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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter

Newsletter 2018-2019 Volume 12

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • 2018-2019 Year-End Memorandum
  • Petty Cash / Change Fund Policy Update
  • Petty Cash / Change Fund Acknowledgement
  • Participant Payment Funds Acknowledgement
  • FY19 Purchase Orders
  • President's Delegation of Power
  • Surplus Property Transformation Project Update
  • Credit Card Reconciliation: Supporting Documentation
  • Card Security: Card Sharing
  • Travel News
  • Updated Travel Alphabet Assignments
  • Airbnb Restricted
  • Materials and Supplies
  • Vicinity Travel
  • Entering Receipts in PeopleSoft
  • Reminders and Deadlines
  • Monthly Closing Calendars

    The May 2019 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.

    2018-2019 Year End Memorandum

    As we prepare to enter into the upcoming fiscal year-end closing process, it is important that all departments review and reconcile their ledgers; verifying that the recording of all purchase orders, invoices, travel expenses, and payroll transactions pertaining to FY 2018-2019 are accurate and all corrections are posted. Before closing, it is also necessary to ensure the accuracy of any outstanding encumbrances (purchase orders and travel authorizations) for the year so budget balances for State fund carry forwards are correct.

    Please review the FIU Controller memorandum for deadlines and information regarding the year end process.

    Petty Cash/Change Fund Policy Update

    The Petty Cash/Change Fund policy has recently been updated. Please proceed to the link below and review the updated policy if you have these funds.


    Petty Cash/Change Fund Acknowledgement

    The Controller's Office requests that all custodians of Petty Cash/Change Funds complete a petty cash custodian acknowledgement form and submit it to the Controller's Office for our records. These forms are reviewed by auditors and serve as confirmation that the funds remain under your care and are properly safeguarded. Our office has changed the Custodian Acknowledgement form from annual to semi-annual. The forms will be due by June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2019. Please complete and sign the Custodian Acknowledgement Form and e-mail it to cashrequests@fiu.edu.

    Participant Payment Funds Acknowledgement

    Participant Payment Funds (PPF) must have a Custodian Acknowledgement Form completed by the current approved custodian. These forms are due to the Controller's Office by June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2019 respectively (please email them to cashrequests@fiu.edu).

    In addition, if the period of the approved PPF has lapsed, then the funds must be returned and the PPF closed, or an Extension Form must be completed, signed, and approved in order for replenishments to be processed.

    All forms must have proper signatures and activity or project numbers. Delays in the submission of these forms may result in payments being held until completed forms have been received.

    For your convenience, below is the link to all Controllers' Office Forms.


    Please contact Oriana Mangarre-Rodriguez at extension 7-2557 if you have any questions.

    FY19 Purchase Orders

    Please review the list of open purchase orders for All Funds as of June 6, 2019 in an effort to avoid rolling over open encumbrances for purchase orders that should be closed this fiscal year.

    For ALL FUNDS, communicate to Crystal Herrera, Associate Director of Procurement, those purchase orders that you wish to close no later than June 25, 2019 to allow sufficient time for processing. Send your requests to close purchase orders via email only to Crystal Herrera.

    Please check the PO Activity Summary in PantherSoft for each PO you would like closed to make sure that it is paid before submitting your request to close the PO. Those POs with pending invoices and/or receipts cannot be closed.

    Please do not send requests to leave POs open; only communicate for those you would like to be closed.

    As a reminder, blanket purchase orders not using grant funds will be closed on June 28, 2019. Please note this is not an automated process; we close purchase orders manually. If you have blanket purchase orders with no pending activity, we encourage you to send your requests to close these out now and not wait until the end of the year.

    President's Delegation of Power

    The Florida International University Board of Trustees ("BOT") approved a resolution on President's Powers and Duties ("Resolution") on March 4, 2019. The Resolution reflects the BOT's updated delegations of authority from the BOT to the President. The Resolution applies to the purchase, sale, lease, license, or acquisition of commodities, goods, equipment and other types of personal property, software and contractual services, including private attorney services after March 4, 2019. This include any transactions relating to contracts, renewals, extensions, amendments, awards and POs, plus change orders. For these types of transaction, the following actions will need to be taken:

    1. Any transaction greater than or equal to $500,000 and less than $1,000,000, shall be reported on a quarterly basis to the BOT Finance Committee;

    2. Any transaction greater than or equal to $1,000,000 and less than $3,000,000, shall require the approval of the BOT Finance Committee and thereafter, reported to the Board of Trustees; and

    3. Any transaction greater than or equal to $3,000,000, shall require the prior approval of the Board of Trustees.

    Departments are required to take the necessary actions to meet these new requirements. Departments must:

    1. Obtain proper approval of all contracts and/or POs prior to receiving goods and services. Please check OGC's website for appropriate signature authority https://generalcounsel.fiu.edu/signature-authority/.

