DFL weekly update - October 28, 2022

Upcoming Deadlines at a Glance

  • Friday, 10/28 - Submit DeptIDs for inactivation in BFS (today)
  • Friday, 10/28 - Complete Q1 Key Controls (today)
  • Friday, 11/18 - Submit completed and approved org tree change requests
  • Friday, 11/25 - Queue commitments for Q2 requests

Action Items

Submit a list of DeptIDs for inactivation in BFS by Friday, October 28

We are rolling out the process to begin clearing the backlog of DeptIDs which are currently on planned inactivation but have not been cleared in BFS. These are the DeptIDs that are currently restricted for planning in CalPlanning. While we have been able to inactivate DeptIDs in CalPlanning, we have not been able to do so in BFS until now. There are instructions on how to complete the BFS inactivation process on the Planning DeptID Inactivation page. Please plan to follow the BFS DeptID inactivation process and submit the list of inactive DeptIDs by Friday, October 28.

We will announce the process for ongoing or new requests for DeptID inactivation at a later date, so for the time being please continue to submit new requests via the inactivation form or with your Entity Hierarchy Redesign request. This new process does not apply to all divisions; therefore, if you do not have a DeptID inactivation spreadsheet in your shared Divisional Folder, you don’t need to submit the DeptID list. Please feel free to reach out to Latina Kamau-Kirika at dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu with any questions.

Complete Q1 Key Controls by Friday, October 28

Please complete and submit both the Financial Reporting Review and System Access Review by Friday, October 28. 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 completed and approved org tree change requests by Friday, November 18

If you would like to submit changes to the Org Tree, please submit your completed, Budget and Financial Operations (BFO) Committee approved request by Friday, November 18. The Org Tree is now open to all changes. Note, the last opportunity to process approved DeptID and Org Node movements will be November 30. 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:

Queue commitments for Q2 requests by Friday, November 25

Please complete the applicable form (linked below) to queue commitments by Friday, November 25 for commitments to be funded in the second quarter of FY2022-23. Please note that the following commitments do not need to be queued: Budget Decisions; EVCP TAS; Star Awards; Bear Grants; both Productivity Suite and Campus Data Network assessments and 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.

New in FY2022-23

  • You only need to use one commitment queue google form to submit your commitment requests for both faculty and non-faculty funding commitments (complete the commitment queue form). 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.
  • For more information about queueing commitments and documentation required, please visit the Commitments page.

Review STAR Award funding allocation

The FY23 Staff Appreciation and Recognition program (STAR) has been allocated. Please review the linked STAR Allocation FY2023 spreadsheet to view the funding for your unit. The amount available to spend is in the last column called “2023 Beg. Bal + Distribution”. Please share this information with the person responsible for allocating funds for STAR awards within your unit. We recommend Vice Chancellors 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 FY23 STAR Award Program Allocation page of the CFO website. If you have questions about the allocation, please contact the Budget and Financial Operations team at centralresourcemanagement@berkeley.edu.

Sign up for recharge training on December 2 and December 9

Self-certification recharge forms will be due on Friday, January 20. Divisions will need to submit a recharge self-certification form if they support a recharge unit and the unit charges Contracts and Grants or if the unit plans for a recharge income greater than $500,000 a year. The self-certification form is posted on the Recharge section of the CFO website. In preparation for the upcoming deadline, we are offering two recharge workshops. Please follow the links below to register for a session. If you have any questions, please contact the Budget and Financial Operations team at recharge_certification@berkeley.edu.

Informational Updates

BEAR grant reports update

The Berkeley Excellence Accounts for Research Grants (or BEAR Grants) support Berkeley's ladder faculty as they advance their research, scholarship and creative accomplishments. Next week, the Budget and Financial Operations team will reach out to DFLs in academic divisions to provide a list of faculty designated as eligible by the Academic Personnel Office (APO) for the FY22-23 BEAR Grant program, please review the message for more information. Please note that the appeal deadline is December 1, 2022. The BEAR Grant program fact sheet and frequently asked questions are available on the BEAR website for your reference. If you have questions regarding the use of BEAR funds, please contact the Budget and Financial Operations team at: centralresourcemanagement@berkeley.edu. For questions regarding eligibility, please contact the APO office at appolicy@berkeley.edu.

