Special Procedures for Business Continuity
1. Do I need to route individual purchases on my PCard for approval?
- If the purchases are essential for continuity of business (operation, instruction, or research), AND can be accommodated within the Pcard limit that was previously granted, no further approvals are needed prior to or at time of purchase. Managers will have the opportunity to review all Pcard purchases when the cardholder prepares the monthly packet and routes it for review. During this review, managers can to ensure purchases are essential and address questions with those making purchases.
- Example 1:
- Departmental card has $1,000 limit, the limit all cards have as of 7/1 without an approved exception.
- A faculty member’s computer dongle broke ($25) and he needs it to connect his computer equipment.
- The dongle was essential for continuity of instruction and research, AND can be accommodated within the Pcard limit of $1,000. No additional approvals are needed and one was purchased on Amazon for him.
- The Grounds card has a $1,000 approved limit to replace parts and purchase essential supplies for the grounds crew.
- A part in one of the mowers (it’s that time a year!) broke and the replacement part is $300.
- The part for the mower is essential for continuity of operations AND can be accommodated within the PCard limit of $1,000.
- No additional approvals are needed and the part was ordered.
2. My department has to purchase items to support academic continuity. What is the current purchasing approval process?
- Due to the university-wide spending freeze, only business critical requests for new purchases are being approved. In addition to the standard approvals required for all purchase requisitions, obtain the written approval of your division vice president and the Sr. VP Finance & Administration prior to entering the requisition into Oracle. Attach the email or other written approval to the requisition. Procurement Services will then create the PO and send it to the supplier. Requisitions received without documented approval will be returned to the requestor.
3. Do I have to obtain prior approval for items being charged to my endowment spending account?
- Yes, there is a freeze on all spending across the university, regardless of the funding source. This includes endowment spending accounts, gift, discretionary and special project accounts and capital equipment accounts. (Refer to question 3 about spending on sponsored projects.)
4. My externally funded award has certain project deliverables and timelines that I am contractually committed to adhere to. Am I permitted to spend against my award(s)? If so, what approvals are required?
- Yes, to ensure research continuity, according to the communication from the Provost and VP Research dated March 25, 2020, an exemption from obtaining written approval prior to entering the requisition into Oracle has been made for grant expenditures charged to federal projects. Expenditures need to be consistent with the project plan of work. This exception does not apply to purchases on NYS funded programs, corporate awards and/or contingent accounts. Expenditures on projects funded by NYS and corporations must adhere to the preapproval requirements described in the response to question 1 above. If you are spending against a contingency account, please contact your SPA rep for further guidance.
5. My department set up a purchase order for a catered event that has been cancelled. How do we cancel the PO/encumbrance?
- First, notify the supplier that the event has been cancelled. Then contact the Procurement Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask them to cancel the PO. The encumbrance will be reversed when the PO is cancelled.
6. My department prepaid for services for an event in this fiscal year that has been cancelled. Should we ask the supplier to refund the payment or keep the funds to be applied to next year’s event?
- Contact the supplier to request a refund of the amount prepayment ASAP. When the funds are received, deposit them into the same account as the payment was charged to. If the supplier is unwilling to refund the amount paid, contact the Procurement Services Office at email@example.com for assistance. If the payment is non-refundable but can be used during the next fiscal year (FY 2021) when the event can be rescheduled, move the payment via journal entry from an expense to a prepaid (balance sheet) account so that it does not impact this year’s operating budget. Contact Accounting at firstname.lastname@example.org to assist you with the journal entry.
7. Is Accounts Payable still processing invoices on purchase orders for goods delivered/services provided prior to the spending freeze or ordered prior to the spending freeze but received after?
- Yes; as long as the goods have been received in Oracle and the invoice has been approved via Oracle workflow, it will be paid according to the supplier terms.
8. Since the Accounts Payable Office is closed, what the best way to send payment requests to be processed?
- Advise the supplier to send invoices for items to be paid on purchase orders, directly to the Accounts Payable mailbox at email@example.com. Important: the PO number must be clearly noted on the invoice. Sending invoices direct to the AP mailbox, rather than to the department contact, is a best practice under all circumstances. For payments to be processed on an Invoice Payment Form, complete the IPF, attach the invoice, scan the documents and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not able to obtain the signature of the authorized approver, attach an email from the approver indicating that the invoice is OK to pay. Refer to item 2 above for details about the approval process during the spending freeze.
9. Am I able to process payments on Invoice Payment Forms (IPF)?
- Making a payment on an IPF is not permitted when used to bypass the approval process described in the response to question 2 above. When a payment is requested on an IPF, the purchase must adhere to all purchasing polices. When the invoice is submitted to Accounts Payable to be paid, follow the standard departmental approval process as well as the additional approvals required during the spending freeze described in question 2. If you have questions about when the use of an IPF is permitted, contact purchase@RIT.edu.
10. I made a business purchase and charged it to my personal credit card. What is the process for requesting reimbursement?
- If your purchase was approved in advance (see question 2 above), you may request reimbursement via Oracle iExpenses RIT Employee Reimbursement. If proof of preapproval by the appropriate division VP and Sr. VP Finance & Administration is not submitted with the reimbursement request, it will be rejected by Accounts Payable. If the purchase was made prior to the spending freeze, follow the same preapproval process as described in question 2 above.
