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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter
Newsletter 2012 Volume 17

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • Petty Cash & Participant Payment Fund Custodian Acknowledgement Forms
  • Electronic Unencumbered Forms
  • Receiving Transaction Notifications
  • Accounts Payable E-mail Address
  • Allowable Unencumbered Purchases
  • Credit Card Procedures
  • Travel FAQs and Reminders
  • Proxy Access Information
  • How to sign up for the Panther Post Newsletter
  • Monthly Closing Calendars:

    The November 2012 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. Our team counts on you to meet crucial Monthly Closing Deadlines that enable us to maintain a timely financial reporting process. The current month schedule can be found at Accounting and Reporting Services.

    Do you have an approved Petty Cash or Participant Payment Fund?

    Each new fiscal year, our office requests that all custodians of petty cash funds complete an annual petty cash custodian 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 that they are properly safeguarded. Please complete and sign a new yearly Custodian Acknowledgement Form and submit it to PC 120, attention Nikki Zovath.

    Participant Payment Funds (PPF) must have a Custodian Acknowledgement Form completed by the current custodian on file for such funds. In addition, if the period of the approved PPF has lapsed, then the funds must be either returned and the PPF closed, or an Extension Form must be completed, signed, and approved in order for replenishments to continue being processed.

    All forms must have proper signatures and activity numbers or projects, whichever the case. Forms that are not complete will be returned to the custodians for proper completion. Delays in submission of these forms may result in payments being held until completed forms have been received. Please note that these forms are due now.

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


    Accounting and Reporting Services Contact Information

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    Electronic Unencumbered Forms:

    All Unencumbered Forms MUST be submitted electronically. The forms are approved through the workflow instead of with manual signatures. Copies or originals will not be accepted by Accounts Payable.

    All Unencumbered Forms received by mail or through e-mail will be returned to the department.

    Instruction manuals are available on the Controller’s website. Electronic Unencumbered forms can be entered using the link below:

    Receiving Transaction Notifications:

    Panthersoft automatically generates e-mails when an invoice has been entered for payment and the associated receiving has not been completed. The e-mails are sent to the person that entered the requisition. The e-mails will continue to be sent every 5th day until the invoice has been successfully matched to the purchase order.

    If you feel that you are receiving the e-mails in error, either because you did not enter the requisition or because the receiving was already completed please email Liza Del Campo at ldelcam@fiu.edu immediately.

    Accounts Payable E-mail Address:

    The Accounts Payable department is now accepting invoices via e-mail. If you or a vendor wishes to e-mail an invoice to Accounts Payable, please send the invoices to payables@fiu.edu. We will continue to accept invoices via interoffice and regular mail. Invoices should NOT be e-mailed directly to the Sr. Fiscal Assistants. If you choose to send the invoice by e-mail, please do NOT send the original to Accounts Payable.

    Allowable Unencumbered Purchases:

    The list of allowable unencumbered purchases has been recently updated. Refer to the instructions form on the Controller’s web site for the complete list:

    Accounts Payable Services Contact Information

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    Credit Card Procedures

    Monthly Deadline Reminders

    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 (November 30th) loaded into PantherSoft on December 4th and must be completely processed by the end of business on December 18th.

    Leaving the University or Going on Extended Leave

    As a reminder, the Credit Card Solutions Team must be notified by the Cardholder or by the Cardholder’s department whenever the Cardholder and/or Approver retires, resigns, transfers to another department, or assumes different duties that do not require participation in the Credit Card Solutions Program.

    If a Cardholder is going to be absent for an extended period of time, the Cardholder (or department) should submit a Temporary Maintenance Request form, requesting that the card limits be temporarily reduced to $1 for the period that the employee will be absent. Additionally, the department should request the issuance of a Departmental Card for another qualified staff member, either temporarily or permanently to cover purchases during the primary Cardholder’s extended absence. Additionally, if an Approver is going to be absent for an extended period of time, an additional Approver will need to be assigned to their cardholders profile.

    To ensure that the Credit Card Solutions Program can meet your departmental purchasing needs, it is recommended that departments plan as early as possible when replacing Cardholders and/or Approvers. Consideration should be taken that new program participants will require an application process and training.

    Restricted Purchases

    With South Florida temperatures cooling down and the holidays approaching, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few of the seasonal purchases that are not allowed with the Departmental Card:

  • Portable Heaters and Fans

  • Air Purifiers

  • Greeting Cards

  • Gifts of any kind

  • Gift Cards

  • Flowers & Balloon Arrangements (for individual recognition)

  • Holiday Decorations, Parties or Party supply

  • FIU Parking Decals

  • Alcoholic Beverages

  • Explosives & Fireworks

  • Hazardous Materials/Chemicals (including dry ice)
  • The items above are just a few of the restricted items. To review the online manual in its entirety, please click here

    If you have accidentally purchased a non-allowable item or if you have any questions, please let us know. Again, we would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season and thank you for your continued participation in the University Departmental Card Program.

    Card Security/Sharing:

    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.