    2. Work with Procurement Services and Office of General Council (OGC) to determine if their transaction requires the Finance Committee and/or BOT approval or reporting.
      1. Each transaction will be reviewed to determine if it falls within one of the three thresholds in order to take appropriate action. If multiple contracts are awarded for a solicitation, the individual contract amount will be considered, not the total solicitation award amount.

    3. Work with Procurement Services and the CFO's office to prepare the BOT agenda item or report.
      1. Dates and times for the Finance Committee and BOT meetings can be found at the BOT's website at https://bot.fiu.edu/meetings
      2. OGC will provide the template that is utilized when creating the BOT agenda or report.
      3. Procurement Services will work with the departments to complete the agenda or report.
      4. Agenda items must be submitted to the CFO's Office at least two weeks prior to the BOT meeting, unless the CFO has declared it an emergency. If an emergency is declared, the CFO will obtain appropriate approval. The CFO will present all agenda items and reports.

    4. Ensure the appropriate representative from the Department attends the Finance Committee and/or BOT meeting. The CFO will be the lead presenter, with Procurement Services and the Department representative available to answer any questions.

    5. Plan ahead to ensure there is enough time to obtain proper approval. Procurement Services will not process these types of transactions, unless the appropriate approval has been obtained. This includes the award of solicitation, contracts and POs. This requirement does not apply to a straight revenue generating contract, or agreements for banking services. Construction has its own reporting framework and does not fall within these purchasing-related requirements.

    Procurement Services will act as the gatekeeper for those types of transactions defined above. Procurement Services will take the following actions:

    1. If the President has signed the original contract, including any renewals prior to March 4, 2019 then the renewals will not have to obtain prior approval as defined above.
      1. If an extension or amendment is needed and the transaction is greater than or equals to $1,00,000, then the appropriate approval is needed.

    2. Review contracts and POs to ensure proper action is taken which includes reporting on transaction and obtaining approval as defined in the Resolution.
      1. The total spend of the individual contract will be considered, including the initial contract term amount, plus all renewals.
      2. The original PO amount and any change orders during the life of the PO will be considered.

    3. Contracts, POs, renewals, change orders, extensions or awards of solicitations or piggybacks will not be processed until proper action is taken as defined in the Resolution.

    Surplus Property Transformation Project Update

    A new Surplus Property and Receiving division has been created under Procurement Services. The team formed by Armando Perez (Scientific Receiving), Van Robinson and Eugene Ward (Central Receiving BBC), Jorge Roig and Jose Cabrera (Surplus Warehouse) and Braulio Vivo, who was recently promoted as Assistant Director for Surplus Property and Receiving, have been working tirelessly to find a new way of disposing surplus items.

    Our division's main goal is to reduce or eliminate the waste generated after receiving the items from FIU departments, by repurposing, selling or recycling them. The graph below shows the results obtained so far.

    Since 2015, we have been in a partnership with GovDeals.com, a Liquidity Services Marketplace, to auction our surplus properties. FIU's surplus property are for sale to the public HERE! Please save it on your favorites and share it with your friends and family, or simply create an account by clicking on the "Register" tab at the top of the screen in GovDeals.com.

    You will be asked to provide your name, address, and contact information to have your account set up. After your account has been established, bidding works the same way as eBay and other similar auction sites. Your feedback will be highly appreciated - please e-mail us if you have any questions and we will be happy to assist you.

    We are in the process of putting FIU's surplus property on GovDeals.com for repurposing within FIU, prior to the public sale. We will inform the FIU Community once we are live on GovDeals.com for repurposing and internal transfers of surplus property. You are always welcomed to come out to the newly organized Surplus Warehouse and walk around to find surplus property that may meet your current needs. There is no cost for surplus property to the FIU Community, other than the cost Facilities may charge to get it moved to your office.

    Credit Card Reconciliation: Supporting Documentation

    As a reminder, when reconciling Pcard transactions, scanning and attaching of receipts and supporting documentation is mandatory. While all charges must still be approved within 10 business days, Approvers will have through the end of the calendar month to complete attaching all documentation.

    Examples of supporting documentation include:

  • Flyers
  • Print samples
  • Agendas
  • Quotes
  • Attendance Sheets
  • If you have any questions, please reach out to the Credit Card Solutions Team at ccsteam@fiu.edu.

    Card Security: Card Sharing

    Each Cardholder is responsible for the security of the card assigned to them. All precautions should be used to maintain confidentiality of all information relating to the card, such as the Cardholder account number and expiration date.