Continued improvement in processing time for new suppliers

The Vendoring Team is continuing to make great strides in reducing the backlog of new supplier registration requests. As of October 27, the vendoring team was working on new registration requests that came in on October 21, which is only four business days out. So, at this time, no further requests should be necessary to expedite new supplier requests as we transition to a focus on maintaining a backlog of no more than five business days and we are hopeful that we can achieve that consistently starting in January, upon our return from curtailment. Once again, we apologize for any impact the backlog may have had on your ability to conduct business and appreciate your patience.

Student Information System (SIS)/Berkeley Campus Solutions (BCS) Item Type Updating Procedure

Item Types that are used for SIS/BCS related charges on Contracts and Grants (C&G) awards require chartstring updates once the awards expire, and ideally, the updates are processed by the award closeout date. In the event they aren’t, the Item Types are identified for clearing in the COA Inactivation report when the C&G fund is scheduled for deactivation. In the past, Item Type deactivation/deletion requests were forwarded, per the COA Inactivation Report User Guide, to the Billing and Payment Services (BPS) team in the Controller’s Office. The new procedure is proactive; the Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) team will notify Billing and Payment Services (BPS) to change the Item Type chartstring fund value to 69995 and the CF1 value to CHGDEF (referring to “Change the Default”). This will allow for a student’s SIS/BCS activity related to the Item Type to continue to be processed and posted to the general ledger successfully. Item Type deletion/deactivation prevents transactions from posting as required. In addition, the presence of a deactivated Item Type in the Financial Aid package prevents updates to all other Item Types in the package, not just the deactivated one(s). Item Type chartstrings can also be updated proactively by the department, who can advise the BPS team of updated values prior to the award closeout date as appropriate. DFLs should be aware of BCS transactions posting to fund 69995/CF1 CHGDEF as this is an indication that updated chartstring information should be provided to the BPS team accordingly.

UC Berkeley Business Air Travel Carbon Mitigation Program

The Office of Sustainability partnered with the travel office, IT, campus leadership, and financial groups to launch the UC Berkeley Business Air Travel Carbon Mitigation Program! This program mitigates the high environmental impacts of UC Berkeley’s business air travel by funding campus projects that reduce our carbon footprint. Starting this year, a small fee will be assessed for business air travel that is funded by UC dollars ($10 for domestic trips, and $25 for offshore/international trips). The fee is assessed for trips booked with unrestricted funds when the travel report is submitted. So far, 19 units have opted into the program to cover the fee for air trips booked with restricted funds through a once a year true up. The fees will be invested in essential campus projects. Some of these projects will also save the campus money, particularly those that reduce energy use or the need to travel. UC Berkeley business travelers can continue to book flights with no changes to the booking and reimbursement process. Learn more at the Office of Sustainability’s website and contact sustainability@berkeley.edu for any additional questions.

Planned finance system outages

The following systems will be unavailable on these dates:

  • Saturday, October 29, 2022 - BFS scheduled system maintenance
  • Saturday, October 29, 2022 - BearBUY scheduled system maintenance
  • Friday, November 4, 2022 - BearBUY system upgrade from November 4 at 6 pm to Sunday, November 6 at 12 pm
  • Sunday, November 6, 2022 - Cal Answers Scheduled system maintenance
  • Sunday, November 6, 2022 - CalPlanning Scheduled system maintenance

CalPlanning training

The next series of CalPlanning and Smart View training classes begin Thursday, September 8. The curriculum uses a blended learning model. Courses begin with self-study using online “books” divided into chapters supplemented with practice exercises and short videos. Courses culminate with a group session using Zoom in which participants work on case studies in small teams to apply the material covered in the self-study. The self-study materials are available on the website for everyone to use; they can be a helpful resource for those that have already completed the training and are looking for a refresher. Review the CalPlanning training page for schedules, links to enroll, and to access the self-study materials.

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.

Cal Answers Training

Please review the self-service learning resources on the Cal Answers website, where Cal Answers users will find a complete course in basic navigation as well as short videos, job aids, wiki documentation, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Additionally, the two-hour instructor-led classes build on the basic navigation skills covered in the self-study. There are separate courses focusing on financial dashboards and student data dashboards. In the class, a subject matter expert will guide a deep dive into the reports and data available in the dashboards and answer specific questions.

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.

DFL Weekly Updates Page

As a reminder, these updates are regularly posted to the DFL Weekly Updates page so you can reference past updates at any time. Additionally, the Operational Deadlines page provides an overview of deliverables by quarter.

Thank you,

Office of the Vice Chancellor of Finance