September 2019

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

Topic Highlight: Online Training Opportunities

NCURA YouTube Tuesday has a variety of short training videos. This month, we will be highlighting the videos below:

National Institute of Health (NIH) has a podcast that contains useful information for team members new to research administration and or for team members who would like a refresher. New Principal Investigators in your areas may find this beneficial as well. Copied below, you will find a link to their “All About Grants” podcast. Enjoy!

Advance Index Request (Form And Work Space In 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 workspace 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 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:

Grant Closeout- FPIOPOF (Banner Screen)

As a part of the closeout process, we request your assistance with pulling the FPIOPOF (Open Purchase Orders) screen in Banner to ensure all purchase orders are closed. This screen allows users to enter in the fund, org, and/or index number to retrieve a listing of open purchase orders. The data presented will include a listing of open purchase orders by number, vendor, commodity, commodity description, unit price, etc. Departments can also export this information to Excel by selecting “Tools” in the upper right hand corner and then “Export” from the expanded list presented.

If there are open purchase orders, please provide the purchase order number to your assigned accountant. They will then work with Financial Reporting to resolve this for you.

New Team Members

Please help us welcome our newest team members, Tina Turner and Cam Medina. Tina serves as an accountant on the Alpha Team and will be partnering with departments currently within Alpha Team’s portfolio. Cam Medina serves as the Effort Reporting Management Analyst (formerly called the Effort Reporting Supervisor) and will be leading the Effort Reporting team.

Upcoming Semi-Annual Effort Period

We have postponed the original release date of August 22, 2019. Although the Banner information in ECRT is up-to-date, we are actively partnering with VCUHS team to address data needs. We are working hard to get this to you as soon as possible, and will update you again once we've confirmed the release date. In the meantime, thank you all for your time and patience, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself or our Effort Reporting team at

Current And Upcoming Effort Reporting Deadlines

  • The Semiannual Term (12/10/18 to 06/09/19) will be postponed, the revised date will be provided at a later time. Thank you.
  • The Summer Term (05/10/19 to 08/09/19) will be released on 09/15/19, and certifications will be due by 11/14/19.
  • The Quarterly Period (03/10/19 to 06/09/19) was released on 07/15/19, and certifications will be due by 09/14/19.

Past Effort Reporting Deadlines

Outstanding certifications for the following periods are overdue:

  • The certification period for the First Semi-Annual Term (06/10/18 to 12/09/18) was released on 02/22/19, and certifications were due by 04/21/19.
  • The certification period for the Third Quarter Term (12/10/18 to 03/09/19) was released on 04/15/19, and certifications are due by 06/14/19.
  • The certification period for the Spring Term (12/25/18 to 05/09/19) was released on 06/15/19, and certifications will be due by 08/14/19.

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.

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

Procurement Services Performance Metrics Video

The Office of Procurement Services recently produced a video highlighting our team’s successes during fiscal year 2018. We hope this video will help to quantify some of our team’s work as we recognize their contributions to the larger VCU community.

You can view the video by clicking, or by visiting our website at and clicking the video link from the homepage.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us 804 828 5758.

Reminder About 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 proportional 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, distributed to 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, and at the below full link:

Taxes On eBay Purchases

eBay vendors have begun charging tax in a transaction separate from the item purchased. Please remember to tell the vendor prior to the sale that we are tax exempt to avoid the charge. Vendors will often refuse to refund the tax after the transaction because they remit those funds to the State.

Corpcard does not encourage the use of eBay as these are often person-to-person sales, carry no warranty nor offer any guarantee the item(s) will be advertised or in working order. Please also remember that eBay vendors are not SWaM certified.

Travel Services Training

Travel Services has opened registration for Travel & Business Expense Reimbursement Policy & Procedure Training, Christopherson Business Travel Hands On Training, Chrome River Mercury Town Hall Meetings and Chrome River Mercury Hands On Training. Employees’ waitlisted or the September 10th and 12th classes have not been pre-registered for any of these dates and will need to register accordingly. Please contact with questions. Link for Registration:

FY20 GSA Rates

Effective October 1st, 2020 the GSA rates for lodging and meal expenses will reset. Please be aware that the GSA rate for lodging around the MPC and MCV campuses will decrease to $144.00/night making the university allowable rate $288/night. Rates will be updated in Chrome River accordingly.

Questions? Email

2019 SWaMfest

SWAMFest 2019 is scheduled for Wednesday, October 9th through Thursday, October 10th here in Richmond. Visit VASCUPP’s website for more information and register as an attendee at the below link:

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