August 2017

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

New Vetting Process for IT Products that Handle Sensitive VCU Data

In order to enhance data risk management practices and meet regulatory expectations, VCU will begin to require a formal risk assessment for IT projects and services that are designed to handle confidential and regulated (Category I) University information. Through a collaborative effort among Procurement Services, the Information Security office, and the Controller's office, VCU has defined a set of processes for determining the applicability of the risk assessment for a new purchase request, as well as a process for annual review of existing IT projects and services. For applicable new IT purchases, Fiscal Administrators will be responsible for presenting these to the InfoSec office for review, prior to starting the Procurement process. For more information, please see the updated IT purchasing page on the VCU Procurement website: (Technology Formal Risk Assessment)

August, 2017 - Travel Services Trainings

Travel Policy & Procedures August 1st, 9:00am – 10:30am, MPC |
August 2nd, 9:00am – 10:30am, MCV
Chrome River Hand-On Training August 10th, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, MCV
Christopherson Hands-On Training August 16th, 9:00am – 11:00am, MCV


Chrome River Updates

The first week of July, Chrome River updated user profiles, which caused users with or mymail email addresses to be refreshed. Users with one of these email addresses may notice they cannot approve pre-approvals or expense reports by email despite having done so in the past. All Chrome River users with or mymail email addresses will need to update their alternate email addresses under Preferences in Chrome River.


  1. Log in to Chrome River
  2. Click on Options from the top right hand menu:
  3. Click on Preferences from the drop down menu
  4. Under Alternate Email Addresses, enter up to 3 alternate email address in the free flow boxes:
  5. Click Save:

Please contact if you have any questions or concerns.

Chrome River Expense Report Tracking

Chrome River expense owners and/or delegates are encouraged to review the Tracking of expense reports or pre-approvals prior to contacting Travel Services about report status. The expense report can be seen in the Expense owners “My Recently Submitted Expenses” queue.

Highlight the expense report and click “Tracking in the menu.


A new window will appear, allowing users to see who the current approver is (Show Current), who previously approved the expense report (Show All), and who is projected to receive the expense report next (Show Projected) by selecting the appropriate radio button:


Users can also review payment information once an expense report shows a status of “Paid” by clicking the Payment Data link. Payment data provides check number, Banner document number, pay date, and amount of payment. For reports with multiple payments, users can see all payments from a single report:


    Approvers can review tracking for reports they’ve approved by selecting “Inquiry” at the top of their Chrome River Dashboard. Select “My Expense Approval Items”, click Criteria tab, enter Filter parameters, then click “Run Report”. Highlight the correct report and click “Tracking”.

    Changes to Pending Queue in Works

    In June, Bank of America Works implemented a date filter on the pending sign off screens that showed only charges up to 30 days old. BOA has now changed that filter to automatically show charges up to 100 days old. Cardholders and Approvers must change the filter to see charges older than 100 days. Step by step instructions on how to change the filters are available on our website here.

    If you have any questions, please contact

    Billing Address Changes in Works

    The billing address on file with Bank of America for all cards remains in “P.O. Box” format. Please continue to use this formatting to avoid declines for address mismatch.

    If you have any questions, please contact

    Corporate Purchasing Card Agreement Form

    The updated Corporate Purchasing Card Agreement Form is now available on the website. Please begin using this form immediately.

    If you have any questions, please contact

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    Controller's Office

    Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

    FYI and further distribution:

    Advance Index Requests 
    To best assist departments in the post award process, we request department’s assistance with completing all of the required fields of the Advance Index Request. This also includes providing all available proposals numbers (PT, PD, SC, and FP numbers) and the VID of the Principal Investigator. It is also helpful if a copy of the RFP or announcement can accompany the advance index request to aid in the grant establishment process.

    90 Day Notices 
    An administrative action may be required in Rams-Spot, when selecting options 1. Additional years/Additional funding, 2. Supplemental funding, and 3. No-Cost Extension only. In the event the department is aware that the new year of an award will be assigned a new award number (by the Sponsor), a new FP may also be needed in Rams-Spot.

    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.

    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

    What should we do, if a subawardee notifies the University and/or Principal Investigator that additional funding is needed to meet the objectives of an existing award? The Principal Investigator should not obligate University funding without having the appropriate subaward agreement from the Office Sponsored Programs.

    Per the Sponsored Programs Award Review, Negotiation, Acceptance and Notification Policy, “Only an Authorized Official may execute agreements on behalf of VCU. Please notify Office of Sponsored Programs if a modification of an existing agreement needs to be considered. Additional guidance is provided in the link below.
    Sponsored Programs Award Review, Negotiation

    Cost Transfers on Sponsored Projects – Focus of increased audit review: 
    Effective immediately, all cost transfers to sponsored programs are subject to be reviewed for detailed documentation. You should ensure that your department has established written internal controls to minimize questionable cost transfers, as well as other non-compliant post 60-day cost transfers, and that the internal controls are documented in your department’s ARMICS measures. Federal regulations require additional documentation to support ALL cost transfers to sponsored program indexes. Costs may not be shifted to other research projects or from one budget period to the next period solely to cover cost overruns. Cost transfers based on funding considerations are prohibited (i.e., cannot transfer costs to use up remaining funds).
    G&C Cost Transfer Procedures

    Effort Reporting and ECRT Updates

    Starting in May G&C, Effort Reporting staff, and Huron Inc., the software providers for the ECRT system, kicked-off our upgrade from release 4.1 to release 5.2. The upgrade will take place from May 22nd through the end of July 2017. VCU employees from central administrative areas, school/department/division level directors/administrators will be invited to participate in varied roles which may include on the Steering Committee (including technical staff), Project Management Team, and Training Team.

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

    Quarterly certifications period 12-10-16 to 03-09-17 were due by 06-14-17

    Semi-Annual certifications period 06/10/16 to 12/09/16 were due by 04-21-17

    Semester certifications period 08-10-16 to 12-24-16 were due by 03-21-2017

    Quarterly certifications period 03-10-17 to 06-09-17 are due by 09-14-17

    Semester certifications period 12-25-16 to 05-09-17 are due by 08-14-2017

    Semi-Annual certifications period 12/10/16 to 06/09/17 are due by 10-21-17

    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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