Fiscal Support and Connections Network (FSCN) Meeting Notes

Posted: June 24, 2019 at 3:54 am, Last Updated: August 5, 2019 at 11:11 am

IMPORTANT: Our Meeting location has moved!! Please join us in the following locations for our monthly meetings: 

Fairfax Campus: Merten Hall, 1201 (unless otherwise noted)
**August 27 meeting will be in Research Hall, Room 163**
SciTech Campus: K. Johnson Hall, 254
Arlington Campus: Van Metre, B119

June 2019

  • FSCN purpose, mission, and vision – we will review the responses to the Survey and will report out the results during the August 2019 meeting
  • Please remind faculty and staff in your areas that travel reimbursements submitted more than 60 after the completion of the trip are subject to tax per IRS regulations. Fiscal Services has notified individuals who have been assessed tax.
  • WE NEED YOU! Please volunteer to reach out to one of the recharge units (Facilities, Transportation, etc.) to see if they can add invoices to a shared drive for everyone to use as part of reconciliation. Email jadams15@gmu.edu to volunteer and if you have preferred recharge unit. We will help coordinate this group and format responses as needed.
  • There will be an open comment period on the delegated purchasing authority, an increase from $2,000 to a $5,000 transaction limit, in July (TBD). We will notify the group when additional information is available.
  • Vendor Invoice discussion – All Vendors, including Consultants, Visiting Scholars, Performers, etc. must submit an invoice on company/individual letterhead.
    • Departments should never create invoices for vendors. This practice contributes to the potential for fraud.
    • If your department is providing a service to another entity, it is permissible for your department to create an invoice as a way to record any subsequent exchange.
    • Basic Invoice guidelines can be found on the fiscal service’s website: https://fiscal.gmu.edu/knowledge-base/invoice-overview/
    • If a vendor wishes to have a payment submitted to a different address then what is currently on file, they must submit an updated Substitute W-9. However, we strongly encourage vendors to be paid electronically; more information can be found here: https://fiscal.gmu.edu/electronic-disbursements/.
  • Website updates – please review the following, and provide feedback, thoughts, or suggestions on this and future edits to fscomm@gmu.edu.
  • Request for adding additional information the Fiscal Year deadline memo. Please e-mail fscomm@gmu.edu with your suggestions on what to include.
  • We will follow-up on the possibility of creating a “common incoming payments” list. General Accounting has agreed to help start this list. If you are expecting a payment, you may email acctopns@gmu.edu and General Accounting can expedite the processes.

May 2019

  • Subscribe! This will help us keep you and your colleagues up-to-date on topics discussed during our monthly FSCN meetings
  • Survey Reminder – In order for us to utilize this group to the fullest extent we need your participation! Please fill out the online survey in order for us to collectively to gain a better understanding of the purpose, mission, and vision of this group.
  • Honoraria discussion – This conversation has only just begun and we encourage you to speak up and voice your thoughts as we begin the process of gathering information towards possible updates to the procedures. However, there is no immediate plan to change the policy. If you would like to share your thoughts or suggestions please e-mail fscomm@gmu.edu.
  • Food and Beverage discussion – You may now submit your Food and Beverage reimbursement requests to dking20@gmu.edu. We encourage this practice as it will allow for a more streamlined process and give you the ability to document submission to accounts payable with the appropriate approval signatures, and attach necessary documentation; including legitimate final-itemized receipt.
    • The topic of “original receipts” in the food and beverage policy is in the process of being updated to say “legitimate receipts”
    • However, we still cannot accept electronic signatures.
  • The Future of electronic form submissions – Fiscal Services would like to reduce the number of paper forms currently being processed, however, it is a work in progress.
  • Topics for future “Master’s Classes”, video tutorials, and “Lunch and Learns” – Many wonderful topics and ideas have been identified for future “Beyond the Basics” forums including:
    • Travel, Campus (Space) Planning, Advanced Purchasing, Petty Cash, GMU Foundation, ASRB, and off-campus Conferences planning (local and domestic). If you would like to champion any of these or recommend other topics please e-mail us fscomm@gmu.edu.
  • Fiscal Services Knowledge Base – this is currently a work in progress and will continue to be updated. However, we currently have a variety of available Fiscal Services resources on our website including – Fiscal Orientation Binder, Manuals and Training Material, How to, and so much more.
    • We will work on creating a “Fiscal Services generic e-mail” directory to help you to get the appropriate assistance.
  • Journal Voucher (JV) submissions discussion – The Banner rule is that a JV can only post if it has a transaction date that falls within a month that is open.
    • It is a good practice to initiate a JV at least 5 days prior to the end of the month so that all approvals can be captured before the month is closed.
  • We will follow-up next month on the Banner workflow questions, creating a list of revenue account codes as well as the formal process for requesting account code creation.
  • Suggested topics for future meetings can be submitted to fscomm@gmu.edu.

April 2019

  • We have a new name! Welcome to the newly named – Fiscal Support and Connections Network (FSCN)!
    • Our first order of business is to establish a clear purpose for our group, our mission, and our vision for moving forward as a collective network. Remember, this is your group and YOU have the power to determine where we go from here! Please provide your input on the mission, vision, and areas of improvement by completing this online survey by May 14. We will compile the responses and then discuss the outcomes at the May 21 meeting.
  • NEW! F&B forms may now be submitted to dking20@gmu.edu for processing. The PDF form should be completed, printed, and signed by the appropriate staff (individual seeking reimbursement, Fund/Org Approver, and Senior Approving Official, as required). The form may then be attached to an email, along with the legitimate itemized receipt and necessary documentation.

