Systems Onboarding

There are many systems you’ll use to manage finances for your unit. This module provides a brief description of each system and tells you what you need to know to request access, approve access requests, and learn to use the application.

Request Access

System Access Requests for DFLs describes the access needed by most DFLs, complete with process steps and screenshots.

Approve Access Requests

There are some systems that require a second level of approval in addition to the immediate supervisor. Divisional Finance Leaders are responsible for approving or delegating approval for:

  • Position creation and position funding in UCPath
  • Reimbursements
  • Travel
  • Telecom changes

VC Finance Applications

The applications that are supported by VC Finance are described here.

Cal Answers

Cal Answers is a business intelligence application that makes it easy to access curated data from the campus data warehouse. Dashboards are organized by subject areas such as finance, human resources, student data, gifts, and PI portfolio. Each dashboard has a variety of reports. You select the data to include and the format for the results.

Request Access: Getting Access to Cal Answers – Access by Subject Area has links to request access and required approvals. These subject areas require approval from the employee’s supervisor as recorded in UCPath and the Divisional Finance Leader:

  • Finance including Ad Hoc
  • Finance – IST Phone Usage
  • PermBudg including Ad Hoc
  • Payroll

Approve Access Requests

As you review and approve access requests, pay close attention to the employee role and entity to ensure that the scope of access provided is not greater than what the employee manages.

Recommended Training

  • Cal Answers Basic Navigation online self-study course. Learn to determine which dashboard and report to use to answer your questions and how to use prompts, report features, customizations, and documentation to work efficiently and confidently.
  • Cal Answers Basic Navigation - Financial is a live online course in which small groups work to solve a series of challenges using the basic navigation skills covered in the Cal Answers Basic Navigation self-study course.


CalPlanning is our campus application used to maintain the current year forecast and plan the operating budget for the following year. You can report on plan and actuals for a point in time or for a cumulative period.

Request Access: Each campus unit has identified a CalPlanning Access Provider who is responsible for requesting CalPlanning access for new users as well as changes to access for existing users by submitting a CalPlanning Access Request Form. In most cases, the Access Provider is the DFL.

Approve Access Requests: As you review and approve access requests, pay close attention to the employee role and entity to ensure that the scope of access provided is not greater than what the employee manages. In addition, the user must have either previously completed training required for user access level being requested or have a verbal agreement in place with Unit to provide coaching and training as needed.

Recommended Training

  • CalPlanning: Introduction and; Reporting is the foundation course in which you’ll learn about the data in CalPlanning and how to use templates to generate standardized reports for your unit. This course has 2 to 4 hours of required self-study prior to the 1.5 hour group learning session. Enroll in CalPlanning: Introduction and Reporting.
  • Smart View Ad Hoc for CalRptg introduces participants to the Smart View Essbase application using the CalRptg database. You will learn to create ad hoc queries and reports to extract information in the format you desire. This course has two parts, each with 2 hours of self-study required prior to a 2 hour group session held online using Zoom. The two group sessions are scheduled approximately one week apart. Enroll in Smart View Ad Hoc for CalRptg.
  • If you will be entering plan data into CalPlanning, the Navigating CalPlan and Navigating Human Capital Planning (HCP) courses show you how to use the forms available in CalPlan and HCP using the web interface. Smart View for Planning teaches participants how to use the CalPlan and HCP data entry forms to enter data in an Excel interface.

Cal Time

Cal Time is our timekeeping system. You'll enter time and approve for your direct reports.

Request Access: access is automatically granted to all employees

Recommended Training: CalTime Training has videos for employees and supervisors

Berkeley Financial System (BFS)

Berkeley Financial System (BFS) is the system of record for financial reporting. It is used to pay suppliers, bill and collect receivables, manage contact and grant awards, and record financial transactions.

Request Access: Use System Access Request Application (SARA) to request access to BFS. On the BFS, BIBS, and BearBUY Access screen, go to the Access Roles Restricted by Org Node section and check the boxes for the roles needed.

Approve Access Requests: As you review and approve access requests, pay close attention to the employee role and entity to ensure that the scope of access provided is not greater than what the employee manages.

Recommended Training:BFS Training

Berkeley Reimbursement System

Berkeley’s Reimbursement System is used for reporting and requesting reimbursement for travel and entertainment expenses.

Request Access: Access is automatically granted to everyone that has a CalNet ID

Recommended Training: Report Expenses has job aids and videos that walk you through the processes of creating and approving entertainment expense reports.

Other campus applications

Here are some other applications that you will use. These applications are not supported by VC Finance. Links to the application websites are provided so you can learn about requesting access and resources for learning.

ConnexUC (Travel)

Faculty and staff use the ConnexUC travel portal to book air, hotel, and car reservations. Get started with the Book a Flight job aid.


UCPath is the University of California’s payroll, benefits, human resources and academic personnel system for all UC employees. The UCPath system is used at every UC location, including campuses, medical centers, research centers, and UC Office of the President (UCOP). Learn to use UCPath

Campus Solutions and Cal Central

Campus Solutions and Cal Central are used to assess fees and provide an interface for students to remit payment. Departmental process for assessing / administering non-tuition and fee charges.


BearBUY is our procure-to-pay system that manages the workflow from shopping, purchase requisition, and purchase order all the way through fulfillment, voucher entry, approval and payment in an intuitive easy-to-use interface.

Request Access: every employee can be a shopper. Other roles such as approver require approval. Transactions associated with specific chartfield values may require approval. Request via System Access Request Application (SARA).

Approve Access Requests:Use System Access Request Application(SARA) to approve access requests.

Recommended Training: BearBUY virtual training sessions and instructional resources including job aids and reference materials

Job Builder

Job Builder is an application for using Job Standards to create individual position descriptions. A Job Standard is a predefined template which describes the Scope, Key Responsibilities and Knowledge and Skills requirements of a specific job level within a job family. All Job Standards are categorized by Job Family, Job Function, Job Category and Job Code.