April 2018

Published monthly, the Fiscal Administrators' News is where you can find the latest information regarding the Office of Procurement Services.

Table of Contents

Grants & Contracts Accounting and Effort Reporting Updates

Advance Index Request and Related Reports:

We request departments’ 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. In efforts to improve the create process using Advance Index Request, two reports were recently created. These reports are now available under the Finance folder (VCU Reporting Center). The “Subdepartment Report” contains the predecessor org by department and/or MBU. The “Active Grant List with Program−FACR−IDC Codes” contains indirect cost information.

In addition, the Office of Sponsored Programs and Grants and Contracts Accounting Hand-Off Subcommittee is working together to have future Advance Index Requests generated in RAMS-SPOT. We anticipate a transition period in which the form will be available both in RAMS-SPOT and on our website.


March’s Fiscal Administrator Newsletter referenced upcoming actions and/or communications from G&C. The first phase, encumbrance review notices, were sent to departments. The next phase of this process will include following up on closeout documents. We appreciate your feedback and assistance.

Effort Reporting:

Your assistance is needed with current and upcoming effort reporting deadlines:

  • Quarterly certifications for the 09/10/17 to 12/09/17 period were due by 03/14/18.
  • Semester certifications for the 08/10/17 to 12/24/17 period were due by 03/21/18.
  • Semi-Annual certifications for the 06/10/17 to 12/09/17 period are due by 04/21/18.
  • Quarterly certification period 12/10/17 to 03/09/18 will be released on 04/15/18, and certifications will be due by 06/14/18.
  • Semester certification period 12/25/17 to 05/09/18 will be released on 06/15/18, and certifications will be due by 08/14/18.

We appreciate your assistance and we look forward to working with you.

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Procurement Services

FY 2018 Closing Updates

Please be aware that the May 2018 issue of the Fiscal Administrators Newsletter will include information and updates regarding cut-off dates for the 2018 fiscal year. If you have any questions prior to the May newsletter, please contact us 828-1077.

Informational “Contracts and Legal Agreements” Video Coming Soon

The Office of Procurement Services, in collaboration with University Counsel, has produced an informational video on contracts and legal agreements at VCU. This resource is intended for the VCU faculty and staff community and will advance viewers understanding of procurement contracts at VCU and provide a broader perspective on agreements. A discussion of what qualifies as a contract or legal agreement and advice for spotting potential issues is included. We will publish a link to the video on our website in the coming weeks.

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Elizabeth Brooks of University Counsel for her assistance developing this valuable resource.

Last P-card Classroom Training

The last P-card Classroom Training before Fiscal Year End will be April 12th. To enroll in the training please visit training.vcu.edu. Use the keyword search “pcard.”

Travel Services Updates

Christopherson Business Travel & Personal Credit Cards

When entering a personal credit card in the online booking tool (OBT) for Christopherson Business Travel, please de-select the option to make your personal credit card the default form of payment for air/rail ticket purchases. This may cause air/rail tickets to be charged to this card instead of the University ATC when a live agent is contacted. Christopherson is also in the process of updating their systems to ensure form of payment is confirmed when booking through a live agent.

Please ensure employees are reviewing their final itinerary as soon as they receive it, the last 4 digits of the credit card charged is shown at the bottom. Christopherson has 24 hours from the time a reservation is ticketed to void without additional fees. After this time, the form of payment cannot be changed.

Upcoming Travel Services Training Dates in April

Please note: Due to graduation and fiscal year close activities, Travel Services will not offer training classes May-July. Training will resume in August.

Travel Policy & Procedures – Monday, April 16th, 9:00am – 10:30am
Chrome River Hands-On – Thursday, April 19th, 9:00am - 11:00am
Christopherson Business Travel – Thursday, April 26th, 9:00am - 11:00am

Registration for all classes is available https://training.vcu.edu/course.asp?Keyword=travel&Sponsor=All&Category=All&Audience=All&Campus=All&trainingType=0

Vendor Surcharges

Vendors are allowed to impose a surcharge on credit card transactions, but only if they meet the following criteria:

  • On file with VISA as charging a surcharge
  • Does not exceed the maximum amount of 4%
  • Posts in their store, on their website and/or their invoicing that they charge this fee
  • Fee must be a separate line item, it cannot be added to the items on the order

If a vendor asks you to pay a surcharge, but does not meet the above criteria, you must not pay the fee. If you require assistance with a vendor who insists on a surcharge, please contact Corpcard@vcu.edu for further assistance prior to making the purchase.

Welcome to Our New Senior Buyers!

We are thrilled to announce the addition of Princess Banks, Senior Buyer for Information Technologies, and Teresa Hall, Senior Buyer for Construction, A&E, and Facilities to the Procurement Services team. Both bring a wealth of experience to the office, and we look forward to working with them. Welcome!

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HEETF Purchases at RamTech

Departments who have received approval to purchase equipment from the Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund (HEETF) are encouraged to purchase Apple computers, laptops, tablets and accessories through RamTech, VCU’s on-campus technology store. As an Apple Authorized Campus Store, RamTech offers education pricing and has the ability to negotiate additional discounts on Apple laptops and desktops. RamTech also accepts departmental Banner index codes, thus eliminating the credit card fees and bank charges typically associated with P-Cards. RamTech provides free delivery service to the Monroe Park Campus and the MCV Campus. For questions, contact Rod Dadzie, general manager of RamTech, at dadziera@vcu.edu or 804-828-TECH.

About RamTech

RamTech is VCU's self-operated technology store and showroom at 930 West Grace Street. They are VCU's source for educational-priced Apple computers, Dell computers, and technology accessories. RamTech also has an in-house tech repair shop, fixIT, that offers free fully certified in-warranty computer repairs and affordable educationally-priced out-of-warranty service. Full time VCU faculty and staff qualify for no-fee, no-interest payroll deduction where payments can be split across an entire year. Come meet the RamTech team on Friday, April 6, for their four-year anniversary celebration (view full details about the event ).

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