Wednesday, December 28, 2016

CSE Financial Practices -- Matches

The sixth CSE Financial Practices document can be found at the link below:

CSE Financial Practices:  Matches

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

CSE Financial Practices -- Setups

The fifth CSE Financial Practices document can be found at the link below:

CSE Financial Practices:  Setups

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

RRC Notes -- 12/14/16

I haven't written an "RRC Notes" post in quite awhile, as I have instead separately communicated relevant issues arising at the monthly RRC meetings.  There were multiple issues at this morning's meeting that I want to share though, so, to dust off an old format...DJP

RRC Notes -- 12/14/16

Balance review:  The Budget Office will initiate a carry-forward balance review this week or next.  The process will be much like the last time they did this a few years ago.  We will be asked to assign our carry-forward balances to one of a several categories that they will provide us.  We will report to central only at the college level, but your units roll up to the college, so you will all receive spreadsheets with your data to return to the Dean's Office to be compiled into our college submission.  The turn around will be tight.  Central needs it back in January to present at a February Board of Regents meeting.

FY18 Budget Instructions:  The Budget Office will send budget instructions to the academic units in mid-January (targeting Jan. 13).  The instructions will provide the framework for our internal budget process, so you can expect information on FY18 budget planning from the Dean's Office soon after that.

Targeted Group Purchasing:  The University has made great progress on increasing its spending with minority and women-owned businesses.  In addition to including flags in UMarket to indicate these businesses, the University is working in other ways to make further improvements.  I will invite someone from central to one of our administrators meetings to talk about what central is doing in this area and how we can be helpful.

UTravel project:  At long last, the University is kicking off the major initiative to improve University travel processes from booking through reimbursement.  This will include a new corporate-liability travel card and improved systems to streamline the administrative processes.  The target implementation date is next fall 2017.  I am to be on the soon-to-be-formed advisory group overseeing the effort, and I hope CSE will be well-represented on the work groups that will form to work through the policy and implementation details.

Controller's organization:  Disbursement Services is being eliminated as a stand-alone unit, and its functions are being split between Accounting Services and Purchasing Services.  This is part of an administrative cost reduction effort.

Friday, December 9, 2016

CSE Financial Practices -- Department ICR Return

The fourth CSE Financial Practices document can be found at the link below:

CSE Financial Practices:  Department ICR Return

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

CSE Financial Practices -- Commitments

The third CSE Financial Practices document can be found at the link below:

CSE Financial Practices:  Commitments

Friday, December 2, 2016

CSE Financial Practices -- TA Allocations

The second CSE Financial Practices document can be found at the link below:

CSE Financial Practices:  TA Allocations

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

CSE Financial Practices -- O&M Allocations

As we wait for the college finance website to be updated, I will start posting one-page (typically) documents detailing specific financial practices in CSE.  Once the website is updated, these all will be posted to a section there.  There ultimately will be about 20 of them.  Some are complete, others in process.  Here is the first:

CSE Financial Practices:  O&M Allocations

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Course Fee practices in CSE

As discussed at the November 2016 administrators meeting, the Dean's Office and a group of CSE administrators worked this fall on creating guidelines for course fee financial administration in CSE.  The Budget Office document linked below describes the pertinent details.

The details under "Accounting" (bottom of page 3) are described as recommended best practices, but in CSE this is the required approach.  During the annual spring fee request process, the Dean's Office will review fee requests expecting these guidelines to be followed.

To highlight some key points:

CSE follows the course fee guidance issued by central in the document titled:  Course Fee Guidelines.  Departments are expected to follow the practices detailed under "Accounting," including:

*  Each course that has a fee has a unique chartstring for each fee.

*  All fee income and corresponding allowable expenses associated with a fee are posted to that fee's unique chartstring.  (Transactions may be split across multiple chartstrings, so charges are reflected on appropriate chartstrings.)

*  Balances do not build up in course fee chartstrings.  (See Regents fee policy:  "Course fee rates shall be set to recover but not exceed actual costs.")

During the annual fee review and approval process, the Dean's Office will review course fee accounts for compliance with these guidelines and may request data from the previous three years.

