Business and Finance Office

The BFO strives to provide excellent financial and administrative service, support and stewardship to the College. Our core values include: integrity, teamwork, transparency, and confidentiality.

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Friday Flash

  • Not sure if food is allowable or how to pay?  You are not alone.  Here’s some helpful information to guide you with food purchases.

    Is food allowable?  The food should have a clear business purpose and be supported by the USG/UGA policies, if purchasing with institutional funding

    To determine allowable business purposes and funding sources, please reference the following resources:  

    How do I pay?  It depends on the business purpose of food purchase, but most allowable purchases can be made with a payment request, purchase order, when available. 

    • Personal reimbursement of food purchases is not encouraged as other university means of payment should be available. 
    • Food that is purchased with institutional funds, should be only purchased, within the allowable per diem rate.  Any overages, should be processed with an allowable foundation fund. 
    • Foundation funds should be used for food with discretion still maintaining the business purpose and should be processed via FMS for allowable food instances and processed via FAME for business related entertainment that does not meet an allowable food criteria or is employee only related. 
    • Accounts Payable must be able to cross reference payment requests that involve the purchase of food to the allowable categories on the Food Reference Chart.  Please see expense type column for these categories.  Additionally, please include business purpose in description and ensure allowable funding source, documentation requirements, and use of the appropriate account code.
      • Here is a list of new expense type categories:
        • F-Food for Official Research
        • F-Food for Organizational Mission
        • F-Sanctioned Student Events
        • F-Classroom & Academic Programs
        • F-Student Recruiting Events
        • F-Volunteer Events
        • F-Safety Products
        • F-Education or Business Mtg
        • F-Hosted Conference & Workshop
        • F-Employee Group Meals
        • F-Contract Hospitality
        • F-Business Related Entertainment

    Additional Resources

    If you have any questions as you review or as situations arise, please feel free to reach out to us at facsbus@uga.edu

  • I really appreciate everyone following our financial standards. This takes extra effort and is so valuable plus a good habit. Unfortunately, not all of the other units at UGA have the same standards. We created our standards (best practices) so we can be audit ready and input good data in our authoritative systems. The Graduate School has reached out to ask us to internally coordinate on the appropriate chartstring to be used for funding from their unit and to stop returning budget transfers.  We can adjust the budget transfer on our end once received to add backup or change the chartstring. The BFO can help you with this if it’s a burden.

    GCA: please work with your business managers to obtain the most appropriate chartstring for any transfers.

    BM: please coordinate within your unit and let the BFO know if you need assistance determining department ids, funding, chartfield 1s, etc. for any kind of budget transfer

    Examples:

    • Graduate School travel funds should be posted the department’s operating dept id 24X00OPR and use the CF1 24GSTVL.
    • Graduate School funding for Masters fellowship should be posted the department GA payroll dept id 24X00GA0 and use the CF1 24GSMSFELO.
  • With the holidays fast approaching, this is a friendly reminder to review the following items as the university goes on an extended break:

