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August 2012

Table of Contents

Procurement Services

Travel RFPs Update

Procurement Services is excited to announce that significant improvements to the VCU travel program are coming soon! The Evaluation Committee has selected firms for negotiations for both the travel management services contract and the automated reimbursement solution. Negotiations will be held in July with anticipated award of contracts in August. Implementation will begin as soon as possible after contracts are finalized with campus-wide roll-out to be completed in 2013.

The resulting contract for travel management services will have many benefits for VCU travelers including:

  • Ability to locate VCU travelers at any time in case of catastrophic accident, natural disaster, or political unrest requiring action;
  • Reduced transaction fees;
  • Ability to book travel using an intuitive online booking tool configured with VCU policy;
  • Replacement of current paper Travel Authorization process with an electronic process, including the ability to authorize directly through email;
  • Ability to access online booking tool with existing University eID;
  • Access to travel itineraries through mobile devices;
  • Ability for travelers to continue to collect airline frequent flyer miles.

VCU will also be able to leverage aggregate travel spend to negotiate lower airline, train, hotel, and car rental pricing for all VCU travelers.

The automated reimbursement solution will replace the current paper process which will benefit VCU travelers in the following ways:

  • Policy configuration within the solution will improve compliance to promote complete and accurate expense report submissions;
  • Decreased reimbursement turn-around time;
  • Ability to utilize mobile devices for receipt submissions;
  • Ability for approvers to review and approve expense reports directly through email;
  • Ability to access automated reimbursement solution with existing University eID;
  • Departmental access to robust reporting on travel spend patterns.

Stay tuned for updates on the implementation process and campus-wide roll-out! Please contact Mary Lou Bulger at 8-0904 or David Zoll at 6-2886 with any questions related to the travel project or visit our website at http://www.vcu.edu/procurement/travel/comingsoon.html.


Toner Cartridge Telemarketing Scam

Purchasing has been made aware that certain toner cartridge telemarketers have targeted VCU in an attempt to take advantage of an unsuspecting victim. The most recent scam reported by a VCU department was made by a firm representing themselves as the copier vendor, Oce.

More can be learned on how these firms operate, how they dupe consumers, companies and government institutions and how they are being taken to task. We encourage you to go to www.spamlaws.com/phone-scam.html to learn more of about toner cartridge scams and other telemarketing scams.

Please contact Betty Lowther at 828-5954 or bmlowthe@vcu.edu if you have any questions regarding fraudulent telemarketing scams.


Moving And Relocation Form Update

The Agreement for Reimbursement of Moving and Relocation Expenses form has been updated and is now called “Moving and Relocation Agreement”. This new form should be used for Moving and Relocation reimbursement requests. The form can be found on our website at http://www.vcu.edu/procurement/travel/pdf_docs/Moving_and_Relocation_Agreement.doc.

For questions related to this form or questions about moving and relocation, please contact Kelly McClurg at 828-1070 or mcclurgka@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 on the Procurement Services website under Training and Support Services. http://www.vcu.edu/procurement/training/training.html

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.

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Controller’s Office

Grants & Contracts Accounting Updates

  • GCA is currently preparing for the VCU FY 2012 audit by the Commonwealth of VA Auditor of Public Accounts (APA). The audit includes a comprehensive review of research expenditures (including labor), transfers, and effort. Your assistance is requested to respond timely to several upcoming request for supporting documentation which will assist in minimizing audit non-compliance risks. Please be sure that you utilize the available reports in the VCU Reporting Center and in ECRT to monitor your department/school/center sponsored agreements for compliance with the award agreement.
  • As have many of you, GCA has been involved most of this year with preparing for the implementation of the research dashboard. In order for the dashboard to display budget period accounting for existing NIH Expanded Authority/SNAP awards in lieu of establishing a separate index for each budget year, GCA Accountants have made budget entries in Banner with an Activity code to reflect the sponsor awarded budget by year. Associating an Activity Code with budget entries was only done for a predetermined population of NIH Expanded Authority/SNAP awards existing as of 2/1/2012, and will be the procedure for all new award budget entries when the sponsor agreement does not require a formal financial report to be submitted by G&C annually (thus cumulative accounting). The procedure of establishing a separate index for each budget period on awards where the sponsor requires a final financial/accounting report each year will continue (please see next bullet). The display of budget and expenditure activity in Banner will not be impacted.
  • An award's conditions and the sponsor's financial reporting requirement determines how GCA Accountants setup new and continuation awards in Banner. It is a established procedure that when the sponsor requires financial reporting based on a annual budget period, and requires carry-forward approval, a new index will be established in Banner for each budget period. Agreements that do not have financial reporting requirements, or where the sponsor financial reporting requirement is cumulative based on the total project costs, a single index must be established and used for the competitive segment or project term. This procedure will continue, and the new budget entry procedures mentioned above will aid budget period reporting in the research dashboard. If new funding is expected 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 Customer 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; 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.
  • Remember...Compliance is every employee's responsibility. THANKS!
  • GCA including Effort Reporting personnel contact information can be found at: http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/grantsstaff.htm.

Effort Reporting And ECRT Updates

  • GCA and Effort Reporting will be upgrading ECRT to release v4.1. The planning phase has begun and will continue into the Fall 2012. Effort Coordinators should have received a survey seeking responses that will assist Effort Reporting in the planning phase to determine capabilities needed to assist them with their coordinator responsibilities. Training is scheduled to take place during the Fall 2012. Updates regarding the status of the upgrade will be provided as they are available. Some of the enhancements with the upgrade will be:Improvements with displaying data and items requiring action; system generated emails and alerts; improved reporting; and inquiry/look-up.
  • Your assistance is needed with the following upcoming effort reporting deadlines:Quarterly certifications (period 03-10-11 to 06-09-12) are due by 09-14-12Semester certifications (period 12-25-11 to 05-09-12) are due by 08-14-12

    Semi-Annual certifications (period 12/10/2011 to 6/9/2012) are due by 10-21-12

    *Due to the ECRT upgrade it is very important that all the above deadlines are complied with.

  • Remember to conduct proactive reviews, communicate frequently with your faculty to verify the accuracy of their commitments, and to complete the processing of all ECRT cards assigned.
  • 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.asauxweb.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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