DFL weekly update - September 16, 2022

Upcoming Deadlines at a Glance

  • Friday, 9/16 - Complete External Audit Certification for Q1 (today)
  • Tuesday, 9/20 - Submit completed and approved org tree change requests
  • Friday, 9/23 - Submit PDST multi-year plans for 2023-24
  • Monday, 9/26 - Submit journals for divisional sweeps of carry-forward balances
  • Friday, 10/28 - Submit DeptIDs for inactivation in BFS

Action Items

Complete External Audit Certification for Q1 by Friday, September 16 (today)

To ensure the completeness and accuracy of the quarterly Controller's report on the campus' external audit activities, please help us identify the 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 16, 2022, please submit the materials below to gao@berkeley.edu:

  • 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.)
  • 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, please contact gao@berkeley.edu.

Submit completed and approved org tree change requests by Tuesday, September 20

If you would like to submit changes to the Org Tree, please submit your completed, Budget and Financial Operations (BFO) Committee approved request by Wednesday, August 17. As a reminder, the May 18 submission date was the last day that approved change requests could be submitted for entry to the May Master Org Tree. Allowable changes through May 31 included New DeptIDs, New Org Nodes, and Description Changes. The Org Tree is now closed to all changes through fiscal close. 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Submit Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST) multi-year plans for 2023-24 by Friday, September 23

UCOP released the call for proposals from programs that charge Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST) with expiring multi-year plans, or from programs that wish to establish a PDST charge for a new or existing program effective beginning summer or fall 2023. The call for proposals, submission materials, instructions, and a list of programs with expiring multi-year plans are available on the Increase or maintain an existing Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition rate page. Due to an accelerated deadline from UCOP, multi-year plans are due to FP&A by Friday, September 23. Please email completed multi-year plans and any questions to studentfees@berkeley.edu.

Submit journals for divisional sweeps of carry-forward balances by Monday, September 26

If your division is planning to sweep year-end balances to their divisional office at the beginning of this fiscal year, be sure to submit all journals to the Budget and Financial Operations team by Monday, September 26. Please ensure all journals comply with the process and requirements posted on the Divisional Sweeps of Carry-Over Balances web page. To submit your prepared journals for approval, please send them to centralresourcemanagement@berkeley.edu.

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.

Informational Updates

Increase in meal rates for business travel and entertainment

UCOP Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Nathan Brostrom announced the maximum per person amounts for the reimbursement of travel and entertainment meal expenses have been revised for fiscal year 2022-2023. The maximum Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) rate for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 has been increased from $62 to $79.00 and is based on the highest per diem rate available for all UC locations as published by the US General Services Administration for FY23. This is for all business travel of fewer than 30 days in the continental United States, which includes the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. The revised business meeting and entertainment rates are available on the Maximum Meal Expenses page of the Controller’s Office website. As a reminder, these amounts include the cost of food and beverages, labor, sales tax, service, and delivery charges except for the donor and recruitment-related events hosted by the President and Chancellors. The cost of room rental, room set-up fees, media rental, decorations, etc., are not included in the per-person costs. Expenses already reimbursed for FY23 are subject to the rate that was published when they were incurred. The Travel and Entertainment reimbursement systems have already been updated to reflect the new rates. Please consult the Key Points of the Travel Policy page for further questions pertaining to travel policy. Please consult the Entertainment Policy in a Nutshell page for further questions pertaining to business meeting and entertainment policy.

Policy over reimbursement of personal internet and cell phone expenses

It has come to our attention that some staff and faculty have been requesting reimbursement for their home internet and/or cell phone monthly expenses which is a violation of our existing policies. Under UC Policy BFB G-46, Guidelines for the Purchase and Use of Cellular Phones and Other Portable Electronic Resources, "An employee may request reimbursement for the business use of a cellular phone or similar device purchased with the employee’s own funds. If the individual incurs additional charges on a calling plan for business calls over the plan limit, the university will reimburse those charges at the excess minute rate, upon receipt of supporting documentation. No reimbursement shall be made for business calls or a percentage of total business calls made within the package minutes covered under the employee’s calling plan contract. Similarly, no reimbursement is permitted for the partial business use on an Internet, fax, messaging, or similar service purchased with an employee’s own funds." Effective immediately, any new requests for reimbursement of cell phone and/or home internet usage will be rejected without 1) a clear business reason and 2) the appropriate supporting documentation (i.e. invoices/receipts) that meets the criteria set out in BFB-G-46. The FAQs published by People & Culture in May 2021 and the memo issued in October 2021 from Nathan Brostrom, Executive Vice President and CFO for the University of California provide further information about this policy. Please contact travel@berkeley.edu with questions.

Fund Flexibility Form is now available

The Fund Stewardship and Compliance team (formerly Fund Management) has developed a new process for reviewing difficult-to-spend gift funds. Campus colleagues can submit a form with information on funds that are particularly difficult to administer. Fund Stewardship and Compliance will review the fund to see if there is a solution that will make the fund easier to spend. Review the Fund Flexibility Form. For more information, visit Eureka.

Join us on September 20 at 11 am for a training session about travel and credit card programs

The Accounts Payable team would like to share information about the travel programs and card programs available to campus. Based on the feedback we received when we communicated ConnexUC updates in May, many faculty and staff who could benefit from these programs are unfamiliar with the great value of ConnexUC, Direct Bill, and the different purchasing credit cards available. To ensure better communication and transparency, the Accounts Payable team will begin hosting regular informational sessions about these key programs. The first session will be a one-hour zoom session on Tuesday, September 20 at 11 am and will continue this series on a monthly basis going forward. If you are interested in attending, contact travel@berkeley.edu to request the Zoom information. Please share this announcement with your team members who are likely to be booking business travel or making purchases.

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.

New Smart View job aid

Based on feedback from class participants, we have created a new job aid: Selecting Multiple Members in Smart View. This content is now included in the Smart View Ad Hoc for CalRptg course.

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