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Business Matters June 2016

Jennifer Cochran
June 9, 2016

Quarterly Business Forum

The next Business Forum is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm in Baker 240. The meeting will be broadcast via Adobe Connect and can be accessed here: August Business Forum Broadcast. Please mark your calendars.

Questions? Contact the VPFA Communication & Training Department at finhr@ohio.edu.

End of Fiscal Year Reconciliation of Leave Usage

As the end of the fiscal year (FY16) approaches, University faculty and staff are reminded to make sure all planned and/or confirmed absences through June 30 are recorded in Absence Management using My Personal Information (MPI). This will ensure that leave balances are appropriately reflected and carried over into the new fiscal year (FY17).

Administrative salaried employees and faculty should report all vacation and sick leave usage through the Absence Management functionality in MPI. Requests for planned and/or confirmed absences should be submitted to and approved by your supervisor no later than June 30, or as soon as you return from your absence, to ensure that employee accrual information, including vacation, sick leave and personal time can be rolled over accurately.

Questions? Please see the article on this topic in the May Business Matters or contact the Employee Service Center at uhr@ohio.edu or 740.593.1636.

Planned Absence Requests Can Now Cross the Fiscal Year in MPI

An enhancement has been made within Absence Management to allow planned absences to cross the fiscal year and to project future accrual balances across the fiscal year with the following assumptions:

  1. Requests for the fiscal year cannot be submitted until January 31 of that year.
    • EXAMPLE: A planned request for July 1, 2017 cannot be entered until January 31, 2017.
  2. Requests cannot span across two fiscal years.
    • EXAMPLE: If an employee is requesting to take June 27 – July 2, the employee must enter two requests; one request for June 27 – June 30 and another request for July 1 – July 2.
  3. As personal leave is awarded to qualifying employees on July 1 of each fiscal year, planned absence requests for personal leave cannot be entered until the start of the fiscal year in which they are awarded.

A variety of training materials are available for reference. Training videos, an Employee Quick Start Guide and user manuals are available on the Absence Management Web Page. The Employee Training Video shows how to view PTO accrual balances, query for projected accrual balances when planning for future time off, submit absence requests, view absence history and the automated routing of electronic absence requests. The Manager Training Video demonstrates how to take action on employees' requests.

If you have questions regarding “Work In Progress” requests, please refer to the instructions for handling those requests detailed in Absence Management. The Employee Service Center is also available to help you with removing these requests.

Questions? Please contact the Employee Service Center at uhr@ohio.edu or 740.593.1636.

Updated FLSA Overtime Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor has released regulations regarding the salary threshold for employees to be considered exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new rule requires an increase in the minimum salary considered exempt from the overtime requirements from $23,660 per year ($455 per week) to $47,476 per year ($913 per week), effective December 1, 2016.

The new rule will also require the salary threshold to be automatically updated every three years to reflect wage growth over time.

However, the new rule does not change the duties tests used to determine whether some groups of employees, including academic administrative employees and postdoctoral fellows, are exempt from the salary threshold requirements.

In response to this update, colleges and universities have several options for adjusting eligible employees’ salaries to adhere to the new guidelines, including raising salaries above the threshold, paying overtime when required and limiting employees’ hours to 40 per week.

Ohio University will address the new guidelines by continuing the analysis of current salaried exempt employees who earn below the new salary threshold to determine which employees and job families or sub-families should be converted to non-exempt status or have a salary increase above the new minimum in order to retain their exempt status.

University Human Resources (UHR) will also review potential impacts on various policies, internal salary compression and converting the newly non-exempt employees to hourly employees paid on a biweekly frequency. UHR Compensation will work with Planning Units to finalize decisions and communicate with all impacted employees by the December 1 deadline. 

For more information about the new FLSA overtime regulations, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website or read the fact sheet released by the White House.

Questions? Please contact UHR Compensation at compensation@ohio.edu.

