4.0 Electronic Tools

Using Electronic Tools for Financial Review & Control

Monthly transactions are reported to users in the form of a monthly accounting statement, with two parts -- the MIT Summary Statement, and the MIT Detail Transaction Report. These reports can be viewed on paper, online in SAP, or through the MIT Data Warehouse.

Detailed documentation on the SAP Summary Statement and Detail Transaction Report can be found at the SAP web site and the Data Warehouse web site.

MIT's Data Warehouse is a relational database developed at MIT to support ad-hoc reporting on financial, personnel, space, employee, and student data. Data from a number of MIT administrative systems, including SAP, is extracted daily and loaded to the Data Warehouse.

A query tool, BrioQuery, is available to MIT users for reporting on Data Warehouse data of all types. Templates developed using BrioQuery can be saved and rerun with different variables, again and again.

A number of BrioQuery templates have been developed to support the Financial Review and Control process and are available from the Data Warehouse web site.

How to Decide Which Tool to Use: SAP (online), BrioQuery, or SAP (paper)?

These guidelines encourage the use of one of the available electronic tools, since more detailed information is available when questions arise. However any one of the choices described below is acceptable.

Users who review a small number of cost objects, those who would like to review their transactions in real time, or those who use SAP's drill-down features extensively, may prefer to do the financial review using SAP on-line.

The BrioQuery templates developed to support the Financial Review & Control process are particularly useful for users who would like to:

  • Review more than one fiscal period at a time;
  • Review multiple cost objects;
  • Focus on certain transaction types or dollar amounts over (or under) a certain level
  • Sort transactions in a nonstandard way (by posting date, PO number, or by vendor, for example).

Both SAP and Brioquery reports can be printed, thus accommodating those who prefer to make notes or check marks on paper.

Users without access to SAP, or those who prefer a paper-based process, may continue to do the financial review using the paper statements mailed by the VPF.

More on the BrioQuery Templates:

BrioQuery templates that may be helpful to the reviewer are contained in a separate section of the Data Warehouse web pages and are organized as follows:

  • Queries that identify all transactions, by document type.

These queries are for use by those who want to use BrioQuery as an alternative to SAP for their full review.

Exception-based queries.

  • Phone calls over a certain dollar amount or length
  • Charges to Payroll GL accounts not processed through Payroll
  • Credit Card charges not reviewed by the credit card verifier.

These queries assist users to focus on certain risk areas, and may be used to supplement the basic review done in SAP or BrioQuery. - They can also be used by the Administrative or Fiscal Officer, who would like to review risk areas for a department as a whole.

  • Queries that provide information about PO commitments (when supplemental information is needed to ascertain whether a PO invoice has been posted correctly).

These queries can be used by the individual approving invoices for payment, as well as the reviewer with questions about invoices charged to a cost object.

Updated 5/22/12