The Applications Group manages Penn's financial applications, BEN Financials, in order to support timely and meaningful financial transaction entry and reporting.
We facilitate compliance with generally accepted accounting principles, regulatory requirements, and with Penn policies and procedures by enforcing adequate controls within the application systems.
We work closely with business owners in the Comptroller's Office, Purchasing Services, School and Centers, and Information Services and Computing (ISC) to ensure that Penn's financial systems meet the University's needs.
Consistent with Information Systems and Computing's recommendations for accessing Penn's central administrative systems, these are the desktop configurations for BEN Financials. Consult your Local Support Provider if you have questions or need assistance installing the software.
Windows 7 and 8
NOTE: In order for IE 11 to work with BEN Financials. ‘upenn.edu’ must be added to the Compatibility View (Tools > Compatibility View settings).
NOTE: Planning users will not be able to access Planning using IE 11. Browser recommendations for Planning is located here: Office of Budget and Management Analysis
Mac OS 10.x
Requirements for BEN Financials and BEN Pays Invoice Imaging: To use BEN Pays, BEN Balances, and/or the full complement of BEN Buys capabilities, you will need this configuration:
Only network printers are supported for printing Concurrent Manager reports from BEN Financials.
NOTE: BEN Financials reports are printed in black and white, using plain text, even if the printer used supports color printing.
There are two important areas to consider when thinking of data security. One is protecting data, especially sensitive data, from compromise. Data is compromised when an unauthorized individual reads or changes it.
The second area is protecting the use of personal IDs. Each BEN Financials record is stamped with the logon ID of the person who entered or modified the record. If someone other than the user enters or modifies data using his/her logon ID, the user is held responsible for the changes.
It is the responsibility of all BEN Financials users to be familiar with and follow the advice in the brochure "Information Security at Penn" available at: Office of Information Security.
Logon IDs are used to identify the person responsible for entering and changing data in the BEN Financials system. They are issued by a central authority granting access to a system or application. BEN Financials Logon IDs are the same as the user's PennKey ID.
Passwords are used to secure logon IDs from use by unauthorized individuals. Passwords are created by the user. If carefully chosen and protected, the password is the user's best line of defense for protecting data.
Protecting Sensitive Data from Disclosure
Sensitive or confidential data includes any data which could cause harm, either to the University or to the subject of the data, if disclosed. Examples include payroll information, medical information, performance appraisals, social security numbers, student records (legally protected), etc.
Data can be compromised if a PC or laptop is stolen, diskettes or files are stolen, someone sits down at an unsecured desktop computer (user logs on and leaves the area), or someone obtains a password and abuses privileged data. Sensitive data (IDs and passwords) can be captured while being transmitted over a network from the desktop to a server.
The user can prevent data compromise by securing computers and media - keep offices locked, use locking file cabinets for storing removable media (disks, tapes, etc.) and use locking screen savers. Insure file sharing programs are properly installed for the user's computer (Macintosh file sharing, Microsoft Windows 98, Novell).
Social Security Numbers (SSN) must be treated with confidentiality. Social security numbers can be used to obtain a variety of personal data. Users can protect SSN confidentiality by:
Protecting Critical Data from Loss
Critical data should be backed up to guard against loss due to equipment failure or loss. Software does not need to be backed up but the original diskettes should be stored in a safe place. Each user should determine how much data he/she can afford to lose and then should back up data accordingly. Backups should be kept in a different location. Use lock down equipment on computer if it is not installed in a locked office.
Note: BEN Financials data is backed up at the system level. This section is included to remind BEN Financials users that data downloaded to desktop servers, Local Area Networks (LANs), DEC, UNIX or other mainframes should be safeguarded from loss.
Computer Security Statement
To insure that all computer users are aware of the security policies at the University, the following statement will be reviewed and acknowledged by all computer users annually.
As an individual whose position requires interaction with any or all of the University's administrative information systems, I understand that I may be provided with direct access to confidential and valuable data and/or use of data/voice systems. In the interest of maintaining the integrity of these systems and of ensuring the security and proper use of University resources:
- I will maintain the confidentiality of my password for all systems to which I have access.
- I will maintain in strictest confidence the data to which I have access. The Information viewed will not be shared in any manner with others who are Unauthorized to view such data.
- I will use my access to the University's systems for the sole purpose of Conducting official business of the University. I understand that the use of these Systems and their data for personal purposes is prohibited.
- I understand that any abuse of my access to the University's systems and their data, any illegal use or copying of software, any misuse of the University's equipment, may result in disciplinary action, loss of access to the University's systems, and possible sanctions up to and including dismissal from the University.
A dedicated browser is recommended for a BEN Financials session. Users will logon to BEN Financials through the logon page located at the following URL: BEN Financials
There are three levels of security for BEN Financials. The first is the application logon ID, second is the BEN Financials responsibility and third is ORG security. Each of these levels serves a purpose in insuring that only authorized users have access to the system and that they only have access to the appropriate screens, functions, and data within the system.
Users should contact their Business or Access Administrator. with database and security questions or problems.
Completion of BEN Financials training is required to obtain access to BEN Financials applications.
In addition to training, a BEN Financials Access Request eForm.
