February 2018

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

Over the past several months, Procurement Services has been engaged in an organizational assessment with assistance from an outside consultant. Considering Finance & Budget's key role as one of the largest support divisions across VCU, the goals of this assessment were to review their structure and key functions to provide optimal support to the institution moving forward. Since coming to VCU in May 2016, I have been working to obtain permission from the State to be released from using the eVA system in favor of a more efficient and effective procurement system. I am pleased to report that VCU has been granted the authority to acquire a new system and beginning February 1, 2018, I have asked Brenda Mowen to take the lead on the procurement and installation of this new system, Jaggaer, formerly known as SciQuest. We have put together a project team from across Finance & Budget and IT that Brenda will manage to ensure a smooth transition from eVA. Jaggaer is the system currently used by two other Tier III universities, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. It is anticipated that the new procurement system will generate savings from strategic sourcing of our goods and services.

Mr. Mark Roberts will serve as the interim Director of Procurement Services to allow Brenda to devote her efforts full time to this new implementation. Mark will relocate to the Procurement Office at 912 West Grace Street. Ms. Presepine Fleming, will become interim Director of Grants and Contracts Accounting.

These changes are intended to allow the Finance & Budget team to continue to strive for excellence and VCU’s mission as we move forward together. A webpage with basic information will be available mid-March, to include regular updates about the new procurement system.

Warmest Regards,

Karol Kain Gray, Vice President for Finance and Budget


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Procurement Services

Changes to Tax Laws Impact Moving & Relocation Payments

On 12/22/2017, President Trump enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It includes significant changes to the treatment of taxes for moving & relocation “payments” made on or after 1/1/18.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Changes:

  1. Excludability from Gross Income Suspended – Final move, common carrier and storage expenses which are paid or reimbursed by the employer are no longer excludable from the employee’s gross income. This impacts all payments which are paid by VCU (check date/payroll date) on or after 1/1/18, regardless of the date the expense was incurred.
  2. Deductible Expenses Suspended – Final move, common carrier and storage expenses paid by the employee on or after 1/1/18 and not reimbursed by VCU are no longer eligible for deduction when filing income tax returns. Employees should consult with their tax adviser.

What Does This Mean For Our Employees?
Previously, certain final move, common carrier and storage expenses which were reimbursed to the employee were not taxable or reported by VCU Payroll in the employee’s gross income, nor were taxes withheld.

Due to these tax changes, all moving & relocation expenses to the employee are now reportable as gross income, taxable and subject to tax withholding.

Common carrier or any other moving/relocation expenses processed as purchase orders or directly paid by VCU are also considered gross income and are now also reportable and subject to tax withholding.

Next Steps

  • Departments should communicate these changes to all affected employees.
  • The University’s current Moving & Relocation policy & related business processes are being updated to reflect the new law.
  • Direct all questions relating to payroll, income reporting and tax withholding, to VCU Payroll at payroll@vcu.edu.
  • Direct questions about the status of any pending reimbursements, common carrier invoices or any other moving & relocation process, to moverelocate@vcu.edu

Returns to Vendors

Have you ever had to return something to a vendor that resulted in a credit on your invoice? If so, you are not alone. Banner does not process credits from invoices. Our Accounts Payable team manually processes numerous invoice credits daily. In efforts to reduce the number of invoices with credits processed, contact the appropriate Accounts Payable Analyst if you have to return an item to a vendor. Most often, Accounts Payable can stop payment. Accounts Payable Analysts can be found on the Procurement Services website or call 828-1077. We are here to help.


How Do I Submit a Contract for Review?

This is the final article discussing contract reviews valued $10,000 or less. In part two, Procurement Services discussed the procedures for submitting a contract for review. As a recap, your department should: (1) obtain any necessary pre-approval; (2) submit an email requesting review to contracts@vcu.edu; and (3) provide a brief history of the contract. In case you missed part one click https://procurement.vcu.edu/fa-newsletters/2017/november-2017/#submit-contract, for part two click https://procurement.vcu.edu/fa-newsletters/2017/december-2017/#submit-contract.

Please note, if you have not been delegated signature authority—do not sign any contract! Only those individuals who have been delegated authority by the Board of Visitors may sign a contract. Accordingly, all contracts, agreements, or other documents requiring an authorized signature must be sent to the appropriate office.

