COVID-19: Impact on Accounting & Fiscal Services

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020.

Click the updates below to expand them and learn about how the current public health emergency is impacting campus business processes related to Accounting & Fiscal Services. 

With campus access limited to essential individuals only, UCI Payment Services has temporarily modified its service offerings and procedures for payment card solutions, cashiering, and handling of deposits. Campus departments should review the information below and adjust any internal processes as needed.

Payment Card Solutions

  • All TouchNet Marketplace & Aventri inquiries can be emailed to Lindsay Carroll at carrolll@uci.edu or Nick Troup at troupn@uci.edu.
  • All inquiries regarding the use of Third-Party Payment Systems, new merchant setups, PCI-related questions or concerns should be emailed to pcsgroup@uci.edu.
  • The Campus Terminal Rental Program is suspended until further notice.

Central Cashiers

  • Central Cashiers are primarily on a remote schedule.
  • All in-person service windows in Aldrich Hall are closed.
  • UCI departments should not accept cash at this time.
  • Central Cashiers will process checks and deposits picked-up from the North Campus Mail Processing Center on Thursdays.
  • Sub-cashier deposits will be accepted only by appointment on Thursdays. Please contact Payment Services at cashiers@uci.edu.

COD System Deposits - New Processing Procedures

With most campus departments now working remotely, there is still a need to ensure deposits are delivered safely to UCI Payment Services. UCI departments receiving checks that need to be deposited should institute the cash handling procedures below for the duration of the current public health emergency.

Be Aware of Limited Campus Mail Service

Campus business offices should keep in mind that Distribution Services is running limited service during the next several weeks.  No mail is being picked up or delivered to campus departments. Drop boxes and mailboxes across campus have been emptied and signage has been placed informing customers not to use them at this time. The drop slot outside the main entrance to Aldrich Hall, second floor is available, but it is a very small slot. If you have a large deposit, please send it via campus mail by dropping it off at the North Campus Mail Processing Center.

To Ensure Monies are Secure and Deposited Weekly:

UCI department staff planning to make check deposits should do the following:

  • Staff with a valid UCI ID may retrieve their incoming mail from the North Campus Mail Processing Center 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Prepare checks for deposit through COD. Only staff with COD approved KSAMS access can complete this step.
  • Departments may drop off their outgoing mail at the North Campus Mail Processing Center from 7:00 am – 9:00 am for same day service.  Outgoing mail delivered from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm will be processed the following business day.

Questions? Please contact Payment Services at cashiers@uci.edu.

Announcement in News Archive

Dear Colleagues,

As we venture into unprecedented times amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Department of Education and institutions of higher education across the country are working feverishly to provide a sense of financial security to the millions of students receiving financial aid, a critical component for many to achieve their higher education goals. Based on guidance provided by the Department of Education directly associated with work-study awards, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships and the university has established the following guidelines to continue providing work-study award related earnings to currently employed UCI work-study students. These guidelines apply to both undergraduate and graduate work-study student employees.

Eligibility

The UCI work-study student must have been employed and the campus hiring department was using a work-study award position pool id in UCPath at the time the campus transitioned to an online learning environment. The UCI work-study student must also be enrolled for spring quarter and continue to meet academic requirements for continued financial aid eligibility.  If the work-study student employee is providing on-going work for the hiring department, either on-site or by way of an approved telecommuting agreement, the work-study student will continue to report their respective actual working hours in UCI’s Time Reporting System (TRS). If the work-study student employee is unable to continue to perform work duties due to the campus COVID-19 policies and the transition to an online learning environment, the campus hiring department should continue to pay the work-study student based on scheduled or projected work hours for spring quarter. Please refer to “Calculating projected work hours” section below to determine how this is done.

Period of eligibility

The UCI work-study student meeting the above eligibility requirements will be compensated for scheduled or projected work hours beginning with the remainder of winter quarter thru spring quarter or until their respective work-study award is exhausted.

Scheduled work hours

Campus hiring departments should honor spring quarter work schedules that were established prior to the campus transition to an online learning environment. If a mutually agreed upon spring quarter work schedule was not established, the hiring department should then calculate projected work hours for the spring quarter. Please refer to “Calculating projected work hours” section below to determine how this is done.

