Stratus Financials Training & Resources
Financial Systems & Technology offers resources on Stratus Financials functions through a series of detailed self-help documents in PDF format and selected videos.
Please review the self-help documents, presentations and videos available via the links under the headings throughout this page. If you still need additional training, please contact Brian Starkloff.
stratus assistance and training
Need help getting started? Unsure who to contact for help? General questions that need answering? Please contact the Stratus Financials Team at stratusfinancialsteam AT_TOWSON or 410-704-2188.
For assistance, training, and resources for the different Stratus Financials modules, please see our videos and documents below as well as the Who to Contact list at the bottom of this page
- All TU employees should complete training for the modules you expect to use, starting with general navigation, employee reimbursements, travel and purchasing.
- Supervisors, financial stewards and cost center managers must complete training for all Stratus modules. Financial stewards and cost center managers should review the quick reference guide (PDF).
- These docs apply to more than one module so it might be helpful to refer to them throughout the process: Stratus glossary terms and definitions (EXCEL), delegate/reassign tasks when out of office (PDF) and manage delegates (PDF).
Additional Stratus access
Does your role require additional access in Stratus?
Some campus users will need elevated roles in Stratus to perform tasks such as:
- Journal Entries
- Requisition/PO Management for other staff
- Invoice Management for other staff
- Departmental Invoicing
- Watch the general navigation training video (VIDEO)
- Review the general navigation quick reference guide (PDF)
General Navigation FAQ
Who can I call to get someone to answer questions about Stratus as they arise?
We have a Stratus Help Desk. Either call 410-704-2188 or email stratusfinancialsteam AT_TOWSON during normal business hours, the phone line and email are manned. The helpdesk is trained to either quickly address your question or if more involved, get you to the correct expert.
How do I log into Stratus?
What are Infotiles?
Infotiles, also called tiles, act like dashboards alerting you to top priorities, such as items not submitted and rejected or pending approvals.
Why don't I see some of the modules referenced in training?
Your access/view in the system is tailored to your role, so now that Stratus is live, you might not see modules that you won’t need to use.
Why are Stratus pages not displaying for me?
Web browser pop-up blockers can prevent Stratus pages from displaying. Here's how to display them if a Stratus page doesn’t appear:
- Look for pop-up blocker icon in your browser window. It’s usually in the top right corner, identified with a red x.
- Click on the icon and select the option to "always allow pop-ups from the Stratus URL.”
- Click Done/Save.
I've received a Stratus email with actions required (such as approve, reject or request info) but clicking through launches a blank browser window. How can I fix this?
You'll need to set your default email app to Outlook. Here’s how:
- Using the Windows search feature, search for “Choose a default email app.”
- Under Email, click on the email app displayed.
- Select “Outlook” from the list of apps.
Mac users should follow the instructions for setting a default email app on a Mac.
Is a ticket system coming for Stratus like the OTS Tech Help request?
The Stratus Financials Team has created a feedback form to allow end users to provide feedback, report issues, and request system improvements. The Feedback Form is located on the Stratus Financials landing page. Once completed, it will be routed to the appropriate functional or technical team for analysis and resolution. Data from this form will also be collected and reviewed for future training and enhancements.
Can a Financial Steward and Cost Center Manager be the same person in workflow approvals?
Financial Stewards and Cost Center Managers should not be the same person. Two separate approvals are required for most financial workflows.
After I approved an item, sometimes they resurface to be approved again.
If something was rejected by an approver for an error or correction, it needs to be reentered into the approval workflow again. Using the Actions>View Approvals option from your notification can show you the full approval trail, if something was rejected, who has and hasn’t approved it yet, etc.
What can be changed and what are we stuck with?
Oracle Cloud is not customizable like with PeopleSoft. We can configure within the cloud, but options are limited and during the implementation the entire team configured Stratus as close to our previous business processes as possible. Analyzing and adjusting your business processes is critical to moving forward. When presented with issues or opportunities we are reviewing our current configurations to see if we can change the configuration without causing additional issues. Sometimes we are limited by the State of Maryland, auditors and compliance.
Chart of Accounts
- Watch the chart of accounts training video (VIDEO)
- Learn about the alias feature in Stratus (VIDEO)
- Review the chart of accounts crosswalk (EXCEL)
- Review the list and descriptions of Stratus account codes (EXCEL)
- Compare PeopleSoft and Stratus COA Terminology (PDF)
- How to use shorthand aliases in Stratus (PDF)
Chart of Accounts FAQ
How do I know which source code to use?
The source code is the same as the previous fund code in PeopleSoft. You can find them in the chart of accounts crosswalk document on the chart of the accounts webpage.
What is the “alias” within the chart of accounts?
The alias is a “shorthand” way to streamline data entry of the chart of accounts (COA) and can be used with financial documents such as invoices, expenses, purchase requisitions and journal entries. Alias is used like the previous speed type feature in PeopleSoft Financials system: enter either a five digit cost center or a seven digit research Grant ProjectID followed by a %, and the correct COA string will be brought onto the transaction. Learn more (PDF).
Where is the PeopleSoft ProjectID found within the chart of accounts?
The PeopleSoft seven digit ProjectID is no longer part of the chart of accounts in Stratus. All PeopleSoft ProjectIDs that started with a 5, 6, 7 or 8 have been replaced by a source and cost center combination in the new chart of accounts. However, research grant ProjectIDs starting with a 5, will continue to be assigned and used as a prefix for the cost center description as well as set up as an alias for easy searching. We continue to assign Grant cost centers and ProjectIDs in planning for the potentional future implementation of a new Grants and Projects module within Stratus. Compare PeopleSoft and Stratus chart of accounts fields and terms (PDF). You can find your source and cost center values related to your ProjectIDs in the chart of accounts crosswalk document (EXCEL).