Please let me know if you are administering course fees in a manner inconsistent with this approach, and you find that transition to this method will present problems.  DJP

Friday, September 30, 2016

Physical Inventory

Please see the message below from the Controller's Office regarding the upcoming physical inventory of assets.  DJP

During the past 2 years, the Controller’s Office has been reviewing processes to reduce operational costs.  As a result, we have contracted with HCA Asset Management to conduct the physical inventory of Capital Equipment. 
Federal regulations require the University to inventory all equipment assets within a 2 year period.  Since fiscal year 2017 is the initial year for HCA to conduct the audit, they will be completing a full 2 year cycle during fiscal year 2017.  The inventory process will start on October 3, 2016 with an estimated completion date of December 31, 2016.

The Controller’s Office is currently working with HCA on a schedule of locations.  Once the schedule is finalized, departmental contacts will be notified of the dates they can expect HCA to be in your area.
While the first year of any new process always has little bumps and hiccups, our expectation is that departments will not see any additional burden from this process and will hopefully see a quicker inventory process in their area. 

Kurt Kleppe, Inventory Liaison, will be working with HCA and academic departments to ensure the inventory is efficient and will be available to provide assistance to both HCA and University departments.

If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, either before or during the inventory process, please contact Kurt Kleppe <>, Scott Eggert <> or Sherrie Kutzler<>

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cross-fund transfer policy

In collaboration with FinMAC, central created a cross-fund transfer matrix to provide guidance and approval standards for cross-fund resource transfers.  Central's message is below, including a link to two documents, one matrix tailored to the needs of JE preparers and one tailored to approvers.  

The matrix contains a lot of information, but it is not difficult to use.  Across the top, go to the fund you are transferring From, then on the left find the fund you are transferring To, and find the box where they intersect for guidance.

Central provides some flexibility to colleges regarding required approvals.  In every box that the matrix says "May require CFM [Chief Financial Manager] or designee approval," CFM approval is required in CSE, and that approval should be uploaded as documentation to support the transaction.  This only applies to resource transfers, not expense transfers.  Also, note the general guidance below that discourages such transactions.  DJP


Controller's Office
A cross fund transfers matrix has been developed to formalize best practices and provide guidance to journal preparers and approvers.

  • It is best to avoid inter-fund transfers on current funds as they make fund-specific management reporting very difficult. 
  • When there is a need to transfer, please check the grid for more information and specific guidelines. 
  • Check with your RRC Contact on their cross fund transfer policy, as they may have more strict guidelines than what is shown on the grid.

The matrix was developed by a committee comprised of FinMAC members, Accounting Services, and the Budget OfficeThe final product, as recommended by FinMAC and approved by the General Ledger business process owners, is available on the Controller's Office website (  under Policy & Processes > Business Processes > General Ledger (Accounting) > When may I make a cross Fund transfer?

Or follow this direct link to the cross fund transfers matrix:

Note that there is a section of the document for preparers and a section for approvers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Flux analysis

Sherrie Kutzler presented at today's RRC meeting about Flux Analysis.  If you've received requests from Accounting Services to explain variances and have ever wondered about the reasons for those requests, the attached brief presentation will shed some light.  DJP

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Summer TA rates and Grad Assistant raise implementation dates

These bullets were included in your summer TA memos and in an administrative email (4/12/2016).  Posting them here, too:

  • Assisting Teaching Assistants (TAs) are paid at the same hourly rate as during the preceding academic year, and their workload over the entire summer for all graduate assistant effort is reflective of the hours for which they are compensated. You should use job code 9571 for the TA duties, and the rate must fall within the minimum and maximum rates for that job code. 

  • Teaching TAs must be compensated at a rate higher than an assisting TA. Departments may establish appropriate rates for teaching TAs, but the rate may not exceed the amount that would be paid to a regular or non-regular faculty instructor for the same work. 

  • Annual raises for all graduate assistants in the College of Science and Engineering are effective at the beginning of each new academic year.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Graduate Assistant appointments in CSE

When creating an appointment, the employing department initiates and owns the appointment.  For graduate assistant appointments shared between units, separate appointments should be created if there are different supervisors, job codes, or pay rates.  When all characteristics of an appointment are the same but the funding sources cross units, the graduate assistant's supervisor's home department initiates and owns the appointment, and the pay is divided by split distributions, unless all units funding the appointment agree that another arrangement is more appropriate.  All subsequent changes to the appointment, including distribution changes, must route through the department that owns the appointment.