December 2019

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

Table of Contents

Business Services

VCU Mail Services Winter Break Hours

VCU Mail Services will follow special holiday hours in December and January:

Dec 23, 24, 27, 30, 31, Jan 3 - Monroe Park Campus (Valentine House) opened 10:00 - 12:00, Medical Campus (VMI) opened 8:00 - 1:00, Main Processing Center (Ownby) opened 8:00 - 2:00

ALL facilities closed on Dec 25, 26, Jan 1 & Jan 2

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Grants & Contracts Accounting

Topic Highlight: Online Training Opportunities

This month, we will be highlighting NCURA Youtube Tuesday Video “Cost Transfers: Red Flags/Concerns”:

Advance Index Request (Form And Work Space In RAMS-SPOT):

The University now has two ways in which the department may complete an Advance Index Request form. The Advance Index Request form can be completed via the link below or via the Work Space within the Rams-Spot. If using the Work Space within Rams-Spot, the departments will still need to print form to obtain signatures and to route it to G&C for processing.

At this time, the work space in Rams-Spot does not automatically route the form due to signatures needs. Within Spot, the "Notification" tab will also display all of the individuals and/or areas who were recipients of the notice (if generated).

G&C would be happy to create the index using the form generated by either method chosen by the department. Completed forms should be routed to the email address for processing. We appreciate your understanding and patience with the various ways in which this process can be completed.

Advance Index Request link:

Upcoming Semi-Annual Effort Periods

Upcoming Effort Reporting Deadlines

  • The Semiannual Effort Period 12/10/18 - 6/9/19 will be closing on December 6, 2019.
  • The Quarterly Period 6/10/2019 to 9/9/2019 will be closing on December 14, 2019.

Prior Certification Periods

  • Quarterly Effort Periods, 12/10/18 to 03/09/19 and 03/10/19 - 06/09/19, currently have effort statements awaiting processing. Effort Reporting will be in contact with the appropriate parties.
  • The Semi-Annual Effort Period, 06/10/18 - 12/09/18, has effort statements awaiting processing. Effort Reporting will be in contact with the appropriate parties.
  • The Spring and Summer Semester Effort Periods, 12/25/18 - 05/09/19 and 05/10/19 - 08/09/19 have effort statements awaiting processing. Effort Reporting will be in contact with the appropriate parties.


We have a large number of FFRs due between November and December. FFRs due in December will be completed prior to Winter Break. Thus, there will be an increase in communications from G&C to departments over the upcoming weeks. We request the department’s assistance with timely reviewing and returning closeout documents. In addition, we request the department’s assistance with ensuring that all subawardees’ invoices (if applicable) have been received and that the final invoice is marked “final”. We appreciate your assistance and support.

Grant Establishment 2019 Deadlines

The University will be closed from Monday, December 23, 2019 through January 3, 2020. To guarantee that indexes are created prior to Winter Break, Grants and Contracts Accounting will need all create requests by December 17th. Create request should be sent to


We are currently monitoring the potential of another federal government shutdown and we have started preliminary planning. The current stopgap bill goes through December 20th. We will be running the deferred process on December 16th and December 20th.

On behalf of Grants and Contracts Accounting and Effort Reporting, we appreciate your continued partnership and assistance. Thank you.

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Procurement Services

John Kostyniuk Awarded The DGS Annual Governor's SWaM Champion Award

Please join us in congratulating VCU's Procurement Services Category Manager John Kostyniuk for being recognized with the Virginia Department of General Services (DGS) Annual Governor's SWaM Champion award at the recent State FORUM Conference held in Virginia Beach. John was selected as the awardee from nominations coming from all State agencies for his great efforts in promoting VCU's/Virginia's purchasing goals to improve spend with VA certified small, women, and minority-owned businesses. Thank you for your support and Congratulations John!

Upcoming RealSource Hands-On Training Sessions

The RealSource team is offering Hands-On Training Sessions scheduled on December 12, 2019 and on January 16, 2020. These sessions provide an overview of the system and instructions for preparing a PO, receiving, change orders, and other common items for department fiscal administrators. The schedule of classes is below:

  • 12/12/2019 - 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM in the Technology Administration Building, Room 108
  • 01/16/2020 - 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM in the Technology Administration Building, Room 108

To register for either class, please visit and use keyword “RealSource” in the search bar.

Reminder – Gifts From Vendors

As we approach the holiday season, Procurement Services reminds departments that gifts should not be accepted from vendors. Often, vendors reach out to clients during the holiday season with promotional items intended to encourage business.

These items often qualify as gifts, and may create the appearance of impropriety. Because VCU is a state agency, its employees are expected to adhere to the same rules as state employees. If you receive a gift from a vendor, it should be politely refused and returned, or if that is not possible it should be distributed among the office it was delivered to.

The Office of Audit and Compliance Services hosts a letter that can be used as a template response to vendors who reach out with promotional items, Vendor Notice Regarding Gifts, at the below link:

Procurement Services Year-End Closing Schedule

As 2019 draws to a close, please be aware of Procurement Services Year-End schedule, which is linked below:

The schedule includes deadlines by transaction type for processing in 2019 as well as other useful information as you plan your financial priorities

2019 Travel Services Survey, Christopherson Business Travel

Procurement Services is currently conducting a follow-up survey as a comparative measure to a similar survey collected in 2018. The survey’s goal is to gauge customer satisfaction and collect user feedback about how Christopherson Business Travel, the universities contracted travel agency, is performing in their role at VCU. All active travelers should have received an email inviting them to participate.

Please take a moment to complete this survey and offer your valuable feedback and opinions about this service. Thank you for your help! text

Please note – a system error caused some users to receive multiple invitations to the survey. We appreciate your patience and understanding, but apologize for any inconvenience caused. The error has been resolved, so respondents should only receive a single email moving forward.

Winter Closing P-card Updates

December cycle allocations must be completed by 4:30 PM on December 17th to be included in the Banner upload. Please review the updated Winter Closing 2019 Spreadsheet, to ensure cardholders and approvers meet all P-card deadlines.

For questions regarding these deadlines, please contact

P-card Security During Winter Closing

Corpcard strongly encourages all cardholders to secure their cards on campus if they will not be purchasing for the University or Hospital during the Winter Closing. This will ensure cardholders do not use their card by mistake or misplace it while they are out of the office

Apple Computer/Tablet Departmental Prize & Giveaway Purchases At RamTech

If departmental purchases of Apple computers and tablets are intended to be given away as gifts or prizes, departments should coordinate with their IT support to ensure that these devices are not enrolled in VCU’s Apple device management service. If departmental IT support is not available, please contact the VCU Endpoint Computing team at with the device type and serial number so the device can be removed from the VCU device management system.

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