DFL weekly update - August 21, 2020

Upcoming deadlines at a glance

  • Friday, 8/28 - Return signed fiscal close certification letters

  • Monday, 8/31 - Queue commitments for Q1

  • Monday, 8/31 - Submit Department of Finance template

  • Friday, 9/4 - Submit completed budget process templates

  • Friday, 9/4 - Complete External Audit Certification for Q1

  • Friday, 9/11 - Submit Fall 2020 Course Materials & Services Fee exception requests

Budget process

Submit budget process templates by Friday, September 4

The call letter, three budget templates, narrative template, timeline, and updated guidelines and assumptions are available on the budget process page. The budget and narrative templates are due to the FP&A team on Friday, September 4. We’ve updated the FY2020-21 budget process FAQ to include the recently submitted questions. If you have any questions, please email vcfinance@berkeley.edu.

Budget process office hours

The Financial Planning & Analysis team is offering a series of budget process office hours to assist with completing the budget templates and updating FY21 budget plans in CalPlanning. The office hours will be held twice a week remotely via Zoom through the first week of September at varying times to accommodate schedules. If you plan to attend, please visit the budget process webpage to review the available dates. Please sign up to receive the link to the Zoom meeting for your session, because this will ensure we’re properly staffing the sessions. Please complete a separate form for each session you wish to join. 

Department of Finance template is due on Monday, August 31

The next Department of Finance template is due to the Financial Planning & Analysis team by Monday, August 31. The timeline is compressed this month because UCOP extended the deadline last month due to fiscal close. Please submit your completed template to the DFL Concierge email (dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu) with the subject "COVID-19 Cost Impact" and your division name. Please continue to update the new template you submitted last month. Visit the CFO website for frequently asked questions and more information on costs related to COVID-19 and completing the Department of Finance template. If you don't see an answer to your question in the FAQs, please submit your question to vcfinance@berkeley.edu.

CalPlan Actuals loads

We loaded CalPlan with June 2020 Actuals last week in order to update the FY2020-21 Operating Budget Working version beginning balances. As this is an unusual year, where the budget is still not finalized, the FY2019-20 Forecast Working version equals FY2019-20 Actual Final. Although there are other factors involved in determining beginning balances (such as movements from the tempbudget), the FY2020-21 Operating Budget Working version beginning balances now closely approximates beginning balances from Actuals. We will not update FY2020-21 Operating Budget Working version with Actuals, in order to minimize entries by the units to offset timing variances.

We will load CalPlan with FY2020-21 beginning balance, July, August, and September Actuals and open the FY2020-21 Forecast (with Actuals) in early November after the Operating Budget is finalized. We will also open the FY2021-22 budget at the same time.

Action items

Return signed fiscal close certification letters by Friday, August 28
The FY2019-20 annual fiscal close certification letters will be sent to you and your respective Deans by August 14 for signatures. Please upload the signed letters into your DFL - division’s box file folder by Friday, August 28, 2020. Information about the fiscal close certification letter is available on the Controller's Office website. Contact the Financial Accounting & Controls team with questions at gao@berkeley.edu.

Queue commitments for Q1 by Monday, August 31 and changes to endowed chairs held centrally
Please complete the applicable form (linked below) to queue commitments by Monday, August 31 for commitments to be funded in the first quarter of FY2020-21. Please note that the following commitments do not need to be queued: Budget Decisions; EVCP TAS; Star Awards; Bear Grants; Productivity Suite withdrawals and now endowment payouts for rotating chairs (see below). Commitments are processed on a quarterly basis.

Please note that while we're working remotely you must log in through VPN for these forms to work.

Please email dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu with questions.

  • To queue non-faculty commitments, complete the non-faculty commitments form on DFL Knowledge and Resource Portal.

  • To queue faculty commitments, complete the faculty commitments form on the DFL Knowledge and Resource Portal. Faculty commitments are defined for this purpose as Start-up; Retention; ASMD; and Chancellor's Professorships. Chancellor’s professorships are those that are offered via start-up or retention in lieu of an actual chair - until one can be found, and are funded by central resources. 

    • New this year: Please provide screen shots of UCPath entries for ASMD leave begin dates and ASMD end dates when you queue ASMD funding through the faculty queue.

  • 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 Knowledge and Resource Portal to learn how to check the balances in SmartView or Cal Answers.

