DFL weekly update - August 5, 2022

Upcoming Deadlines at a Glance

  • Friday, 8/12 - Submit final corrections to class schedule and instructional record data for summer sessions
  • Wednesday, 8/17- Submit completed and approved org tree change requests
  • Friday, 8/19 - Complete Q4 Key Controls
  • Monday, 8/29 - Return signed fiscal close certification letters
  • Wednesday, 8/31 - Queue commitments for Q1 requests
  • Friday, 9/16 - Complete External Audit Certification for Q1

Budget Process

Budget process update

CalPlan and HCP will remain closed until mid-August while the Financial Planning and Analysis team reviews submissions and finalizes the FY23 Operating Budget. We are finalizing the budget decision meetings and are working on the budget allocation letters, which we expect to distribute in mid-August. If you have any questions, please contact the VCF Immediate Office at vcfinance@berkeley.edu.

Action Items

Final corrections to class schedule and instructional record data for summer sessions are due by Friday, August 12

The Office of Planning and Analysis (OPA) will be reaching out to your department schedulers and managers and asking them to review their class schedule and instructional record data entry for summer sessions. This information must be finalized in Student Information Systems (SIS) by Friday, August 12. Please contact OPA Research Analyst Kira Blaisdell-Sloan or Beatriz Brando with questions at opa-csir@berkeley.edu.

Submit completed and approved org tree change requests by Wednesday, August 17

If you would like to submit changes to the Org Tree, please submit your completed, Budget and Financial Operations (BFO) Committee approved request by Wednesday, August 17. As a reminder, the May 18 submission date was the last day that approved change requests could be submitted for entry to the May Master Org Tree. Allowable changes through May 31 included New DeptIDs, New Org Nodes, and Description Changes. The Org Tree is now closed to all changes through fiscal close. We recommend that you submit your change request form for review as soon as possible to allow time for the BFO 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 deadline. 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 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.

Complete Q4 Key Controls by Friday, August 19

Please complete and submit the Financial Reporting Review and System Access Review by Friday, August 19. Please visit the Division Key Controls page for instructions and more information. Note the GL Summary Report is now broken out in three tabs: Current Funds Excluding Contracts and Grants, Contracts and Grants, and Agency Funds. Email questions about the financial reporting review controls to the Financial Accounting and Controls team at gao@berkeley.edu and questions about the system access review controls to the BFS System Access team at secbfs@berkeley.edu.

Return signed fiscal close certification letters by Monday, August 29

The annual fiscal close certification letters will be sent to you and your respective Deans for signatures. Please upload the signed letters into your DFL - division’s Box file folder by Monday, August 29. Please refer to the Fiscal Close Certification Letter page for more information. Contact the Financial Accounting & Controls team with questions at gao@berkeley.edu.

Queue commitments for Q1 requests by Wednesday, August 31

Please complete the applicable form (linked below) to queue commitments by Wednesday, August 31 for commitments to be funded in the first quarter of FY2022-23. Please note that the following commitments do not need to be queued: Budget Decisions; EVCP TAS; Star Awards; Bear Grants; both Productivity Suite and Campus Data Network assessments and endowment payouts for rotating chairs. 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.

New in FY2022-23:

  • You only need to use one commitment queue google form to submit your commitment requests for both faculty and non-faculty funding commitments (complete the commitment queue form). 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.
  • For more information about queueing commitments and documentation required, please visit the Commitments page.

Complete External Audit Certification for Q1 by Friday, September 16

To ensure the completeness and accuracy of the quarterly Controller's report on the campus' external audit activities, please help us identify the 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 16, 2022, please submit the materials below to gao@berkeley.edu:

  • 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.)
  • 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, please contact gao@berkeley.edu.

Informational Updates

Travel reimbursement update

As more of us are traveling for work, and some of us have moved farther away from campus, it is important to understand UC Policy for travel reimbursements. For example, did you know that remote workers do not get reimbursed for mileage or parking to come to campus for occasional on-site meetings? This is written into our Flexible Work Arrangement Agreement as directed by UC Policy G-28, Travel Regulations (and can also be found in Flexible Work Arrangements FAQs #24 and #25). Generally speaking, UC Berkeley (the campus or related properties) is the designated work location even for our remote/hybrid employees, and if a staff member must travel to their work location, that is considered a non-reimbursable commuting expense. Similarly, work assignments that take place within 40 miles of campus are also covered by UC policy, and employees who are traveling from outside of the area or from out of state to perform work within that radius are not eligible for travel reimbursement. For example, if you live in Santa Barbara but have to travel to Oakland to attend a conference or work meeting, you are not eligible to be reimbursed for your travel from Santa Barbara. Read more about travel reimbursement on the Key Points of the Travel Policy webpage.

