Updates to university travel – Nov. 8, 2021

The following information is taken from the Nov. 3 update to university travel policy. Read the announcement about university travel updates


Effective Nov. 8, 2021, the ban on university-sponsored international travel is no longer restricted to essential activities and an exemption form is no longer needed.

Employees, guests, graduate students, and undergraduates traveling internationally for business purposes should follow existing travel policy. All international travel should follow current campus health protocols as well as CDC International Travel Guidance. It is recommended individuals delay university-sponsored international travel until fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Travelers should pay close attention to country-specific vaccination and testing requirements, as these may vary and are modified regularly.

The university highly recommends employees traveling internationally on university business enroll in the UW System international health, medical, and evacuation insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). Starting Jan. 1, 2022, CISI will be required for all employees traveling abroad for university purposes. For more information on this requirement, see the CISI Insurance enrollment and reimbursement memo, issued November 1, 2021.

Enrollment in CISI is already required for all students traveling abroad – undergraduates, graduates, and professional students – regardless of their program of study or academic standing.

Enrollment in CISI is not available for personal travel.

In addition, students must comply with the UW–Madison International Travel Policy. The International Travel Policy applies to students of all levels and programs of study – undergraduate, graduate, and professional.  Students are precluded from travel to any location that remains under a level 3 or 4 U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory or a level 3 or 4 CDC Travel Health Notice. The International Travel Policy offers a process by which waivers can be requested if risks can be mitigated effectively. See the “Policies” tab on the UW–Madison International Safety and Security website for more information about the policy and waiver process.

International travelers on university-related business without approval are subject to personal financial responsibility and potentially individual or group corrective action.

Purchasing Card News – September 2021


Spread the Word!

This communication was distributed to the UW-Madison Purchasing Card Site Manager and Purchasing Card Cardholder lists.  To ensure all users stay informed, please forward this email to other staff as appropriate.  We appreciate your assistance!

Purchasing Card Module Implementation

On December 11, 2021, Business Services will implement the Purchasing Card module of the Shared Financial System (SFS).  The module will facilitate the reconciliation, verification, and approval of purchasing card transactions and become the system of record for all purchasing card supporting documentation and approvals.  The Purchasing Card module will replace the use of U.S. Bank’s Access Online for most functionality apart from program maintenance performed by Purchasing Card Program Administrators.

Benefits of the Purchasing Card Module

We are anticipating many benefits from use of the new Purchasing Card module, including:

  • Shorter timeframe between date of purchase and date of posting to WISER: Transactions are loaded to the Purchasing Card module daily and can be reconciled daily; there is no need to wait for the “billing cycle” to end.
  • No more edit deadlines: Since transactions are loaded daily, site managers can review and approve as cardholders complete their verifications.
  • Additional cardholder functionality: In the Purchasing Card module, cardholders can allocate transactions if they choose.
  • Access to supporting documentation: Since the Purchasing Card module will be the system of record, auditors will have access to supporting documentation, eliminating the need to request from site managers via email.
  • Electronic approvals: All verifications and approvals will be done electronically, eliminating the need for signatures on paper statements.
  • Automated reminders: The Purchasing Card module includes automated email reminders to ensure unreconciled transactions are not forgotten.

PLUS, MORE!

Training

Prior to implementation, all purchasing cardholders and site managers are required to complete training to remain eligible for the purchasing card program.  This online training will be a combination of the annual refresher training and the new module training.  Information about training will be communicated directly to cardholders and site managers via email in mid-October.

Timeline

Please note the important dates below:

  • October 15, 2021: Training available and distributed to cardholders and site managers.
  • November 2021: Online Q&A Sessions available (more information and registration links forthcoming)
  • December 11, 2021: Purchasing Card Module implementation date; cardholders and site managers begin reconciling purchasing card transactions posted 12/11/2021 or later in the Purchasing Card module.
  • December 17, 2021: Final edit deadline in Access Online for the 12/10/2021 billing period. Transactions posted after 12/10/2021 must be reconciled in the Purchasing Card module.

