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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter
  Newsletter 2011 Volume 5

  In this Edition...

  • Payment Services - Credit Card Solutions
  • Payment Services - Travel Reminders
  • Student Financial Services
  • Tax Compliance and Quality Assurance Services
  • Purchasing Services - Asset Management
  • Accounting and Reporting Services Tips
  • Financial Systems and Support Services
  • How to sign up for the Panther Post Newsletter
  •   Payment Services - Credit Card Solutions

      Target Audience: All Credit Card Users

      New university credit card coming soon: The Credit Card Solution Program is happy to announce that we will   soon be partnering with a new bank for our university credit card services. Program implementation and distribution   of the new Visa tm cards is scheduled to begin in early fall.

      Our Departmental and Travel & Entertainment cards will not only be sporting a newly designed image with Panther   Pride in mind, but will also include several new features to make card use easier and more efficient. Enhancements   include:

  • Printing of the FIU Tax Exemption # directly on the card face

  • Program participants will also have access to enhanced tools through online bank software. This       functionality will allow a cardholder and their Approvers access to view card activity during the billing    cycle, track monthly spending through enhanced reporting tools, and to print a monthly billing statement    directly from the bank website.
  •   Reconcilers and Approvers will still continue to reconcile and expense card activity in the PantherSoft System.   Additionally, cardholder monthly spend and single transaction limits will remain unchanged.

      The Credit Card solutions Team will be contacting all cardholders in the coming weeks with additional details and   updates on this exciting new card program.

      The Credit Card Solutions Team would like to remind all Credit Cardholders and Approvers of the   following:

      University Card Security: Each cardholder is responsible for the security of the card assigned to them. Use of the   University issued Credit Cards is limited to the Cardholder whose name appears on the face of the card. Under no   circumstances will a card be given or loaned out to another person.

  • Please remember that all precautions should be used to maintain confidentiality of all information    relating to your card, such as the card number and expiration date.

  • The Card and/or Card number should never be left in a conspicuous place, emailed or shared with    anyone else, even with a trusted colleague.
  •   Card services when an employee is on extended leave: If a cardholder is planning an extended leave from the   university, the cardholder or their department should submit a Temporary Maintenance Request Form requesting that   the credit limits be reduced to $1 pending the cardholders return.

      The department should also evaluate their purchasing needs to coordinate alternate cardholders to handle the units   purchasing needs. If necessary, the unit should request issuance of a Departmental for another qualified staff   member, either temporarily or permanently to ensure there are no disruptions in purchasing.

      Processing accounting adjustments for card transactions: All accounting adjustments should be submitted via   a Departmental Card Transfer of Charges Form. Please note that this is different from an ID Transfer form and   requests information specific to Departmental Card transactions.

  • Non-grant related transfers should be faxed directly to the Credit Card Solutions Team at 305-348-1623    for processing.

  • Grant related transfers require authorization signature from Division of Research prior to submitting to    the Credit Card Solutions Team for processing.
  •   The original request form should always be kept on file with the cardholder backup documentation for audit purposes.

      If you have any questions pertaining to adjustment transfers, please contact the Credit Card Solutions Accountant,   Carlos Valle for additional details.

      Credit Card Solutions Contact Information

    Back to Payment Services - Credit Card Solutions 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:

  • As we began a new fiscal year, please review all pending Travel Authorizations and Expense Reports   and approve, submit or delete as needed.


  • Please explore the Universityís new Travel Agency Services listed on the Business Services website at    http://shop.fiu.edu/retail-and-services/preferred-travel-partners. We recommend and encourage you to    use these preferred vendors when making your travel arrangements.


  • The travelerís signature is required on all expense reports. Signing ďOn Behalf OfĒ is not acceptable.


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


  • 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.


  • Receipts and/or proof of payment are required for all expenses incurred on behalf of Florida    International University regardless of the payment mechanism (i.e. Dept Travel Card, Pro-Card,    Purchase Order, Unencumbered Payment Form, etc.).


  • 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.
  •   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

      Student Financial Services

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users

      Bad Debt Reserve Entry: At the end of the fiscal year the controllerís office recorded an estimated reserve and bad   debt expense for all departments carrying student receivables as of June 30, 2011. We analyzed these receivables by   age and reserved 95% of balances over 2 years old, 75% of balances 1-2 years old, and 2% of balances less than a   year old (excluding the summer 2011 term). Since the receivables are recorded at the department level, the   appropriate bad debt reserve was also needed at the department level. Please note: the entry did not have an impact   on any cash balances. However, as there was an expense impact it will affect fund balances.

