Frequently Asked Questions - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Department of Finance Reporting (COVID-19)

We are capturing Administrative Leave related to COVID-19. Where will this be included on the template?

Based on guidance from UCOP, we will capture these under the "Additional online/remote courses" section in the template once the Controller’s Office has summarized the data.

Should divisions report the expenses charged against gift funds in the DOF report?

UDAR has been getting questions about reporting expenses that are charged to gift funds in general and COVID-19 related gifts, specifically. They have also established COVID-19 related gift funds and are using the CF1 for these funds. Should divisions report the expenses charged against these funds in the DOF report?

Per the DOF reporting instructions, divisions should only be reporting expenses that are extraordinary and non-absorbable. To the extent that we are receiving funding to cover these costs, they should not be included in the report.

International House is a financially independent organization though its employees are UC Berkeley employees and the expenses are in an agency fund. Should International House follow the same tracking practice as the rest of UCB?

We have a few affiliated 501(c)(3) entities that ultimately record revenue or expenses on our ledger (International House; Haas Executive Education). Divisions should include the associated revenue and expenses in the DOF reports. Maintain records with the details in case we are asked to report on what is core funded vs what is self-supporting or non-profit.

There are several departments on campus that are leasing out space to third parties and will be providing rent abatement to their tenants. How should they record this lost revenue?

If you are providing rent abatements to third party tenants, you will need to track lost revenues by using a contra-revenue account with COVID-19 CF1 or CF2.  Please contact Plant Accounting (plant-accounting@berekely.edu) to assist you with the necessary accounting adjustments.

Should I include the cost of purchasing laptops and other equipment for staff so that they can work from home under the “Additional online/remote courses”category in the template?

Yes, please capture staff remote costs (quarantined workforce costs) in the DOF template. This has changed from our original guidance. UCOP has asked us to capture costs related to staff remote work under the "additional online/remote courses" section on the “Monthly” tab, but track it separately from remote work specific to online courses (such as laptops or zoom for online learning). 

Please include these amounts under “Other” in the “Monthly” tab and include a note in the “Total to Date” tab in the fund column for the “additional online/remote courses” section to identify the amount that is specific for online learning and the amount that is specific for staff quarantined workforce costs.

 

For lost revenue due to canceled programs or lost enrollment, should we be reporting the net revenue we expected in the division or the gross revenue to the campus?

I'm thinking of the 9% AFC and the 15% from SSGPDP. I'm assuming net revenue (i.e. I'm deducting the 9%/15%.)

Please include the gross revenue. We are looking at the impact to the university as a whole. The 9% and 15% would count as an internal transfer amount, even though they are technically contra-revenue.

If we have anticipated cost savings how would we capture them?

Would we simply reduce the revenue loss by the savings? Should we start preparing to do that for future month reporting?

 

Include the net amount in your estimate for lost revenue.

How do we track cost savings that are related to lost revenue?

For example, if we lost revenue related to an event we held, but we no longer have vendor or staffing costs for that event, should we capture the cost savings related to the staff or vendors in addition to the lost revenue? For some of my revenue losses I did not consider potential cost savings as the actual and material saving of expenses will not occur until we start delivering instruction and/or reduce class offerings.

The template for the DOF asks that we report extraordinary, non-absorbable costs. As you are filling the templates out, please keep this in mind.

For lost revenue, and to the extent possible, please consider the incremental impact net of any savings from costs that will no longer be incurred. This may be difficult to capture especially for lost revenue associated with future services. 

 

What is the correct way to capture lost return to aid (RTA) revenue?

Our unit’s revenue is not subject to AFC, as we collect tuition. We do, however, share a third of our UC revenue with the financial aid office as return to aid (RTA). We reported our revenue without the consideration of RTA since it is an internal transfer similar to our revenue share with other units. Is this the correct way to capture it or is the Financial Aid Office already accounting for their lost RTA revenue?

This is correct. We want to report the loss of revenue to the university. The amount that is provided to the financial aid office is considered an internal transfer and should not be considered in your estimates.

