Richard H. CateA Publication of the Division of Finance

December 2017

A Message from Vice President Cate

One would wish that we did not have to discuss budget reductions during the holiday season, but our budget calendar seems to bring us to this place almost every year. As you know, our current projections indicate that net undergraduate tuition for the current fiscal year will be $1.8 million under budget. This was not due to a lack of students but because the students who enrolled had a higher level of combined financial aid need than that predicted by the model. Although this puts stress on our budget, it is worth noting that, in the each of the two preceding years, the pendulum swung in the opposite direction and net tuition revenue was above budget. Our good fortune in those two years prevented us from having to make deeper cuts this year and next. The Provost’s Budget Group is currently meeting with the individual vice presidents to discuss how their units will be dealing with their share of the 1% budget reduction. The meetings with the deans will occur in March and, because of the way the IBB algorithms work, the impact of the reduced revenue will have varying impact on the academic units.

Alberto, Claire, and I are working on multi-year financial projections using our newly acquired Strategic Financial Planning (SFP) model. One key input to these projections is obviously enrollment and we are working closely with the Vice President for Enrollment Management and her team to ensure that we are using the best data available. That said, enrollment and financial aid by no means comprise an exact science. All that we can do is input into the model estimates informed by the most current data at hand, and then continually update it as new information becomes available. Nevertheless, our new SFP model is a huge improvement over the mechanisms that we previously used and I am confident that it will significantly enhance our ability to make sound financial decisions.

I wish you all a joyous and peaceful holiday season, and I hope that you make good use of our upcoming holiday break to focus on family and friends rather than finance.

I will see you next year!

Richard H. Cate, VP for Finance

 

Projects & Initiatives

  • IBB 2.0: As stated in Provost Rosowsky’s memo to all faculty and staff last month, the IBB Steering Committee is seeking nominations to fill vacant spots on the Committee and is soliciting input for improving the budget model for IBB 2.0. Individuals may submit input via a survey available on the Provost’s IBB website.
  • A PeopleSoft Finance upgrade from version 9.1 to version 9.2 will occur in April 2018. The most noticeable changes for end-users will be in the eProcurement and Travel & Expense modules. Look for more updates in February and March, including information sessions, trainings, open labs, and edu@uvm sessions. PeopleSoft HR has already made the 9.2 upgrade.

Updates & Announcements

  • The Cash Deposit Transmittal Form and Customer Cash Deposit Transmittal Form have been updated with important information on record retention guidelines and the University Operating Procedure for Securing and Handling Cash Deposits. The forms also include a signature line for the person preparing and submitting the form. Please update any saved links or files with the new versions of the forms. If your department uses its own form, please update it with the new language and send to General Accounting to approve language.
    • Please note: The Cashier’s Office does not make or keep copies of checks received. Each department is responsible for keeping/copying their checks. It is not required to copy the backs of checks. It is recommended that copies are kept in a secure location, such as a secure shared folder that your IT support person sets up. The Records Retention Policy will be updated to reflect this procedure.
  • Hotel Name Changes: The Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center is now the DoubleTree Hilton. Trader Duke’s is now Trader Duke’s Hotel by Marriott. Negotiated prices for 2018 will increase by a few dollars depending on the season. Purchasing Services is working through how to amend already signed contracts in effect for 2018. More information to follow.

Reminders

  • If you have not submitted your 2017 Private Business Use Questionnaire or completed your PBU training, please do so before the winter break. Contact Michelle Dudley or Cindy Lee.
  • The Travel Policy and the Business Meal, Hospitality and Amenity Policy are scheduled for review this year. If you have suggestions for the Disbursement Center to consider in their review process, please contact Erin Fitzgerald or Tiffany Barker Cook.
  • Please route all invoices to the Disbursement Center, especially if your department received an invoice and the Disbursement Center did not.

Year-end and Winter Break reminders

  • IRS 1099 Misc. reporting requirements:
    • Turn in any Payment Acknowledgement Forms to the Disbursement Center before the end of the calendar year
    • Replenish or close out participant petty cash funds before winter break, or by January at latest
  • Check the Payroll Schedule for important payroll dates and deadlines
    • Bi-weekly and semi-monthly employees can pick up checks on December 21 but may not cash or deposit checks until the next payday
    • Bi-weekly payday: December 22 
    • Semi-monthly payday: December 30 
  • Each year about 500 W2s get lost in the USPS mail. A more efficient and secure solution is for employees to elect to receive W2s electronically through PeopleSoft.
    • For those who still receive paper W2s, please review and update your Home Address on file in PeopleSoft to ensure W2s are sent to your correct address.
  • Gifts/gift cards are often given at the end of the year, and are considered as taxable items. Please notify Payroll Services by December 15 of any in order to be in time for the last payrolls of the year which start running on December 15.

News from Across the Campus

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Year-end Payroll dates and deadlines
  • 12/21 - Payment Acknowledgement Forms due to Disbursement Center
  • 12/21 - Replenish or close out participant petty cash funds
  • 1/12 – Use of Fund 108 requests due to Provost's Office
  • 1/19 – Q2 GF & Gift/Endowment certifications due
  • 2/1-4 – Board of Trustees meeting
  • 2/13 – Snapshot for UA faculty salary increases available
  • 2/21 – BFAN meeting, Memorial Lounge, 1:00pm
  • 3/13 – Responsibility Center annual budget meetings begin. Forms due 7 days prior to meeting.
  • 3/15 – ePAR & salary distributions due for March 30 so they appear in March 30 payroll and are part of Axiom pull on March 30
  • 3/30 – Axiom load: HR/Finance data extracted and placed in Axiom
  • 3/30 –  I/E targets & guidelines to units

Finance Policy & Procedure Updates

Under final review

  • Accepting Payment Cards & eCommerce Payments
  • Disposal of Surplus Property
  • Employee vs. Independent Contractor
  • Payments to Foreign Nationals & Entities (formerly Payments to Non-resident Aliens)
  • Cash Receipts, Securing & Depositing of UOP

Anticipated for spring UBA review & campus comment period

  • Business Meal, Hospitality & Amenity
  • Travel
  • Movable Equipment

See all University policies

FY18 BFAN Schedule

All meetings are held in Memorial Lounge, Waterman 338, at 1:00 p.m. and run 1-2 hours

Wednesday, February 21
Thursday, March 29

Finance-related Professional Development Opportunities

December
18 Advanced Travel

January
10 ERS Commitment Effort Software
29 PeopleSoft Basics
30 Chart of Accounts
31 How Do I Make This Purchase

February
12 PeopleSoft Financial Reporting
13 What is Accounts Receivable
21 Axiom Financial Reports
26 Advanced Travel

March
1 ERS Commitment Effort Software
7 Space & Movable Equipment Inventory
21 Space & Movable Equipment Inventory
26 Fun with Purchasing Contracts: Getting it Right & Getting it Done!

DF Staffing News

Farewell to ABSC Business Support Generalist Mia Watson, who has accepted a position at Vermont Housing Finance Agency.

DF Employment Opportunities as of 12/12/17