This work team initially began with a scope focused on reviewing PAR certifications. Because of system limitations, the scope of this work team was expanded to also include effort commitments and testing.
Recommendations have been submitted to the Implementation Team for current and future PAR and effort improvements. In an effort to include input from as many units as possible, a list of volunteers consisting of PAR super users has been compiled. This team of volunteers will be presented with the recommendations in early February and have an opportunity to provide feedback.
Work team members are Ken Dover (C&G), Christian Heindel (OSP), Cathy Cuppett (OSP), Celise Elder (UBAS), Vonnie Swain (UBAS), Glenda Owens (UBAS), Shea Ray (Designated Limited Signatory Authority (DLSA), CCRC), Jennifer Mathews (Dept Admin, Vet Med), Shannon Kennedy (Dept Admin, Plant Biology). This work teams will likely have revolving members, as this topic will be a phased topic.
This team has been tasked with reviewing the current process for notifications of all types to responsible parties. Deadline for recommendations is February 9. Work team is currently in the process of receiving feedback from staff and faculty in five different departments.
Work team members are Morgan Bennett (C&G), Cathy Cuppett (OSP), Debra Rucker (DLSA, CAES), Georgi Austin (Dept Admin, Crop & Soil Sciences), Jane Magrino (Dept Admin, CCRC), Jami Sealey (Dept Admin, SARE).
This team has been tasked with reviewing the current reporting processes for improvement, as well as planning for Uniform Guidance impact. Deadline for recommendations is February 9.
Work team members are Bruce Fitzgerald (C&G), Stephanie Tucker (OSP), MaryAnn Deom (OSP), Chris Burback (UBAS), Joy Emery (TCO), Angela Sparacello (OVPR), Debra Rucker (DLSA, CAES), Youyou Cheng (DLSA, Public Health), and Departmental Administrators to include Glory Griffin (Education), Denise Cartee (FACS), Jessica Hart (Pharmacy), Sarah Fraker (Terry College), Brooke Rooks (Grady College), Jarrod Buffington (Engineering), Amber Mallory (Forestry), and Gretchen Bowen (Plant Biology).
This team has been tasked with reviewing the sub-recipient process for improvements as well as planning for Uniform Guidance impact. Deadline for recommendations is March 16.
Work team members are Gail Chester (C&G), Jenna Jones (OSP), Andre Simmons (UBAS), Jennifer Adams (Dept Admin, CAES), Joni Callihan (Dept Admin, Marine Programs).
This team has been tasked with the creation of a white paper that outlines, reviews, and offers a determination regarding the state of Post-Award International Business processes. Additionally, this team will help to determine whether a business process improvement work team should be convened and the reason why. Tentative deadline for white paper is March 16.
Work team members are Chris Schwarzer (OIE), Amber Redfern (UBAS), Susan Caldwell (UBAS), Cynthia Baker (OSP).
Contracts and Grants is working on ways to obtain as much backup documentation from the various systems throughout UGA to minimize asking departments for backup.
The Residual Balance form has been revised with better instructions for the departments to complete. This revision should improve the amount of time it takes to get a Residual Balance transferred to a RX 950 account. Link to RBP form http://www.busfin.uga.edu/forms/residual_balance.pdf For complete announcement click here.
On May 15, 2015 it was announced that Contracts and Grants will discontinue sending the Quarterly Overdraft Report on Restricted Accounts to PIs.
If deemed necessary by the department and Contracts and Grants, invoicing may take place on restricted accounts in a pending state up to the original budget amount or until the original end date. For complete announcement click here.
Instead of sending paper copies of invoices and reports to the Departments, Contracts and Grants will now email copies.
Semiannually for the period ending February 28th and August 31st, Contracts and Grants will send the departments a status of how much Cost Share has been documented on committed cost share.
Federal regulations require that UGA monitor activities of subrecipients ensuring that the awards are used for authorized purposes. Historically, for subrecipients with no external audit report, UGA has required PI’s/Departmental Administrators to collect copies of receipts and timecards for all reimbursable expenses listed on invoices. Since PI’s/Departmental Administrators have first-hand knowledge of the scope of work, budget, and terms/conditions of the subaward agreement they can adequately assess the risk of non-compliance by reviewing invoiced expenses against the subaward agreement, evaluating the experience of the subrecipient, and reviewing the work accomplished. With this knowledge, the UGA department can check compliance by requesting copies of receipts or timecards if a charge on the invoice doesn’t seem appropriate for the project.