When estimating our lost revenue, should we be reporting it from a fiscal year perspective?

We are reporting the loss of revenue that we would typically receive now for classes that will be held over the summer (classes start at the end of May and cross the fiscal year) since we are seeing the loss now. However, as a long-standing accounting practice, we usually defer the upcoming summer revenue to the next fiscal year (FY21). In other words, all the revenue loss from Summer 2020 due to COVID-19 from an accounting perspective should be reflected in the ledger as lost revenue for FY21, not FY20. Should we be reporting our estimated revenue loss from an accounting perspective and defer any current lost revenue for future classes to the next fiscal year?

Report the estimated lost revenue in the month (and year) that you would normally collect the revenue. Do not defer it to the month that the activity will occur. Specifically, for Summer Sessions, they should not defer the estimated loss for summer revenue to FY21. If they normally receive the revenue now, they should report it as lost revenue now.

We have estimated our lost revenue without consideration of bad debt amount. Is that correct?

Our unit recognizes revenue when a student is assessed tuition and fees without consideration for whether or not they will be able to actually pay the tuition and fees. When the university is unable to collect on these fees, the bad debt contra revenue account is booked to our ledger. This tends to be small for us. We have estimated our lost revenue without consideration of this bad debt amount. Is that correct?

Yes, this is correct. We are trying to estimate the total revenue losses to the university related to COVID-19. You do not need to reduce this by an estimate for bad debt.

Since our first report included estimates, how should we true-up the costs in the template?

For example, I included an estimate in the March of the report we submitted in April for cleaning costs of $15K. The actual amount that hit the ledger was $20K. Should I report the additional $5K in the March column or included it in the April column along with my estimate for April expenses?

In order to have an audit trail for the closed month, please override any previous month’s amount with the actual amount that hit the ledger during that period. For the April report, please override the amount in the March column so that it represents what actually hit the ledger. Then use the April column to report actual/estimated costs related only to the month of April. So, in your example, you should include $20K in the March column, if the total amount was incurred during that period in the ledger, and use the April column to report actual/estimated costs related to the month of April.

What types of payroll-related costs qualify as extraordinary, non-absorbable costs for DOF reporting purposes?

If I redeploy an existing employee to work on COVID-19 related work and do not need to backfill them for their existing work should I include the cost of their salary?

Redirected workforce costs will likely not qualify, but additional direct hires for the purpose of helping with COVID-19 efforts will likely qualify. For example, some of our academic divisions have had to hire extra GSIs to help with remote instruction. These expenses will be included in the template.

Should divisions be reporting lost revenue related to gifts?

Lost revenue from gifts should not be included in the Department of Finance Report.

How are we capturing the reduction of overhead costs associated with the cost of heating and air in a building that is vacant?

Utilities costs are not reflected in individual units, we will work with Administration to understand these impacts.

How do you define extraordinary costs?

The goal of the template reporting is to capture extraordinary costs beyond current budgeted levels. For example, while staff may be spending significant time coordinating or responding to various needs, their normal work hours or salaries would generally be assumed to be absorbable. However, extraordinary levels of additional overtime that cannot be absorbed within existing resources may fit the criteria for potential additional funding. Additionally, departments may be required to enter into new contracts for goods or services that cannot be absorbed within existing resources.

 

Some revenue losses can not be tracked with the CF1 or CF2 because they just do not incur.

Correct. To the extent that you have already recorded revenue and need to issue refunds, you can track the refunds as a contra-revenue using the CF1/CF2. If you haven't yet recorded the revenue, you will need to reasonably estimate the amount of revenue lost by using trend data or budgeted/forecasted amounts.

Since the deadline to UCOP is the beginning of each month and our general ledger closes in the middle of each month, the data will lag two weeks.

About the applicable beginning and end dates, probably our campus can set as using data at each monthly close, so that it's easy to trace. Since the deadline to UCOP is the beginning of each month and our general ledger closes in the middle of each month, the data will lag two weeks.

