August 2020

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

This month, we will be highlighting a video and/or webinar to help the research community with understanding the difference between a contract and a grant. This video will be from National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA).

National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA)’s Contracts vs Grants for the Departmental Research Administrator

Feedback- Checklist for Create Memo:

In efforts to better support our customers, Grants and Contracts Accounting will be working on a checklist for departments that will accompany the Banner Account Create Memo. At this time, we are seeking feedback on areas you would like to see added to the checklist. Feedback is appreciated and welcomed thru August 20th. In order to provide feedback, please click link to this google doc.

COVID-19 and Agency/Sponsor Guidance:

Agencies and entities are issuing guidance on COVID-19. A comprehensive listing of guidance, from the Council of Government Relations, is available via the link below along with other related guidance. This includes the recently released memorandum, M-20-26.

Sponsor Notices: Transitioning Systems and/or Websites

The following Sponsors below have, or will, be updating to new systems in the near future. We request your assistance with looking out for future communications from Sponsors and or our central offices (Grants and Contracts Accounting and Office of Sponsored Programs) regarding Sponsor’s systems and or website changes.

  • Office of Justice Programs (OJP): JustGrants will replace NexGen, GMS, and GPRS in October 2020
  • American Heart Association (AHA): AHA’s “Proposal Central” has replaced Grants@Heart

Current and Upcoming Certification Periods

  • The Semi-Annual Effort Period 12/10/19 - 06/09/20 will be opening for certification on August 22, 2020. Pre-Certification reviews will be available beginning August 17, 2020.
  • The Quarterly Effort Period 03/10/20 - 06/09/20 recently for certification on July 15, 2020 and will conclude on September 14, 2020.
  • The Spring Semester Effort Period 12/10/19 - 05/09/20 opened certification on June 15, 2020 and will conclude on August 14, 2020.

Reminder or Prior Certification Periods

  • The Quarterly Effort Period 12/10/19 - 03/09/20 recently closed and contains effort statements awaiting certification. Effort Reporting will be in contact with the appropriate parties.
  • The Fall Semester Effort Period 08/10/19 - 12/24/19 recently closed and contains effort statements awaiting certification. Effort Reporting will be in contact with the appropriate parties.
  • The Semi-Annual Effort Period 06/10/19 - 12/10/19 have effort statements awaiting certification. Effort Reporting will be in contact with the appropriate parties.

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

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Procurement Services

IMPORTANT: Notice to All Vendors Working on Campus

All vendors, temporary employees, and independent contractors were sent the Vendor Guidelines for Work on Campus in Response to COVID-19 (“Guidelines”) on June 26th.

To ensure a safe and healthy environment for all students, faculty and staff, VCU employees who manage or request on-campus vendors/workers can and should hold vendors accountable to these Guidelines while on campus

Independent Contractors

The Independent Contractors (ICs) Agreement completed by ICs prior to beginning work with VCU has been updated. The updated Agreement includes the COVID-19 Guidelines. The IC Agreement is necessary, not only to protect VCU contractually, but ensure a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty and staff.

PIN Retrieval and Changes

Cardholders have the ability to retrieve their PIN through Bank of America’s Global card access site. A new functionality of this site is that cardholders can now change their PIN. This functionality is available for both Travel and P-cards.

The site requires a one-time registration with your full card number and verification ID (236 and your birth date mm/dd/yy).

Declines – Visa Consumer Authentication Service (VCAS)

Cardholders have recently seen transactions declined with variations on the following message:

“The purchase you are attempting requires additional verification. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please contact Bank of America at 866-500-8262 for assistance and reference “VCAS” when speaking with the representative.”

Visa Consumer Authentication Service (VCAS) has added an additional layer of security for e-commerce (online) vendors to opt into as a way to assist with mitigating fraud. Since vendors opt into this service, the Corpcard team is unable to identify which vendors have selected this new security feature.

If you receive a decline message from VCAS, you must call BOA’s fraud line at 1-866-500-8262 to confirm the transaction, otherwise, the transaction will be cancelled by the vendor.

If you have further questions, please contact

Topic Highlight - Fraudsters Are Taking Advantage of COVD-19

The Association for Finance Professional (AVP) recently published an informative article on how fraudsters are adapting tactics and exploiting organizations to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic. Protect yourself and your budget by reading COVID-19: How Fraudsters Are Taking Advantage on AVP’s website.

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Edit | Last updated: 08/15/2022