This change eliminates the need for the PI/Departmental Administrator to collect copies of all receipts and reconcile them with the invoiced charges. PI/Departmental Administrators are still required to obtain invoices from these subrecipients that include a signed certification as to the appropriateness of the charges such as: “I certify that all expenditures reported (or payments requested) are for appropriate purposes and in accordance with the agreements set forth in the award documents.”
Effective 04/1/2015 the Contracts & Grants Department has implemented this change to reduce the amount of time for payment processing and reduce administrative burden on PI’s/Departmental Administrators.
This work team was tasked with reviewing the No Cost Extension (NCE) form for improvements, specifically focusing on eliminating or altering sections that cause faculty and departmental administrators the most difficulty. The ‘Personnel and Compliances’ section has been a source of confusion for some time and the necessity of this section has come into question many times. Additionally, routing for signatures can be a burden when there are a number of Co-PIs because each Co-PI must sign the form to update the certifications.
A revised NCE form has been created that replaces the ‘Personnel and Compliances’ section with a simple effort reminder statement. This assists PIs and Co-PIs with monitoring their effort commitment and reduces confusion on effort during the NCE period. The PI and Co-PI certifications section has been simplified with a few statements on how to complete the certifications in the eResearch Portal. This eliminates the need for PI/Co-PIs to sign, scan, and email the form to OSP. This is especially helpful if there are multiple PI/Co-PI(s) on the project. The new NCE form is now available for use on the SPAS website ( ). Full functionality of the NCE request via the Portal is forthcoming.
Work team members are Ken Dover (C&G), Christian Heindel (OSP), Cathy Cuppett (OSP),
Celise Elder (UBAS), Vonnie Swain (UBAS), Glenda Owens (UBAS), Shea Ray (Designated
Limited Signatory Authority (DLSA), CCRC), Jennifer Mathews (Dept Admin, Vet Med),
Shannon Kennedy (Dept Admin, Plant Biology).
For complete announcement click here.
This work team was tasked with reviewing the Administrative Action Request Form (AARF) for improvements, specifically focusing on the possible elimination of Contracts & Grants (C&G) approval items. [Note: Foreign travel was removed from the AARF effective 10/1/14.]
The form has been streamlined by removing all C&G items formerly on the right side of the form. This allows users to receive pre-award and pending award approvals in a more timely manner. Additionally, the removal of C&G items reduces confusion for users regarding where to send the AARF for approval. The new AARF can be found on the Sponsored Programs website under Forms & Tools at http://research.uga.edu/osp/. The form is now only to be used for Pre-Awards and Pending Awards, and will be incorporated into the Portal. This new form will be used until a pre-award/pending request process will be implemented in the Portal (timeline goal: 3-6 months).
This is the first phase in simplifying prior approvals. A new team will be formed to develop a workflow or process for managing all prior approvals, such as those removed from the AARF (i.e., Equipment acquisition, rebudgeting) as well as items that were not previously covered by the AARF (i.e. PI transfers, carry-over requests, etc.) . This team will evaluate whether approval is needed, a method for obtaining approval, who needs to approve, etc.
Work team members are Jay McGarity (C&G), Jake Maas (OSP), Renita Anthony (DLSA,
Vet Med), Jane Magrino (Dept Admin, CCRC).
For complete announcement click here.
This work team was tasked with reviewing whether it is necessary for a Personnel Activity Report (PAR) to be used when moving fringe benefits off of a restricted account. University policy recognizes that the budget is only an estimate, and states that if an award provides reimbursement for less than, or for only a portion of, the actual staff benefit amount charged by the University, the benefitting college/department is responsible for providing funds to cover the difference. Because when a JV, rather than a PAR, is processed, fringe benefits costs are no longer specifically identified to a particular employee, the question was raised of how much, if any, weight this issue should hold.
A Journal Voucher (JV) will now be permitted to move staff benefits off of a restricted account. All dollar amount restrictions have been lifted. Fringe benefits can only be moved to a related unrestricted account (within the same function category, such as research to research (RR to GR) or public service to public service (RE to GE)) or restricted discretionary account (such as residual balance, IDC return (900), or other RX accounts). The use of a JV rather than a PAR streamlines the process of fringe benefits adjustments, thus reducing administrative burden for department administrators.
Work team members are Linda Davis (C&G), Holly Byrd (UBAS), Christy Holbert (UBAS), Sonja Halder (Dept Admin, Pharmacy). click here.
Federal agencies are allowed to waive certain cost-related and administrative prior approvals; these provisions are known as “expanded authorities”. One expanded authority involves “automatic carryover of unobligated balances”. Historically, UGA has opened sponsored accounts using yearly budget periods instead of the full period of performance under the awarded project. To access budget beyond the yearly amount for federal projects with automatic carryover, a process was established whereby an administrative action request form (AARF) was completed to provide budget beyond the yearly amount pending arrival of the next increment of funds. This is a cumbersome and labor intensive process.
