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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter
  Newsletter 2011 Volume 3

  In this Edition...

  • Year End Deadlines for Fiscal Year 2010-2011
  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • Red Flag Training
  • Unrelated Business Income Tax
  • Farewell Nathaniel Bell
  • Travel Services Tips
  • Chart of Accounts Redesign Project
  • PantherSoft Upgrades and Enhancements
  • Financial Systems and Support Training
  • Annual Financial Statement 2009-2010
  • How to sign up for the Panther Post Newsletter
  •   Purchasing Services

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users  

      Year End Deadlines: We are rapidly approaching the year-end closing of the books. The information included in our   Year End Memorandum will help ensure the closing process is as smooth as possible. Key closing dates and   important deadlines are outlined below. Please take special notice of the information contained in this document, and   share it with your staff and others that you deem appropriate. If you have questions or need further information,   please do not hesitate to contact the Controller’s Office at 305-348-2161. Note that these year-end deadlines do not   apply to Sponsored Projects which are not based on the fiscal year time frame.

      Please plan purchases so goods and services are ordered prior to June 30, 2011.

      What you should be doing now:   

      Purchasing:  Requisitions/Change Orders must be entered and approved in PantherSoft by June 3rd.   Requisitions/Changer Orders entered/approved after June 3rd will be rolled into FY 2011-12.

      Travel:  All TA’s which have been submitted but not approved by June 30th will roll over and post against the FY   2011-12 Budget. Do not cancel those TA’s that will be continuing next year. Keep in mind that June 17th is the   deadline to submit expense reports.

      Petty Cash:  Replenish by June 17th so that the 2010-11 expenditures are recorded in the proper fiscal period.

      Accounts Payable:  Receive merchandise in PantherSoft as soon as you receive the goods or service and forward   approved invoices as quickly as possible. The deadline to receive encumbered payments is June 17th.

      Deposits & Interdepartmental Charges:  Deadline is June 24th.

      Commodity Card/Departmental Travel Card Charges:  June 21st is the last day to make purchases using   Commodity and Departmental Travel cards for this year’s budget. Transactions posted by the Bank after June 24th,   will be charged to your FY 2011-12 Budget.

      June 3rd will be the last day to submit Transfer of Departmental Card Charges for FY 2010-11.

      Year End Deadlines for Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Memorandum


      Purchasing Services Contact Information

    Back to Purchasing Services Top of page

      Accounting and Reporting Services

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users  

      Monthly Closing Calendars: With the closing of the month of March, we will also be closing the 3rd quarter and   gearing up for the fiscal year end. Our team counts on you to meet crucial Monthly Closing Deadlines that enable us   to maintain a timely financial reporting process. As we approach the fiscal year end, we encourage everyone to refer   to the Office of the Controller’s website where you can access schedules for closing deadlines by month, closing   procedures memorandums and other valuable information that provide guidance and keep you informed on important   items and topics. For more on accounting and reporting information, navigate to our website Accounting and   Reporting Services. Please take advantage of this valuable resource and remember our staff is here to assist and   work cooperatively with you to ensure a successful closing process for everyone.


      Target Audience: All Departments that accept credit card transactions   

      Red Flag Training:  All departments that accept payment card transactions must designate staff handling to attend   Red Flag Training. A Red Flag is a pattern, practice or specific activity that could indicate identity theft. Because FIU   offers or maintains “covered accounts,” FIU must have in place an Identity Theft Prevention Program pursuant to the   Federal Trade Commision’s (“FTC”) Red Flag Rule, which implements Section 114 of the Fair and Accurate Credit   Transactions Act of 2003. To enroll in the Red Flag training course please register on Peopleware.

      Accounting and Reporting Services Contact Information

    Back to Accounting and Reporting Services Top of page

      Tax Compliance and Quality Assurance Services

      Target Audience: All Departments   

      Unrelated Business Income Tax: Florida International University is exempt from federal income tax under §115 of   the Internal Revenue Code. The Code provides that the exempt purposes of state universities include all purposes   and functions described in IRC §501(c) (3): charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, educational, to   foster national or international amateur sports competition or for the prevention of cruelty to children or   animals.  However, FIU is not exempt from tax imposed by IRC §511 to §514 on activities which are unrelated to those   exempt purposes, e.g., Unrelated Business Income.

      Internal Revenue Service Form 990-T is used to report unrelated business income activities. FIU has a fiscal year end   of June 30. Revenue and associated expenses must be reported to the Office of the Controller promptly in order to   allow time for preparation of necessary tax return forms and supporting documentation. FIU is subject to tax on   unrelated business income if the income is from a trade or business which is regularly carried on by the organization   and which is not substantially related to the performance by the organization of its exempt purpose or function. Any   activity undertaken in support of FIU’s mission of education, research or public service will be exempt from Unrelated   Business Income Tax. If relying on the public service argument to exclude revenues from Unrelated Business Income,   FIU must document how the particular activity is related to FIU’s exempt purpose for use in the event of an IRS audit.


      A questionnaire is sent annually to departments with more information and to assist in fulfilling this important   compliance requirement. If you have questions or concerns regarding Unrelated Business Income, please send an   email to TAX COMPLIANCE or call (305) 348-6764.

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users


      We regret to inform you that Nathaniel Bell has tendered his resignation as Associate Controller, Tax & Quality   Assurance Services effective April 22, 2011. Nathaniel has been with FIU and the Office of the Controller since 2007   and has been a valued and respected colleague. He leaves us for a position with the University of Miami.