Note: Any changes to the above will be further communicated.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact pcard@bussvc.wisc.edu.

Purchasing Card News – July 2021


Spread the Word!

This communication was distributed to the UW-Madison Purchasing Card Site Manager and Purchasing Card Cardholder lists.  To ensure all users stay informed, please forward this email to other staff as appropriate.  We appreciate your assistance!

UWSA Office of Internal Audit Continuous Purchasing Card Review

The UW System Administration Office of Internal Audit completed a review of UW Madison purchasing card activity between 06/27/2020 and 12/28/2020.  This audit included a review of 186 transactions and resulted in a total of 18 audit findings.  The most common audit findings include:

  • Lack of an Adequate Business Purpose: Many transactions are reconciled merely with itemizations listed as the business purpose. A proper business purpose includes a detailed explanation of how a purchase is used to conduct UW business.
  • Personal Purchases: Accidental personal use of a purchasing card stored in an online consumer profile accounts for many of our audit findings and compliance warnings. It is recommended users create separate online profiles (e.g. Amazon) for business-use only prior to entering any card information.
  • Statement Approvals: Policy requires statements be signed within 30 days of the billing cycle close date. Many statements are missing signatures and/or dates or are signed outside of the 30-day requirement.

Greeting Cards

In the most recent UWSA Office of Internal Audit Continuous Purchasing Card Review, we received two audit findings for purchasing business-related greeting cards because, per the UWSA Purchasing Card Manual, greeting cards of any nature are seen to be personal in nature and are, therefore, not allowable expenses on the purchasing card.  UW-Madison leadership agreed there are multiple valid situations in which it would be appropriate to use University funds to purchase a greeting card for a business-related use.  As of June 2021, the “greeting card” referenced in the list of Purchasing Card Frequently Questioned Purchases has been removed.  Greeting cards are now allowable provided a UW business purpose is documented on the supporting documentation.

Note: Greeting cards for employees must continue to adhere to the requirements in UW-3075: Official Functions and Expenses.

Purchasing Card Delivery Addresses

Since the COVID-19 telecommute began, the Purchasing Card Program Manager has been requesting alternate delivery addresses from card applicants to ensure card delivery to the most appropriate location (e.g. one’s personal residence).  After campus reopens on August 1, 2021, this process will cease and cards will be delivered to the address submitted on the Purchasing Card Automated Application & Agreement.  Address information defaults based on the applicant’s Net ID; however, the fields are editable.  If an employee is working remotely, a home address may be used.  Please note the card delivery address is the same as the account’s “billing address.”  If preferred, please contact the Purchasing Card Program Manager after the card is received to update the address to a campus location, but keep in mind, any subsequent replacement cards will be delivered to the current system address.

Purchasing Card Module Update

The implementation of the Purchasing Card Module of PeopleSoft is now scheduled for Fall of 2021.  Further communication and training will be forthcoming.

Purchasing Card Counts and Credit Limits

In the spring of 2021, all UW-Madison schools, colleges, and auxiliaries participated in a UW System Administration-directed effort to reduce the number of purchasing cards and overall credit limit for each campus purchasing card program.  Between 06/01/2020 and 06/01/2021, the overall number of purchasing cards on the UW-Madison campus decreased from 2,656 cards to 2,492 cards (6% decrease) and the overall credit limit decreased from approximately $32 million to approximately $25 million (20% decrease).  We appreciate your assistance in this effort and are pleased with the progress we have made thus far; however, acknowledge we still have work to do.  We will continue to monitor idle accounts and unused credit as well as analyze purchasing card spend to identify purchases more appropriately procured through ShopUW+.

UW Travel Webinars

UW System Administration and the UW’s contracted travel agencies, Travel Incorporated and Fox World Travel, have scheduled a few “Open Houses” to reintroduce travel for individual travelers and those arranging group travel.  For more information and registration, click here.