Effective October 2014, the Office for Sponsored Programs and the Contracts & Grants Division have revised the process to facilitate continued spending for federal projects with automatic carryover. An AARF will no longer be required to access federally funded projects with automatic carryover beyond the yearly budget period while waiting for the next increment of funds to arrive. This eliminates the need for pending award requests to keep an account open while waiting for additional funds from the sponsor. For complete announcement click here.
Effective October 1, 2014, an Administrative Action Request Form (AARF) will no longer be required for justification of foreign travel on sponsored accounts when foreign travel is not included in the original budget. Travelers should include justification for the foreign travel on the travel authority (TA) in the “Detailed Justification” box. Contracts and Grants staff will review for inclusion of a justification as the TA electronically routes through that office. This change will eliminate unnecessary administrative steps and improve efficiency in processing foreign travel on sponsored accounts.
If you have any questions about this change please contact Jay McGarity in the Contracts and Grants Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706‐227‐5393. For complete announcement click here.
This project is aimed at tracking work hours to assist with the Affordable Care Act requirements.
To address data access and reporting needs with respect to financial, HR, and other administrative data, EITS and Finance & Administration have initiated a pilot project with the goal of meeting the faculty and staff’s vision of a data-driven environment that provides intuitive reporting capabilities. This reporting project is expected to provide users with drill-down functionality, the ability to easily run queries and have access to historical data for reporting purposes. In December 2014, EITS and Finance & Administration started a 120 day pilot with Simpler Systems, a provider of data warehouse and reporting tools. This pilot will involve groups of functional users in schools/colleges/units and focus on the financial data and reporting needs of Principal Investigators and the administrative staff members who support them. Developing reports and functionality to meet their specific needs will be primary to the success of this pilot and such results are expected to translate well to data access and reporting needs beyond sponsored projects. Assuming pilot success, the scope will be expanded to include other administrative data types and sources, campus partners and data consumers. In addition, the solution may have the ability to serve data and reporting needs in conjunction with an eventual enterprise-wide finance and human resource administrative system. BSAG has also recommended that in the course of the pilot project, two related projects be conducted to address the need to access information on “all sides” of the transaction:
Make support documentation readily available for Intra-University direct charges that originate from pre-approved units (CRS, EITS, etc.)
Provide access to more than four years of data (specifically budget and payroll data).
Create an online catalog of tables and number of years data available.
This project aims at creating status visibility for non-electronic approval processes (e.g. subcontract payments, paper Personnel Activity Reports (PARS), salary action forms, salary supplements, and other paper based processes). Users desire the ability to see where transactions reside in the approval process. A workgroup is currently exploring a solution to convert the subcontract payment process from paper to electronic. Other workgroups are addressing other process solutions.
An additional workgroup has been created to review electronic workflow/approval systems. Echosign and Docusign are being evaluated to see if institutional application is possible.
This committee will search for solutions to the issues that have arisen when the grant funding ends for an employee causing an onboarding instance.
Meetings between Payroll and Human Resources will evaluate the possibility of withholding and deposit information being submitted through the Onboarding system.
The Bursar’s Office provides detailed information on their website related to Fundriver and spending budgets. One on one training is also available to those interested. Contact Judy Scott at email@example.com with any questions.
Data is no longer purged in the Accounting query tables and the system holds more than 2 years of data. A data retention schedule was created and posted at http://www.busfin.uga.edu/forms/Query_table_retention.pdf as part of the Frequently Used Sites and Online Systems webpage. For the complete announcement, click here.
The Kronos system has been upgraded from version 6.3 to version 8.0 and will provide additional features and benefits to users. For the complete announcement, click here.
The eCheck/eTravel system has been changed to allow users unlimited viewing rights for electronic check requests and travel authorities. Users performing searches should use the appropriate travel authorization number or check request number, click here.
The Department of Administrative Services for the State of Georgia manages the state’s corporate travel card contract. The current contract is with American Express and is an individual liability card program, which means the travel credit card is in the cardholder’s name and the cardholder is responsible for charges and payments to the card similar to a personal credit card. This program does not provide any benefit to the University, such as having the credit card charges billed directly to the University. After conversations with several units on campus, as well as the BSAG group, we have been exploring other options with Global Escapes. For the complete announcement, click here.
When you create an eCheck request for out-of-state travel, you have to put in the travel authority (TA) number. At one time, after the TA number was put in, the system would populate the payee name and address. A "Retrieve Traveler Info" button has been created that will now display on out-of-state travel reimbursement requests. For the complete announcement, click here.
