May 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


Receiving

Receiving is an essential part of our payment process and is especially important now as we approach year end. Receivers for purchase orders should be entered in Banner as soon as the product is received or the services are rendered; invoices will not be paid by the due date if the receiver is missing. Please review and respond promptly to the weekly automated notices and emails from Payables staff.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and attention.


Amazon Business

Amazon has started soliciting existing customers with tax exemptions and Corporate Purchasing cards to sign up for Amazon Business. Cardholders must not sign up for this service.

Amazon Business is offering the following tools:

  • Multi-user accounts with access to your P-card number and information. This is in violation of Commonwealth law that prohibits card sharing.
  • A “corporate line of credit,” which is Amazon’s P-card program. Accepting this line of credit is in violation of our contract with the Commonwealth and Bank of America.
  • Enrollment in the Amazon Tax Exemption Program. This program requires cardholders to accept Amazon’s terms and conditions which is a violation of University policy.

The offer is similar to Amazon Prime, however, it is not the same service. All Amazon Prime membership requests must be submitted to CorpCard@vcu.edu for review and approval by the Director of Procurement Services. Requests for Amazon Business will not be approved.


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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:

In-store:

  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


Armics Newsletter

The Controller’s Office just wanted to take a few moments and provide some additional information and reminders that will be helpful during the ARMICS certification process.

The final deadline for certifications to be received in the Controller’s Office is Friday, June 2, 2017. Be mindful that your departments may have an earlier deadline. Earlier internal deadlines allow time to review documentation and ensure that all necessary signatures are obtained.

Prior to signing the ARMICS certification ensure that documentation is current and accurate and testing of the controls is also documented. Documenting the testing of controls was new to the ARMICS process last year and is still required.

Along with the ARMICS certification, please provide a list of any third party service providers that you use that are not included on the list below. A third party service provider is another agency or company that performs a significant fiscal process for the University/your department. Here are some of the third party providers that are utilized by the University:

  • U.S. Bank
  • J.P. Morgan
  • Heartland
  • TouchNet
  • Elavon
  • Williams and Fudge
  • Bank of America Works
  • Cardinal

As a final note, please make sure any new fiscal processes that have been implemented are properly documented. Ensure that testing of controls has been completed and documented as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Angela Davis at amdavis2@vcu.edu or 827-1630 and you may visit the Controller’s website http://www.controller.vcu.edu/.


Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution:

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

Communications:
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

On May 9th G&C and Effort Reporting staff will be hosting Huron Inc., the software providers for the ECRT system to kick-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. You may be contacted separately prior to the week of May 8th to invite your participation.

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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