New Travel & Card Student Intern

We are excited to welcome Chloe Thorpe to the Travel & Card Team as our first student employee since March 2020.  Chloe is a sophomore at UW-Madison studying Accounting and Finance.  She will be assisting with purchasing card maintenance and other daily tasks.  While you may receive communication directly from Chloe, please continue sending your requests/questions to meghann.grove@wisc.edu for review and approval.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact pcard@bussvc.wisc.edu.

Purchasing Card News – September 2020


Spread the Word!

This communication was distributed to the UW-Madison Purchasing Card Site Manager and Purchasing Card Cardholder lists.  To ensure all users stay informed, please forward this email to other staff as appropriate.  We appreciate your assistance!

UWSA Office of Internal Audit Continuous Purchasing Card Review

The UW System Administration Office of Internal Audit completed a review of UW-Madison purchasing card activity between 12/28/2019 and 06/26/2020.  This audit included a review of 190 transactions and resulted in a total of nine audit findings:

It should be noted this audit period is unique in that it includes the time period in which the COVID-19 telecommute began and the subsequent months that followed.  Given these unprecedented circumstances, purchasing card program staff, site managers, cardholders and campus leadership did their best to continue conducting business-as-usual while working from home and, in some cases, with limited tools, technology and resources.  We acknowledge that some policy leniencies and procedure modifications were required.  We commend our program users for their efforts to comply with the directions given in the early stages of our telecommuting time period.

Purchasing Card Statement Review and Approvals

In light of our recent audit findings and considering the indefinite time-frame for our continued telecommute, new guidance is available for cardholders and site managers when reviewing and approving Cardholder Statements:

Every effort should be made to ensure purchasing card transactions are reviewed and approved within 30 days from the billing cycle end date as per policy. If physical signatures are unable to be obtained due to remote work, e-mail approval or a verifiable electronic approval is adequate for audit purposes. These approvals must be obtained within the 30-day requirement. If due to furlough or termination, the 30-day deadline is not able to be met, this should be thoroughly documented with the purchasing card supporting documentation.

It is most important these approvals are included with the supporting documentation if a transaction is selected for audit.  Please review all supporting documentation before submission to the auditor to avoid unnecessary audit findings.

Purchasing Card Module Update

The implementation of the Purchasing Card Module of PeopleSoft has been delayed until Spring 2021 due to technical conflicts with another module.  UW-Madison is the only campus impacted by this issue, so other campuses will be able to implement the module sooner and (hopefully!) work out any remaining issues not identified by testing.  We will continue to test the system, modify training documentation, and draft communication plans in coming months.  Thank you for your patience.

2021 Cardholder and Site Manager Calendars

The 2021 Cardholder Calendar and 2021 Site Manager Editing Calendar are now available on the Business Services website.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact pcard@bussvc.wisc.edu.

Purchasing Card News – July 2020


Spread the Word!

This communication was distributed to the UW-Madison Purchasing Card Site Manager and Purchasing Card Cardholder lists.  To ensure all users stay informed, please forward this email to other staff as appropriate.  We appreciate your assistance!

Policy Updates

The following policy updates have been made and are effective immediately:

  • Sales Tax Tolerance Level: The sales tax tolerance level has been increased from $5 to $25. As a reminder, if a cardholder inadvertently pays sales tax in an amount of $25 or less, the cardholder is not required to attempt to obtain a refund for the sales tax paid; however, if sales tax is paid in error in an amount greater than $25, the cardholder is required to contact the vendor for a refund AND to document that attempt on the purchasing card supporting documentation.
  • Warning Expungement Timeframe: Purchasing card warnings will now be expunged after a period of one year (previously two years).

As a result of these changes, Procedures 300.2 and 300.5 have been updated.

Purchasing Card Audits

The UW System Administration Office of Internal Audit completed a review of UW Madison purchasing card activity between 06/29/2019 and 12/27/2019.  This audit included a review of 99 transactions and resulted in a total of five audit findings:

pcard audit findings july 2020

All results have been shared with the relevant cardholders, site managers and Divisional Business Office leadership.  The next round of continuous audit will include transactions posted between 12/28/2019 and 06/26/2020.  We expect to receive the audit request this month and will work with the site managers to gather the required supporting documentation.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact pcard@bussvc.wisc.edu.