The beginning date was set by UCOP as March 4th, but if there were expenses incurred earlier as the result of COVID-19 they should also be included in the March amounts.  

Since our estimates are due to them before the general ledger closes, we will continue to use the templates to provide estimates and then true them up the following month when actual data becomes available in the ledger.

 

The template instructions say to be sure that you can document how you estimated or derived the expenses reported in the template. Incurred costs seem to refer to actuals and not estimates. Are divisions expected to fill out the template with actuals or

We want to report on expenses that have been incurred including any lost revenue. Since we are sending in this report before the month-end close, Actual expenses will not be available in the ledger and will need to be estimated. 

Lost revenue that was not already recorded in the ledger may never be recorded in the ledger since it was lost. For this, you will need to estimate the revenue you planned to receive but will never receive because of COVID-19. 

UCOP understands that we will need to estimate amounts. We will be reporting these expenses monthly going forward and will include the cumulative amounts in the ledger. Any needed adjustments to estimates made in earlier months can be made in future templates.

 

We have not completed the process of tagging COVID-19 related expenses on the designated chartfields (CF1/CF2). Also, COVID-19 related payroll expenses for March will not be on the ledger as of April 2, 2020.

We are planning on capturing what is currently on the ledger as of now and making amendments in April as needed. Please let us know if you would prefer a different approach.

In an effort to track overall state costs, and to make informed financial decisions, the Department of Finance is requesting that all departments provide monthly cost estimates associated with COVID-19-related activities. In order to comply with this UCOP has asked us to provide timely estimates of our costs each month. 

Since our estimates are due to them before the general ledger closes, we will need to provide estimates via the templates and then true them up the following month when actual data becomes available in the ledger. We understand this may require extra work on behalf of the units but it is what is needed at this time.

 

How would you like us to report anticipated reductions in philanthropic giving? There does not seem to be a place to capture this on the form.

This has not been specifically requested by UCOP. For now, we suggest not including it in the template, but if you are able to accurately estimate how much may be lost as a result of this, please maintain estimates in case it may be requested in the future.

Should we capture SSGPDP lost revenue in the template?

Please include all lost revenue related to COVID-19 including Self Supporting Graduate Professional Degree Programs (SSGPDP) revenue and Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST) revenue in the template under category 1 - Lost revenue due to canceled programs and/or lost enrollments.

Have the new code(s) been added to Cal Answers yet?

I was trying to see if I could run a CalAnswers report by the COVID19 flex codes that we are supposed to be using to track expenses, but I was not able to find them in the flex code search. Have the new code(s) been added to CalAnswers yet? How would I go about running a report to identify spending in those areas?

The codes are included in Cal Answers. Make sure you are using the exact codes. COVD19 for CF1  and COV19 for CF2.

You can search for them using the drop-down and using the search function by clicking on “More/Search” on the CF1 Code or CF2 Code fields in the lower right-hand part of the first section for the General Ledger Summary or General Ledger Detail reports. When doing the search, if you have match-case selected, you will need to enter the search item in CAPS.

 

If we become aware of an expense incurred previously, should we submit an adjustment or report the expense in the subsequent month?

The template is set up to track cumulative expenses. Use the next month’s report to true up costs and/or estimates from the prior month. You can overwrite the data that was previously submitted to ensure that you have the most accurate information.

How would you like us to capture encumbrances? Would you like to see them reported on the month they are committed or should we only capture the actuals as they hit the ledger?

Please include the amounts that have hit the ledger and to the extent that you can, estimate the amounts that will hit the ledger for that month. When actual data becomes available in the ledger, you can true it up.

Several key categories of expense seem to be missing from the template: Research, Recharge (we have scientific recharge facilities and shops), COVID-19 testing in IGI.

Research:

We are only tracking expenses related to COVID-19 that are extraordinary, not funded and non-absorbable. Sponsored research expenses should therefore not be tracked using the CF1/CF2 value or be included in the template.

