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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter
  Newsletter 2011 Volume 4

  In this Edition...

  • Year End Deadlines for Fiscal Year 2010-2011
  • Capitalization Threshold Increase
  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • Travel Reminders
  • Credit Card Solutions Tips
  • Honorarium
  • Financial Systems and Support Services
  • 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

      Purchasing Services - Asset Management

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users  

      Capitalization Threshold Increase: The University's equipment capitalization threshold will be increased from   $1,000 to $5,000 effective July 1, 2011.

      On May 18, 2011, the State of Florida Board of Governors approved New Board of Governors Regulation 9.001,   relating to Tangible Property – Definitions, increasing the personal property accounting threshold from $1,000 to   $5,000, in order to achieve administrative efficiencies and cost savings.

      The major benefits of the higher capitalization threshold will be significant reduction in the administrative effort of   academic departments and the Controller’s Office in maintaining and accounting for the University’s equipment   inventory.

      To implement the $5,000 capitalization threshold, the University will revise its property accounting procedures so that   equipment items costing less than $5,000 are not added to the equipment inventory. More to come on guidelines and   procedures.

     

      Asset Management Contact Information

    Back to Purchasing Services - Asset Management Top of page

      Accounting and Reporting Services

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users  

      Monthly Closing Calendars: 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.

      Accounting and Reporting Services Contact Information

    Back to Accounting and Reporting Services Top of page

      Payment Services - Travel

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

      The Travel Department would like to remind all Travelers, Proxies and Approvers creating and approving   Travel Authorizations and Expense Reports of the following:

  • Travel Authorization is required to be approved prior to making reservations and/or traveling on behalf    of the University.


  • A Cash Advance may only be requested and paid to an employee who travels on behalf of the    University. A Cash Advance cannot be requested on behalf of and issued to another individual and it is    limited to 80% of out-of-pocket expenses.


  • Business and/or First Class airfare is not allowed unless approved by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO)    prior to traveling on behalf of the University.


  • Hotel room rates must be in accordance with the GSA, DOD or State Department rates as required or a    justification must be submitted with the Expense Report if the hotel rate is over the authorized amount.


  • Remember to check and ensure supporting documentation (i.e. receipts, agendas, and Flight    itineraries) accompanies Expenses Reports in ImageNow.


  • Approvers should approve all Travel Authorizations and Expense Reports to expedite reimbursement, to    release encumbrances of funds, account for expenses and prepare for Year-End clean-up. Review all    pending Travel Authorizations and Expense Reports and approve, submit or delete as needed.
  •   For more information refer to the Travel and Expense Manual as a guide for auto rental, hotel   accommodations, meal allowances, airfare and other pertinent information pertaining to travel expenses   on behalf of the University.

      Travel Services Contact Information

    Back to Payment Services - Travel Top of page

      Payment Services - Credit Card Solutions

      Target Audience: All Credit Card Users

      The Temporary Account Maintenance Request Form, located on the Controller’s Webpage is a convenient document   that can assist you in completing purchases that either exceed your cards monthly or per transaction limits or are   from a merchant with a blocked merchant category code.

      Is Your Card being declined? If your Departmental Card is rejected, call the toll-free number (1-888-449-2273) on   the back of your Card to request a reason for the rejection or contact your Credit Card Solutions Team for   assistance!

      The three most common reasons that a transaction is rejected include:

  • There may be a communication error between the vendor and the Bank.


  • Purchase exceeds the single or monthly transaction limits.


  • The merchant falls under a restricted merchant category code. Certain vendor types have been     restricted from use by the FIU Cardholders due to the type of items or services being sold.
  •   The Temporary Account Maintenance Request Form can be utilized to temporarily lift the vendor block from your   account.

      Do you need to make a purchase that exceeds your card limits? A Cardholder should never ask a merchant to   split a charge into two or more charges to circumvent their card limits.

  • Split Purchases are defined as a purchase costing more than established card limits, split between    multiple transactions/invoices to circumvent the card limits.


  • A “purchase” is the total amount of money that is expensed on a single purchase.
  •   If a charge exceeds the single or monthly card limits, the card holder should submit a Temporary Maintenance   Request form to the Credit Card Solutions Team.

      Credit Card Solutions Contact Information

    Back to Payment Services - Credit Card Solutions Top of page

      Tax Compliance and Quality Assurrance Services

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users

      Honorarium: An Honorarium is a gratuitous payment of money or other thing of value to a person for the person’s   participation in a usual academic activity for which no fee is legally required. An honorarium is provided as a token of   appreciation for participation in an activity or event, and not as a contractual obligation to pay for services rendered.

