DFL weekly update - October 22, 2021

Upcoming Deadlines at a Glance

  • Friday, 10/29 - Complete Q1 Key Controls
  • Friday, 11/5 - Submit required PDST materials for programs with approved multi-year plans
  • Friday, 11/26 - Queue commitments for Q2 requests

Budget Process

FY22 budget process update

Thank you for all of your efforts to submit your budgets. CalPlanning is now closed. CalPlan and HCP will remain unavailable until mid-November while the FY22 Operating Budget is finalized. We have concluded the budget decision meetings and the budget decision letters have been distributed.

Action Items

Complete Q1 Key Controls by Friday, October 29

Please complete and submit the Compensation Expense report and system access reviews by Friday, October 29. You do not need to review the Q1 GL Summary Report as the budget information is not available in Cal Planning at this time. Please visit the Division Key Controls page 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.

Submit required PDST materials for programs with approved multi-year plans by Friday, November 5

UCOP has asked that all programs with currently approved multi-year plans either:

  • (a) confirm that they intend to charge the maximum approved PDST rate; or
  • (b) request UCOP approval to charge a rate lower than was approved

Email studentfees@berkeley.edu confirming your proposed 2022-23 charges by Friday, November 5, 2021. Contact studentfees@berkeley.edu with any other questions.

Queue commitments for Q2 requests by Friday, November 26

Please complete the applicable form below to queue commitments by Friday, November 26 for commitments to be funded in the second quarter of FY2021-22. 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. 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.

Review STAR Award Funding Allocation

The FY22 Staff Appreciation and Recognition program (STAR) has been allocated. Please review the STAR Allocation FY2022 spreadsheet to view the funding for your unit. The amount available to spend is in the last column called “2022 Beg. Bal + Distribution”. Please share this information with the person responsible for allocating funds for STAR awards within your unit. We recommend VCs and Deans consider funding awards from a centralized pool to maximize flexibility in managing these resources. It is important to use the proper chartstring when submitting an award. Failure to use Account 51231, will result in GAEL rates being applied. More information is available on the STAR Award Program Allocation page. If you have questions about the allocation, please contact the Budget and Financial Operations team at centralresourcemanagement@berkeley.edu.

Informational Updates

Welcome Amy Utstein, new DFL for Cal Performances

Cal Performances has a new Divisional Finance Leader, Amy Utstein. Amy is the Director of Finance and Administration and she is joining Cal Performances from Berkeley Law. Welcome Amy!

New search feature is available in BFS

We’re happy to announce that we’ve enhanced the BFS system to include a search function in the navigation bar. This feature will allow people using the system to search for a page within BFS without having to find it in the menu structure. The search icon is located in the header bar of the browser screen. Once the search term is entered, the system will show all the related page links in the main window. On the left, there is a panel that will allow people to filter search results further. We’ve included instructions on Using the Search Feature in BFS on the Controller’s website. If you have any questions, please contact the BFS Help Desk at bfs@berkeley.edu.

Changes to Process to Submit Supplier Updates Coming Soon

As part of the Accounts Payable work to make the processes around suppliers more simple and efficient, the team will be making some changes to the way suppliers submit updates to their vendor profile information, including payment instructions. There will be two new DocuSign forms to submit - one for foreign suppliers and one for U.S. domestic suppliers. The forms are scheduled to be released in October. Suppliers will be able to access the forms from links on the Accounts Payable webpage. Once submitted, the form will route automatically to the Accounts Payable Vendor Desk for processing. These forms will replace the current ‘Substitute W-9 and Supplier Information Form,’ the ‘Foreign Bank Authorization (wire transfer) Form’ and the ‘Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Authorization Form’ that are currently submitted by fax or email. More details will be announced soon. This does not impact the process through the Supplier Onboarding Portal to register a new supplier.

Updates to Key Campus Gift Policies

The campus has updated four important policies governing gifts and giving. Please delete any copies you may have downloaded or saved and consult these current versions, and note the key updates below.

These policies are available on UC Berkeley’s Central Policy website and on Eureka.

BEAR Grants Funding timeline update

The funding for the Berkeley Excellence Accounts for Research Grants (BEAR Grants) will not be provided in the first quarter. FP&A is working with the Academic Personnel Office (APO) to get the necessary information for the BEAR grants funding allocation for fiscal year 2021-2022. We will reach out to you when the data is ready for your review in the upcoming weeks.

Business-related travel must be booked through ConnexUC beginning November 1

UC Berkeley is updating their policy on booking business-related travel. Beginning on November 1, employees and students booking flights for business travel will be required to book through the UC travel system ConnexUC (formerly Connexxus). This means employee and student travelers will also need to use the Direct Bill system to generate the identification number that will be used to pay for flights within ConnexUC. The benefit of using Direct Bill is that staff don’t have to pay out of pocket upfront for their airfare, often well in advance of the travel, then having to wait until travel is completed before being able to get reimbursed. With Direct Bill they can charge their airfare directly to the university. With this change, travelers or their delegates will include the payment chartstring when they make the Direct Bill request, rather than providing it in the reimbursement request. Booking through ConnexUC means travelers will automatically get travel insurance, ticket protection, and agent support for their trip. Other potential benefits include preferred seat options, priority standby, and additional mileage. Additionally, if you find a lower fare somewhere else, send it to the travel team at travel@berkeley.edu and they’ll find you the rate in ConnexUC or potentially grant an exception to book outside the ConnexUC system. More information about how to use ConnexUC is available on the ConnexUC page on the Travel website and we will post frequently asked questions as they become available. If you have questions about this change, email the travel team at travel@berkeley.edu.

Master Org Tree closed

The final opportunity to submit approved org tree change requests to be entered in BFS for FY21 was May 18. The org tree will be closed for all changes until after the FY21 budget decisions are finalized. Org tree change requests can be submitted for review and approval anytime during fiscal close as the Budget and Financial Operations (BFO) team will continue to review requests to approve in advance of when the tree will open. 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:

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 June 2021. Visit the CalPlanning Training page 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. 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.

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 Weekly Updates page so you can reference past updates at any time.

Thank you,

Office of the Vice Chancellor of Finance