This is your periodic newsletter from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Charles M. Peccolo.

Accounts Payable

Bank of America awarded new procurement card contract
After a competitive bid process, Bank of America - Merrill Lynch has been awarded the University’s procurement card program. This will require us to reissue approximately 1,800 procurement cards throughout the university system. We will do our best to do this in a manner that doesn’t impact your ability to purchase items with your procurement card. More information will provided once we start this process.

Avoid duplicate payments
Departments are processing similar but different vendor documents for the same transaction, thereby causing duplicate payments.  Read more about steps to prevent this.

Wire transfer payments to incur new processing fee
Wire transfers are the most expensive method to pay vendors.  To discourage this, as of November 1, departmental accounts will be charged a $50 fee for each wire transfer processed.  Click here for more information on this new policy.

Purchasing

Purchasing Department redesigns website
The Purchasing Department recently unveiled a new redesign to their website.   Based on your previous feedback, the new design lends to easier navigation and finding content. Your feedback is valuable to continuing efforts to improve the site, so please share your thoughts using the “feedback” link on the site. 

Travel

Possible free airfare
Through our agreements with United and American Airlines, the unversity has earned several certificates that may be used for free airline tickets.  The first certificate was used by the Knoxville Campus' Center for Executive Education, allowing them to receive a $957 airline ticket for $47, the cost of applicable taxes and fees.  Read how your department may qualify.

Technology enhancements
World Travel has implemented two technology enhancements for university employees using their service.  One will allow you to upload your travel itinerary directly onto your electronic calendar, and the other is a free mobile phone travel app. Read on.

Per Diem rate changes for in-state travel 
As of October 1, 2011, the per diem rates for travel within the state of Tennessee have changed slightly.  Lodging rates for Nashville and Memphis have gone down, while rates for Oak Ridge, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Brentwood, and Franklin have gone up.  The per diemrates for meals and included expenses are still the same.  You can find more information here.


Risk Management

State Employee Workers' Compensation Program changes 
Effective October 1, 2011, the list of doctors and other medical providers approved to treat university employees for on-the-job injuries has changed.  Read more here.

Contracts

Master contract agreements reduce hastles
The Contracts Administration department has recently finalized master agreements with BD Biosciences and one master agreement with National Instruments which will cover the purchase of all goods from both vendors and the purchase of maintenance services from BD Biosciences.  Read more here on similar efforts and how they will save you time.

Taxes

Make sure sales taxes are properly charged to vendors
It is important to remember that contractors that purchase items from university departments (e.g., printing services, utilities, etc.) must pay applicable sales and use tax on those items.  For more detailed information, read on.

Changes to university-provided cell phones 
Employees who have been issued cell phones by the university will no longer have to keep a record of their use.  You can read more about the change and their taxability here.
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The Update | Office of the Chief Financial Officer

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