The University Related Entertainment form has been added to the eCheck Request System. It will be located in the Supporting Documents section under the Additional PDF forms not retained online option. The signature line has been removed for easier uploading to the eCheck request system. For complete announcement click here.
The Property Control Committee has created a listserv that allows departments to post surplus equipment and supplies that are no longer needed in an effort to reach other University departments. This listserv is private, but access can be requested by contacting Craig Mathews at firstname.lastname@example.org. For complete announcement click here.
This project aims at having the support documentation readily available to the department end user when posting Intra-University charges. For complete announcement click here.
Effective October 1, 2015, UGA faculty and staff completing the UGA online travel authority form for International travelers will be directed to an online travel registration site maintained by the Office of International Education, and asked to log in using their MyID. Once logged in, they will be asked to provide their international itinerary and answer a few short questions about their international travel. For complete announcement click here.
The new electronic journal voucher (eJV) system is now available for processing of standard journal vouchers. This system replaces the current paper forms used to submit non-personal service journal vouchers to the Accounting Department. For complete announcement click here.
RUSS is an online workflow application that supports off-campus equipment requests and approvals and is being used by UGA departments. To have your department set up to use RUSS, please contact the Property Control Office at email@example.com or 706-542-4390. For complete announcement click here.
Departments are assigned annual inventory deadlines at different dates throughout the year. Annual inventory dates can be changed if they present challenges for your department. For complete announcement click here.
Users will now be notified when submitting an electronic personnel document via WebDFS. For complete announcement click here.
The Accounts Payable department released a new Non-Employee form that should be utilized when requesting payments for services rendered by non-employees or reimbursing expenses to non-employees. The link for the New Non-Employee Payment Form is http://www.busfin.uga.edu/forms/non_emp_payment.pdf. For complete announcement click here.
The University has established contracts with two moving service providers, Armstrong Relocation and Graebel Moving Services. Beginning September 1st, relocation payments to third party vendors and related employee reimbursements can be submitted utilizing UGAMart. A relocation workshop will be offered on Thursday, August 27th from 10:00am until 12:00pm at Masters Hall in the Georgia Center. For complete announcement click here.
The approval line was removed from the Travel Expense Statement on July 1, 2015. Travelers will still need to sign the form. For complete announcement click here.
Cardholders now have the option to continue using a manual transaction log or create an acceptable transaction log from two reports within the WORKS system. For complete announcement click here.
A direct billing option with Groome Transportation for shuttle service to and from the Atlanta airport has been established. For complete announcement click here.
Individuals who think wide-spread administrator training is necessary regarding general administrative duties (e.g. NDAH policy, how to do a budget, etc.) should contact Meg Amstutz, Associate Provost for Academic Programs. Alternatively, individuals may contact Will Richardson, Assistant to the Provost, to request topics be included on the agenda to present information to the Provost's Advisory Council. The Provost's Advisory Council meets on a quarterly basis and includes all of the Vice Presidents and Deans who report to the Provost. Also, individuals may contact Will Richardson to be included on the agenda to present information to the Vice President's meeting, which includes all of the Vice Presidents who report to the Provost and meets on the first Monday of every month. Finally, applicable central office staff are available to make presentations/hold Q&A on topics as identified and requested by individual departments or units. Deans, department heads and school/college/unit fiscal officers should contact central offices/administrative units directly to coordinate and schedule topic-specific sessions.
The committee assigned this topic created a visual summary of options available to departments who need to purchase technology (upgrades) for classrooms. UBAS and other F&A units will look for appropriate opportunities to ensure good communications across units. For Funding for Classroom Equipment summary click here.
This group identified the life cycle of a telephone work order in an announcement to the BSAG group. This announcement includes an estimate of the time it takes to complete each step. For complete BSAG announcement click here.
The group assigned this topic discovered that on November 10,2014 a memo was sent to all Deans from the Provost’s office to address this topic. For Provost’s announcement click here.
At the end of the working day on Friday, May 22, 2015, EITS increased the eCheck file size for attachments to 1MB. The file size was previously 512KB. For complete announcement click here.
To address the use of SSNs on background consent forms and the fact that sensitive personally identifiable information exists on other UGA documents, this group prepared Best Practices Guidelines for Handling Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information. The Best Practices Guidelines will be included in the EITS policy manual.
Work team members are Amanda Patterson, Crystal Rogers, Lynn Burt, Leigh Knapp. For complete announcement click here.
New procedures for processing salary supplements were announced on 4/1/2015. For complete announcement click here
Recommendations to include electronic computations in addition to pen/paper calculations have been added to the Web DFS training sessions.
