Monthly Newsletter

Tips and Reminders

June 2017

While budget managers have been receiving summary reports throughout the year, it is recommended that all employees with responsibilities for university accounts review activity posted to such accounts prior to the close of the fiscal year, June 30.  This may be done by logging onto the SLU portal and selecting “Financial Information”,  then “Budget Summary”.   Questions pertaining to requisitions and encumbrances should be directed to Ruta Ozols and questions pertaining to actual accounting transactions (reported in the column labeled Actual) may be directed to Scarlett Cameron or  Mary Cosmo.

Please remember that payments for goods and services received by June 30th will be expensed to the current fiscal year (7/1/15-6/30/16) even if the payment is made in July.  If the item or service is not received until after June 30th, the expense must be recorded in the new fiscal year which begins July 1.   In order for the Business Office to account for expenses in the appropriate year and close the books for the year ended June 30th in a timely manner, we ask that departments forward all invoices for items received by June 30th to the Business Office no later than Tuesday, July 11 at 4 PM.  The invoices will be paid in July, but charged to the fiscal year ending 6/30/17.

The Purchasing Card Policy normally requires departments to approve and enter object codes to Centresuite for prior month card transactions by the 20th of the month.   Departments will need to complete this process for June charges by July 5th, however.   Please note that transactions are generally available to review in Centresuite within a day or two of occurrence. 

Finally, we ask that employees with university travel cards submit travel expense reports for all card transactions made through June 30th by July 14th so that they may be posted in a timely manner.  Expenses for travel occurring before June 30th  will be charged to the appropriate budget for the year ending 6/30/17.  Expenses for travel to occur after June 30th will be charged to the prepaid expense account 10000-00000-15500 and then charged to the appropriate budget in the new fiscal year beginning July 1.


May 2017

Purchasing Card Transactions

In order to assist departments in better monitoring their year end account balances, purchasing card transactions incurred during the months of May and June will be uploaded to Colleague on the last day of the month rather than on the 20th of the subsequent month as explained in the purchasing card policy.

In order to assist with this process, departmental card administrators must approve purchasing card transactions in Centresuite for May and June by the last day of the respective month.   Administrators may review and approve such transactions on a daily or weekly basis to ensure that transactions are reviewed and approved by the deadline.

Travel

For those traveling this summer, please note that travel services available to assist St. Lawrence University employees are available at http://www.stlawu.edu/business/travel.  The online travel reservation tool seeks the best rates for airline, hotel, auto rentals and may be used for business and personal travel.  Airline reservations for business travel may be charged directly to the university by entering the appropriate 15 digit budget code.  Reservations for personal travel may be charged to a personal credit card by entering the card information rather than a SLU budget code.

The travel assistance program which provides assistance in emergency situations is also available to employees, spouses, and dependents while traveling on university or personal business.  Discounted rates for autos and hotels are also available to employees while traveling on university or personal business.

Happy and safe travels!



April 2017

Expense or Object Codes

It is important to charge expenses to the correct object code even if there is insufficient budget remaining on that expense or object code line.  While it is important that a cost center (first 10 digits of account number) does not exceed budget, it is allowable for actual expenses charged to individual object codes (last 5 digits of account number) to exceed the budget, as long as there are offsetting savings on other lines.  For example, if actual expenses charged to Travel exceed budget by $500, but actual expenses charged to Supplies are under budget by $500, there is not a need for concern.  Departments may want to modify the allocation of costs when preparing future year budgets for the cost center, however.

A list of object codes and their descriptions is available at https://www.stlawu.edu/business/object-codes.  Object codes previously used for a cost center will be reflected in the SLU Portal, but there may be times when a department needs to request an object code be added in order to accurately charge an expense.  Please contact Mary Cosmo at mcosmo@stlawu.edu with such requests.

 

Signature and Online Approval

When approving invoices, check requests, or expense reimbursements, your signature or online approval means that you have reviewed the transaction and associated documents and that you authorize the expense for payment from university funds for which you are responsible.


March 2017

Sales Tax

St. Lawrence University is exempt from sales tax in approximately 19 states.  In order to notify the vendor of the university’s tax exempt status, the tax exemption certificate issued to St. Lawrence University by the state must generally be presented at the time of purchase.  More information and the tax exemption certificates are available at http://www.stlawu.edu/business/sales-tax-exemption-information.

Purchasing from Amazon

Departments wishing to make a purchase from Amazon should contact the Purchasing Department in order to use the university’s business account which will ensure no sales tax are charged for the purchase.  The University’s Amazon business account also includes free shipping on orders over $50, which reduces the need for purchasing individual Amazon Prime memberships.  Please do not purchase Amazon Prime memberships for university use without first contacting Purchasing.   More information is available at  http://www.stlawu.edu/business/purchasing-amazon-slu.



