DFL weekly update - April 3, 2020

Upcoming deadlines at a glance

  • Friday, 4/17 - Submit completed and approved org tree change requests

  • Monday, 4/20 - Review the list of those transitioning to global payroll access in your division

  • Thursday, 4/30 - Complete Q3 key controls

  • Thursday, 4/30 - Queue commitments for Q4

  • Monday, 5/4 - Complete Q3 FY2019-20 quarterly variance reports 

Budget process

Budget process update

Assessing the financial impact of COVID-19 and how it may impact the budget process is a complex task. Once we have a clearer picture of the financial impact, we’ll provide further guidance on the budget process. We will communicate revised due dates and provide further guidance on the budget process to you as soon as possible. Please do not update your budget in CalPlanning to capture COVID-19 impacts until we provide updated guidance on how to do so. We will delay actualizing the January - March data in CalPlan until the budget and final forecast are submitted. Please stay tuned for further updates. 

Finance FAQs related to COVID-19 expense reporting and the DOF template are available

We’ve updated the FAQs with the questions we’re getting on completing the template for the California Department of Finance. As this will be an ongoing effort, we will continue to update the FAQs on this page as we receive questions from you and from the broader finance community. If you would like to submit a question, please email vcfinance@berkeley.edu. The UC Berkeley Coronavirus (COVID-19) site is the primary source of information related to the coronavirus and general FAQs are available there. 

Action items

Submit completed and approved org tree change requests by Friday, April 17

Please submit completed and approved org tree change requests by Friday, April 17. The submission date is the last day that approved change requests can be submitted for entry to the April Master Org Tree. We recommend that you submit your change request form for review as soon as possible to allow time for the Financial Planning & Analysis team to review your request, follow-up with you for any necessary clarification, approve your request, and allow you time to obtain all required signatures before the submission date. The time needed to review change requests will vary, depending on the complexity of the request. For more information:

  • A high level summary of the process to approve org tree changes is available on the DFL concierge webpage.

  • An overview of the org tree change submission deadlines is available in the Org Tree Submission and Processing Timeline. Please keep in mind the org tree is closed for movements after November. Org Node and DeptID movements will not resume until after fiscal close. Please review the Org Tree Calendar for the timeline of allowable org tree changes throughout the year.

  • Please submit questions and requests for changes to the Org Tree to dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu.
    Note: If you plan to request an Org Node change or Entity Hierarchy redesign, please contact dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu and explain what you would like to change before completing the request form because these changes are typically more complex and involve longer consultations.

Review the list of those transitioning to global payroll access in your division by Monday, April 20

We are transitioning the Cal Answers access to payroll data to a global access security model. This means that those with access will be able to view all payroll transactions, for all employees and departments, rather than having access restricted by org node or fund. This is similar to how you access financial reporting in Cal Answers Finance. We’ll make this change when we roll out the new payroll report at the end of April. In order to prepare for the change, please take the following actions by Monday, April 20:

  • Review the google sheet for your division in the linked google drive folder to verify the current users in your division and indicate in column A whether the payroll data access for this employee should be removed. Otherwise, we’ll transition the access in the list to global payroll access. 

  • Verify you’ve reviewed the access list by entering the date you reviewed it in the “Enter Date Here” field at the top of column B in the google sheet.

Any requests after Monday, April 20 will be handled through SARA. If you have any questions, please contact Anna Meister, Systems Analyst, at ameister@berkeley.edu

Complete Q3 Key Controls by Thursday, April 30

Please complete and submit the financial reporting and system access reviews by Thursday, April 30. Please visit the Controller's website for instructions and more information. Email questions about the financial reporting review controls to the Financial Accounting & Controls team at gao@berkeley.edu and questions about the system access review controls to the BFS System Access team at secbfs@berkeley.edu.

