FAQs

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Please see below for frequently asked questions about fiscal, HR and procurement items/procedures.

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Fiscal

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General

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The short answer is always. If a department wishes to serve alcohol at a university event in a non-permanently licensed campus site (such as a holiday party or reception in an atrium or conference room), prior university approval must be obtained. The requirement to gain this permission does not apply to events held at on-campus licensed facilities, such as the Blackwell or the Faculty Club. For more information, see the Office of Legal Affairs web information on Alcohol on Campus.

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Pre-approval is not necessary to purchase alcohol at licensed facilities, such as off-campus restaurants. Approval may occur either before or after the event. However, ALL ALCOHOL purchase must receive College approval before the payment may be processed.

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The amount of alcohol purchased may not exceed $20 per person in attendance.

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If the PCard was used for the purchase, the cardholder who authorized the purchase will reimburse the college for the overage amount. If the purchaser is seeking reimbursement, the reimbursable amount will not exceed $20 per person in attendance.

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Alcohol may never be charged to general funds or sponsored research projects. Alcohol purchases must be charged to discretionary funds and must have documented approval (e.g. signature or direct e-mail) of a dean. This approval also certifies that the fund used is a discretionary account or an eligible conference (earnings) fund.

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PCard

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Anyone in the Department can initiate the eRequest.

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No. When the manager fills in the manager field in the PR# that replaces the function of the log. The card is tracked as well as the purchaser and date.

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The initiator may or may not know the card number initially, but when the manager gives them the card they can add that field on the manager panels.

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Yes. All Purchasing/Travel/GET card transactions need to go through the pre-approval process in eRequest.

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Once the requester/initiator puts in the eRequest it will go through electronic pre-approval through the level one and level two approvals set up by the department.

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The initiator may know the chartfield when they request the card, but if they do not the level one approver will fill in that information. If the chartfield has changed after the transaction is made that can be updated in the comments box.

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No. Once that button has been clicked that indicated that the transaction is complete on the Department end. The only thing that can happen at that point is additional documentation being attached to the PR# and comments can be added to the PR#.

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No edits can be made to the amounts or chartfield. However, you can attach supplemental documentation and make additional comments.

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Please attach the pre-approval documentation for alcohol on the PR# when the initial request for the card is made. This could be an e-mail from the College approving the purchase for alcohol or an alcohol form that might be used internally.

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This would be a transaction that did not go through the pre-approval process generating a PR#. This type of transaction should occur rarely, and cannot be helped. An example would be someone who needs the card at the very last minute right at closing hours and approvals would be impossible to get.

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As long as the "what" that is being purchased did not change, simply make a comment indicating a vendor change. Example: "The hinges we needed were not available at Lowe's so we had to go to Home Depot."

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If the amount is more doe to shipping costs, just making a comment indicating the increase of the amount due to shipping is acceptable. If the amount is higher due to another circumstance i.e. more items were purchased, the amounts on the estimate were incorrect, please consult with the Department Fiscal Officer on the threshold of what would need to be signed off for additional amount approval.

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Yes. You can list each vendor with an estimate.

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Yes.

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No. You will only select that "PCard Documentation Complete" if all the transactions are accounted for and receipts are attached. If some are ready to go and others are no, please make a comment in the PR# stating which transactions are complete and then send an e-mail notification to your BSC Fiscal Associate. This will alert them to look at the PR# and reallocate in time for the deadline.

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No. Please go to the existing PR# that was completed where the original charge was made and attach the credit documentation. Send an e-mail notification to your BSC Fiscal Associate alerting them that there is a new charge on the PCard for reallocation.

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No. You can only reallocate with OSP funding and GET card.

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If there is an existing PR# where the transaction was never completed, no receipt uploaded, Manager's fields not filled out, and the transaction was not reallocated by the University deadline, the Department is required to upload the receipt, fill in the Manager's fields and attach a journal entry showing that they transferred the funds from the 61206 account to the proper account. Once the BSC sees that the transaction was completed we will "Complete" the PR# eRequest.

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PREP

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No, the department fiscal contact can check the status with BSC fiscal staff or Voucher Inquiry.

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Travel

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Yes, department will complete the initial travel request; the BSC will complete all reimbursements.

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The department is responsible for completing prepaid flight arrangements. The BSC will complete requests for cash advances and registration.

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The department will provide the BSC with the cash advance documentation and will complete the cash advance.

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No, BSC will take over at Go-Live date.

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Yes, please; this is helpful to us and will save time.

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Per diem or actual receipts should be indicated in the travel system when making the initial travel request and also should be indicated on the post travel reimbursement worksheet. 

Note: For situations when partial per diem is requested contact your BSC fiscal representative.

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Add notes to your reimbursements forms or use University Post Trip Travel Form and comment boxes when submitting reimbursements to the BSC.

