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Finding your research balances and other tips

It's been two months since McMaster's new finance and research post-award system launched. In this update, we answer four common questions from faculty members:

First, the Mosaic team would like to thank you for your support and patience through this transition. It takes time to learn the new terms, new processes and new software, and the team appreciates your efforts. This is the largest administrative project in McMaster's history and requires a correspondingly large change effort. (Refer to our recent Status Update for a summary of the transition.)

Research project reporting

The Mosaic team has an online report in PeopleSoft that provides up-to-date project balances. This tool, Flexible Analysis, includes drill down capability, allowing researchers to see the detailed transactions behind a balance. As well, a customized report, using the Tri-Council's form 300 categories to group expenses, is currently under development.

A detailed set of instruction for accessing the Flexible Analysis tool is available as an animated guide. You can find the tool in the "My Research" tab on the Mosaic portal. It is important to note that the first time you access these reports you will need to change your user preferences.

  • First time only, complete Maintain Preferences (a step-by-step guide is available as a pdf )
  • Once you have completed the above, you can use the Flexible Analysis tool (a step-by-step guide for the tool is available as a pdf )

How to Access Mosaic

Mosaic can be accessed at http://mosaic.mcmaster.ca . Users can log-in using their MAC ID and password. To access the PeopleSoft system, users must be on the McMaster network or attached through McMaster's Virtual Private Network (VPN). (Users connecting from a Hamilton Health Sciences or St. Joseph's Healthcare facility do NOT need to use the VPN.)

Understanding inter-fund transfers
(why journal entries sometimes appear doubled)

Some faculty members who approve journal entries that involve more than two business units or funds have asked why it appears that new lines for the same amount seem to be added to the journal, doubling the total.

For a journal between two or more different funds or between two or more business units, the system will automatically generate inter-fund transfers to balance the entry to each fund, so that they each balance. This is normal and to be expected. The original journal lines are not affected, and the approver is only authorizing the individual lines entered to their own project or program, not the total amount of the journal entry. The auto-generated lines for account 211000 or 211001 are not attached to anyone's project or program.

Understanding Delegation

Delegation is a word with multiple meanings at McMaster, depending on context. There are three distinct meanings in McMaster financial and research systems. Understanding these three meanings will help you ensure that tasks and authority are assigned correctly.

The three forms of delegation are:

  • 1) Delegate Entry Authority for expense claims (used to allow an administrative assistant to enter travel and expense reports)
  • 2) Delegation of ALL of your authority by Authorizing an Alternate User (Typically, delegations of this type are horizontal or at least a level up in the organization hierarchy.)
  • 3) Appointing someone as a formal delegate on a research project (set-up by research accountants on a researcher's behalf, in accordance with Tri-Council guidelines)

For each form of delegation, it is important to understand what authority is being granted and the scope it covers. A detailed explanation of delegation is available on our website.

Contacts

Mosaic Support Hotline form

Information regarding Mosaic support is available in the "Support" tab at http://mosaic.mcmaster.ca

Website: www.mcmaster.ca/mosaic

Support email: mosaichelp@mcmaster.ca

General email: mosaic@mcmaster.ca