11. Can I continue to charge items to my department or individual p-card?
- As of July 1st, limits for all p-cards were set to $1,000. Limits will remain at this reduced level until physical operations resume at the university. If your department needs a higher limit to accommodate recurring charges, follow the process described here. If your department needs an exception for other p-card spending, follow the process described here.
12. Do I still have to complete my p-card packet while we are working from home? If I do, what’s the process?
- The information here will assist you in preparing and submitting your p-card packet while the majority of employees are telecommuting. We understand these are challenging times and are prepared to assist you.
13. I purchased an Apple computer online and when I submitted the reimbursement via iExpenses, it was rejected. Why?
- It was rejected for two reasons:
- All Apple products for RIT business use must be purchased from the RIT Digital Den. This is because “device enrollment” is required by RIT for management of university-owned Apple devices, which includes Mac computers, iPads, Apple TVs, and Apple Watches; and,
- the purchase was not preapproved by the division VP and the Sr. VP Finance & Administration.
14. I want to purchase a computer from the Digital Den. Is it open even though the campus is closed?
- The Digital Den is open by appointment only. Information about making an appointment and placing orders is on The Digital Den website.
15. I have additional charges on my cell phone bill because I exceeded my monthly minutes. Can I be reimbursed?
- If an employee exceeds their monthly minutes as a result of working from home, they should submit a reimbursement via Oracle iExpenses for the additional expense incurred. Attach a copy of the bill to support the reimbursement request and evidence of pre-approval from the divisional vice president and the Sr. VP of Finance and Administration. If the employee receives an allowance to defray the cost of Wireless Communication Devices, he/she is not eligible for additional reimbursement.
16. I need to make an essential purchase that requires me to present the card, but the department or individual p-card is inaccessible on campus. How can I expedite this purchase?
- You may use your personal credit card for the purchase and submit the approved essential business expense through Oracle iExpense employee expense reimbursement (see FAQ on business purchases on personal credit card). If use of personal card is not an option, the cardholder’s manager must approve request to have a replacement card issued and approve mailing directly to cardholder’s home address. The cardholder would still be responsible for signing a cardholder agreement form for new card. Managers should submit requests to email@example.com.
17. Who do I contact when my p-card is compromised and I need to request a new card to be issued for essential purchases?
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org if your card was compromised and you require a new card. Due to the closure of University offices, the cardholder’s manager must approve request to have a replacement card issued and mailed directly to cardholder’s home address. The cardholder is still be responsible for signing a cardholder agreement form for new card. Managers will submit approval to email@example.com.
Processes and Procedures
1. Why did you lower the limit on my RIT travel card to zero?
- We took this action to support the University’s current restriction on business travel and to reduce the risk that your card would be compromised while not in use. When authorized business travel resumes, we will re-establish credit limits.
2. I need to be reimbursed for airfare I paid for on my personal credit card.
- Refer to the Business Travel Cancellations document on the travel section of the Controller’s web site for information about steps to follow when a business event such as a conference is cancelled by the event sponsor or the traveler is not able to attend for business or personal reasons.
3. I tried to book airfare for a trip later this summer using one of RIT’s designated travel agencies, but the representative told me that there is a hold on all business travel. How should I proceed?
- Obtain your department head’s approval in writing and send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. The travel specialist will contact the travel agency to advise them that your travel is authorized. Please consider purchasing refundable tickets – they cost more but if the trip is cancelled you should be able to get a full refund without paying fees. Please discuss your options work with RIT’s travel agent before booking your trip.
1. What’s the best way to record my time when I’m working from home?
- If you don’t have a license to access Kronos from your PC, complete a paper time sheet and send it to your supervisor the last day of the payroll period.
2. Since we’re all working remotely, who do I contact if I have a question about entering my time?
- Send an email to email@example.com for all timekeeping related questions including access to Kronos and sign-offs/approvals.
3. Is it OK for students to work remotely?
- Students who are already working remotely and have clear direction from their department on the work they are expected to complete can continue to work remotely. Newly identified remote student work opportunities requires two levels of approval – immediate supervisor and the next level up. Important: remote work can only occur in the United States. Departments should notify Payroll at firstname.lastname@example.org if one of their students is working outside of New York State providing them with the student’s current mailing address. The HR department has provided additional guidance regarding overtime and shift differential here. While there is a lot of flexibility in schedules during this period of time, it is important to remember that working during certain days and times come with additional pay by the hour for non-exempt staff. For example, Sunday premium, work performed on Sunday is paid at 1 1/2 times the regular hourly rate.
1. Since we’re working remotely, will Accounting still adhere to the month-end closing schedule?
- Yes, the month-end and year-end closing schedules for fiscal year 2020 remains the same. If you need assistance with reports, journal entries, etc., contact email@example.com.
2. How do I deposit cash or a check?
- Complete a deposit slip, attach the check or cash and place in an envelope addressed to Student Financial Services. Deliver the envelope to the Hub, building 99. The Hub hours are Monday through Friday from 11:00am to 4:00pm.
3. I did not submit my department’s equipment physical inventory and certification for fiscal 2020 prior to discontinuation of physical operations on campus and it is now past due. Who do I contact and will I need to complete the inventory?
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate the status of your equipment inventory; including the inventory group name in question. Departments who have not completed inventories will receive a communication in April with information on incomplete inventory.