November 2020 BPAG Minutes Available

The BPAG minutes from the November 13, 2020 BPAG meeting are now available on the Business Analysis & Support Services website.

What is BPAG?

BPAG stands for Business Process Advisory Group.  Business officers from across campus meet monthly with central administration to address problems and issues along with suggestions to solve them.  Over the past several years, BPAG has helped to facilitate many important changes implemented by central administration. BPAG is not a policy making group, a priority setting group nor is it intended to be the primary means of communicating to all the departments.

To learn more about BPAG, click here.

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Accounting Month Closed for October 2020-You may now review your Management Reports in EOR

The most recent accounting month is now closed. Your Management Reports are complete and ready for your review. For most departments/units, review and approval should follow the steps outlined in this memo. Some departments/units have alternate procedures in place to accomplish review and approval. Check with your unit’s accountant and/or the liaison listed at the bottom of your Management Report if you have questions about review and approval.

To proceed, please check both your PROJECTS and ACTIVITIES.

TO MAKE CHANGES, correct errors, etc.: Contact your departmental administrator as soon as possible (e.g. to prevent delay in posting your changes, please do not wait for the PAR forms).

MARK the Projects/Activities you have reviewed. (This does not necessarily indicate the transactions are correct, only that you reviewed them). There are only two approved methods to indicate Evidence of Review, and both are completed using the EOR web application

  1. Select reviewed activities/projects, and click button “Mark Reviewed,”
  2. Select reviewed activities/projects, and click button “Indicate Review PDF.”

Either action leaves a data indicator that review is complete. Signed review PDFs should be retained in your files for as long as you retain other Management Report documentation. Click here for a quick online EOR tutorial.

A new Guideline has been published to offer clarification to Policy 3-003: Authorizations and Approvals Required for Financial Transactions.

This Guideline is meant to improve internal controls across campus as it outlines:

  1. Account Executives (AEs) and PIs remain primarily responsible for monthly review of their Management Report and submission of EOR (Evidence of Review) – even if they have chosen to delegate this authority.
  2. This responsibility cannot be delegated to an individual who also has the authority to initiate financial transactions.
  3. GFA (Granting Financial Authority) is an application found on CIS that has been recently enhanced to allow AEs and PIs to make separate delegations for financial transaction approval and Management Report Review. (Follow these instructions to delegate authority)

Review and approval of these monthly reports is a key element in the University’s system of internal controls, and is further explained in University Policy 3-003, Authorizations and Approvals Required for Financial Transactions. – See Section III.F.

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Intermittent System Issues

Attention campus users: We have been experiencing intermittent and varied system issues over the last several days.

In most cases, we are able to get a system back online before our users are impacted, but if you experience a significant error – please let us know using our ASK US form.

When reporting, it is helpful to know what you were doing when the error occurred and to attach any helpful screen shots.

We then work directly with UIT to report, address, and correct the issues.

FBS Web Application Status

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ePR: Employee Reimbursement Approvals >$1,000

Attention ePR preparers:

In response to an internal audit, and in strict adherence to Rule 3-010A, we have implemented system changes to enforce Director or Chair approval for all Employee Reimbursements that exceed $1,000.

The intent of the Rule is to provide incentive to departments to use recommended procurement methods based upon the Buying and Payment Guide. Prior to the internal audit, Travel & Reimbursement Services would scrutinize the content of the reimbursement to determine if preferred procurement methods were violated, and would re-route the reimbursement request back to the department to add Director/Chair to the workflow, if necessary.  The system will now enforce a requirement of Director/Chair when the request exceeds $1,000, regardless of the content of the payment.

We encourage Departments to use the most efficient and cost-effective procurement methods as outlined in the Buying and Payment Guide, especially to avoid unnecessary payment of sales tax.

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Preparing for Deliveries During the Two-Week Circuit Breaker

As a reminder, the two-week “Circuit Breaker” is approaching next week (Sunday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020), and during this time many buildings on campus may be closed and unable to accept packages for delivery.