Part 3 of 3: Signing a Contract

A contract is signed by Procurement Services only if the terms have been reviewed by Procurement Services and meet the standards set by VCU. Follow the steps below to ensure your department receives a signed contract. 

Following appropriate review and negotiations, it is preferred the vendor sign the contract first. If the vendor signs first, submit the contract for final review and countersignature by Procurement Services. Conversely, if VCU signs first, send the contract to the vendor for countersignature. In both instances, your department should send a fully signed contract to contracts@vcu.edu and retain a copy for your department’s records

This article concludes the series on How to Submit a Contract for Review.


Corpcard Updates

Approver Receipt Imaging-Reminder
Receipt imaging is now available for P-Card approvers in Works. It allows both card holders and approvers to upload and maintain their P-Card documentation. For more information and training about how to utilize this feature, please see the Online_Reconciliation_Guide.pdf.


February Training Dates

Basic eVA Purchasing & Banner Receiving – Thursday, February 15th, 9:00am – 12:00pm, Monroe Park

Seating is limited. Please register in advance http://training.vcu.edu/.


Dell Computers

The Dell Computer punchout and non-catalog eVA ordering instructions have been updated on the Procurement Services website. Please make sure you check these out at https://procurement.vcu.edu/i-want-to/make-a-purchase/buy-technology-hardware-and-software/#dell


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Controller's Office

Finance Dashboard

The content on the monthly expense report section of the finance dashboard has been updated to include commodity description from the purchase order and purchase order number, when applicable, as well as the long description from Chrome River for travel expenses. We hope you find this additional information very helpful. Thanks to the departmental administrators who worked with us on enhancement. Please continue to make suggestions for the dashboard by emailing Karen Lamb at klpearso@vcu.edu. If you have any questions, please contact the Finance Help Line at 828-0388.


Grants & Contracts Accounting/Effort Report Updates

FYI and further distribution:

New Post-Award Financial Management policy
The new Post-Award Financial Management policy recently completed university policy review requirements, and was approved at the 11/27/2017 Cabinet meeting. The policy is located in the Policy Library under “Research” then under “Post-Award”, or it can be located at https://policy.vcu.edu/Post-Award Financial Management.pdf This new policy updates and replaces the policies listed below and consolidates them into this policy covering the topic of post-award financial management: Activation and Termination Notices, Billing and Collection, Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), Cost Overruns (Deficits), Cost Transfer Procedures, Effort Reporting, Program Income, Purchasing of Goods and Services, and Reporting.

Another policy under the triennial review, the revised Post-Award Financial Extension and Closeout policy [f/k/a Extend, Closeout, or Release an Account] is still in the review and approval phase.

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.

Fiscal Administrator Listing 
In order to best partner with departments, Grants and Contracts Accounting requests your assistance with notifying us of any changes to department personnel with grant management fiscal responsibilities. It would also be of help, to review the current Fiscal Administrator Listing to ensure it is up to date for your area(s). If there are changes needed, the “Fiscal Administrator-Request for New or Change” form can be used to communicate the updates to Financial Reporting. We appreciate your assistance and look forward to partnering with you on post award matters. Fiscal Administrator Listing-University: https://controller.vcu.edu/media/controller-office/excel/FAlisting.xls Fiscal Administrator-Request for New or Change: In the event the FA Change Request form is needed, please contact Financial Reporting at VCUFinance@vcu.edu or call the Banner Finance Help Desk at 828-0388.

Advance Index Requests
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. New departments without a fiscal administrator, should request a fiscal administrator number via the “Fiscal Administrator-Request for New or Change” form prior to requesting an advance index. Fiscal Administrator-Request for New or Change: In the event the FA Change Request form is needed, please contact Financial Reporting at VCUFinance@vcu.edu or call the Banner Finance Help Desk at 828-0388.  It is also help if a copy of the RFP or announcement can accompany the advance index request to aid in the grant establishment process.

Closeout
Grants and Contracts will be sending out emails regarding encumbrances over the upcoming weeks. We request your assistance with proactively reviewing your sponsored indexes to determine if there are encumbrances that need to be removed. In addition, we will also be following up on outstanding closeout documents. If there are events that may delay the closeout process, please notify your assigned accountant so that we may assist in the process.


Effort Reporting and ECRT Updates

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:

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: https://controller.vcu.edu/grants/effort-reporting/
FAQs: https://controller.vcu.edu/grants/effort-reporting/effort-faq/

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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