Frequently Asked Questions

  • General ARC Info

    What is ARC?

    ARC is the acronym for Accounting and Reporting at Columbia, which is the University’s web-based financial system, and includes modules for general accounting, procurement, and project costing (tracking financial information over a project life). Click here for additional information about ARC.

    Is ARC training available?

    Yes.  Before obtaining access to ARC, users are required to complete a designated training curriculum based on his/her security role(s). The Finance Gateway contains a robust catalog of training materials designed to help you understand ARC and prepare you for your role within it. Your required training curriculum has been designed based on your roles and responsibilities in the new and retrofitted financial systems. In order to learn more about your ARC security role(s) and your corresponding required ARC training, please click here.  For an interactive matrix of all ARC security roles and associated training, view the Required Trainings by Role Chart.

    How do I access ARC?

    ARC is web-based and accessible via standard web browsers, i.e. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Safari.  You will be required to log on securely with your UNI and password to gain access to the system. Your role will determine what you will have access to in ARC, and which system training courses you will need to take.  Learn more

    What data will I be able to see in ARC?

    The data you are able to see in ARC or related reports will depend upon your role.

    What types of reporting tools are available?

    To learn about numerous reporting options, click here.  See also Reporting FAQs.

    Is system information real-time?

    ARC reports and inquiries executed in the production instance access real-time information.  Reports and inquiries executed in the Financial Data Store (from ARC Portal) access information that is one day old.

    Why do I have to log back into ARC after 30 minutes of inactivity?

    To be compliant with University security guidelines, ARC will log users out of the application after a 30 minute period of inactivity.  (FDS reports "time-out" in 15 minutes.) However, two minutes before the session timeout, ARC provides a warning that your browser session is about to expire.  You then have the option of continuing with your current session by clicking the OK button in the warning message.  Note: being active in the system mean actually interacting with the database.  Clicking in a field, inserting text in a field, etc. is not considered system activity.  Conducting searches for data, saving a transaction, submitting a transaction for approval are examples of system activity.

    If I have multiple windows of ARC open, will ARC log me out of all sessions when the first session expires?

    Yes.  The timer for the period of inactivity is based on the earliest session. 

    Does ARC require a certain operating system or web-browser?

    Click here for a list of operating systems and internet browsers that have been tested and approved for use with ARC, the FDS, and UPK web-based training.

    Why am I prompted to provide my log-in credentials so many times when working in ARC?

    ARC supports single sign-on functionality, but that feature is limited to ARC and does not extend to the systems and websites that interface with ARC.  You can log-in to My Columbia, access the ARC Portal and navigate throughout ARC without receiving additional log-in prompts.  Single sign-on does not extend to all the tools created to support ARC.  The Chart of Accounts crosswalk, for example, is a webtool that has been built to help translate between FAS Account and ARC ChartString.  This tool resides outside of ARC, and for security, it requires a log-on.  Training resources such as job aids are intended to be helpful when completing transactions.  But they also require a log-in as they are hosted on a different server and are not part of ARC.  Note: if you are using the web brower’s back button, you may accidentally navigate out of ARC.  This will mean having to log-in again to access ARC.  Don’t use the web browser’s back button to navigate in ARC.  Instead, use the University Navigation Header, Main Menu, Drop-Down Menu, Breadcrumbs and other buttons/links that ARC provides when appropriate to navigate to recently used pages.  Using the back button may lead to loss of data, and frustration at having to log back in to ARC.

  • Legacy Systems

    Legacy Systems


    Q. Who do I contact if I need to reset my ID?
    A. The Help Desk can reset your password. The Help Desk can be reached at 854-1919 or by email at



    Q. Who can I contact to reset my FFE ID?
    A. The Help Desk can reset your password. The Help Desk can be reached at 854-1919 or by email at

    Q. How can I fix a technical problem in FFE?
    A. Running "FFEFIXIT" from within your system will resolve many technical problems. In the event FFEFIXIT does not resolve your problem, please contact the Help Desk at 854-1919 or by email at



    Q. Who can I contact if I have a question about DARTS?
    A. If you currently have DARTS access but are denied access to a particular department or account please contact your business manager first. For Technical Support related questions please contact the Help Desk at 854-1919 or by email at Medical Center Technical Support: 305- HELP(4357



    Q. Who can I contact if I have a question or a request?
    A. A CUNIX ID and password are required to access the form. If you are unable to access the form please contact the Help Desk at 854-1919 or by email at


    Guardian Edge

    Q. Why do I need Guardian Edge installed?

    A. Highly sensitive/confidential data has been mandated to be encrypted (see policies below) and Guardian Edge was chosen as the software solution. In the event of loss or theft of your computer/removable device Guardian Edge will safeguard your data against unauthorized access because a password is required to open the encrypted files.

    Please review the following policies pertaining to data encryption at the University:

    Data Classification Policy defines data as:
    Category HS – Highest Sensitivity (Confidential / Sensitive Data)

     Category MS – Moderate Sensitivity (Internal / Official Use Only Data)
    Category NS – Non-Sensitive (Public Data)
    Data Encryption Policy



    Q. How do I use WinZip to safely send secure password protected encrypted files?

    A. See WinZip How To.


    Technical Problems?

    Please contact the Help Desk at 854-1919 or by email at