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Controller's Office > News > Panther Post Newsletter

Newsletter 2015-2016 Volume 4

In this Edition...

  • Monthly Closing Calendars
  • New Car Rental Contract
  • Liability for Credit Card Fraud
  • E-Forms Go Live!
  • Mandatory Training of All P-Card Participants
  • Activity Number Requests - Best Practices
  • Invoice and Receiving Transaction Reminders
  • Restricted Purchases
  • Travel & Expenses Department Update
  • Reminders and Deadlines
  • Monthly Closing Calendars

    The September 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.

    New Car Rental Contract

    Effective Sept. 30, 2015, the State's rental car services contract is with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental. As you plan upcoming travel, please be aware of this change and discontinue the use of Avis Rental Car. The Travel Department will honor travel reimbursements for Avis rentals that take place during the transition period. Click HERE for a step by step guide for cancelling prior reservations made with Avis, enrolling as an Enterprise/National user, and making reservations. Additional information is also included, along with useful FAQ's.

    Reservations: To make a reservation, call the State of FL Reservations & Customer Service at 1-877-690-0064 and reference Account Number XZ41D69. Or, visit Enterprise to begin your reservation. An FIU customized web link will be available next week for booking reservation at Purchasing Services E-Mall.

    Reservation Scenarios:

    Scenario #1: Making reservations on behalf of travelers within your department.

  • Third party fills out billing agreement and emails it as indicated on the form
  • Billing ID # is granted to third party
  • When making a reservation, third party can enter the traveler's Emerald Club #
  • Billing ID # must be entered this is what drives the 3rd parties Departmental Card (tied to billing ID) to be charged
  • Billing ID # when used supersedes Emerald Club profile billing information.
  • Scenario #2: Making your own reservations.

  • Traveler makes their own reservation
  • Traveler enters Emerald Club number which will charge based on billing information on their profile
  • This can be with a T&E Card or personal card (which they would later seek reimbursement)
  • Job Aides to guide you in making reservations can be found on our website's Travel Section under "Helpful Travel Links".

    Liability for Credit Card Fraud

    In February 2015, Bank of America Merchant Services sent a notice to each merchant location advising of the EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa) Liability Shift that became effective on October 1, 2015. Merchants with non-EMV capable machines are held responsible for any losses related to counterfeit fraud transactions. Each location still 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.

    Eforms Go-Live!

    The Credit Card Solutions Team is happy to announce several of our program forms will be going live as eForm documents. Beginning this week, the following forms are available as eforms:

  • Cardholder applications (Departmental and T&E)
  • Cardholder Agreements
  • The forms can be found on our website:
    Credit Card Solutions Forms

    This update will further streamline the application process, making form approval fully electronic and more easily assessable for approvals and submittals.

    Cardholders will have the ability to track where their form is in the approval process through an integrated dashboard feature. Paper copies will continue to be accepted thru 10/30/2015 for forms already in process, however the community is encouraged to use the eForm for all new requests.

    Mandatory Retraining of All P-Card Participants

    As part of our audit corrective actions, all card program participants (Cardholders, Approvers, and Reconcilers) are required to complete a periodic retraining of program processes and procedures. For your convenience, we have developed an online Moodle "self-training" experience to meet this essential audit requirement.

    In the coming weeks, the Credit Card Solutions Team will be sending you an email containing additional information on how to access and complete your refresher training.

    Activity Number Requests - Best Practices

    We would like to provide the following best practices to be followed when contemplating making a request for a new activity number.

    Activity numbers should not be requested merely to track expenses. As a rule of thumb, a request should only be made if expected revenues and expenses will be in excess of $10,000 per year. Please be aware that each new activity number adds information to the Financial Reporting system, including an exponential amount of data strings. We encourage using existing ID's before requesting a new one.

    Include a good description of what expenses will be for on the request, as this will assist greatly in our Functional Expense classification which will expedite the approval of the request.

    Some examples are as follows:

  • Example 1: Expenses related to the teaching of students;
  • Example 2: Expenses related to the provision of medical services to the general public which will be    provided for a fee to the patient;
  • Example 3: Duplication and printing expenses for the benefit of the University.
  • In addition, in the description you should also include a description of the funding source (for example, Sale of auxiliary service, Sale of educational services, Reimbursement from DSO, etc.).

    We strive for a five (5) working day turnaround time for review and potential approval, although during year end (July 1 - September 30th), expect delays due to Financial Statement preparation and other State reporting requirements. If emergency expedited service is needed, please contact Jose Zubimendi.

    Invoice & Receiving Transaction Reminders

    Sending Invoices to Accounts Payable: As a reminder, please take note when submitting invoices for payment:

  • All invoices should have the purchase order number printed on the face of the invoice.
    1. Do not include a copy of the actual purchase order
    2. Do not include copies of the receiving entry
    3. Only send the actual invoice
  • Invoices attached to requisitions are not forwarded to Accounts Payable. If the vendor does not send the invoice directly to Accounts Payable, the department must do so.
  • Receiving Transaction E-mail Notifications: If you receive a Receiving Transaction notification e-mail from PantherSoft, Accounts Payable has already received and entered the invoice in PeopleSoft. Please DO NOT send the invoice to AP when you have entered the receipt. PeopleSoft will automatically match the invoice to the receipt. If you continue to receive the notification that a receipt is pending after the receipt has been entered, please notify Liza Del Campo by e-mail, ldelcam@fiu.edu. Do not send the invoice to invoices@fiu.edu. This will cause a duplicate entry of the invoice.

    Restricted Purchases

    With South Florida temperatures cooling down and the holidays quickly 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 supply
  • FIU Parking Decals
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • 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.

    Travel & Expenses Department Updates

    The Travel & Expenses Department letter assignments by last name are as follows:

    Sandra Ocampo Ciak D, F, M, R, T, Y (305) 348-4041
    Yaniz A Gallimore A, E, I, L, S, X (305) 348-2663
    Alejandra M Blanco B, H, J, O, Q, U, Z (305) 348-1141
    Noel Urbina C, G, K, N, P, W, V (305) 348-2438

    UPDATE: The Travel and Other Expenses Manual has been updated. Please refer to the updated manual for guidance.

    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 9/30/15) loaded into PantherSoft on October 1st and must be completely processed by the end of business on October 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.

    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