      “Usual Academic Activity” means activity conducted for the benefit of the honorarium-paying institution and includes   lecturing, teaching, consulting, conducting research, attending meetings, symposia or seminars, or otherwise sharing   knowledge. Readings and performances are included academic activities, so long as the activity is open without   charge to the public and/or students.

      There are no limits in the amount given an individual to determine if this payment is an Honorarium. Under U.S.   Immigration Laws, no “B” visitors can perform work and/or be paid for non-employment compensation services outside   the scope of the honorarium rules. Thus, honoraria payments are not wages or any other compensation for services   rendered especially on a continuing basis (i.e. an artist comes to FIU to build a sculpture, thus creating a work   product. That is beyond the scope of the honorarium rule if it is the work product itself that is sought, rather than a   demonstration of the technique that produces the sculpture. This artist would need a work authorization in the U.S. to   build the piece of art. Read More

      Tax Compliance and Quality Assurrance Services Contact Information

    Back to Tax Compliance and Quality Assurrance Services Top of page

      Financial Systems and Support Services

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users

       PantherSoft Upgrades and Enhancements:

  • The PantherSoft Financials System has upgraded to People Tools 8.51. The system functionality has    remained the same, only the look and feel have changed. We ask that you delete the cache, cookies    and temporary internet files on your web browser. Also please uncheck the "Preserve Favorites    Website Data' box when deleting your cache as it may interfere with the new navigation. All other boxes    should remain checked. For assistance or questions, please contact the Helpdesk at ext 7200.


  • One of the Oracle fixes applied in mid-January ensures that there is always an approver at the Expense    Manager level for Travel Authorizations (TA) and Expense Reports (ER) when auto approval is    deactivated (which is the case at FIU). Previously, when an Expense Manager submitted an ER or TA as    one of the traveler's proxies, we had the following two cases at the Expense Manager level (without any    re-routing): (1) Only the other Expense Manager could approve the TA or ER if the traveler was not an    Expense Manager or (2) the ER or TA would get "stuck" if the traveler was also an Expense Manager.    Now, the fix includes the traveler's HR Supervisor as one of the approvers at the Expense Manager    approval level when the person submitting the TA or ER is an Expense Manager. Therefore, an HR    Supervisor can approve in cases (1) or (2) above as an Expense Manager. For those not comfortable    having an HR Supervisor approving at that level, either of the following two options can be taken: (1) Do    not allow Expense Managers to be proxies or (2) ask the HR Supervisor not to approve the document if    it is not a TA.
  •   FSSS Call Center - Service Level Improvement Initiative and Survey: The Financial Systems and Support   Services (FSSS) department is always looking for ways to improve our services. Thereby in our quest to improve our   services and set measurable goals we will be teaming up with selected representative users from the university   community to form a focus group whose task will be to draft a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the FSSS Call   Center. The SLA will be used to document and communicate to the university community all the services provided and   target service level goals for the FSSS Call Center. We want to ensure that the university community understands   what services are provided and what to expect from our call-center representatives, including call wait times and call-   back services.

      Once our SLA is finalized it will be made available online along with our call-center statistics and metrics for review by   our customers. Additionally, we encourage you to periodically let us know how we are doing by filling out our online   survey. If you would like to do so at this time please click on the following link: FSSS Online Survey.

      Thank you for allowing us the privilege of serving you.

      FSSS Launches BIDS.FIU.EDU for the Purchasing Department: The Financials Systems and Support Services   team, working in conjunction with the Division of Information Technology (DIT) and the Office of the Controller’s   Purchasing Services Department, has launched BIDS.FIU.EDU for the posting of all vendor solicitation notices and   requests, e.g. Requests for Proposals, Request for Quotations, etc.

      This was accomplished by leveraging MicroSoft Sharepoint technology. The Sharepoint technology allows for simple   uploading of documents through the use of ‘Forms’ within our Intranet and these then automatically post on the   internet at bids.fiu.edu. The Purchasing Services Department will be able to post all vendor notices without having to   employ the use of technical resources as was done in the past. This will ensure that postings are more timely and   gives control to the functional personnel within the Purchasing Services Department.

      Many thanks go out to folks within the Division of Information Technology in working with FSSS for making this a   reality.

      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