January 2016

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

Table of Contents

Procurement Services

2016 IRS Standard Mileage Rate

Effective January 1, 2016, IRS standard mileage rate will be $0.54 per mile (regardless of number of miles driven as long as this was the most cost-beneficial transportation option). Non-taxable mileage rates for authorized moving and relocation reimbursements will be $0.19 per mile, also effective January 1, 2016.

New Corporate Purchasing and Travel Card Agreements

Cardholder agreements have been updated to include Chip and PIN language. Please begin using these forms immediately when requesting a new P-card or Travel Card. The forms are available on our website at the links below.

Corporate Purchasing Card Agreement

Travel Card Employee Agreement

Please contact CorpCard@vcu.edu if you have any questions.

Service Excellence Micro-Surveys

Procurement Services wants to hear from you about your experience with some of our services. The travel and corporate card groups have added survey links to the signature lines of travel@vcu.edu and corpcard@vcu.edu. These micro-surveys take less than 30 seconds to complete and will help us achieve service excellence. These surveys can be taken each time you work with or contact these areas for assistance.

Please contact Sarah O’Neill at sdoneill@vcu.edu with any questions or comments.

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Controller’s Office

Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution:

Happy New Year and welcome back!

Staff Update - Liana Fino will join G&C Accounting’s Alpha Customer Service Team on January 11, 2016. Liana comes to VCU as a graduate from and former employee of Va Tech. We are excited and look forward to Liana’s contributions to the Alpha Team and the research community.

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 is currently set at $183,300, increasing to $185,100 effective January 10, 2016. G&C staff will work closely with the Controller Office in the next week to update the NIH salary cap website content and examples presented.

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 www.ecfr.gov 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.

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 will be released 02-22-16, and due by 04-21-2016

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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