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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter

Newsletter 2018-2019 Volume 4

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • Florida Sales Tax Rate Decrease
  • PantherSoft Financials Upgrade Goes Live on Monday, October 15, 2018
  • PantherSoft Financials Travel Module Enhancements
  • Limiting Allowable Hotel Expenses Continues for FY-2019
  • Expense Reports with Payment Type “University Credit Card”
  • Entering Receipts in PeopleSoft
  • Materials and Supplies
  • Timely Card Cancellation
  • Reminders and Deadlines
  • Monthly Closing Calendars

    The September 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 Decrease 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. Therefore, the sales tax rate is 6% in Broward County and 7% in Miami-Dade County (due to an additional 1% surtax). On January 1, 2018 the sales tax rate imposed under Florida Statutes on the rent charged for renting, leasing, or granting a license to use real property was decreased from 6% to 5.8%.HERE.

    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 5.7% for Broward County, 6.7% for Miami-Dade County, and 6.7% for Pinellas County.

    However, this reduction does not change the sales tax rate for all other taxable sales. 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 5.7% (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.

    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 rental activity taking place in Miami-Dade County that is subject to the 7.0% sales tax rate. This includes rental activity taking place prior to January 1, 2018 and all other sales tax activity that is not a rental.
    • Account number 311317 (Sales Tax Liab BWD NOT Rental) – this account is used to record/deposit sales tax for rental activity taking place in Broward County that is subject to the 6.0% sales tax rate. This includes rental activity taking place prior to January 1, 2018 and all other sales tax activity that is not a rental.

    Please continue to use Department 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 team members. You can also review the Florida Tax Information Publication (TIP) No. 18A01-14, which contains additional information related to the sales tax rate change.


    PantherSoft Financials Upgrade Goes Live on Monday, October 15, 2018

    PantherSoft, in partnership with the Office of Controller and Division of Research, is working on the Financials PeopleTools upgrade along with applying the most recent version of Financials 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 and will go-live on Monday, October 15, 2018.

    To facilitate the transition, Financial Systems & Support Services is hosting a webinar on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 10:00 AM-11:00 AM. This webinar will highlight the differences in navigation and system enhancements. Please register for the PantherSoft Financials PeopleTools 8.56 & PUM 27 Upgrade Webinar in the Professional Development website.


    PantherSoft Financials Travel Module Enhancements

    In conjunction with the Financials upgrade, we are enhancing the non-reimbursable functionality within the Travel & Expense module. Going forward users must itemize all transactions on the Travel Authorization and associate them to an appropriate Payment and Billing Type. Transactions attached to the University Credit Card are non-reimbursable and will not encumber. The non-reimbursable checkbox will be automatically selected and greyed-out on the Expense Report for this Payment Type.

    Please note: Because of this enhancement, all transactions associated with University Credit Card Payment Type not fully approved prior to Friday October 12, 2018 will have to be sent back for update and resubmission.

    For more information regarding this change, please register for the PantherSoft Financials PeopleTools 8.56 & PUM 27 Upgrade Webinar in the Professional Development website. The webinar is taking place on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 10:00 AM-11:00 AM.


    Limiting Allowable Hotel Expenses Continues for FY-2019

    We have received the following guidance from the Office of the General Counsel:

    Section 85. In order to implement appropriations in the 2018-2019 General Appropriations Act for state employee travel and notwithstanding s. 112.061, Florida Statutes, costs for lodging associated with a meeting, conference, or convention organized or sponsored in whole or in part by a state agency or the judicial branch may not exceed $150 per day. An employee may expend his or her own funds for any lodging expenses in excess of $150 per day. This section expires July 1, 2019.

    As of July 1, 2018, the cost for lodging for FIU employees associated with a meeting, conference, or convention organized or sponsored in whole or in part by FIU may not exceed $150.00 per day if paid with state funding (E & G). Amounts over $150.00 must be paid with personal funds. Please note that the lodging limitation of $150.00 applies only to lodging for a meeting, conference, or convention organized or sponsored in whole or in part by FIU. It does not apply to lodging for a meeting, conference, or convention organized or sponsored by other entities, including other state agencies.

    Departments must ensure the requirements of this law are met when establishing lodging for FIU employees attending FIU sponsored events.


    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 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 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:


    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.

    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

    The receiving date in PeopleSoft should always be the date the product was received – not the date that the actual receiving entry is made.

    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.


    Materials and Supplies

    Materials and/or supplies needed for office spaces, classrooms, labs, and other business purposes must be obtained using either the PCard, FIU requisition, or an unencumbered vendor form. Supplies are not individually reimbursed. Items must be purchased by the department. Permanent employees that need to obtain commodities or commodities and food privileges on behalf of the university must obtain a PCard.


    Timely Card Cancellation

    Departments have a responsibility for timely credit card cancellation. When a card needs to be cancelled because a cardholder transferred to another department or terminated employment, the approver or Department MUST notify the Credit Card Solution Team in an email immediately, prior to the Card Cancellation Form being sent.

    Departments that fail to follow the correct and timely card cancellation protocol risk losing the card privilege for their entire unit.

    Travel

    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 September 28, 2018) loaded into PantherSoft on September 4, 2018 and must be completely processed by the end of the business day on October 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


    Credits 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 July 2018.

    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