The Requestor completes a BEN Financials Access Request eForm. The Requestor will be required to select their Supervisor and submit the eForm. The eForm will be routed to the Supervisor who will be required to select the School/Center Access Administrator. The eForm will route to the School/Center Access Administrator who may approve the eForm.
When the School/Center Access Administrator approves the eForm, the completed eForm will be routed to Purchasing Services if a BEN Buys responsibility was requested or it will be routed directly to Financial Systems if a non-BEN Buys responsibility was requested. Financials Systems will approve and process the eForm.
Once the eForm is processed, an email will be generated. The email will contain the Requestors BEN Financials Username ID and instructions on how to obtain your BEN Financials password.
Note: The BEN Financials Username ID is the same as the user's PennKey ID.
Modifications of BEN Financials security profiles must be requested by completing the BEN Financials Access Request eForm. All approvals (i.e. Supervisor and School/Center Access Administrator) are required on requests for new IDs, adding new responsibilities, changes and/or modifications i.e. removing a responsibility, adding/removing ORG security, etc.
It is essential that Supervisors complete a BEN Financials Access Request eForm for each and every staff member who transfers to another department. Each BEN Financials Logon ID has Organization specific security. This security access must be terminated when the employee goes to another position.
Deleting Logon IDs
A BEN Financials Access Request eForm must be completed for staff members that resign, are terminated or retire from the University and have access to the BEN Buys application (PO Manager responsibility).
The New Requirements will be as follows:
The Logon ID identifies the user to BEN Financials. Any use of the BEN Financials applications is the responsibility of the user, identified by logon ID. As part of the logon ID, it is important that BEN Financials users choose passwords carefully and guard against anyone else using them.
A temporary password is assigned when the logon ID is assigned. The user is required to change the password when logging into the application for the first time. Passwords should be changed at regular intervals and at any time they may have been compromised.
Security Passwords - What's the Big Deal?
The password is what prevents other people from misusing University administrative systems in the user's name. If a password is compromised - if it is shared with someone, written down or scripted in any automatic logon - then other people can misuse University systems and it will appear as if the user did it.
Passwords are stored in an encrypted format in password files. The average user would not be able to look at the file and determine an individual's password. However, some individuals have been able to steal files and "crack" or decipher the encrypted codes to illegally learn passwords. One "cracking" method is to obtain the encrypting program, encrypt every word in the dictionary and then compare that list to the list of encrypted passwords. If an individual's password is in the dictionary, the "password cracker" then knows what it is. This is why it is important to choose strong passwords. Strong passwords are those that don't appear in crackers' dictionaries - include special characters (e.g. *,!,+,?), numerals and a mixture of upper and lower case letters.
Application passwords must be comprised of:
Note: The application password is case sensitive
BEN Financials Login Screen
The user must logon to the BEN Financials application.
BEN Financials Homepage
Each BEN Financials application has many defined responsibilities. Each responsibility allows access to a defined set of functions. Each user will have one or more responsibilities. A responsibility must be selected as part of the application logon process.
Changing the BEN Financials Application Password
You will be required to change your BEN Financials application password every 30 days.
Note: The BEN Financials application password can be changed at any time from within the BEN Financials Self Service Navigator by selecting User Preferences or Requisitioner.
To change your password from User Preferences
To change your password from Requisitioner
BEN Financials Log Off
Business Enterprise Network (BEN)
BEN Support Contacts
Contact BEN Helps for help in using BEN applications. Call 6-HELP (6-4357 or 215-746-4357) or enter a ticket via BEN Helps Online Support.
Contact your local support provider for help in setting up your computer to access BEN Financials.
BEN Helps Support Service
What is BEN Helps?
BEN Helps is the enhanced support service for users of the University's business and financial applications. By simply dialing 6-HELP (215.746.4357), you can get help with BEN Financials, Individual Disbursement Services, Concur Travel or Expense, BEN Deposits and Penn Works. If asked to enter your 2-digit School/Center code, it is the first 2 digits of your CNAC (see School/Center Codes below).
In addition to calling 6-HELP, you can enter a ticket via BEN Helps Online Support, search BEN Knows for possible solutions to your BEN Financials and BEN Reports questions or refer to your training materials.
What are BEN Financials?
BEN Financials consists of:
Trained Financial Support Providers (FSPs) will assist you with questions and problems when using BEN Financials.
What are FSPS?
Financial Support Providers, or FSPs, are trained to help you with questions and problems regarding BEN Financials (BEN Assets, BEN Balances, BEN Buys and BEN Pays).
By dialing 6-HELP (215-746-4357), selecting Option 1 for BEN Financials then entering your 2-digit School/Center code (the first 2 digits of your CNAC), you will be routed to an FSP. The FSP will remain your contact until your problem is resolved.
* Please Note: Normal processing requests of a Central area, such as posting encumbrance journals, creating orgs, etc., should continue to be directed to the appropriate areas within the Division of Finance.
What is BEN Knows?
BEN Knows is the place to browse and search for possible solutions to your BEN Financials and BEN Reports questions.
In addition to using your training materials, calling 6-HELP or entering a ticket via BEN Helps Online Support, BEN Knows is another resource for you to utilize in getting help with your BEN Financials and BEN Reports questions.
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