Announcements

SPAC Announcements

Communicating with SPAC during Telework

From: Scarantino, Laura B. <lscarantino@umaryland.edu>
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 9:28 AM
To: rac@lists.umaryland.edu
Subject: RE: Communicating with SPAC during Telework 

Greetings All –

As always, SPAC hopes that this email finds you healthy and safe!  We are all healthy here, we are just facing some other challenges.  SPAC has suffered some tremendous setbacks in the past several months and some positives.  

We are currently in the process of bringing on 5 new positions to our team.  One was a new position created due to the promotion of Kevin Cooke to Director back in January of this year.  I have been keeping Kevin a secret due to his new role and trying to tie together the pieces for Quantum.  Three (3) positions we lost to the schools and two of them we were recruiting for when we went to telework with COVID19.   

So for the past 9 weeks we have been resource challenged.  Not that this is an excuse for not being able to get projects set up on time or billing out immediately.  However what we thought would be a minor setback has continued to grow and now our resources are very strained.  It does weigh heavily on the team that is we have left.  They have been doing their best to keep up with the work load, and with a positive attitude! 

What are the positives you say?  We have a new little addition to our family, which put a six person out for several weeks.  Another positive is that we have been able to identify what appears to be some great talent for the 5 open positions.   However, only one on-boarded with us this week.   Hopefully the other 4 will not be far behind.   

If you have sent an email to one of our RS-SPAC team emails and you have not received an answer to your question in a reasonable time, and your issue is urgent, please email one of my management team directly.  Do not continue to copy the RS-SPAC emails.    

And you only need to choose one of us not all 3.  Possibly someone that your feel comfortable working with in the past year. 

lscarantino@umaryland.edu, AVP

Michelle.ward@umaryland.edu, Director

Krista.salsberg@umaryland.edu, Senior Manager 

If you come directly to one of us, we will triage it to the someone who can support your request and we will provide the appropriate timeline that this will be completed.   This cuts out a lot of email traffic.  Currently the RS team emails receive over 1,000 emails a week and this number compounds when we get behind. 

We apologize in advance for the challenges that we are causing your areas and we are diligently trying to find the best pathway to return to our customer service standards.  This entire experience will be bringing about additional changes in SPAC in FY21 to better prepare for any upcoming challenges we may face. 

Best,

Laura 

Laura O. Scarantino CPA, MSF
AVP, SPAC
Office: 410-706-2562
Cell: 443-466-8916

UPDATE SPAC Items of Interest: VA COLAS; PAYMENTS MADE IN STUDENT ACCOUNTING; MATCHING FINANCIAL REPORTS TO QUANTUM - PLEASE READ

From: Scarantino, Laura B. <lscarantino@umaryland.edu>
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 6:29 PM
To: rac@lists.umaryland.edu
Subject: UPDATE SPAC Items of Interest: VA COLAS; PAYMENTS MADE IN STUDENT ACCOUNTING; MATCHING FINANCIAL REPORTS TO QUANTUM - PLEASE READ 

Greetings all! 

Please continue to be safe and healthy!   Lots of work to do. 

Since we did not have a SPA/SPAC meeting this quarter, I wanted to give you some updates on some areas of that we need your assistance. 

VA COLA Recuperation

So there have been continued discussions with the VA about paying the COLA rates that are approved under their awards, and over the negotiated award amount.  We still would like to bill up to the contract amount and do a second billing for the COLA because we continue having issues recuperating the “over the award” amount.  The VA has stated it is an internal issue that they have with their HR and Finance groups and that they are also having issues with getting someone to increase the PO’s in order to pay the overage.  Therefore if we isolate them, we can possibly send in a quarterly bill for all COLA’s over the award amount.   However, these amounts CANNOT be over the “allowable” amount stated in the award.  We have heard 2%, 3% and 4% but if it is not listed in the award as a % (see below) you would think we could go for anything.  Not true, there is something written at the VA level that does not seem to be available to us.  Due to the ambiguity, in order to get the overages, we must work together to determine what the allowable overage is.  If it is 2% or below there should not be a problem with us trying to get it on a quarterly bill with other COLA’s.  Over 2 % it is going to have to be a joint effort, but we should discuss those that fall within the 3 and 4% rule before striking out independently.  Anything over 4% you are going to have to seek a modification to the award.  

Dropping of payments to Student Accounting

Just a reminder for payments that are taken to student accounting.  When you are returning funds from a subrecipient (basically refunding expenses). 

  • In the Transaction Description field, please reference the Project ID and object code for SPAC to credit the expense reimbursement. 