Queue commitments for Q4 by Thursday, April 30
Please complete the applicable form (linked below) to queue commitments by Thursday, April 30 for commitments to be funded in the fourth quarter of FY2019-20. This is the final opportunity to request queued commitments for the year.  We will transact the Q4 journals on two dates - May 29 for most, and June 30 for those that are true-up or have conditions to be met. Please note that the following commitments do not need to be queued: Budget Decisions; EVCP TAS and CGC Support; Star Awards; Bear Grants; and Productivity Suite withdrawals. Commitments are processed on a quarterly basis.

Please email dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu with questions.

  • To queue non-faculty commitments, complete the non-faculty commitments form on DFL concierge site.

  • To queue faculty commitments, complete the faculty commitments form on the DFL concierge site. Faculty commitments are defined for this purpose as Start-up; Retention; ASMD; and Chancellor's Professorships.

  • To check all balances on requested Endowed Chair Funds and plan for those balances in the budget, please refer to the job aids located in the Endowed Chairs section of the DFL Concierge site to learn how to check the balances in SmartView or Cal Answers.

Complete Q3 FY2019-20 Quarterly Variance Reports by Monday, May 4
The Q3 2019-20 variance reports will be sent to you and your Dean/Vice Chancellor on Monday, April 20 (dependent on the budget/forecast due date). If your division has a variance to explain, please complete Report 3A: Division-Level (L3) SRECNA Variance Explanation - Current Funds Excluding Contracts & Grants and Report 3B - Division-Level (L3) SRECNA Variance Explanation for Contracts & Grants and return them to the Director of Financial and Faculty Reporting & Analysis Heidi Hallett at hhallett@berkeley.edu as soon as possible, but no later than 5pm on Monday, May 4. The variances for the third quarter are against the Q3 Forecast, the version to be submitted with the budget. (This version of the forecast will have July - December actualized).

Informational updates

bluCards expire on April 30 but you can still get replacement cards

As we communicated in the March 24 email to all cardholders, approvers and authorized signers, all existing campus bluCards have expiration dates of April 30th and cannot be used for purchases after that date. Prior to the shelter in place order being enacted, US Bank re-issued and shipped replacement cards to both campus and off-campus locations. If your department did not receive replacement cards prior to the shelter in place order going into effect, please review the options provided in the March 24th communication to ensure there is no interruption in any cardholders ability to use their bluCard after the April 30th expiration date. Contact the Card Program team with any questions at creditcard@berkeley.edu

Accounts payable payment process - checks run weekly on Wednesdays

The Accounts Payable team is continuing its services with minimal interruption during the shelter in place order. Most services will continue unaffected, however, until further notice the production of paper checks will be run once a week on Wednesdays. This includes checks for students (including refunds, stipends, and financial aid) and employees (reimbursements), and checks for suppliers. If you have questions about check processing, please contact the Accounts Payable team at disburse@berkeley.edu.

Closing TempBudg for all Renewal and Replacement (R&R) funds

We will be reaching out to the departments that have Renewal and Replacement (R&R) TempBudg funding in order to close out the TempBudg by the end of this fiscal year. We will also host a zoom meeting to debrief the R&R fund users on the process and timing we will follow to retire the TempBudg and answer any questions. We retired the TempBudg for Recharge funds earlier in the year and information about the updated process is on the recharge website in the training section. If you have questions about this, please contact us at recharge_certification@berkeley.edu.

Faculty salaries in the FY2019-20 General Allocation 

Because PRT was retired on February 28, 2019 with the implementation of UCPath, not all updates were included in this year’s general allocation - specifically any faculty salary actions since February 28, 2019. While we are still transitioning to a new process, we have funded the divisions for faculty salary actions for March - June 2019 in the December ledger, as well as most faculty hires starting July 1, 2019. We will communicate any specific updates (or if needed, actions) after we complete conversion activities. Please hold off on inquiries on faculty salary actions until conversion is complete. Please contact the Financial Planning & Analysis team at dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu with questions. 

As a reminder, these updates are regularly posted to the DFL webpage so you can reference past updates at any time. 

Thank you,
Office of the Vice Chancellor of Finance