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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter

Newsletter 2018-2019 Volume 8

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • Florida Sales Tax Rate Decreased
  • Airbnb Restricted
  • Possible Scam Alert
  • Entering Receipts in PeopleSoft
  • Reminders and Deadlines
  • Monthly Closing Calendars

    The December 2018 period in the general ledger has closed. When running your reports, please keep in mind that the reporting environment has a 24 hour delay in displaying data. The current and future month-end processing deadline schedules can be found at: Monthly Closing Deadlines.

    Florida Sales Tax Rate Decreased to 5.7% on January 1, 2019 for Rental, Lease, or License to Use Real Property

    Currently, Florida imposes a 6% sales tax on the sales of most goods and certain services. The tax is also imposed on commercial leases and licenses to use real property. Some examples of real property rentals that are subject to tax include (commercial office or retail space, conference rooms, ballrooms, stadiums, arenas, etc.). In addition, Florida counties can impose a local option surtax on top of the 6% rate that varies by county.

    Effective on January 1, 2019, Broward County implemented a 1% surtax and therefore the sales tax rates in both Miami-Dade and Broward County are the same. The general sales tax rate is 7% in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

    Effective January 1, 2019, the sales tax rate imposed under Florida Statutes on the rent charged for renting, leasing, or granting a license to use real property is further decreased to 5.7%. Therefore, the sales tax rate for any rental activity taking place on or after January 1, 2019 will be 6.7% Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Pinellas County.

    To accurately collect and remit the sales tax collected by the University, rental related sales tax collections should only be posted to one of the following general ledger accounts shown below.

  • Account number 311318 (Sales Tax Liab MD Prop Rental) – this account is used to record/deposit sales tax for rental activity taking place in Miami-Dade County, that is subject to the reduced 6.8% (2018) sales tax rate and 6.7% (2019) sales tax rate.
  • Account number 311319 (Sales Tax Liab Bwd Prop Rental) – this account is used to record/deposit sales tax for rental activity taking place in Broward County, that is subject to the reduced 5.8% (2018) sales tax rate and 6.7% (2019) sales tax rate.
  • Account number 311320 (Sales Tax Liab PIN Prop Rental) – this account is used to record/deposit sales tax for rental activity taking place in Pinellas County, that is subject to the reduced 6.8% (2018) sales tax rate and 6.7% (2019) sales tax rate.
  • However, this reduction does not change the sales tax rate for all other taxable sales. All other sales tax activity (not rental related) should be posted to one of the following general ledger accounts.

  • Account number 311315 (Sales Tax Liab MD NOT Rental) – this account is used to record/deposit sales tax for goods or services being sold in Miami-Dade County which are subject to the 7.0% sales tax rate.
  • Account number 311317 (Sales Tax Liab BWD NOT Rental) – this account is used to record/deposit sales tax for goods or services being sold in Broward County which are subject to the 7.0% sales tax rate.
  • Please continue to use Department Number 110401000 and Activity Number 110412007 for all sales tax deposit regardless of general ledger account used.

    If you have questions about this change or any other sales tax questions, please email Tax Compliance Services or call any of the Tax Compliance team members at ext 7-2161. You can also click this link to Florida Tax Information Publication (TIP) No. 18A01-14, which contains additional information related to the sales tax rate change.

    Airbnb Restricted

    Effective January 15, 2019, the use of Airbnb is prohibited when traveling on behalf of FIU in accordance with instruction from the Governor of the State of Florida. This will affect the travel of FIU employees, FIU students, and non-employees whose lodging is paid in part or in whole by FIU, regardless of funding source. These Airbnb travel restrictions apply to travel paid by any means, including PCard and donations from the Foundation DSO. Travelers will be reimbursed for any Airbnb lodging that has been paid for business travel prior to January 15, 2019. Reservations for Airbnb use must be cancelled and will not be reimbursed. There are no exceptions to this policy.