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No, there is no change on their end except for the added communication from BSC Fiscal representative to submit receipts for reimbursement.

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Ohio State employee reimbursement approvals will be electronic. Guests will be contacted by the BSC.

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The Research Foundation will contact the department in cases of audit.

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The department will continue to manage the exception process with all paperwork and documentation scanned as part of the reimbursement so the BSC can enter receipts for approval; BSC will maintain the exception log.

Note: Soon after the BSC opens, Arts and Sciences will be reviewing various departmental travel processes and will develop an Arts and Sciences wide process.

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No, the form is not required as long as the BSC receives a summary and needed documentation and approvals.

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The T# is the only mandatory classification under Travel Reimbursements.  If all the necessary information is provided in the uploaded document you can now leave these fields blank.

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Individuals are not considered in travel status when their expense eligibility is limited to miscellaneous reimbursements such as mileage, parking, and tolls.

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Vouchers

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The BSC needs a packing list, P.O. number and voucher ID if available.

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Per University policy, the department will continue to send the invoice to Accounts Payable; this will not affect the BSC workflow.

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Yes, it is a University form.

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Yes, it is a University form.

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Yes, because approvals are still required.

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HR

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Hiring & Appointments

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The department is responsible for recruiting. For positions and job openings the department should submit the appropriate request via HRA, and the BSC will be responsible for job openings. Approvals are handled by the divisional HRPs. 

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Reporting payouts to payroll is the BSC's responsibility. The BSC will notify you once the action has been entered in job data, and payouts will be submitted to OSU Payroll during each pay period processing deadline.

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All data changes such as: address, name, contact information, FTE, pay rate, JED, and position data updates will remain in the department.

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Employee ID’s are available in PeopleSoft, or you can contact your BSC HR representative. All departments have view only access to PeopleSoft HR. 

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Unpaid and courtesy appointments will be entered at the department’s discretion, and have several options.

  • Courtesy Appointments - entered at the department’s discretion by submitting an HRA for HIRE
  • Unpaid Visitors - entry required if on a J-1 Visa. Requested  by submitting an HRA for HIRE and attaching the BSC Visa form
  • Guest Sponsor - offers unpaid guests an OSU email address and email forwarding for up to one year. Requested by submitting an HRA for OTHER and attaching the Sponsored Guest request form. 
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BSC student couriers will hand-deliver documents back to the department.

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The college requires that undergraduate students be given a letter of offer at the time of hire. The template for the letter is available on the HRA page of the BSC website, under forms. The letter should be signed by the student and attached to a HIRE HRA for submission the BSC.

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The OTHER panel should be used infrequently.  Examples of activities to be submitted via the OTHER panel include leaves of absence, guest sponsor requests, changes to fee authorizations, Visa extensions and any change needed for a terminated employee. Please see the HRA User Guide available on the HR Action tool page of the BSC website for more information. 

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Visas

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Their BSC HR contact.

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The BSC will notify the faculty advisor, HRP, and employee / scholar about the visa process and notifications from start to finish.

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Procurement

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eRequest: Standard Purchasing Request

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We currently enter initiator’s name, email and telephone number in PO comments for department contact — it's automatically provided to us in each PR on top of the page. If you would like to provide us with the same information for the Requestor in "Additional Information" box, we can then transfer that to comments.  

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Business purpose should be written so an individual, unfamiliar to the organization’s operation can understand why the transaction occurred and how it benefits the mission of the University.

Using words such as “for,” “on behalf of,” “at the request of,” etc. help the reader to understand the justification of the transaction or expenditure.

Examples of Poorly Written Business Purposes

  • Purchased 50 boxes of granola bars
  • Lunch with donor
  • Attend ASEE
  • Gift card for research participants
  • Airfare
  • Research collaboration

Examples of Properly Written Business Purposes

  • Purchase of granola bars to feed monkeys used in cancer research
  • Lunch with donor, Joe Smith, to discuss giving opportunities to the college in support of the building campaign
  • Attend American Society of Engineering Educators seminar to present paper on student retention
  • Gift cards given to research participants according to protocol
  • Invited to University of China to collaborate on chemical refinement processes on behalf of OSU
  • Various trips throughout South America to research rural irrigation systems to provide data for journal publication titled “Improving Rural Irrigation Systems”

*Standard office supplies is an acceptable business purpose for typical office supply purchases(i.e. pens, paper, notebooks). However, you do need a specific business purpose for unique office supplies that are not purchased regularly(i.e. DVD player).

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Only approvers can change the status from Routine to Critical or Emergency. Orders are delegated to buyers based on departmental approval time stamp unless it is marked Critical of Emergency. But we at the BSC also appreciate an email or a phone call letting us know of this urgency even if your approver forgot to change the priority. 

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Please provide item/catalog numbers along with your item description. 

Important: Please provide quote # in the Quote ID box along with an attachment. If you do not have a quote number but an email from vendor then attach that to your PR. If verbal or web pricing then mention that in Additional Information. 