Any other COVID-19 research-related charges that are not allowable award expenses and also not normally reimbursed by an external funding source should use the CF1 or CF2 value as appropriate.

Recharge:

To the extent that recharge is part of our internal economy (i.e. it doesn't affect Berkeley's bottom line), it should not be included in the template for the DOF. 

To the extent that there is any external recharge revenue that will be lost, it should be captured.

COVID-19 Testing:

If the expenses are for medical testing that will not be reimbursed by an external funding source then they should be included in the template and tracked using the CF1/CF2.

If the expenses are research-related expenses they should not be included in the template for the DOF. See the above for more detail on research-related expenses. 

The template includes specific lines for types of expenses.

Are we supposed to ONLY list those expense types listed in the template or should we add lines for things, such as, laptops and other COVID-19 expenses that do not fall into the 4 expense themes?

For the templates, please only include costs related to the categories below. For recording expenses in the ledger, please continue to capture all expenses related to COVID-19 under the CF1 or CF2.

Template Categories:

  1. Lost revenue due to canceled programs and/or lost enrollments

  2. Emergency Medical Services (Student Health Clinics only)

  3. Facilities and Cleaning Costs

  4. Additional online/remote courses (specifically for campus closures)

Please do not add extra lines to the templates. We will be consolidating all of the templates into one submission for UCOP, it is important that the structure for each template remains intact.

 

The formulas in the template are not working.

The template does not include formulas for the lines included below each category. Please include a formula that picks up all the amounts below so that they show up in the “Total to Date” tab.

Will your office be picking up and reporting payroll expenses on the designated earn codes or should we be doing that in addition to expenses on the CF1 and CF2?

The Controller’s office will be gathering the actuals payroll data. For reporting on paid administrative leave they will pull information from CalAnswers reports filtering on the appropriate earn code values.

To ensure we are picking up reimbursable expenses, you will need to update Position Funding in UCPath with one of the optional chartfields, as appropriate.

Once we pull the information centrally, we may need to consult with each division to understand the type of expenses being captured.

 

Should we include the actual dollar amounts in the template or should they be rounded up?

Please make sure to report all numbers in the templates in $ thousands.

CF1/CF2 tracking in the general ledger (COVID-19)

Do we need to use this CF1 or CF2 tracking for COVID-19 research expenses that fall within the scope of a research project and/or has been approved by the Sponsor on an existing research grant?

It would include things such as lab supplies to perform the research, as well as personnel costs for the researchers who are working on this project.

To the extent that you are doing sponsored research on COVID-19, you should record the expenses the same way you would record any other research you are doing and not track it using the COVID-19 CF1/CF2. The research grant will be funding those costs so we would not need to track them for additional reimbursement.

Will expenses incurred as a result of the coronavirus be reimbursed?

Even though we are tracking these expenses, this does not mean expenses charged to these codes will be reimbursed. 

If you have travel-related expenses as a result of the coronavirus, please review the travel reimbursement page

For more information about funding opportunities, visit the Sponsored Projects Office website.

What kind of expenses should I use the CF1 and CF2 COVD codes for?

Please use these codes for expenses such as technology for remote work and instruction (e.g., purchase of laptops, Zoom, learning management systems, etc.), extra costs for facilities cleaning (e.g., cleaning supplies, hand sanitizers, deep cleaning services, etc.), and medical services (e.g., testing kits, medical supplies, staff training, etc.). The COVID-19 codes are meant to track expenses or unanticipated costs incurred as a result of COVID-19.

If I have compensation expenses due to COVID19 that are unrelated to administrative leave, should I track this with the CF1 or CF2 codes even though it is a compensation expense?

If I have compensation expenses due to COVID19 that are unrelated to administrative leave, for example, hiring a graduate student to support moving to online instruction, should I track this with the CF1 or CF2 codes even though it is a compensation expense?

Yes, if you have an expense such as hiring additional help to facilitate remote work, track these with the CF1 or CF2 code. These codes are meant to track expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19. 

