Newsletter 2020-2021 Volume 3


Monthly Closing Calendars

The August 2020 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 are located at Monthly Closing Deadlines.

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.

The Tax Compliance office has begun gathering the data for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2020 and 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 2019-2020 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.

A reminder email was sent on September 2, 2020 to those Department Heads & Finance Managers with UBIT activity in prior years, with links to the UBIT questionnaire and additional UBIT information. The information will also available on the Controller’s website.

If your Department does not generate Unrelated Business Income (UBI) and only conducts educational activities, you do not need to return the UBI Questionnaire. If you have questions about unrelated business income or are conducting an activity/collecting revenue and are unsure if reporting is required, please contact FIU Tax Compliance Team or call (305) 348-2655.

After-the-Fact Travel Authorizations New Requirements

Travel Authorizations are required to be approved prior to incurring expenses on behalf of the University. This approval is granted through the Peoplesoft Financial system process. Failure to follow this requirement results in non-compliance. Effective September 01, 2020, a second level supervisor approval will be required in addition to an explanation of why non-conforming expenses were incurred prior to obtaining an approved TA.

Please note that continued non-compliance may result in suspension to travel for FIU.


Creating Travel Authorizations

When creating Travel Authorizations in the Financial System, list all anticipated expenses by the expense type. This includes the expenses that are out-of-pocket and paid with the University Credit Card. Do Not list prepaid expenses in the “Benefit to FIU or Project” area of Travel Authorizations or Expense Reports. The funding for prepaid expenses does not encumber.

Note: A Travel Authorization is a traveler’s permission to travel on behalf of Florida International University. Travel Authorizations are not required for online conferences, seminars, webinars, etc. as there is no travel involved. An expense report is not required for online conferences, seminars, webinars, etc. unless the participant paid out of pocket and is seeking reimbursement.

Entering and Monitoring Receipts

COVID19 has created challenging times with the move towards working remotely. The procedures below should be followed for orders delivered to the Surplus Warehouse or the mail room.

Receiving in PeopleSoft

If items are delivered to W-7, CP-143, the Mail Room or Central Receiving BBC and you have confirmed receipt through Microsoft Teams by searching for the picture of the package label then:

  • All purchases made through myFIUmarket can be “Received” in PeopleSoft and payment will be made.
  • All purchases under $2,000 that are special request (non-myFIUmarket) can be “Received” in PeopleSoft and payment will be made.
  • All purchases over $2,000 that are special request (non-myFIUmarket) must be physically picked up at the warehouse(s) before the items can be “Received” in PeopleSoft and payment can be made.

Once you receive an email notification from Microsoft Teams, we highly recommend that you come on campus to pick up your purchases and take it to your office.

For additional information, please refer to the Delivery and Receiving PDF document.

Card Inactivity Reviews

Annually, a Card Inactivity Review is conducted by the Credit Card Solutions Team. Cardholders who have not had card activity during the consecutive three-month period prior to the review will be sent an Inactivity Notification via email.

  • We require that a Cardholder reply with a justification as to why the card account must remain open.
  • Cardholders may also reply to the notification indicating that the card is no longer needed and request account closure.
    If no response is received within three weeks of the notification, the card account will be automatically cancelled, and the
  • Cardholder will receive notification of closure.

We are currently working on this analysis and notified cardholders via email the week of September 7, 2020; we kindly ask that all responses be provided no later than September 28, 2020.

Did you know…

Departments have a responsibility for timely card cancellation. When a card needs to be canceled due to a cardholder transferring to another department or termination of employment, the approver or department MUST notify the Credit Card Solutions (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.

Changes to AP Journal Vouchers

The Controller’s Office has been working on making changes to the journal voucher process. The process has been decentralized. Please contact Liza Del Campo ( or 305.348.3889) for information on training and access. Accounts Payable will be processing journal vouchers on behalf of departments under very specific circumstances only.

Reminders & Deadlines


Help us to 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. A list of pending documents is located here. Information regarding report status abbreviations and how to close or cancel Travel Authorizations and/or Expense Reports can be found here.

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 August 31, 2020) loaded into PantherSoft on September 1, 2020 and must be completely processed by the end of the business day on September 15, 2020.

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 a transfer. Cardholders with three unjustified non-approvals in the same fiscal year will have their card suspended until they complete a retraining session.

Invoices Pending Receipt

Please review the list of vouchers in PeopleSoft that are pending a receipt in order to facilitate payment. This report is as of September 2, 2020. If the item(s) have been received or the service(s) have been rendered, you will need to create a receipt in the system. Please disregard if a receipt was created on or after September 2, 2020.

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