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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter

Newsletter 2014-2015 Volume 4

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • Scanning Solution
  • Purchasing 101 Training
  • Unrelated Business Income Tax (Form 990-T)
  • Procedure Reminders for Merchant Departments
  • Student Travel Reminders
  • Departmental Deposit Form Reminders
  • PantherSoft Financials 9.2 Upgrade
  • Personalize Your Own Navigation Within PantherSoft
  • Reminders and Deadlines
  • Monthly Closing Calendars

    The September 2014 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. The current and future month-end processing deadline schedules can be found at: Monthly Closing Deadlines.

    Scanning Solution

    The Accounts Payable department has implemented the new scanning solution!

    Scanned copies of invoices are available immediately upon entry by AP. You are encouraged to request access to print or view copies of the invoices. In order to request access please send an e-mail to controller@fiu.edu.

    Please make note of the following in order to ensure that vendor invoices are processed and paid in a timely manner:

    1. Delivery of Invoices

      • We are no longer accepting invoices sent to payables@fiu.edu.

    2. Format - VERY IMPORTANT

      • Invoices will only be accepted in PDF format. Include one invoice (along with supporting documentation) per PDF document. Once we go live, the system will only read the first invoice. All other pages will be considered supporting documentation. All PO or receipt information should be noted on the face of the invoice and NOT as part of the message on the e-mail.

      • The first page of the PDF document must be the invoice.

      • Questions regarding payment status should be directed to the AP Fiscal Assistant assigned to the vendor.

    3. If you receive an automatic notification from PantherSoft stating that a receiving transaction needs to be entered please do not send the invoice to AP. This will cause a duplicate invoice entry.

    4. When placing orders, ensure that the vendor has the correct (current and valid) purchase order number.

    5. Invoices should not be hand written. Handwritten invoices will have a slower turnaround time. All invoices should have the PO number typed on the invoice.

    6. If goods or services will be settled with a purchasing card, please coordinate with the vendor so that the invoices are NOT sent to AP.

    If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact Liza Del Campo at (305) 348-3889.

    Purchasing 101 Training

    Purchasing Services is offering Purchasing 101, a training session that covers all of the FIU Purchasing basics and business processes, intended for University departments. The course is highly recommended for any FIU employee involved in purchasing activities. Individuals may view available training dates and register on the Training Registration site. Following is the schedule available to date. Seating is limited so please register soon.

  • Thursday, 10/16/2014, 10:00 a.m. to noon, MMC, CSC 1123

  • Thursday, 10/30/2014, 10:00 a.m. to noon, BBC, HL 250

  • Wednesday, 11/12/2014, 10:00 a.m. to noon, MMC, CSC 1123

  • Thursday, 12/4/2014, 10:00 a.m. to noon, BBC, HL 250

  • Thursday, 12/11/2014, 10:00 a.m. to noon, MMC, CSC 1123

  • 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. 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.

    A reminder email with links to the UBIT questionnaire and additional UBIT information has already been sent to all Department Heads & Finance Managers and this information is also available on the Controller's website. If you have questions about unrelated business income or are conducting an activity/collecting revenue and are unsure if reporting is required, please contact tax@fiu.edu or call (305) 348-2655. Tax Compliance is gathering the data for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014 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 2013-2014 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. If you have any questions related to unrelated business income, please contact Tax Compliance.

    Procedure Reminders for Merchant Departments

    For all departments accepting credit card as a form of payment, please see the procedure reminders outlined below:

    1. When creating a credit card journal entry in PeopleSoft Financials, please include the following information in the "Long Description" field:

      • Type of credit card:
        • AMEX
        • VS/MC/DISC
      • Settlement/batch date
      • Brief description of the sale
      • Net amount of the sales/refunds
      • Department name
      • Comment if the sale is tax exempt

    2. Departments are required to record credit card sales as a journal entry within 24 to 48 hours after the sale has occurred.