We expect that you are already aware of how your department may be impacted during this time and have planned accordingly. Your department may choose alternate delivery options, as outlined here.

If we receive calls for help from carriers attempting to deliver packages to a closed building, we will instruct them to deliver the package to the receiving department (801-581-7409). From there, it can be picked up by your department in Will Call or it will be subsequently delivered to your department once your building has reopened per your request.

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ePR Reimbursements

Travel & Reimbursement Services is seeing many reimbursements violating policy.  Please review the policy below to make sure you are complying in order to avoid delaying the reimbursement.

Policy Rule 3-010A.

One common violation is a missing approval from the Director or Department Chair on reimbursements over $1,000. We are fixing ePR so it will automatically add this approval step which simply requires the Director or Department Chair’s name or UNID to be put in.

Policy R3-010A, III.C.4

Reimbursements in excess of the established maximum, currently $1,000, require two approvals – the person’s supervisor and the director or department chair, along with an explanation of why preferred procurement methods were not used.

Another violation is sales tax reimbursement for non-business meals.  We are not able to reimburse sales tax without a Dean or VP approval. 

Other common missing items:

  • Missing proof of payment receipts
    • Has to show payee is out of pocket
    • Final transaction receipts from online orders – shipping details required for Amazon orders
  • New Membership requires VP, Dean, or Director approval
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New FIL Reports – See Details not found in Management Reports

We love to hear from our users! The following two FIL reports are now available to answer unmet needs from our campus customers.  These two new reports (one for Projects and one for Activities) were created to bring back descriptions on journal lines from UShop and ePR.  These descriptions are not found in Management Reports.  Please keep your suggestions coming using our ASK US form. Selection Criteria for these reports include:

•  Begin and end on Journal Date

• Begin and end on Account Range

You need Management Report security to run these reports.  They are located in the JOURNAL DETAIL folder. They are titled:

• Journal Line Detail – Activity

• Journal Line Detail – Project

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Purchasing Training Now Available Online

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Purchasing department’s in-person trainings will be available online through Zoom until further notice. If you have any questions, please contact Purchasing.

Click on the links below to register:

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COVID-19 Supplier Notice

The COVID-19 Supplier Guidance document has been updated to alert and inform suppliers who may be working on campus or otherwise visiting any university properties.  The document details required precautions to follow to minimize the risk of the coronavirus and prevent its spread to our students, employees, patients, and other visitors.

Please provide a copy of the Supplier Notice to any and all vendors, contractors, consultants, and service providers who may be required to be on campus as part of their work.  Similar but separate documents are used by Facilities for their contractors and also by the University of Utah Hospital.  The COVID-19 Supplier Notice may be found on the Purchasing Department website, or by following this link.

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PPE and Sanitization Supplies for Departmental Use – Campus Departments and Campus Clinics

Purchasing, along with General Stores and Receiving, have been partnering to source scarce PPE and sanitizer items for departmental purchase.  Currently stocked are:

  • Hand Sanitizer – sizes 4 oz to 1 gal
  • Disinfecting wipes and sprays
  • Procedure masks
  • Face covering, reusable
  • Face shields
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Touchless thermometers
  • Other PPE related supplies

We anticipate that many of these items will continue to be in short supply with wildly varied pricing and will have vendor allocations this year.  Multiple buyers have worked tirelessly to obtain the best prices currently available. 

Prior to returning to campus, we recommend that you order soon or during July to allow for allocations or items temporarily out of stock.  

For orders placed with General Stores, please ensure someone is available to receive orders in your department or place the order for WILL CALL at General Stores. WILL CALL orders should be picked up within 5 days of order.  

Please contact General Stores directly if you would like to place an order.  Some items may not currently be available; however, we will actively source and fill orders as soon as possible.  If there are PPE items you would like to purchase that aren’t currently stocked, please call to discuss.

Departments are encouraged to initiate plans where possible to conserve PPE resources while maintaining student/faculty/staff safety.

General Stores Contact Information:

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