December 2015

Table of Contents

Finance and Administration

Holiday Celebrations Funding

Now that we are well into the fall semester, over the next few weeks many departments and units will be holding holiday celebrations. In economically challenging times, VCU's budget remains austere and as responsible stewards of University resources, we should not use institutional funds (all ledgers) for these activities. However, informal social events such as pot luck meals and desserts are certainly encouraged as appropriate ways for colleagues to share the holiday spirit. The use of other non-institutional funds for these activities should be considered with prudence.

The official University sponsored celebration will be the annual holiday reception from 3 to 5 pm hosted by President Rao at the University Student Commons on the Monroe Park Campus on December 8, 2015.

Thank you.

Jay BonfiliInterim Vice President for Finance and Administration

Gail Hackett, Ph.D.Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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Procurement Services

Winter Closing Payment Processing Schedule

Please make every effort to insure that receivers have been completed in Banner for invoices to process in a timely manner.

If you have any questions regarding Procurement Services’ Winter Closing deadlines please contact us at (804) 828-1077.

Cutoff Date Cutoff Time Transaction Type By What Means Notes Contact with Questions
Dec 01 04:30 PM Requisitions for Purchases Between $10k - $50k eVA(Fully Approved Requisition) Requisitions for purchases between$10k - $50k must be received by this date for PO processing prior to winter break
Dec 04 04:30 PM Moving & Relocation Reimbursements Email to (Successfully Delivered) Moving and Relocation reimbursement requests received by this date with all necessary documentation will be submitted to Payroll
Dec 07 04:30 PM Invoices Email to (Successfully Delivered) Invoices received "after" this cutoff will ONLY be processed as time permits
Dec 11 04:30 PM Travel & Personal Reimbursements Chrome River (Fully Approved Transaction) Requests received "after" this cutoff will ONLY be processed as time permits
Dec 15 Midnight P-Card P-Card Transaction (Fully Approved by Vendor) Bank of America (BOA) transactions posted from 11/14-12/15/15 will be processed before close

Limitations on Receiving Vendor/Contractor “Gifts”

Vendors and contractors at times seek to express their appreciation for the University's business through gifts, especially during the holiday season.

As a public institution, VCU and its employees are required to follow assorted rules and policies governing procurement, conflict of interests, ethics and receipt (and reporting) of gifts. It is the general practice of VCU and its employees “not” to solicit or accept gifts of any kind from vendors or contractors, not only throughout the holiday season but throughout the entire year.

If vendors or contractors have sent gifts in the past, we highly encourage departments to send a notice, similar to the notice at 2015_Notice_to_Vendors_RGDG_Gifts, to preclude mishaps during the upcoming holiday season. In addition, any gifts that are received should be politely and promptly returned with similar notice to the vendor or contractor.

If you have any questions about soliciting or accepting gifts from vendors or contractors, please contact the Director of Procurement Services at or 8-3661.

Printer/Toner Cartridge Phone Scammers Are Back!

Earlier we cautioned you about a "toner cartridge" scam that was occurring across the university. While it had subsided, recent reports indicate that the scammers are back! The scam works like this...

  • Employees get a phone call from someone who appears to be a VCU employee or vendor rep. The caller sounds legitimate and employees volunteer info about their printers and/or agree to place orders.
  • The LED info on your phone from the incoming call looks legitimate, but it is not.
  • You receive toner cartridges and you are billed, whether you ordered them or not.
  • The toner cartridges are at times substandard or never delivered, yet demands are made for payment and returns are difficult.

Please …… remind persons who manage printers that VCU currently has only two “authorized” toner suppliers. They are Ball Office Supply and Guy Brown. Neither supplier is permitted to call departments to solicit orders. Instead, orders may only be filled by placing orders in eVA.

To stop this scam, it is imperative that employees disconnect any calls they receive from persons offering to sell toner cartridges. Also, if invoices are received, that you report the names of the vendors to the Director of Procurement Services so that they are held accountable for their unethical sales practices.

Secure your P-Card

Cardholders are reminded to store their cards in a secure location on campus during Winter Break. Cards that are carried on your person could be lost or accidentally used during the holiday. Please help the University combat fraud by securing your card.

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Controller’s Office

Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution:

The NIH has released the November 2015 version of the NIH Grants Policy Statement applicable to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2015. The revision supersedes in its entirety the current March 2015 version.

Federal Uniform Guidance - On December 26, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued Uniform Guidance that replaced the administrative, accounting, audit rules and principles currently promulgated in OMB Circulars A-21, A-110, and A-133. The Uniform Administrative Requirements, and Cost Principles found at applies to new and incremental funding awarded on or after December 26, 2014. Existing Federal awards will continue to be governed by the terms and conditions under which they were awarded.

New links to VCU references such as the Uniform Guidance Quick Reference Guide are continuous. Additional links will be added on both the Controller and OSP websites as new guidance is available.

  • Reminder - Final Expenditure Reports (FER) – FERs issued by G&C Accountants and forwarded to Principal Investigators or Administrators for certification satisfy the required review of the final financial activity of the budget year or project year. The FER used by G&C Accountants has been recently revised to identify carry-forward (if applicable) to be requested by the P.I. on budget year awards where not already specifically allowed by sponsor award type. The FER certification is required on all federal projects, and is consistently applied to all sponsored projects as verification that all expenditures charged to the sponsored project are for the purpose of the award, and in accordance with the agreement. Non-compliance risks are greatly increased when an FER is not returned to the Accountant in a timely manner.
  • Reminder - Post Doc and Graduate stipend/scholarship/award payments from sponsored projects cannot have all lines (all pay dates) on the purchase order “received” at the same time. The payments due from the P.O. on sponsored projects must be partially received to ensure that the resulting expenditure that posts in Banner based on the receiving action is not more than the actual stipend payment/s to be issued by VCU Accounts Payable on or near that date. Additionally, when establishing the payment schedule for the Trainee with Accounts Payable, the schedule should only be established initially to the end of the awarded budget period (unless the fellow’s appointment period does not align). This way the incorrect budget year index will not be erroneously charged. Departments identified in FY2015 and 2016 Banner reports as continuing to have stipend/scholarship payments transactions “received” for more periods in a single action than monthly will be notified in writing of the resulting compliance risk. Thank you for your assistance.

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.

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

Quarterly certifications period 06-10-15 to 09-09-15 are due by 12-14-15

Semi-Annual certifications period 06/10/15 to 12/09/15 will be released 02-22-16 and will be due by 04-21-2016

Quarterly certifications period 03-10-15 to 06-09-15 were due by 09-14-15

Semi-Annual certifications period 12/10/14 to 06/09/15 were due by 10-21-15

Semester certifications period 05-10-15 to 08-09-15 were due by 11-14-15

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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