The Budget Development timeframes are condensed. UGA begins budget development as soon as information is available but the turnaround deadlines to the USG Office are firm. The Budget Office staff will host a Budget Development Workshop on February 11, 2015, from 2-3 p.m. in room Q at the Georgia Center. This will be an open forum for the exchange of ideas, best practices and suggestions about improving the budget development process.
This project will allow unit level administrators to assess the F&A web-based leave request system to determine functionality in their departments.. Brandon Silvers held a Demo on the F&A web-based leave request system on 3/4/2015.
Kronos is a vendor provided solution and provides customers with updates using the most current Java version. Since the updates are provided directly from the vendor and UGA does not have access to the underlying code, UGA cannot adjust what is delivered by the vendor. Because many UGA departments have other applications which use older versions of Java, updating Java may assist with Kronos issues but will create new problems please reach out to Julie Camp or Christy Coddington. Together with your departmental IT people they will work with you to find a solution. These discussions are not unusual and Payroll has already worked with several areas to find solutions and alternatives.
In an effort to reduce administrative burden and streamline the carry forward process, departments will no longer be required to complete a carry forward request form for their departmental sales and service (DSS), indirect cost return (IDC), and continuing education accounts. This change will also eliminate the higher-level approval process for carry forward funds. Requests for the carry forward of funds in student technology fee (STF) accounts will still need to be completed and submitted to the Accounting Department by June 15, 2015. For complete announcement click here.
The Payroll Cost Report provides this information and is available to units electronically. For more information refer to the 1/21/15 announcement distributed to the MYTIME and Business Serv-L listservs.
This project is aimed at removing the approval requirements at senior administration levels and removing the need to maintain a centralized tracking system. Instead, processes would be modified to allow departments to manage and maintain justifications for device purchase (similar to other purchasing), inventories of devices, and use records for devices. For complete announcement click here.
This project is designed to allow units to hire employees within existing rules (base salary + 15%) but also allow the unit to move the employees upward to base + 15% without the need for additional approval. This same authority would also apply to positions with an entry maximum that exceeds base + 15%, allowing movement up to the entry maximum figure. For complete announcement click here.
University of Georgia sales tax exemption certificates are now available online at http://www.busfin.uga.edu/forms/salestax.pdf. Departments no longer need to request a certificate from firstname.lastname@example.org or from Procurement. This change provides campus with immediate access to a document commonly needed for purchases.
The sales tax exemption certificate is only applicable for goods delivered to or provided in the state of Georgia. The policy is located in the Finance and Administration Policy Library by clicking here. If you have questions about providing a sales tax exemption certificate to an external party, please email email@example.com for assistance. For complete announcement click here.
The Accounts Payable Department has identified a business process change for processing payments on Memberships and Dues. The requirement to provide a letter of justification approved by the cognizant Department Head/Director and the cognizant Dean or Vice President with the check request being submitted for payment has been removed. Justification detailing the necessity of the membership will only need to be included in the description/comments field of the check request being submitted. For complete announcement click here.
It will no longer be necessary to submit the Direct Billing Authorization Form to Accounts Payable prior to having travel expenditures direct billed to UGA. The revised Group Travel policy can be viewed by clicking here. For complete announcement click here.
The University’s travel policy was recently modified to provide more flexibility for certain types of travel expenses. While travelers should continue to seek the least expensive rates available considering proximity and personal safety, they will no longer be required to provide justification when lodging expenses exceed the federal per diem rate by more than twenty-five percent. Additionally, should out-of-state travel expenses exceed the amount approved on the Request for Authority to Travel, the traveler will no longer be required to provide a statement of explanation. The revised policy is available in the Finance and Administration Policy Library. For complete announcement click here.
The UGA Procurement Office is embarking on a new initiative to effectively communicate the management of UGAmart purchase requests. On a weekly basis, a report providing the status of purchase requests that have been in Procurement for 14 days or more will be distributed via email to the unit business leaders. The status on the 14 day report will also be communicated to the shopper, requisitioner, and approver through UGAmart comments. This report is expected to provide proactive and consistent updates to the end users, maximize the escalation path within the Procurement department to assist in moving the purchase forward, and increase interactions with vendors, other stakeholders and governing agencies.
This project will evaluate the process by which “leave earned” and “leave taken” is calculated. Controls to maintain accuracy within E-Leave will also be reviewed.
This includes streamlining the Kronos supervisor setup to be an electronic process instead of a manual form and identifying more efficient ways to manage changes to data after payroll submission.
This workgroup will be reviewing current processes to identify improvements in the travel authority (TA) and reimbursement process including international travel review.
This project is designed to identify ways this process can be handled electronically rather than manually.