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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter

Newsletter 2018-2019 Volume 2

In this Edition...

  • Fiscal Year End 2017-2018
  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • Financials PeopleTools upgrade
  • Unrelated Business Income Tax (Form 990-T)
  • Expense Reports with Payment Type “University Credit Card”
  • FIU Airline Corporate Reward Numbers
  • "Local Procurement & GoGreen" initiative
  • Amazon Free Two Day Shipping
  • Total Contract Manager Training is NOW Available Online
  • Reminders and Deadlines
  • Fiscal Year End 2017-2018

    The General Ledger for FY17/18 closed August 1, 2018. University Departments can now run reports for FY17/18.

    Monthly Closing Calendars

    The July 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.

    Financial PeopleTools upgrade

    PantherSoft, in partnership with the Office of Controller and Division of Research, is working on the Financial PeopleTools upgrade along with applying the most recent version of Financial application’s enhancements and fixes. This project includes the introduction of new technologies that leverage analytics, workflow, messaging, and mobile platform. The upgrade will feature an intuitive and more user-friendly experience, known as Fluid, as well as individually customizable navigation.

    The project is entering the testing phase with a tentative go-live of October 2018. There will be various communications in the next few months, as well as training and workshop sessions. Stay tuned for future updates.”

    Unrelated Business Income Tax (Form 990-T)

    Florida International University is required by Federal law to prepare an income tax return for net income from activities unrelated to the exempt mission of the University. This tax return (Form 990-T) must be filed annually with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

    The IRS has provided the following criteria to identify activities that are unrelated to the mission of an exempt organization. An activity is an unrelated business (and subject to unrelated business income tax "UBIT") if it meets three requirements: (1) It is a "trade or business"; (2) It is "regularly carried on"; and (3) It is "not substantially related" to furthering FIU's exempt purpose. Since these terms are given a specific meaning within the rules set forth by the IRS and several important exceptions exist, guidelines for these criteria are available from the Tax Compliance office for your review.

    Tax Compliance will begin gathering the data for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 and cannot identify all activities that are unrelated and subject to Federal income tax from the accounting records alone. Therefore, we are asking that all Departments review their operations for the 2017-2018 fiscal-year and determine what activities, if any, are potentially unrelated business income. Please keep in mind that Florida International University must account for and report all unrelated business income pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code.

    A reminder email will be sent by August 15th to those Department Heads & Finance Managers with UBIT activity in prior years, with links to the UBIT questionnaire and additional UBIT information. The information will also be available on the Controller's website at the following link: http://finance.fiu.edu/controller/QL_Unrel.html.

    Expense Reports with Payment Type “University Credit Card”

    Expense reports that have a payment type of “University Credit Card” (Departmental Card) and are not checked as “non-reimbursable”, will be systematically sent back by the Travel department for revision, unless a description is entered stating that the University Credit Card is a “Travel & Entertainment” Card (T&E). A recent audit by the Office of Internal Audit revealed that some individuals had been reimbursed in error for items that were prepaid by the university. The UTS Panthersoft team is diligently working to fix this in the system where prepaid items will automatically default to non-reimbursable.

    Expense report submitters, expense managers, and project managers must check reports to ensure that the required items are checked off. Extra attention should be directed to the credit card receipt to make sure it matches the credit card's last four digits printed on the receipt. These four numbers should be the same as the Departmental Cards's numbers and “University Credit Card” should be selected on the drop-down menu as is highlighted below:

    FIU Airline Corporate Reward Numbers

    When making flight reservations (domestic and foreign travel) for individuals that are traveling on behalf of FIU for business travel, make sure that you insert the FIU corporate reward number for American, Delta and United Airlines. This number enables FIU to receive points and rewards that benefit the University. In addition to the FIU corporate reward number, you can still use your personal frequent flyer/reward number and receive personal points and rewards.

    Using both corporate and personal frequent flyer numbers allows the university to receive airline vouchers for research travel and for distribution to students and employees at various university events, as well as provide the individual traveler with frequent flyer points.

    The Corporate Reward numbers are:

    Air Carrier
    FIU Corporate Reward Number
    American Airlines
    Delta Airlines
    United Airlines
    JetBlue - TrueBlue

    "Local Procurement & GoGreen" initiative

    Amazon Free Two Day Shipping

    Good news! We are happy to announce that our FIU Amazon Business account has been upgraded to include FREE Two-Day shipping on eligible products thru the end of the calendar year!

    Total Contract Manager Training is NOW Available Online

    The Office of the Controller has converted Total Contract Manager to a self-paced online course, available on demand.

    This course provides departmental Contract Managers and FIU Contract Compliance Approvers with an essential understanding on how Procurement Contracts are submitted, approved, executed, and maintained within Total Contract Manager.

    Employees can register for the course via Professional Development, under Office of the Controller courses.

    If you have questions regarding FIU’s Procurement Contract process, call Procurement Services at 7-2161 or email contracts@fiu.edu.

    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.


    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 July 31, 2018) loaded into PantherSoft on August 2, 2018 and must be completely processed by the end of the business day on August 15, 2018.

    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

    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