October 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 videos and/or webinars to help the research community understand the National Science Foundation’s updates. This online seminar is from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1)
NSF’s related powerpoint is available here.

Fiscal Administrative (FA) Listing
The link for the FA listing is provided below. It is an Excel spreadsheet so once clicked it will cause an Excel file to download (if not stopped by your pop-up blocker settings). Therefore, the page where the link is housed is included as well.

Chart of Accounts Sponsored Programs
(Indirect Cost Distribution Code and Predecessor Org.)The “Chart of Accounts Sponsored Programs” report is available in the VCU Reporting Center's Finance folder for departments. This report is similar to the existing Chart of Accounts report with the exception of additional data related to sponsored indexes. This report also includes a listing of subdepartments (i.e. predecessor orgs) and the indirect cost distribution codes that can be used when completing Advance Index Requests.

Save the Date: Fall 2020 NIH Virtual Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration!
NIH will be hosting a virtual seminar between Tuesday, October 26 – Friday, October 30 and registration is free. Additional details can be found at  https://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2020/08/04/save-the-date-fall-2020-nih-virtual-seminar-on-program-funding-and-grants-administration/


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 Summary of key dates
  • Summary of key dates

Fall Research Administration Training Opportunities:

G&C Post Award Basics - Fall Sessions (September, October, November)

The Grants & Contracts Post Award Basics training sessions will start back up in September. This is a great opportunity for fiscal administrators, research administrators, and or grant specialists interested in revisiting general topics in post award sponsored project management.

Effort Reporting & ECRT System - Basic

This course is designed for staff and effort coordinators with less than one year experience working with effort and ECRT or those who would like to revisit general effort topics. (Date: November 4; Time: 11am - 12pm)


Online Training Resources - Updated:

Updated Banner training resources have been posted to the University Controller’s website training page and more post award online resources are in the works.

Banner 9 Post Award Tutorial
Banner Post Award Basics Guide

Please contact Cathy Short (Training Manager, OSP/G&C, cfshort@vcu.edu) with any questions or assistance with registering for upcoming fall opportunities.


Current and Upcoming Certification Periods:

  • The Quarterly Effort Period 06/10/20 - 09/09/20 will open for certification on October 15, 2020 and conclude on September 14, 2020.
  • The Semi-Annual Effort Period 12/10/19 - 06/09/20 opened for certification on August 22, 2020 and will conclude on October 21, 2020
  • The Summer Semester Effort Period 05/10/20 - 08/09/20 opened for certification on September 15, 2020 and will conclude on November 14, 2020.

Prior Certification Periods:

  • The Quarterly Effort Period 03/10/20 - 06/09/20 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.

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Procurement Services

Relaunch of Contracts+ & New “Manage Contracts” Website (October 8, 2020)

On October 8, 2020, Procurement Services is re-launching the RealSource Contracts+ tool. The tool initially launched in March, however, full implementation was impeded due to COVID-19, and training, help-guides and the system itself, required retooling to better accommodate at-home workers. On October 8, the relaunch will include:

  • One-hour Zoom info-Sessions that run from October 9 – 21 (see VCU Training or the RealSource website News/Events page for dates and registration information),
  • A 3-part Video Training Series for departments on Contracts+, and
  • Updated Help-Guides.

Especially notable, departments (Shoppers/Requesters) will be required to “link” requisitions processed in RealSource to a Contracts+ record, where a contract exists, starting no later than October 26. Info-sessions, the Video Training Series and Help-Guide will cover user instructions, and the rationale and benefits of linking requisitions to contracts.

Also, on October 8, Procurement Services will publish new web pages focused on Contracts under a new “Manage Contracts” area of the “I Want To” section of the Procurement Services website. The webpages, designed with user departments in mind, will provide basic information about purchase contracts and agreements, how to submit contracts for review, the contract approval cycle, contract administration and helpful checklists and related documents.

For more information about the October 8 reintroduction of Contracts+ and the publication of the new Manage Contracts website, please review RealSource / Departments Only


New RealSource eCatalog – Integrated DNA Technologies

Procurement Services is pleased to announce the addition of Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) to the university’s portfolio of RealSource eCatalogs. This brings the total number of eCatalogs to twenty-nine (29). IDT’s primary line of business is the manufacturing of DNA and RNA oligonucleotides (oligos) for research applications. IDT is the largest supplier of custom nucleic acids in the US and serves over 100k customers worldwide.

Departments who currently make purchases from IDT by PCard need to process their future IDT purchases through the new eCatalog. If you do not have a RealSource account, you can (1) coordinate with a RealSource Requester in your department to process your orders or (2) establish a RealSource account. To establish a RealSource account see pages 10-17 of the RealSource Help-Guide.


Updates to the Procurement Services Web Site

The Contracts team has added content to the Procurement Services web site: https://procurement.vcu.edu/our-services/

We have also added a few checklists and quick guides to provide helpful reminders when you need to make a purchase. Click this link https://procurement.vcu.edu/document-library/contracts/ to find the following:

  • Contract Submission Checklist
  • Prerequisite Quick Guide
  • Procurement Methods Quick Guide

New VP Consent for Payments Over $2K Form

Procurement Services has consolidated the Accounts Payable Honoraria, Awards/Prizes and Preceptor forms into a single form called VP Consent for Payments Over $2k. The form is offered both in Adobe and DocuSign for ease of use. When executed, the form must be attached to a RealSource One Time Payment request for payments over $2,000. The form is not required for payments <= $2,000.

Hyperlinks to the form can be found in various Procurement Services webpages (Honoraria, Awards/Prizes and Preceptor Payments and their Related Documents), the Accounts Payable Document Library, on the RealSource homepage (under QuickLinks), and within the One-Time Payment form.


FY21 P-Card Blackboard Training and Test – Deadline October 12th, 2020

The FY21 P-Card Blackboard Training and Test was launched the second week in September. All P-Card cardholders and approvers are required to complete the annual test to re-certify their compliance with the terms and conditions of the P-Card program. Failure to complete the test by the October 12th deadline will result in the suspension of cards and/or approval access.

If you are not enrolled, please contact CorpCard@vcu.edu. Please note: taking the classroom training, does not exempt you from the online test.


Winter Close Update 2020

The Office of Procurement Services will have their final check run for winter close on Wednesday, December 16, 2020. All invoices and necessary receiving will need to be completed prior to this date to ensure payment processing. There will be no other check runs until we return on Monday, January 4, 2021. Please be aware that the November 2020 issue of the Fiscal Administrators newsletter will include information and updates regarding the full winter closing schedule.


Chrome River-Supported Web Browsers - Internet Explorer no longer supported

Although most modern web browsers are able to access and operate Chrome River, for optimal performance Chrome River recommends using only these 4 supported browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari

Internet Explorer is no longer included in this list because Microsoft is in the process of deprecating it. Although Chrome River will continue to run on Internet Explorer until the browser is retired and support critical issues, Chrome River will no longer fix any noncritical issues with Internet Explorer beginning 10/5/2020.

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