DFL weekly update - January 22, 2021

Upcoming deadlines at a glance

  • Friday, 1/22 - Submit recharge self-certification form (today)

  • Friday, 1/22 - Submit Summer 2021 Course Materials & Services Fee exception requests (today)

  • Friday, 1/29 - Submit proposals for 2021-22 Course Materials & Services Fee requests

  • Friday, 1/29 - Submit the completed DOF COVID-19 reporting template

  • Friday, 2/5 - Complete Q2 Key Controls 

  • Tuesday, 2/16 - Submit completed and approved org tree request forms

  • Friday, 2/26 - Submit Reserve Analysis template

  • Friday, 2/26 - Queue commitments for Q3

Budget process

FY22 budget process update

Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, we will launch the FY22 budget process later than usual - likely in early March.  However, by implementing an abbreviated process similar to last year, we expect to complete the process by the beginning of FY22. We’ll share more details about the upcoming budget process, due dates, and timeline in the coming weeks. 

Action items

Submit recharge self-certification form by Friday, January 22 (today)

VC Finance is integrating recharge activities into the broader FY2021-22 budget process. In an effort to improve our recharge certification process we have made a few revisions and enhancements to the recharge self-certification form located in the form and template section of the recharge website.

Please complete a recharge self-certification form if:

  • You support a recharge unit and your unit charges Contract & Grants.

  • Your unit does not charge Contract & Grants but plans for recharge income greater than $500,000/year.

Submit your completed recharge self-certification forms to recharge_certification@berkeley.edu by Friday, January 22, 2021. More information is available in the recharge section of the CFO website. 

Submit Summer 2021 Course Materials and Services Fee exception requests by Friday, January 22 (today)

Due to the recent announcement that instruction will continue to be remote in Summer 2021, Course Materials & Services Fees will not be assessed for Summer Session courses. 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 Summer 2021 Course Materials & Services Fee Exception Request form and submit it by Friday, January 22 for review by the CMSF Committee. 

New this cycle: Courses with approved exceptions from Summer 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021 do not need to submit a new exception request unless there is a substantial change to the method of instruction or the proposed fee rate. Contact studentfees@berkeley.edu with any questions.

Submit proposals for FY2021-22 Course Materials & Services Fees by Friday, January 29

The Course Materials & Services Fee (CMSF) Committee has released its call for proposals for FY2021-22. The proposal form to establish a new CMSF or to increase an existing CMSF, relevant campus policy, and guidance on completing the form, is available on the CFO website. Completed proposals are due to studentfees@berkeley.edu by Friday, January 29. Final recommendations and approvals will be made in the spring. Please share this call widely with department leaders in your units. Contact studentfees@berkeley.edu with any questions.

Submit the Department of Finance template on Friday, January 29

The next Department of Finance template is due to the Financial Planning & Analysis team by Friday, January 29. 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 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

Complete Q2 Key Controls by Friday, February 5

Please complete and submit the financial reporting and system access reviews by Friday, February 5. Please visit the Controller's website for instructions and more information. The FY21 budget is now finalized in CalPlanning. Because the GL Summary Report for Q2 will have year-to-date information, please review the data for both Q1 and Q2. By submitting the GL Summary Report for Q2 you will effectively be signing off on both Q1 and Q2 numbers, and you will not need to submit the GL Summary Report for Q1 separately. 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

Submit completed and approved org tree change requests by Tuesday, February 16

If you would like to submit changes to the Org Tree, please submit your completed, FP&A approved request by Tuesday, February 16. As a reminder, the submission date is the last day that approved change requests can be submitted for entry to the January 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 February 16. 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 TimelinePlease 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.

Reserve Analysis templates are available in your folders and due Friday, February 26

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’ve scheduled two reserve analysis workshops on January 25 and January 27 and DFLs should see them on their calendars. We have made a slight change to the process due to COVID-19 so it is important to attend one of these sessions. The same material will be covered in both sessions. We will also be offering office hours every week starting on February 1 so you’ll have a chance to ask questions. Pleasesign-up for the office hours ahead of time. More information, including template guidelines, are availableon 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

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.

Informational updates

Update on FedEx file transfer to BFS issue

We are working with FedEx to address an issue that has arisen with our campus FedEx account. Usually, the Controller’s Office receives a file from FedEx that represents the campus bill on a daily basis and we post the charges to BFS, which are then applied to each department’s budget. However, FedEx has an internal file transfer problem and so we are having issues receiving the billing file and processing the FedEx payments. The issue began in November and we are working with our representatives at FedEx to resolve it as quickly as possible. As of January 20, 2021, the outstanding amount campus-wide is approximately $204,500 and nearly 14,000 transactions/shipments, and growing. As soon as we have more information on this issue, we’ll share another update. We have been assured there will be no service interruption to campus.  If you have any questions, please contact Gloria Smith, Accounts Payable Banking Team Lead at glosmith@berkeley.edu

Clarification on business travel policy

It’s come to our attention that there are continuing questions regarding the nature of the UCOP and UC Berkeley travel directives in place. Current information about business travel is available on the travel website. According to UCOP’s updated executive directives on August 6, 2020, UC Berkeley remains under the Office of the President’s directives to limit non-essential travel. Non-essential faculty, staff, and student travel is strongly discouraged, as travel increases your chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. University-related travel is defined by UC Berkeley as essential if it is required to:

  • Preserve the safety of a research subject and is not possible to be postponed.

  • Preserve the results of a research activity and is not possible to be postponed.

Departments or programs may place additional restrictions on travel, but these are the only restrictions currently in place at the system and campus-wide level. If you have additional questions, please contact Director of Accounts Payable and Travel Dan Parnas at travel@berkekely.edu

Changes in the Financial Planning & Analysis organizational structure

As of January 2021, the Office of Financial Planning & Analysis has implemented a significant reorganization. Details about these changes are available on our website. As a next step, we will  begin examining financial practices and processes with an eye toward simplification and streamlining where possible. As we move forward we will solicit input and communicate further changes that have a campus-wide impact. 

FY2020-21 Productivity Suite assessment posted in December close

The FY2020-21 Productivity Suite assessment charges were posted in the December month-end close. The Journal ID# is ZACAM451F. If you have any questions, please contact productivitysuite@berkeley.edu or visit the CFO website for more information.  

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 February 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