July 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



The VCU Procurement Services has learned from the VCU supplier community that some of our suppliers had received fraudulent emails sent by a scam and involving notifications of Requests for Proposals, establishment of credit, and/or submission of a purchase order that purports to originate from VCU, but in fact is fraudulent.

Procurement Services has contacted appropriate law enforcement and internal audit officials and an investigation in ongoing.

In order to alert VCU’s supplier base Procurement Services posted a bold red alert on its webpage with a click through to an Advisory Alert outlining some of the common traits and themes that have shown up including:

  1. The form used is not an official procurement document used by VCU.
  2. The sender’s email address or website link are not VCU’s standard email address domain which is @vcu.edu.
  3. The phone and fax number listed differs from the VCU regular phone numbers listed on the www.vcu.edu/procurement website.
  4. The message or counterfeit RFP requests large quantities of IT/AV related items that a large university such as VCU might procure.
  5. Examples of the fraudulent email address domains have been: @mx4.wirt-16.biznes-host.pl or @vcuedu.org

In the Alert, VCU Procurement Services has advised suppliers receiving suspicious emails or other procurement related communications to follow their companies’ internal security protocol and to contact law enforcement.

Further, Procurement Services has established Steven Pulis, Category Manager, and his contact information as a central point of contact for suppliers wishing to validate or a suspicious communication or email. If, at the Departmental Level, a supplier should bring such a suspicious and potentially fraudulent scam to your attention, please forward the information to Procurement Services or have the company contact Steven Pulis.

VCU Contact:
Steven Pulis, Category Manager/ Procurement Services
Ph.: 804-828-5954/email: spulis@vcu.edu

New Enterprise Contract Terms

The new agreement with Enterprise is intended for use by VCU faculty, staff, or students when conducting VCU business. Personal use of this agreement is not allowed. However the discounted rates offered by this agreement are extended to the VCU community for personal use through the customer identification number XZ21953. None of the other contract terms or benefits apply for personal use beyond the discounted rates.

In addition, this agreement is international in scope and discounted rates are offered in a wide variety of nations. For more information on international rentals, contact Nick Fetzer at nbfetzer@vcu.edu.

Tax Exemption on Catering & Food

As of April 22, 2016, all state agencies are exempt from paying taxes on catering and the purchase of food and meals. This means that departments should not pay tax on food, meals, catering and services related to catering. Please note: tax will be charged on all items purchased and/or shipped outside of the Commonwealth in accordance with the laws of each state.

The full text of the new policy begins on page three of Tax Bulletin 16-3 available https://www.tax.virginia.gov/sites/default/files/inline-files/TB_16_3_Nonprofit_Meals_Bulletin.pdf.

Please download a copy of the new Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption Form for use with all vendors.

P-card Policy and GL Allocation Training

Cardholders and reviewers are encouraged to sign up for the Policy and GL Allocations trainings available in August and September on the Monroe Park Campus. For more information about classroom trainings see our website: Take a Classroom Course

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 JV’s

Receipt imaging

Receipt Imaging is available and allows users to upload and maintain their P-Card documentation in Works. All departments are encouraged to use this feature to aid VCU’s “Go Green” initiative. Works is the system of record for all P-card transactions and receipts. Bank of America is contractually obligated to meet Library of Virginia Retention Schedule standards (fiscal year plus three additional fiscal years).

For more information and training about how to utilize this new feature please see the Online_Reconciliation_Guide_Web.

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

Amazon PCO number in Works

“GL05: Amazon PCO #” is now available in Works! Effective immediately, all Amazon transactions must include the PCO number in this section when allocating transactions and before sign off. The number may be entered as “PCO1234567” or “1234567.” This information is available on our website Know what I Can and Cannot Purchase.

P-card June Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I upload a receipt after I sign off on the transaction?
    • If your reviewer has not completed sign off, then they can flag the transaction and send it back to you to upload a receipt. Receipts cannot be uploaded once the transaction is fully approved by the cardholder and reviewer.
  • I did not pay tax. Can I change the “Reference & Tax” section to reflect that?
    • You must not make any changes in this section. All allocations must be done in the “Allocation” section. Changing anything in the “Reference & Tax” section will prevent you from signing off and will damage the monthly Banner upload.
  • I am trying to sign off on my allocated transaction, but I am get an error that says “One or more GL combinations are invalid.” What does this mean?
    • The error indicates one of the following issues:
      • Index and department number are not a valid combination. The index must match the department number as reflected in the Chart of Accounts. Note: The department number must be updated before the index.
      • You do not have access to allocate to that index and/or department number. In this case, the charge should be JV’d in Banner.
      • The account code is not valid or does not exist in Works. You may only choose account codes from the approved list in Works, attempting to bypass the list will prevent you from signing off and will damage the monthly Banner upload.
  • I am moving departments, can I keep my cards or do I have to cancel them and get new ones?
    • You are able to take your cards with you to your new department. However, all transactions must be reconciled by you and current reviewer prior to the move. Please contact CorpCard@vcu.edu for further assistance with this process.