  • Chartfield code 1: COVD19

  • Chartfield code 2: COV19

Please update Position Funding in UCPath with either of these optional chartfields, as appropriate.

 

Do we need to track inventory/use of COVID-related purchases?

Yes. We have received guidance the campus will be more likely to be reimbursed for COVID purchases if we can track their usage during the COVID emergency, particularly with respect to existing, previously purchased inventory. For example, if your department had one bottle of hand sanitizer pre-COVID and purchased 10 more for COVID, keep track of the usage of the 10 new purchases to ensure they were dispensed to staff/facilities during this emergency period.

How do I track costs related to remote work?

To track non-compensation expenses related to the coronavirus, please use either of the following chartfield codes, when and where possible:

  • Chartfield code 1: COVD19

  • Chartfield code 2: COV19

Should we be tracking any student aid/awards we process that are meant as emergency funding awards for students who are in need?

We do have dedicated funds for emergency awards for our students, but we are anticipating to disburse more than we normally would.

The CF1/CF2 can be used broadly to capture any COVID-19 related expenses that would not exist if this hadn't occurred.

For the COVID-19 expense tracking, should we only be tracking those COVID-19 expenses that Supply Chain Management categorized as "essential" purchases?

Supply Chain Management sent out an email about limiting non-essential purchase orders. For the COVID-19 expense tracking, should we only be tracking those COVID-19 expenses that Supply Chain Management categorized as "essential" purchases? Or should we continue to use the chartfields more broadly? Are there any non-comp expenses that should not be included?

Some of the examples of the expenses that my unit has incurred as a result of the needs related to COVID-19 include:

  • IT purchases

  • Emergency student awards

  • Large gift card purchases for students in need

  • Canceled events (lost registration and other related prepaid expenses plus any lost revenue)

In efforts of minimizing non-essential purchase order shipments to the University’s receiving areas and closed buildings, Supply Chain Management has requested departments cancel purchase orders for non-essential items that have been placed within the last 60 days. 

The categories listed as non-essential purchases by Supply Chain Management should not be confused with the category of expenses that should be tracked related to COVID-19.

The CF1/CF2 can be used broadly to capture any COVID-19 related expenses that would not exist if this hadn't occurred. The expenses you listed make sense under this definition. Any expenses incurred as a result of this should be included. Please be sure to maintain any necessary documentation for these expenses in case it is needed in the future.


Note: For template reporting, the expenses listed should only be included if they fall under the template expense categories outlined in the templates. For example, lost revenue for cancelled events and IT purchases related to online/remote courses should be included in the template.

Should divisions report the expenses charged against gift funds in the DOF report?

UDAR has been getting questions about reporting expenses that are charged to gift funds in general and COVID-19 related gifts, specifically. They have also established COVID-19 related gift funds and are using the CF1 for these funds. Should divisions report the expenses charged against these funds in the DOF report?

Per the Department of Finance reporting instructions, divisions should only be reporting expenses that are extraordinary and non-absorbable. To the extent that we are receiving funding to cover these costs, they should not be included in the report. 

Should we be using both chart fields for each transaction?

Per the guidelines, you will only need to use one of the chartfield codes whenever possible. We understand that some people use either a CF1 or a CF2 for tracking other things in their reporting so we created one for both just in case.

General finance COVID-19 FAQs

Will I still be charged parking fees during the shelter in place order?

Read more on the parking and transportation website

Staff who were unable to return their parking permits prior to the "shelter in place" order will not be charged for the unused time until regular operations resume. For the month of March:

  • Monthly employees will be charged 50% of their regular monthly deduction amount on the 4/1/20 pay date.

  • Biweekly employees will be charged their regular biweekly deduction amount on the 4/1/20 pay date, but will not be charged on the 4/15/20 or 4/29/20 pay dates (the latter of which is a benefit holiday).

Similar adjustments will be made for AC Transit Employee EasyPass holders and again for all payroll deduction participants during the month of April once we are able to determine the date when regular operations resume.