Here is a link to the instructions.  We have been receiving a lot of items with accounts that start with the #7, this is not the correct series of account number that are used for expenses.

https://www.umaryland.edu/financialservices/student-accounting/cashier/#deposit 

Matching financial reports to Quantum

There are many instances where the department is required to send a financial report to a sponsor. Whether it is embedded into a technical report, or if it is a “reporting” software that limits the amount of users, therefore there is not enough room for SPAC to upload the information (plus there is still an invoice component).  Please make sure what you are reporting matches Quantum for that period end.  We are receiving too many reports where you are asking for a small balance entry to be done to tie up the invoice.  However it is easier to put into your technical report that this is what is in our financial system as of this date and that there are trailing charges which will be reported in the next reporting period.   The reasons that we ask for this is that sometimes the expenses never come through and then you are off balance next month and there is a lot of extra work to “put in the trailing” charges because we have to put them in and then take them out until your charges hit.  And finally it is many times an audit issue.  We have many awards that we report this way to sponsors.  We normally only to adjustments to the final invoice when the expense is not in the system (as long as there’s is appropriate documentation provided).  And submitting the final invoice is a timing issue.  

If you have any questions please send them directly to me and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Take care! 

Laura

2020, April 8th: Capturing UCOVID19 in Quantum Financials

From: rac-request@lists.umaryland.edu <rac-request@lists.umaryland.edu> On Behalf Of Scarantino, Laura B.
Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 5:09 PM
To: rac@lists.umaryland.edu
Cc: DL-ORD-Grants_and_Contracts <DL-ORD-Grants_and_Contracts@umaryland.edu>
Subject: RE: Kuali Research proposal development change SPAC ADDED: how it will be captured in Quantum Financials in Purpose field using UCOVID19 

Greetings Everyone - SPAC hope this email finds you and yours healthy! 

We wanted to expand on SPA's message below and its importance to be collected in Kuali Research so that  SPAC can capture the information in Quantum Financials.  Again this is  for funding opportunities that are awarded  which include COVID -19 research or programs .  

SPAC will be translating that information collected in Kuali Research into the project level of Quantum Financials PURPOSE field using the code UCOVID19

We realize that the departments define the purpose field for tracking of certain sponsored grants and contracts,  however we wanted to align ourselves with a University directive.   If you have any concerns that this will conflict with future tracking of your departments  existing purpose initiatives,  please contact me. 

In summary: 

If you are routing a proposal through KR  that is going to be awarded with COVID-19 designated funds,  first make sure you are  and are answering the question in KR as yes.

If the proposal is awarded you must  have a segment set up with UCOVID19 purpose so that we will be able to choose that field in purpose field of Quantum Financials.

Displaying Quantum Account Combo Segments for Sponsored Projects in eUMB HRMS

In response to your requests, the detailed segment information (Project Source, Project Org, Project Activity, Project Purpose and Project Function) for sponsored projects will be on display in HRMS.
The HRMS pages and reports affected are:

  • Combination Code Table
  • EFP Inquiry Page
  • EFP Entry Page
  • DR Entry Page
  • PCD Report
  • Funding Summary Report

You will be able to use the Combination Code Table (see instructions) to see the sponsored projects Quantum Account Combo information (based on the search parameters entered).

Please see instructions for more detail regarding the proposed changes which will be effective early next week.

SPAC DEADLINE Reminders for Quantum 3RD UPDATE

  • REMINDER – ROE’S and FFR’s that are due in September were due last Friday 9/6/2019 in order  to ensure that will be submitted on time.  We still have some outstanding that we are waiting for.
  • The last letter of credit (LOC ) draw for September will be September 19th so all expenses for the draw need to be in the system by the 17th or they won’t be drawn until October
  • ADDED – With the change in the DIRRF process from an online link to being entered into the Quantum system by the departments, we will be shutting down the DIRRF form link online at the end of this week SEPTEMBER 13.  This will allow us enough time to get all items in the workflow processed by the 17th.  Please get your requests in as soon as possible.

Deliverable Invoice Receivable Request (DIRRF) Form NOTICE

For those of you submitting DIRRF’s online,  

https://inweb.umaryland.edu:9083/imagenowforms/fs?form=SPACDLBBillingForm 

Please make sure that your project end date is in the future.   We are unable to invoice sponsors past the expiration date of the award unless it is the final invoice.  

You will need to fill in the following form and submit to SPA to request the extension prior to submitting your DIRRF.

