DFL weekly update - September 3, 2021

Upcoming Deadlines at a Glance

  • Friday, 9/10 - Complete External Audit Certification for Q1
  • Friday, 9/17 - Provide FY2021-22 cost recovery reduction chartstring(s)
  • Monday, 9/27 - Submit journals for divisional sweeps of carry-forward balances

Budget Process

FY22 budget process update

Thank you for all of your efforts to submit your budgets. CalPlanning is now closed while the Financial Planning & Analysis team reviews the budget submissions. CalPlan and HCP will remain unavailable until mid November while the FY22 Operating Budget is finalized. The budget hearings will take place in September.

Action Items

Complete External Audit Certification for Q1 by Friday, September 10

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 10, 2021, please submit the materials below to Yohei Azuma at yazuma@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, contact Yohei by email at yazuma@berkeley.edu.

Provide FY2021-22 cost recovery reduction chartstring(s) by Friday, September 17

Please provide the chartstring(s) for your L3's portion of the $65M total cost recovery reduction for FY2021-22 in the FY2021-22 Cost Recovery Reduction form by Friday, September 17. The fund(s) provided must be unrestricted campus-wide. Some examples include general funds (e.g., #19900 and #68600), sales and services funds, and self-supporting degree program funds. Fund(s) will be debited in the September (Q1) close. If you have any questions, please contact dfl_concierge@berkeley.edu.

Submit journals for divisional sweeps of carry-forward balances by Monday, September 27

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 27. Please ensure all journals comply with the process and requirements posted on the Divisional Sweeps of Carry-Forward Balances page. To submit your prepared journals for approval, please send them to centralresourcemanagement@berkeley.edu.

Avoid Sponsored Research billing errors on non-UC subaward purchase orders

Spending on federal awards for subaward activities requires us to use the following account codes when establishing a purchase order with a subaward agency in BearBuy;

  • Expense Account Code 57811 (spending between $0 - $25,000, IDC charged)
  • Expense Account Code 57810 (spending >$25,000, no IDC)

We have a significant number of purchase orders established in BearBuy where the Purchase Order is greater than $25,000 but uses 57811 only. Coding errors can lead to errors in downstream invoice billing (including overbilling issues) to the federal sponsor. It can also damage the university’s reputation with federal sponsors and could result in the cancellation of grants in the future. To avoid these possible outcomes, we ask that you proactively review all purchase orders within your area for subaward activity and update them with the correct expense account codes. The first $25k in spending should be coded to 57811 and any spending in excess of $25k should be coded to 57810. Department Research Administrators can make corrections directly in BearBuy.

Supply Chain Management has created a Using the Subaward Form in BearBUY job aid to assist users when using the “Subaward for Non-UC Recipients Form” in BearBuy. This job aid will be shared with all BearBuy users in a future Supply Chain Management newsletter. If you have any questions, please contact Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGAawards@berkeley.edu) for further assistance.

Informational Updates

Alpha-numeric values for endowment principal and income funds

The UC Office of the President will be creating alpha-numeric fund codes for new funds in the endowment income and principal fund groups, effective immediately. The future endowment income fund values - fund group code 407100 - will begin with the letter “T” followed by four numerical values (for example, T0001). Endowment principal funds - fund group code 407210 - will begin with the letter “S” followed by four numerical values (for example, S0001). If your division has subsystems or interfaces that feed data into BFS with endowment funds, please make sure these subsystems can accommodate the alpha-numeric fund codes. If you have questions regarding this change please contact Financial Accounting & Controls at gao@berkeley.edu.

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.

State law AB 1887 updates

Effective January 1, 2017, state law AB 1887 prohibited using state funds to pay for travel to a state that has passed a law discriminating based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Recently, five more states were added to the Attorney General’s AB 1887 travel ban using state funds effective on the following dates:

  • July 1, 2021: Florida and Montana
  • July 8, 2021: West Virginia
  • July 29, 2021: Arkansas
  • August 1, 2021: North Dakota

More information about the law, including the list of affected states, is available on the Department of Justice website. A list of frequently asked questions is available on the UCOP website. If you have any questions, please contact Accounts Payable 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 training page of the CalPlanning website 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. 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.

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