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Business Matters December 2015

December 10, 2015

Upcoming Business Forum

The next Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, February 4, 2016 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm in HRTC 141/145. The meeting will be broadcast via Adobe Connect and can be accessed here: February Business Forum Broadcast. Please mark your calendars.

Note that the format of the Business Forums has shifted to highlight the collaborative work of University Partner Groups.

Questions? Contact or 740.593.1893.

Emergency Closures

University Human Resources has announced the University’s policy on Winter Weather Emergencies.

Payroll Services has posted two documents detailing how to pay employees during a weather emergency and how employee time should be entered in WorkForce. These documents are available on the Payroll Procedures web page.

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at or 740.593.1636.

Paid Time Off Protocol

In early December, University Human Resources published a Paid Time Off (PTO) Protocol Memo. This memo includes holiday and winter break closure dates, business hours during the holiday season, guidance for alternative work arrangements, and resources for taking paid time off. Please refer to the memo listed above for more details.

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at or 740.593.1636.

Career Connections to Offer Health Care Plans

Effective January 1, 2016, local temporary staffing services provider, Career Connections, will be offering an affordable health care plan to all of their employees working 30 or more hours per week after an initial probationary period has been met. This change will result in a $0.50/hour increase on each current billing rate. Career Connections will be approaching all contacts of full-time assignments continuing into 2016 to discuss the rate changes for their temps. Career Connections will do their best to keep the bill rates within the budget of each department for existing assignments. All new assignments starting in January will see this rate change.

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at or 740.593.1636.

Payroll Year End Preparation

Please ensure that all employees update their W-4s with correct address information for both W2 and 1095C mailing. An email has been sent to remind all employees. In late January 2016, all employees may also view and print their own W2 via My Personal Information. Make sure to wait until it is announced that the 2015 W2’s are available to access.

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at or 740.593.1636.

FY 2016 Payroll Calendar

The 2016 Payroll Calendar is now available on the Payroll Calendars web page. This calendar identifies key payroll dates and deadlines, including the direct deposit dates for both the biweekly and semimonthly dates. As stated in the Direct Deposit FAQ as a benefit of direct deposit for employees, money will be deposited into your account early payday morning.

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at or 740.593.1636.

Guidelines Regarding Changes to Employee Benefits Outside Open Enrollment

Ohio University’s employee health plans must comply with Federal regulations regarding when an employee can make a change to their benefits. Other than during the annual open enrollment period, employees can only change their benefits under one of the below listed qualifying events.

Qualifying Events

  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Beginning or ending of a domestic partner relationship
  • Death of a covered dependent
  • A change of employment for the employee, spouse, domestic partner, or dependent that impacts eligibility for health insurance benefits
  • A dependent gaining or losing other health coverage
  • A change in a dependents eligibility status, such as reaching the maximum age under which children are eligible

Benefits Enrollment Form

Timeframe to Submit Benefits Changes

  • Requests to make changes must be made within 31 days of the qualifying event. 
  • If a request is not made within 31 days of the qualifying event, the employee will not be able to change a benefit election until the next open enrollment period. Open enrollment typically occurs in April each year. Details can be found on the Benefits web page.

Required Supporting Documentation

  • Dependent documentation is required when making benefit changes.
  • Examples of appropriate documentation include birth certificates or birth records, a marriage license, divorce decree, a notice from another employer or insurance company of a loss or gain of other coverage for yourself or a dependent, etc.
  • Review the Verification of Dependents web page for more details.  

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at or 740.593.1636.

BobcatBUY 15.3 Update

BobcatBUY 15.3 enhancements were completed by SciQuest on 11/15/15. This upgrade had minimal impact on the overall user experience. The navigation to verify Remittance Addresses loaded into BobcatBUY has changed slightly. Please visit the BobcatBUY website for more information.

Questions? Contact or 740.597.6446.

BobcatBUY Winter Break Closure Reminder

Remember to add a substitute in BobcatBUY and a delegate in Concur if you will be out of the office longer than Winter Break Closure.

Assign a Substitute in BobcatBUY

  • Go to View My Profile > Ordering and Approval Settings > View Assigned Approval Folders
  • If you approve invoices and requisitions, be sure to assign a substitute for Invoice under Type.

Assign a Delegate in Concur

  • Go to Profile > Profile Settings > Expense Settings > Expense Delegates. 
  • Please do not assign anyone the right to submit or approve. Delegate rights should be to prepare, receive emails and view receipts.

Questions? Contact or 740.597.6446.

US Air/American Airlines Frequent Flyer Account Changes

As a result of the US Air and American Airlines merger, US Air Dividend miles accounts will no longer be accepted by American Airlines for travel after January 1, 2016. Travelers will need to create an AAdvantage account. US Air Dividend miles will transfer to the AAdvantage account. Travelers should also update their Concur profile with the new AAdvantage account number. Travelers will still earn miles automatically for reservations booked by December 31, 2015 with a US Air Dividend Miles number.

Questions? Contact or 740.597.6446.

FY 2017 Budget Calendar & Timeline

Fall Financial Review meetings were held from November 9 through December 4. Please reference the BPA website communications and materials for more details.

