DFL weekly update - February 26, 2021

Upcoming deadlines at a glance

  • Friday, 2/26 - Submit Reserve Analysis template (today)

  • Friday, 2/26 - Queue commitments for Q3 (today)

  • Monday, 3/1 - Complete the DOF COVID-19 reporting template

  • Tuesday, 3/2 - Complete external audit confirmation for Q3

  • Friday, 3/19 - Submit completed and approved org tree request forms

  • Thursday, 4/1 - Submit requests for additional FFE withdrawals from Foundation funds

Budget process

FY22 budget process update

We are in the process of completing the assumptions for the budget process and will be discussing them with campus constituents, including the CAOs and DFLs, in the coming weeks. Though the launch of the process will be later than our original target of early March, the additional time needed for discussion is essential to its success. Our hope is to still complete the process as close to the start of the new fiscal year as possible.

Update on Form A 

We are currently in the process of producing the Form A template. We will establish and communicate the timeline for completing the template once we have finalized the overall budget process timeline. We will provide you with an update as soon as possible.

Refreshed FY2020-21 Intersection Detail Reports available

We have refreshed the Intersection Detail Reports for FY21. These were published to your divisional folders. They are available in the "FY2020-21 Budget Process Folder", in a sub-folder called "Intersection Detail Reports", with the nomenclature "Q3 and Q4 FY21 Plan". The refreshed FY21 Intersection Detail Reports (IDRs) help clarify what was loaded to CalPlan in the FY21 Forecast for Q3 and Q4. Any changes to commitments made after the report run date (noted at the top right of the report) will not appear on the IDRs. If amounts change, the affected units will be emailed and the amounts will be updated manually in CalPlan. 

Action items

Reserve Analysis templates are due Friday, February 26 (today)

The reserve analysis templates are in your division folder, in a folder called "Reserve Analysis Template" under the FY2021-22 Budget Process folder. A copy of your completed template from last year is also included, for reference. We held two reserve analysis workshops on 1/25 and 1/27 and office hours throughout February. Thank you to those who were able to attend. More information, including template guidelines and the workshop slides, are available on the CFO website. Your completed reserve analysis template is due to the Financial Planning & Analysis team at dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu on Friday, February 26. 

Queue commitments for Q3 by Friday, February 26 (today)

Please complete the applicable form (linked below) to queue commitments by Friday, February 26 for commitments to be funded in the third 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 assessment and now 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.

  • To queue non-faculty commitments, complete the non-faculty commitments form on the 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 screenshots of UCPath entries for ASMD leave begin dates and ASMD end dates when you queue ASMD funding through the faculty queue.

Complete the DOF COVID-19 reporting template by Monday, March 1

The deadline to submit completed templates for the Department of Finance reporting is Monday, March 1, 2021. Please submit your completed template to the FP&A team by emailing the template to DFL Concierge (dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu) with the subject "COVID-19 Cost Impact" and your division name. Please note that the completed template for each division should be submitted by the Divisional Finance Leaders and Chief Administrative Officers at the divisional (L3) level. The DOF template you have been using for the past few months only went through January 2021. Moving forward, you will need to complete an updated template. Please visit the Department of Finance Reporting page for instructions on how to access the revised template or update your existing one. 

Complete external audit confirmation for Q3 by Tuesday, March 2

To ensure the completeness and accuracy of the quarterly Controller’s report on the campus’ external audit activities, please help us identify the campus’s external audit activities. The Controller’s Office is sending a separate email with additional information to DFLs with known external audit activity. By Tuesday, March 2, 2021, 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 completed and approved org tree change requests by Friday, March 19

If you would like to submit changes to the Org Tree, please submit your completed, FP&A approved request by Friday, March 19. As a reminder, the submission date is the last day that approved change requests can be submitted for entry to the March 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 of March 19. 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 last opportunity to process Org Node and DeptID movements was in November. Org Node and DeptID movements will not resume until after fiscal close; however, you may submit requests for movements at any time for review and approval. 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.

