Coronavirus FAQ

Coronavirus FAQ

Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions

 

For all UCF related Coronavirus updates please click here.

COVID-19 Departments

 

What expenses should be considered a “COVID-19 expense” and charged to the COVID-19 departments?

Expenses that are incurred strictly because of COVID-19; such as, cancellation fees from cancelled travel because of COVID-19, installation of plexiglass, excess supplies required as a result of COVID-19. Expenses that would have occurred regardless of COVID-19, including supplies, should not be charged to the COVID-19 departments.

Were COVID-19 departments created for all VP orgs?

The COVID-19 departments were created at the university cost center level to limit the number of new departments created. Therefore, every VP org does not have a new COVID-19 department.

How do I get additional COVID-19 departments set up?

The overall goals when creating the departments were to allow for COVID-19 reporting within UCF Financials without adding excess information to the system. As such, COVID-19 departments were established at the cost center level for centralized reporting purposes while limiting the number of new departments added to the system. Therefore, if you believe additional COVID-19 departments are needed, first communicate the need and reason for the new department to your applicable Executive Budget director. The Executive Budget directors and the Division of Finance we review the request and determine if a new department is needed or if use of the current COVID-19 department is warranted.

Are units required to transfer funds into the new COVID-19 departments?

Yes, budget and cash transfers must be made from departments with operating budgets and cash to the COVID-19 departments. These budget transfers from departments can be made through the Standard Budget Ledger (SBL) process. The Budget area can perform budget overrides on request if an expenditure occurs while the budget transfer from the operating area is processing.

When is the deadline to submit SBL transfer and move COVID-19 expenditures into the new COVID-19 departments?

All fiscal year end (FY2020) COVID-19 expenses must be moved to the appropriate new COVID-19 department by Thursday, June 25, which is the last day for department journals, including budget transfer journals.

Travel

What do I do now that UCF has cancelled all travel, indefinitely?

Work closely with your supervisor and any travel coordinator you have in order to cancel your currently planned travel expenses. If you are currently traveling, please make arrangements to return to your primary work location as soon as possible, while adhering to UCF’s travel manual and the CDC’s travel advisories.

Until otherwise communicated, the only allowable travel will be campus-to-campus travel by personal or university vehicle for the following employees: first responders, healthcare professionals, supply chain personnel, critical infrastructure support personnel, and approved researchers and instructors.

Can I register for a virtual conference while there is a travel freeze in place?

Yes, you may still attend virtual conferences/webinars while the travel freeze is in place.  Please pay for webinars/virtual conferences using a university PCard.  Use account code 746101, “Reg Fee Instate No Travel Exp.”  You do not need to create a travel requisition for a virtual conference.

Does the recent announcement of the suspension of UCF travel apply to interview candidates and other non-UCF employees?

Yes. This applies to all official UCF travel. In order to continue with your hiring needs, we recommend skype or other video capable solutions as an alternative. For other non-UCF employee travel, please contact travelfa@ucf.edu for your specific questions.

Will central funding be available to cover any coronavirus related costs?

No. Risks associated with traveling are borne by individual departments/projects. 

 

Do I need to submit a travel reimbursement voucher (RV) if expenses associated with my canceled travel were paid personally?

Yes.  If charges were made on a personal card, the traveler should first seek a refund from the travel provider for all charges.  The traveler should only request a reimbursement from UCF for amounts that were not refunded.  A statement should be included in the travel RV that the traveler sought and did not receive a refund for the amounts being requested for reimbursement.  If the traveler receives a travel voucher for airfare, the statement should include that the airfare voucher will be used for future UCF business travel.  The statement and all receipts should be submitted with the RV in order to process the reimbursement.  When the airfare voucher is used for future business travel, the original PO number should be referenced on the travel RV that is submitted and a copy of the original airfare receipt should be included.

 

Do I need to submit a travel reimbursement voucher (RV) if all of the expenses associated with my canceled travel were paid via PCard?

No.  If all charges were made on a PCard and have been refunded to the PCard (or a flight voucher was provided), you do not need to submit a travel RV.  Please seek a refund from the travel provider for all canceled items.  If any charges were not refunded or a travel voucher was not provided (e.g. the traveler had a non-refundable hotel charge), then a zero dollar RV and the related receipts should be submitted to travel.  When the airfare voucher is used for future business travel, the original PO number should be referenced on the travel RV that is submitted and a copy of the original airfare receipt should be included.

How do I close a travel PO with no expenses associated with it?

If you have an open travel PO in which no expenses have been incurred personally nor via PCard, you may submit a request to close the PO to Carrie McDowell at Carrie.Mcdowell@ucf.edu.  Closing the PO will ensure that the funds related to the PO are unencumbered

How do I close a travel PO that has expenses (PCard or personal) associated with it?

