December 2017

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 Holidays and Celebrations

Colleagues:

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 1, 2017.

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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Controller's Office

Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution:

Final close-out expenses/corrections for month of December:
In preparation for many upcoming Final Financial Reports (FFRs) and final billing due dates for awards which are due at month end in 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 11thof December. If assistance is needed, we are happy to partner with you to determine applicability.

Increase in BADPAY transactions
In recent months the VCU Payroll office has spent significant time resolving sponsored program employee payroll that posted to the university BADPAY Org/Fund Code. Payroll is directed to BADPAY when the Fund Code on the employee’s labor distribution has a Termination Date which is in effect for the applicable pay period. Departments are expected to take actions necessary prior to the Budget Period End Date to minimize post budget year unallowable charges from being allocated to sponsored programs. The following are measures or opportunities intended to avoid unallowable charges, and minimize the administrative burden put on payroll staff unnecessarily:

90 Day Notices
Review the status of each sponsored program Index 90 days prior to the budget period end date. The Notice when properly returned to G&C, an OSP Snapshot, and along with communication as the Index nears the budget period end date, all advises the G&C Accountant if the Index/Fund Termination Date may need to be extended due to pending actions.

Employees on Terminating Fund emails
Monthly notification emails are sent to FAs for Indexes within 60 days of the Fund Termination date in Banner, to alert the FA of employees still assigned to a terminating Index.

Monthly reconciliations
Required monthly reconciliations of all Banner Org Codes and payroll reports are proactive requirements which are expected to minimize BADPAY transactions.

Your assistance and understanding is greatly appreciated!


Effort Reporting and ECRT Updates

Season's Greetings,

I hope those who use the ECRT (Effort Reporting) system were able to participate in our recent training series which provided an overview of the ECRT upgrade (5.2). If you were unable to attend, the training materials have been posted to the University Controller's website and can be accessed at the links below.

ECRT Training Presentation

ECRT Upgrade Quick Guide

ECRT Upgrade - Icons and Statuses

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

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

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

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

Quarterly certifications period 06-10-17 to 09-09-17 are due by 12-14-17

Semester certifications period 05-10-17 to 08-09-17 are due by 11-14-2017

Semi-Annual certifications period 06/10/17 to 12/09/17 are due by 04-21-18

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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Procurement Services

How Do I Submit a Contract for Review?

This article is the second part of a three-part series discussing contract reviews valued $10,000 or less. In part one, Procurement Services discussed how to prepare a contact for review. As a recap, your department should: (1) gather all necessary documents; (2) ensure the material terms are included; and (3) read the terms and conditions. In case you missed part one, review November 2017 Newsletter

Part 2 of 3: Submitting a Contract for Review

First, obtain any necessary pre-approval from the appropriate department. Some of the necessary pre-approvals include Information Technology, University Relations, and Facilities. After the appropriate department approves their portion of the contract, forward the written approval to contracts@vcu.edu in accordance with the below procedures.

Second, submit an email requesting a review to contracts@vcu.edu. Please do not submit any correspondence regarding a contract to an individual’s personal email address. Accordingly, the email must include the PR/PO/PCO number in the subject line. Also, if the contract involves an event or hotel—include HOTEL/EVENT in the subject line.

Finally, in the body of the email provide a brief history of the contract submitted for review. In other words, describe the status of any communication with the vendor, departmental concerns with the terms, and any information you believe would be helpful during the review process. The description should be brief and limited to a few sentences.

Tune in next month for part 3 of 3 when we discuss—Signing a Contract!


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 2017 Notice to Vendors Gifts and Entertainment Restrictions, 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 bmowen@vcu.edu or 828-3361.


Reminder: Winter Closing Payment Processing Schedule

Winter closing payment processing is upon us!  Please make every effort to insure that receivers have been completed in Banner for invoices to process in a timely manner. Questions can be directed  to our office by calling 828-1077 or via email at the addresses below.

Cutoff Date and TimeTransaction TypeBy What Means 
Dec 01
04:30 PM
Requisitions for Purchases Between $10k - $50k eVA
(Fully Approved Requisition)
Requisitions for purchases between $10k - $50k must be received by this date to ensure PO processing prior to winter break
Contact jwvandyck@vcu.edu with questions
Dec 01
04:30 PM
Moving & Relocation Reimbursements Email to
moverelocate@vcu.edu
(Successfully Delivered)
Moving and Relocation reimbursement requests received by this date with all necessary documentation will be submitted to Payroll
Contact moverelocate@vcu.edu with questions
Dec 08
04:30 PM
Invoices Invoices received via USPS or Email to deptinvoices@vcu.edu
(Successfully Delivered)
Invoices received "after" this cutoff will ONLY be processed as time permits
Contact tsmith65@vcu.edu with questions
Dec 08
04:30 PM
Travel & Personal Reimbursements Chrome River
(Fully Approved Transaction)
Requests received "after" this cutoff will ONLY be processed as time permits
Contact travel@vcu.edu with questions
Dec 15
Midnight
P-Card P-Card Transaction
(Fully Approved by Vendor)
Bank of America (BOA) transactions posted from 11/14-12/15/17 will be processed before close
Contact corpcard@vcu.edu with questions
Dec 20
04:30 PM
P-Card P-Card Allocations Allocations must be completed by close of business in order for Banner upload to be completed
Contact corpcard@vcu.edu with questions

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