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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter


Newsletter 2014-2015 Volume 5

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • Pending Travel Transactions
  • Credit Card Reconciliation Enhancement
  • Scanning Solution
  • Restricted Purchases
  • Violation Reminder regarding Confirming POs
  • Entering Receipts
  • Unrelated Business Income Tax (Form 990-T)
  • Deposit Coding Compliance Usage of Expense Accounts (7XXXXX)
  • PantherSoft Financials 9.2 Upgrade News
  • Purchasing 101
  • Foreign Vendors & Honorarium Training
  • Reminders and Deadlines
  • Monthly Closing Calendars

    The October 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.


    Pending Travel Transactions

    In an effort to expedite the approval of travel transactions, and to avoid the unnecessary task of recreating documents after the PeopleSoft 9.2 upgrade, all users should check the pending items in their queue and approve or delete them accordingly. The FIU Travel policy requires the submission of expense reports to be submitted 10 days and not more than 30 days after the completion of a trip. The Travel & Expense department will delete those documents that are over 30 days old in preparation of the upgrade.

    As the December 30th deadline approaches, the Travel and Expense department will take the following actions:

  • All pending items will be deleted from the financial system.

  • Expense reports that are missing images will be systematically sent back and deleted from the system.

  • The Travel & Expense department will make every effort to pay all expenses that are allowable, receipted and contain the proper supporting documentation.
  • The following managers have more than 10 items in their queue for approval. Expedite approving these transactions so that the payees can receive their payments.

    10 or more Travel Authorizations
    Approval User ID Approver Number of TAs
    1154335 Hasson, Deborah J 19
    1330856 Del Valle, Ricardo A 19
    1063147 Soto, Vickie 12
    1157409 Vera, Estella 12
    1169987 Escorcia, Susie P 12
    1284186 Villanueva, Ana I 12
    1287447 Alfonso, Diana Morejon 12
    1290864 Pineda, Lucila Jose 12
    1298015 Rodrigo, Monica M 12
    1320813 Mosquera, Nodalys 12
    1345323 Yi, Jorge E 12
    1357281 Belz, Nancy L 12
    1636780 Garzia, Melissa Arianna 12
    2650100 Vergara, Lissvett 12
    1369094 Ortega Rivero, Stephanie Kristen 10
    1373988 Tippit, Sara G 10

    10 or more Expense Reports
    Approval User ID Approver Number of TAs
    1324737 Miller, Danielle M 59
    4225664 Delano, Irene Carolina 59
    1369094 Ortega Rivero, Stephanie Kristen 51
    2052048 Rodriguez, Roberto 51


    Credit Card Reconciliation Enhancement

    Beginning with the 12/31/2014 billing statement (scheduled to load into PS 9.2 on 1/5/2015), a scanned receipt and supporting backup documentation must be attached to each transaction line; this will be mandatory during the reconciliation process.

    This new business process will improve record retention efficiencies by providing easy electronic access to view and print the receipts and supporting documentation of all card activity.

    This feature is currently available in PS 9.0 and we highly recommend that you become familiar with the process. To add supporting documentation during reconciliation:

    1. Click on the white comment bubble icon, located on the Reconcile Statement Transaction Tab.

    2. Click the Attach button located directly under the comments box under Associated Document.

    3. Click on the Browse button to select the scanned file for attachment.

    4. When document is selected, click open and attach, to complete the load process.

    5. When successfully attached, the scanned file name will appear under Attachment in the Associated Document box. Click the View button to review.

    6. If you need to attach multiple scanned documents for a single transaction line, click the + button located next to the status field. Proceed with clicking on the Attach button, as notated in step #2 and continue the process (see sample below).

    Helpful Tips

  • For procedural information about using your departmental MFD (multi-functional device) printer to create scanned documents, please contact your IT liaison.

  • Each receipt must be a separate scan in order to be attached to related transaction line, you can add multiple scanned files per line.

  • Scanned images may be saved to the desktop, a file directory or flash drive.

  • .pdf is the preferred file format.
  • If you have any questions about this process, please reach out to 7-7200 for additional instruction or the Credit Card Solutions Team.


    Scanning Solution

    The Accounts Payable department has implemented the new scanning solution!

  • All invoices must have a valid PO number. Please make sure that your vendors are aware of this when placing orders.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Invoices should be sent to invoices@fiu.edu.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Payments issued to foreign vendors: We strongly encourage that all payments made to foreign vendors be made via wire. In the event that a check must be issued, please forward a UPS shipping label to Maria Luisa Roque in Accounts Payable. Checks will not be released to the requesting department.
  • If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact Liza Del Campo at (305) 348-3889.


    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 Supplies
  • FIU Parking Decals
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • 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.


    Violation Reminder regarding Confirming POs

    Confirming orders are in violation of FIU Policy as defined in the Purchasing Services Procedures Manual, Section 3.4, "Departments are not authorized to place orders directly with vendors for goods or services." Requesters who are identified as processing 3 or more PO's after the goods and/or services have been received (confirming POs) will be denied access to process requisitions and training will be required to regain access. In an effort to improve purchasing compliance, we ask for your cooperation in minimizing after-the-fact requests. Confirming POs will be an audit finding for your Department and Purchasing Services. We will send an email to the requester stating the confirming PO number and if it's a first, second or third time offense. On the first offense we will copy the requester's supervisor and on the second and third offenses we will copy both the requester's supervisor and his/her supervisor.