Questions? Contact your Budget Planning & Analysis contact or email

Common Audit Issues

Internal Audit conducts routine auditing of PCard and Travel transactions as part of their continuing auditing function. In order to help decrease the frequency of errors, below is a list of the most common issues identified.

Receipts Not Itemized

Itemized receipts showing what was purchased as well as the individual and total expense are required. The IRS describes adequate evidence in the following manner: “Documentary evidence ordinarily will be considered adequate if it shows the amount, date, place, and essential character of the expense.”

Unclear or missing business purpose

Business purposes should be documented in a manner that is clear to someone outside of your area. If you enter “PCard Transactions” as the business purpose of the report, you should enter a specific business purpose for each transaction. The business purpose should answer “why,” not “what”.


When traveling, attending business meetings, meeting with donors or prospects, agendas or itineraries must be attached to your reports specifying when, where and why you incurred these expenses. 

Sales Tax

Ohio University is exempt from paying sales tax in Ohio and many other states. Visit Sales Tax Exemption to determine if we are exempt in a state where you are traveling. 

Items sent to non-University addresses 

All items purchased with a PCard should be delivered to a University address. If the item must be delivered to a non-University address, please note the business reason in Concur.

Questions? Contact or 740.597.6446.

Reorganizing Grants Accounting

In November, the Grants and Contracts Office was reorganized to better align functions. Cindy Perry now serves as the Director of Grants Accounting and a vacant position within the department was recently posted as Manager, Grants Accounting.

Prior to the reorganization, the functions of Grants and Contracts Accounting Office included sponsored research, fixed assets, equipment inventory and plant fund accounting. Some of the plant fund accounting activities have moved to Capital Projects Finance which is managed by Nancy Graves, Director or Capital Projects Finance, while the remaining duties will be realigned to General Accounting and Financial Reporting. Bond Accounting which was part of Plant fund accounting moved to Treasury Management and is overseen by Robin Schaffer, Director of Treasury Management. Equipment inventory and fixed assets has moved to the General Accounting & Financial Reporting Department and Betsy Haehl, Accountant, has assumed responsibility for this activity.

This reorganization will position Grants Accounting for the implementation of the Grants Accounting module, allow time for campus partnerships relating to process improvement and reporting and will allow the office to better meet the needs of the research community. 

Questions? Contact Julie Allison at or 740.593-0342.

New Absence Management Tool

As announced previously, Absence Management implementation is underway. This will enable employees paid on a salaried semi-monthly basis to submit work absence-related information electronically in My Personal Information (MPI) and eliminate the need to complete a paper form for Paid Time Off (PTO).

As part of the launch strategy, several groups of OHIO employees have been identified to participate in a series of pilot groups. Pilot Group 1 is comprised of salaried employees within the organizational structure under Julie Allison, Colleen Bendl, or Brian Bowe and has been utilizing Absence Management since October 26, 2015. Pilot Group 2 is comprised of salaried employees within the organizational structure of VPFA and began using the system on December 7, 2015.

Currently, UHR Liaisons and Communication & Training are working with each Academic Unit to determine a convenient roll-out schedule for campus. An online training video, reference guides and in person demonstrations will be available to ensure employees are prepared to use Absence Management.

Employees should not attempt to utilize Absence Management unless formally notified to do so. Announcements regarding roll out dates and training for academic units will be posted in Compass, future issues of Business Matters and emails from

Questions? Contact the Employee Service Center at or 740.593.1636.

Chart of Accounts Redesign Project: Campus Involvement

Over the last month, work groups have been formed to develop a draft list of values for each proposed segment in the new chart format. Now that the Chart of Accounts Partner Group (COAPG) has formed, they have been included in the development of a “strawman” for the new list of values. Values will be shared and validated by the Chart of Accounts Partner Group and will continue to be fine-tuned throughout the project. Expected completion for the segment values is January 2016.

The Chart of Accounts Partner Group is comprised of representatives from the campus community and met for the first time on November 13. The COA Partner Group will report project updates, important dates, timeline activities, and campus involvement activities to the RC Strategy and RC Technical Groups. The COA Partner Group is also another way for the campus community to share their needs and feedback on the COA project.  

Campus involvement, via the COA Partner Group, will occur during every step of the project. The COA Partner Group will share progress and results with the RC Technical and RC Strategy groups to ensure we are addressing the needs of campus. The COA Partner Group is looking at past activity in natural account codes and results of the campus survey completed in September 2015 in an effort to complete a thorough review of the current natural accounts. Some Natural Accounts could become other segment values in the new COA, there may be a business need to add new natural accounts and some natural accounts may no longer be needed. It is expected that as discussions for each series of natural account codes is completed, the results will be shared and vetted with the RC Technical Group.

The COA Partner Group is also working to determine a solution to enable planning units to maintain the values for the activity segment, as well as make recommendations on the length of the activity segment. The activity segment will provide a chart segment that can be used at the discretion of Planning Units without any concern for how values will be used by other Planning Units. This will be maintained in an online tool and use of the activity segment is completely at the discretion of the Planning Unit. 

From December 2015 through March 2016, the representatives from Finance will begin working with each planning unit on mapping current COA values to the new COA values. All data will need to be mapped, including inactive accounts strings back to FY 2003.

Questions or feedback? Contact the Chart of Accounts Project Team at