Students who were unable to return their parking permits prior to the "shelter in place" order should complete the Student Parking Permit Cancellation Form.

Are the budget process deadlines changing?

Yes. We are currently assessing the financial impact of COVID-19 and its potential impact on the budget process. Once guidance on this matter can be provided, we will communicate revised due dates for the budget submission and related activities. We’ll post updates to the budget process webpage.

What happens when the 128 hours of paid leave runs out?

Updated May 5, 2020

Updated guidance has been offered for employees who have exhausted their allocation of COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave and who potentially qualify for and wish to use Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leave. Leadership in People and Culture and CalTime is extending the guidance to exempt employees for the pay cycle ending April 30.

Exempt staff should also use the "Administrative Leave with Pay" code in CalTime if they have exhausted their COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave allocation and potentially qualify and wish to use FFCRA leave. As a reminder, leave taken should be recorded in full day increments for exempt employees.

Biweekly employees should continue to utilize CalTime’s “Administrative Leave with Pay code for FFCRA leave as needed for the pay period ending this Saturday, May 2. To assist with reconciliation, it is recommended that supervisors maintain their own records of FFCRA time usage for their employees both non-exempt and exempt, in addition to keeping record of the usage of UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (COVID-19 Paid Admin Leave).

The most recent guidance from UCOP on leave during COVID-19 can be found here. Please reach out to your HR Partner if you have additional questions.  

Even if I can support members of my research team through paid administrative and other leave, these charges will have an impact on the direct-charge portion of my project’s budget. Will the agencies provide additional funding?

Please review the FAQs at VC Research website.

Certain agencies, like NIH, have expressly recognized the hardship that the COVID-19 situation will create for projects. Its leaders expect to review requests for supplemental funding on a case-by-case basis. Other agencies, like the NSA, have stated that remote work will not be eligible for funding. Check the Berkeley SPO COVID-19 resource page for further information on your project’s funder and contact your agency program manager/grant officer to request supplemental funding.

 

Can I charge my sponsored research contracts and grants for this admin leave?

Please review the SPO FAQ and the memo from Interim EVP-CFO, Paul Jenny on Charging grants and contracts costs to Federal sponsored awards during COVID-19.

As a recipient of federal awards, UC can charge salaries and benefits to such awards if it does so in a manner that is consistent across all funding sources, federal and non-federal. President Napolitano’s order is one of UC’s institutional policies that is used as a basis for charging sponsored contracts and grants. This approach is supported by costing policy guidance recently issued by the federal Office of Management and Budget. This guidance must be implemented by federal sponsors, so please check the UC Berkeley SPO COVID-19 Guidance for further information on a particular agency.

How should I record my administrative leave time if I submit a paper timesheet?

If you submit a paper timesheet, please continue to follow the information featured on the Berkeley Regional Services (BRS) Timekeeping/CalTime page until further notice.

What if I or any of the employees are unable to come to work due to COVID-19 related reasons?

What’s the university policy on paid administrative leave?

As of March 17, 2020, all UC employees are eligible to receive a one-time allotment of up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave to be used no later than December 31, 2020, based on certain conditions. Managers and supervisors are asked to grant their employees permission for these requests and to be flexible as their staff adjusts to the current situation. Please review details and special guidance for supervisors and managers as well as COVID-19 related leave for academic appointees and refer to resources provided by UC Berkeley People and Culture. You can track COVID-19 related paid administrative leave in CalTime as “CV19-Admin Leave with Pay.” President Napolitano’s March 16 Executive Order is available on the Berkeley People and Culture website.

If an employee is working remotely either out of state or out of the country, what are the tax implications?

The UC Office of the President and the UCPath Center have requested that all employees who have temporarily relocated outside of California and continue to work remotely update their tax information in UCPath as there may be income tax implications. Nonresident aliens working outside of the U.S. will also need to update their GLACIER record. If you completed the out of state information form as requested in a previous communication, or it was completed on your behalf, you will be receiving a separate direct email from the Central Payroll office.

