September 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

Christopherson Business Travel - Required Profile Update

As new faculty and staff begin the academic year, please be sure these new employees update their Traveler Profile prior to booking travel with Christopherson. This is only required the first time a traveler books, but can be updated at any time if information (cell, address, frequent flyer) needs to be changed.

The Online Booking Tool (OBT) will prompt you to complete the profile before booking. If booking with a travel agent, your profile must be complete to ensure your personal information is correct. If booking for a guest of the university, the profile of the VCU employee responsible for the booking must complete.

Information on updating the Traveler Profile can be found at:

Travel and Corporate Card Policies and Trainings

Travel Policy & Procedures Training

Travel Policy & Procedures training will be available beginning in August. This revised classroom training delivers a comprehensive review of VCU travel policies, guidelines and procedures. Travelers, delegates and approvers are encouraged to attend; seats are limited so registration is required.

Chrome River Training

Based on feedback from previous training classes, Chrome River training will now be hands-on. The Travel Policy & Procedures Training is now a pre-requisite to this hands-on course. Travelers, delegates and approvers are encouraged to attend; seats are limited so registration is required.

Pcard Policy and Works Classroom Training

Cardholders and reviewers are encouraged to sign up for the Pcard Policy and Works trainings available starting in August. The class will give an overview of policies and procedures for the Pcard 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

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.

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Controller's Office

Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution:

Staff Update – Angela Brown-Conklin and Linda Gillis joined G&C Accounting’s Customer Service Teams on August 25, 2016. Angela came to G&C from the School of Engineering, and Linda is new to VCU coming from private industry Performance Food Group. Both have significant accounting experience and are excited to assist you.

Transferring Principal Investigators (Internal and External-Prime Sponsor)
Grants and Contracts Accounting (G&C) requests your assistance with alerting both G&C and OSP when the department receives notification that an internal Principal Investigator and/or an external (prime) Principal Investigator is separating/transferring. This form of separation may impact the awarding period of performance and/or the University’s ability to be appropriately reimbursed by the Sponsor. If assistance is needed, we are happy to partner with you to navigate these instances.

You asked:

( 1) “What should we do, if a Sponsor sends an award directly to the principal investigator and/or department administrative staff?” Per the Sponsored Programs Award Review, Negotiation, Acceptance and Notification Policy, “Only an Authorized Official may execute agreements on behalf of VCU. Please forward the agreement to the Office of Sponsored Programs via the RAMSā€SPOT system for review and negotiation.” Additional guidance is provided in the link below.
Sponsored Programs Award Review, Negotiation, Acceptance and Notification Policy

( 2) “What information do you (G&C accounting) get from OSP?” An email with the Award Snapshot link

( 3) “Is the information you get from OSP enough to set up project accounts?” Not in all cases.

( 4) “If not, what information do you need to set up project accounts?” A Final Budget that matches award amount, and a Cost Share Authorization Form if cost share is listed as required on the SNAPSHOT.

( 5) “Can this information be extracted from RAMSPOT?” Not always, and oftentimes/currently the information is not in RAMSPOT (e.g. Cost Share Authorization Form), thus it is not efficient for G&C Accountants to search RAMSPOT for data to be loaded. The correct budget data to be loaded, or approved cost share authorization form which agrees with data that is reflected on the provided SNAPSHOT, needs to be provided to G&C along with SNAPSHOT or by the department administrator.

( 6) “If not, can this be added as a process before handoff to G&C?” RAMSPOT is still evolving and that question should be addressed with RAMSPOT or OSP staff.

( 7) “How do you know if there is a cost share component?” It should be acknowledged on the SNAPSHOT with a “YES” or “NO”, as well as with the Type of Cost Share if applicable.

( 8) “Where do you look in the OSP information?” On the first page of the SNAPSHOT.

( 9) “Do you need a cost share authorization form if cost share is indicated and approved in RAMSPOT?” Yes

(10) “What is your preferred way for getting updated information (new budget for example)? Should we wait until we get an email from G&C or send proactively? G&C Accountants can get the primary budget from RAMSPOT. Budgets that require loading sponsor restricted account codes, or where the department is requesting more detailed loading should be provided by the department administrator/grant administrator proactively at the time of receipt of the Award email from OSP/RAMSPOT. The Budget reallocation form located on the webpage should be used and sent to the responsible Accountant or Team email. Additionally, if the new budget is a revision, then the Budget reallocation form should also be proactively sent to the responsible Accountant or Team email.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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