    Entering Receipts

    The receiving against the PO should be done as soon as the items are received or services are rendered. Please do not wait until an invoice is received.

    The receiving date in PeopleSoft should always be the date the product was received not the date that the receiving entry is made (default date).

    Please follow the instructions below for changing the receipt date in PeopleSoft. Please contact the PantherSoft Help Desk with any questions.

    Receiving Instructions


    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).

    An email with links to the UBIT questionnaire and additional UBIT information was sent to all Department Heads & Finance Managers in September 2014 and this information is also available on the Controller's website. If you have not yet returned the UBIT questionaire, please do so as soon as possible.

    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.


    Deposit Coding Compliance Usage of Expense Accounts (7XXXXX)

    Deposits taken to the Cashiering Office coded to an expense GL Account should be for refunds of purchases of goods and or services which were previously recorded as an expense or for reimbursements of expenses previously incurred.

    Example: A department purchases a box of pencils and subsequently returns the pencils and receives a check from the vendor. This would be an appropriate scenario to code the deposit of the check from the vendor to an expense account.

    For any deposit using an expense account that is not a refund or reimbursement, please contact Michelle Chiu-Hung at ext. 7-1122 or Jose Zubimendi at ext. 7-1139 for review prior to submitting deposit to the Cashiering Office.

    PantherSoft Financials 9.2 Upgrade

    To ensure a smooth transition to PeopleSoft 9.2 all financial transactions requiring approval must be in approved status before we begin the upgrade on December 30, 2014. To allow enough time for pending transactions approval, access to create new Requisitions, Travel Authorizations, Expense Reports and Smart Bills will be removed on Monday December 15, 2014. Financial Systems and the PantherSoft technical team will monitor and communicate with the user community to ensure all pending transactions are in approved status by December 30, 2014.

    PantherSoft Financials will be unavailable after 5 p.m. Tuesday December 30, 2014 and upgraded system will be available to the user community on Monday January 5, 2015 for processing.

    The Reporting database will be created using a copy of the 9.2 Production database and will be available on Monday January 05, 2014. At go-live only queries that are in the production database will be available in Reporting. To request public and private queries from the 9.0 Reporting database please send an email to the 'Office of the Controller' mailbox with your query name(s) and we will migrate them to the 9.2 Reporting database.


    Webinar Information

    The Office of the Controller will be hosting an on-line webinar to highlight some of the new features of PantherSoft Financials 9.2 on December 9, 2014 at 10 AM.

    Visit the PantherSoft Financials 9.2 Upgrade website to get information regarding the webinar and the latest information on the upgrade.


    Travel Reminders for the PantherSoft Financials 9.2 Upgrade

    The PeopleSoft Financials upgrade to version 9.2 will go live on January 5th, 2015. All Travel Authorizations, Cash Advances and Expense Reports must be in an "Approved" or "Paid" status prior to the upgrade. Reports that have a status of "Submitted for Approval", "Pending", or "Approval in Process" will be deleted from the system to ensure a smooth transition. In order to plan accordingly, see the deadline dates listed below:

  • December 15, 2014 Access to create TAs, Cash Advances and Expenses Reports will be removed from the University community. Make sure all TAs and Cash Advances for December and early January travel are approved.

  • December 28, 2014 Last day for all Travel transactions to be approved by Managers.

  • December 30, 2014 After 5:00 p.m. the PeopleSoft Financials system will be unavailable to the user community.

  • December 30, 2014 At 3:00 p.m. the Disbursements department will run the final PeopleSoft version 9.0 payment cycle for all Expense reports, Cash Advances, Vouchers, Foundation, and any other payments processed by Disbursements.

  • January 5, 2015 GO LIVE! The upgraded system will be available to the user community for processing.
  • Purchasing 101

    Purchasing Services is conducting Purchasing 101 Training and we highly recommend that all staff who request goods or services attend, not just the individuals that process the requisitions or oversee the Department's budget and finances. If you have PIs or Directors that cannot attend the two hour training, Purchasing Services will work with your Department to conduct a 30 minute high level overview of FIU's Purchasing Policies. Please distribute the one page Purchasing Services Overview to any staff member who requests goods or services and/or processes the requisitions. Purchasing Services has been communicating the need to stop processing confirming POs since November 2013.

    As of October 28, 2014, we will be tracking confirming POs and we will take away access to process requisitions, once a requester has 3 or more confirming POs. We need to communicate to all end users who request goods or services that confirming POs are not allowed to continue within University departments.

    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.

  • 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

  • Foreign Vendors & Honorarium Training

    Tax Compliance Services is offering a training session that covers the basic information related to foreign vendor payments, including information specific to honorarium payments.

    An honorarium is a gratuitous payment of money or other thing of value to a person for the person's participation in an activity or event, and not a contractual obligation to pay for services rendered. 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. Additional information related to honorarium payments can be found at http://finance.fiu.edu/controller/Docs/Honoraria2011.pdf

    The session is highly recommended for any FIU employee involved in the foreign vendor payment process or planning to pay foreign visitors. Seating is limited so please RSVP by contacting Mairelys Garcia (7-7561) or send an email to tax@fiu.edu.

    The training will take place on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., MMC, CSC 1123.


    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 10/31/14) loaded into PantherSoft on November 4th and must be completely processed by the end of business on November 18, 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.


    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 October 31, 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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