IX settlement agreement - UCOP journal correction

The May journal (UCP1046373) posted by UCPath to account, among other elements, for the Title IX settlement agreement inadvertently debited the departments instead of debiting the central ledger. While we initially envisioned creating direct retros for each employee, the sheer volume was such that we opted to instead post most corrections via financial journals in order to make the department charged whole combined with very specific direct retros for C&G funds and payroll that went into a departmental suspense chartstring.

CGA has processed the direct retros for C&G funds and two financial journals, ZACAM643F (for earn code LSN lump sum non retiree) and ZACAM651F (for earn code LSP-lump sum retiree), were posted to address non-C&G funds. For the small number of individuals whose pay was processed to a departmental suspense chartstring, Financial Accounting and Controls has processed direct retros in UCPath. Journal entries from UCPath should post into BFS this week reclassing the charges to a central chartstring. Department personnel should see the credits in their local chartstring next week. Contact dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu with any questions.

Delay in processing time for new suppliers

The Vendoring Team is experiencing an extremely high level of requests for new supplier setups. We work on requests on a first in, first out basis and our goal is to add a new supplier and respond to questions by no later than five business days, preferably sooner. Currently, because of the volume of new requests, the processing time to add new suppliers is roughly 20 business days and the response time for questions has increased to over 30 business days. We apologize for the extended response time and acknowledge that it is well beyond the usual time period. We understand this is frustrating and are working to address this. We are hiring additional staff to help with the vendoring workload (essentially doubling our vendoring full-time workforce) and in the interim, we have reassigned an experienced resource to help so that we don't have to wait to bring the new team members up to speed. We've also restructured our approach to managing the vendoring support in-box so that we can better expedite vendoring activity. If someone has already waited several weeks for a response to a vendoring request, we are working to make sure that any further communication on this request is prioritized. Long term, we are also working to implement a simplified vendor process for visitors seeking reimbursement and for vendors processing honorarium payments. We appreciate your patience while we work to resolve the delay and meet your need to add new suppliers.

Join us beginning in September for training sessions about travel and purchasing credit card programs

The Accounts Payable team would like to share information about the travel programs and card programs available to campus. Based on the feedback we received when we communicated ConnexUC updates in May, many faculty and staff who could benefit from these programs are unfamiliar with the great value of ConnexUC, Direct Bill, and the different purchasing credit cards available. To ensure better communication and transparency, the Accounts Payable team will begin hosting regular informational sessions about these key programs. The first session will be a one-hour zoom session on Tuesday, September 20 at 11 am and will continue this series on a monthly basis going forward. If you are interested in attending, contact travel@berkeley.edu to request the Zoom information. Please share this announcement with your team members who are likely to be booking business travel or making purchases.

Transferable flight credits and same-day changes through ConnexUC and Southwest Airlines

The UC Travel Office announced two new benefits through ConnexUC. Southwest Airlines has launched Wanna Get Away Plus. This new fare gives business travelers more flexibility while still being at a low price point. The two biggest advantages of this new fare are transferrable flight credits and same-day confirmed changes and standby. Southwest Rapid Rewards Members will be allowed to transfer their airline credits to another Rapid Rewards Member. For bookings made through SWABIZ (Southwest’s Business channel), transfers can only be made between UC campus travelers. Same-day confirmed changes and same-day standby: travelers will get the flexibility to change their flight on the same day as their original flight, if there are seats available, without additional airline charges.

Office Hours for CalPlanning and Smart View

Office hours are available so that you can ask specific questions about CalPlanning and Smart View. Request office hours and indicate the topic for which you are requesting support. Office hours are an opportunity to get individual support for a specific challenge your unit is facing; they are not a replacement for training.

Cal Answers Training

Please review the self-service learning resources on the Cal Answers website, where Cal Answers users will find a complete course in basic navigation as well as short videos, job aids, wiki documentation, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Additionally, the two-hour instructor-led classes build on the basic navigation skills covered in the self-study. There are separate courses focusing on financial dashboards and student data dashboards. In the class, a subject matter expert will guide a deep dive into the reports and data available in the dashboards and answer specific questions.

Changes to the DFL in your division?

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

DFL Weekly Updates Page

As a reminder, these updates are regularly posted to the DFL Weekly Updates page so you can reference past updates at any time. Additionally, the Operational Deadlines page provides an overview of deliverables by quarter.

Thank you,

Office of the Vice Chancellor of Finance