Financial Services Announcements

Temporary Modifications to the Research Study Participant Payments Procedure

Purpose:  To prescribe temporary modifications to the research study participant payment procedures in response to UMB COVID-19 related guidance.  

Declaration:  As of April 6, 2020, the State of Maryland and UMB Financial Services – Disbursements continue to process payment requests in accordance with established regular payment processing requirements.  Therefore, every effort should be made to continue requesting funds for research study participants in accordance with UMB Policy VIII-99.00(B) and Procedure on Research Study Participant Payments.  Due to limited staffing, there may be a delay beyond the regular processing timeline, so please plan accordingly. This document will be updated as needed to address changes that may occur to the current processing.

Duration:  The temporary modifications described below are effective until the UMB COVID-19 Telework Policy is lifted.  These modifications supplement the Procedure on Research Study Participant Payments.  All existing elements including, but not limited to, 1099-reporting, controls, responsibilities, and documentation are still required.

Temporary Modifications during mandatory teleworking period:

  1. Gift Cards
    1. The preferred method for gift card payments is to purchase UMB allowable electronic gift cards (e-cards) through the UMB approved vendor, Tango, in accordance with the Procedure. E-cards can be emailed to the recipient.  Instructions for purchasing e-cards from Tango are available here.
    2. In extraordinary circumstances where it is not feasible to use e-cards, a department may mail physical gift cards to the recipient under the following conditions:
      1. At least two individuals prepare the mailings. This can be managed virtually (using video conference calls) whereby one individual prepares the envelopes and the other witnesses the process.  The preparer and witness must sign a statement attesting that the mailing was in accordance with the research study documents and that the envelopes were mailed to individuals eligible to receive the payments.  This attestation must be retained with department records.
      2. A notification of the mailing must be sent to the individual participants (email is fine). The notification must include a request that the recipient notifies the department, preferably by e-mail, upon receipt of the gift card.  If the participant calls, the department must document the call.  Notifications must be retained with the department records.
      3. Departments assume the risk of lost payments and will be required to fund any lost payments.
      4. The  Procedure Exception Request Form is required for this modification. Include the number and amount of gift cards to be mailed to each participant, the number of participants, and the Working Fund check number or Gift Card System order number that was used to fund the payments (if known). A sample completed Procedure Exception Request Form is available here.
  2. Cash
    1. This modification only applies to departments that have an existing inventory of cash and need to mail cash to the participants.
      1. At least two individuals are required to prepare the mailings. This can be managed virtually (using video conference calls) whereby one individual prepares the envelopes and the other witnesses the process.  The preparer and witness must sign a statement attesting that the mailing was in accordance with the research study documents and that the envelopes were mailed to individuals eligible to receive the payments.  This attestation must be retained with department records.
      2. A notification of the mailing must be sent to the individual participants (email is fine). The notification must include a request that the recipient notifies the department, preferably by e-mail, upon receipt of the cash.  If the participant calls, the department must document the call.  Notifications must be retained with the department records.
      3. Departments assume the risk of lost payments and will be required to fund any lost payments.
      4. The Procedure Exception Request Form is required for this modification. Include the amount of cash to be mailed to each participant, the number of participants, and the Working Fund check number that was used to fund the payments (if known).  A sample completed Procedure Exception Request Form is available here.
