November 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


Procurement Services

Winter Closing Payment Processing Schedule

It’s that time again, Winter Close is upon us.

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.

P-Card Updates

International Transaction Fee
Bank of America will no longer charge International Transaction Fees for charges processed outside the U.S. This change was implemented in compliance with Bank of America’s new contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Chip and Pin Cards
Chip and Pin cards are coming! The Governor has mandated that all state P-cards be Chip and Pin by December 1, 2015. We are currently working with Bank of America to ensure a seamless change over to the new cards. If you would like to know more about Chip and Pin cards please visit the link here.

Bank of America Works Receipt Imaging
Departments are encouraged to utilize receipt imaging that is available and allows users to upload and maintain their P-Card documentation in Works. For more information about how to utilize this feature please see the Pcard Online Reconciliation Procedures . Additional training resources, videos and PDF guides are available in Blackboard. The Procurement page is listed under “My Organizations” and users can either self-enroll at any time.

If you have questions about the above topics, please contact

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Controller’s Office

Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution:

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

***Recent email notifications on the Health Science campus failed due to when mail routing changed and moved to a cloud station. The notifications which have been identified as having failed will be resent. We apologize in the event of any duplication. The problem has been resolved by IT with updates to the ECRT application settings. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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:

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

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

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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