Florida International University - Office of the Controller Main Web Page
Florida International University Main Web PageOffice of the Controller Main Web Page
Office of Finance & Administration Home PageOffice of the Controller Home PageAbout UsController's Office Organizational ChartDepartmentsNewsFormsIndex
  About Us
  Organizational Chart
  Contact Us

Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter

Newsletter 2015-2016 Volume 10

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • Year End Closing Dates
  • Fund Balance (Surplus or Deficits)
  • eProcurement Requisition Year End Processing Deadline Information
  • Important Updates for Ordering Office Supplies
  • New Process for PO Distribution Line Change Requests
  • Fisher Scientific Website Update
  • Minimizing Credit Card Risk: Identify Theft and Protection
  • Accounts Payable Updates and Reminders
  • Updated Department Card Manual
  • IRS (2014) Withholding Credit Update
  • Requisition Request Approvals is Available via FIU Mobile
  • eProcurement and myFIUmarket Support
  • myFIUmartket Functionalities
  • New Travel & Expenses Staff Member
  • Reminders and Deadlines
  • Monthly Closing Calendars

    The March 2016 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.

    Year End Closing Dates

    Each year key deadlines and important dates for the fiscal year end close are issued. The dates for this fiscal year end can be found here. Please refer to the contacts page for the appropriate individual to direct questions.

    Fund Balance (Surplus or Deficits)

    As the Fiscal year end close is quickly approaching, a review of the fund balance in your activity numbers must be done to identify any surplus or deficits that may require action prior to year end. In particular, Funds 604 Transfers from Component Units, 471 Scholarship-Unrestricted, and 472 Scholarship-Restricted, should be reviewed to ensure the only fund balance is due to timing differences at year end. If you need assistance in calculating your Fund Balance, please do not hesitate to contact Jose Zubimendi, jzubimen@fiu.edu, in the Accounting and Reporting Services department for assistance.

    Please note that if you have a deficit fund balance in your 604 Activity IDs, you must act quickly to ensure that reimbursement requests are submitted to the FIU Foundation for unreimbursed expenses. Keep in mind that any deficit fund balance resulting from unreimbursed, current year expenses incurred through the end of May, will be charged to your alternate Activity ID by the close of the fiscal year. If you have surplus balances in Fund 604 Activity IDs that have resulted from reimbursements received for current year expenses, then it is likely that the expenses were recorded in an Activity ID in another fund, requiring a transfer of expense using an Internal Transfer Request Form in order to move those expenses to the Fund 604 Activity ID. Please contact Jose Zubimendi, jzubimen@fiu.edu, for assistance in resolving any surplus fund balances.

    eProcurement Requisition Year End Processing Deadline Information

    Due to improved efficiencies achieved through myFIUmarket, we are able to extend the deadline to submit requisitions for FY 2015-16 to June 10, 2016. Please note: The eProcurement Requisition Page will be temporarily shut-down from June 11, 2016 July 4, 2016. Departments may start entering requisitions for FY 2016-2017 on July 05, 2016. For more information please refer to the Year-End Memo.

    Important Update to Ordering Office Supplies - Are you ready for the change?

    We are happy to announce that Office Depot, our partner for office supplies, will go live in ePro during the week of April 11, 2016. The enabled catalog features expanded merchandise selections at our newly negotiated contract pricing, which has an average savings of 29%.

    What to Expect: As part of the transition, with exception to expedited orders, purchases will no longer be placed via Office Solutions and paid with a Departmental Credit Card; these purchases will be made through the myFIUmarket, additionally:

  • The Office Max ordering portal will be shut down a month after the go live date.

  • You must be set up as a requester in PantherSoft to access myFIUmarket and to shop from the Office Depot catalog.

  • Approved requisitions issued to myFIUmarket suppliers automatically generate purchase orders that bypass Purchasing Services; hence, an order can be turned around within hours as opposed to days.
  • Next Steps: During this transition period, we ask current cardholders who do not have a requester role in PantherSoft to please send an e-mail to controller@fiu.edu to request access to requisitions in e-Procurement.

    If you have not already done so, please plan to attend a training workshop. The Office Depot Team will also help to address any questions you may have, ensuring a smooth transition. Our Trainers will take you through the Procure-to-Pay process and will cover the Assign a Cart functionality, which allows shoppers to create a shopping cart and assign it to the person responsible for placing orders for their area.

    Moving Forward: As we move forward with the new ordering process, the following are key points to keep in mind. Departments will need to:

  • Place orders for $50 or more to avoid shipping charges. To avoid this charge and to help manage your orders please do the following:

    1. Centralize your Office Supply Orders,
    2. Have shoppers (PantherSoft requester role required) utilize the Assign a Cart functionality in myFIUmarket,
    3. The centralized requester can use the Merge a Cart functionality in myFIUmarket to place order from the carts assigned to them.
  • Requisitions should be set up with one centralized Ship To address in order to avoid multiple purchase orders. If you set up the requisition with multiple shipping addresses, just make sure the order per location is $50 or more to avoid shipping charges.