    3. If a department is unsure whether an activity gives rise to sales tax, they should contact the Tax Services department of the Controller's Office and/or refer to the University's Sales Tax Policy for further guidance.

    4. Departments that accept credit cards as a form of payment are considered a cash collection point and must adhere to the University's Cash Control Policy.

    If you have any questions, please contact Migdali Torres at (305) 348-2557 or Eva Ramirez at (305) 348-2547.

    Student Travel Reminders

    Student travel related costs are, in many instances handled in the same manner as for faculty and staff:

  • A Travel Authorization (TA) is entered in PeopleSoft under the student's name and (TA) approval is required before expenses are incurred.

  • An Expense Report (ER) is created after returning from the trip (no later than 30 days after completion) and submitted along with the receipts and any additional documentation.

  • Departments can also choose to pay for travel expenses directly, using a Departmental Travel Card, T&E Card or an Unencumbered Payment Form (these expenses also need to be included on the Expense Report).

  • Travel Manual link is attached for your convenience:
  • There are substantial differences when a student is receiving a cash payment:

  • This payment must be requested through the Office of Financial Aid.

  • This payment will be treated as a travel stipend (scholarship) to the student and the student is not required to provide receipts to support the travel expenses.

  • Financial Aid link is attached for your convenience:

  • Departmental Deposit Form Reminders

    To all University community, please verify the correct chart field values (Department number, Site, Fund Code and Program Code) for your activity or project number before you fill out the departmental deposit form. To assist you in this process, please click here to access the most current chart field values associated with Activity #'s or Project ID's.

    In addition, please remember that Sales Tax general ledger account has changed effective July 1st, 2013, from 611001 to 311315; and from activity number 1104140007 to 1104120007, Site 01, Fund code 441 and program code 61.

    For further assistance contact Jose Zubimendi at 305-348-1139.

    PantherSoft Financials 9.2 Upgrade

    FIU is in the process of upgrading its PantherSoft Financials system to version 9.2. Coming January 2015, users will have an improved workflow that extends to Requisitions and Commitment Control, Work Centers to facilitate operational support and improved analytic tools. Visit Financials 9.2 Upgrade to get the latest information on the upgrade.

    Personalize Your Own Navigation Within PantherSoft

    Many users use the Tab key to move between fields when performing data entry instead of using the mouse. To speed up data entry you can personalize your own navigation within PantherSoft and tab over calendar/lookup buttons, page links, etc.

    Log into PantherSoft and go to:
    Main Menu > My Personalizations > Personalize Navigation Personalizations

    The default value for all the "tab over" options is set to No. Change them to Yes in the Override Value column and hit the OK button. If you change your mind you can always return to the Navigation Personalizations page and click the 'Restore Category Defaults' button at the bottom of the page.

    Monthly Departmental Card Deadline

    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 9/30/14) loaded into PantherSoft on October 2nd and must be completely processed by the end of business on October 16, 2014.

    Any charges not processed by the closing deadline will be automatically charged to the cardholder's default accounting on file and will not eligible for expense transfer.

    Additionally, cardholders with three unjustified non-approvals in the same fiscal year will have their card limits temporarily suspended until they complete a retraining session.

    Travel Reminder

    As we start the new fiscal year of 2014-2015, let's expedite approving Travel Authorizations, Cash Advances and Expense reports. Documents that have not been completely finalized and are older than 90 days will be deleted by the Travel Department.

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

    Unidentified Wire Transfers and ACH Payments

    The Controller's Office occasionally receives payments that cannot be applied to the appropriate department due to inadequate information. Click here for the list of unidentified wire transfers and ACH payments as of September 30, 2014.

    To claim a payment, please contact Cash Management (Raul Velez, rvvelez@fiu.edu, (305) 348-2542) and provide the following information:

  • payment details

  • activity details

  • account to which the payment should be recorded
  • Payments that are not identified within 45 days of the wire/ACH date will be returned to the sender.

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