucher documents that support central financial operations.

Purchasing and Accounts Payable - The Purchasing and Accounts Payable (PURAP) module allows users to request materials and services, generate and transmit purchase orders, and process invoices and credit memos received from vendors. The requisition, purchase order, payment request, purchase order amendment, and credit memo documents use the workflow component for document approval followed by encumbrance and expense entries in the General Ledger as required.

Capital Assets - The KFS Capital Asset Management (CAM) module allows you to track assets purchased through your institution's financial system, assets received as gifts, and assets that have been transferred or even found. This module handles records for a wide variety of both capital and non-capital assets - art and museum objects, buildings, bonds, infrastructure, land, land improvements, leasehold improvements, library books, movable equipment, etc. CAM e-docs allow you to create, maintain, and retire asset records. Additionally, the system can create asset records from data collected on financial transaction documents in other modules. The system also provides several documents to assist your organization with inventory management and other aspects of managing assets. In the KFS, the Capital Asset Builder (CAB) is the asset creation module for tracking movable capital and non-capital additions. This module collects information from both the General Ledger and the Purchasing module in order to create assets, add payments to them, and apply credits as well.

Labor Distribution and Effort Certification - The Labor Distribution module, which sits between an institution's payroll system and the G/L, manages the accounting aspects of compensation-related expenses such as salaries and benefits. Whereas an implementing institution is responsible for populating the Labor Ledger tables from a payroll system, the Labor Distribution module allows users to post salary transfer, benefit transfer, Labor Ledger correction process, and Labor Journal Voucher entry e-docs to make necessary adjustments to the Labor Ledger records. Labor Ledger changes that affect your G/L are also passed through and posted to the G/L. The Labor Distribution module also generates mass transactions to update beginning balances during the year-end process. All of these labor distribution processes are especially important in recording compensation records accurately in the accounting books and managing effort reporting in the Effort Certification module.

KFS Key Points
  • KFS will replace FRS at UMCP, UMES, UMCES and USM
  • KFS Phase I will provide Chart of Accounts/General Ledger, Purchasing/Accounts Payable, Capital Asset Management, Labor Distribution, electronic documents and reporting capabilities that are comparable to FRS
  • KFS phase II will provide enhanced reporting capabilities and user defined attributes
Why is KFS important?
  • KFS represents a significant step forward for the university...
    • It moves us to the next generation of ERP systems in higher education
    • It allows us to automate the final area of paper processing (requisitions)
    • It provides the opportunity to collaborate across campuses, units and systems
    • It is a sustainable long-term solution supported by the Kuali Foundation, a consortium of colleges and universities
Why are we replacing FRS?
  • FRS has reached the end of its useful life
  • FRS technical staff is not readily available for continuing mainframe technology
  • UMCP is not up-to-date with best practice functionality
Why Kuali?
  • Synthesizes best practices across higher education partners from around the country
  • Includes ten (and growing) commercial partners providing professional and technical services
  • Benefits of commercial support with advantage of local control
  • Commercial off the shelf (COTS) products cost tens of millions of dollars to procure
  • Implementation and maintenance charges for COTS products can approach $1 million per year
  • These commercial programs do not focus on the needs of higher education

Maryland is a key player in the Kuali community...

  Board National Dev Local Dev/Impl
Student Yes Yes Yes
Finance Yes Yes Yes
Open Library Yes No Yes
Rice Yes Yes Yes
Ready No No No
KPME* No No No

Includes staff from Academic Affairs, Finance/Comptroller, Libraries, Research, and OIT

*Maryland donated PHR Data model and doc to “seed” program

What will be different?

Transitioning from FRS to KFS will mean some changes...

Today (FRS) Tomorrow (KFS)

6 digit account number

7 digit account number

Separate subsidiary and general ledger accounts

One account for both subsidiary and general ledger

Subsidiary account expense codes and general ledger account control codes

Subsidiary account expense codes remain constant
General ledger account control codes will be redefined

FRS Web Reporting

KFS Web Reporting

Elf Forms process transactions

eDocs process transactions through KFS workflow (e.g., purchasing documents, payments, journal vouchers, salary transfers, etc.)

What Improvements Can I Expect?

  • New set of electronic documents that will help facilitate and automate current processes
  • Requisition form will be automated along with the current financial ELF forms
  • New system will allow you to better track the status of requisitions and purchase orders as well as provide you with an improved workflow of electronic forms

KFS Reporting Highlights

There are five categories of reports:

    1. Enterprise - reports that are used by the campus business community. These are reports similar to what is currently on FRS Web.
    2. Central - reports that are used by the Comptroller's Office.
    3. Control - reports produced from the nightly KFS Batch processes.
    4. Downloads - Financial downloads
    5. Historical - FRS Web, FAS Web, PRO Web. Access to these reports are from the KFS Reporting Menu. The menu and reports are protected by the University of Maryland's Central Authentication Service (CAS).
Web Accessibility - Office of the Comptroller All rights Reserved 4100 Chesapeake Building, College Park, MD 20742