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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter

Newsletter 2015-2016 Volume 3

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • Avis Car Rental Contract Set to Expire September 30, 2015
  • EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa) Liability Shift
  • eProcurement
  • Unrelated Business Income Tax (Form 990-T)
  • Deadline to Process Departmental Card Transfer of Charges
  • Reminders and Deadlines
  • Monthly Closing Calendars

    The August 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.

    Avis Car Rental Contract Set to Expire September 30, 2015

    The Department of Management Services has contracted with the parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental to provide rental vehicle services to Florida's government employees. This contract replaces the Avis contract that expires on 9/30/15. Please book under the new contract for all rental cars for any travel after 9/30/15.

    Customers will receive services from both brands at the same contract rates and terms. This contract offers a variety of vehicle classes to meet your rental needs from compact cars to fullsize vehicles, minivans, SUVs, and passenger vans. Additionally, this contract offers moving and commercial truck rentals and the option for your organization to establish a CarShare program. For more information visit DMS website.


  • Unlimited mileage for contracted car classes

  • Complimentary "We'll Pick You Up" service available (with advance notice)

  • $500,000 combined single-limit third-party liability protection and zero deductible damage waiver

  • 24-hour roadside assistance included

  • Rates available for leisure use (liability coverage and damage waiver not included)

  • Moving truck, commercial truck and van rentals available

  • CarShare program option

  • EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa) Liability Shift

    In February 2015, Bank of America Merchant Services sent a notice to each merchant location advising of the EMV Liability Shift that will take effect on October 1, 2015. Merchants with non-EMV capable machines will be held responsible for any losses related to counterfeit fraud transactions. Each location has the option to replace their existing terminal/mobile-reader at a cost in order to be EMV compliant. If a location chooses not to replace their terminal/mobile-reader, the existing machine will still be serviced by Bank of America, but the department will be financially responsible for any disputed fraudulent charges.

    For further information, you can refer to the Merchant FAQ for EMV and the EMV Resource Center located on Bank of America's Merchant Services website. You may also contact Merchant Solutions at 305-348-3888 or merchant@fiu.edu with questions regarding the upcoming liability shift.


    We went live with ePro and myFIUmarket on August 10, 2015.

    Blanket Purchase Orders

    Blanket Purchase Orders cannot be set up for suppliers that have catalogs on myFIUmarket.

    Blanket Purchase Orders already in place for the suppliers in myFIUmarket should no longer be in use. They have been left open for now to allow departments to create all pending receipts and ensure all pending invoices are submitted for purchases made from those Blanket Purchase Orders. Purchasing Services will close all Blanket Purchase Orders for any supplier in myFIUmarket by September 11, 2015.

    See exception to these rules, outlined below, for Fisher Scientific.

    myFIUmarket Suppliers

    The three suppliers' catalogs that are currently available for shopping are:

  • CDW-G
  • Air Gas
  • Grainger
  • Additionally the following supplier's catalog should be added to myFIUmarket soon:

  • Fisher
  • The Fisher enablement will be unique in that Purchasing Services will allow Blanket Purchase Orders to continue to be used and set up for Fisher. Departments will have the option to purchase from myFIUmarket or as they do today, via PCard or Blanket Purchase Order. Fisher Scientific website with the catalog containing FIU specific pricing will remain operational as well. Within a few months of enabling the Fisher catalog in myFIUmarket Purchasing Services will re-evaluate the need for this exception.

    The Purchasing team will continue to work diligently to add suppliers' catalogs and FIU contracts to myFIUmarket. Any departments with requests or suggestions for suppliers to enable in myFIUmarket can email myfiumarket@fiu.edu for consideration.

    Training Plan and Schedule

    Please visit the FSSS training website at http://finance.fiu.edu/controller/TrainingRegistration.html to view and register for available training and to obtain resources, including the Procure to Pay manual, which includes step by step instructions on how to shop in myFIUmarket and how to navigate in Panthersoft, and video snippets that have been compiled outlining some of the new functionality.

    FIU Purchasing Services and Fisher Scientific are conducting an information session/training for the PIs and Lab Assistants on September 24, 2015 from 2-3:30 PM in WC-130. This session will cover how to order from the Research Lab Supply Store and an overview of the bar coding process for hazardous chemicals. Additional topics include an overview of myFIUmarket, how to get a requester role for PantherSoft, how to assign a cart, how to track the workflow of a requisition to a PO and how to place Fisher Scientific Orders through fishersci.com and myFIUmarket. Please send any appropriate lab personnel that are responsible for these functions. Contact Kelly Loll, Purchasing Director at 7-1246 if you have any questions.

    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 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, 2015 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 2014-2015 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.

    Deadline to Process Departmental Card Transfer of Charges

    To adjust the accounting applied to a Departmental Card after the billing cycle is closed, an approver will request a Journal Voucher Adjustment in the General Ledger from the Credit Card Solutions Accountant. The Approver must submit this request by completing a Transfer of Departmental Card Charges Form.

    The cost transfer must be accomplished within 90 days of the original transaction. Transfers not completed within 90 days suggest that ledgers are not being reviewed timely. Additionally, transfers will only be processed within the same Fiscal Year that the expense was charged to the general ledger.

    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
  • 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.

    Project Related Non-Payroll Transfers must follow the guidelines as established by Division of Research Policy: Cost and Payroll Transfers on Sponsored Projects found in the Compliance Website at http://policies.fiu.edu/files/266.pdf.

    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 8/31/15) loaded into PantherSoft on September 2nd and must be completely processed by the end of business on September 17, 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 August 31, 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.

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