Changes to Employee Contributions to STRS and the STRS Mitigating Rate

As a reminder, the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS) announced that there will be 1% increase to employee retirement contributions for work performed on or after July 1, 2016. This is the final year of the three-year phase-in period, increasing the member contribution rate to 14%.  

Any changes to retirement contributions enacted by STRS apply to both STRS plans and the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP). The following serves to further clarify upcoming changes to retirement contributions for STRS and ARP plans.

Employee Contribution Changes

  • Currently, faculty contribute 13% of their pay to their retirement plan.
  • As part of previously enacted pension reforms, faculty contributions to STRS plans and ARP plans will increase to 14% effective July 1, 2016.
  • The University will change faculty contributions automatically and faculty do not need to take any action regarding these changes.

The changes will be reflected in Faculty pay for any work performed on or after July 1, as follows:

Employment Type 14% Rate Change Effective Pay Period Deferred Pay
Faculty paid over 9 months Beginning with first pay for the fall semester, which will be on August 31, 2016 N/A
Faculty paid over 9 months with summer appointments Second summer session pay beginning with the July 15, 2016 pay N/A
Faculty with deferred pay over 12 months (9 over 12) Beginning with first pay of the fall semester, which will be on August 31, 2016 Deferred pay for academic year 2015-2016 will continue at the old rate through the August 15, 2016 pay
Faculty paid 9 over 12 months with summer appointment Second summer session pay beginning with the July 15, 2016 pay Deferred pay for academic year 2015-2016 will continue at the old rate through the August 15, 2016 pay
Faculty paid 11 over 12, or 12 over 12 Beginning with the July 15, 2016 pay N/A

Mitigating Rate

The mitigating rate reflects that portion of the university contributions that are directed to STRS to fund the liability associated with the defined benefit plan that is partially attributable to the creation and existence of the ARP and STRS defined contribution plan. 

The mitigating rate is set by Ohio Revised Code (ORC).  The mitigating rate is currently set at 4.5% and will remain at that level unless further action is taken by STRS or the State Legislature, who review whether changes to the mitigating rate are warranted. 

The mitigating rate applies to University contributions to the ARP plan and STRS defined contribution plan. 

The chart below reflects current and upcoming contribution changes:

  STRS Defined Benefit & Combined Plans ARP and STRS DC Plan
Contribution Type Current July 2016 Current July 2016
Faculty (Employee) Contribution 13.0% 14.0% 13.0% 14.0%
Ohio University Contribution 14.0% 14.0% 9.5% 9.5%
Total Contribution to Employee Retirement Plan 27.0% 28.0% 22.5% 23.5%
Ohio University Contribution to STRS as the Mitigating Rate not applicable 4.5% 4.5%

Questions? Please contact the Benefits Office in Human Resources at benefits@ohio.edu or 740.593.1636.

New JPMC Chip PCards

The new JPMC PCards were issued in April. If cardholders do not pick up their new PCard by June 29, the card will be closed and new applications must be completed in order to receive a replacement PCard.

Questions? Contact Procure to Pay at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

Adding New JPMC Chip PCard to Concur Profile

Remember to add your new JPMC chip PCard to your Concur user profile once you activate it. Once you have activated your new card, the old PCard will not work to book travel in Concur. JPMC will deactivate all old (non-chip) PCards at the end of June.

How to Add New PCard to Concur Profile

  1. Log in to Concur,
  2. Click Profile at the top right of the screen.
  3. Click the Credit Card Information header
  4. Add your new JPMC chip PCard and remove your existing PCard

Questions? Contact Procure to Pay at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

Yearend Procure to Pay Reminders

Purchase Order Yearend Close

At yearend, the following purchase orders (POs) will be closed:

  • FY16 blanket POs
  • FY16 open POs with invoice match
  • FY16 open POs within a 10% tolerance of invoice match

If you have POs that are underspent and no other invoices will be presented for payment, please complete a “Close PO Request” in BobcatBUY so that Procure to Pay can close that PO and relieve the encumbrance. You may also attach a listing of POs to that request.

