April 2012

Table of Contents

Procurement Services

Procurement Services Question & Answer (Q&A) Open Forum

You are invited to attend one of Procurement Services upcoming Open forums. Two sessions will be held, one on each campus. Specific dates, times, and locations are as follows:

Tuesday April 17, 2012 - MCV Campus, Molecular Medicine Research Building, Room 1009 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Thursday April 19, 2012 - Monroe Park Campus, Commons Theatre from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Representatives from Purchasing, Travel, and Accounts Payable will be there to present various topics of interest including the proposed Wireless Communication Device policy, VP and Designee approvals, and the test requirements for eVA access.

Approvals and Signatures on Expenditure Documents

Effective immediately, Procurement Services has revised the procedures for verification of approval signatures on documentation submitted to our office. Procurement Services will no longer verify signatures below the Vice President level. It will be the responsibility of the deparment to obtain and verify approval signatures before submitting paperwork to Procurement Services. Each department is responsible for ensuring that expenditure documents are approved by the appropriate Authorized Approver.

The Authorized Approver:

  • should have authorization over the account being charged,
  • should be the employee’s direct supervisor,
  • should not be asked to approve the expenses for an employee to whom they report, and
  • can only approve those reimbursements within their transaction authorization limit.

At VCU an Authorized Approver may be an employee’s supervisor or an employee delegated the responsibility by the responsible Dean or Vice President. While approvals must be made at the levels required by policy, approvals should always move up the chain of command from the payee, not down, to prevent the situation of a subordinate approving a supervisor’s expenses. All signatures on University documents must be originals or electronic; an individual signing another person’s name and initialing it is unacceptable as is anyone using another person’s electronic ID and password. The use of signature stamps is specifically prohibited. Self-approval or the approval of a superior’s expenses is prohibited.

Bottled Water

A change has been made to allow purchases of individual serving sizes of water (bottled water). The following defines the circumstances and permissible funding sources for these purchases.

Purchases of individual serving-sized plastic containers of water are permitted as follows:

  • distribution to/consumption by employees requires use of local funds, except in the case of emergencies or for safety and/or health reasons, in which case state or local funds may be used.
  • as part of business meals or catered events using state or local funds.
  • for information sessions, training sessions, or other events involving prospective students, students, or nonemployees may be made with state or local funds.
  • intensive/substantive training sessions involving only employees may be made with state or local funds
  • information sessions or other events involving employees only requires the use of local funds.

Departments should consider the most eco-friendly (i.e., sustainable) approach in providing business meals/refreshments. All recyclable containers should be placed in the appropriate bin for recycling.

Reminder – Protection Of Personally Identifiable Information

Federal and State law requires protection of personally identifiable information from public access. eVA users are required to comply with the aforementioned law and must ensure such information is not entered into eVA (which is a public website). Examples of personally identifiable information include but are not limited to Social Security numbers, Federal Tax ID numbers, Patient Information, and Personal Banking Information. This personally identifiable information must not be entered in eVA in the title or description fields. In cases where this information has been entered into eVA in these fields, departments should create a change order to remove the information from public view.

Should you have any questions, please contact Patricia Shazer at plshazer@vcu.edu or Sarah O'Neill at sdoneill@vcu.edu.

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Office Supply Contract

Remanufactured Toner Cartridges

Approximately 40% of OEM toner cartridges (Original Equipment Manufacturer, or “name-brand”), such as Hewlett Packard, have remanufactured counterparts available. Departments are strongly encouraged to purchase remanufactured cartridges instead of OEM cartridges when available. VCU saved $8,987 (7%) with one vendor during the last quarter by choosing remanufactured over name-brand cartridges. More importantly, $21,291 (17%) could have been saved if remanufactured cartridges had been chosen instead of the name-brand each time they were available. On average, remanufactured cartridges are 38% less expensive than name-brand cartridges. Purchasing remanufactured toner benefits your department not only with substantial cost savings but also contributes to VCU’s overall sustainability efforts. In Ball and Guy Brown’s punchout catalogs, remanufactured toner cartridges are displayed as alternate or suggested products when a name-brand toner is searched. Departments can also look up remanufactured toner part numbers by using the “Machine Matching” function on the Ball website. Additionally, departments may contact the sales representative for remanufactured counterpart information. Samples of remanufactured toner are available upon request by both companies.