    2. Departments that do not have an existing inventory of cash are advised to use an alternate method of payment (gift cards, individual checks) when possible.  If cash is the only option available and additional cash is needed, request an exception by completing the Procedure Exception Request Form.  Include the amount of cash to be mailed to each participant, the number of participants, and the method (Working Fund check, personal funds) that will be used to fund the payments. Follow steps i – iii above for mailing the cash.  A sample completed Procedure Exception Request Form is available here.
  3. Reimbursements to Individuals
    Under Procedure on Research Study Participant Payments, a request for funds is made to Financial Services – Disbursements prior to making payments to participants.  The following modification allows for department individuals to use personal funds to fund research study participant payments and to seek reimbursement from Financial Services – Disbursements under the following conditions:
    1. The Procedure Exception Request Form has been fully approved by the University Controller before using personal funds for payments to participants. Include details on type of payment, amount, and method of delivery to the participants (e.g.  A $20 gift card will be mailed to ten participants for a total of $200.).  A sample completed Procedure Exception Request Form is available here.
    2. The detailed receipt showing the details of the transaction, including the date, amount, and gift cards purchased/cash disbursed is included with the reimbursement request (NONPO invoice) along with the required documentation described in the Procedure.
    3. Reimbursements to Individuals transactions will be inspected by Management Advisory Services upon return to regular university operations.Reimbursement will be made to the person who provided the funds as evidenced by a credit card statement, bank statement, or a cancelled check.
    4. Reimbursements to Individuals transactions will be inspected by Management Advisory Services upon return to regular university operations.
  4. Reconciliation Requirements
    1. When possible, departments should continue to follow reconciliation requirements provided in the Procedure.
    2. If the department is unable to conduct a full reconciliation, the following steps are required:
      1. The individual dispersing funds should complete the Study Participant Log.
      2. Another individual should maintain the Cash/Card Count sheet.
      3. Virtual counts are required during periods when cash or gift cards are disbursed.  The custodian of the funds should count the cash or gift cards in the inventory, including e-cards.  Another employee witnesses the count.  Both employees must sign a statement attesting that the count is accurate.  This attestation must be retained with department records.
    3. The Study Participant Reconciliation Template (or similar document) should be completed by an individual who is not directly involved in dispersing funds.  List unreconciled items and provide explanations for unreconciled items.  Upon return to regular operations, departments are required to resolve unreconciled items within 60 days after returning to regular university operations.  Any unexplained differences must be reported immediately in writing to the department chair and/or Dean, and to the heads of the Departments of Management Advisory Services, Financial Services, and Sponsored Projects Accounting and Compliance.
  5. Additional Information
    1. Circumstances that have not been addressed in this Notice may be submitted via the Procedure Exception Request Form.
    2. Reminder – under State regulations the P-Card may not be used to purchase gift cards. Exceptions to this regulation are not allowed.
  6. These modifications are incorporated into the Procedure on Research Study Participant Payments effective April 6, 2020.  Documentation, approvals, 1099-reporting, controls, and other requirements stated in the Policy and Procedure remain in effect.
  7. Questions?  Contact Cindy Lyons at clyons@umaryland.edu
  8. Research guidance is published on the UMB coronavirus website under https://www.umaryland.edu/coronavirus/faq/. Click the Research tab.

