Budget and Finance Quarterly Email

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LSA Quarterly Email - January 2015

March 2015

Dear Colleagues,

You are receiving this message because you are part of the lsafinstaff@umich.edu group. This email group is used by the LSA Budget & Finance team to provide you with financial related news, updates, and occasional training announcements which we feel will be useful to all units. 

LSA Summer Salary policy updated
The Summer Salary in Excess of Two Months Request Form has been updated and is available in the Policies and Procedures section of the LSA Budget & Finance website. Please note, the updated LSA policy now defines “summer” as June, July and August of the same calendar year, rather than the same fiscal year.

LSA Term III Policy Updated for FY15
The LSA Term III Policy has been updated to reflect the new spring/summer 2015 per-course minimum and maximum compensation for tenure track faculty. The updated policy is available in the Policies and Procedures section of the LSA Budget & Finance website. 

My LINC outage March 3-9
My LINC will be unavailable from 5 pm on Tuesday, March 3 until 7 am on Monday, March 9, due to a system upgrade. Users will not be able to take eLearning courses, register for courses, or view documentation. The ITS Service Center (4-HELP) will have access to the heavily used step-by-step documentation. During the outage, unit liaisons JoAnn Peraino (SA), Diane Benson (HR), and Sven Anderson (FN) will be able to request training waivers in urgent circumstances.

AST - Winter 2015 Phase goes live 4/20/2015, unit training available now
The next phase of the Administrative Services Transformation project (AST) is slated to go live on April 20. AST Unit Transformation Services (UTS) is offering a Getting Ready program to help units prepare. 
  • HR interchanges were held in February. To view the recording or download the presentation, visit https://maislinc.umich.edu/mais/html/ast_hr_interchange_02062015.html
  • Finance interchanges began in February and continue in March. Course descriptions, schedules, and links to register are at http://ast.umich.edu/uts.html. Each course has one session that will be recorded for later viewing. The recordings of the simulcast sessions and the presentation slides for all sessions will be available on March 12th.
SOA Reconciliation - complete February reconciliation by 4/10/2015
As a follow up to an announcement made at the LKAG meeting on February 19, we would like to remind units that all SOA reconciliation through the end of February must be completed by 5:00pm on April 10th. This is in preparation for the Winter 2015 AST implementation.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) – new law affects foreign vendors
FATCA is a new law that requires foreign banks and certain foreign companies with substantial US owners to report to the IRS information about their US account holders or owners. The payer (U-M) must withhold 30% from payments to non-compliant companies. In order to comply with the new law, the Shared Services Center (SSC) will require all foreign vendors to provide U-M with the latest version of the Form W-8 series (there are five forms to choose from). The SSC is working on additional communications on this topic...stay tuned for further details. Points to note include:
  • FATCA does not apply to payments to foreign individuals.
  • All new foreign vendors and, by 1/1/2016, all previously established foreign vendors, will be asked to disclose their FATCA status. For non-US sourced income, this will typically require Form W-8BENE (see sample form attached to this message). 
  • Vendors who do not disclose their FATCA status as requested are subject to 30% withholding.
  • SSC Vendor Maintenance can request the required form from vendors. The SSC may contact units for assistance in reaching the appropriate contact at the vendor company. 
  • Units can help by requesting the appropriate W-8 form from foreign vendors and emailing it to ssc.foreign.reporting.vm@umich.edu or attaching it to the payment request in M-Pathways. SSC and the Tax department have issued a draft letter (attached to this message) that units can send to vendors to assist them in determining which form is required and how to fill out the W-8BENE if that form applies.
Mileage reimbursement rate changed 2/1/2015
Effective February 1, 2015, the university's rate for mileage reimbursement to faculty and staff for use of their personal vehicles changed to 57.5 cents per mile, from 56.0 cents per mile, for qualified university business travel that commences on or after that date. This is consistent with the recent Federal Travel Regulation mileage reimbursement rate increase. Please see the university's Travel Policy for information about mileage reimbursement.

Procurement Standard Practice Guide updated 1/1/2015
The university’s new Procurement Standard Practice Guide (SPG 507.01) took effect January 1, 2015. Key changes include:
  • The university's formal bid limit has been raised from $5,000 to $10,000 (the single-transaction limit for P-Card purchases remains at $5,000).
  • If a P-Card is used to make a purchase from a supplier that uses a payment system such as PayPal or Google Wallet, a detailed receipt must be obtained.
  • University employees involved in proposal evaluations or contract activities may be required to sign a confidentiality agreement and/or a conflict of interest disclosure.
Concur interface updated 1/26/2015
The Concur user interface was upgraded on January 26. For more information and a video about the new interface, please visit http://www.finance.umich.edu/procurement/travelexpense/concur/ui. Changes include:
  • The home page now has a 'dashboard' design for easier and faster use.
  • Key actions are highlighted at the top of the home page.
  • All approvals are located in one area for easier and faster access.
  • The travel booking process has been simplified.
  • The trip summary shows users where they are in the process.
  • A footer on the home page offers access to help and other information from Concur.
  • Everything users need to manage expenses (i.e., active reports, available expenses, and available receipts) is located on a single screen, which allows faster report creation.
  • Expenses can now be moved to a report with a drag-and-drop feature.
  • Receipts and related details appear on the same page, allowing more efficient matching to reports.

The Budget and Finance Team

Please note: This email group (lsafinstaff) is open to any financial staff that would benefit from hearing about financial updates from LSA. To join this email group, please send Deb Boissoneau (lsafinstaff-requests@umich.edu) an email asking to be added to this list. If you are no longer in a financial role within LSA and wish to be removed, please send a request tolsafinstaff-requests@umich.edu.

These quarterly emails can also be found on the LSA Budget and Finance website under the News and Events section:http://www.lsa.umich.edu/facstaff/budgetandfinance/newsandevents/budgetandfinancequarterlyemail


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