  • Add noreply@officedepot.com to your trusted senders in order to ensure order confirmations route to your inbox.

  • Purchase Orders need to be received in PantherSoft as merchandise gets delivered to your location in order to approve payment for items physically received.
  • Benefits from placing orders on PO vs. Credit Card include:

  • Greater ordering flexibility, multiple requesters can be setup easier than establishing Cardholders.

  • Guaranteed contract pricing.

  • Invoices are matched seamlessly in the PeopleSoft System, no need to search for receipts and packing slips for Pcard charges.
  • For more information on myFIUmarket and to sign up for training, please visit the link below: http://finance.fiu.edu/controller/TrainingRegistration.html.

    FSSS has created a UPK for the Merge a Cart functionality along with other UPK's that will help you complete a requisition which are found at:


    If you have any questions, please reach out to the FSSS Team at 305-348-7200.

    New Process for PO Distribution Line Change Requests

    Requests to change the project id or activity number for Purchase Orders in Dispatched status will no longer be handled manually by Purchasing Services. If the Purchase Order has no activity (receipts/invoices), the buyer will cancel the order and you will have to enter a new requisition with the correct accounting information. If the Purchase Order has activity, you will need to enter a change order requisition to add a new line to the PO with the new project/activity number. Additionally, you must send an e-mail to the buyer to request the original line on the PO be closed out. Requisitions that have not sourced over to Purchasing Services can be edited by the requester through the Manage Requisitions page. Purchase orders in pending approval status will be cancelled and a new requisition will need to be entered.

    Fisher Scientific Web Site Update

    We will be shutting down the Fisher Scientific's web site at fishersci.com for all items except for Research Lab Supply Store items after July 4th, 2016. You must place all non-store orders and non-expedited orders through myFIUmarket. Departmental credit cards can only be used for store items and expedited orders.

    To view the store items, click on "My Lists" when you are logged into https://www.fishersci.com/us/en/home.html and click on "Company List". You can request items to be stocked at the store by completing the Item Suggestion Form located on the homepage when logged in at fishersci.com. To order from the store, you must have a lab at the MMC campus and be logged in under the 270345-003 account. You can also order online while at the store.

    Minimizing Credit Card Risk: Identity Theft and Protection

    Your Credit Card Solution Team has partnered with JP Morgan Chase to bring you a three part series on minimizing credit card risks. As we continue with this series, we will share helpful tips and insights for improving your overall internet and card security awareness. This month's topic is about recognizing identity theft and tips to avoid falling victim; when it comes to minimizing credit card risk, knowledge is power!

    At J.P. Morgan, they use a variety of technologies and techniques to help ensure that our products and services are secure. You should protect yourself too by making an effort to control risks when you use your computer or conduct business online.

    Here are some of the recommended steps you can take to minimize your risk:

  • If you notice suspicious activity in your accounts, report it to the appropriate parties immediately.

  • Beware of email messages you receive from senders you do not know; do not open email attachments or click on links until you have verified the sender.

  • If you receive a suspicious email, you should forward it to abuse@jpmorgan.com and abuse@fiu.edu

  • Prevent unauthorized people from using your computer:
    • Log out or lock your workstation whenever you leave your computer.
    • Change your passwords often, choosing passwords that are hard for others to guess.
    • Do not give your passwords to anyone.
    • Do not record your passwords in an easy-to-find place.
  • Use different passwords for different websites.

  • If you suspect your PaymentNet password has been compromised you can contact your J.P. Morgan Client Service representative or Client Application Support immediately at 1-800-270-7760. They are available to assist you 24/7.

  • Check with your organization's IT department about installing anti-virus/anti-spyware and other internet security software to protect your computer.

  • Take advantage of your computer's security features.

  • Use only software approved by your company and follow your company's data security policies.

  • Do not leave your computer and digital media in unsecured locations, such as in your car.
  • It is also important to remember that JP Morgan Chase and your FIU Credit Card Solutions Team will never ask you for your password.

    Accounts Payable Updates and Reminders


    Vendors should send all invoices directly to Accounts Payable. You do not need any invoice information to receive items in Panthersoft.

    An invoice will only be approved for payment when all of the below criteria are met:

  • The price of an item(s) equals the price on the PO

  • The items being billed are 'received' in PantherSoft
  • The ordering department controls when payments are made by controlling the receiving of the merchandise or service in PantherSoft.

    Unencumbered Forms

    Please make sure that all unencumbered forms have a clear explanation on what is being paid. Prior to submitting the form, please review the list of allowable unencumbered items available on the Controller's website.

    Submitting Requisitions

    When submitting a requisition, please ensure that the correct vendor ID is chosen. Also, any updates to the vendor name should be resolved before an invoice is sent to Accounts Payable. If the vendor record is not updated payment will be delayed.