 

Update for COOP Invoice Procedures during Teleworking phase

Based on an update from Maryland General Accounting Division (GAD) they will be able to process critical payments below the $100K threshold at this stage but they only have a skeleton crew so we need to be judicious in the invoices we send. At this point the state says we can determine what is critical.  Our priority will be to pay the oldest invoices as well as invoices for individuals, small businesses, and COVID-19 related invoices. All other invoices will be processed as soon as possible but may be delayed due to limited personnel. Financial Services- Disbursements (FSDB) will also give priority to invoices that are complete meaning we are able to process them without contacting departments for additional information or correction. GAD has made clear that their ability to process these payments can change at any time but they are going to do their best to accommodate our needs and the needs of all other state agencies. If circumstances change we will notify you with another update.

Please process your invoices in accordance with the following guidance:

  1. PO Invoices
    1. Mail will be delivered to Financial Services and we will be looking for invoices that can be paid with a pcard. If a regular pcard can be used we will contact the department and ask that the payment be made using the department’s pcard.
    2. The Emergency Release Card (ERC) has not been activated yet so we do not have the option to use ERC for the $5-25K invoices.
    3. If you receive a PO invoice that needs to be paid, please send it to AP_FINSVC@umaryland.edu  
    4. Reminder that PO Invoices cannot be paid unless they have been received. YOU SHOULD NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU RECEIVE AN INVOICE TO ENTER THE RECEIPT. Receipts should be entered when goods are received or services are delivered. Not having a receipt in the system will push your invoice to the bottom of the pile so we can move on to the invoices where receipts have been completed before we return to the invoices that require additional work.
  2. NONPO Invoices- State Payments
    1. This is where we ask you to be judicious about the NONPO Invoices you are requesting. Please enter the items that are critical for your immediate needs.
    2. During this phase we will accept the backup documentation that still needs to be sent to the state in electronic format and FSDB will print it out. However, the supporting documentation must be sent to rs-bf-nonpo@umaryland.edu via ***Accellion.
  3. NONPO Invoices- General Working Fund Payments
    1. It is expected that only critical payments are requested during this phase so we are still requiring that the working fund checks be picked up by the department from the Saratoga office. If the check request is important enough for you to pick it up it is important enough for us to generate it. If you have already submitted documentation for working fund checks that you anticipate picking up during this phase, please send an email to fs-workingfund@umaryland.edu
    2. These invoices will be processed as usual except that the supporting documentation must be sent to rs-bf-nonpo@umaryland.edu via ***Accellion.
  4. NONPO Invoices- Student Working Fund Payments
    1. If a check for an emergency student loan is required, please email studentaccountmgmt@umaryland.edu with your request.
    2. The Student Accounting staff will generate the invoice but the check will be issued out of the General Working Fund and the check will be available for pickup at the Saratoga office.
  5. Foreign Wire Payments – PO and NONPO Invoices
    1. At this point the state is also processing wire payments to foreign suppliers. Two state divisions with skeleton crews must work together to make these payments happen so be proactive and get your requests in ASAP. We cannot do working fund wire payments so if the state moves to the next phase of 100% telework these will be more of a challenge.
    2. Please follow the instructions for routing the documentation based on the type of payment (PO or NONPO).
    3. PLEASE make sure the X-9 forms are accurate and complete. With limited staff to process all of these transactions and knowing that many of you are working flexible teleworking schedules, we do not want to lose time going back and forth with corrections.
  6. RSTARS payments
    1. Payments to other state agencies via RSTARS transfers will be processed as usual using the RSTARS Transfer Request form:

https://www.umaryland.edu/financialservices/general-accounting/rstars-request-forms/submit-rstars-transfer-request/ 

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

 

***For those who don’t know how to access Accellion, these are the easy steps you can use to add it to your portal page:

  1. Go to the Portal page > UMB Application Signon Req’d pagelet and click on the drop-down arrow. 
  2. Select ‘Personalize’ from drop-down menu
  3. Check the ‘Accellion Secure File Transfer’ application
  4. Click ‘Save’.
  5. Click on ‘Return to Home’ and the Accellion application should be in the pagelet for you to use. 

 

 

Additional information can be found at: https://www.umaryland.edu/cits/services/accellion/


 

COOP Procedures during Teleworking phase

During UMB Step Two of the COVID-19 Response where the majority of UMB employees are teleworking, the departments within Finance and Auxiliary Services will be performing the following services using alternate procedures. Your cooperation and flexibility is requested to ensure that transactions are processed as efficiently and accurately as possible. Please circulate this memo to all personnel involved in the fiscal and business operations of your department.

Strategic Sourcing and Acquisition Services

 

  1. Procurement
    1. Requisitions should be submitted as normal through Quantum Financials. If there is no one to receive deliveries in your department during Step 2 of COVID-19, you should indicate in the comments of requisition a required delivery date when department will be able to accept deliveries.
    2. Purchase Orders will be processed as normal.
  2. Purchasing Card
    1. Submit account maintenance request via email to Regina Spencer, mailto:rspencer@umaryland.edu, and copy Joe Evans, (mailto:jevans@umaryland.edu.
    2. During Step 2 of COVID-19, the restriction on deliveries to non-University addresses is lifted. Cardholders are still responsible for obtaining supporting documentation.
  3. Mail Services
    1. The UMB Mail Center will be on a modified schedule. Operating hours will be from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
    2. The UMB Mail Center will provide a one time delivery and pick up between 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM for those departments requesting service. Please email Michelle Jordan, mjordan@umaryland.edu if your department requires service.

    Financial Services

     

