What are Shadow Systems?

A shadow system is a program or spreadsheet that is:

  • Developed/purchased by the end user (such as the department)
  • Outside of the direct control of Finance and Accounting
  • Used to help manage fiscal operations locally/internally

An example may be an accounting software program (Quickbooks, Sage, Great Plains, etc.), a Point of Sale (POS) Software, spreadsheets used to track grants/projects, etc.


The University’s official system of record is the myUFL General Ledger.

At times, departments may find it helpful to maintain a shadow system.  If a shadow system is utilized to process University transactions (such as customer billing), that activity should be reconciled monthly, at a minimum, to the data in myUFL.  In addition, all University policies, guidelines, and internal control requirements apply to the data and processes within the shadow system.

Various resources are available within myUFL which may allow for elimination/reduced reliance on shadow systems and help in reduction of inconsistent or duplicate information.

Please contact the University Controller’s Office for questions about shadow systems or myUFL financial resources.

Tier 1 and 2 Responsibilities

  • If a shadow system is used, the reports from the shadow system should be used as support for the reconciliation but not the basis of the reconciliation
  • The shadow system should be reconciled monthly to myUFL

Tier 3 Responsibilities

  • Spot-check the shadow system against the myUFL ledger to be sure balances and transactions are accurately reflected


UF HR Toolkit – Reconciliation


PRO303 – Internal Controls at UF

CFO400 – Fiscal Responsibility for UF Leaders


University Controller’s Office: (352) 392-1321

Office of Internal Audit: (352) 392-1391

Last Reviewed

Last reviewed on 03/20/2024