Newsletter 2022-2023 Volume 5
In this edition…
- Monthly Closing Deadlines
- Delegate Approval Before Leaving Office for Holiday Year End Break
- Travel News
- Mandatory Use of The Travel Authorization (TA) Request Process for International Travel
- International Travel Screening and Reporting and Foreign Influence Risk Travel
- Credit Card Reconciliation: Supporting Documentation
- Purchase of Controlled Substances and Hazourdous Chemicals
- Card Cancellation Process
- Reminders and Deadlines
Monthly Closing Deadlines
The November 2022 period in the general ledger has closed. The current and future month-end processing deadline schedules are located at Monthly Closing Deadlines.
Delegate Approval Before Leaving Office for Holiday Year End Break
The University will be closed from Friday, December 23rd to Monday, January 2nd. As a result of this, time-sensitive transactions (i.e., Requisitions, Travel Authorizations, Expense Reports, etc.) must be approved by end of day December 22nd.
If you are taking leave before the FIU Holiday, please make sure to delegate approval to another person before leaving the office. You can delegate approval of financial transactions to an alternate workflow approver, but the person must have the same level of approval authority and department (i.e., Expense/Project Manager, Budget Approver, etc.). For instructions on delegating financial transactions, click here.
Once the delegation is in place, new transactions will route to the alternate approver. Transactions in the approval process prior to the delegation will not route to the delegated approver.
For further assistance, please contact the Financials Systems and Support Services (FSSS) Help Desk at (305)348-7200 [ext. 7-7200].
The Travel and Other Expenses Manual has been updated and is now available
Travel Alphabet Assignments:
* Represents the First letter of the Employee’s Last Name
Travel Staff Letters Phone#
Alejandra Blanco Accounting Manager (305) 348-1141
Sandra Ocampo B, F, J, M, N, R, V* (305) 348-4041
Yaniz Gallimore C, D, H, O, S, T, W* (305) 348-2663
Rossana Guetton A, E, G, I, L, P, * (305) 348-2438
Naomi Rodriguez K, Q, U, X, Y, Z* (305) 348-2543
Mandatory Use of The Travel Authorization (TA) Request Process for International Travel
Pursuant to Florida State legislation (HB 7017/ F.S. 1010.36), the University has expanded its travel authorization process to require screening and pre-approval for all international travel and foreign activities. All (even if paid by 3rd Party) international travelers must now complete a Travel Authorization Request (TA), which includes a Foreign Travel questionnaire, specific disclosure requirements regarding travel expenses, and the traveler’s Acknowledgement certifying that they have read this Guidance. You may refer to this Quick Guide to provide you with an overview of the international travel screening and reporting process.
It is encouraged that FIU travelers submit their TA request at least 7 business days before their trip to allow sufficient time for the request to be screened and approved by the Export Control Office.
International Travel Screening and Reporting and Foreign Influence Risk Travel
Screening and Reporting Requirements
Prior to departing abroad, all employee travelers, not their proxy, must complete, as part of the TAR workflow, a short questionnaire pertaining to foreign influence and other travel risks, as well as acknowledge their understanding of FIU foreign travel guidance. Contingent on the traveler’s responses and where the destination is a Foreign Country of Concern (FCC), which includes China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela, a compliance reviewer will promptly communicate any risk mitigation measures, if necessary, to the traveler. Once the compliance reviewer is satisfied that risks have been addressed, the TAR will follow the regular process towards approval by the supervisor. This process was already embedded in the TAR workflow since Summer 2021, and travelers have navigated it successfully.
Upon return from an international trip, all employee travelers must report any payments or honoraria made directly to the traveler or on behalf of the traveler (i.e., to cover some or all expenses) by an entity or person, including for travel, food, or lodging at any time related to the trip. Payments on the traveler’s behalf may include some or all expenses, or other complimentary items provided, that are not promotional items customarily given at conferences, such as pens, plaques, etc. Should one or more international destination(s) be an FCC, additional information will be required. It will be the proxy’s responsibility to obtain this information from the traveler and to enter it together with all other expense records in the ER. The traveler will be asked to certify the accuracy and completeness of the information by signing the ER. This post-trip process will be effective in PantherSoft as of July 1, 2022. Travelers who went abroad between January 1 and July 1, 2022, have already or will receive an email request to report this information via a Qualtrics survey.
Guidance on How to Navigate the New Processes
Detailed information on international travel, foreign influence, and compliance concerns is available on our Guidance for International Travel website.
