Newsletter 2021-2022 Volume 9


Monthly Closing Calendars

The February 2022 period in the general ledger has closed.  The current and future month-end processing deadline schedules are located at Monthly Closing Deadlines.

Third Party Accounts Payable Review

The Office of the Controller has engaged Broniec Associates to perform an audit and review of our disbursement process. The scope of work covers January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2020. In connection with this review, Broniec Associates will be verifying that our accounts payable records agree with our vendor’s receivables records. Therefore, some vendors may be contacted by Broniec Associates to provide a current open item statement or accounts receivable aging of Florida International University or any of the following divisions:  FIU Foundation, FIU Research Foundation, FIU Athletics Finance Corp, FIU Health Care Network, FD Enterprise Holdings or Wolfsonian, Inc.

An example of such communication is below.  Please note, communication might come in the form of email, fax, or US regular mail.

If you should have any questions, please contact: Liza Del Campo, Assistant Director of Payment Services at 305-348-3889 or


UPS Shipments

We have seen an increase in the frequency of UPS deliveries being charged to the FIU master account.  Whenever possible, the P-card should be used when scheduling the pick-up. Please make sure that the P-card is the default payment method.

To make your P-card default, please follow the steps below:

If you are unable to use the P-card, it is very important that you include your activity or project number in the reference field.  This will ensure that the correct department is charged once we receive the invoice.  At a minimum, a contact name or Panther ID should be noted.

Also, when creating the label, make sure that the return address is correct.  We have seen an increase in shipments being returned to the wrong department.

If you need to have a username and password assigned – please contact Judith Gonzalez at 800.550.4184 ext. 114-2324 or

Grainger Contract Notice of Shipping Charges

Based on increased demand in the current shipping environment, carriers are applying additional shipping charges outside of standard freight in a way that requires us to adapt.  Grainger, our strategic MRO partner is forced to pass on some of these charges to customers for oversized, hazmat or items requiring special handling. 

 The following charges will apply:

  • Hazmat – $20
  • Special Handling – $20
  • Oversized – $99


Any item identified from supplier provided product data with a Material Freight Code > 298. Items will be identified in ordering systems with the hazardous item icon.

 Special Handling

Any item where our product data is 60” longest side, 30” second longest side and/or weight is > 70lb and/or Length + Girth (2x Width + 2x Height) > 105”.


Any item greater than 130” Length + Girth (2x Width + 2x Height), Weight is > 130lb, or any one side is > 96”. Items will be identified in ordering systems with “This item requires special shipping, additional charges may apply” note.

 Users authorized to place orders on will see if additional shipping charges apply. This charge will be identified on the product detail page as well as in the cart with a comment that additional charges may apply. If the end-user calls in order, the customer service agent will advise. Marketplace orders will generate shipping charges applicable to the specific order and shall reflect the same way within the invoice.

 For any general information on the Grainger contract please go to the following link:

Verification of Invoice Pricing Against Contract Terms & Conditions


To provide guidance and describe procedures and instructions governing the review and verification of invoices.  The guidance will help ensure that invoices are properly and consistently reviewed and verified in a standardized manner against the contract and purchase order.

General Invoice Validation Process:

Prior to making payments to suppliers, the items below should be in alignment with the Contract/Purchase Order:

  1. Products or services to be performed
  2. Cost/Price of applicable work requirements sand deliverables
  3. Payment provisions/terms (in-full, partial, performance or progress)
  4. Dates should be cross referenced

Accounts Payable Updates in Procure to Pay Resources

You are likely familiar with the eProcurement process, from requisition to receipt, but what happens in Accounts Payable (AP) after you enter a receipt?

 Wonder no more. Accounts Payable partnered with Financial Systems and Support Services (FSSS) to enhance our Procure to Pay system manual and instructor-led training. These now include detailed guidance to help better address issues your department faces when researching or troubleshooting common Purchase Order supplier payment scenarios.

 Your up-to-date resources are available on the Office of The Controller website, under Training Resources. For on-the-job support, contact the FSSS Help Desk at (305)348-7200 [7-7200].

 Attend an enhanced Procure to Pay session with an expert trainer. Registration is open in FIU Develop.

Important Reminder: 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.

Airfare Comparison

Airfare comparisons are needed for the following:

  • If the traveler chooses to drive long distance rather than fly for personal reasons, comparable airfare quotes must be obtained before the travel occurs and provided as part of the receipt package. The lesser of the two amounts will be reimbursed.
  • If flying a different route for personal reasons, advance airfare quotes showing round-trip to and from the business event must be included in the receipt package for comparison purposes. The lesser of the two amounts will be reimbursed to the traveler.

Vicinity Travel Lodging / Meals

A traveler may not claim per diem or reimbursement for lodging or meals for vicinity travel unless extraordinary circumstances that necessitate the overnight travel are fully explained by the traveler and approved by the University Controller in writing prior to the expense being incurred. Criteria for approval shall include late night or early morning job responsibilities.

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 February 28, 2022) loaded into PantherSoft on March 2, 2022 and must be completely processed by the end of the business day, March 15, 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 may have their card limits temporarily suspended until they complete a retraining session.

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.