DFL weekly update - October 23, 2020

Upcoming deadlines at a glance

  • Friday, 10/23 - Submit budgets in CalPlan (today)

  • Friday, 10/23 - Submit Spring 2021 Course Materials & Services Fee exception requests (today)

  • Wednesday, 10/28 - Submit Department of Finance template

  • Friday, 10/30 - Complete Q1 Key Controls

  • Friday, 10/30 - Supply chartstrings for BEAR grants

  • Thursday, 11/19 - Submit completed and approved org tree requests

Budget process

Budget submissions due in CalPlan today, October 23

The budget decision meetings have concluded and FP&A has communicated the decisions via email. Formal communications from the Chancellor and EVCP will follow. Budget submissions are due in CalPlan today, October 23. Please make sure that the budget in CalPlan reflects the budget template approved by campus leadership, including coding approved reserve investments with the management code “3I00MC - Investment reserve mgmt code”. 

Action items

Submit Spring 2021 Course Materials & Services Fee exception requests by Friday, October 23 (today)

Due to the recent announcement that most instruction will be remote in Spring 2021,Course Materials & Services Feeswill not be assessed for the spring semester. 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 completethe Spring 2021 Course Materials & Services Fee Exception Request formand submit it by Friday, October 23 for review by the CMSF Committee. More information about new CMSF requests for 2021-22 will be provided at a later date. Contactstudentfees@berkeley.eduwith any questions.

Department of Finance template is due on Wednesday, October 28

The next Department of Finance template is due to the Financial Planning & Analysis team by Wednesday, October 28. 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 Q1 Key Controls by Friday, October 30

Please complete and submit the Compensation Expense report and system access reviews by Friday, October 30. Please visit the Controller's website for instructions and more information. The GL Summary Report will be due at a later date, once budget information is available in CalPlanning. 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

Supply chartstrings for BEAR grants by Friday, October 30

TheBerkeley Excellence Accounts for Research Grantsor BEAR grants support Berkeley's ladder faculty as they advance their research, scholarship, and creative accomplishments. We emailed the DFLs of academic divisions with the list of faculty Principal Investigators designated as eligible by the Academic Personnel Office (APO) for the FY2020-21 BEAR grant program. We included an attached spreadsheet which lists the chartstrings that were used last year (where applicable). Please review that list and confirm your chartstring or provide a new chartstring by emailing Central Resource Management team member Rocio Fragoso at centralresourcemanagement@berkeley.edu no later than 5pm on Friday, October 30. 

Submit completed and approved org tree requests by Thursday, November 19

The org tree is now open for approved allowable changes to the October org tree. Allowable approved changes include Description changes, New DeptIDs, New Org Nodes with New DeptIDs, and movement of Org Nodes and DeptIDs within the same division. Due to the delayed budget process, movements between different divisions will be held until the FY2020-21 budget is finalized in late October. This means that all movements between divisions in FY2020-21 need to be approved by and entered in BFS in November 2020. Completed and approved forms for changes to the November Org tree to include Org Node and DeptID movements must be submitted by the November 19 submission deadline.

We recommend that you submit your change request formand all required supplemental materials 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 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 Knowledge and Resource Portal.

  • 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 the FY2020-21 budget is finalized through the end of November. Please review the Org Tree Calendar for the timeline of allowable org tree changes throughout the year.  As a reminder, November will be the last opportunity to process approved Org Node and DeptID movements this fiscal 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.

Informational updates

Clarification on reimbursement for meal expenses for virtual meetings

We have received some inquiries regarding the allowability of reimbursement for meal expenses for virtual meetings and virtual entertainment events. UC Policy, Bus-79, states that meals for virtual meetings or virtual entertainment events are not reimbursable. This policy applies to students, staff, and faculty. Similarly, for a meal to qualify for reimbursement for an entertainment event involving students, staff, and faculty, the policy specifies that there is a host that is physically present at the event. More information about this policy is available on the Accounts Payable webpage. We understand that campus departments are looking for creative ways to support their staff and faculty during this difficult period and we are committed to working with them to find options that are in alignment with that goal while also ensuring policy compliance. 

Please don't hesitate to reach out to the Travel and Entertainment team within Accounts Payable to make suggestions or discuss options at travel@berkeley.edu or entertainment@berkeley.edu.  