If the travel PO has any PCard charges or expenses that were incurred personally that need to be reimbursed, please do not request the PO be closed until all PCard charges have been approved and the travel reimbursement voucher has been processed by the travel office.  When submitting the travel RV to travelfa@ucf.edu, please let the travel department know that the PO may be closed once processed.  If the PO is closed (at the department/project’s request) before reimbursement is made or PCard charges are linked, you will be asked to create a new PO to process the payments.

If I have a conference which is cancelled because of the coronavirus, what should I do?

If your conference is cancelled, follow the refund procedures that the conference communicates to you. For airfare, as of 3-4-2020 several airlines are offering no change fees or cancellation fees on travel. Each airline is unique in their offerings. If travel was booked through Concur, we recommend you contact UCF’s dedicated Concur staff at 855-967-2818. If you booked airfare directly through an airline, or other travel booking agent, please contact them to assess your options.

Will UCF cover my travel if I cancel due to concerns over coronavirus, even if the conference is not cancelled?

The traveler should first seek a refund for any expenses already paid (e.g. conference registration, airfare, etc.). The university will reimburse amounts not refunded by vendors. A travel RV with all receipts must be submitted along with a statement of why the travel was cancelled and that the traveler sought, but did not receive a refund for the expenses for which they are requesting reimbursement. If the travel is being paid for with C&G funds, please reach out to Contracts and Grants to ensure that the expenses can still be paid with C&G funds.

Will I be reimbursed for airfare if the airline provides a voucher/credit for future travel?

Yes. The voucher/credit for future travel must be used for UCF business purposes and supervisor approval must be documented prior to the purchase of any airfare. If the department decides to utilize the voucher for a different traveler, UCF will pay for the change in traveler’s name fee.  

If travel was paid for on a PCard, should I close the PO before I receive the refund?

No, the PO should remain open until the refund is received.  You will need to link the PO number to the refund on the PCard.

If I purchase trip insurance, will I be reimbursed by the university?

No, trip insurance will not be reimbursed.  Most trip insurance does not cover cancellations due to coronavirus. 

 

As a supervisor, can I cancel my employee’s travel?

Yes, if you decide it is in the university’s and traveler’s best interest you can revoke permission for your employees to travel. Please include travelfa@ucf.edu on any revocation of travel and we will monitor for any attempt at reimbursement for the traveler. 

 

When can an employee return to work after traveling to China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea?

Employees returning from travel to these countries must self-quarantine and not return to campus for fourteen days after their return.

 

I’m a student and I need to get home. Are there any additional resources available for me?

Enterprise is reducing the age minimum and waiving the young renter fees for rentals to college students through May 31, 2020.  Please  click here for additional information.

Students wishing to take advantage of the state discounted rates for personal use may do so using contract number L078011. You will need to show your student id at pickup. Please note that insurance is not included in the student discount rate. It may be added for an additional cost.

 

 

Expenditures

What are the types of goods that can be shipped to employee’s remote locations?

Allowable expenditures include office supplies (paper, pens, printer cartridges for those who need to print, etc.) and required equipment for individuals needing an accommodation as documented by The Office of Institutional Equity for an employee’s disability. Unallowable expenditures continue to include furniture for home offices. Furniture for this purpose includes but is not limited to: desks, chairs, laptop stands, mirrors, etc. If an accommodation is approved, the employee is required to acknowledge the equipment purchased is university property and will be returned to the university when pre-COVID-19 procedures were followed.

 

Can I use E&G funds to purchase hand sanitizer, cleansing wipes, etc. for the office?

Yes, as long as the supplies are for the entire office’s use, they are allowable to purchase with E&G funds.

If I work from home as a result of the coronavirus, will UCF reimburse my internet and phone bill?

Consistent with the University’s telecommuting manual, we will reimburse for high-speed internet when employees incur additional costs to their personal home internet access. For example, if an employee does not have high speed internet access, the university will reimburse for the installation and monthly service for a dedicated business related access line for the pro-rata time period in which the employee works from home. If the employee has personal internet access and incurs additional costs associated with working remotely such as increased data needs or bandwidth, the university will reimburse for the pro-rata time period in which the employee is working from home. If employees already have access to high speed internet and will use the same access for university business and incurs no additional costs, no reimbursements will be paid. Departments may temporarily assign WIFI hotspots to employees while they are working remotely, if available.

Cell phone reimbursements will be paid according to the UCF Policy 4-009. We encourage departments to limit reimbursements to only additional costs employees may incur while working remotely.

PCard

 

How do I document supervisor approval for goods shipped to employee’s houses?

Supervisor signature is required on monthly Pcard statements and is understood to include this approval. The Pcard team will remind cardholders and approvers that any purchases being shipped to employees remote locations are and will remain university property.

Can I have supplies shipped to employee’s personal residence while we’re being encouraged to work remotely?

Yes, if there is not a way to receive goods and supplies at your main office, during the remote work period, you may have supplies, etc. shipped to a personal residence with supervisor approval.

Purchasing Guidelines

 

What does the $10k purchase restriction mean for my department?