      New methodology to begin in FY2012 - Going forward, bad debt expense of .6% (.006) will be assessed against   all revenues flowing through the student financial'sí system and added to the reserve on a monthly basis. At year-end,   we will analyze any outstanding student receivables, assess whether the reserves are appropriate and make any   necessary adjustments.

       Student Financial Services Contact Information

    Back to Student Services Top of page

      Tax Compliance and Quality Assurance Services

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users   

      Inviting and Paying Foreign Visitors: This article is intended to be a brief reference for departments that are   planning to pay foreign visitors who are considered nonresident aliens for services performed in the U.S. as   independent contractors or for travel reimbursement. Generally, visitors who are coming to speak at a short course or   meeting will be paid honoraria as independent contractors, not compensated as employees. If you are not sure if   your foreign visitor is a nonresident alien, contact Tax Compliance: Mairelys Perez (7-7561), Ciro Castro (7-6764) or   email tax@fiu.edu. If your visitors were coming for an extended period to teach a full course, they would be   considered employees and not subject to this guide. If you will be paying a foreign corporation, or making payments   unrelated to honoraria, special rules may apply. Contact Mairelys Perez (7-7561), Ciro Castro (7-6764) or email   tax@fiu.edu.

      The most important thing to remember is to PLAN EARLY!

      If proper arrangements are not made before your visitor arrives in the U.S. you may find that the University is barred   from honoring commitments that you may have made without violating immigration or Federal tax regulations. Use this   guide to plan ahead. Payment of honorarium or travel reimbursement (whether directly to the visitor or to a third   party) requires compliance with certain visa requirements. Before you make any arrangements with your visitor to pay   honoraria, contact Tax Compliance to determine immigration requirements. Read More

      Tax Compliance and Quality Assurance Services Contact Information

    Back to Unrelated Business Income Tax Top of page

      Purchasing Services - Asset Management

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users  

      Surplus Property Auction: On July 6, 2011, the Asset Management/Property Control department had a successful   auction of surplus property to the general public. The lots sold consisted of surplused computers, peripherals,   furniture, trailers, scientific equipment, and audio visual equipment. We were also able to sell those items that were   sent to surplus from the University's Lost and Found. According to Florida Statutes, the proceeds from the sale of lost   and found personal property must be used for student scholarships. The Office of the Controller is happy to submit   a total of $325 from the sale of lost/abandoned personal property to be used for the First Generation Scholarships.

      Purchasing Services Contact Information

    Back to Purchasing Services Top of page

      Accounting and Reporting Services

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users  

      Tips from Accounting and Reporting Services:

  • Merchant Services - We encourage all departments who want to set up merchant accounts to accept   credit card payments for goods/services to contact our Merchant Solutions staff in our Accounting   Reporting Services for assistance and guidance. Again, the Controllerís website is your first stop in   getting started. Just click on the link to Merchant Solutions under Accounting Reporting Services and   youíll be on your way to getting started on the right track.

  •   Monthly Closing Calendars: Our team counts on you to meet crucial Monthly Closing Deadlines that enable us to   maintain a timely financial reporting process. We encourage everyone to refer to the Office of the Controllerís   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

      Financial Systems and Support Services

      Target Audience: All PantherSoft Users

      FSSS Training: PantherSoft has recently changed the look and feel of its menu. In an effort to provide Worlds Ahead   Service, our Financial Systems and Support Services training staff will take the opportunity during the summer months   to refresh and update the presentations to reflect the new PantherSoft look. As a result, we will not be conducting   formal class instruction during this period. One-on-one training is available by appointment at CSC 1135. For more   information or to schedule a training please contact our Helpdesk at 305-348-7200 or email your request to   glmaint@fiu.edu. Additionally, if you desire personal attention and assistance with operating the PantherSoft   Financial's System you can attend our Open Lab without an appointment on Fridays between 9:00 am and noon. If   you wish for a different time, contact our Call Center at ext 7200 or email glmaint@fiu.edu to schedule an   appointment.

      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