May 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

Year End FY 2018

Advance Index Request Q&A

Q: At what point may I start spending on an index that was created via an Advance Index Request form?

A: The department may begin using the newly created index after they have reviewed the grant create memo attributes in Banner. The budget will be added to the newly created index, in Banner, once the official award documents are received from the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Q: At what point may I request an advance index?

A: Once the funding proposal is established in RAMS-SPOT, an advance index may be requested and sent to Please note, the guaranteed index will be used if the proposal is not awarded.

Q: How do I determine my department’s predecessor org number?stuff

A: The predecessor org is your sub-department number. In some cases, there may be multiple sub-department numbers. The “Subdepartment Report” located in the Finance folder (VCU Reporting Center) contains a listing of predecessor orgs by department and/or MBU.

Q: When do we expect the Advance Index Request Form to become available in RAMS-SPOT?

A: We anticipate that the Advance Index Request will be included in May’s RAMS-SPOT patch. The subcommittee anticipates a transition period in which the form will be available both in RAMS-SPOT and on our website.

Q: What steps can I do to prepare myself and/or team for creating future advance index request in RAMS-SPOT?

A: Your Committee on the Administration of Research (CAR) committee member should be contacted if RAMS-SPOT access is needed for you and/or your team. The listing of members are available via

Q: Are there resources available to assist with the data elements requested on the form?

A: 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.

Subaccounts (Request For a Subaccount Form)

In efforts to promote consistency in the establishment of subaccounts, The Office of Sponsored Programs and Grants and Contracts Handoff Subcommittee, is current reviewing the subaccount (internal VCU) index process. The subcommittee is currently vetting a Subaccount Request Form. This form will allow both departments (home and sub-department) to provide Grants and Contracts Accounting with the pertinent information needed to establish the index in Banner. This form will also include the budget to be allocated to the sub-department. Finally, this form will also include a certification section for the departments and the principal investigators.

G&C Snapshot (RAMS-SPOT)

The Grants and Contracts Award Snapshot, in RAMS-SPOT, was recently updated to include a text field for F&A Waivers and the PI’s VID. G&C appreciates the efforts made to assist us in the grant establishment process.

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 certific\ation period 12/25/17 to 05/09/18 will be released on 06/15/18, and certifications will be due by 08/14/18.

Staff Updates:

G&C welcomes our newest Alpha Team accountant, Jefferson Mendoza, to VCU. In addition, G&C welcomes Priscilla Clayborne into the Office Manager role. We are excited and look forward to both of their contributions to G&C and the research community.

We appreciate your assistance and we look forward to partnering with you. Thank you!

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Procurement Services

Allowable Expenditures Chart - Updated

The allowable and non-allowable expenditures charts have been consolidated into one chart. The updated chart includes adding the responsible department/office. A link to additional information and/or policy, and if reimbursement is allowed, is available below.

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 FY18.

So You Want to Know . . . Why Does It Take So Long to Review A Contract?

There are two statements we often hear in Procurement Services:

  1. “My contract has been in place for 10 years with no problem and now all of the sudden the review takes a month.”
  2. “My contract is low-dollar and a one-time purchase, and I have been waiting two weeks for a signed contract.”

The responses to these statements are often based on the need to update contract terms due to Virginia law and University policy, the time it takes to work with vendors and other departments, and sheer volume—Procurement Services reviews more than 100 contracts a month!

“Okay, but what do you do with the contract once you receive it?”

Procurement Services endeavors to accomplish several goals by collaborating with you, VCU departments, and the vendor to ensure the contract:

  • Clearly tells each party what it must do;
  • Makes good business sense;
  • Complies with Virginia law and VCU policy; and
  • States what happens if a party fails to meet its obligations.

In order to accomplish these goals certain things have to occur, for example:

  • A written contract document must exist;
  • The parties have to be willing to negotiate;
  • The parties need certain information;
  • The parties need time to negotiate; and
  • The parties have to agree.

So you want to know why a contract takes so long to be reviewed—it’s all of the above!

Informational Contracts and Agreements Video Now Available

Procurement Services, in collaboration with University Counsel, has produced an informational video covering the basics of contracts at VCU. An explanatory PDF document with directions and links to both the video and additional materials is linked from this sentence.

Welcome to Our New Senior Buyer

We are thrilled to announce the addition of Cornelius Hunt, Senior Buyer for Construction and A&E. Welcome to the Procurement Services team!

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VCU Fiscal Year-End Purchases at RamTech

As the VCU fiscal year end approaches, departments are encouraged to use RamTech, VCU’s on-campus technology store, for all Apple® computer, tablet and accessory purchases. RamTech also carries a wide variety of third party tech accessories such as cables, adapters, hard drives, storage devices and more.

RamTech accepts departmental Banner index codes to facilitate chargeback transactions. Department chargeback transactions save university fiscal resources by eliminating credit card fees and bank charges typically associated with p-cards.

By removing 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 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., closed on weekends. The store offers limited free parking to its customers in front of the store’s entrance. Departments may also shop online at As an Apple® Authorized Campus Store, RamTech provides educational discounts.

For more details on the RamTech purchase and payment process for in-store, online and custom orders, please visit our Departmental Purchasing page.

RamTech Contact Information:

To obtain product information and pricing, please contact the below VCU Apple® Sales Representatives at RamTech:

Rod Dadzie, General Manager
Phone: (804) 827-0689

Justin Carrico, Assistant Manager/Buyer
Phone: (804) 827-9984

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