Credit Card Reconciliation: Supporting Documentation
As a reminder, when reconciling Pcard transactions, scanning and attaching of receipts and supporting documentation is mandatory. While all charges must still be approved within 10 business days, Approvers will have thru the end of the calendar month to complete attaching all documentation.
Examples of supporting documentation include:
- Print samples
- Attendance Sheets
If you have any questions, please reach out to the Credit Card Solutions Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Purchase of Controlled Substances and Hazardous Chemicals
The purchase of controlled substances is strictly prohibited with the Pcard; all controlled substance purchases must be procured via a purchase order.
The purchase of hazardous chemicals/materials with the university card is limited exclusively to Fisher Scientific on an emergency/expedited basis only. We have partnered with Fisher to ensure that the purchase complies with all EH&S safety regulations. The purchase of hazardous chemicals/materials from any other merchant is not allowed with the Departmental Card. Dry Ice will be allowed, under 25 pounds from the vendor of choice.
Card Cancellation Process
Departments have a responsibility for timely card cancellation. When a card needs to be cancelled due to a cardholder transferring to another department or termination of employment, the approver or Department MUST notify the CCS Team in an email immediately, prior to any Card Cancellation Form being sent. Departments that fail to follow the correct and timely card cancellation protocols risk losing the card privileges for their entire unit.
Reminders & Deadlines
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 11/30/2022) loaded into PantherSoft on December 2nd and must be completely processed by the end of business on December 16, 2022.
Any charges not processed by the closing deadline will be automatically charged to the cardholder’s default accounting on file and will not be eligible for expense transfer.
Additionally, cardholders with three unjustified non-approvals in the same fiscal year will have their card limits suspended until they complete a retraining session.
Invoices Pending Receipt
Attached is a list of vouchers in PeopleSoft that are pending a receipt to be paid. This report is as of December 5th. Please review and create a receipt if the item has been received or the services have been rendered. Please disregard if a receipt was created on or after December 5th.
If you feel you are receiving the notifications in error, please contact Liza Del Campo (email@example.com) or Beatriz Blanco-Hernandez (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As a reminder, receipts should be created as soon as items ordered have been received or services rendered.
If there is an issue with your order, items not received when expected, etc., please contact the vendor to determine if a credit memo will be issued.
The contact information for myFIUMaket vendors is available through the myFIUMarket home page. The Office Depot contact information is included below because we have been receiving frequent inquiries.
Regarding returns, exchanges, missing/damaged items, questions about tracking or research orders please contact Customer Service at 1-888-263-3423 Monday-Friday 8am-8pm EST, you can also use the Online Chat feature located on our website, or email email@example.com.
Pending Travel Reports
Please approve Travel Authorizations, Cash Advances, and Expense reports in a timely manner. Documents that have not been completely finalized and are older than 90 days will be canceled or deleted by the Travel Department. A list of pending documents is located here. For information regarding report status abbreviations and how to close or cancel Travel Authorizations and/or Expense Reports, please click here.
Name Changes to Activity Numbers
In the past name changes to activity numbers were rarely approved, however, the Controller’s Office has re-evaluated our position on name changes for activity numbers and will now approve name changes for many requests. The process remains the same, enter the desired change on an electronic Activity Number & Department Maintenance Request eForm which will be sent for approval electronically. Changes in Universal Speedtypes can only be processed the Friday through Wednesday of a payroll week to avoid issues with payroll processing.
Please be aware that you will lose the ability to lookup the activity number by name when a name is changed, and any issues caused by changing names will need to be resolved by the Finance Manager in an area. In addition, if names are changed several times, it may be difficult to track the transactions unless the Speedtype is used. Keep in mind it is possible to effective date activity numbers, so when viewing the activity number in PantherSoft online you can include history to see previous names. However, it is not possible to put this on most reports and queries, therefore, it may be difficult to track the changes.
Name changes that will not be approved include:
- A name change when two or more activity numbers are combining. For example, if an activity named “Controller Business” and another activity number named “Controller Finance” wanted to combine to “Controller Business and Finance”.
- A name change when one activity number is being split into two or more activity numbers. For example, if an activity number was previously named “Controller Business and Finance” and the desire is to separate to an activity number for “Controller Business” and another activity number for “Controller Finance”.
- In both of the examples above new activity requests should be submitted and when the new activity number is established the old activity number should be deactivated.
HR currently allows name changes for departments. The change in policy for activity numbers is an exception to the normal procedures in the Controller’s Office, name changes will not be permitted on any chartfields other than department and activity number