May 2023

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

Table of Contents

Business Services

RamTech (Barnes & Noble)

RamTech will follow University Decentralized Service Center year-end guidelines. Department orders must be purchased by COB Friday, June 16th, to post in FY 23. For the full schedule, please visit

Mail Services

Mail Services will follow University Decentralized Service Center year-end Guidelines. Charges processed through Friday, June 16th, will be posted in FY 23. For the full schedule, please visit

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Grants & Contracts

G&C Staffing Updates!

We are thrilled to be welcoming four new grant accountants to our team! Below is a brief bio and their contact information. Please reach out and give them a warm welcome to the Finance community! We'd also like to acknowledge Madrenna Horn, who will be stepping into her new role as Post-Award Compliance Analyst. Congratulations Madrenna!

Joseph (Joe) Hewitt, Grant Accountant, Delta Team - Joe is a Virginia native who joined VCU after obtaining his BA in Business & Accounting from Marymount California University. In high school Joe was both a cross country and track & field athlete which led him to his undergraduate institution where he continued as an athlete. We're thrilled to have Joe on our team and he can be reached at

Kenny Nguyen, Grant Accountant, Alpha Team - Kenny is a Richmond native, who graduated from the VCU School of Business in Spring 2022. He joins Grants & Contracts Accounting after working in the auto industry for close to a decade and is excited for the career change. His hobbies include riding bicycles, cooking, and attending concerts, and one of his favorite things to do is the ability to commute to work via his bike. Kenny can be reached at

Nicole Padgett, Grant Accountant, Delta Team - Nicole joins VCU after working for the Children's Hospital of Richmond for the past five years. Having extensive career experience in accounting, and her undergraduate degree from the University at Maryland Global Campus in Accounting, we are excited to have Nicole on board! She looks forward to learning the world of grant accounting and becoming part of the VCU community. Nicole can be reached at

Crystal Robinson, Grant Accountant, Beta Team - Crystal joins VCU after previously working for the Virginia Department of Health as an accountant. Her hobbies or personal interests are crafting, thrifting, vacationing and spending time with family. Crystal can be reached at

Madrenna Horn, Post-Award Compliance Analyst - We are pleased to announce that our very own Madrenna Horn will be stepping into the role of Post-Award Compliance Analyst! As we look to strengthen our oversight of post-award financial research, Madrenna will serve a key role in leading this initiative. Additionally, with the roll-out of our G&C Strategic Plan, we are excited to have this role in place as it will help us move forward with Accountability, Collaboration, Communication, Ethics, and Knowledge.

Madrenna has worked for more than 15 years in Financial Management with additional experience in research administration, contract analysis, audit, and compliance. She has worked for VCU for almost 10 years and has been a member of the Grants and Contracts Accounting Family since August 2017.

Madrenna’s professional accomplishments as a senior accountant with VCU include serving on the Research Administrative Advisory Board to enable the growth and development of the processes and procedures of the Research Administrators serving the university. As well as working on the Robotic Process Automation Project which allowed her to help develop viable tools and suggest process improvements. Before joining VCU she had the opportunity to establish accounting support processes in order to create GAAP compliance handbook needed to support grant funding projects.

Madrenna is a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate and has a B.S in Business Management with a Concentration in Entrepreneurial & Small Business Management. In Madrenna’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, snowboarding, crafting, reading, and singing.

Thanks to your collaboration on expired awards, our Closeout committee is making great progress on the financial closeouts. As a reminder, departments are responsible for the cash deficit including charges that remain unbilled due to the deficit, even if these expenditures are within the authorized amount. For more information, please review the Financial Closeout Policy found on our G&C Policies webpage.

Effort Reporting Updates

The effort certification period for the MCV Campus will close on May 31, 2023. Faculty, please log into ECC and certify your effort and project statements as soon as possible.

Lastly, the pre-review period for the Spring Semester (Monroe Park Campus) will open on June 1, 2023. Effort Coordinators will have the entire month of June to pre-review the statements for the Monroe Park Campus before the certification period opens in July. Please log into ECC and pre-review your statements as soon as possible to avoid delays in certification.

Please contact if you need assistance or have any questions.

