DFL weekly update - July 31, 2020

Upcoming deadlines at a glance

  • Thursday, 8/6 - Submit Department of Finance template

  • Friday, 8/14 - Submit final corrections to class schedule and instructional record data for summer sessions

  • Tuesday, 8/18 - Submit completed and approved org tree change requests

  • Wednesday, 8/19 - Complete Q4 Key Controls

  • Friday, 8/28 - Complete Q4 FY2019-20 Quarterly Variance Reports (deadline canceled) 

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

  • Monday, 8/31 - Queue commitments for Q1

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

Budget process

Budget process update

Thank you for attending the Divisional Finance Leaders and Chief Administrative Officers meetings. We’ll follow up with you on the budget process and materials in the next few weeks. 

Department of Finance template is due on Thursday, August 6

This month, the Department of Finance template is due to the Financial Planning & Analysis team by Thursday, August 6. 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.

Action items

Final corrections to class schedule and instructional record data for summer sessions are due by Friday, August 14
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 14. Please contact OPA Research Analyst Kira Blaisdell-Sloan with questions at kbs@berkeley.edu.  

Submit completed and approved org tree change requests by Tuesday, August 18

The final opportunity to submit approved org tree change requests to be entered in BFS for FY20 was May 18. The org tree is now closed for all changes until after fiscal close. Org tree change requests can be submitted for review and approval anytime during fiscal close as the Financial Planning & Analysis team will continue to review requests to approve in advance of when the tree will open next for org tree changes in August. 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 Tuesday, August 18 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. All Org Tree change types including Org Node and DeptID movements will be available after fiscal close through November. 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 Wednesday, August 19

Please complete and submit the financial reporting and system access reviews by Wednesday, August 19. 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.

Deadline canceled - complete Q4 FY2019-20 Quarterly Variance Reports by Friday, August 28
We understand there are a lot of competing priorities at this time. You do not need to complete the Q4 2019-20 variance reports for this quarter. 

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
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 and CGC Support; Star Awards; Bear Grants; and Productivity Suite withdrawals. 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 chairs are those that are offered via startup or retention in lieu of an actual chair - until one can be found, and are on central funds. 

  • 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.

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.

Informational updates

Refreshed FY2020-21 Intersection Detail Reports available
As the FY20-21 budget process has been delayed, we have refreshed the Intersection Detail Reports for FY21. These were published to your divisional folders on Friday, July 24. They will be 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 will be loaded to CalPlan to refresh the budget when we launch. 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. 

Update to travel policy related to dependent care
As we announced in February, effective July 1, 2019, the Office of President issued new guidance in their systemwide travel policy, G-28 which relates to the reimbursement of dependent and dependent care expenses for staff, faculty, and prospective employees while on travel status. We have updated our travel policies and the related updates to the travel reimbursement system will be live in on Monday, August 3. More information is available on the travel website. The two key things to remember before submitting reimbursement requests related to dependent care are that documented pre-approval is required prior to travel and all associated reimbursable expenses will be taxable. If you have any questions, please email the Travel & Entertainment team at travel@berkeley.edu.

New process for supplier onboarding

There is a new online vendoring process available through BFS. Now, UC Berkeley employees can invite new suppliers to securely enter their information directly into the BFS supplier onboarding portal rather than gathering paper signatures and faxing forms from the client to the vendoring team. This will expedite the process, reduce the risk of errors, and ensure secure data. It will also allow for notifications to the vendor from BFS. This new expedited process is especially relevant during Shelter in Place, as it is not efficient to complete a PDF, send it through fax, and then re-enter the same data into our systems. Complete the linked form to register for training. More information about the new supplier onboarding process and training dates and times is available on the vendoring webpage. If you have any questions about the change, please contact the Accounts Payable Vendoring team at vendoring@berkeley.edu.  

Review and update FY21 compensation data as needed

When we opened the FY2020-21 Operating Budget in our HCP planning tool, the employee monthly pay rate was increased 3% to show the expected annual merit. Since then, a systemwide pay freeze for non-represented staff and faculty was announced in May. As it is important that we have an accurate view of our net operating results for decision-making, we have removed the planned 3% merit for monthly paid employees in non-represented job codes where the increase in the system was equal to 3%. No adjustments were made for any other cases. Planners should review comp data for cases where adjustments were not made and make changes as needed. Read the July 2020 release notes for more information.

Benefit Cost Transfers
Benefit Cost Transfers are similar to Direct Retros, but instead of changing the funding for salary, you can change the funding for benefits. Benefit Cost Transfers only change the funding source, not the benefit amounts. For example, if funding does not allow for CBR to be on an award, a BCT can be processed to change the fund used for CBR to a discretionary fund. These transactions are fairly rare, so if you are unsure about making a Benefit Cost Transfer, please check with the Controller’s Office at controllers_ucpath@berkeley.edu. For access to this transaction, please submit a SARA request. Training information will be sent out to everyone with access in the near future. 

Cal Answers Payroll dashboard training

The Cal Answers team is offering an overview of the Payroll dashboard on Thursday, August 6 from 2 pm - 3 pm. You can register for the webinar by following the link posted to the Cal Answers training page. The training overview will take place during the first half-hour and there will be a question and answers session for the second half-hour. If you have questions about the training, please contact the Cal Answers team at calanswers-help@berkeley.edu.

FY2019-20 Faculty funding

We continue to transition to new funding processes following the retirement of the PRT with the transition to UCPath. We have now provided funding for all faculty salary actions for FY20 in the permanent budget ledger and the actuals ledger, other than June 2020 separations. We will communicate faculty funding updates for FY2020-21 as we continue our work post-conversion. 

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