March 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 the following NCURA YouTube Tuesday Videos:

“Compensation Reporting: A Case Study”

“The Audit Lifecycle”

Salary Cap

The salary cap, effective January 5, 2020, was increased from $192,300 to $197,300. Excerpt from the guidance found in Notice Number: NOT-HS-20-006 is provided below. The entire details are available via

When determining next steps, departments will need to take the following into consideration: institutional base salary, funding, budgets, and the identified award population restricted to the cap.

Next steps should also include a budget analysis before full implementation in Banner. If a budget analysis is not completed, it could result in the award being overspent (i.e. deficit standing).

If assistance is needed, we request that you contact your assigned accountant. Thank you.

Excerpts from Notice Number: NOT-HS-20-006:

  • o “The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, Public Law 116-94, signed into law on December 20, 2019, restricts the amount of direct salary which may be paid to an individual under an HHS grant, cooperative agreement, or applicable contract to a rate no greater than Executive Level II of the Federal Executive Pay Scale. Effective January 5, 2020, the Executive Level II salary level is $197,300. According to P.L. 116-94, Sec. 202: "None of the funds appropriated in this title shall be used to pay the salary of an individual, through a grant or other external mechanism, at a rate in excess of Executive Level II."
  • o “Committed levels of funding for grant and contract awards made in prior fiscal years that were restricted to Executive Level II will NOT be adjusted for the new salary cap rate. However, if adequate funds are available in the award, and if the FY2020 salary cap limitation is consistent with the institutional base salary, grantees may re-budget funds to accommodate the FY2020 salary cap effective January 5, 2020, and cost reimbursement contractors may invoice at the higher rate. It is expected that such re-budgeting will not negatively impact the aims of the project. No additional funds will be provided for grant awards. Total estimated costs of contracts will not be modified.”

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 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 & Current Effort Reporting Certification Periods

  • The Quarterly Effort Period 9/10/19 - 12/9/19 recently opened for certification on January 15, 2020, and will close on March 14, 2020.
  • The Fall Semester Effort Period 8/10/19-12/24/19 recently opened for certification on January 22, 2020, and will close on March 21, 2020.

Prior Effort Reporting Certification Periods

  • The Quarterly Effort Period 6/10/19 - 9/9/19, currently has effort statements awaiting processing. Effort Reporting will be in contact with the appropriate parties.
  • The Semi-Annual Effort Period 12/10/18 - 6/9/19, has effort statements awaiting processing. Effort Reporting will be in contact with the appropriate parties.
  • The Summer Semester Effort Period 05/10/19 - 08/09/19 has effort statements awaiting processing. Effort Reporting will be in contact with the appropriate parties.
  • The Semiannual Effort Period 6/10/19 - 12/9/19 has effort statements awaiting processing. 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.

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Procurement Services

COVID 19 Coronavirus Travel Advisory

The CDC is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. It has now been detected in over 50 locations internationally, including cases throughout the United States. While travel to China has been halted, travel to and from other areas of the world is now being impacted as well.

VCU and VCU Health Systems have issued the following statement regarding student and employee travel:

In addition to the university's recommendation, you can also check Christopherson Business Travel or the airline's websites along with VCU Safety & Risk Management at to ensure you are able to travel to your destination.

Upcoming Travel Training Dates:

03/05/2020 - Christopherson Business Travel Hands-On Training (open to those who have taken Policy & Chrome River training)
03/10/2020 - Travel & Expense Reimbursement Policy Training
03/17/2020 - Chrome River Hands-On Training
03/24/2020 - Christopherson Business Travel Training

Online Registration is available here:

If classes are full, you may request to be added to a waitlist by emailing

RealSource Contracts+ Goes Live March 9th

On Monday, March 9, 2020, the new RealSource Contracts+ module (Contracts Plus) will be available for use to all RealSource users. While some users may never interact with the module, departments who do business with vendors via a contract will find Contacts+ to be especially useful.

At Go-Live, all new requests to review or create contracts should be submitted through RealSource via a “Request Contract” form (not The form guides users through the process of gathering the appropriate information and documents, and draws attention to certain university policies or pre-requisites that must also be satisfied. Users can easily identify reviewers and status of a contract review as it moves through the system. When a contract is ready for signature, Contracts+ fully integrates with DocuSign to allow for a quick, electronic execution.

About 400 high-usage legacy contracts will be active in the Contracts+ repository on March 9th. All new contracts executed after March 9th will also reside in Contracts+. Departments can request to add other legacy contracts through August 1, 2020, via a new form located at the bottom of the RealSource homepage. Note, the absence of a legacy contract in Contracts+ will not affect the department’s ability to process POs or invoices that are related to them.

Among other features, Contracts+ automatically triggers user notifications when a contract is expiring, a renewal is pending or the spending cap is about to be exceeded. Each contract will contain up to 30 data points plus a PDF copy of the executed contract. Users can search Contracts+ to locate pre-existing contracts by commodity code or select contracts from their shopping carts.

To learn more about the Contracts+ tool, several one-hour, info-sessions will be held on each campus from March 9-19, 2020. Access the “News/Events” section of the RealSource website for the schedule and registration links.

Additional information about Contracts+ can be found in the Departments Only section of the RealSource website. Questions or comments can be sent by email to or directed to the RealSource HelpDesk at 828-1077, Option 6.

REAL ID Deadline - October 1, 2020

Travel Services has recently been getting questions regarding traveling for VCU and the required Real ID.

The Real ID deadline is October 1, 2020. If you are planning to travel domestically and do not have a valid passport, you are required to have a Real ID compliant driver's license or Identification card (has the Real ID star) in order to board a flight and/or access a federal facility.

More information can be found:

P-Card Classroom Trainings

Dates for P-Card classroom trainings are now available! New cardholders and approvers are highly encouraged to attend. Please register on using the keyword “pcard.”

BOA Works - Password Resets

Corpcard has seen an uptick in password reset requests. Please use the following tips to avoid being “locked out” of Works:

  • Works is optimized for Firefox. Please use this browser whenever possible
  • Routinely clear out your cookies and temporary internet files
  • Do not save your password in your browser!

If you receive the message that you have been “locked out,” please email and we will send you the Welcome email to reset your password.

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Edit | Last updated: 11/09/2022