August 2013

Table of Contents

Procurement Services

Open Forums

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 August 6, 2013 – Monroe Park Campus, Commons Theater from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Wednesday August 7, 2013 – MCV Campus, George Ben Johnston Auditorium from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Representatives from Procurement Services will be there to present various topics of interest including; an update on the Travel Services contract, the two-way match process, and new process improvements in purchasing. This is also an opportunity for faculty and staff to ask Procurement Services questions.

New Travel Management Services RFP

The new travel management services RFP was publicly posted on July 19, 2013 and is due on August 16, 2013. After initial oral presentations, the top two or three vendors will be invited to present to the campus community in a Town Hall oral presentation in late-September. Feedback from attendees will be incorporated into the final decision. Please look for the Town Hall time, date, and location in the September FA Newsletter. Please contact Mary Lou Bulger at or 8-0904 with any questions related to the new RFP.

P-Card Annual Limit Review

The Program Administrator (PA) will start the annual cardholder review process for P-Cardholders in August. The PA will review transaction history from 6/16/12 through 6/14/13 for each cardholder to determine if the existing monthly and transaction limits are reasonable. Adjustments to cardholder limits will be made accordingly. If any adjustment is made to your limits, the PA will email you within 24 hours of the change. Cardholders can view their limits by logging in to WORKS at:

Chrome River Features

Vacation Approval Delegation

Vacation Approval Delegation settings now includes Pre-Approval routing. Vacation Delegation may be activated in the event that someone will be out of the office for an extended period of time. This feature will route all Expense Reports and Pre-Approvals to the Vacation Delegate set up by the Approver. This function was previously available only for expense reports.

To activate this feature, from your Chrome River Dashboard, click on “Options” in the top right hand corner of the screen and choose “Vacation Approval Delegation” from the drop down menu. Select “Vacation Approval Delegation On”, “Start” and “End” dates and the “Person” you would like to approve in your place. When you return to the office, you will have to turn the Vacation Approval Delegation off as it will not disable automatically.


One of the benefits of Chrome River is that travelers are able to track their own Expense Reports and Pre-Approvals to determine where they are in the approval process.

To track an Expense Report: From the Expense Owner’s Dashboard, click on “Details” next to “My Submitted Expenses”. Select the applicable Expense Report and click on “Tracking”. Under “View”, choose “Show All”. You will be able to see who it is has been approved by and who it is currently assigned to for approval.

To track a Pre-Approval: From the Expense Owner’s Dashboard, click on “Details” next to “New Items Available”. Click on the “Pre-Approval” tab. Select the applicable report and click on “Tracking”. Under “View”, choose “Show All”. You will be able to see who it is has been approved by and who it is currently assigned to for approval.

Travel Advances

Travel advances may be requested through Chrome River by University faculty and staff who are set up to receive direct deposit. Please be aware that the Pay Date field in the Travel Advance widget is the date the payment will be processed in Banner, but it may take up to 3 business days for your bank to make the funds available. Therefore, the Pay Date should be at least 10 days prior to the travel start date.

The travel advance must be settled within 45 days from the last date of travel. This includes submitting an expense report accounting for the funds used and does not mean repayment is required. If the advance is not settled within that timeframe, paperwork will be sent to Payroll to recover the amount outstanding and the department will be charged a $50 administrative fee. Additional travel advances will not be issued to any individual who is delinquent in settling a travel advance on time.

For more information on how to request a travel advance, please click on the following link:

Moving and Relocation

Please continue to submit Moving and Relocation reimbursements on paper. Moving and Relocation reimbursements should not be submitted though Chrome River. Moving and Relocation reimbursements are made through Payroll, which does not have access to Chrome River.

Travel Training Changes

Beginner Travel Training will be available in Blackboard Monday, August 05, 2013. This training is for new employees who need to learn the basic travel and reimbursement policy and procedures, as well as how to submit reimbursements through Chrome River.

Beginning in August, Chrome River classroom hands-on training sessions will be offered once per month. Please check the training website for scheduled dates.

IT Governance @ VCU

What is it? IT Governance is all about maximizing the value that VCU derives from investing in technology. It is formally defined as “The leadership and organizational structures and processes that ensure that the organization’s Information Technology sustains and extends the organization’s strategies and objectives.”