    Possible Scam Alert

    Recently we had a potential scam incident where someone called a university employee from an “unknown number” claiming to be from Office Depot, saying they had an order of toner that needed to be delivered and was confirming delivery. They confirmed the employees first and middle name, university address, phone extension and confirmed it was for the right printer. The fraudster stated the “order” was for four boxes of toner, which the employee claimed to never have placed. Additionally, the fraudster said there was a price increase ($200-400) for the new year, but they would use the 2018 pricing since the “order had been placed” before the holidays.

    Our employee was suspicious because they had not placed the ink order and the pricing didn’t sound right (University pricing of these items is closer to $40 - $50 each), and the employee would not pay/confirm any invoice. The fraudster said they would pull the order up to check it and would call back.

    Because of our employee’s vigilance and quick action, a potential scam and loss were averted. While our partner Office Depot does have multiple protocols in place to monitor and mitigate fraud, should you receive a phone call or email from a vendor requesting payment for an order that you do not recall making, please do not provide card payment information until you have fully researched the purchase and verified that it is legitimate.

    Any questions regarding Office Depot orders can be directed to Seth Kaminstein, our dedicated relationship manager. You can also try this phone number: 561.245.0297

    Entering Receipts in PeopleSoft

    The receiving against the PO should be done as soon as the items are received or services are rendered. Please DO NOT WAIT UNTIL AN INVOICE IS RECEIVED.

    The receiving date in PeopleSoft should always be the date the product was received or service rendered – not the date that the actual receiving entry is made. This is a mandatory field

    Below is an excerpt from the job aid:

    The job aide can be found under the Procure to Pay header at the Controller's Training website.

    Should you have questions regarding this course, please call the Financial Systems and Support Services Help Desk at 7-7200 or email controller@fiu.edu.

    If you have completed the receiving entry for an order or an invoice and continue to receive an e-mail requesting a receiving transaction, please contact Accounts Payables at 7-2161 to clear the match exception. Please do not resend the invoice to invoices@fiu.edu


    Let’s expedite approving Travel Authorizations, Cash Advances, and Expense Reports. Documents that have not been completely finalized and are older than 90 days will be cancelled or deleted by the Travel Department. A list of pending documents is located here. Information regarding report status abbreviations and how to close or cancel Travel Authorizations and/or Expense Reports can be found here.

    Departmental Card Deadline

    As a reminder, departmental card billing transactions regularly load the first business day of the month; program participants will have 10 days to process this activity in its entirety. This month's billing statement (dated January 31, 2019) loaded into PantherSoft on February 1, 2019 and must be completely processed by the end of the business day on February 15, 2019.

    Any charges not processed by the closing deadline will be automatically charged to the cardholder's default accounting on file and will not be eligible for a transfer. Cardholders with three unjustified non-approvals in the same fiscal year will have their card temporarily suspended until they complete a retraining session

    Invoices Pending Receipt

    Please review the list of vouchers in PeopleSoft that are pending a receipt in order to be paid. This report is as of January 31st. Please review and create a receipt if the item has been received or the services have been rendered. Please disregard if a receipt was created on or after February 1st.

    Credit Memos

    As a reminder, all credit memos should be processed on a timely basis. They should be sent to invoices@fiu.edu for processing. Please do not wait until you have an invoice pending to offset the credit. PeopleSoft should reflect all invoices owed to vendors and credits owed to FIU.

    All vendor statements should be sent to Maria Castillo at mmcasti@fiu.edu.

    Unidentified Wire Transfers and ACH Payments

    The Controller's Office occasionally receives payments that cannot be applied to the appropriate department due to inadequate information. Click here for the list of unidentified wire transfers and ACH payments as of January 2019.

    To claim a payment, please contact Cash Management and provide the following information:

  • payment details

  • activity details

  • account to which the payment should be recorded
  • Payments that are not identified within 45 days of the wire/ACH date will be returned to the sender.

    How to sign up for the Panther Post Newsletter

    If you wish to be added to the ListServ for the Panther Post, please email controller@fiu.edu.

    Office of the Controller