Standard Copier Paper

VCU requires the use of recycled paper (at 30% recycled content) for all standard copier paper. Systematic restrictions or automatic substitutions have been set up with both vendors so that virgin standard copier paper cannot be purchased. Standard copier paper includes 20lb/92 bright multipurpose paper, 3 hole punch optional, in sizes 8 ½ X 11, 8 ½ X 14 (legal), and 11 X 17. The purchase of recycled paper contributes to VCU’s efforts to be environmentally friendly.

Accurate Courier Express

Guy Brown has partnered with Accurate Courier Express (ACE), a DMBE-certified Small, Minority-Owned firm for delivery services. Orders from Guy Brown will be delivered to departments by an ACE employee.

If you have any questions in regards to the Office Supply contract, please contact Lauren Franks at lfranks@vcu.edu or 828-5063 or Mary Lou Bulger at mlbulger@vcu.edu or 828-0904.

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Year End/HEETF Requirements

If your department has any requirement over your delegated authority that must be purchased, received and invoiced prior to year end it should be submitted immediately. Purchasing must have adequate time to appropriately procure your goods or services. Some products may not be available from the vendor to ship until weeks after the order is received so it is very important to plan ahead and submit your requisitions early. Requisitions approved by the department are assigned to a buyer within one day of receipt in Purchasing. If you have any questions regarding year end or HEETF purchases, please contact Betty Lowther (bmlowthe@vcu.edu or 8-5954).

Fiscal Year-End Processing

To facilitate payment this fiscal year, all invoices, revenue refund vouchers and travel reimbursements must be submitted to Accounts Payable and Travel & Reimbursement Services by 4:30 p.m., on June 15. We will do our best to process all invoices that are delivered within this timeframe. Departments are responsible for monitoring their accounts to ensure that necessary payments have been processed. Receiving may be entered into Banner until 2:30 p.m., June 29 and if the invoice is posted and matches properly with the receiving, the expense should hit your index this fiscal year. Receiving should not be completed until July for any payments that are to be expensed in FY13.

Journal Vouchers (JV) can be processed until 5:00 p.m., on June 29, providing all approvals have been completed.

All BOA Visa purchasing transactions posted from May 16 to June 15, 2012 will be posted in Banner this fiscal year provided the index code associated with the cardholder’s P-card is not frozen. All purchase transactions submitted to BOA Visa after June 15, 2012 will be paid next fiscal year.

Other deadline dates that affect FY12 processing:
June 26 is the last day to process changes to purchase orders in eVA.
June 28 is the last day to process purchase orders in eVA.

If you have any questions regarding fiscal year-end processing for Accounts Payable, please call Jamie Holcomb, 628-2877; or for Travel and Reimbursement Services, please call David Zoll, 628-2886. If you have any questions regarding year-end purchase processing or P-card expenses, please call Betty Lowther, 828-5954.

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Separate Order Required For iPad Purchases

In order to effectively process Apple Computer invoices, the Apple VCU account has changed from ship partial orders to ship complete orders. This means that orders will not ship until all items on the order are available, and VCU receives one invoice per order.

There are instances when one or more items on an order are not available at the same time as the rest of the products on a purchase order which causes a significant delay in shipping the entire order. A similar situation occurs when all items on an order are not available to ship from the same warehouse. Currently, due to the high demand for the iPad and accessory items, iPads should not be put on orders with any other type of Apple products. University departments must set up one order for the iPad and accessory items and a separate order for iPad cases. Any other Apple equipment should be processed together on another order.

Whenever possible use the P-Card for the iPad purchases and all other Apple products within your established P-Card transaction/monthly limits. For any existing orders with iPads and accessory items combined with other Apple products, do not sign an Apple Partial Shipment Authorization Form. Delete the iPad products from the order and issue another separate order for the iPad products.

If you have questions, please contact Jackie Colbert in University Purchasing at 8-0163 or jcolbert@vcu.edu.

Procurement Services Classes

The Office of Procurement Services offers many different classroom and online training opportunities. A full list and brief description of each class can be found in the Procurement Services website under Training and Support Services. To register for available classroom classes, go to http://training.vcu.edu/. Choose \"Office of Procurement Services” under \"Sponsor\". Select the appropriate class and follow the instructions to register. Please note: Registrants are encouraged to keep an eye on their e-mail in the week preceding a class. Low registration numbers will result in a class cancellation.

To access classes available on Black Board, go to http://blackboard.vcu.edu/ using your VCU eID and password and click on the “Courses” tab in the top row. Search by the class title.

