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October 2014

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Procurement Services

New Procurement Services Director

Business Services is pleased to announce that after a national search, Ms. Brenda Mowen was hired to serve as the new Director of Procurement Services, beginning Monday, September 22, 2014.

Ms. Mowen has had a successful career in procurement services at both private and public institutions. Previously she was the Director of Procurement, Contracting and Payment Services at West Virginia University and served in that role for over two years.

Prior to joining WVU, Brenda was the Chief Administrative Officer for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority in Tampa, Florida from 2008 to 2012. In this role, she oversaw procurement, contracting, materials management, IT and legal services. During her time at HART, she overhauled their procurement and contraction administration programs, developed standardized solicitation and contract forms, digitized records program and awarded multi-year contracts for high spend, high volume items. Prior to HART, Brenda served as the Assistant Vice President of Procurement and Contracts at the Dallas Area Rapid Transit in Dallas, Texas from 2003-2008 where she directed procurement, contracts, policy/support and purchasing functions with a spend of $350 million.

Other roles Brenda has held over the course of her career include Senior Manager of Strategic Sourcing for Brinker International from 2001 to 2002, Manager of Contracts and Procurement at Capital Metro from 1999 to 2001, Manager of Contracts Planning and Quality at DART from 1993 to 1999 and Supervisor of Procurement Systems for DART from 1984 to 1993.

Ms. Mowen received a BS degree in Management Science at Wright State University and an MBA in Acquisition and Contract Management at the University of Dallas. She also holds CPCM, CPPO and C.P.M. Certifications.

Please join Procurement in welcoming Brenda to VCU.

Amazon Sales Tax

Departments using for online purchases should enroll in the Amazon Tax Exemption Program (ATEP) to avoid paying taxes on online purchases. To enroll in this program, you must provide Amazon with a copy of our Tax Exemption form available . To register on their website, go to the "Amazon Tax Exemption Program" link located in the Settings section of “Your Account.”

Once you've registered for the program, all future orders, sold by, LLC and Amazon Digital Services, Inc. will be tax exempt. If the items are fulfilled by any other seller, you must contact that seller directly to request a refund for the sales tax.

If you have already made a purchase and were charged tax, please contact Amazon to receive a credit back. If you have any issues signing up online please call Amazon Customer Service directly at 1-866-216-1072.

Home Depot Data Breach

Home Depot has released a statement that their data security was breached from April 2014 until September 2014. This means that if you used your P-Card during that timeframe at Home Depot your card number may have been compromised.

Department of Accounts is currently investigating if any of VCU's P-Cards were part of the breach. Once DOA's investigation is complete, they will cancel and reissue only those cards that were affected. More information will be forthcoming once the investigation is complete.

Purchasing Calling Cards on a P-Card

Beginning October 1, calling cards may be purchased using the P-Card. For audit purposes, please notate the purchases of calling cards on all monthly reconciliations. If you experience any issues with these purchases please email or contact Lauren Katchuk or Molly Gross for assistance.

Chrome River Pre-Approval Enhancements

Chrome River has released a new Pre-Approval dashboard and Enhancements. Such enhancements include a new dedicated dashboard, ability to save and close a pre-approval, easier image handling, PDF capability and more flexible approval process.

To learn more visit:

For more information, please contact Ashley Verdecchia at or 628-2887.

Cash Advance Reminder

Travelers requesting cash advances are reminded that the reconciliation and/or repayment of the cash advance must be completed within 30 days of the last date of travel. The reconciliation and repayment is the responsibility of the traveler. Payroll deductions are requested after 45 days and should not be seen as a convenience for the traveler. Procurement Services will charge an administrative fee of $50 to the department for all delinquent balances that must be referred to Payroll.

For questions, please contact Ashley Verdecchia at or 628-2887.

Christopherson and Chrome River Training

Travel Services offers a two-part classroom training. The first half of training is an introductory session on VCU’s new Travel Management Company, Christopherson Business Travel and our Online Booking Tool (OBT). The second portion of training will be a hands-on session of the electronic reimbursement tool, Chrome River, is directed towards personnel who travel, arrange travel, or approve travel for the University.

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 must sign onto the OBT and update their Profile prior to the training class.

For more information, please contact Ashley Verdecchia at or 628-2887.

Annual eVA & Banner Purchasing Test Reminder

The Annual eVA & Banner Purchasing test needs to be completed by close of business Monday, October 13, 2014.

To complete the course requirement, log in to Blackboard using your eID and password. Go to the My Blackboard tab and you will see the course listed on the right side under “Courses\". The course title is Annual eVA & Banner Purchasing Course 2014. Please review the items on the resources tab to help in completion of 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, or Jackie Glover at 828-0903,

New Substitute W9

Please start using the new Commonwealth of Virginia Substitute W9 form provided in the link below. This form has replaced our previous substitute W9 form. If you have questions in regards to this form please contact Patricia Shazer at 828-5067, or Marvin Lee at 828-6977,

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

Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution:

90 Day Notices
Effective in October, monthly emails distributed as “Employees assigned to closing Organization Code” and “90 Day Notice for termination of Organization Code”, will contain the Proposal Number, and also the Grant Type, as additional information to assist administrators in determining appropriate the action needed as the Budget Period End Date nears. Additionally, the document “Memorandum-90 Days Notice”, has been revised. The changes made are intended to allow G&C Accountants to consistently take the action needed in Banner based on the Fiscal Administrator’s indication selected on the form. Thank you for your valued input!

Effort Reporting and ECRT Updates

All departments in ECRT must have an established Primary Effort Coordinator. This access is limited to one (1) Primary Coordinator per department. Additional Secondary Coordinators may be added as needed with viewing and reporting access only. Please utilize the ECRT Access Request form found on the Controller's Website when requesting new access or submitting updates/changes as necessary.

Institutional Base Salary (IBS) definition:
“The annual compensation rate, as determined by University administrative procedures, for an employee’s appointment (“University effort”) devoted toward University-related activities. See for the listing of compensation codes included in ECRT. IBS includes both compensation for University-related effort, and compensation from the MCV Physicians (MCVP) Practice Plan for clinical effort. However, some specific types of compensation are not included for the purposes of effort reporting. These types include bonuses, reward/recognition compensation, etc.”

Your assistance is needed with the upcoming and past due effort reporting deadlines:

Semi-Annual certifications period 12-10-13 to 06-09-14 are due by 10-21-14

Semester certifications period 05-10-14 to 08-09-14 are due by 11-14-14

Quarterly certifications period 06-10-14 to 09-09-14 are due by 12-14-14

Semi-Annual certifications period 06-10-13 to 12-09-13 were due by 04-21-14

Semester certifications period 12-25-13 to 05-09-14 were due by 08-14-14

Quarterly certifications period 03-10-14 to 06-09-14 were due by 09-14-14

Remember to conduct proactive reviews (especially before grants close-out), 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:

Effort Reporting's website:
Helpful Tools:

Grants and Contracts Accounting/Effort Reporting extends our gratitude to you for all that you do to assist our office and to minimize non-compliance risks on sponsored programs at VCU. Please don’t hesitate to contact a G&C/Effort Reporting staff member if at any time you have questions that cannot be answered by content on the Controller/G&C website.

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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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