Requests for additional FFE withdrawals from Foundation funds are due by Thursday, April 1

If you expect to request an additional FFE withdrawal from a Foundation Fund in excess of $2 million, your request needs to be submitted by April 1.  Requests submitted after April 1 may be subject to two transfers, the second occurring after the year-end. This change is a continuation of the effort to improve the general endowment pool’s liquidity and overall financial performance at the Foundation.

Review STAR Award funding allocation 

Per the People & Culture (campus-wide) message from February 11, 2021, the FY21 Staff Appreciation and Recognition program (STAR) has been allocated. The FY21 allocation amount is $1.1M due to the one-time reallocation described in the People & Culture message. Please review the linked FY21 Star Award distribution spreadsheet to view the funding for your unit. The amount available to spend is in the last column called "2021 Beg. Bal. + Distribution". Please share this information with the person responsible for allocating funds for SPOT awards within your unit. We recommend VCs and Deans consider funding awards from a centralized pool to maximize flexibility in managing these resources. More information is available on the CFO website. If you have questions about the allocation, please contact the Budget and Financial Operations team at centralresourcemanagement@berkeley.edu.

Informational updates

There is a decrease in the UCB Foundation's credit card fee on gifts

Effective March 1 the Foundation is reducing the fee to 2.3% from 2.5% that is assessed on credit card gifts to the Foundation. The fee has gone down due to the increase in more online giving websites, thus reducing the physical card terminals as well as our successful negotiations with the credit card companies. Please note that credit card fees charged on gifts to the Regents/campus are unchanged.

UCPath upgrade is coming soon

In the months ahead, UC Berkeley will be participating with the UCPath Center and other system campuses in a mandated upgrade to UCPath. This upgrade will be implemented in partnership with UCPath operations and the Controller’s Office to ensure data continues to flow into our financial systems accurately. The upgrade will improve stability, reduce support efforts, address compliance gaps that are being managed manually, eliminate manual UCPath processes, reduce security risks, and increase personal identifiable information data protections. It will also eliminate customizations where possible and improve data entry activities. The upgrade will take place during 2021 as we locally review functional design, update our desktop and training materials, test the application, and train our teams. This project will create a foundation for ongoing smaller upgrades as new functionality is evaluated in the future. However, we anticipate minimal change to existing functionality for now and minimal impact on our front-end users. We’re in the preliminary phase of the project and are still defining the scope. We will keep you posted as we learn more. 

Update on FedEx file transfer to BFS issue

As of February 8, the FedEx file invoice interface issue has been resolved. Files totaling $237,857.00 have been loaded to date, which represents the majority of FedEx charges that had been pending since the beginning of November when this issue first began. We appreciate your patience while we worked with FedEx to resolve this matter. If you have any questions, please contact Gloria Smith, Accounts Payable Banking Team Lead at glosmith@berkeley.edu.  

Card Program single-purchase limit update: $10k

The Card Program is pleased to announce that single-purchase limits on procurement card transactions will soon be raised from the current $4,999 to $9,999. This change aligns card purchase limits with the Low Value Purchasing Authority limit set by UC's Chief Procurement Officer and provides greater flexibility for purchases within units and Regional Services. Certain items (such as services and the purchase of capitalized/inventorial equipment) will still require approval via BearBuy. Units who wish for single-purchase limits to remain lower than $10k will have the opportunity to set those limits lower. A more targeted communication on this change, including potential action items for your unit, will be sent out within a few weeks. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact the card program at creditcard@berkeley.edu.

CalPlanning and Smart View Training

Do you need to learn or enhance your skills in CalPlanning or Smart View? Training classes are available through the end of March 2021. Visit the training page of the CalPlanning website to learn more and sign up. Our new blended learning model combines self-study work that you can do at your own pace with instructor-led group learning sessions where you can apply the material covered in the self-study.

Office Hours for CalPlanning and Smart View

Office hours are available so that you can ask specific questions about CalPlanning and Smart View. Sign up for a session 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.   

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. 

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