September 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

Fixed Asset Policy Revision

The fixed asset policy revision to eliminate tracking assets under $5,000, other than HEETF, has been drafted and is currently in the public comment phase of the process for making a substantive update to a policy. Until this policy is formally approved we are continuing to track assets with a cost of $2,000 or more

The hyperlinked text for the current policy document is here: Fixed Assets.

The full URL for the current policy document is here: https://policy.vcu.edu/sites/default/files/Fixed%20Asset.pdf


Controller's Office Website

The Controller's Office has contracted with University Relations to revamp the website. In an effort to get input from as many people as possible, a brief pop-up survey was posted on the site in late August. This information, coupled with input from FOCUS groups, will be used to tailor the website to meet the needs of our customers. We strongly encourage you to provide your feedback.


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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 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 Updates

Certification period release date delayed for the semi-annual period (12/10/17 through 06/09/18)

The release of the semi-annual period (12/10/2017 through 06/09/2018) has been delayed. The original release date was scheduled for 08/22/2018. Banner information in ECRT is up-to-date; however, VCUHS data is currently being reviewed prior to its being loaded into ECRT. We hope to release the period relatively soon, and will update you again when we have set the date. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact Effort Reporting at effortreport@vcu.edu.

Your assistance is needed with current and upcoming Effort Reporting deadlines:
Semester certification period 12/25/17 to 05/09/18 was released on 06/15/18, and certifications were due by 08/14/18. 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.

Quarterly certification period 03/10/18 to 06/09/18 were released on 07/15/18, and certifications are due by 09/14/18.

Special thanks:
Quarterly certifications for the 12/10/17 to 03/09/18 period were due by 06/14/18. Certifications for this period are complete. Thank you to all who contributed to this certification period.

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

Notice Of Procurement Restriction On Two Chinese Technology Companies

The Federal government has announced a prohibition on purchases from two large Chinese technology firms: Huawei Technologies Company and ZTE Corporation. Purchases from subsidiaries and affiliates of these two companies are also banned.  These companies are currently not available as vendors in eVA, and departments should not be placing p-card orders with these companies either.  If you have any questions about a proposed purchase in your department, or would like to request the full list of affiliated companies, please contact Procurement Services.


Pcard Storage On Mobile Devices

As of September 5, 2018, P-Cards must not be stored in cardholders’ mobile devices or any type of digital wallet such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, etc. The updated terms and conditions of the Corporate Purchasing Card Agreement will reflect this change.

For questions regarding this policy, please contact Corpcard@vcu.edu.


FY19 Per Diem Rates

The GSA (General Services Administration) has released the per diem rates for FY19; these rates will apply for all travel and business meal expenses beginning 10/1/18 through 9/30/19. Chrome River is in the process of updating the rates in the Per Diem, Business Meal and Lodging widgets; we usually see the rates updated early to mid-September.

Updated rates can be found on the GSA website: https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates, until 10/1, you will need to change the Fiscal Year drop down menu from the FY2018 to FY2019. Please email travel@vcu.edu with any questions.


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 need to book a flight and my supervisor told me to contact Travel Services to get my access set up for Chrome River and Christopherson Business Travel. I need to get my ticket booked as soon as possible, can you set me up?

Dear Frequent Flyer: Oh, how I wish we could! Chrome River and Christopherson profiles are created when your employee file rolls over from Banner, once HR has completed your employee file. Many times, we see profiles show in Chrome River or Christopherson within 1-2 weeks of an employee’s date of hire. This time frame, however, can be extended during heavy on-boarding periods such as August and January when new faculty are reporting. If it has been more than 2 weeks, and you still do not have access, you will want to follow up with your department’s PA (personnel administrator), who can ensure all necessary information has been provided and your employee file is complete.

If you are not a new employee, but have changed jobs recently, you may see your access de-activated; it will be re-activated once your new position begins and your employee file has been updated.

In the meantime, you will want to check with your supervisor to see who may be able to assist by submitting a pre-approval for you as a non-employee and booking your ticket through Christopherson Business Travel as a guest traveler.

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


October Training

9/16/18 - Travel & Expense Reimbursement Policy Training, 9:00am - 11:00am
9/23/18 - Christopherson Business Travel Training, 9:00am - 11:00am

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)

Register at following link:
https://training.vcu.edu/course.asp?Keyword=travel&Sponsor=All&Category=All&Audience=All&Campus=All&trainingType=0


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