Travel RFPs Update

Proposals for the Travel Management Services RFP and the Travel & Expense Management Tool RFP are currently under evaluation. No additional departments will be added to the existing Online Booking Tool pilot program at this time. Updates regarding the progress of the RFPs will be included in future editions of the FA Newsletter. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Lou Bulger at lbulger@vcu.edu or 8-0904.

Enterprise Rental Cars

The Enterprise Rental Car contract may be used by employees or non-employees who are on University business when a rental vehicle is the most cost beneficial means of transportation. University travelers should utilize account number XZ21184 when making a reservation through Enterprise to obtain contract pricing. Contract pricing is valid for rentals that originate within the Commonwealth of Virginia. For online reservations, employees should enter the PIN "VIR" after entering the account number XZ21184.

A damage waiver fee of $5/day will be added to all rentals. No additional taxes or fees should be charged unless the rental is picked up at an airport location. In these instances, the traveler will also be required to pay an airport access fee.

Employees traveling within the United States should decline additional insurance offered by the rental car vendor. Employees on international travel and non-employees on either domestic or international travel should accept Limited Damage Waiver (LDW) and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) only.

Travelers are also reminded to refuel their rental vehicle before returning it to the vendor. Fuel purchased from the rental vendor will not be reimbursed with State funds. Further information on rental vehicles may be found in the Rental Vehicles section of the Travel Policies and Procedures document. Questions about this policy may be directed to David Zoll, Travel and Reimbursement Services Manager, at dzoll@vcu.edu or 628-2886.

Timeframe To Process a Travel Advance

A completed Travel Authorization must be submitted to Travel & Reimbursement Services at least ten (10) business days prior to the departure date for all travel advance requests. Requests made less than ten (10) business days prior to the departure date are not guaranteed to be processed. Questions about this policy may be directed to David Zoll, Travel and Reimbursement Services Manager, at dzoll@vcu.edu or 628-2886.

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Budget Office

Updates and Reminders

Occasionally, the Budget Office receives questions regarding budget terms. As we are in the midst of budget development and are heading toward fiscal year-end close and budget implementation, a review of important budget terminology would seem to be very useful. You talked and we listened…keep those suggestions and comments coming! You can submit further suggestions for topics and budget related questions to GOTBUDGET@vcu.edu or by visiting our website at http://www.budget.vcu.edu/ and submitting a comment under the “Budget Process Transformation” link.

Do you know the difference between permanent and current budget? How about the difference between adopted budget and accumulated budget...that’s harder, right? And, which code do you use when entering a budget transfer in FGAJVCM…BTE or BPE? All of us have been stumped at one time or another, so don’t feel bad. In fact, here’s hoping that the following list of budget terms and codes will help you the next time you find yourself in a quandary in the wonderful world of budget!

Budget Transactions

Permanent Budget Transactions: Budget that permanently stays within a particular org from fiscal year to fiscal year. For example – The Budget Office makes a permanent budget entry of $100,000 to increase the overall budget to an index within your unit in FY 2012. Your budget is now increased by $100,000 not only in FY 2012, but also in future fiscal years. Conversely, the Budget Office’s budget is decreased by that amount in FY 2012 and beyond.

Current Budget Transactions: Budget that is reflective only of the current fiscal year.

For example – The Budget Office makes a current budget entry of $100,000 to increase the overall budget to an index within your unit in FY 2012. Your budget is now increased by $100,000 only in FY 2012. On July 1, 2012 (the start of FY 2013), the $100,000 has turned into a pumpkin and your budget is back to the total before the $100,000 transaction took place. In sum, Current Budget transactions only live within the current fiscal year. Permanent Budget transactions live forever.

Understanding Budget Terms

Adopted Budget (also known as Permanent Budget): The permanent budget that is loaded on July 1 of the fiscal year. At this point, permanent and current budget are the same and remain the same until a current budget transaction is made.

Original Budget: Budget representing any permanent budget transactions after the adopted/original budget was loaded on July 1. Your original budget on June 30 will be your Adopted budget on July 1. Basically it is…Adopted (Permanent) Budget + Permanent Budget Transactions only = Original Budget.

Temporary Budget:
Budget reflecting only the total sum of current budget transactions that have occurred in the current fiscal year.

Total Budget (also known as Accumulated Budget and Adjusted Budget): The budget that reflects the sum of all permanent budget transactions and current budget transactions given in the current fiscal year. It is the total budget that you have at that specific point of time in the current fiscal year. This is the budget that you see in the budget field in FGIBDSR(T).

