September 2020

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

Table of Contents

Office of the Controller

Index Reconciliation Requirements

The Banner Index Reconciliation guidance page has been updated. The streamlined guidance emphasizes the basic requirements of this key internal control. Please review the page to ensure your reconciliation processes and documentation are compliant.


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 National Science Foundation NSF Update


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.

Banner Job Aids Main Page Link (Other helpful links section):

Fiscal Admin Listing Link


Chart of Accounts Sponsored Programs

The “Chart of Accounts Sponsored Programs” (indirect cost distribution code and predecessor org.) 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.


NIH Program Funding & Grants Administration Seminar

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 NIH’s website.


COVID-19 and Agency/Sponsor Guidance (Update):

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s memorandum M-20-26 extension of the “Allowability of salaries and other project activities” are set to expire on September 30, 2020. A comprehensive listing of guidance and copies of the memorandums are available on the VCU Office of the Controller website.


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 American Heart Association (AHA):
  • AHA Proposal Central has replaced Grants@Heart
  • If you experience issues with the system please contact your assigned accountant

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA):

  • HRSA will not accept FFR submissions through the HRSA Electronic Handbooks, the EHBs, after September 25, 2020. Starting October 1, 2020, the FFR report will be available in PMS to prepare, certify and submit to HRSA for review.

Fall Research Administration Training Opportunities:

  • Fall Research Administration Back to School (RABTS) meeting:

    RABTS meetings are typically held twice a year and convey updates and presentations on timely topics in research administration. The fall meeting will be held via zoom on September 15th from 1pm - 3pm. RABTS meetings are open to all.
  • 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. (November 4 at 11:00am – 12:00pm)
  • Effort Reporting - Advanced

    This session is designed for effort coordinators with more than one year experience working with effort and ECRT and provides a more detailed view of effort reporting, ECRT, and compliance. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions. (Date: September 16; Time: 11am - 12pm)
  • RAMS Fall Mini-Forum

    “Data; Why should I care?” will be held on September 23rd (1pm - 2:15pm). More information on this exciting five part series coming soon via the res-adm listserv.

If interested, register at the links above or by searching on the course name in Talent@VCU.


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.


Effort Reporting

Current and Upcoming Certification Periods:

  • 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 Quarterly Effort Period 03/10/20 - 06/09/20 is currently open for certification and will conclude on September 14, 2020.
  • The Summer Semester Effort Period 05/10/20 - 08/09/20 will open for certification on September 15, 2020 and will conclude on November 14, 2020.

Prior Certification Periods:

  • The Quarterly Effort Period 12/10/19 - 03/09/20 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.

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

FY21 P-Card Blackboard Training and Test

Fiscal Year ‘21 P-Card Training and Test will launch this month in Blackboard. All P-Card cardholders and approvers are required to complete the annual test to re-certify compliance with the terms and conditions of the P-Card program. Completion of the test by the deadline prevents suspension of cards and/or approval access. You will receive an email on Thursday, September 10, notifying you when the test is available and the deadline (Friday, October 9, 2020) by which it must be completed.

Please note: p-card holders and approvers must take the test. Taking training alone does not meet the re-certification requirement.


Classroom Training – Virtual

P-Card will resume virtual classroom training in September. To enroll in the Cardholder training, please visit training.vcu.edu. Use the keyword search “pcard.” Please contact Corpcard@vcu.edu with questions.

If you have further questions, please contact Corpcard@vcu.edu.


Chrome River Analytics and Standard Reports Feature

Travel Services is excited to announce a new enhancement to Chrome River Analytics, which allows users to save and run Standard Reports. Analytics users can now customize and save a standard report as a favorite, establish a schedule to automatically run it, and distribute it via email.

Please watch your Chrome River Message of the Day for a cheat sheet for future information about this new functionality. If you have questions or concerns, please email travel@vcu.edu.


Check Run Calendar Available

Procurement Services has added Check Run Calendar to our website to help departments identify which days a check run will be completed. We will periodically update the calendar to reflect current and planned check runs so departments can plan accordingly.

You can find the Check Run Calendar 2020 linked in the Accounts Payable Document Library.


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