Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:
Hello, and thank you to all who have embraced the new methods for working remotely. I regret the length of this memo, but we have a lot of new information and wanted to share as much as possible in one place for your reference.
First of all, Tuesday, June 30, marks the end of this extremely unusual fiscal year. Although many things are different in our lives now, some things don’t change: the annual audit of the college’s financial statements will happen on the same schedule as ever. Audit testing will begin remotely in June and continue through the summer.
Following are some important accounting concepts and deadlines related to the fiscal year-end process and audit. You’ll find further details at https://controller.williams.edu/.
Rules on use of unspent funds
As a result of the sudden end of on-campus activity, you may have incurred extraordinary expenses in some areas or underspent in others, such as travel or events. At the request of the VP for Finance and Administration and the Provost, please do not reallocate such funds to any purpose other than their original budgeted use without direct permission from your senior staff member. For example, please do not use unspent travel funds to purchase equipment or supplies. Nor should you spend budgeted funds to financially recognize or appreciate individuals. The college has policies and procedures for recognition, supporting our goal for employees and students to be recognized consistently across campus.
Remote access to finance
In order to access reports and to do many of the things listed below, you will need remote access to the finance system. Please follow the steps as outlined at https://controller.williams.edu/articles/remote-access-for-williams-finance-systems-processes/
Entries that need to be made to transfer funds between departments/projects, or between ps accounts within a department/project should be submitted by the end of day July 10, 2020. If you realize that a je is required after this date please email [email protected] to see if that can be done.
Purchasing cards and reconciliations
Purchasing card transactions posted through June 27 will be processed as FY20 activity.
P-card expenses are posted daily for your review and accounting changes. Please go into the P-card system and approve your transactions at least weekly (by Thursday midnight). Approved transactions will post each Friday to your account and will allow you to see the most up-to-date balances.
For details on how to submit P-card reconciliations, please visit our reconciliation and submission guide on the Controller’s Office website.
Accounts Payable (AP)
AP vouchers should be submitted/entered once the work is satisfactorily completed, or the item is received in acceptable condition and the invoice is received and approved. You can find information regarding processing of AP vouchers, including a new feature with the ability to copy and edit an existing voucher to a new voucher on these pages:
AP payments are delivered by either direct deposit or paper check. We encourage direct deposit for prompt payment. Vendors can submit their information securely via our online form. Direct deposits for AP payment happen every Wednesday. Paper checks are issued only on the 15th of each month.
The deadline for submitting vouchers to be expensed in FY20 is Tuesday, June 23. The final check run for this fiscal year, including both paper checks and direct deposits, will be on Friday, June 26. Payments to vendors will be made according to the vendor payment terms. One important point to understand is that an item doesn’t need to be paid in order for it to be expensed and charged against your FY20 budget. As long as your voucher is processed by our office and the goods or services have been received, the expense will hit this fiscal year’s budget, even if the vendor payment terms call for the payment to be made after the deadline.
To ensure that items that meet the requirements to be expensed to next year’s FY21 budget are processed next year (FY21), please submit the voucher after July 1 only.
To record expenses in FY20 for items or services over $1,000 that were received or rendered but not yet billed by June 30, please request an accrual. As an example, you should accrue an invoice for a shipment of materials that arrived on June 15 but didn’t bill until June 26.
To generate an accrual, please send an email to Christina Gregory. The email should include a description of the purchase, the amount and date received, and the PeopleSoft account number to be charged (PS account, fund and department or project). Attach a copy of your invoice or shipping document.
Please use a prepaid for any item or service over $1,000 that must be paid before June 30, but will not be received or rendered until after June 30. As an example, if you make a room deposit now for an event scheduled after June 30, this would be a prepaid item.
To submit a voucher as a prepaid:
- If doing so via paper, please print or write the word “PREPAID” on the voucher in large letters. Leave the PS account number on the voucher blank and put the PeopleSoft department or project number to be charged in the lower left-hand corner. Also, please submit these prepaid vouchers in a separate envelope from your regular vouchers.
- If using the electronic voucher request in Finance, submit the voucher as you normally would but enter PREPAID as the first word in the description field.
Accruals and prepaids should be sent to Christina Gregory by Thursday, July 9.
As in prior years, the following funds will carry forward to next fiscal year:
- Division research accounts up to maximum amount allowed
- Named chair accounts up to maximum amount allowed
- Faculty research accounts
- Continuing start-up funds
If you have disposed of or traded in any equipment with an original value of over $5,000 during the year, please notify Justin Kinney.
Financial reports are updated daily and are available on the web. To access the reports from off-campus you will need to use VPN and go to https://finance.williams.edu/. If you cannot access your reports online please contact [email protected]. Please refer to the department or project number that you need and we will assist you.
To send paper vouchers, P-card recons, or other financial transactions to the Controller’s Office, please either deposit the documents in the box in front of the door to the Accounts Payable Office in Hopkins Hall (first floor) or mail them to:
P.O. Box 67
Williamstown, MA 01267
Please send scans of AP items to [email protected]
Please send scans of purchasing card items to [email protected]
If you have difficulty reviewing your financial accounts or processing year-end financial information because you are working remotely, or if you have any financial questions at all, please reach out to [email protected], [email protected], or to any of us on the Controller’s Office staff.
Thank you for your attention and for your ongoing flexibility!
Your friends in the Williams College Controller’s Office.