Yearend Pre-entry

Pre-entry of requisitions for future spend (FY17) is now available. During this brief period, BobcatBUY will allow users to edit accounting dates for pre- and post-entry. As a result, you may pre-date (July 1, 2016) forms (i.e. blanket POs, etc.) for future purchases. In mid-July the accounting date field will revert back to a fixed, non-editable date. CAUTION: When entering current activity in a new requisition, enter the accounting date. Do not enter the invoice date or due date.

Editing the Accounting Date in BobcatBUY for Future Fiscal Year

There is a change this year for editing the accounting date in BobcatBUY. From your draft cart, select Edit Requisition. You can change the date from either the Summary Tab or the Billing Tab

As indicated on the screenshots above, select Edit, change date from the default (current date) to 7/1/16 and save. 

Questions? Contact Procure to Pay at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

Flyout Menu Added to Contract Services Web Page

The Contract and Insurance Matrix now has a flyout menu to provide answers to frequently asked questions. Navigate to the Procure to Pay website, click on the Procurement Services button on the left side of the screen, then hover the mouse over Contract Services to view the flyout menu containing frequently asked questions and the Contract and Insurance Matrix. The Matrix contains guidelines on types of contracts to use, levels of insurance needed and more. New categories are added as needed, so visit often.

Questions? Contact Procure to Pay at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

Altour Low Price Guarantee

ALTOUR guarantees the lowest applicable fare at the time of booking. If you find a lower fare on the exact trip, reach out to ALTOUR:

  • You must notify ALTOUR and book the ticket within two hours of finding the fare by submitting the information via the  ALTOUR offers a low fare guarantee link provided on the travel page within Concur.
  • You may also email your request to ohioudom@altour.com.
  • If substantiated for the exact itinerary, ALTOUR will pay 10% of the fare to the customer’s PCard for inconvenience.

Questions? Contact Procure to Pay at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

Reimbursement Commodity Code

Mileage reimbursements should be under the Reimbursement Commodity Code (204) in BobcatBUY instead of the Travel and Events Commodity Code (542). Using the reimbursement code will allow the reimbursement to be easily identified and ensure the correct workflow in BobcatBUY. The travel and events code should be used for group travel and event requisitions. These requisitions must have the supporting documentation (contract, certificate of insurance, food license, etc.) as outlined in the Contract and Insurance Matrix.

Questions? Contact Procure to Pay at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

Why is a Quote Needed as Documentation in BobcatBUY for a Product?

A quote is needed to notify the supplier of exactly what you want to order. It must accompany the Purchase Order (PO) that is sent to the supplier both as an informational document but also as a legally binding document of their pricing and SKU information at the time of the PO. When using a website as the information for the PO, a screenshot or “snippet” of the product from the supplier’s webpage must be attached to include:

  • Supplier’s information such as logo or name
  • The product, including SKU or other identifying information, that makes it clear what it being ordered
  • The product price
  • The date on the screen of the quote as of that day to avoid dispute over when a particular price was offered on the website. Prices change frequently on supplier sites.

Questions? Contact Procure to Pay at financecustomercare@ohio.edu or 740.597.6446.

Petty Cash Fund and Change Fund Reconciliations

As a reminder, on June 30, Finance must have the correct balance of departments’ petty cash or change funds. This information is needed to finalize FY16 for financial statement purposes. Custodians who maintain a petty cash or change fund should expect an email in mid-June with the reconciliation forms. Information, instructions and the reconciliation form will be included in the email. Each fund must be reconciled on Thursday, June 30. The deadline to return the forms is July 1. Completed reconciliation forms should be submitted to fmsreporting@ohio.edu.

For more information, review the Petty Cash & Change Fund Policy.

Questions? Contact Nathan Hogue in General Accounting and Financial Reporting at hoguen@ohio.edu or 740.597.3133.

External Billing Authorizations

Starting on July 1, the Bursar’s Office will have a minimum threshold of $20 on external billing authorizations. Requests less than $20 will not be processed.