February 2017

W-2 Forms

  1. In case you missed the earlier notice, employee W-2 forms for 2016 are now available online via the SLU Portal.  Employees are required to provide consent in order to access online and if you did so in a prior year, that is still in effect.   If you have not provided consent, you will need to do so before you can access online.  This is done by logging on to the SLU Portal, selecting “W-2 Electronic Statement” and checking the appropriate box.   You will then need to log off and log back in to view your W-2 form.  More information on this is available at https://www.stlawu.edu/it/article/31427.
  2.  W-2 forms have been printed and mailed to employees who have not provided consent to receive their W-2 form online. 

Supplier Pay

  1. St. Lawrence University recently implemented Supplier Pay which pays participating vendors by credit card rather than check.  Benefits include reduced administrative costs from streamlined payment processes and accelerated cash payments to vendors
  2. We encourage departments to promote the benefits of these Visa automated card payments to those suppliers with whom you interact currently, as well as with any new suppliers that you engage. Please direct suppliers to the St. Lawrence University Enrollment Team at 855-262-9485 for questions and enrollment support.
  3. More information on the Supplier Pay Program is available at http://www.stlawu.edu/business/supplierpay-staff-info-0


December 2016

  1. Due to the upcoming holiday, the last accounts payable checks issued before the break will be printed and distributed on Thursday, December 22.   In order for a check to be issued, the voucher must be in the Business Office by 4 PM on Monday, December 19.  The next time accounts payable checks will be issued  after the 19th is Friday, January 6th in 2017.
     
  2. The university’s travel policy requires that original receipts providing detailed information regarding a purchase be provided to substantiate a business expense.  This includes travel and entertainment expenses.  Credit card receipts are not considered original receipts as they do not provide the detailed information required.
     
  3. A reminder that the administration of university purchasing cards has moved from the Business Office to the Purchasing department.  Requests for cards and assistance with transactions as well as additions of object codes to the centresuite system should now be directed to the Purchasing Office.  Their contact information is 229-5908 or purchasing@stlawu.edu.  More information regarding the university purchasing card is available at   http://www.stlawu.edu/business/purchasing-card-policy.


November 2016

  1. Employees using their CWA to make purchases at Northstar, Spartacus, and Time-Out cafes receive a 10% discount (except when purchasing the “meal deal”).   The CWA is a declining balance account and employees may view activity posted to the account as well as add funds using the university’s online tool .  Funds added using the online tool are available for immediate use.   More information is available at  http://www.stlawu.edu/business/community-wide-account.
     
  2. The administration of university purchasing cards has moved from the Business Office to the Purchasing department.  Requests for cards and assistance with transactions as well as additions of object codes to the centresuite system should now be directed to the Purchasing Office.  Their contact information is 229-5908 or purchasing@stlawu.edu.  More information regarding the university purchasing card is available at   http://www.stlawu.edu/business/purchasing-card-policy.


October 2016

  1. St. Lawrence University has contracted with Travel Guard to provide travel reservation services to all university employees and visitors.  Reservations for airline tickets, auto rentals, hotels may be made through the online reservation system and airline tickets may be directly billed to the university by entering the appropriate University budget code to be charged.  Employees may use Travel Guard for personal travel as well, but employees should be sure to use their personal credit card information when making arrangements for such trips.  More information on the services provided by Travel Guard is available at http://www.stlawu.edu/business/travel-guard-information and http://www.stlawu.edu/business/travel-guard-services.
     
  2. Specific individuals are designated with authority to sign contracts on behalf of the university.  Please see the university’s policy on contracts for more information on the required signature and flow of documents for university contracts.  This link for contract authority is also listed as Appendix D of the university’s Purchasing Policies.
     

September 2016

  1. When hiring new student workers, please be sure to complete the required Personnel Action Form and forward to Financial Aid before the student begins working.  Please notify students hired that they need to submit their hours, preferably via Web Time Entry on the SLU Portal, which supervisors will then approve before payment may be issued.
     
  2. Many departments hire foreign visitors to speak or perform during the academic year and U.S. law requires specific documentation and taxation for payments to these individuals.  If you are responsible for bringing such a visitor to campus, please be sure to review the University’s Procedures for paying such individuals and/or organizations.
     
  3. Items with an expected life of 2 years or more and cost in excel of $1,500 are considered capital purchases which are treated as fixed assets of the university which require additional record keeping procedures.  Please view these procedures at http://www.stlawu.edu/business/capital-fixed-assets