How does it work? The University Academic and Administrative IT Steering Committee is charged by President Rao to review all investments in technology for their contributions to Quest goals and objectives, financial and customer impact, and improvements in processes and services. Those investments that have the highest Return On Investment (ROI) are given the highest priority for resources and implementation. The Committee consists of representatives from all consumers of technology in the VCU community – faculty, staff, and students. Any member of the VCU community may submit an investment proposal to the Committee.

How can I learn more? Visit the IT Governance Web site at Should you have any questions or need additional information, contact the Technology Services Planning and Project Management office (828-9954,

Procurement Services Classes

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.

To register for available classroom classes, go to 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 Blackboard, go to 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

Grant & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

  • The 2013 fiscal year has quickly come and gone so below are some preliminary figures that summarize sponsored research expenditure activity and what G&C accountants have been busy managing during the year:

    Total FY 13 Research Expenditures - $165,716,931.00
    # of Projects/Grants with Expenditure Activity - 1840
    # of Banner Funds with Expenditure Activity - 2743
    Average Project/Funds managed by each G&C Accountant - 115/171

    Comparative data for Fiscal Year 2012:

    Total FY 12 Research Expenditures - $174,886,292.00
    # of Projects/Grants with Expenditure Activity - 1884
    # of Banner Funds with Expenditure Activity - 2870
    Average Project/Funds managed by each G&C Accountant - 118/179

The primary reason for a reduction from FY 2012 is due to the termination of many of the federal stimulus awards at the end of the fiscal year.

Efforts continue within G&C continue to focus on customer service, compliance topics, updating policies and procedures, effort reporting compliance, and training G&C staff and the VCU research community.

  • Upcoming Brown Bag Sessions - Training in the follow compliance areas is being coordinated:

    Program Income - Details will follow as the specific dates and locations are identified.

    Cost Share - Details will follow as the specific dates and locations are identified.

  • Update - National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) Financial Research Administrator (FRA)Traveling Workshop at VCU

    The NCURA FRA Workshop at VCU – 10/9/2013 – 10/11/2013 is currently FULL. The workshop registration is limited to 70 participants. Please contact Priscilla Clayborne at 804-828-8104 or if you would like to be included on the wait list in the event of cancellations. Thank you.

  • Reminders
    - A Cost Share Index has a 1-to-1 relationship with a sponsored program index in Banner, thus cannot be recycled or used again, even if the sponsored project has terminated.

    -Approved sponsored research Program Income Indexes based on Sponsor requirements, and the subsequent coordination by OSP with G&C Accounting, must adhere to the specific federally funded project requirement, and like project period for the income generation and expending. G&C will be coordinating with Departmental Administrators for the close-out of Program Income Indexes which are associated with closed projects/grants. A Program Income Index is associated to a grant code in Banner upon creation, and may not be associated with more than one project.

Effort Reporting and ECRT Updates

  • A new Blackboard Organization has been created for Effort Coordinators to assist with training and questions regarding the upgraded system. After logging into Blackboard at Effort Coordinators will locate the Effort Reporting link under the \"My Organizations\" section in the lower right-hand side of the My Blackboard page. Guides, training videos, and a site map are available on that page to assist Effort Coordinators with transitioning to the new version of ECRT. Effort and ECRT training dates for 2013 are now available via the VCU Training site ( Please use the keyword “Effort”. If you have any questions please contact any Effort Reporting staff member or email
  • Your assistance is needed with the following upcoming effort reporting deadlines: 

    Semi-Annual certifications (period 06/10/12 to 12/09/12) were due by 04-21-13

    Semester certifications (period 08-10-12 to 12-24-12) were due by 03-21-13

    Quarterly certifications (period 12-10-12 to 03-09-13) were due by 06-14-13

    Quarterly certifications (period 03-10-13 to 06-09-13) are due by 09-14-13

    Semester certifications (period 12-25-12 to 05-09-13) are due by 08-14-13

    Semi-Annual certifications (period 12/10/12 to 06/09/13) are due by 08-22-13

  • 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.

Other Effort Links:
The new ECRT url is
Effort Reporting's website:
Helpful Tools:

Thank you from the entire Grants and Contracts Accounting/Effort Reporting Staff to all Administrators for your continued efforts toward research compliance.

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ePrint Budget Reports

FGRBDSC and FGRODTA reports are now available on e~Print at

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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