Changes to endowed chairs held centrally

There’s a change this year to the process for endowed chairs. The DFLs no longer need to provide a budget or queue commitments for the disbursal of funds for rotating endowed chairs held centrally. DFLs will be responsible for the budget and funding processes for these chairs in the same way they are responsible for their own divisional and departmentally-held endowed chairs. Funding will be allocated to the divisional allocation Dept ID of the chairholder's home division in the quarter the funds are received centrally from University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR). For those chairs appointed later in the year, please provide the appointment letter through the DFL concierge email with a request for funding. This change also applies to Chancellor's Professorships.

Complete External Audit Certification for Q1 by Friday, September 4

To ensure the completeness and accuracy of the quarterly Controller's report on the campus' external audit activities, please help us identify campus' external audit activities. The Controller's Office is sending a separate email with additional information to DFLs with known external audit activity. By Friday, September 4, 2020, please submit the materials below to Yohei Azuma at yazuma@berkeley.edu:

  1. All DFLs: External Audit Confirmation Form (You must return the completed External Audit Confirmation Form even if you do not have any external audit activities so we can certify campus responses.)

  2. DFLs with external audit activities: External Audit Confirmation Template (Include any related documentation with the template, i.e. notification of the commencement of the audit, audit report, etc.)

If you have questions, contact Yohei by email at yazuma@berkeley.edu.

Submit Fall 2020 Course Materials & Services Fee exception request by Friday, September 11

Due to the continued suspension of in-person instruction into the 2020-21 academic year, Course Materials & Services Fees will not be assessed for the Fall semester. Exceptions may be requested for courses that can demonstrate that fee-funded materials and services (a) are necessary for the provision of course instruction; and (b) provide value to students commensurate with the fee rate. To request an exception complete the Course Materials & Services Fee Exception Request form and submit it by Friday, September 11 for review by the CMSF Committee. More information about Spring 2021 CMSFs and new CMSF requests for 2021-22 will be provided at a later date. Contact studentfees@berkeley.edu with any questions.

Informational updates

Attend a Cal Answers Finance dashboard walk through

Join the Cal Answers team for a walk through of the General Ledger Reporting and Financial Management Reporting dashboards The webinar will take place on August 28 from 10 am - 11:30 am. The walk through will take place during the first hour and the last half hour will be dedicated to questions and answers. Feel free to bring up specific issues and scenarios. Please register to attend the session. 

Call for Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST) proposals for 2021-22

UCOP has released the call for PDST proposals for the 2021-22 academic year. The call for proposals, submission documents, and instructions are available on the CFO website. Internal campus submission deadlines for existing PDST-charging programs will be announced shortly. If your program intends to charge PDST for the first time in 2021-22, please reach out to studentsfees@berkeley as soon as possible. Please email studentfees@berkeley.edu with any other questions.

Transition your non-student billing to Accounts Receivable in BFS
As we move into the new fiscal year, please ensure you have transitioned all of your non-student invoicing activity to the Accounts Receivable module of the campus financial system, BFS. The Accounts Receivable team is working with campus staff to address their invoicing and payment collection needs and to provide training when needed. This applies to all non-student billing except Contracts & Grants and recharges. The benefits of using this system include accurate reporting within the campus financial system BFS, all payments are handled by the Accounts Receivable team and creating an invoice takes a matter of minutes. All billing and payment history records are saved in BFS, in one central place. Finally, if you do not receive your payment, the team will help you collect the debt. If you are not currently billing through the approved campus financial system, please contact Nominique Chico or Kwan Kim at nonstu_ar@berkeley.edu.

Refreshed FY2020-21 Intersection Detail Reports available
As the FY20-21 budget process was delayed, we refreshed the Intersection Detail Reports for FY21. These were published to your divisional folders on Friday, July 24. They are available in the "FY2020-21 Budget Process Folder", in a sub-folder called "Intersection Detail Reports", with the nomenclature “REV”. The refreshed FY21 Intersection Detail Reports (IDRs) will help clarify what was loaded to CalPlan to refresh the budget when we re-launched. Any changes to commitments made after the report run date (noted at the top right of the report) will not appear on the IDRs. The IDRs will not be updated further during the delayed budget process; however, if amounts change, the affected units will be emailed and the amounts will be updated manually in CalPlan. 

To support the new budget process we also published updated IDRs for FY2021-22 and FY2022-23. They were included in your divisional folders on Thursday, August 13 and also included the nomenclature “REV”.

Changes to the DFL in your division?

If the DFL role in your division is changing, email financialplanningandanalysis@berkeley.edu to ensure our website, communications, and training plans are updated. 

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