    • Leave: If you are taking more time off than what the university provides for holiday leave, be sure to submit this additional leave appropriately and in time for your supervisor approvals.
    • System Approvals:   
      • Communicate your outages to your team for awareness and ensure there is a backup available that is already assigned in your level pool approval.  Let the BFO know if we need to assist for approvals.  We are asking that all system transactions are submitted by December 22 to ensure our college approvals are completed.
      • For FMS, Step by step instructions on how to setup an alternate approver are found here:  alternate approver. Please ensure your alternate approver WILL be in the office or at least approving remotely. When processing the request, you will need to know the name and MyID of the alternate that you want to request. Here is the form to complete. The request has to be processed by the employee who delegates authority for the alternate approver. This will ensure FACS is compliant with financial deadlines that occur close to the holidays. This will activate for any new approval requests so make sure to clear your approval queue.
      • For OneUSG, the Time and Absence Approver designation is the backup for the primary supervisor for approvals.  Each position already has a T&A approver assigned, but if any changes need to be made, please ensure that is done timely.  See attached temporary approver quick start for additional guidance.
    • Email Away Message: Please setup an away message on your email during your time out of office.
    • Shipping Reminders:  Take into account when placing an order now that delivery may be impacted due to out of office schedules and our holiday break.  See attached holiday delivery schedule email for more info.
    • Early Biweekly Payroll Deadline Reminder:  The last biweekly payroll period for December is due early on December 22.  Please ensure that time and leave is inputted and approved before this time.
    • Limited System Support/Assistance Over Break:  See attached service desk holiday closures for system support schedule. 
    • Housekeeping items:
      • Lights/Electrical Use:  Please ensure that all area lights are turned off and unplug items that will not be in use to conserve energy.
      • Security:  Please ensure all spaces and items are locked and secure.
      • Food/Trash:  Please ensure that all food is properly thrown out and trash is emptied to hallway receptacles, or outside garbage if needed. 
      • HVAC System Reduced:  Be aware that our buildings may be impacted over the break and if you have specific questions, please follow up with our college facilities.  See attached holiday heating notice.

    Temporary Approver Quick Start 

    Service Desk Holiday Closures 

    Thank you for your diligence in review and action needed with this reminder email.  Have a happy holiday break!

  • Continuing our conversation about fiscal compliance, we want to share some tips for Cost Justification Forms. We know it’s been busy as we have noticed a pattern of incomplete or insufficient explanations for Cost Transfer Justification (CTJ) forms. Cost Transfer Justification forms are used to adjustment financial transactions (payroll, travel, operating, etc.) for sponsored projects (grants).

    Because these cost transfers must comply with federal and university policies, CTJ forms are closely scrutinized and must be thoroughly completed. A good justification will allow anyone reviewing the CTJ to understand the action taken, and will answer who, what, when, where, and why.

    Reminders for CTJ forms:

    • Must be attached to all cost transfers on sponsored projects.
    • Includes both payroll and non-payroll reallocations or adjustments.
    • Includes redistributions both to and from sponsored projects for direct and cost share expenditures.
    • Please be specific.
    • Spell out acronyms or abbreviations.

    Please see the attached example for a properly completed CTJ form. Since time is a premium resource for us all, please complete this form appropriately to prevent system returns for transactions, ensuring fiscal compliance and maintaining good stewardship. If you have any questions, please reach out to the BFO at facsbus@uga.edu  or our Post-Award Lead, Jen MacDonald, jennifer.macdonald@uga.edu .

    Example Cost Transfer Justification Form 

  • ***REMINDER***

    As we approach the end of the calendar year, please remember that per USG Policy, there is a 360 hour/45 day cap on annual leave. Any amount of annual leave that exceeds 360 hours on December 31 will be lost for employees that earn this type of leave. 

    The College encourages employees to use their annual leave rather than “leaving money on the table” and studies have shown the positive impacts taking leave from work can have on mental and physical health for many employees.

    • An article in the Harvard Business Review titled, Be Intentional About How You Spend Your Time Off,  references 2018 data from the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) where more than 50% of Americans left vacation time on the table totaling 768 million vacation days.
    • More recent data from USTA (2021) indicates additional reasons for why employees should be encouraged to take leave for mental and physical well-being:
      • More than two-thirds (68%) of American workers feel at least moderately burned out and 13% are extremely burned out
      • More than half (53%) of remote workers are working MORE hours now than they were in the office and 61% now find it more difficult to unplug from work
      • COVID-19 related concerns followed by work related barriers such as heavy workloads and lack of coverage are top reasons preventing Americans from using their paid time off

    ACTIONS:

    • Supervisors: please encourage employees to take their leave.
    • Employees: please work with your supervisor on planning and using annual leave before the end of the year. Don’t forget to account for December month leave!
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