    1. Invoices
      1. At 4:15PM on Friday, March 13, 2020 we were notified by the State of Maryland- General Accounting Division that they are in teleworking mode and will only generate checks to suppliers for “critical” payments of $100,000 or more. Their direction to state agencies (including UMB) is to pay only “critical” payments as follows:
        1. With the normal procurement card (pcard) held by department users
        2. With the Emergency Release Card (ERC)- a special card held by Joe Evans and we are obtaining another one for John Jensen.
        3. With our working fund we are requesting an increase in funds to accommodate additional payments
      2. We are unsure of the state’s definition of “critical payments” and we may be subject to additional justification for any payments that we make via the working fund or ask them to make for us over $100K.
      3. A small team of employees in Financial Services-Disbursements (FSDB) will be on-campus and ready to process the payments that we permitted. The expectation is that we will not be generating the normal volume of checks. We ask for your cooperation and understanding once we can give you more definitive direction on what we can process.
      4. We do know that there is no relief for submitting paper documentation because ultimately the reimbursements for the working fund checks will be sent to the state. However, FSDB is going to waive the requirement for paper documentation from departments and require submission of electronic documentation that will be printed by FSDB for submission to the state. All supporting documentation for any form of invoice must be submitted to the appropriate distribution list (DL) via Accellion - the secure file transfer application we use at UMB. Supporting documentation sent directly to a Disbursements staff member or to any other DL will not be processed. We have reduced the number of on-site Disbursements staff to a minimum in order to promote the health and safety of our employees.
      5. We are waiting further clarification on a number of questions that we do not have answers for yet. As soon as we know more information we can determine our procedures and will be sending another detailed communication about invoice payments. Please hold your questions until you receive the additional communication.
      6. Please contact Lynell Pendleton for all general invoice questions at lpendleton@umaryland.edu
    2. Travel Reimbursements
      1. Employee travel reimbursements will be processed as usual except that we will extend the 60 day requirement for submission to 90 days. Electronic receipts are still required. For those employees who do not have access to a scanner, pictures of receipts can be attached to the travel expense form. The department is responsible for gathering the original receipts when UMB returns to normal operations.
      2. Non-employee travel reimbursements are paid by the state and therefore subject to the “critical” payment definition. We will be extending the 60 day requirement for submission to 90 days. We will provide more guidance as soon as we receive it.
      3. Please send travel related questions to travelhelp@umaryland.edu
    3. Payroll
      1. On March 13, 2020 at 12:20PM, Candace Chow sent an email to all HRMS Users to identify the changes that need to be made during this phase of telework.
      2. Per the instructions, all documentation will need to be sent electronically. Paper documentation cannot be accepted.
      3. Paper checks will be mailed as long as the courier can deliver them to UMB. At this time there is no reason to believe it could be an issue but if you have employees who do not use direct deposit they should be encouraged to sign up.
      4. Please use the following email addresses for payroll questions:
        1. DL-BFPayrollHelp@umaryland.edu for general payroll questions
        2. DL-BFNRAHelp@umaryland.edu for NRA questions
    4. Gift Card Requests
      1. The gift card system will not be operational during this phase of telework.
    5. Debit Memos
      1. Debit memos will function as usual.
      2. Please contact Bryan Mack for all debit memo questions at bmack@umaryland.edu
    6. Cashier Window Deposits
      1. The Cashier window will not be open during this phase of telework. If you receive checks that need to be deposited, please mail them with a Deposit Summary form to the General Accounting lockbox at: University of Maryland Baltimore, PO Box 41427, Baltimore, MD 21203-6427.
      2. Cash should not be accepted by any department during this period except for those pre-approved with the Bursar’s office for direct Brinks pick-up.
      3. Please send deposit questions to studentaccountmgmt@umaryland.edu
    7. Customer Billing
      1. Customer Billing will function as usual. Departments can create bills and Financial Services will apply receipts to bills.
      2. Please send CBS questions to generalaccounting@umaryland.edu

     

    Parking and Transportation Services

    1. SMCC Cashier Area
      1. Operating Hours will be reduced to Monday’s only from 9:00am until 1:00pm with limited staff.
      2. MTA sticker pick up, MTA pass pick up and voucher pick up will only be available during this time.
    2. Parking Garages Status
      1. As long as the campus remains open, all the garages will be open.
      2. Should the garage occupancy drop to a point where garages can be closed and parkers redirected to the 24 hour garages (Lexington, Plaza, Baltimore Grand, Pratt) this information will be sent/posted via signage in front of the garage, Twitter, Facebook and our web site.
    3. Shuttle Status
      1. As long as UMB is open the shuttle will operate its normal hours.
      2. Should shuttle ridership drop to the point which hours can be reduced, the information would be sent/posted via Shuttle App (Ride Share), Twitter, Facebook and Shuttle Web Site. (It should be noted, all shuttle riders are communicated to through the Rideshare App)
    4. Donaldson Brown
      1. The Center will not be holding any events during COVID-19.
      2. Limited staff will be on site but not open to receive visitors.