June 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

Procurement Services Fiscal Year-End-Close Activities

A link is provided below to access a list of Fiscal Year End transaction cutoffs pertaining to Procurement Services. The list contains information concerning invoices, requisitions, purchase orders, receiving, contract approval, Pcard, travel and personal expenses. Please make best attempts to process your transactions before the stated deadlines; otherwise, they may not be processed in time to reflect in FY17.

2017 Year End Activities

PIN Selection Process

Effective May 17, 2017, every new Pcard issued will allow cardholders the opportunity to customize their own 4-digit PIN. You will select the PIN when you call to activate your new card.

Which cardholders will this affect?
New cardholders who receive their cards after May 17, 2017, and cardholders who have a card reissued for any reason (fraud, expiration, etc.).

I’ve had my card since last year and it doesn’t expire till next year. Can I change my PIN?
No, you will not be able to select your PIN until your current card expires and/or you are issued a new card.

What number combination should I use?
Remember that your PIN is a safeguard against risk to University funds. Please choose a PIN that you can remember, but is secure. Avoid easily guessed combinations such as 1234, 1111, 2222, etc.

What if I forget my PIN?
Bank of America’s Global Access PIN check site is still available and cardholders are encouraged to register for it. The site allows you to retrieve your PIN at time. If you have chosen your PIN, you will have the ability to change or reset it at any time by simply calling the Global Card Services number listed on the back of your card.

Corpcard does not have access to your PIN and cannot reset or retrieve it if lost.

Tax Exemption on Catering & Food

Cardholders are reminded that 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.

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Business Services

VCU Fiscal Year End Purchases at RamTech

With the VCU fiscal year end approaching, departments are encouraged to use RamTech, VCU’s on-campus technology store, for all Apple® computer and accessory purchases. All departmental Dell® computer and accessory purchases must be made through the Dell Premier Page via the eVA web portal. In very limited instances, RamTech may only fulfill departmental Dell® purchases with in-store, in-stock inventory.

RamTech accepts departmental Banner index codes to facilitate chargeback transactions. Department chargeback transactions eliminate credit card fees and bank charges typically associated with P-Cards, thereby saving university fiscal resources.

By eliminating the purchase order and receiving process, RamTech provides fiscal personnel the most efficient purchasing process. RamTech also eliminates shipping expenses by providing free delivery service to the Monroe Park and MCV campuses.

The store is located on the Monroe Park Campus at 930 W. Grace Street directly behind Barnes & Noble @ VCU. Store hours are Monday-Thursday 9:00a.m.-6:00p.m., Friday 9:00a.m.-5:00p.m., closed on weekends. Departments may also shop online at ramtech.vcu.edu. As an Apple® and Dell® Authorized Campus Store, RamTech provides educational discounts.

RamTech Purchase and Payment process:


  1. Visit RamTech on the Monroe Park Campus at 930 West Grace Street (between Harrison & Shafer Streets). Limited free parking is available in front of the store.
  2. A RamTech sales associate will assist you in locating the products matched to your departmental needs. If the product you need is unavailable or out of stock please ask a sales associate about a custom order.
  3. During checkout, provide a valid VCU ID and your department’s Banner index code for payment.

Online "standard/in-stock" order:

  1. Visit ramtech.vcu.edu.
  2. For standard configuration/in-stock purchases, locate the item(s) you are looking for by brand, product category, item search, or by part number.
  3. Add products to your cart and click “Checkout.”
    • If the product you are searching for is unavailable or out of stock, please proceed below to inquire about a custom order
  4. Review cart details for accuracy, then click "Proceed to checkout."
  5. Select "Check out as guest" to proceed as guest customer, or select "Register" to create an account to save your profile for future purchases.
  6. When entering your details, select "VCU Department/School" as Customer Type.
    • Enter your department’s Banner index code as form of payment.
  7. Select "In-store Pickup" as shipping method. If desired, free delivery to Monroe Park or MCV Campuses can be arranged.
  8. Complete the checkout process selecting “Invoice” as your payment option.
    • Tax will be removed from invoice upon order processing. Please contact RamTech promptly for adjustment if your invoice indicates tax was charged.

Online "custom" order:

  1. To request a custom order quote, fill out the RamTech “Custom Technology Request” form indicating all Apple items and/or third party accessories you would like to order. Please provide your department’s Banner index code as a method of payment.
  2. Once your quote is prepared, a RamTech sales associate will forward it to you; respond with your approval or list changes needed.
  3. Upon arrival of your custom order, your Banner index code will be billed.
  4. A sales associate will contact you to coordinate delivery and pickup options.  RamTech provides free delivery service to the Monroe Park and MCV campuses.  RamTech will obtain the recipient's signature as acknowledgement of delivery. 

