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The “President & Fellows of Harvard University” is the singular legal entity under which all financial activity operates.

Harvard Law School (HLS) is one of twelve professional schools at Harvard University. HLS is bound by Harvard University’s policies and best practices, with appropriate discretion to add additional policies and practices as necessary. HLS is accountable to the University for its financial administration, and is subject to annual and ad hoc audits, including explanation of budget variances. HLS’ approach to financial administration reflects the fact that we are a medium-sized school among Harvard peers.

Ultimately all financial transactions are reviewed and approved by HLS Finance. Payments are processed out of a centralized Harvard University office.

The Financial Office Is Comprised Of Four Areas

  • Accounting & Operations – Financial administration including processing and approving payments, safeguarding internal controls
  • Faculty Administration – Management of permanent and visiting faculty payroll, allowances, and expenses

Org Chart

Initial Training

ROPPA – Responsibilities of Purchasers, Preparers and Approvers (REQUIRED) Overview of Harvard’s policy for anyone who orders supplies or services, processes financial transactions, or approves expenses. (20 minute training)

Understanding the Chart of Accounts – (REQUIRED) Overview of the basic Harvard accounting codes and required for all administrative and financial staff who process, track, or review financial transactions. (20 minute training)

Overview of Harvard University Finances – (SUGGESTED TRAINING) Overview of Harvard’s Finances to provide a clearer picture of how Harvard’s finances work within the organization, a financial context, and higher education. (2 hour training, offered periodically)

Next Steps

For Department Heads and Senior Leaders, connect with the Financial Planning Team & our CFO.

All Financial Preparers & Approvers should continue to the Financial Administrators section below for training and resources. 

Please note there are additional resources specific to financial roles within Administrative Departments, Clinics, and Faculty Support Services (FSS). There are also additional required trainings for Research Administrators.

  • Financial Administrators (for preparers and approvers)

    Financial Program Training

    • Buy-to-Pay – financial program used to process financial payments to suppliers and non-employees, ordering supplies, contract repository
      • Supplier Portal Overview – required training for setting up new vendors, searching for existing vendors, and maintaining supplier profiles
      • Requestor Essentials – required training for processing invoices, reimbursements and cart management
      • Approver Essentials – required training for navigating the approval process
    • PCard Overview – required training for cardholders or those responsible for administration and/or reconciling of the card. Purchasing card for small local purchases.
    • Concur – suggested training for financial program used to process reimbursements for employees

    Additional Resources

    • HART – Harvard Analytics and Reporting Tool; for financial reporting, including transaction-level detail

    Next steps:

    Request access to financial systems as needed from your department’s Financial Associate

    Review specific role information below (if applicable)

  • Administrative Departments, Clinics, FSS
  • Research
    • Start with basic required trainings in above section
    • 13-course Research Administration Onboarding Program – Self-paced courses that provide an overview of Sponsored Research from start to finish (~30 minutes each)
      • Please note: consult with Research Administration to determine which, if not all, of the courses are appropriate for your role
    • Set up meeting with Financial Associate to review financial programs
    • Set up meeting with Research Administration to review sponsored awards