Questions? Contact the Bursar’s Office at bursar@ohio.edu or 740.593-4130.

Internal Billing Authorizing and Accounting Corrections

Final FY16 internal billing authorizations must be submitted to General Accounting and Financial Reporting (GAFR) at finance@ohio.edu by noon on Thursday, July 7. Final FY16 accounting corrections must be submitted to GAFR by Wednesday, July 20.

Questions? Contact Betsy Haehl in General Accounting and Financial Reporting at haehl@ohio.edu or 740.597.1417.

FY17 Budget Calendar & Timeline

The Budget Planning and Analysis Office has provided updates regarding the FY17 spring forecasting models and guidance per the e-mail sent to Budget Contacts on May 26.

Planning Units are reminded of the timelines for submission of Budget Packets:

Group A - June 10

  • President
  • Central Reserves
  • Honors Tutorial College
  • International Studies
  • University College
  • WOUB Center for Public Media
  • V.P. for University Advancement
  • Voinovich School

Group B - June 17

  • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • College of Business
  • College of Communication
  • College of Education
  • College of Fine Arts
  • Athena Cinema
  • V.P. for Research
  • Graduate College
  • College of Health Sciences and Professions
  • Library
  • Information Technology
  • Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • V.P. for Student Affairs (including Auxiliary units)

Group C - June 24

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • Provost
  • Instructional Innovation
  • V.P. for Finance & Administration (including Auxiliary units)
  • University Central Pool
  • Regionals (all campuses and centers)

Questions? Contact your Budget Planning & Analysis contact or e-mail budgetplanning@ohio.edu.

Payroll Accounting Corrections

Payroll Expense Accounting Corrections for Fiscal Yearend 2016 should be submitted to Payroll no later than July 15. If the correction is past 60 days, an Exception Request Form must be completed in order for Payroll to process the request. Forms submitted without the Exception Request Form will be returned to the originator. Forms can be found on the Payroll Forms web page. Choose Payroll Expense Accounting Correction (PEDS). The 60-day exception form is on a separate tab within the same document.

Questions? Contact Payroll Services at payroll@ohio.edu or 740.593.1858.

Chart of Accounts Project Activities for Spring 2017 Go-Live Date

The Chart of Accounts (COA) Redesign Project Team is completing a series of mapping activities with representatives from each Planning Unit with a completion date scheduled for mid-July. Participants first learned about new COA segment definitions, cross-validation rules and segment values in the Introductory Mapping Session Overview. In the subsequent Mapping Workshops, participants converted old data to new segment values for their respective planning units. Additional Mapping Workshops will be offered in June to allow participants to complete the assignment of segment values. Once segment values are updated and validated by each planning unit, the COA Redesign Project activities will focus on loading and testing the data using business critical scenarios.

Beginning in late Summer to mid Fall 2016, users across campus impacted by the COA Redesign will have an opportunity to gain insight into the ‘look and feel’ of the new COA structure. These awareness sessions will build understanding of the new segment definitions, the assignment of values from mapping sessions, and reporting highlights for reporting users. Beginning in January, users will have access to a wide range of training activities designed to meet their needs for entering and reporting financial information.

To augment user-facing training activities, a newly composed team of representatives across campus, the COA Change Network, is being established to support the transition to the new COA structure. The Change Network members will be leveraged to support the deployment across their respective Planning Units. To effectively prepare users, the Change Network will provide feedback on how to support users in the adoption of new COA structure and reporting capabilities. Change Network meetings will be held for Change Network members between Summer 2016-Spring 2017.   

Recent planning has turned to Grants Accounting as these two projects will launch together in Spring 2017. Additional information will be available this summer and the planning activities for Grants Accounting implementation will involve campus representation through involvement from various Partner Groups. For additional project-related updates and information on the COA Account Redesign Project, refer to the Chart of Accounts Redesign website.

For more information regarding the Mapping exercises, visit the Campus Involvement page.

Questions or feedback? Contact the Chart of Accounts Project Team at coa@ohio.edu.