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March 2016

Published monthly, the Fiscal Administrators' News is where you can find the latest information regarding the Office of Procurement Services.

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Procurement Services

HEETF Reminder

Please be reminded that all HEETF purchases must be requisitioned, solicited, purchased, received, invoiced AND paid by fiscal year end.

  • All standard procurement policies and practices apply, including competitive requirements for purchases > $50,000.
  • Purchases > $50,000 generally require the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP); this process takes time (up to 60-90 days to complete). RFPs can only be issued by Procurement Services.
  • Attempts to artificially “split” purchases to push the cost under VCU’s competitive thresholds of $10,000 or $50,000, are serious infractions of law and policy and cannot occur.
  • While assorted cooperative contracts are available for use, check “early on” to ensure they exist. Do not assume there “is” a contract that you can tag- on to. If there isn’t competitive rules still apply.
  • Sole source procurements are rare events, and must be adequately supported and submitted well in advance for approval. If not approved, a competitive process may be required – this takes time.
  • If a contract is required to “make” a purchase, all contracts must be reviewed well in advance of purchase by Procurement Services. Purchases cannot be made until the contract is executed. Contracts that fall outside of VCU standards may require negotiation – this takes time.
  • VCU payment terms are net 30, accelerated or advanced payments may be difficult to honor.

If you have any questions around HEETF purchases or payments, please call us soon. We understand the importance of your purchases and want to help!


P-card Allocations in Bank of America Works

VCU Corpcard will launch the GL Allocation feature in Works University wide on April 16th.

Benefits to utilizing GL allocations include:

  • Ability to allocate to department indexes and expense account codes prior to transactions being loaded into Banner
  • Significant reduction or possible elimination of internal JVs

Training for GL Allocations will be available on the Procurement website and in classrooms across both campuses.


P-card Classroom Trainings

VCU Corpcard is excited to announce that classroom trainings for Works will begin next month. The course will highlight Works functionality that includes Receipt Imaging and GL Allocations.It will also teach users P-card policy and take them through the online reconciliation process using the Bank of America Works tool.

Courses will be held on both the Monroe Park and the MCV campuses.

VCU Corpcard provides two sets of trainings: one for cardholders and one for Reviewers. The Reviewer course will contain information specifically for Reviewers including tips and strategies to help you run a compliant and efficient program.

Users with both responsibilities should take the Reviewer course.

To register for the Cardholder course, please follow the link here: Cardholder Training Course
To register for the Reviewer course, please follow the link here: Reviewer Training Course

Please contact at CorpCard@vcu.edu if you have any further questions or requests.


VCU's International Travel Website

For those members of the VCU community who are traveling abroad for VCU business, a team of VCU departments has compiled all the information you'll need to travel safely and in compliance at http://internationaltravel.vcu.edu/.

Please take the time to familiarize yourself with all you need to know in order to have a safe and productive trip as you represent VCU around the world!


Chrome River Guest Selector - Business Meals

In a continued effort to ensure policy compliance, users of Chrome River will now be entering business meal attendee information within the business meal widget. This enhancement allows users to differentiate between VCU staff/faculty/employees, and external guests.

Please visit our Enhancements and New Features page for more details: https://procurement.vcu.edu/i-want-to/travel/chrome-river-enhancements-and-new-features/#business.

Please contact Ashley Eline at elineae@vcu.edu with any technical questions.


Faculty and Staff Regalia

Faculty and staff must pay for regalia using personal funds and cannot use a department index, P-card, or be reimbursed for regalia. Information regarding this policy is located on our website here.


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Controller’s Office

Reminder: Accounting Help Line

The Controller's Office staffs an Accounting Help Line (828-0388) to provide assistance with Banner Finance or to answer any accounting questions you have. The Help Line is staffed from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.


Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution:

GREAT NEWS!The fiscal year 2015 audit of VCU by the Auditor of Public Accounts has been published and is located at http://www.controller.vcu.edu/reports/CommonwealthOfVirginiaSingleAudit2015.pdf. There was no audit finding related to sponsored programs or grants and contracts! Give yourselves a standing ovation, and thank you for your continued efforts to minimize non-compliance at VCU!

NOT-OD-16-044 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-16-044.html
This Notice provides information regarding the salary limitation for NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards and extramural research and development contract awards (referred to here as grants). For FY 2016, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113), signed into law on December 18, 2015, restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale. The Executive Level II salary was formerly set at $183,300, increased to $185,100 effective January 10, 2016.


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 09-10-15 to 12-09-15 are due by 03-14-16

Semester certifications period 08-10-15 to 12-24-15 are due by 03-21-16

Semi-Annual certifications period 06/10/15 to 12/09/15 are due by 04-21-16

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

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:

ECRT URL: https://ecrtprod.asauxweb.vcu.edu/ecrt
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

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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