For detailed instructions on how to update tax information, view frequently asked questions or to sign up for direct deposit due to a temporary change in address, please visit the Payroll website. All employees will need to update their information once they return to California. If you have questions, please email payhelp@berkely.edu.

Will UC Berkeley help pay for my internet access if I work remotely?

Supervisors can approve the purchase of internet/hotspot/similar to enable a person to do remote work but only if it is to be used solely for business purposes.

Will we be fully reimbursed for purchases that have abnormally high prices currently due to limited stock (e.g. hand sanitizing and disinfectant supplies)?

We encourage buyers to buy emergency supplies as needed in order to maintain safe operating conditions for our campus community. While we cannot guarantee reimbursement from FEMA or the state, we have received guidance to document the market prices of any items with currently extraordinary pricing. We recommend taking a screenshot of the prices of the items at the time of purchase, both at the purchase site and from alternative sellers in order to demonstrate the extraordinary market conditions.

FEMA Reporting (COVID-19)

In a FEMA webinar they mentioned a $3,300 expense limit - is this a single expense or group expense?

For example, if a face mask order is $3,300 per case would it qualify if it is a single PO?

Our understanding is that FEMA is talking about the aggregate cost. There is a minimum threshold before you can request reimbursement from FEMA but it is not per expense item. We will be able to group activities to meet this threshold.

The sub-category (Expense Sub-Activity) drop down menu is not showing the items, it just stays at "loading" mode.

Do not open the template in Google Sheets. Download the file into Excel. Additionally, you will need to select an Expense Activity before you Select a Sub-Activity. 

Are food spoilage costs and donated food eligible for reimbursement?

No food spoilage does not qualify as an emergency protective measure. Donated food also does not qualify.

For expenses that are not captured in the upcoming submission (January 20 - April 30), because they were not correctly coded with CF1/CF2 codes, are these expenses still eligible for FEMA reimbursement once we journal them to the correct chartstring?

Does the invoice/service date of a transaction need to be reported in the same GL month to make it eligible for reimbursement?

The CF1/CF2 codes are not a requirement for FEMA reimbursement. They were created internally to help up track these expenses. Expenses that have not been coded with the CF1/CF2 should be included in the submission if they are for qualified emergency protective work. The timing of the expense doesn't matter so long as there is an audit trail.

Are costs recorded when a PO is issued or when a product is received?

Costs are eligible for FEMA reimbursement when the material is received and paid for. Our costs are recorded to the ledger when the voucher is approved and journaled. Depending on when we submit our request for reimbursement, the actual receipt of and payment for the material may or may not have occurred. We will need to work with Procurement and Accounts Payable to review this on a case by case basis. For now, if the expense has been recorded in the ledger, please include it in your reporting.

Is equipment purchased for employees to work remotely eligible for FEMA reimbursement?

This may qualify under temporary relocation of essential services if the equipment was solely purchased as the result of the pandemic. We will collect the data and evaluate whether the cost is eligible or not. One thing to note is that FEMA does take into account any salvage value of the equipment when providing reimbursement.

Do we have an idea of what the future timeline for submissions will be?

The disaster end date has not been set. The incident period can go on for years. We will establish a  timeline for future submissions once we’ve completed the data collection for the first reporting period.

Does additional funding for internships qualify for FEMA reimbursement?

A number of our students lost internships as a result of COVID-19 and we provided them with additional internship funding. This funding was not supported by CARES Act funding. Does this additional funding qualify for FEMA reimbursement?

The costs reimbursable by FEMA are costs related to response and recovery from the emergency. Funding provided directly to students that were not paid as the result of emergency work does not qualify for reimbursement. If these students were specifically hired to facilitate remote learning these expenses may qualify under temporary relocation of essential services.

Should we track research expenses related to COVID-19 with a CF1 or CF2?

Yes, please track research related to COVID-19 with a CF1 or CF2 code.

