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September 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 September 18, 2012 - Monroe Park Campus, Commons Theatre from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Wednesday September 19, 2012 - MCV Campus, Molecular Medicine Research Building, Room 1009 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Representatives from Procurement Services will be there to present various topics of interest including: upcoming and exciting changes to the VCU Travel Program; Travel Advances; department responsibilities in Risk Management & Insurance Claims; eVA Annual Test; and Pcard use with Office Supply Contracts. This is also an opportunity for faculty and staff to ask Procurement Services questions.


Annual eVA / Banner Purchasing Test Requirement

Each person who has access to eVA Purchasing and/or the Banner Receiving Module is required to successfully complete an On-line Knowledge Test with a passing score of 90 points or higher. There are three (3) different tests: Enterer, Approver, and Receiver. Please complete the test(s) that corresponds to how you use the system(s) by September 28, 2012. It is possible that a person must complete two (2) tests to accommodate their use of the systems.

You will be allowed three (3) attempts (per test) to achieve 90 points or higher test score. The test will automatically reset after each attempt. If you do not pass the test after the third attempt, you will need to obtain VP approval for an additional attempt. Failure to pass with a score of 90 points or higher will result in suspension of the user's access.

Please go to http://blackboard.vcu.edu/ to enroll in the appropriate course and review the PowerPoint presentation available in Blackboard under the Course Documents tab before attempting the test.

If you receive an error message not allowing you access into Blackboard or have any other questions please contact Patricia Shazer at 828-5067, plshazer@vcu.edu or Jackie Glover at jglover@vcu.edu or 828-0903.


Travel Management Program Update

Procurement Services is excited to announce that the new travel management program is coming very soon! Procurement Services is in the final stages of contract review and approval. The program includes a new contract travel agency as well as an automated expense reimbursement tool. The project team is working on a branding campaign and implementation strategy. Details regarding vendor information and implementation will be released in the near future. Information will also be posted on the website at: http://www.vcu.edu/procurement/travel/comingsoon.html.

The resulting travel agency contract 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.

The automated expense reimbursement tool 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;
  • When travel is booked through the contract agency, booking information will automatically load into the expense reimbursement tool.

Please contact Katie Kelly at 8-1078 or Mary Lou Bulger at 8-0904 with any questions related to the new travel program!


Travel Advance Reminder

Employees who have received a travel advance must submit their travel reimbursement paperwork to Procurement Services within thirty (30) days from the last date of travel. If travel reimbursement paperwork is not received in our office and the travel advance remains unsettled forty-five (45) days from the last date of travel, Procurement Services will initiate payroll deduction for the entire advance amount. Additional travel advances will not be issued to any individual who has an unsettled travel advance or who has had a payroll deduction due to an unsettled travel advance. Each employee who agrees to accept a travel advance signs the repayment agreement and must adhere to the time frames. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Sarah O’Neill at 828-5056 or sdoneill@vcu.edu.


Procurement Services Website

Procurement Services is excited to announce that its new website will be launched in October. The new site is designed to serve as an administrative toolkit for those involved in Procurement Services’ functions within their departments. Please contact Lauren Franks at 8-5063 with any questions related to the new website.


Apple Purchases

Apple is working with VCU Procurement Services to extend further discounts on iMacs, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs by leveraging the university volume by placing orders from all departments at the same time. If your department plans to make a Mac purchase and can place an order by September 14, 2012, then you are encouraged to do so to take advantage of the volume discount. Please call Mike Garcia (512-674-6893) or Jack Burns (804-615-1209) for a custom quote for your department reflecting the special pricing. The quote will include a special sales exception number that needs to be included on the purchase order. Unfortunately, there are no discounts on single orders of iPads at this time, but there is an option for 10-pack pricing on iPads.

Please contact Mary Lou Bulger at 8-0904 with any questions related to Apple purchases.


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

December Bonus

As communicated previously by the Governor's Office, eligible employees will receive a 3% bonus in their December 1, 2012 paychecks (payroll period November 10 - 24).

  • Eligible employees include full- and part-time, 50% to 100% FTE faculty and classified staff (regardless of funding) who were employed as of April 1, 2012 and still employed as of November 24, 2012.
  • Ineligible employees include collateral faculty you are hiring now as well as adjunct faculty, hourly workers, student workers, graduate assistants, and post-doctoral fellows.

Please note these additional details:

  • Classified employees must have a performance evaluation rating of at least “Contributor” and have no written notices issued during the performance cycle October 25, 2011 through October 24, 2012. As a reminder evaluations are due to HR by October 24, 2012 in order to ensure a timely bonus for your classified staff. The bonus will also be withheld from faculty whose performance has been rated as less than satisfactory.
  • The bonus will take effect through an automated Banner process, which means departments do not need to take any action other than ensuring timely receipt of classified performance evaluations by Human Resources.
  • The last salary increases we will process prior to the bonus will be effective October 25, 2012. We'll resume processing salary increases, as needed, according to our regular schedule effective November 25, 2012.
  • Employees on leave without pay will receive the bonus upon return to work (contingent upon receipt of a current, satisfactory performance evaluation).
    • The bonus will not be included as creditable compensation for determining future retirement benefits.
    • Employees will have the opportunity to tax-defer the bonus. Details about this option will follow later.
  • Bonuses will be charged to the employee's labor distribution that is in effect on November 24. The Budget Office will load budget in the E&G orgs to cover the portion of the bonus funded by E&G. This entry will be done on December 3, 2012, and will not take into consideration labor distributions done after November 24, 2012.
  • Grants can fund these payments since the bonus is being paid to all employees in lieu of a merit increase. If your grant does not have sufficient funds to cover the bonus, you may do a labor redistribution to charge some other fund.
  • We are going to credit all fund sources for the difference in the 32.3% fringe rate that will be charged on the payroll and the 7.65% FICA rate. Labor redistributions done after November 24 will not be taken into consideration when this adjustment is done.

Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

**************NEWS ALERT!!!!!!! G&C/EFFORT REPORTING IS RELOCATING**********************

  • PLEASE NOTE: Effective September 10, 2012 VCU's Grants and Contracts Accounting Office which includes Effort Reporting, new physical location will be 800 East Leigh Street, Suite 3100. Due to our relocation our offices will close on Thursday September 6, 2012 at 3:00 p.m., and will reopen at our new location on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. All voice messages and emails received during this period will be responded to promptly on September 10. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. Please review the important updated information below.

IMPACT - Check and document delivery: Checks may be brought to the Theater Row office location until 3:00 on Thursday 9/6/2012.

All phone numbers will remain the same; however, substantial down time of phone lines and e-mail is anticipated on Thursday and Friday, September 6-7. If unable to reach a G&C staff member, please leave a voice message and the staff member will promptly return the call as soon as service is restored.

IMPACT - New Banner Index Creates: We will not be able to create new awards during the period of September 6-10, 2012. It is our expectation that we will be able to resume normal operations beginning Tuesday, September 11, 2012.


Effort Reporting And ECRT Updates

  • Your assistance is needed with the following upcoming effort reporting deadlines*:
    Semester certifications (period 12-25-11 to 05-09-12) were due by 08-14-12
    Semester certifications (period 05-10-12 to 08-09-12) are due by 11-14-12
    Quarterly certifications (period 03-10-11 to 06-09-12) are due by 09-14-12
    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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