This guide explains the responsibility of intermediate school district business officials (ISDBOs) to ensure each member district has a district business official user (DBO) in Catamaran. The guide also explains which Catamaran activities involve DBOs, how to find out which member districts lack a DBO, and how to approve new DBO user requests.

Overview of Finance Activities in Catamaran

The Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education (MDE) uses Catamaran to track activities, information, and data related to special education compliance. The Finance Unit currently uses Catamaran for Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS), Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Eligibility, MOE Compliance, and Excess Cost activities. Other finance-related compliance activities may be developed in Catamaran in the future.

Currently, three finance-related activities in Catamaran involve DBOs: CEIS, MOE Eligibility and Excess Cost. In order for member districts to participate in each of these activities, each district must have at least one DBO in Catamaran.

Ensure Each Member District Has a DBO

ISDBOs are responsible for ensuring each member district within the ISD has at least one DBO user in Catamaran. ISDBOs can discover which member districts have a DBO by using a report called the District Business Official List. A guide to accessing this report can be found at the ISD Finance Reports and Resources page.

ISDBOs should reach out to their contacts at member districts with no registered DBO and encourage the appropriate individual to register as a new user in Catamaran. New users who indicate they do finance-related work on the new user request form will be assigned the DBO role.

Note: Recently closed districts may appear on this report if they have not been appropriately closed in the Educational Entity Master (EEM). Finance activities in Catamaran provide the ability to exclude such districts from the activity, if necessary, so a DBO may not be needed at such districts.

Approve New User Requests

ISDBOs are responsible for approving new district business official user requests and will be notified of new DBO user requests as they are submitted.

  1. Log into Catamaran.
  2. Choose User Approval from the dropdown menu beneath your name in the upper right-hand corner of the Dashboard page.
Screenshot of Approve New User Requests Dashboard
  1. A list of DBO user requests will be displayed on this User Approval page.
  • Verified means the user has verified their email address after requesting access
  • Unverified means the user has not yet verified their email address
  • Show All will show all user requests
Note: Approving only those requests with verified email addresses is a best practice. This ensures user accounts are not created with email addresses containing typos.
  1. Check to see if the users have an exisiting Catamaran account.
  • When reviewing the user request, hover over the email address to see if they already have an existing account.
  • If they do already have an account, do not take any user approval action. Instead, call the Help Desk and ask for assistance in adding the DBO duties to the existing role.
If they do already have an account, do not take any user approval action. Instead, call the Help Desk and ask for assistance in adding the district business official duties to the existing role.
  1. After reviewing the new user’s information and need for access, click Approve, Deny, Edit or Resend Email.
  • Approve will approve the user and grant them access to Catamaran
  • Deny will deny access to Catamaran
  • Choose Edit to edit their user role or contact information as needed
  • Resend Email will resend the verification email if the user has not yet verified their email address
User approval
Note: After clicking Approve, the DBO user request is now approved. They will receive an email informing them that they now have access to Catamaran.

Need Assistance?

If you need assistance understanding how to navigate Catamaran, please contact the Catamaran Help Desk at 877-474-9023 or

You may also view a brief training video that walks an ISD business official through this user approval process on the Catamaran training website under the Finance Resources page.