November 2016

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

Table of Contents

Finance and Administration

Staff Holiday Celebrations


As we enter the holiday season, many departments and units will be holding holiday celebrations to recognize and celebrate the staff during this time. This communication serves as a kindly reminder to remain responsible stewards of University resources and departments do not consider institutional funds (all ledgers) to pay 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 6, 2016.

Thank you.

Karol Kain Gray
Vice President for Finance and Budget

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

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Procurement Services

Winter Closing Payment Processing Schedule

Winter Close is fast approaching and the countdown has begun!

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 or direct your inquiries to the email addresses as noted on the below schedule.


Cutoff Date

Cutoff Time

Transaction Type

By What Means


Contact with Questions

Dec 02

04:30 PM

Requisitions for Purchases Between $10k - $50k

(Fully Approved Requisition)

Requisitions for purchases between

$10k - $50k  must be received by this date to ensure PO processing prior to winter break

Dec 02

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 09

04:30 PM


Invoices received via USPS or Email to (Successfully Delivered)

Invoices received "after" this cutoff will ONLY be processed as time permits

Dec 09

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



P-Card Transaction
(Fully Approved by Vendor)

Bank of America (BOA) transactions posted from 11/14-12/15/16 will be processed before close

Dec 20

4:30 PM


P-Card Allocations

Allocations must be completed by close of business in order for Banner upload to be completed

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 2016_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 Brenda Mowen, the Director of Procurement Services at or 8-3661.

Department of Transportation Bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Effective Saturday, October 15, 2016 the Galaxy Note 7 by Samsung was banned from all air transportation. Individuals who own a Samsung Galaxy Note7 device must not transport the device on their person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage on flights to, from, or within the United States. If passengers attempt to travel by air with their Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices, the phones may be confiscated and passengers may face fines. Passengers who attempt to evade the ban by packing their phone in checked luggage are increasing the risk of a catastrophic incident. Anyone violating the ban may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines.

The Department of Transportation bulletin contains more information.

November P-Card Training

November training is scheduled for November 9th for cardholders and November 10th for reviewers. Please check to register for these courses.

Cardholders and reviewers are encouraged to sign up for the P-card Policy and Works trainings available each month. The class will give an overview of policies and procedures for the P-card program including online reconciliation, GL allocations, receipt imaging, and much more.

For more information about classroom trainings and to register for any of the classes above, please visit: Take a Classroom Course

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Treasury Services

Wells Fargo Recognition Card Service to End on December 31

The Recognition/Gift Card service offered through Wells Fargo will end on December 31, 2016. You can continue to distribute any Recognition Cards that you have on hand. Existing cards will continue to work in accordance with their cardholder agreement and funds will not expire. You may continue to order cards through December. We are looking at other options for a prepaid card service.

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Business Services

VCU Mail Services Introduces SC Logic—a New Inbound Accountable Mail Tracking System

Recently VCU Mail Services introduced a new inbound accountable mail tracking system and some of you have received “out of the ordinary” emails. Once a piece of USPS accountable mail is received at VCU Mail Services and input into our system, you will receive an email notification from “” Many recipients have thought this to be a spam email, however it is an automated notification email that will provide you, the recipient of the package, the tracking number and an expected delivery time or expected availability time to pick up from appropriate satellite location. If you have any questions, please call VCU Mail Services at 828-1343.

VCU Mail Services’ Thanksgiving Schedule

The university will be closed on Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25, 2016. VCU Mail Services will observe the same university holidays. On Wednesday, November 23, 2016, both satellite operations (VCU Medical Center and Monroe Park Campus) will close at 12:00 noon. The main processing facility located at 1622 Ownby Lane will close at 1:00 p.m.

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Controller's Office

Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution:

Final close-out expenses/corrections for months of November and December:
In preparation for many upcoming Final Financial Reports (FFRs) which are due at month end in November and December, and due to the University holiday closing schedule, Grants and Contracts Accounting (G&C) requests your assistance with having all encumbrances liquidated, payments processed, and any corrections to closing grants/contracts/subawards finalized by the 18th of Nov. or 9th of Dec. of the applicable final reporting due date month. If assistance is needed, we are happy to partner with you to determine applicability.

Industry Clinical Trial Invoices:
Where industry clinical trial contracts require billings based on contracted deliverables, the principal investigator should provide Grants and Contracts Accounting the number of patients or other deliverable detail for billing the sponsor.

Should the department take the responsibility for billing the Industry Clinical Trial sponsor, the department is responsible for collecting funds for all transactions billed by the department. In this instance G&C requires a copy of the invoice so that Cash Compliance staff can properly credit the correct trial upon payment. The invoice should be emailed to and to the G&C Accountant for proper accounting, and in order that the G&C Accountant is aware to increase the budget accordingly in the amount of revenue received. In the event funds are not collected from the sponsor, the principal investigator will be responsible for the cash deficit balance.

Cost Overruns Policy – How to remove Deficits:
Your assistance is needed. Due to the impact that Banner Indexes in deficit have on monthly invoices to the Sponsor, you are requested to pay special attention to the existing deficit policy located at It is the responsibility of the department head, fiscal administrator, principal investigator and/or responsible person to ensure that adequate funds are available for expenditure transactions, including payroll disbursements. Should any index be in a deficit position for two consecutive months, no further transactions will be processed against the index until the deficit is eliminated. Exceptions to this policy will be granted only when special arrangements have been made in advance. Such arrangements must include a specific plan for eliminating the deficit on a permanent basis.

Effort Reporting and ECRT Updates

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

Semester certifications period 5-10-16 to 08-09-16 are due by 11-14-2016

Quarterly certifications period 06-10-16 to 09-09-16 are due by 12-14-16

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

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

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

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

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:

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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