March 2019

  • Canon Updates – Using your Mason ID is the preferred method for processing print jobs as opposed to shared copy cards, any questions on this can be directed to Adam Forte (gforte@gmu.edu).
    • If new printers are needed for your unit, please reach out to Auxilary Enterprises (Buz Grover – hgroveri@gmu.edu) to set-up an assessment of overall printing needs with Canon.
    • A reminder; that the Print Hub is now recognized as an official printing vendor for the University and can provide your unit with products such as Business Cards, Greeting Cards, Cash Receipts and anything in between.
  • Student Employee Skill-Building Event/Activity Discussion – Disregard.
    • General Guidance will be added to the Food & Beverage/Purchasing Made Easy manuals. When it comes to students – If the event is for students, directly benefits the students’ development and is integral to the student experience than it would an acceptable use of funds. In these cases, the “Employee retreat” restrictions would not apply.
    • Departments should always evaluate whether an expense is a necessary use of state funds and utilize the most economical options available.
  • e-Gift Card Update – Academic Units may purchase Gift Cards for research subject payments using a Mason P-Card. Gift cards may only be for research subject payments in accordance with the Institutional Review Board. Fiscal Services has created a step-by-step guide to assist in making these purchases using your Mason Amazon Business Account.
  • Flight Comparison Discussion – When traveling on behalf of the university, it is always important to review the “Rules & Restrictions” to ensure that you are not accruing any additional fees that may not be reimbursable. To assist, Fiscal Services has created a Flight Comparision Example Guide.
  • Annual P-Card Training – Due May 10,  please remind your colleagues. Instructions on how to access the training can be found here 

January 2019

  • The Food & Beverage Authorization and Payment form has been updated and includes several significant changes. The updated form is now available HERE.
    • Please replace any files you may have saved locally on your computer. The old form will not be accepted after February 28, 2019.
    • Instructions for completing the form are available HERE.
  • Electronic P-Card Maintenance Form Demo and Process Flow discussion
  • P-Card Maintenance form – on hold, working on identified issues – will update the group at the February meeting
    • Changed “Cardholder” to “Submitter” on 1st screen
    • When denied – The form goes back to the last person who approved it (Process Flow)
    • Entering an incorrect email address will not trigger any notification to the submitter, etc. Double check the accuracy of email addresses and check the status of submitted forms to ensure processing
    • If 1 individual has 2 roles (i.e., Banner Liaison and Supervisor) they will receive 2 emails and have to provide approval for each role
  • Software downloads through IT Services including Adobe, Skype for Business, etc.
  • Gift Cards for Research Subject Participants updates and document review
    • Currently – eGift cards through Amazon cannot be purchased with a P-Card. Our Amazon Business account does not support this and the financial controls are not in place for Mason to move forward with this option.
    • Working on a more viable solution – will update everyone in February
  • Arlington – Fiscal Services Beyond Basics – Food and Beverage: Lunch and Learn (Tuesday, March 5, 12:00 – 1:00 PM)

November 2018 

  • No meeting scheduled in December – enjoy the Holiday break!
  • NEW contracts for Printing Services and Embroidery Services now available!
  • Remember to use existing contracts for Promotional Items and T-Shirt screenprinting.
  • Fiscal Services has decided to issue guidance for units in relation to incoming and outgoing sponsorships, but will delay moving forward with a formal policy at this time. Units should utilize the current policy document as guidance for classifying an Incoming Sponsorship or complete the online form to Request an Outgoing Sponsorship.
  • OSP has several opportunities in December for reconcilers – check out their calendar.

September 2018 

  • Instructions for setting up a FedEx and/or UPS account are now available on the UPS/FedEx Account Setup Guide . For FedEx, you will complete the spreadsheet and send to the FedEx email address. When Accounts Payable receives an invoice, noting the “Contact Name”, they will email that individual for the fund/org to be charged.
  • Updated guides for Budget Adjustments in Banner 9 are now available from the Budget Office. Budget Adjustment Using FGAJVCD and Budget Adjustment Using FGAJVCQ.
  • Updated instructions for processing electronic Journal Vouchers in Banner 9 is available on the Electronic JV Guide.
  • Here are the instructions for setting up an Accounts Payable Direct Deposit. Also, the direct deposit “opt-in” message  will be sent to active employees (FT/PT/Adjunct/no-student wage) who have received a payroll deposit in the last 12 months and who do NOT have an AP direct deposit account already set up. The message will not be sent to student wage employees.
  • Register for Fiscal Topics – October 15, by visiting the Event page!
  • Follow up information on RFP process and Promotional Vendors will be discussed at the next meeting – October 22.

August 2018

  • Telecomm rates increase by $1.50 each year in July. Current rates are: 1210 = $22.80, 1220 = $24.00, 1230 = $28.15.
  • Travel rules need to be followed more closely, especially requests for Alternative Lodging and Personal with Business Travel.
  • Equipment Inventory Overview is available for review and includes a response to comments.
  • Reconciliation reports for TouchNet Marketplace are now available on a shared drive for easy access. Additional information about Marketplace and how it can improve revenue collection is available here.
  • Canon billing seems to be working smoothly – there is now a shared drive for statements.
  • OSP – Research Admin Certificate courses are available and you are all encouraged to attend, whether or not you are seeking the certificate
  • Fiscal Services is hosting their first lunch and learn series on Sept. 27. It will focus on Food & Beverage and representatives from Sodexo, Auxiliary services and Accounts Payable will join for the discussion. Register Here.

Write to Fiscal Services Communication Team at fscomm@gmu.edu