August 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 and Contracts Accounting

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.


Next Steps if a Sponsor Sends an Award Directly to the Department

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, https://policy.vcu.edu/sites/default/files/Sponsored%20Program%20Proposals-Definitions%2C%20Solicitation%2C%20Review%2C%20Approval%20and%20Submission.pdf


Handling of Subawardee’s Request for Additional Funding

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, https://policy.vcu.edu/sites/default/files/Sponsored%20Program%20Proposals-Definitions%2C%20Solicitation%2C%20Review%2C%20Approval%20and%20Submission.pdf


Early Terminations of Award Agreements and/or Awards Ending Earlier

We request your assistance with providing central offices (G&C and OSP) communications received from Sponsor that include alerts of early termination of existing award agreements. In addition, we appreciate your assistance with alerting central offices (G&C and OSP) of awards that will be ending early. When forwarding to the central office (ospaward@vcu.edu and gcavcu@vcu.edu), please include both the funding proposal number (FP#) and the grant ID.


Closeout Documents

G&C requests your assistance with reviewing and returning all closeout documents in a timely manner.


Advance Index Requests

In order to best assist you with your grant establishment needs, the entire Advance Index Request form must be completed. When in doubt, please feel free to reach out to your assigned grant accountant and/or G&C Helpdesk at 804-828-8104.

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.


90 Day Notices and System Alerts

90 Day Notices and other related alerts are sent directly to the Fiscal Administrator (FA) of record listed in Banner. In some cases, the individual completing certain tasks may not be the FA of record. In these cases, we request your assistance with forwarding to the appropriate person(s) who will be completing the task(s). Your assistance is greatly appreciated.


Indirect and Billing (Revised Schedule for July and August 2018) - Update

The schedule for Indirect and Billing processes were revised for the month of July due to Banner updates for the new budget model. The deferred (indirect cost) process was completed and posted in Banner for the month of July. Further reviews are underway to determine if adjustments are needed. Please note, the schedule for August will be slightly revised as well.

If you have questions regarding your individual index/fund, we request your assistance with contacting your assigned grant accountant and/or G&C’s Help Desk at 804-828-8104. We would be happy to assist. We appreciate your understanding.


Indirect Cost Distribution Codes- Revision Requests

The Dean’s Offices of various Schools and/or MBUs assisted with developing the new Indirect Cost Distribution Codes and/or new FACR distribution percentages. We request your assistance with submitting change request directly to your Dean’s Office for review and/or approval. It would be of help, if your assigned grant accountant is copied on these requests so that we can know that approval was received.


Effort Reporting

Your assistance is needed with current and upcoming Effort Reporting deadlines:

  • Quarterly certifications for the 12/10/17 to 03/09/18 period were due by 06/14/18. Please encourage your certifiers with outstanding statements to certify as soon as possible, and please process any certified statements you may have in your queue. Our office continues to follow up on these as well.
  • Semester certification period 12/25/17 to 05/09/18 was released on 06/15/18, and certifications are due by 08/14/18.
  • Quarterly certification period 03/10/18 to 06/09/18 were released on 07/15/18, and certifications are due by 09/14/18.
  • Semi-Annual certification period 12/10/17 to 06/09/18 will be released on 08/22/18, and certifications will be due by 10/21/18.

The ECRT URL has changed

Please update your bookmarks if you have not already done so. The ECRT URL has changed to https://go.vcu.edu/ecrt. The official cutover date was July 6, 2018.


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Procurement Services

Purchasing update - Supplier Diversity Improvements at VCU

Goal for the Office of Procurement Services: Increase VCU's spend with Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity (DSBSD) Minority and Women-Owned certified businesses. What are we doing to meet our goal?

  • Hosting an annual SWaM Event (pre-planning stage date is 12/4)
  • Improving VCU departments' knowledge of SWaM vendors and the commodities they offer (data file currently a work-in-progress)
  • Increasing the VCU community's awareness of SWaM spend goals:
    • FY 18 Goal was 42% SWaM spend (28% Small, 5% Minority, 5% Women, 4% Other Small)
    • FY 18 Actual SWaM spend totaled ~43.5% (Minority 4.94%, Women 6.1%, Small=32.43%)
  • Buyers to attend more SWaM events offered throughout the Commonwealth

Want to know more about how you can make a difference in improving supplier diversity at VCU? Contact John Kostyniuk at kostyniukjs@vcu.edu, or Cornelius Hunt at chunt3@vcu.edu to learn more.

Thanks.


P-card Classroom Training

P-Card Classroom trainings have resumed! The Approver training will be offered only once this quarter on August 14th. To enroll in either the Cardholder trainings or the Approver training please visit training.vcu.edu. Use the keyword search “p-card.”


Exception Request Form

The updated Corporate P-Card Request for Exception is available on the Procurement Website. Page two includes new terms and conditions on the “Business Meal Requirement Acknowledgement.” Corp-card will not process previous versions of the form going forward.


Employee Recognition Expenditures

Employee Recognition Expenditures such as food, flowers and gifts must not be put on a p-card. This is a change. Further information is available on the Allowability Chart. If you have questions regarding the procedure, please contact the Controller’s Office. All questions regarding the Allowability Chart should be directed to the listed “office of responsibility.”


FY19 P-card Blackboard Training and Test

The FY19 p-card Blackboard Training and test will be launching soon. All p-card cardholders and approvers are required to take the mandatory test every year to “re-certify” their compliance with the terms and conditions of the p-card program. Failure to complete the test by the deadline will result in the suspension of cards or approval access.

You will receive an email notifying you when the test is available and the deadline by which it must be completed. Please note: taking the Classroom training does not exempt you from the online test.


Chrome River Updates

Travel Services is excited to announce we have started the process to migrate Chrome River from Platinum to its Mercury platform. Mercury is not Flash based, and making this change will allow Travel Services to take advantage of increased functionality and technologies as Chrome River introduces enhancements in the future. Currently, Travel Services is working to complete current update requests so Chrome River can build our new site. Please stay tuned for more information on the Mercury platform, information sessions and how you can be involved in this process. Questions? Please email travel@vcu.edu


Tales from The Travel Side

– Welcome to a new series from Travel Services, highlighting Frequently Asked Questions received from our customers (that’s you!). Please feel free to share this information with employees in your unit!

Dear TFTS: I just submitted my pre-approval and realized I forgot to add hotel expenses and selected the wrong index and approver. Help! Sincerely, Anonymous Pre-Traveler

Dear Anonymous Pre-Traveler: Great question! If your pre-approval has not been fully approved (Submitted Pre-Approval Queue – Status “Pending Approval”), you may have the current approver return the pre-approval and then make any changes necessary, including selecting a new Authorized Approver.

Fully approved pre-approvals cannot be edited. They must be reset, deleted and a new pre-approval created and submitted, and only when expenses have not been applied towards the report (either expense report w/the pre-approval attached or CBT ticketing).

Contact travel@vcu.edu for any questions or concerns.


September Training for Travel Services

Due to the Chrome River Mercury upgrade, Travel Services will not be offering Chrome River training in September, this class will resume once the upgrade is rolled out to all departments (est. January, 2019). We have added an additional Chrome River class on August 8th from 9:00am - 11:00am, registration is available at the link provided below.

8/08/18: Chrome River Hands-On Training, 9am – 11am
9/11/18: Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy, 9am – 11am
9/18/18: Christopherson Business Travel, 9am – 11am

Register for any of the above trainings by clicking the following link to visit the VCU Training Website


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