Until further notice, purchases over $10k that are not C&G funded will be suspended. This restriction applies to all purchases. If a purchase order was in place prior to the restriction, payment can be made without further approval. If a purchase order was not in place, then the additional approval is required. Exemptions may be granted for essential items. Exemption requests must be approved by your unit’s vice president and the Assistant Vice President for Tax, Payables, and Procurement.

How do I apply for an exemption to the $10k purchase restriction? What purchases are considered “essential?”

Updated 4-14-2020: To apply for an exemption, departments must document why their purchase is essential. Essential purchases include goods and services associated with improving distance learning, educational software licenses, required compliance efforts, previously approved construction projects and purchases for the health and well-being of the UCF community. Other purchases will be reviewed on a case by case basis. As indicated in the President’s directive, Contract & Grant funded purchases are exempt from this requirement. Approvals can be documented as follows:

A blanket exception has already been approved by the Provost for purchases from faculty startup funds, equipment fees, material and supply fees (Fund 10066 for the M&S and Equip fees), and activity and service fees (Fund 10005).

President’s Office: The Office of the President will review all exemption requests for its units. An exemption form has been developed and will be shared with the division. Please send all exemption requests to Heather Simeon at heather.simeon@ucf.edu.

Academic Affairs: In accordance with a memo issued 4-9-2020, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will review all exception requests for Academic Affairs, Student Development and Enrollment Services, Information Technologies and Resources, and the Office of Research.  The Provost’s approval is required before a requisition is submitted to UCF Procurement Services.  UCF Procurement Services will still review all approved purchases to ensure they meet university purchasing guidelines.

An exception is required for new purchases, or any changes to existing purchase orders, after April 1, 2020 in excess of $10,000, unless it is funded by Contracts and Grants.  Purchases from Contracts and Grants are exempt from the purchasing freeze.

Exceptions to the purchasing freeze may only be granted for purchases that are proven to be critical in supporting the university’s core mission of education and research.  A blanket exception has already been approved by the Provost for purchases from faculty startup funds, equipment fees, and material and supply fees. (Fund 10066 for the M&S and Equip fees)

To request an exception, complete the COVID-19 Purchasing Freeze Exception request form (available from the Academic Affairs office).  The form must be reviewed and approved by your unit’s Dean, Vice Provost, or Vice President, as applicable, and returned to our office for the Provost’s approval.  Please provide sufficient justification to support the critical and essential nature of the procurement. Return all requests to aabpa@ucf.edu.

Requests for all known purchases through June 30, 2020 should be submitted by April 17, 2020.  Academic Affairs will review all requests collectively and respond shortly after.  Requests may arise after April 17, and will be reviewed as they come up.  If you have any questions about this process, contact Rebeca Richards at rebeca.richards@ucf.edu .

All Other Units: Exemptions must be approved by your unit’s vice president. Email approvals will be accepted. Your division leadership will share any additional forms or requirements with your units—contact your division’s budget manager for guidance. Please forward the vice president’s approval and the reasoning for the exemption to Joel Levenson at joel.levenson@ucf.edu for additional approval.  

 Procurement Services will still review all approved purchases to ensure they follow the proper procurement process. To reiterate, an exemption is required for any new purchases or changes to existing purchase orders as of April 1, 2020 over $10,000 with the exception of C&G-funded purchases. For questions about the exemption process, please contact Rebeca Richards for Academic Affairs, Heather Simeon for the president’s office, and Joel Levenson or your division budget manager for questions about all other units.

General

 

How can I submit vendor information while working remotely?

We will continue to follow the university’s protection of sensitive data policies. If you have vendor information to be submitted, it may be submitted via mail, fax or using the electronic submission steps provided below. Corporate W-9s containing EINs that do not include banking information can continue to be sent to procurement@ucf.edu

If the W-9 contains a SSN or banking information, the vendor should work with the appropriate individual to keep the file out of email entirely.  (If setting up an individual, work with Jenna Capp at jenna.capp@ucf.edu.  For all other entities, work with Amber Kornegay at Amber.Kornegay@ucf.edu.)

  1. Supplier/Vendor encrypts the W-9, protected with a strong password
  2. Supplier/Vendor uploads the password protected file to their own approved and secure cloud file storage system (Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.)
  3. Supplier/Vendor shares a private link to the file with the UCF recipient’s @ucf.edu email address
    1. “specific people” should be specified, for example:
      google drive https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2494822?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en
      OneDrive https://support.office.com/en-us/article/share-onedrive-files-and-folders-9fcc2f7d-de0c-4cec-93b0-a82024800c07
  4. Supplier/Vendor shares the password to the file in a separate email
  5. UCF recipient instructs vendor to delete the file from their cloud storage system once it has been retrieved
If my housing or meal plan was paid for with a 529 plan, what should I do with my refund?

Contact your tax advisor. Generally, refunds must be recontributed back to the 529 plan administrator within 60 days of receipt of the refund. Please click here for IRS information.

How do I contact the Division of Finance about this FAQ or any other questions I have?

 For contact information during the COVID pandemic, please follow the contact information published here.