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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter

Newsletter 2019-2020 Volume 9

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • GovQuote
  • Supplier Change Request New Functionality
  • PantherSoft Fundamentals Online Course, NEW AND IMPROVED
  • Coming Up: Mandatory Retraining of All Program Participants
  • Limiting Allowable Hotel Expenses Continues for FY-2020
  • Invoice Documentation and Format
  • Changes to AP Journal Vouchers
  • Reminders and Deadlines
  • Monthly Closing Calendars

    The February 2020 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 are located at Monthly Closing Deadlines.


    FIU Procurement Services has rolled out GovQuote, a web-based quoting tool for all university purchases below $75,000. GovQuote is mandatory for purchases between $10,000 to $74,999, unless the purchase is exempt, a sole source or you are piggybacking off an existing contract. Buyers across every department have registered for their free account, attended mandatory training, and began posting electronic Requests for Quotes (eRFQs). With the deployment of GovQuote, university purchasing agents or individuals that purchase for their department or college can look forward to an accelerated procurement process, organized records, and an easier way to communicate with suppliers.

    GovQuote is a digital marketplace developed by procurement professionals, for procurement professionals. It is the first free platform that brings all electronic requests, quotes, and communications onto one platform. This adoption has streamlined FIU's overall procurement process and will help us save time and money.

    Since testing began in April 2019, FIU has spent tens of thousands of dollars on goods and services utilizing GovQuote. These purchases ranged from transcription services to cameras and rentals. Those are valuable dollars spent with local businesses across the state, and businesses all over the country.

    For help with your account, visit GovQuote support website. GovQuote specialists are also available via Live Chat, Monday-Friday, during normal business hours. For training or assistance with registration, contact equinn@govquote.net.

    Supplier Change Request New Functionality

    In response to an audit finding and as a good business practice, the Office of the Controller is in the process of implementing Supplier Change Request (SCR) in our PanterSoft Finance system. SCR is a tool that enables suppliers to completely manage their registration process and access. review, and update their supplier information such as banking account number and address(s). This effort will be completed in phases and additional communication will be issued at a later date. We will need your assistance to encourage suppliers to be responsive to all communication from the Controllerís office regarding their vendor/supplier accounts with FIU.

    PantherSoft Fundamentals Online Course, NEW AND IMPROVED

    Financial Systems and Support Services has updated and revamped its PantherSoft Fundamentals Course. This fully updated course is intended for new employees and anyone who wants to refresh their foundational understanding of PantherSoft applications.

    Specific updates and improvements in the course:

  • Updated with the latest information and upgrade information

  • Clean, Sleek Video Tutorials guide learners through everyday functionalities

  • Specialized Learning Modules that include: Access and Navigation, Page Structure, Chartfields and SpeedTypes, Workflow, Inquiry and Reporting Tools, and Commitment Control.
  • This course is a pre-requisite to all other courses pertaining to PantherSoft functionalities offered by the Office of the Controller.

    Employees can register for the course via Professional Development, searching for the course by Department, then Office of the Controller. If you have questions or would like more information about the course, contact Financial Systems and Support Services (FSSS) Help Desk at 305-348-7200 or email controller@fiu.edu.

    Coming Up: Mandatory Retraining of All Program Participants

    As part of our programs audit corrective actions, this month all card program participants (Cardholders, Approvers, and Reconcilers) are required to complete a periodic retraining of program processes and procedures.

    For your convenience, we have developed an online Module "self-training" experience to meet this essential audit requirement. All participants must pass a brief assessment with a minimum of 80% accuracy.

    For those participants that have both a Departmental Card and a T&E Card, you must complete both courses.

    In the coming weeks, you should receive an email containing additional information on how to access and complete your refresher training, including important deadlines.

    Limiting Allowable Hotel Expenses Continues for FY-2020

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

    Section 59. In order to implement appropriations in the 2019-2020 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, 2020.

    As of July 1, 2017, 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. This information has been updated in the Travel and Other Expenses Manual.

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

    Invoice Documentation and Format

    In most cases, AP will only need the invoice (with the PO number printed on the invoice) to process an invoice. Please do not include copies of the actual purchase order or requisition.

    Invoices should have the PO number printed clearly on the first page of the invoice. The OCR system used in Accounts Payable does not recognize handwriting. Having the PO printed on the invoice will reduce errors and unnecessary delays. Please work with your vendors to encourage them to include the PO number on all invoices.

    Changes to AP Journal Vouchers

    The Controllerís Office has been working on making changes to the journal voucher process. The process will be decentralized. We are currently reaching out to select departments to slowly roll out the new process. If you would like to be part of the pilot program, please contact Liza Del Campo.


    Letís 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 February 29, 2020) loaded into PantherSoft on March 3, 2020 and must be completely processed by the end of the business day on March 13, 2020.

    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

    Credit Card Reconciliation: Attaching Documentation

    As a reminder, scanning of receipts and backup supporting documentation is mandatory.

    A scanned receipt and supporting backup documentation (flyers, attendance sheets, etc.) must be attached to each transaction line. 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. To add supporting documentation at the time of your reconciliation:

    1. Click on the white comment bubble icon, located on the Reconcile Statement Transaction Tab.

    2. Click the Attach button located directly under the comments box under Associated Document.

    3. Click on the Browse button to select the scanned file for attachment.

    4. When document is selected, click open and attach, to complete the load process.

    5. When successfully attached, the scanned file name will appear under Attachment in the Associated Document box. Click the View button to review.

    6. If you need to attach multiple scanned documents for a single transaction line, click the + button located next to the status field. Proceed with clicking on the Attach button, as notated in step #2 and continue the process.

    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 March 2020.

    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.

    Airbnb No Longer Restricted

    At the direction of the Governor for the State of Florida, effective June 11, 2019 state agencies may now reimburse state employees, contract employees, and vendors working on behalf of the state for expenses incurred through the services of Airbnb while on official state business. This directive follows the removal of Airbnb from the Scrutinized Companies List by the State Board of Administration. This includes FIU employees, FIU students, and non-employees whose lodging is paid in part or in whole by FIU, regardless of funding source. This information has been removed from the Travel and Other Expenses Manual.

    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 to clear the match exception. Please do not resend the invoice to Accounts Payable.

    Also, when creating a receipt, please review carefully that a duplicate receipt is not being entered. If you have created a receipt and a voucher has not been matched to the receipt after 2 weeks, please contact AP to make sure that an invoice has been received.

    The receiving date in PeopleSoft should always be the date the product was received or service rendered Ė 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.

    Market Place Orders

    In September 2019, all myFIUmarket orders will be invoiced electronically. Accounts Payable will receive the invoices through a cXML file.

    What has not changed?

  • Vouchers will still be created in PeopleSoft.

  • Receipts will still need to be created before a payment is issued.

  • What will change?

  • Accounts Payable will receive the invoices electronically through a secure cXML file.

  • Invoice copies will not be mailed or e-mailed to FIU. Invoice copies can be requested directly from the vendor if absolutely necessary.

  • These changes will only effect myFIUmarket orders. All orders placed outside of the marketplace will remain the same.

    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