Productivity Suite Update

As the campus has shifted to a remote working and learning environment, we’ve become increasingly reliant on tools such as Zoom and DocuSign. In order to ensure adequate software licenses and user support, Zoom and DocuSign were added to IST’s Productivity Suite portfolio of services which increases the annual assessment per headcount from $162 to $192 in FY21. The updated assessment amount is already reflected in CalPlanning’s FY21 Operating Budget. If you have any questions, please contact productivitysuite@berkeley.edu

New fund management training for gift agreements available

Fund Management has launched a new online training: Shining a Light on Gift Agreements - How to create, document and manage stellar gift agreements. This training is designed for anyone in Berkeley advancement or finance who is interested in understanding how gift agreements are created, documented and managed. It also teaches fundraisers and professional support staff how to submit and manage gift agreements using the Fiat Docx and DocuSign tools. If this interests you, you can access the 20 minute e-learning module on the UC Learning Center. If you have questions, please contact Andrea Tung at atung@berkeley.edu.

Postponed: Payout for endowed chairs held centrallyWe sent out a message earlier this year about a change we are making to the process for transferring funds for rotating endowed chairs held centrally. While it remains true that DFLs no longer need to provide a budget or queue commitments for the disbursal of these funds, we were not able to transact these on the September ledger, as there has been a delay in receiving the file of incumbent chairholders. We are expecting to send funding starting this month to the divisional allocation DeptID of the chairholder's home division. For those chairs appointed later in the year, please provide the appointment letter through the DFL concierge email dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu  with a request for funding. 

Postponed: Submit DeptIDs for inactivation and CF1 changes

In a normal year, we implement changes for DeptIDs and Chartfield 1 members you would like removed from or added to CalPlan and HCP as part of the January CalPlanning release. The requests would usually be due early November. We are postponing this process until closer to the FY2021-22 budget call. Please email any questions  to dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu and include “DeptID/Chart1 Inactivation” as the subject line.

​Employee-initiated Reduction In Time (ERIT) program​The Employee-Initiated Reduction In Time (ERIT) Program provides an opportunity for employees to voluntarily reduce their current appointment percentage and corresponding pay so that the university can achieve temporary salary savings. Savings from the ERIT program are captured by the employee's home department. Some points to remember about this program are: 

  • Eligibility includes all non-represented career staff. For represented employees it varies by Union; UPTE, Teamsters, and KB Skilled Trades employees can participate in ERIT. Note: Senior Management Group and Academic appointments are not eligible for this program.  

  • Full-time Employment (FTE) percent must be reduced in 5% increments, with a minimum reduction of 5% FTE and a maximum reduction of 50% of FTE (if the employee is 100% FTE).  Employee’s FTE may not be reduced below 50%. The employee’s work percentage must match the ERIT contract percentage every month. 

  • The minimum length of participation in the ERIT program is one (1) month and the maximum length of participation is 36 months (3 years).  

  • Participation is subject to approval by an employee’s department head and the work schedules are subject to approval by an employee’s supervisor. 

For questions about the ERIT program you may contact your Berkeley Regional Services (BRS) HR team or review the Frequently Asked Questions page for ERIT

Review CalPlanning access

With another round of budget input to CalPlanning, you may want to review CalPlanning security to ensure that your planners have the access that they need. To review those with access in your division, review the CalPlan_HCPRptg_security worksheet. The DFL or CalPlanning access provider can request access removal in the worksheet. In the future, we will make this available for review as part of quarterly key controls. Please use the CalPlanning User Access Request Form to request to add new users or to increase access to more entities for existing users. CalPlanning access requests will be processed within 5 business days.

Cal Answers ad hoc analyses walkthrough October 29

The Cal Answers team is offering an overview (or walkthrough) of how to create ad hoc analyses on Thursday, October 29 from 1:30 pm - 3 pm. You can register for the webinar by following the link posted to the Cal Answers training page. The training walkthrough will take place during the first hour and there will be a question and answer session for the last half-hour. We’ll record and post the walkthrough portion to the website. If you have questions about the training, please contact the Cal Answers team at calanswers-help@berkeley.edu

CalPlanning and Smart View Training

Do you need to learn or enhance your skills in CalPlanning or Smart View? Training classes through the end of 2020 are available for enrollment on thetraining page of the CalPlanning website. 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 ViewOffice 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. Office hours are available on an ongoing basis with at least one session per month scheduled.

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