Can the template data be pulled at any entity level?

The default is L3 and L4. You can change it when you run your Cal Answers report. But when you include it please run it at the L3 or L4.

Should we include lost revenue to recharge units in the FEMA template?

Lost revenue will not be covered by FEMA. However, it is advisable that the costs be reviewed to ensure that there are no eligible costs within the content of the revenue loss totals.

Are other costs associated with labor for online teaching eligible for FEMA reimbursement?

Not all labor qualifies for reimbursement under emergency work (category B). Typically, for existing employees only overtime labor is eligible for reimbursement from FEMA. Other pay may be eligible for part-time, reclassified and seasonal employees and employees hired specifically in response to the COVID-19 impacts. If your division has labor costs in one of the eligible activities, please let us know when you submit your report and we will follow-up with you.

If we hired faculty or GSIs to support online courses, could they qualify for FEMA reimbursement?

Yes, these costs may qualify under temporary relocation of essential service if these individuals were specifically hired to facilitate remote work. Base pay for temporary or reassigned employees qualifies if they are doing work within an eligible activity. We will need to work with HR to provide documentation that these employees were specifically hired as the result of the pandemic to perform this work and not hired in the normal course of our business.

Does admin leave qualify for FEMA reimbursement?

Administrative leave does not qualify for FEMA funding because the individual on leave is not doing work to protect from the virus. FEMA will only provide reimbursement for work related to emergency protective measures (category B). We are working with HR and Government Relations to understand other types of funding that may provide relief for eligible paid leave and FMLA based on specific eligibility criteria.

What is the period we are reporting on in the FEMA template?

We will limit the data for the first reporting to data recorded in the ledger from January 20 – April 30, 2020. Once we receive and analyze the data from January 20 – April 30, 2020, we will determine the next reporting period and intervals of reporting.

Because the reporting requirements for FEMA are so complex we are planning for a staggered collection of data. This will allow us to refine our approach, if needed, to ensure compliance. The Public Health Emergency for California was declared on March 22, 2020. The incident period for reporting eligible expenses related to the emergency is January 20, 2020, until it is declared over. We have 60 days from the declared end date to request reimbursement for all eligible expenses, but we can submit multiple applications/versions until the period closes.

As the COVID specific chartfields were not set up until mid-March, it may require units to work with their departments to identify COVID-19 related expenses in the ledger that are not specifically identified as such. Additionally, any expenses incurred in January will need to be reviewed to see if they fall within the review period.

Which activities are ineligible for FEMA reimbursement?

A complete list of known eligible and potentially eligible activities is included in the guidelines.

Costs that are ineligible include: 

  • Costs that were covered by gifts 

  • Costs covered through CARES or other federal funds

Which activities are potentially eligible for FEMA reimbursement?

A complete list of known eligible and potentially eligible activities is included in the guidelines.

The broad categories include:

  • Emergency operations (activities related to Emergency Operations Center)

  • Increased cleaning and sanitation

  • Purchases including PPE and sanitation supplies

  • Use of facilities as sheltering and/or hospital locations

For emergency protective measures, FEMA will only reimburse labor-related expenses for these eligible activities related to:

  • Overtime for regular and seasonal employees (non-exempt)

  • Regular and overtime for temporary or redirected employees

Should I include costs that might be covered by gifts in the FEMA reporting template?

Yes, you should include these costs in the Expense Reporting tab and any associated revenue in the Revenue Received_Fundraising tab. The Revenue Received_Fundraising tab also allows you to provide a narrative summary of any fundraising activities related to COVID-19 in the additional notes section and identify the associated expenses included in the Expense Reporting Template for which this funding has been used. We will review this revenue against the FEMA eligible requests to ensure that we are not duplicating requests for funding from more than one source as appropriate. We will also be working with University Development & Alumni Relations (UDAR) to track this funding.

How will the reimbursement be distributed if it is received?

How each unit is reimbursed is to be determined based on how we receive the funds from FEMA.