March 2018

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

Table of Contents

Controller’s Office

Web Site Accessibility Compliance

The Controller’s Office has devoted significant resources to remediate our website inaccessibility errors, functionality and content (including PDFs) for compliance with university standards. Some PDFs will temporarily require CAS logon to access them. If you experience any difficulty with accessing Controller’s Office webpage links or documents, please contact the Finance Help Line at 828-0388. Thank you.


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Grants & Contracts Accounting and Effort Reporting Updates

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. Advance Index Requests received without a proposal number created in RAMS-SPOT and/or blank on the form, will not be processed.

It would be great, if a copy of the RFP or announcement can accompany the advance index request to aid in the grant establishment process.


New Reports Finance Folder

Two reports were recently created to aid in the completion of the Advance Index Request form. 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 FACR Code and Program Report” contains indirect cost information.


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.


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


Effort Reporting Manual Certification Process- Recent Enhancement

The ECRT system was recently updated to allow users the ability to enter percentages into the Certified Effort column of an Effort Statement, during the manual certification process. Prior to this change, the manual certification process caused these percentages to be “zeroed out”. Please contact Effort Reporting (effortreport@vcu.edu) if you have any questions.

Upcoming and past due effort reporting deadlines

Your assistance is needed with the upcoming and past due effort reporting deadlines:

  • - The semi-annual period (06/10/17 to 12/09/17) released on 02/22/18, and certifications are due by 04/21/18.
  • - The semester period (08/10/17 to 12/24/17) released on 01/22/18, and certifications are due by 03/21/18.
  • - The quarterly period (09/10/17 to 12/09/17) released on 01/15/18, and certifications are due by 03/14/18.

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

Thank you!


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Procurement Services

March is National Procurement Month!

During National Procurement Month, the efforts and impact of procurement professionals are celebrated. The Institute for Public Procurement uses this month to educate elected officials, administrators, taxpayers and vendors about the procurement process, as well as recognize the work procurement professionals perform every day.

We would like to thank our team for their efforts and hard work!


Upcoming Travel Services Training Dates in March

Moving & Relocation - Tuesday, March 6th, 1:00pm - 3:00pm Travel Policy & Procedures - Tuesday, March 13th, 9:00am - 10:30am Chrome River Hands-On - Tuesday, March 20th, 9:00am - 11:00am Christopherson Business Travel - Tuesday, March 27th, 9:00am - 11:00am

Registration for all classes is available, https://training.vcu.edu.


Upcoming P-Card Training Dates in March

P-card classroom trainings will be held on both Monroe Park and MCV campuses in March. To enroll in the training on either campus please visit this https://training.vcu.edu/course.asp?Keyword=pcard&Sponsor=All&Category=All&Audience=All&Campus=All&trainingType=0 or training.vcu.edu and use the keyword search “pcard” to see available dates.


Changes to Pending Queue in Works

In June, Bank of America Works implemented a date filter on the pending sign off screen that only shows charges up to 100 days old from the date the queue is opened. When looking for charges older than 100 days, Cardholders and Approvers must change the filter.

Step-by-step instructions on how to change the filters are available in our Travel and Corporate Card Document Library.

If you have any questions, please contact corpcard@vcu.edu.


Moving & Relocation Document Updates

Due to tax changes affecting moving & relocation payments, Travel Services has updated the following M&R documents to reflect necessary changes: Moving & Relocation Workbook, Moving & Relocation Agreement and Moving & Relocation Reimbursable Expenses. Also, the workbook now reflects the 2018 mileage rates. Please ensure your departments are offering new hires the updated agreement and reimbursable expenses to prevent confusion and misunderstanding.

All moving and relocation documents are available for download on Procurement Services’ website, Moving and Relocation Document Library.


Printer/Toner Cartridge Phone Scammers Are Back!

Earlier in the year we cautioned departments about a "toner cartridge" scam targeting the university. Recently, our offices have received new reports of the scam and would like to remind departments to remain vigilant against this activity. The scam is typically carried out by:

  • Employees get a phone call from someone who appears to be a VCU employee or vendor representative requesting information on your printer type.
  • The caller sounds legitimate and employees volunteer info about their printers and/or agree to place orders.
  • You receive toner cartridges and you are billed, whether you ordered them or not.
  • The toner cartridges are at times substandard or never delivered, however payment is demanded regardless. The vendor makes returns overly difficult.

Please remind persons who manage printers that VCU only purchases toner from the approved vendor, The Supply Room Company (TSRC). TSRC is not permitted to call departments to solicit orders, and orders may only be filled via department-initiated requisitions in eVA.

To stop this scam, it is imperative that employees disconnect any calls they receive from persons offering to sell toner cartridges. If invoices are received, that you report the names of the vendors to the Director of Procurement Services so that they are held accountable for their unethical sales practices.


Web Site Accessibility Compliance Procurement

Throughout the past six months, Procurement Services has undertaken a concerted effort with University Relations, to remediate our website inaccessibility errors, functionality and content (including PDFs) for compliance with university standards and specific guidance from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education. Significant resources have been put toward this remediation. If you experience any difficulty with accessing Procurement Services webpage links or documents, please contact the Webmaster at ppdweb@vcu.edu. Thank you.


Policy Open for Public Comment: Reimbursable Business Expenses

A revised Reimbursable Business Expenses policy is now open for university comment through Thursday, March 8. The draft policy can be found at the URL below. For more information, contact Sarah O'Neill, Procurement Services at sdoneill@vcu.edu or https://policy.vcu.edu/policies-open-for-public-comment.


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