Upcoming Effort Reporting Training

Join us for our upcoming Advanced Effort Training session on June 7, 2023, via Zoom. A brief description of the course is listed below:

  • This advanced training is designed for individuals who have a level of familiarity with ECC but would like to fully utilize the system and gain a better understanding of some of the compliance guidelines that govern effort reporting. Topics that will be covered include the NIH Salary Cap, Highly Sponsored Faculty, and a series of reports available through ECC. We hope you take the time to sign up, have your questions answered, and learn how to use ECC to its full potential!

Feel free to enroll in this opportunity via Talent and don't hesitate to contact us at with any additional training requests or questions.

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Procurement Services

Simplified Method to Pay Independent Contractors

Please be reminded that Procurement Services has simplified the method used by departments to pay Independent Contractors. Please do not send any requests to pay an Independent Contractor to Submit the ICA Payment Request form in RealSource on the homepage.

Invoice Submission

All invoices submitted to Procurement Services via the email must include the correct purchase order number. If an invoice is received without a purchase order number, or includes the incorrect purchase order number, it must be corrected prior to submission. These corrections should be made directly to the appropriate section of the invoice. Corrections must be typed and cannot handwritten. Invoices with incorrect PO numbers or with handwritten corrections will delay payment.

Procurement Services suggest that university staff who receive incorrect invoices return them the vendor and request an corrected copy. However, the information may also be manually corrected using Adobe Acrobat DC, for which the university provides licenses, or with other applications such as Word and DocuSign. Procurement Services has also prepared a brief video with examples of how and when to correct invoices with incorrect PO information. This may be helpful for users who are new to amending PDFs or scanned documents. You can see this video via Kaltura on the RealSource training page.

These changes will allow Procurement Services to leverage new technologies to improve processing times and sharpen the focus of the Accounts Payable on support. Most invoices submitted with the correct PO number will process within a day or two.

Travel Team

Booking University Sponsored Travel

This is a reminder that the university has a mandatory travel management company - Christopher Business Travel to handle the booking of all air and Amtrak rail travel when traveling on official business using University Funds. Christopherson also has the university Agency Travel credit card on file to cover the cost of the fare. The use of outside sources to book travel (e.g Airline website, Google flights, Expedia, etc) is prohibited. Using your personal credit card to pay your air or rail is only allowed under a few circumstances and without advanced approval may result in risk of not being reimbursed.

Some examples when a personal credit card may be used:

  • Personal travel is included with business travel to make fare a higher cost
  • International travel destination requires a credit card verification
  • Multiple funding sources - VCU not paying for entire trip

Rental Car - Enterprise/National is our Contracted Vendor

VCU has a contract with Enterprise/National that covers all of our rental car needs when traveling in the US. In addition, Enterprise has over 9500 Worldwide locations. Travelers should be using Enterprise rental as their first rental car option. In order to receive all of our contractual benefits, including the insurance coverages with Enterprise/National, secure the rental using VCU’s contract number XZ21184 .

EZ Pass/Tolls - VCU will reimburses only the cost of tolls incurred during travel. Enterprise charges a per usage day fee (between $3.95-$4.95), plus the amount of the tolls.

Business Meals & Catered Events

Business meals and Catered Events are restricted on the P-card by default. However, these expenses may be paid on a P-card if an exception request to lift the restriction is submitted to CorpCard. The Form can be found here. Please allow up to 2 business days for the request to be processed by Corpcard.

As an Additional note some Local Vendors such as Breweries, Wineries and other Social Clubs have their Credit Card Terminals Coded with a Merchant Category Code (MCC) of “5813 Alcoholic Beverage Drinking Places- Bar Nightclubs ETC”. This Code is restricted on the P-card by the State of Virginia and cannot be lifted or bypassed. Please check with the Vendor prior to using your P-card to determine what MCC code they use.

Procurement Services Staff Updates

Procurement Services has added several new members to our team. Please join us in welcoming them.

Michael Warlick has joined the Purchasing Team after a distinguished career in procurement at a peer institution. He will assist with specific projects and procurements on a part-time basis. Michael's email address is

Ramona Taylor was hired to lead our Contracts Team. She was previously with the Office of the Attorney General and brings her significant knowledge of higher education and procurement law to Procurement's contracting team. Ramona can be reached at

Morgan Balch joined the Corpcard Team in April. She has been with VCU for 20+ years having previously worked in several areas throughout the College of Humanities & Sciences. She brings her understanding and experience with the use of the PCard to Procurement Services. Morgan can be reached at

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Edit | Last updated: 05/18/2023