Basically it is…Original Budget + Temporary Budget = Total/Accumulated/Adjusted Budget

Making Sense of Budget Codes

Codes only used by the Budget Office: BOR, BD02, BD04
BOR – The original (adopted) budget loaded at the beginning of the fiscal year prior to any permanent or current budget transactions.
BD02 – Permanent budget transactions made only by the Budget Office
BD04 – Current budget transactions made only by the Budget Office

User/operator codes: BPE, BTE, BPR, BTR
BPE – (Budget Permanent Expenditures) Budget code used for allocating existing expenditure budget on a permanent basis
BTE – (Budget Temporary Expenditures) Budget code used for allocating existing expenditure budget on a temporary (current) basis in the current fiscal year
BPR – (Budget Permanent Revenue) Budget code used for allocation existing revenue budget on a permanent basis
BTR – (Budget Temporary Revenue) Budget code used for allocating existing revenue budget on a temporary (current) basis in the current fiscal year

Just as a reminder – only the Budget Office can allocate new revenue and expenditure budget to an org. If you need to have revenue and expenditure budget “trued-up”, please contact the Budget Office.

For example - if a sales and services org has brought $100,000 of actual revenue above the budgeted revenue amount, you would need to contact the Budget Office to increase your revenue and expenditure budget by $100,000 to “true-up” your budget to reflect the actual amount.

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Controller's Office

Grants & Contracts Accounting Updates

  • Thanks to all Administrators that have assisted Grants and Contracts Accounting recently with close-out matters! Your continued assistance to submit requested documents in a timely manner is greatly appreciated.
  • A reminder to all departments to direct or bring all checks received from sponsors for grant, contract, or clinical trial payment to G&C for processing. We see that some checks received by departments have gone
    directly to the cashiers, thus we have recently asked the Treasury Services/Cashier Office not to record any payments to revenue. We need all grant/contract/clinical trial payments to run through the receivable in
  • Grants and Contracts continues to receive a large number of requests to transfer costs (payroll and nonpayroll) which occurred beyond 60 days after the Banner/ePrint month end report reflecting the erroneous posting. Departments that consistently demonstrate the lack of monthly reconciling to avoid such noncompliant risks for the University, jeopardize future funding efforts not only within their department, but also for all faculty at VCU. Labor reports should be reviewed every payroll to verify the accuracy of posting, and to ensure that any needed changes in assignments due to new funding or termination of awards have been made to the individual PAFs as needed in a timely manner. The late receipt of an official award from a sponsor is not justification to allow an employee's labor to be charged to an index that does not reflect where their effort is being performed.
  • If new funding is expected to continue a grant funded assignment, but has not been officially executed by the sponsor or OSP, and the award type requires a new Index for each budget period, an Advance Banner Index may be requested through your G&C Service Team by completing and emailing the form at: http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/gc-admin/G&CBannerNumberRequest.pdf. This measure will also assist in minimizing non-compliant transfers.
  • Please remember that the Fiscal Administrator's Handbook is available as a very useful reference to assist with your required monthly reconciling of all Banner Indexes. The below link is provided: http://www.controller.vcu.edu/handbook/
  • Upcoming G&C Accounting Training Session scheduled dates; April 18, May 16, August 22, September 19, October 17, and November 14. All training sessions will be held in the G&C Accounting conference room. If you have specific training needs that may be of a more advanced nature, please contact Gloria Foote at 804-828-5758.

Effort Reporting And ECRT Updates

  • The Semi-Annual certification period ENDING 12/9/2011 was opened as scheduled on February 22! THANKS!
  • Your assistance is needed with the following effort reporting deadlines:
  • Semester certifications (period 08-10-11 to 12-24-11) were due by 03-21-12
  • Quarterly certifications (period 09-10-11 to 12-09-11) were due by 03-14-12
  • Semi-Annual certifications (period 06-10-11 to 12-09-11 are due by 04-21-12
  • ECRT’s updated URL is: https://effort.ts.vcu.edu/ecrt/initWelcome.do

Other Effort Links:
Effort Reporting's website: http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/effort.htm
Helpful Tools: http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/ECRThelpfultools.html
FAQs: http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/ECRTfaq.html

ePrint Budget Reports

FGRBDSC and FGRODTA reports are now available on e~Print at https://eprint.adm.vcu.edu/cgi-bin/eprint.cgi.

As you review the reports you may have questions concerning the data contained within them. Please briefly outline your questions on a Financial Inquiry and forward directly to the appropriate department via e-mail, fax, or campus mail. Remember that you can check the status of deposits or disbursements through the on-line inquiry screens.

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