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A publication of the Division of Finance & Facilities

February 2020

A Message from Vice President Cate

Budget Update

As is the case every year, this is the time when we are well engaged in developing the coming year’s budget. As you know, tuition is not going to be increased in FY21, so we are working with all units to determine how best to meet the need for resources to pay for projected expense increases, primarily wages and benefits. This will be accomplished by increasing revenues, reducing some university-wide costs, and implementing strategic reductions in unit budgets. Although tuition is not increasing, current plans call for growing graduate, non-degree, and summer revenue by increasing enrollment. The Provost has worked with each of the deans to identify strategies for accomplishing this goal. We are also projecting modest revenue growth from interest generated from our cash investments and from our F&A cost recovery.

The FAB team and I, as is always the case, have been making every effort to identify opportunities to reduce General University expenses that are not the responsibility of any particular unit. One example of this is the savings that we have accrued from refinancing a portion of the University’s debt. The administrative budgets are undergoing their most rigorous review than any time in the past decade. These units were asked to submit their budgets disaggregated based on the key activities in which they are engaged. The Budget Director and I are now in the midst of meeting with each of the Vice Presidents and their teams to discuss their budgets in detail. Once the revenue projections and General University expenses are refined a bit more, and I have consulted with the President, we will be able to determine the degree to which administrative budgets will need to be strategically reduced. This will then enable us to provide the academic units (responsibility centers) with the assumptions upon which they can build their budgets.

Even though all of this work must occur now in preparation for the May Board of Trustees meeting, one of the most important components of our revenue budget, undergraduate net tuition, will not actually be all that certain until the May 1st deposit deadline. Thus, like any budget, ours is a living document that may have to be adjusted if the reality of the deposits varies too much from our current projection. It is worth noting that, we do not really have certainty until add-drop next September, but that is simply the budgeting world in which we operate. Fortunately, past experience does help to inform our projections and we are confident that we can bring a sound budget to the Board in May.

My thanks to all of you for assisting us with this important work.

Richard, Vice President for Finance and Treasurer

 

Updates & Announcements

Contract management software

Purchasing Services, Enterprise Technology Services, and, the Office of the General Counsel are reviewing proposals for a new IT contract management software. This software will replace entering purchasing contracts for review in the Footprints system. Vendor demonstrations will be scheduled with these three departments first, and then followed up with a broader campus audience. We plan to share more information by late spring.

Campuswide Contracts

There are a number of significant contracts that will be going out for formal requests for proposals (RFP) process this spring and summer.

  • Computers, current, and renewals, with Dell and Apple
  • Copiers, currently with Symquest
  • Charter buses, currently with First Student, Mountain Transit, and Premier
  • Scientific lab supplies, currently with Fisher Scientific

Business meal policy

The Disbursement Center is looking for your input on whether the University’s Business Meal, Hospitality, and Amenity Policy (PDF) should include a cap on business meal reimbursement. Thank you.

Reminders

Employee vs. Independent Contractor process

Please review the following important guidelines when submitting an employee vs. Independent contractor form:

  • Do not alter the form or attach an addendum
  • Answer questions truthfully
  • The determination process must be completed/approved prior to the service being performed. Otherwise, employees risk running into labor law issues.
  • Be sure to enter the individual service provider's name first and then their DBA (if applicable)
  • As a rule, speakers hired for 3 or more calendar days per year are considered employees. Please contact taxadmin if you have extenuating circumstances in this regard.
  • Please note that the form now includes options for freelance writers, photographers and referees
  • Use only your @uvm.edu account when submitting the electronic form to ensure that you receive the final determination
  • Contact taxadmin if you have any bulk determinations (over 10) to help streamline the process

The Tax Office is more than happy to assist you with any questions or concerns

Out-of-state employees

Payroll & Tax Services and Risk Management & Safety remind hiring manager to please consider the tax and risk implications when hiring employees who live out of state. There is a new electronic form being developed now which will alleviate some of these issues. Stay tuned for more information.

Professional Development Funds

When distributing professional development funds please make it clear (on the award document, etc.) that whatever is procured with these funds is the property of the University, not of the individual employee. Actual monetary "gifts" are reflected in the individual's paycheck and taxed appropriately. Purchases made with all funds, regardless of source, and including professional development funds, must comply with University policy. For this reason, purchases using University tools and resources are Vermont sales tax exempt. 

Payment acknowledgement forms

It is imperative that payment acknowledgement forms are processed as timely as possible. The Disbursement Center received 1,800 payment acknowledgement forms on 12/2/19, some of which were signed as early as 10/2/19. This required creating 400 new vendors who needed to receive 1099 Misc. forms, and six Disbursement Center employees working overtime during the holiday break. Thank you in advance for working with us on this process. Contact the Disbursement Center if you have questions. 

Traveling abroad

Please be aware that paying individuals as workers in a foreign country may put the University at risk if perceived to be creating a presence in that country, and require UVM to adhere to that country's tax laws. Work with the Tax office to review employment needs in a foreign country. The Disbursement Center may request a copy of the budget when they receive large cash advance requests for international travel.

Learn how to sign up for direct deposit travel expense reimbursement (PDF) today! 

Car rentals

Please remember to use the University's contracted pricing agreements (PDF) with either Hertz, Avis, or Enterprise. This ensures you are receiving the lowest pricing, which includes insurance. Reimbursements for higher priced rentals are not allowed. A UVM employee will be reimbursed for the contracted rate in locations where the contracts are available. Contact Purchasing Services.

W-2s

We strongly encourage employees to sign up to receive their W2s electronically through PeopleSoft. Each year hundreds of W2s are lost via USPS and not returned to UVM. To ensure the safety of your private information please consent to receive your W2 electronically. Thank you.

Disbursement Center address

To avoid potential loss of mail, or delays in processing, please address mail to the Disburement Center's (no longer Procurement Services) current address, 23 Mansfield Avenue. Thank you.

From Campus Partners

An overview of the campuswide information technology strategic plan (PDF), including governance structure, guiding principles, decision-making guidance, and collaboration is available online.

 

Finance Policy & Procedure Updates

Recently approved

Anticipated for review Spring 2020

  • Awards, Prizes, and Winnings UOP
  • Effort Management & Reporting on Sponsored Agreements
  • Travel

Finance-related Professional Development Opportunities

  • Upcoming classes (register through PeopleSoft HR)
    • Advanced Travel - 3/19
    • How Do I Make this Purchase - 3/24
    • PurCard: Reallocation Process - 4/1
    • PeopleSoft Financial Reporting - Part 2 - 4/2
    • Space & Movable Equipment Inventory - 4/6, 4/8, 4/14, 4/29
    • PeopleSoft Basics - 4/15
    • Axiom: Annual Budgeting & Salary Planning Refresher 4/16, 5/1
    • Researching Payables & Invoices - 5/4
    • Axiom: Single-Year Budgeting Open Lab 5/7, 5/12
  • UFS Roadshow (PDF) - by request

FY20 BFAN Meeting Schedule

All meetings are held in Memorial Lounge, Waterman 338. Meetings run from 1 - 1.5 hours depending on the agenda.

  • 10/9/19 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Canceled: 11/20/19
  • 2/5/20 at 1:00 p.m.
  • 3/25/20 at 1:00 p.m.

DF Staffing News

Welcome! to:

  • Peter Blackmer, Finance & Facilities Administrative Manager

DF Employment Opportunities as of 2/20/20