    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 physically received not the date that the receiving entry is made (default date). The receiving date is extremely important as we approach year end.

    The Controller's Office will be accruing expenses for invoices that meet the following criteria:

  • Entered into Panther Soft after June 30, 2016 and,

  • Goods and/or services were received in Panther Soft before July 1, 2016
  • Please follow the instructions here for updating the receipt date in PeopleSoft. Please contact the PantherSoft Help Desk with any questions.

    If you have completed the receiving entry for an order or an invoice and continue to receive an e-mail requesting a receiving transaction, please contact Accounts Payables to clear the match exception. Please do not resend the invoice to Accounts Payable.

    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).

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

    Updated Department Card Manual

    A revised version of our Departmental Card Policies and Procedures Manual is now available online!

    While much of the manual remain the same, updates featured in the updated manual include:

  • The implementation of level II background checks with fingerprinting for all new card applicants (p.11)

  • Changes in click thru procedures and clarification to software purchases (p. 22)

  • Changes in the purchases of office supplies and hazardous materials (p. 23)

  • The food Authorization Request Form is no longer required (p.24)

  • Time saving tips and techniques to on the monthly reconciliation processes (p. 36, p. 37)

  • Learn to check available card balances and download billing statements with PaymentNet, the banks robust, online management tool (p. 46).

  • IRS (2014) Withholding Credit Update

    Colleges and Universities across the United States were recently contacted by students receiving IRS notices which denied withholding tax credits reported by the schools on (2014) Forms 1042-S. This issue impacted several FIU students who received a (2014) 1042-S from the University. The issue is due to IRS system errors in processing the electronic files received from the Colleges and Universities, but the actual withholding credit information provided by FIU to both the students and the IRS is correct. This issue was quickly escalated to the IRS by NACUBO (National Association of College & University Business Officers) and many of the Colleges & Universities, in order to find a solution.

    Update: The IRS has agreed to reverse the withholding credit denials that resulted from issues processing the electronic files submitted by the Colleges and Universities. In order to adjust the student accounts, the IRS requested specific information from each affected school and FIU already complied with and provided the required information. At this time, the IRS does not require any further information from FIU or the students and it is our understanding that once the reversals have been processed, the IRS will notify the individual students by letter. The IRS has not provided a timeframe in which the adjustments will be completed, but they have agreed to notify the University once the reversals are completed for all affected FIU Students. Therefore, due to the lack of a deadline from the IRS, those students who received a notice should follow the IRS recommendation and respond in writing, via certified mail/return receipt, to the IRS address on the notice.

    Additional information and updates will be posted to the Office of the Controller Tax Compliance website as it becomes available.

    Please note that Florida International University employees do not assist in tax preparation, provide tax advice, and cannot answer individual tax questions.

    Requisition Request Approvals is available via FIU Mobile

    To help expedite the requisition approval process, use your mobile device to remotely access the requisition approvals page. All Requisition requests in 'pending' status will be accessible through FIU Mobile. This and other Employee self-service functionality is available by downloading the FIU Mobile app from Apple's App Store, Android's Google Play or by accessing m.fiu.edu from your mobile device browser.

    Please refer to the Quick Reference document for instructions.

    eProcurement and myFIUmarket Support

    Sign up for training by visiting the link below:


    Contact the Financials Systems Support Services call center at 7-7200 should you have any questions relating to eProcurement or myFIUmarket.

    myFIUmarket Functionalities

    The myFIUmarket has specific functionalities available when Managing Carts for easier processing and centralization. The Assign a Cart option provides shoppers the ability to create a shopping cart and assign it to someone else for review, approval, or submission.

    With Office Depot available as one of the myFIUmarket suppliers as of April 8th, the Merge a Cart feature is especially useful in keeping office supply orders centralized. This allows departments to take multiple orders, merging them into one taking advantage of Office Depot's free shipping policy on order of $50 or more.

    Learn more by logging into Professional Development and attending one of our Procure to Pay training sessions.

    You may also review the Procure to Pay Manual, Managing Carts section: Procure to Pay Manual.

    New Travel & Expenses Staff Member

    The Travel & Expenses Department welcomes Fernanda Oliveira to its staff. The letter assignments by last name are as follows:

    Sandra Ocampo D, H, J, M, R, X
    Yaniz Gallimore A, G, L, O, T, W
    Alejandra Blanco B, F, K, N, S, V, Y
    Fernanda Oliveira C, E, I, P, Q, U, Z

    Travel Reminder

    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 cancelled or deleted by the Travel Department. For a list of pending documents, please click here. For information regarding report status abbreviations and how to close or cancel Travel Authorizations and/or Expense Reports, please click here.

    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 03/31/2016) loaded into PantherSoft on April 1st and must be completely processed no later than noon, April 15, 2016.

    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.

    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