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To: University Business Managers
From: Beverly Wyrick, Director of Finance and Administration, The Graduate School

Another season of entering graduate student awards in GradStar is upon us. As you begin, we’d like to make you aware of some new checks in the system to help prevent chartfield errors and budget errors. (Chartfields include Fund, Source, Project, Program Code, etc.) Catching these errors early in the process helps the entries go through the process faster, but if a transaction has an error, the new checks could prevent an award recipient from receiving their award until the error is corrected. We wanted to make sure you knew what to do to prevent this from happening.

New Checks in the System

There are two changes in how GradStar will check entries.

  • Chartfield Errors. Going forward, if a chartfield you enter has an error (called an “edit error”), when you click Save, an error message displays on the screen. You’ll need to resolve the error and re-submit your entry. The system won’t save any entries on the screen if one of the chartfields has an error.
    GradStar now checks to ensure that:

    • the chartfields you entered actually exist in the system
    • the chartfields you entered are an allowable combination
    • the number in the Amount field is a positive number. The system doesn’t allow $0 amounts, negative amounts, or a null/empty amount field.
  • Budget Errors: A new budget checking tool checks your GradStar entries for valid budget. The tool completes the budget check within a day of you submitting the entry. If your entry has a budget error, you will receive an email the next day.
    There are two options for resolving the error:

    1. Work with your business office to set up or move budget so that the entry passes. This is what you will need to do most of the time. Your original entries in GradStar will continue to go through nightly budget checking until they pass, which will occur once your business office sets up or moves budget. You do not need to inactivate and re-enter award entries in this scenario.
    2. Change the original entries in GradStar.

Keep in mind the system won’t process entries with budget errors.

How You Can Prevent Errors

Here are some tips to avoid entering or submitting errors with entries:

  • Double-check with your Finance team before you begin to make sure you’re using the correct chartfield strings and that budget has been set up for them.
  • Use the new Chartfield Checker tool to check your chartfield strings before you put them into GradStar.

Note: You may need to contact your business office for help in resolving the budget error.

  • Double check your work. Did you put a positive number in the Amount field? Did you enter the chartfields and amounts you meant to enter?

You’re Invited:  A Webinar

Quick instructions for using Chartfield Checker are below, but we’re holding a webinar on Wednesday, August 5, from 3:00-3:30 to talk more about the new checks in the system and using Chartfield Checker. To join the webinar, click the link below at least five minutes before the session begins.

Using Chartfield Checker

Chartfield Checker is a web page that lets you type in a chartfield string and an amount to see if the string has enough budget and is a valid string.  For details about Chartfield Checker, refer to the quick reference, but in a nutshell, to use it you:

  1. Go to
  2. For each chartfield string you need to check, enter the complete string and the amount.
  3. Click Submit.


  • If your chartfield string is “okay”, the system shows this message in black text: Chartfield String and Amount are valid. That string is okay to enter into Gradstar.
  • If your chartfield string has an error, the system shows the error in red text, such as: Budget Date out of Bounds. This string won’t be successful in GradStar, so be sure not to use it until you can get the error resolved with your Finance team.

Let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing you at the webinar!

The GradStar Team

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