- Watch the journals training video (VIDEO).
- How to install the Excel Add-in required for journal spreadsheets on a PC (PDF).
- How to create a spreadsheet journal entry (PDF).
- How to approve a spreadsheet journal entry (PDF).
- How to search for journals in Stratus (PDF).
- Search for cost center information on the Chart of Accounts Crosswalk (Excel)
- Search for a listing of Stratus Account Codes (Excel)
How are accounting transactions transferred to the general ledger in Stratus?
Accounting/financial transactions in Stratus are transferred to the general ledger (GL) through spreadsheet, manual, import and automatic journals. Users in Stratus with the TU Budget Analyst role will use the spreadsheet journals function to create journal entries. Manual, import and automatic journals will only be utilized by the core/central financial office staff when applicable.
If you need access to create journal entries, you will need to fill out the Stratus Financials Security Form - Campus Users and check the box for the TU Budget Analyst role.
What are key features of the Stratus journal spreadsheet?
Key features of the Stratus journal spreadsheet include a simple design with information consolidated onto one worksheet; and a journal name replacing the previous PeopleSoft journal number. Journal approvals are part of the spreadsheet journal process in Stratus. All journal creators will be required to approve their journals which facilitates the submission of attachments to the Stratus Team for review, ultimate approval and posting of campus journals. The Stratus Financials team is made up of individuals within the Financial Systems and Technology unit.
Do journal sources remain the same?
Yes. Previously known as Journal Sources in Peoplesoft, they are now called Categories in Stratus. For the vast majority of cases, the journal category INT (interdepartmental request) should be used. For any transfer of expenses between different departments or different account codes, INT must be used for the journal source.
For a listing of other journal categories (if needed), see our journal category listing (PDF).
A report matrix (EXCEL) was developed to assist users in determining what reports are available in Stratus: the matrix also contains a column listing the PeopleSoft equivalent report.
Stratus Reports Listing
AP Invoice & Expense Details, Revenue & Expense Journal Details
Budget Summary Reports
Budget Transaction Details Report
Foundation Reimbursement Reports
Fund Balance Summary
Parent Level Reports
Payroll Detail Reports
ProCard Expense Report Details
Requisition and Purchase Order Reports
Travel Expense Reports
How does the new chart of accounts (COA) affect reporting?
Additional hierarchies have been developed which will provide improved reporting such as expanded grouping capabilities.
Did nVision go away?
Yes. Don’t worry, you can run budget reports in Stratus.
Is there a way to look up only my own invoice or expense information?
The TU_BC_DAT_Invoice_Expense_list report provides a listing of invoices/expense reports that have been processed through the system and sent to Annapolis for payment. You can run this report by cost center(s). This report will contain the RStars check number and date when it is sent to us from the State. We receive this data daily. We realize a report of invoices that are pending would be helpful and it is on the list of reports that need to be developed so stay tuned.
Is there a way to see what PO numbers are, and how much money is left in each?
There is a report called TU_BC_REQ_PO_Listing that can be run by Cost Center or for just a particular PO number which should provide the information you seek.
The Order Life Cycle indicates how much has been invoiced already once a PO has partially liquidated – but is there someplace that tells how much remains in each PO?
Run the TU_BC_REQ_PO_Listing report which will give you the remaining balance for each cost center.
The new DAT report doesn’t serve anywhere near the needs of what the old one did in PeopleSoft. For example, how can we verify the transfers we’ve received if we’re unsure which month they occurred?
You are not limited to run detailed reports for a particular month. You can run through today’s date if you like and can export and view/filter the results. From the budget summary reports you can drill down from any of the columns whether it be revised budget, current month or YTD or Life to date for grants to get the details behind those summary numbers.
In PeopleSoft, you can simply generate one report for each cost center including everything: Summary, Revenue & Expense transactions, pending pro card details, posted pro card details, budget transfer info, purchase order details, requisition details. Now you must go to different locations to generate different reports and manually combine them for one cost center. It takes more time, especially when we need to check for different cost centers.
We agree and we are working towards a better reporting experience but it will take time and resources. The DAT you are used to was developed and enhanced over multiple years. As mentioned, Stratus is a cloud based product and cannot be customized like PeopleSoft so we are limited to the tools and data structure they provide. The good news is there are newer capabilities that include dashboards and analytics that we are learning and will eventually be very beneficial.
who to contact
A broad range of contact phone numbers and websites is listed on our Who to Contact (PDF) document.
Stratus Financials Team
For questions regarding Stratus Financials general navigation, chart of accounts, journal uploads, reporting, or Stratus Financials access, please see our Training & Resources page. You may also contact the Stratus Financials Team at stratusfinancialsteam AT_TOWSON or 410-704-2188.
For questions regarding travel expenses, please contact the Business Travel Office at travel AT_TOWSONor 410-704-5421.
Stratus training and resources for travel expenses can be found here.
Financial Services Help Line
For questions regarding Payroll or Accounts Payable please contact the Financial Services Help Line at finservehelp AT_TOWSON or 410-704-5599.
Stratus training and resources for employee reimbursements and payables can be found here.
Procurement and ProCard Questions
For questions regarding ProCard and Purchasing, please contact the Procurement Department at procurement AT_TOWSON or 410-704-2171.
Stratus training and resources for ProCard expenses and purchasing can be found here.