How to use UW-Madison’s Financial Systems

How to navigate UW-Madison’s financial systems and where to turn for support.

Flowchart of UW Financial Systems

Image of Financial Systems Flowchart

Financial systems and tools

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Shared Financial System (SFS)

SFS is the PeopleSoft ERP Financial System shared by all UW-System institutions. It is primarily used by Business Services and RSP, but some aspects are used by other campus divisions or departments.

  • Accounts Payable – Payments to vendors, payments to individuals who are not employees, direct payments, etc.
  • E-Reimbursement – Used to request reimbursement for out-of-pocket travel and non-travel expenses. Approving and Auditing of expense reports is also done in e-Reimbursement. E-Reimbursement
  • Grants – Grants financial processing.  See
  • Project Lite – Some divisions are delegated to manage their own non-sponsored projects in SFS. Project Lite Guide
  • Non-sponsored Accounts Receivable/Billing – AR and Billing for departments that use centralized AR/BI.
  • General Ledger – All SFS modules (and financial data from HRS) feed into the GL.  This is also where the Chart of Accounts and Chartfield Edits are defined.
  • SFS Query Tool (PS Query)– The primary way for users to get financial data is through WISER. This is an alternative that would be for more advanced users who have access to SFS. SFS Query Guide
  • SFS Access – Access to SFS can be requested using the Security Role Request tile on the SFS home page. See detailed instructions below on how to request access to SFS. Supervisors – a step-by-step guide is also available below on the approval process.

Sign in to SFS

Security Role Request Instructions (PDF)

Security Request Approval Instructions (PDF)

Journal Entry Tool (JET)

JET is used by division and department staff to create journal entries and submit them to SFS.

JET is used for:

  • Inter-Departmental Billings (JRB journal mask)
  • Revenue Transfers (JRR journal mask)
  • Budget Journals (BD journal mask) – See Budget Office webpage for more info
  • Non-Salary Cost Transfer Journals (JRT journal mask) – JRT access is rarely granted because cost transfers should be done through the Cost Transfer Tool
  • Inter-Unit Journals (IUJ journal mask) – To make transfers to different UW-System Schools. Access is rarely granted outside of Accounting Services

In addition to the different Transaction types, JET also has two levels of permissions. The lower level permission allows the user to use all the functionality of JET with the exception of being able to “Submit to SFS”. The purpose of this lower level permission is to give someone access to prepare the journals and resolve any edit errors, and then a different person with the higher permission level will review the journal and submit it.  To request the lower permission level don’t check the “User Can Submit to SFS” box on the access request form.

Journals submitted by 3 p.m. will be posted the same day and available to view in WISER the next day.

Most JET journals must have supporting documentation attached. Accounting Services will review and approve a sampling of journals every day.

View JET documentation guidelines (Word doc)

JET Training (PowerPoint)

Download JET, login help, and user guide

JET Excel Upload Templates

JET Text Uploads Specs

Download JET Authorization Form

Cost Transfer Tool (CTT)

The Cost Transfer Tool is the preferred method to process both Salary and Non-Salary Cost Transfers. It is preferred to JET because it has workflow and several approval levels built in, as well as required documentation and history that can be audited. An expense has to have already occured to be able to transfer it to different funding.

Please keep in mind that it is better to determine the funding of a transaction correctly prior to its initial posting; rather than to process cost transfers to move charges after the initial posting.

  • Non-Salary Cost Transfers – once the final approval is made the tool automatically interfaces the info through JET and into SFS, creating a journal entry immediately (3 pm deadline still applies for journals to be posted same day)
  • Salary Cost Transfers – once the final approval is made they enter a queue to be manually entered as Direct Retros in HRS. The status of the transfer will remain at “3 – Waiting to Post” until Accounting Services Staff have entered them into HRS, at which time the status of the transfer will change to “4 – Completed”

Access to the tool is available to any current employee with a NetID. Divisional financial staff are delegated to approve transfers for their division

Cost Transfer Tool Delegation for Divisional Approvers

Sign in to the Cost Transfer Tool

Cost Transfer Tool Training Manual (PDF)

Contact with any questions

Perceptive Content/ImageNow

Is used for a variety of reasons across campus. For Business Services it is used for workflow and storage of financial documents like payment requests and gift documentation. Many of the links in WISDM and WISER are actually launching a web browser to this system. Positive approvals for invoices are also done through Perceptive.


See the Purchasing page for more info.

Human Resource System (HRS)

Financial data like Salary and Fringe Expenses flow to SFS GL. Other employee detail data flows directly to WISDM/WISER.


The primary financial reporting tool available to departmental staff is WISER which replaced WISDM in 2019. WISER is a data mart, or warehouse, of UW financial information used by all UW System campuses which contains financial and demographic information from Shared Financial System (SFS), HRS, and Grants. This data includes GL, AP, Payroll, Expense, Travel, Grants, and Tuition Remission data to name a few.

WISER is a read only tool, which means it only reports information; no information can be entered, changed, or updated through the portal.

Images of Payment Requests (invoices, PIRs, DPs) and Gift Documents are available through links in WISER. These links open in a different system called Perceptive Experience.

Additional information and guides

WISDM Data Views

WISER and WISDM are not the only way to get SFS data. Data Views are also available that can be accessed via query tools like SQL, Hyperion or Microsoft Access.

Data View Documentation

Data View Authorization Form


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WISER Contact  –