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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter
Newsletter 2013-14 Volume 3

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • Does Your Department Use Merchant Services?
  • Monthly Departmental Card Deadlines
  • Unallowable Seasonal Purchases
  • Travel Updates
  • Unrelated Business Income Tax (Form 990-T)
  • How to sign up for the Panther Post Newsletter
  • Monthly Closing Calendars:

    The August 2013 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.

    Does Your Department Use Merchant Services?

    Each fiscal year, our office requires all departments that use Merchant Services to complete a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) questionnaire. This questionnaire is designed to ensure all departments are securing cardholders’ data.

    Departments that currently accept credit cards will be receiving an email from the Office of the Controller asking to review the PCI DSS refresher power point presentation and credit card policy with your staff. Once the policy and the refresher course have been reviewed, you will be able to request the questionnaire for your department.

    For questions regarding Merchant Services or the annual questionnaire, please contact Julia Cancino via email at Julia.Cancino1@fiu.edu or via phone at 7-2052.

    Accounting and Reporting Services Contact Information

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    Monthly Departmental Card Deadlines

    This month’s billing statement (dated 8/30/2013) loaded into PantherSoft on September 3rd and must be completely processed by the end of business on September 17th. Any charges not processed by the closing deadline will be automatically charged to the cardholder's default accounting on file and may not be eligible for expense transfer.

    Unallowable Seasonal Purchases

    With South Florida temperatures cooling down in the near future and the holidays quickly 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:

  • FIU Parking Decals
  • Holiday Decorations, Parties or Party supplies
  • Portable Heaters and Fans
  • Greeting Cards
  • Gifts of any kind
  • Gift Cards
  • Flowers & Balloon Arrangements (for individual recognition)
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Hazardous Materials/Chemicals (including dry ice)
  • Credit Card Solutions Contact Information

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    Travel Updates

    As we continue the new fiscal year of 2013-2014, let’s expedite approving Travel Authorizations, Cash Advances and Expense reports. The Travel Department is diligently deleting all old reports that have not been completely processed. New Reports will need to be created for those items that have been deleted from the Financials system if necessary. Please remember that open Travel Authorizations will encumber funds until they are matched to an expense report or closed.

    For information regarding report status abbreviations and how to close or cancel Travel Authorizations and/or Expense Reports, please click here.

    Travel Services Contact Information

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    Unrelated Business Income Tax (Form 990-T)

    Florida International University is required by Federal law to prepare an income tax return for net income from activities unrelated to the exempt mission of the University. This tax return (Form 990-T) must be filed annually with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

    The IRS has provided the following criteria to identify activities that are unrelated to the mission of an exempt organization. Basically, an activity is an unrelated business (and subject to unrelated business income tax “UBIT”) if it meets three requirements: (1) It is a “trade or business”; (2) It is “regularly carried on”; and (3) It is “not substantially related” to furthering FIU’s exempt purpose. Since these terms are given a specific meaning within the rules set forth by the IRS and several important exceptions exist, guidelines for these criteria are available from the Tax Compliance office for your review.

    Tax Compliance is currently preparing the tax return for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013 and we cannot identify all activities that are unrelated and subject to Federal income tax from the accounting records alone. Therefore, we are asking that all Departments review their operations for the 2012 - 2013 fiscal-year and determine what activities, if any, are potentially unrelated business income. Please keep in mind that Florida International University must account for and report all unrelated business income pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code.

    The annual UBIT questionnaire and supplemental information has been sent to all Department Heads & Finance Managers via email and is also available on the Controller’s website. Tax Compliance Services will be holding a UBIT workshop at the Campus Support Complex, Room CSC1123, on Thursday, September 26th, from 9:30 am – 11:30am, and will be available to answer UBIT questions and assist with the questionnaire. You can also contact Tax Compliance at tax@fiu.edu or (305) 348-2655 if you are conducting an activity/collecting revenue and are unsure if reporting is required or have any other UBIT questions.

    Tax Compliance Services Contact Information

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    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.

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    Office of the Controller