(note: cutoff for these extensions is 8/30 for Quantum) 

https://www.umaryland.edu/media/umb/ord/documents/spa/NCE-Request-for-NSF-Grants.pdf 

Information about NCE  can be found on SPA’s page

https://www.umaryland.edu/spa/award-management/changes-to-project-or-budget/no-cost-extensions/ 

This requirement to extend the date will be in effect when we go-live with Quantum as well.

SPAC DEADLINE Reminders for Quantum

Deadline reminders and other information that will assist all of us as we prepare for the transfer to Quantum on October 2, 2019 

COST

  • Please focus on finalizing any outstanding effort forms the cleaner the data the better for all.
  • During 9/20 to 10/1, the effort team will be available to train or help with any issues that you have been unable to resolve
  • There will be no DR processing from October 2-7th due to the HRMS shutdown, so you may want to get them in early for the October 1st 

SPAC

  • No more sponsored projects, modifications, child projects or temporary projects will be set up after  modifications will be accepted for setup after August 30th, so get those requests into SPA ASAP.
  • If you are awaiting an NOA that will have a project begin date from now through September, and you want to start charging in September you would need to route a Temporary Account Setup to SPA, by August 30th in order to secure that project number.  Otherwise,  the award will not receive a new project number until October. 

https://www.umaryland.edu/media/umb/af/spac/forms/TempProjectRequest.pdf

  • In order to ensure billing in September, all signed ROE’s are due back to SPAC on September 6th
  • Ensure that the appropriate backup and/or payroll certifications are also returned with the signed ROE
  • In order to ensure timely reporting for September,  all signed FFRs are due back to SPAC on September 6th
  • There will be notices going to our sponsors in our August Dunning notifying them of a possible delay in billing for October bills
  • This same notice will go out in the September Dunning which will be sent out on September 20 th
  • The last letter of credit (LOC ) draw for September will be September 19th so all expenses for the draw need to be in the system by the 17th or they won’t be drawn until October

3/22/2017 USDA Records Disposal Freeze Email Notification to the University

USDA Records Disposal Freeze Notice

From: rac-request@lists.umaryland.edu [mailto:rac-request@lists.umaryland.edu] On Behalf Of Scarantino, Laura B.
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2018 5:45 PM
To: 'rac@lists.umaryland.edu' <rac@lists.umaryland.edu>
Subject: FW: USDA Records Disposal Freeze NOTICE
Importance: High 

Greetings Everyone 

There was a form letter sent out to all entities that are recipients of  USDA awards about a Records Freeze. Our letter is attached, and will also be available on the SPA & SPAC websites.   

This freeze affects a very small population of UMB “direct” and “pass-through” USDA awards. Eight awards in total, of which 2 are currently active. The 5 departments that were affected have been notified directly. If you are receiving notifications from your prime sponsors that you have funds subject to this freeze, please read your agreements carefully because this did not apply to all USDA departments. 

Most of UMB’s grants come from NIFA – WHICH ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THIS FREEZE.  

Under the Secretary for Research Education and Economic within the USDA  there are 4 distinct departments

-Agriculture Research Service (ARS)

-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

-Economic Research Service (ERS)

-National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 

Only ARS, ERS and NASS grants are subject to the freeze  All of the 8 grants mentioned above were from ARS.   

SPA and SPAC want to ensure that that the departments are aware that any future award negotiations with ARS, ERS or NASS  will also be subject to the freeze until UMB receives notification from USDA that it has been lifted. This applies on all prime USDA and pass-through awards. Plus UMB will be required to notify any sub recipients enlisted on these awards. 

According to the letter UMB must follow the record retention requirement set forth in the applicable regulation or administrative requirement REE-425R, 2 CFR 200 (SEC 200.333(a) and (b))  or 7 CFR 550

No records (paper and/or electronic) can be destroyed or deleted. In addition, no agency official can authorize the destruction of any such records. You will be notified when this records disposal freeze is lifted. 

Federal statutes defines a record as follows as, "All books, papers, maps, photographs, machine-readable materials, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by an agency of the United States Government under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures,operations, or other activities of the Government or because of the informational value of data in them. Library and museum materialmade or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes, extra copies of documents preserved only for convenience of reference and stocks of publications and of processed documents are not included." (44 U.S.C. 3301) 

Please reach out to your representative in SPA or SPAC if you have any questions.

Costing and Compliance Announcements

Revisiting Administrative Leave and Effort Reporting Allocations

From: Scarantino, Laura B.
Sent: Thursday, May 7, 2020 8:30 AM
To: rac@lists.umaryland.edu
Cc: DL-ORD-Grants_and_Contracts <DL-ORD-Grants_and_Contracts@umaryland.edu>
Subject: Revisiting Administrative Leave and Effort Reporting Allocations 

Greetings Everyone – 

The attached document was prepared by Scott Bitner and myself concerning charging administrative Leave as well as aligning effort.  