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It is the responsibility of the department to complete vendor maintenance for individuals (SSN) on UNIV funds, vendor maintenance for businesses with Fed Tax ID is processed by the BSC. All OSP vendor maintenance is done at OSP Purchasing. The BSC can assist with any questions or concerns. Please mention in “Additional Information” or the “Comment” section of your PR if you already started the Vendor Maintenance process, or contact the BSC with any questions or concerns.

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No. One eRequest PR# per one vendor.  

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Full vendor name and address is a must. Also a vendor ID number and FAX number if you have it.

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The “Ship To” section in eRequest implies the final location of the order and does not indicate direct shipping. In order to provide receipt verification and accountability for products purchased on behalf of the University, it is a good business practice to have suppliers direct shipments to Central Receiving. *If you still choose to have your orders shipped directly to the department and bypass central receiving, please state that in the Ship To box with “Direct Ship”.

In accordance with the Controller’s Office, Asset Management Policy #4.21, all purchase orders for capitalized assets must be routed directly to Central Receiving, if the purchase meets the parameters for central receipt. If capitalized equipment is sensitive or does not meet parameters of central receiving, then please note that exception in “additional information." http://busfin.osu.edu/FileStore/PDFs/421_AssetManagement.pdf (pg 6)

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BSC buyers copy your information from eRequest “Ship To” into the Requisition/PO comments. Please adjust your preferences to mirror this example:


*Direct ship (if you must bypass Central Receiving)

123-456 (Building# & Room#)
Attn: John Doe   
123 ASC Hall
456 Main St 
Columbus, OH 43210
 

eSTORES: unavoidably all pushed eSTORES orders will have the buyer’s name will appear on the shipping label.  It's an issue with the Prodigo program and how vendors receive eSTORES order information.  We have asked the CIO’s office for a solution.  

External vendors: usually the vendor makes an effort to look at the PO comments for "SHIP ATTN:" instructions.

Additional Information

Please add any information pertaining to your order in this area.

Examples:  Note to approver to mark PR critical, due date or request expedited shipping from vendor. Also a great place to note Fabricated equipment Tag number or a note to Central Receiving to call before delivery. 

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If a project number is only entered in the chartfield line and not in the “Research Project Number” box, then it will not be searchable by that number. Same for org. We have asked the CIO’s office for a solution. 

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Attachments of up to 10MB each. PDF • Excel • Word • Image files (JPEG, GIF, etc.) • Text and rich-text files

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BSC buyers attach copies of the Purchase Order to each PR (excluding pushed eStores orders).   Also, this is used to add any supporting documentation for a chartfield change request from approvers, forms such as waivers, after the fact (ATF) justifications, etc. 

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Tracks BSC activity and internal communication. This is also very useful for anyone wanting to check the status of a request. 

  • Time & date stamp when req/po was entered into PeopleSoft
  • When it is approved or reason for denial by BSC approver and any correction notes from buyer
  • PO dispatch detail 

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Whenever entering comments, please be sure to hit the “Add Comments” button and also “Save Changes” at the bottom of your PR. Even though it looks like comments were added, the system will not actually save any changes until the PR is saved.

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At this time the only way to see the true activity status of your PR would be to open your request by clicking on “View Request”. 

  • In Process: Generally means your order has been approved by your department and is pending entry into PeopleSoft
  • Approved, ready for dispatch: Your PO was approved at the BSC and is pending dispatch from a BSC buyer.
  • Pending Univ Purch/OSP approval: Your order was entered as a requisition and requires further processing from UNIV/OSP purchasing department before dispatching a PO. For questions concerning orders pending further processing form UNIV or OSP Purchasing, please contact the following departments:
  • OSP Purchasing 614-292-6871 (FAX 614-292-6870)
  • UNIV Purchasing 614-292-2694 (FAX 614-292-6913)
  • Vendor Setup Initiated: Either department or Buyer has initiated vendor setup for your PR. 
  • Additional Information Needed: BSC buyer has contacted the department initiator for more information.
  • Do Not Fulfill: Order was canceled per request of initiator.
  • Pending Completion: Automatic status change when BSC buyer marks "receipts attached" for purchases made on the BSC Pcard.
  • Dispatched: BSC dispatched your PO but has not received the fax confirmation message to update your order to Complete.
  • Complete: Order has been dispatched by the BSC buyer or UNIV/OSP Purchasing departments. Complete indicates no further activity from the BSC.
  • Pending SFO Approval: Your order requires SFO approval.
  • SC PCard purchase made: Your order was placed using the BSC PCard.
  • Reallocated: used by the BSC buyer when reallocating BSC PCard charges.
  • Pending sales tax credit: as stated.
  • Pending packing slip: BSC buyer has contacted the department and requested a packing slip or a comment confirming receipt of goods/services.