3024.8 Using Foundation Funding in e-Reimbursement

Expenses may be charged to the Wisconsin Foundation Alumni Association (WFAA) when appropriate. E-Reimbursement Approvers are responsible for entering WFAA funding. Upon approval of the expense reimbursement, the claimant receives one payment from the University. Accounting Services then bills WFAA for their portion.

Using Foundation Funding in e-reimbursement
Procedure # 3024.8
Rev.: 1
Effective Date: June 30, 2020

Related Policy: UW-3024 Expense Reimbursement Policy
Functional Owner: Accounting Services, Division of Business Services
Contact: Expense Reimbursement Program Manager – Graig Brooks (608) 262-8691


Contents

I. Procedure Statement
II. Who is Affected by this Procedure
III. Procedure
IV. Contact Roles and Responsibilities
V. Definitions
VI. Related References
VII. Revisions


I. Procedure Statement

Expenses may be charged to the Wisconsin Foundation Alumni Association (WFAA) when appropriate.  E-Reimbursement Approvers are responsible for entering WFAA funding.  Upon approval of the expense reimbursement, the claimant receives one payment from the University.  Accounting Services then bills WFAA for their portion.


II. Who is Affected by This Procedure

Employees who seek reimbursement for out-of-pocket or Corporate Card expenses; alternates who prepare expense reimbursements in e-Reimbursement; Approvers and Auditors; Divisional Business Officers and others who have approval authority.


III.   Procedure

A. Expense Report Submission (Traveler/Alternate role)

  1. For expenses with food and/or drinks, claimants/alternates must enter the number of attendees and their names into e-Reimbursement. This is required for the “Meal-Hosted” and “Event-Catering” expense types.  When entering expenses:
    1. Enter the total number of attendees in the “How many people” field.
    2. Enter the names and affiliations of the attendees in the “Add Additional Attendees” box.
      1. For events with 20 or fewer attendees, enter all attendees here. A list attached to the expense report is not sufficient.
      2. For events with more than 20 attendees, enter at least the names and affiliations of all attendees from the University. Attendees from outside organizations may be listed in an attachment.
  2. Claimants submit expense reimbursements without entering WFAA funding. Include in the justification notes the amount being charged to WFAA and the name and number of the WFAA account, if known.

B. Entering Foundation Funding Information (Approver Role): e-Reimbursement approvers are responsible for entering WFAA funding information. Claimants, alternates, and auditors do not have this ability.

  1. Access the expense line funding for the expense being charged to WFAA funding.
    1. While in the summary view of an expense reimbursement in your approval queue, click the Expense Details link.
    2. View the expense line funding by expanding the two grey arrows. The first is to the left of the expense date, the second is above “Accounting Details”.
  2. If expense is split between UW funding and WFAA funding, add additional funding lines as needed. Funding lines are added by using the plus sign at the far right end of the funding string (may require using the scroll bar below the funding string).
    1. Expenses must be split at the funding line level within one expense line. Do not enter multiple expense lines for the same expense.
    2. For Hosted Events and Business Meals, alcohol and meal overages must be split onto separate funding lines. Meal expenses which include alcohol and meal overages will have three funding lines.
      1. Portion allowable on UW funding
      2. Alcohol to WFAA
      3. Meal overages charged to WFAA
  3. For WFAA funding lines, change the account code to 6240. Hit tab. Click the “Foundation” link that appears at the far left of the funding string.
    1. UW Fund Account Type: leave as “UW Foundation” unless instructed to change by Athletics Business Office.
    2. UW Foundation Account Number: enter the 9-digit WFAA account number.
    3. Account Description: enter the title of the WFAA account.
    4. Reason for Foundation Use: enter justification for why WFAA funding is appropriate and/or UW funding is not appropriate.
    5. Click “OK”
  4. Enter any other relevant information in the Description box of the expense line. This Description box and the “Reason for Foundation Use” box are the only justifications WFAA has access to when reviewing these expenses.  The billing process may be delayed if necessary information is included elsewhere in the expense reimbursement.