      Nathaniel has been instrumental in the growth and development of the Tax and Quality Assurance section of the   office. Under his leadership we have improved the University’s Tax Compliance and successfully implemented several   key quality assurance initiatives.

      While we recruit to fill this role, Ciro Castro will be responsible for all Tax Compliance issues and Anne O’Sullivan will   be responsible for Quality Assurance.

      We want to wish Nathan much success in his new role and thank him for his leadership in the Office of the Controller.

      Tax Services Contact Information

    Back to Tax Compliance and Quality Assurance Services Top of page

      Payment Services - Travel

      Target Audience: All Travelers, Proxies and Approvers creating and approving Travel Authorizations and Expense   Reports

      Travel Services Tips:

  • An agenda is required when attending a Conference, Convention, Workshop or Seminar.
  • Approval from the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is required for all business and first class airfare prior     to purchasing tickets.
  • Approval from the University Controller is required for all requests for per diem and/or lodging for     vicinity travel, which is one-way travel within 50 miles from the traveler’s official headquarters, prior to     incurring expenses.
  • Make sure supporting documentation for expense reports is imaged prior to submitting an expense     report for approval.

  •   Travel Services Contact Information

    Back to Payment Services - Travel Top of page

      Chart of Accounts Redesign Project

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users

      As the university continues to grow and expand, the need for more detailed, timely and accurate financial reporting   becomes invaluable for making strategic decisions and for meeting the growing demands of our internal and external   constituents. We have embarked on a project to review all of the major aspects and elements of our ‘Chart of   Accounts’ and related business processes to evaluate reporting needs and to improve our overall reporting   environment. The project is officially named the ‘Chart of Accounts Redesign’ (CoA Redesign) project and was kicked   off on December 14, 2010.

      The Office of the Controller is heading up this initiative with Cecilia Hamilton, University Controller as the Chairperson   of the Project Steering Committee, and with Izhar Haq, Associate Controller, as the overall Project Lead. The   Management and Core Team members of the project are representatives from the Office of the Controller, Office of   Financial Planning, Office of Auxiliary and Enterprise Development, PantherSoft, College of Business, Academic   Affairs, Division of Research, and outside consultants. Subject Matter Experts will be called in as needed from   various areas of the university including: Athletics, Facilities Management, Financial Aid, Institutional Planning and   Effectiveness, and Human Resources so that they can provide their valuable input.

      The CoA Redesign project will go through all typical systems implementation project phases which include Planning,   Discovery\Business Requirements Gathering, Design, Build, Test, Train and Deploy. Currently underway is the   Discovery phase which started immediately after Kickoff and will last through mid-February 2011, and involves   meeting with various areas to gather requirements and document business processes. After the requirements are   documented a ‘Design’ will be created and approved by the Steering Committee. The new design will be built within   the PeopleSoft Financials testing system for various stages of testing. Training will be executed via online applications   and live instructor led courses. Ultimately the new Chart of Accounts will go live on July 1, 2012.

      Throughout the project there will be a Change Management team, headed by Tonja Moore, that will ensure that the   university is kept abreast of coming changes and required training.

      In the near future the Chart of Accounts website will contain additional information and documentation related to this   project.

      Contact Information:

  • Izhar U Haq, Associate Controller - Project Manager • (305) 348-2098
  • Joaquin (Jack) Bello, Associate Controller - PeopleSoft Functional Lead • (305) 348-1324
  • Chart of Accounts Redesign Project Top of page

      Financial Systems and Support Services

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users

       PantherSoft Upgrades and Enhancements:

  • On April 17, 2011, the PantherSoft Financials System will be upgrading to People Tools 8.51. The major change will be the vertical navigation toolbar which will now be located across the top of the home page. The system functionality will remain the same, only the look and feel will change. All PantherSoft training courses will be updated to conform to the new user interface. For questions please contact the Helpdesk at ext 7200.

  • The Asset Management Property Master Report has been enhanced from a query to a Report, therefore the FIU_AM_ASSET_PROPERTY_MASTER query will no longer be available. The report has been enhanced to provide an inventoried list of all assets currently in service for a particular Department, Manager, Business Unit, Project or Tag Number.
  •   Financial Systems and Support Services: As many of you already know, the Financials Systems and Support   Services team has moved to CSC 1135. There is now a space for FIU users who wish to attend our Open Labs. If you   desire personal attention and assistance with operating the PantherSoft Financials System you can attend these   Open Labs without appointment on Fridays between 9:00am and noon. If you wish for a different time, please   contact our Call Center at extension 7200 or email glmaint@fiu.edu to schedule an appointment.

      If you prefer a trainer to visit your department for large group presentations, please call 7200. We will need a PC with   an internet connection and an overhead projector for the training.

      To view available training on PantherSoft Financials and for registration please navigate to our FIU Training   Registration site and for the training calendar please visit Training Calendars.

      For assistance with PantherSoft Financials please call the Helpdesk at ext. 7200 or email glmaint@fiu.edu.

      Financial Systems and Support Services Contact Information

    Back to Financial Systems and Support Services Top of page

      How to sign up for the Panther Post Newsletter

      The Panther Post is distributed to individuals on the following ListServs: Office of the Controller, Finance-Managers   and PantherPost. If you wish to be added to the ListServ for the Panther Post, please email GLMAINT.

    Back to Panther Post Sign Up Top of page

    Office of the Controller