DFL weekly update - October 30, 2020

Upcoming deadlines at a glance

  • 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 process update

Thank you for all your efforts to submit your budgets in CalPlan. The CalPlanning planning tools (CalPlan, HCP) are currently closed, so that the Financial Planning & Analysis team can review the budget submissions. The CalPlanning reporting tools (CalRptg, HCPRptg, Smart View) will remain available, with FY21 Operating Budget Planner Submission available for reporting. The Q1 variance reports will go out once the budgets are finalized. 

Action items

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

The Berkeley Excellence Accounts for Research Grants or 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 will be open in November for all approved changes to the November org tree. The FY2020-21 budget is still in the process of being finalized.  We will proceed with implementation of all approved org tree changes to include movements between divisions which were previously on hold due to the delayed budget process. Completed and approved forms for changes to the November Org tree including Org Node and DeptID movements must be submitted by the November 19 submission deadline.

We recommend that you submit your change request form and 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

Controller’s Office curtailment processing times are available on the CFO website

The Controller’s Office is planning to observe the upcoming winter curtailment period. ​While specific dates are not yet finalized with UCOP, we’ve estimated deadlines and details based on timeframes that we anticipate in order to help departments in their efforts to submit service requests by year-end. The list of processing times by department is available on the CFO website. If there are any adjustments needed to the deadlines based on further news from Berkeley's People & Culture / UCOP, we will provide an update. The BRS deadlines related to HR and Academic Personnel Support, purchasing and reimbursements, and research administration are available on the BRS website

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.

Postponed: Payout for endowed chairs held centrally - now until the November ledger
We 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 are delays in receiving the files of incumbent chairholders. We don’t expect to be able to send funding until November 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. 

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.

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