C. Reimbursement Payment: Claimants receive one payment from the University, even for expense reimbursements split between UW and WFAA funding.

D. Billing Process: Accounting Services bills WFAA for their portion of e-Reimbursement payments after the reimbursements have been paid.


IV. Contact Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Claimant/Alternate: Responsible for understanding and complying with Business Meals, Hosted Events, Official Functions and University travel and purchasing polices. Responsible for entering number of attendees and their names and affiliations.  Responsible for retaining all required documentation.
  2. Approver: Responsible for entering WFAA funding information, ensuring amounts split between WFAA and UW funding are accurate, and providing sufficient justification for e-Reimbursement auditors and WFAA personnel to approve expenses.
  3. Accounting Services: Responsible for reviewing WFAA expenses, billing expenses to WFAA and processing payments from WFAA.

 


V. Definitions

  1. Claimant: individual claiming reimbursement for expenses.
  2. Alternate: individual granted authority to enter expense reimbursements on behalf of a claimant.
  3. Approver: the first reviewer of expense reimbursements, also known as “Required Departmental Approver.”
  4. Auditor: the final expense reimbursement reviewer, also known as “Required Final Approver.”
  5. WFAA: Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association. WFAA is a separate, non-profit entity which solicits and accepts gifts on behalf of the University and invests and protects those gift funds until needed by the University.
  6. E-Reimbursement: the University’s web-based expense reimbursement submission and review tool.

VI. Related References


VII.  Revisions

Procedure Number 3024.8
Date Approved
Revision Dates 01/19/21 – Updated Procedure Number to 3024.8 from 320.8

 

 

Coming Soon: Purchasing Card Module

Purchasing Cardholders, Site Managers and Divisional Business Office Leadership,

In conjunction with UW System Administration and UW Oshkosh, UW Madison staff have been working to implement the purchasing card module of PeopleSoft (SFS) for purchasing card reconciliation.  This module will replace the use of U.S. Bank’s Access Online for cardholders and site managers and includes benefits for purchasing card users at every level, including cardholders, site managers, Divisional Business Office leadership, program administrators and program auditors:

  • Allows for both cardholder and site manager allocation (currently, only site managers have the ability to allocate purchasing card transactions in Access Online).
  • Decreases the time between when a purchase is made and when the transaction posts to the University’s general ledger.
  • Allows for electronic retention of purchasing card supporting documentation in one system of record.
  • Allows for electronic review and approval of purchasing card transactions and supporting documentation.
  • Decreases administrative burden during post-payment audit process (e.g. Business Services will no longer need to request documentation from site managers for audit).

Timeline: An exact implementation date has not been determined yet as the team is currently in the planning/development stages of the project; however, the goal is to implement the module before the end of the calendar year.

Refresher Training: A decision has been made to postpone the Annual Online Purchasing Card Refresher Training until we can incorporate training for the new module into the course.  All active purchasing cardholders and site managers will be required to complete the course later on this year.

Questions/Comments: Feel free to reach out if you have questions/comments about this project.  Further information will be forthcoming.

Thanks,

Meghann

Meghann Grove
Card Program Manager
UW-Madison
21 N. Park Street, Suite 5301
Madison, WI 53715
(608) 262-3300
Meghann.grove@wisc.edu

Purchasing Low-Dollar Office Supplies while Telecommuting

While most UW-Madison employees are now working remotely, it is understood there may be a need for low-dollar, office supply-type purchases at remote work locations. Employees may purchase necessary supplies from alternate resources and have the supplies shipped directly to their remote work location with prior documented approval from their immediate supervisor. Use of the purchasing card or reimbursement to an employee are acceptable payment methods. Employees are expected to use best-judgment and reason and continue to be good stewards of University resources during this unusual time.