Past Due Invoice Payment on a P-card

In accordance with Commonwealth of VA Accounting Policies and Procedures, cardholders are prohibited from using the P-card to pay a vendor invoice that is past due. For more information on Prompt Pay guidelines click here: Submit an Invoice and Receive Payment.

Please see the Special Circumstances section of the Accounts Payable site for more information about paying past due invoices

Travel Updates

TRAVEL PAGES – Travel Services encourages travelers, delegates and approvers to review the updated Travel page on Procurement Service’s website. In order to better serve the University, Travel Services is actively updating this page to ensure travelers have the information they need before, during and post- travel. Information may have been moved, so please be sure to update any links you may have saved.

DOCUMENTATION UPDATES – Due to changes in IRS documentation requirements and the December, 2015 update to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s CAPP manual, receipts are not required for expenses such as baggage fees, taxi/shuttle service and parking, below $75. For the full list of expenses not requiring documentation please see Travel Service’s Reimbursement page. Also, please be aware that these expenses will no longer route to Travel Services for review prior to payment

TRAINING – Travel Policy & Procedures training will resume in August, and will be held in the Forum Room located in University Student Commons. Chrome River training will resume in September and will move to the Technology Classroom in the Technology Administration Building. Travelers, delegates and approvers are encouraged to attend; seats are limited so registration is required. You can register online via Procurement Service’s Take a Classroom Course page.

For any travel related question, please contact travel@vcu.edu.

Invoice Submission

Vendors should submit their invoices directly to Accounts Payable’s mailing address unless specified otherwise on the contract.

Departments are urged to instruct vendors to comply and should not accept copies that are mailed or emailed to them directly unless specified on the contract. In the event the department receives the vendor invoice, it should immediately be forwarded to Accounts Payable either by email or interdepartmental mail.

Reminder: Invoices received in Accounts Payable must reference a valid purchase order number. The invoice will not be processed and will be returned to the sender for correction.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.


Receivers for purchase orders should be entered in Banner as soon as the product is received or the services are rendered; invoices will not pay by the due date if the receiver is missing. Because Accounts Payable has limited staff, please kindly remind staff with “receiving” responsibilities to respect a vendor’s need for prompt payment and to key receivers into the system AT THE TIME THE GOODS OR SERVICES ARE RECEIVED, not after the invoice is received, budget issues are resolved or the vendor begins to complain. Invoices will not pay by the due date if the receiver is missing. Your continual cooperation is vital to the process.

An automated weekly receiving needed report continues to be emailed. If there are old issues included on your report, please send a detailed listing as well as the reason it should be removed and we will work to clean up the data. Please encourage your staff to contact Accounts Payable if they need any help in resolving payment issues. 804-828-1077 option 1

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Grants & Contracts

Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates


FYI and further distribution:

You asked – “What are the Pros and Cons of requesting an Advance Banner Index”? What do departments/schools need to be aware of when requesting Advance Banner Indexes? When the principal investigator has received an unofficial notification from the sponsoring agency listed below that their grant/contract application has been accepted, the principal investigator may request an index number while Sponsored Programs Administration is waiting for the formal notice of award from the sponsoring agency. The principal investigator may fax, email or mail the completed memorandum to Grants and Contracting Accounting to secure the index number/s. Some pros include the ability to minimize later non-compliant cost transfers, proper allocation of costs to specific project, and ability for P.I. to see the assigned costs in the P.I. Dashboard from the onset. Some cons include the appearance of the Index on the Reporting Center Deficit Report, the inability of G&C to invoice the sponsor for the reimbursement of incurred costs prior to official awarding, the risk of the proposed project not being awarded as projected.

Departments and Schools need to ensure that when requesting an advanced index that they provide accurate information on the proposed award. The information provided determines the Banner codes used by G&C Accountants to setup the award. Subsequently the data in Banner is used for Annual Financial Statements/Reporting, Official Surveys that rank VCU based on research expenditures, and Federal Expenditure Reports used by the Commonwealth of VA and audited by both State and Federal Auditors.

VCU FERs – Please return forms to Accountants. Often times Banner may not reflect documentable pending salary and non-labor obligations incurred for the award year ending but not encumbered (GA Tuition, Animal Use charges, etc.) Otherwise Banner will be used to meet Sponsor Reporting deadlines.

Effort Reporting and ECRT Updates


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

Quarterly certifications period 03-10-16 to 06-09-16 are due by 09-14-16

Semester certifications period 12-25-15 to 05-09-16 are due by 08-14-16

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

Quarterly certifications period 12-10-15 to 03-09-16 were due by 06-14-16

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

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

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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