As we continue to embrace our new normal, we have been reviewing the charges to grants to see COV19 has affected our effort on awards.  We have sent a lot of information on how to handle Administrative Leave, however, we have not really addressed the level of effort that we are working on awards.   From the timesheets it appears that there are a lot of faculty and staff who are working grants that are not taking administrative leave. 

If you are not taking any administrative leave, we want you to review your Effort Funding Profile (EFP) to verify if you are still working the same level of effort for your grant(s).  If some of your effort has shifted to more non-grant related administrative duties, this should be reflected in your EFP, and you should update this accordingly.  This realigned effort is not the administrative leave COVID19 purpose because you are not designating administrative leave on your timesheet.  You would not need to change your effort report constantly, but we want to ensure when we certify effort tin July/August that there will not be a dramatic change from what we have included in our EFP’s. 

For example if an EFP prior to COVID19 teleworking  was 

Project A          20%

Project B          30%

Project C          25%

Administration  25% 

And the level of effort on A, B and C dropped by 10% each COVID19 teleworking, and you are not taking administrative leave.  Where your you redirecting that 30% of effort? 

Project A           10%

Project B           20%

Project C           15%

Administration   25%

What are you working on?   30%

Communication on Charging Administrative Leave and Aligning Effort

 

Effort Help Desk and Direct Retro Guidelines during Telework Period

In Light of the current COVID-19 crisis and the new telework policy, we have noticed a drastic decline in the number of Direct Retros submitted for processing. 

This is a gentle reminder that the University is fully operational and we are reviewing, approving and processing Direct Retros as normal. 

We are now accepting Direct Retros with electronic signatures. You may print to a PDF file and obtain necessary signatures prior to submission. The university’s payroll cost transfer policies and procedures have not changed in regards to the approvals needed. 

You may call the effort help desk at Ext 6-2987 and leave a voicemail. We will get back to you within 1 to 2 business days. 

If you are having any difficulties, please contact effort@umaryland.edu.

SPAC DEADLINE Reminders for Quantum 3RD UPDATE

  • Please focus on finalizing any outstanding effort forms the cleaner the data the better for all.
  • During 9/20 to 10/1, the effort team will be available to train or help with any issues that you have been unable to resolve
  • There will be no DR processing from October 2-7th due to the HRMS shutdown, so you may want to get them in early for the October 1st 
  • The last letter of credit (LOC ) draw for September will be September 19th so all expenses for the draw need to be in the system by the 17th or they won’t be drawn until October

SPAC DEADLINE Reminders for Quantum 4TH UPDATE

  • There will be no DR or BR processing from October 2-7th due to the HRMS shutdown
  • Effective October 8th you will be able to enter a BR back to July 1, 2019. To take advantage of this option the BR will need to be approved by November 12th 8 PM
  • If you do not meet that deadline you will need to submit DR’s for 7/1/19 through 8/17/19.
  • Effective November 13th you will only enter BR’s with an effective date 8/18/19

Quantum Direct Retro Form and New DR Submission Requirements

The Direct Retro (DR) Form has been updated with the new Quantum account information and can be accessed through the link below. Since you will no longer be able to do any DRs prior to FY16, the previous DR versions have been deleted as they will no longer be useful. 

Quantum Direct Retro Request Form 

In the new Quantum Financial system, there are no project IDs for non-sponsored accounts. Consequently it is necessary to change the subject line for submitting the Direct Retros in order to easily identify non-sponsored accounts. 

The new email subject line nomenclature to use when submitting DRs includes the following information indicating the employee whose wages are being affected, and is illustrated below: 

  • 6 digit EMPL ID ^ Employee last name ^ Credit Project ID/Purpose ^ Credit HRMS Combo Code

Examples 

To submit a DR for Jon Doe, whose Employee ID is 123456, on which you are crediting project ID 10001234 and HRMS Code is 5000012345, the subject line of the email you send to dretros@umaryland.edu would look like this: 

  • For Sponsored Accounts: 123456^Doe^10001234^5000012345 

If he worked on a non-sponsored account with no Project ID and HRMS Code 5000000123 the subject line of the email you send to dretros@umaryland.edu  would look like this: 

  • For Non Sponsored Accounts: 123456^Doe^00000000^5000000123 

All other DR submission requirements remain the same. Attach new Quantum PCD by Accounting Period, run within a week of the DR submission date. 

Please email effort@umaryland.edu or call Extension 6-2987 if you have any questions.