    Have You Logged Onto the PaymentNet Site Yet?:

    The JP Morgan’s Payment Net system provides cardholders online access to features such as:

  • PDF Copy of Billing Monthly Statements

  • The ability to view current, live card activity as well as authorizations and declines

  • Access to a variety of preset transaction queries

  • An easy, online payment mechanism (for T&E Cardholders only)
  • If you need additional support accessing the bank site, by calling 1-800-270-7760 (also located on the back of your card), you will be transferred to a specially-trained PaymentNet 4 consultant.

    When making the call, you will be prompted by the system to verify your identity. After doing so, you can press 0 to be connected to a consultant. Support is available between the hours of 5:00 a.m., Central Time (CT) and 1:00 a.m., CT, Monday – Friday.

    If you have not logged into the PaymentNet system since the program went live or have forgotten your password, please contact PaymentNet Support or the Credit Card Solutions Team to reset your temporary password. You can also learn more about PaymentNet and review step-by-step instructions for logging in, refer to page 41 of your Departmental Card Manual and/or page 18 of your T&E Card Manual.

    Online Resources:

    Have additional questions about The Credit Card Solutions Program? Answers are only a click away!

    For additional information, please visit our program manuals online at

    These valuable resources can provide you quick clarification on program rules and procedures, easy access to forms and other related links; in addition to contact information to help you connect with a Credit Card Solutions Team Member.

    Credit Card Solutions Contact Information

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    Travel FAQs and Reminders

    As we continue with the fiscal year of 2012-2013, let's expedite approving all Travel Authorizations, Cash Advances, and Expense Reports to ensure prompt accountability and/or reimbursement. It is also important that you review and take appropriate action necessary on the items listed:

  • If there are Travel Authorizations (TA’s) in an approved (APR) status for trips that have already occurred, make sure an expense report is created to close those TA’s.

  • If the travel was cancelled and there were no expenses incurred, then cancel the TA’s to release these encumbrances. See navigation below.

  • If the trip has already occurred and an Expense Report has been paid, then cancel the TA for that report.

  • If you are an HR Supervisor, Expense Manager or Project Manager, please expedite any TA's awaiting your approval.
  • If guidance is needed with the process of closing Travel Authorizations (TA), the following navigation is helpful, or you may contact the Call Center at 7-7200 or email them at controller@fiu.edu.

    Navigation: Employee Self-Service > Travel and Expense Center > Travel Authorization > Cancel > Enter Traveler’s Employee ID > Search > Select the TA# to Cancel > Cancel Selected Travel Authorization.

    Expense Reports pending further action:

  • If there are Expense Reports (ER’s) in a pending (PND) status, please review and If the Expense Reports need to be processed, please click the submit key.

  • If the Expense Reports do not need to be processed, please call the Travel Department at #7-2543 or the Call Center at 7-7200.

  • If you are an Expense Manger or Project Manager please expedite any Expense Reports awaiting your approval.
  • Status Abbreviations:

  • Approved - APR

  • Approvals in Process - PAR

  • Submitted – SUB

  • Pending - PND
  • Travel Authorizations with encumbrances, and Expense Reports that have not been either paid and/or completely processed will be removed from the Financials system after 90 days. Expense reports are required to be created ten (10) days after the completion of a trip for reimbursement and/or accountability.

  • Travelers, who have not reconciled received Cash Advances within thirty (30) days after the completion of a trip, will not be allowed another cash advance for twelve (12) months.

  • A Travel Authorization is always required when physically attending a conference, convention, workshop or seminar regardless of the distance from the travelers’ headquarters. Participating in online workshops, seminars, etc. does not require an approved Travel Authorization even when the registration fee is prepaid by the University.

  • The Lost Receipt forms must be signed by the Traveler and the Approver. This can help expedite the reimbursement of expenses, which is often delayed when the forms are not signed as required.

  • All receipts in foreign currency must be converted to US currency using either OANDA.com or another currency converter website. The conversions must be included with the supporting documentation of the expense reports.

  • The Travel and Expenses department now offers training on FIU Travel policies. To schedule training for your department, contact the Travel Manager at (305) 348-2543.
  • Travel Services Contact Information

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    Proxy Access Information

    To ensure we have proper system controls in place and for audit purposes, Financial Systems Services and Support (FSSS) can no longer grant proxy access to a user’s account. If at all possible please have the user call the Helpdesk at Ext 7-7200 while he or she is logged in to the application for FSSS to walk them through the process.

    To grant proxy access, navigate to: Main Menu > Employee Self Service > Travel and Expense Center > Profiles and Preferences > Delegate Entry Authority > click the ‘+’ symbol – enter the Panther Id of the person you wish to give the delegation – tab out of this field to ensure this is the correct person – click the yellow Save button followed by the OK button.

    In case of an emergency and the user cannot login to the application (i.e. leave, vacation, no system access), please have the user’s HR Supervisor or the Organization’s Expense Manager send an email to controller@fiu.edu with a detailed explanation as to why the user cannot perform this task. The requests will be reviewed; FSSS will grant proxy access and use the email to support the change in PantherSoft.

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    How to sign up for the Panther Post Newsletter

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

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