RamTech Contact Information:
To obtain product information and pricing available please contact the below VCU Apple® Sales Representatives at RamTech.

Rudy Lopez, Assistant Manager/Buyer
RamTech at VCU
Email: lopezr@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-8324

Rod Dadzie, General Manager
RamTech at VCU
Email: dadziera@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 827-0689

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Treasury Services

Petty Cash Training

Petty cash training is offered as an on-line course and is designed to give an overview of the Petty Cash/Change Fund policies and procedures. The Custodian and the Dean/Department Head must complete the mandatory training and test annually. Go to http://blackboard.vcu.edu/ using your VCU eID and password and click on the "Courses" tab in the top row. Search using "Petty Cash".

For more information: Treasury Services or (804) 828-6533

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Controller's Office

Year End Schedule 2017

The University is prohibited from having a cash deficit at the end of the year. Therefore, the year‐end expenditure process is managed to ensure that all cash balances remain positive. To accomplish this and provide departments the opportunity to manage their budgets more effectively the following schedule is established. If you have any questions concerning the schedule, please contact the Banner Finance Help Line at 828‐0388.

Dates are subject to change to accommodate deadlines established by the Department of Accounts of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Year End Schedule 2017

Fringe rates FY18

The FY18 fringe rates have been approved by the federal government. The rates for 38.2% for faculty and classified staff and 8.2% for hourly employees. Please note the faculty and classified staff rate now includes the cost of leave payouts upon separation of employment from VCU.

The rate agreement can be found at http://www.controller.vcu.edu/pdf/DHHS18.pdf.

If you have any questions, please contact Iris Eppes at 828-5757 or iceppes@vcu.edu.

Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution:

For planning purposes, please see the reminders below. Thank you.

Year End (excerpt provided below): http://www.controller.vcu.edu/finreporting/yrendschedule.pdf

06-22-17 Last day to create new funds and orgs**

New Policy
A finalized new policy document, now entitled “Award Acceptance and Establishment” has been posted to the Policy Library. The new policy does not add/remove any requirements or change the existing expectations of the university community. This document combines and replaces the Grant Establishment policy, Budget Establishment policy and Pre-Award Costs policy from the Controller’s Grants and Contracts Accounting/Effort Reporting web pages into this single policy document with this new title. The new policy provides improved clarity on existing policy requirements by the use of “must” to replace “should” or “may” where previously used. The replaced policies currently on the G&C pages will soon be removed and links will be inserted to connect viewers to the new policy located in the Office of Integrity and Compliance’s Policy Library.

Reporting Center Deficit Report – New report available
Per recent request, Industry sponsored clinical trials deficits will be handled separately from all other sponsored project deficits. Both the new and existing deficit reports will continue to be available to fiscal administrators on the SAS Web Portal through the VCU Reporting Center daily, and updated each month. A summary copy may be printed by PI and major budget unit for each dean or administrative division head. When an index appears in a deficit balance, transactions to clear the index must be processed by the 15th of the month. See the Cost Overruns policy http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/gc-admin/gcadmin2008/G&CCostOverruns.htm. The additional report created by the Controller’s Office will assist with minimizing the administration burden on both department administrators and central office staff by requiring less frequent action to remove Industry Clinical Trial deficits for only those 12 months or more.

Direct and Indirect Cost
Grants and Contracts Accounting (G&C)’s Direct and Indirect Costs link may provide additional assistance with classification of expenditures and/or inquiries received from Sponsors. We request your assistance with periodically reviewing the site and with providing the link to those in your area with purchasing responsibilities. http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/gc-admin/gcadmin2008/G&CDirectandIndirectCosts.htm

Grants and Contracts Accounting (G&C) uses various communication avenues to provide departments with updates. This includes use of the FA Newsletter and the Research Administration listserv. In order to best partner with departments, we request your assistance with ensuring that your team members with sponsored research responsibilities are also subscribed to the various listservs at the University and/or know where to access the newsletters.

The links below, can be used to either register for the Research Administration Listserv “res-adm” and/ or to locate FA Newsletters. We appreciate your assistance with sharing the links and with registering. Research Administration Listserv “res-adm”: http://www.research.vcu.edu/osp/res-adm.htm FA Newsletters: http://www.procurement.vcu.edu/fa-newsletters/

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 RAMS‐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). http://www.controller.vcu.edu/grants/gc-admin/gcadmin2008/G&CCostTransferProcedures.htm

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 09-10-16 to 12-09-16 were due by 03-14-17

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 12-10-16 to 03-09-17 are due by 06-14-17

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:

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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