    A university issued card or card number should always be protected and kept in a secure location. The only person authorized to use the university issued card is the Cardholder whose name appears on the face of the card. Under no circumstances will a card and/or card number be given or loaned out to another person or e-mailed in its entirety.

    Any Cardholder sharing their Card information or allowing another individual to use their card for purchases may have their card privileges revoked.

    Travel News

    Year End Notes:

  • June 07, 2019: Expense Reports that are in the Prepay Auditor (Travel) queue will be processed against FY19 if received by this date. All required documentation must be included to meet this commitment.
  • June 21, 2019: The University community will have view only access to the Travel and Expense module. Travel Authorizations, Cash Advances and Expense Reports cannot be created or approved.
  • June 21, 2019: The Travel staff will begin the cleanup process of all Travel Authorizations and Expense Reports by deleting all reports from the Peoplesoft system that are not approved or paid.
  • Any Travel Authorizations and Expense reports that are deleted must be recreated in FY20 if needed.
  • The May 2019 updated Travel and Other Expenses manual is available at FIU Office of the Controller's website.

    For a quick lesson in travel, we created a PowerPoint presentation. Click HERE to view.

    Updated Travel Alphabet Assignments

    Below is the updated travel alphabet assignments, and the letter representing the first letter of the employee's last name:

    * Represents the First letter of the Employee Last Name
    Sandra Ocampo Ciak B, F, K, N, T, Z * (305) 348-4041
    Yaniz A Gallimore A, C, H, L, Q, V * (305) 348-2663
    Alejandra M Blanco G, M, P, R, W, X, Y * (305) 348-1141
    Smilling Rodriguez D, E, I, J, O, S, U * (305) 348-2438

    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.

    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 via a requisition, or unencumbered vendor form. Supplies are not individually reimbursed. Items must be purchased by the department. Permanent employees that need to obtain commodities and/or food privileges on behalf of the University must get a PCard.

    Vicinity Travel

    Reimbursement for vicinity travel must be submitted at least quarterly. Vicinity mileage, parking, and tolls, will not be reimbursed if the date(s) claimed are over ninety (90) days old.

    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 aid 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 Payable 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 May 31, 2019) loaded into PantherSoft on June 4, 2019 and must be completely processed by the end of the business day on June 17, 2019.

    Any charges not processed by the closing deadline will be automatically charged to the cardholders default accounting on file and will not eligible for expense transfer.

    Additionally, cardholders with three unjustified non-approvals in the same fiscal year will have their card limits 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 May 31, 2019. 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 May 31, 2019.

    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 May 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.

    Accounts Payable Deadlines

    Please note the year end deadline below for AP:

  • All invoices should be submitted to AP by Friday, June 14, 2019

  • The deadline for journal vouchers was May 31, 2019.
  • Fiscal Year End - Please complete the receiving in PantherSoft as soon as services are rendered or ordered items are received. In most circumstances, you should not need to review the invoice in order to complete the receiving in PantherSoft. An invoice will only be approved for payment when all of the below criteria are met:

  • The price of an item(s) equals the price on the PO

  • The items being billed are 'received' in PantherSoft
  • In other words, the ordering department controls when payments are made by controlling the receiving of the merchandise or service in PantherSoft.

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

    The job aid for receiving can be found under the Procure to Pay header at the link below:


    Please review transaction reports to make sure that items that have been received have been invoiced. If the invoice has not been entered, the expense will not be recorded.

    Avoid Duplicate Entry – During your year-end review, if you notice that an invoice that you previously sent to invoices@fiu.edu has not been entered, please do not resubmit. E-mail Liza Del Campo for an update on the status of the invoice.

    Receiving Transaction E-mail Notifications: During the month of June, the receiving notifications will be sent out daily. If you are receiving this notice, Accounts Payable has already received and entered the invoice in PeopleSoft. Please DO NOT send the invoice to AP when you have entered the receipt. PeopleSoft will automatically match the invoice to the receipt. If you continue to receive the notification that a receipt is pending after the receipt has been entered, please notify Liza Del Campo. Do not send the invoice to invoices@fiu.edu. This will cause a duplicate entry of the invoice.

    Delivery of Invoices – Please remember that invoices attached to requisitions are not forwarded to Accounts Payable. If the vendor does not send the invoice directly to Accounts Payable, the department must do so.

    Also, the PO number should be printed (not handwritten) on the face of the invoice. This will expedite the processing of the invoices. Please work with your vendors to ensure that the PO number appears on the invoice. If it does not, the PO number should be included in the body of the e-mail when sent to invoices@fiu.edu.

    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