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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter

Newsletter 2014-2015 Volume 9

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • eProcurement Implementation Information
  • Non-Payroll Cost Transfers
  • New Travel Items and Reminders
  • Online Retraining for All Program Participants
  • Surplus Warehouse
  • Purchasing 101 Training
  • Reminders and Deadlines
  • Monthly Closing Calendars

    The February 2015 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.

    eProcurement Implementation Information

    Purchasing Services is aiming to kick-off the nineteen week eProcurement implementation project on March 16, 2015. This is comprised of activation of the eProcurement module in PeopleSoft and integration of the SciQuest catalog solution with that eProcurement module.

    Electronic Procurement, usually referred to as eProcurement, is the business-to-government sale and purchase of goods and services via the internet. It allows shoppers, in this case, FIU department requestors, to browse online catalogs, known as eCatalogs, add items to a shopping cart and submit a requisition electronically. Completed requisitions are then routed through the approval workflow and, upon departmental approval, generate purchase orders automatically, which are then electronically submitted to the suppliers.

    This automated shopping experience will become available to FIU departments upon completion of the eProcurement implementation. This process will only apply for those purchases made from the established eCatalogs. Part of the implementation process is to load a preliminary number of catalogs for suppliers that FIU has existing contracts with. Over the next several years, following implementation, the Purchasing department will work aggressively to continue to add catalogs by securing contracts with vendors for the items purchased by the University community.

    The main benefits of eProcurement are increased efficiency, ease of use, cost savings achieved by aggregating spend and improved transparency in organizational purchases.

    The project team is being led by individuals from the Purchasing Services department and is made up of staff from the Office of the Controller and the Division of IT. A committee of Executive Sponsors will provide oversight of the project and the project team. Additionally, focus groups will be held with university end-users as part of the implementation process.

    As part of the implementation, FIU needs to identify a name for its new online marketplace. The Office of the Controller is hosting a naming contest for the marketplace. The contest is open to all FIU faculty and staff; no more than three names for the marketplace per individual please. The project team will select between 3 and 5 entries as the finalists and then the focus group identified to participate in the implementation will select the name from those finalists. The individual who submits the winning name will be awarded a prize.

    Examples of marketplace names are as follows.
    University of California: BearBuy
    University of Florida: myUF Market
    University of Chicago: BuySite
    University of Georgia: UGAmart

    All marketplace names for consideration should be emailed to Kenia Junco, Associate Director of Purchasing and eProcurement Project Manager at kjunco@fiu.edu, by Friday, March 20, 2015. We look forward to your submissions.

    We will continue to provide updates on the project in the monthly PantherPost. We will also be creating a page on the Purchasing Services website for the project that will include detailed project information and timelines.

    Non-Payroll Cost Transfers

    As a reminder, cost transfers should be accomplished within 90 days of the original transaction. Transfers not completed within 90 days suggest that ledgers are not being reviewed timely.

    Project Related Non-Payroll Transfers must follow the guidelines as established by Division of Research.

    Refer to the Policy: Cost and Payroll Transfers on Sponsored Projects found in the Compliance Website at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/266.pdf.

    Any cost transfers that are not project or grant related, which are submitted to the Controller's Office more than 90 days after the original transaction, will not be processed. These include Pcard transactions, AP vouchers, or travel related expenses. If the transfer is within the 90 day window, please make sure to include all appropriate documentation, in addition to the Trandata that shows the original charge.

    Good Practices:

  • Plan expenditures as much as possible

  • Double check entries to eliminate errors

  • Review / monitor monthly ledgers

  • Initiate required cost transfers in a timely manner
  • Bad Practices / RED Flags:

  • Transfers with inadequate explanations
    1. "to correct an error" or
    2. "to transfer to correct project"

  • Inadequate documentation

  • Transfers older than 90 days

  • Large Number of Cost Transfers

  • New Travel Items and Reminders

    Travel Authorizations, Cash Advances and Expense reports that have not been completely finalized and are older than 90 days will be cancelled or deleted by the Travel Department. For a list of pending documents, please click here.

  • To view the University Travel Expense Policy, click here.

  • To view the new University Travel and Other Expenses Manual, click here.

  • The State of Florida has issued dedicated discount codes to all Florida Universities when using the Avis contract. The discount code for FIU is B133407. Enter this number when reserving Avis rentals online or give this number to the Avis representative when calling the 800 -338-8211 number.

  • The State of Florida no longer has a contract for Truck rentals with Enterprise Leasing Company. Any rental agency may be used to rent trucks.

  • Hotels Justification is required if the hotel rate is in excess of $200. No justification is required, even if it exceeds $200 if the rate complies with the GSA or DOD rates. If the stay is at the official hotel of a conference/convention/workshop or seminar, justification is not needed.

  • Flat Per Diem Travelers should be reminded that they can claim flat per diem for the last day of travel considering there will be no hotel charge. This amount is normally more than claiming only the meal allowance for the last day.

  • Expense Reports All expense reports must be signed by the employee whose name appears at the top of the document. Do Not Submit expense reports unless the images (supporting documentation) are viewable and legible.

  • Vicinity Mileage Mileage will not be reimbursed if the date(s) claimed are over 90 days old. Payment may be made via Payroll as income.

  • Lost Receipt Forms Must be signed by the payee, approved by the Unit Approver and dated.

  • Non-Payroll Cost Transfers Any cost transfers that are not project related, which are submitted to the Controller's Office more than 90 days after the original transaction, will not be processed.

  • Online Retraining for All Program Participants

    Beginning in March through May, all card program participants (cardholders, Approvers, and reconcilers) will be required to participate in an online refresher training via Moodle. The session will include a training PowerPoint presentation to provide the end user with a refresher to program rules and regulations. The Moodle session will also include the program manual, UPK hands on training, and a brief assessment to certify that training has been completed.

    This periodic, program wide retraining is the result of an audit finding that was issued to our card programs from Internal Audit, requiring that we provide periodic retraining to all program participants. We found this online "self-training" method to be the least disruptive to our busy participants' schedules.

    Further information will be sent to all program participants via email in the next 2-3 weeks.

    Surplus Warehouse

    The Surplus Warehouse (W7) is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM. We have a wide assortment of items which have been surplused by various departments. FIU employees are welcome to visit the Surplus Warehouse and see if there are items that may be re-purposed for their departments. Our staff will guide you through the transfer process. Should you have any questions, please contact 305-348-2167.

    Additionally, we have contracted with GovDeals to make surplus items available to the general public on a periodic basis. FIU community members are welcome to register and bid on items as they become available.

    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 are 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.

  • Thursday, 3/19/2015 10 am to noon MMC - CSC 1123

  • Thursday, 4/9/2015 10 am to noon MMC - CSC 1123

  • Thursday, 4/30/2015 10 am to noon BBC - HM 235

  • 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 02/27/15) loaded into PantherSoft on March 2nd and must be completely processed by the end of business on March 16, 2015.

    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 February 28, 2015.

    To claim a payment, please contact Cash Management (Dayan Borges, dborges@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.

    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.

    Office of the Controller