Calculating projected work hours

If the UCI work-study student and their respective campus hiring department had reached a mutually agreed upon spring quarter work schedule prior to the transition to an online learning environment, the working hours established in the agreed spring quarter work schedule should be reported in TRS. In the event a mutually agreed upon spring quarter work schedule was not established, for bi-weekly paid employees the hiring department should use the last 2 complete bi-weekly pay periods to calculate an average hours per week worked, rounding up to the nearest quarter hour. For example:

Peter Anteater’s last 2 complete bi-weekly pay periods were:

-          2/9/2020 thru 2/22/2020. Peter worked a total of 19.50 hours for the two weeks

-          2/23/2020 thru 3/7/2020. Peter worked a total of 16.25 hours for the two weeks

Based on Peter’s last 2 complete bi-weekly pay periods, Peter worked an average of 8.93 hours per week (19.50+16.25=35.75. 35.75/4 weeks=8.93 average weekly hours). Rounding up to the nearest quarter hour, Peter’s projected weekly work hours to be reported in TRS as REG time is 9.

For monthly paid employees, hiring department should continue to use the established fixed rate & appointment percentage based on the last complete monthly pay period. The last complete monthly pay period before the transition to an online learning environment would be February 2020.

Reporting of scheduled or projected work hours in TRS

The UCI work-study student employee will need to report scheduled or projected hours in UCI’s Time Reporting System (TRS) in the same manner previously done prior to the campus transition to an online learning environment, taking into account the established TRS deadliness, or individual campus department deadliness, for the corresponding pay cycle. If the UCI work-study student employee is not able to create & submit their projected hours on their own in TRS, their respective supervisor, on behalf of the work-study student employee, may create & submit the TRS timesheet. When reporting scheduled or projected hours, the work-study student employee, or the supervisor, must report the hours using the “REG” earn code in TRS.

COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave eligibility

If the work-study student employee had a reasonable expectation to work a set schedule for the remaining of winter quarter and spring quarter, then the work-study student would report regular time (REG) on their time sheet in TRS, in accordance to the terms provided in the work hours sections above, until the work-study funds are exhausted (even if department also pays a portion). Then, after work-study funds are exhausted, the student employee would be eligible to receive COVID-19 paid administrative leave (prorated based on their anticipated schedule) and report time using the “Paid Leave COVID-19” code in TRS.

If the work-study student employee was under the agreement with the hiring department that they would work only until their work-study funds were exhausted, then the student would report regular (REG) time on their TRS time sheet in accordance to the terms provided in the work hours sections above until the work-study funds are exhausted. In this case, since there was no reasonable expectation that employment would continue, the work-study student employee is not eligible for COVID-19 paid administrative leave.

Pay schedule

Pay dates will be in alignment to the established TRS calendar. The TRS calendar can be located at the following TRS web site:

                https://www.accounting.uci.edu/payroll/trs/guides/trs-deadlines.html

Our staff remains available remotely to assist you. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Work-Study Coordinator via e-mail at FinAid-WorkStudy@uci.edu. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through these unprecedented times. Please visit the Coronavirus information hubs at uci.edu/coronavirus or ucihealth.org/covid-19 for up to date information associated with the coronavirus ("COVID-19") situation.

Thank you.

Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
102 Aldrich Hall
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA  92697-2825
www.ofas.uci.edu

With many students having recently moved to new addresses and campus operations shifting to remote instruction and telecommuting, Campus Billing and Collections and the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships are recommending that all students sign up for direct deposit in their ZOT Account.

How to Sign Up for Direct Deposit

Start by signing into your ZOT Account and selecting Electronic Refunds from the navigation menu. The link will take you to the Disbursement Electronic Funds Transfer (DEFT) application. We recommend that you choose Electronic Fund Transfer for direct deposit to your bank account. Enter in your banking information carefully because the system does not verify your information with your bank. You will receive a confirmation message at your UCI e-mail address after the process is complete.

If you are a student employee, there is a separate process for signing up for direct deposit of your paycheck. See the Direct Deposit page from the UCI Payroll Office for more information.

For Mailed Checks: Don't Forget to Update Your Address

If you selected "Paper Check" in the Disbursement Electronic Funds Transfer (DEFT) application, your funds will be mailed to the address you specified. If you have moved recently, we recommend logging in to check that your address is correct.

For more information, see the Direct Deposit page on the Financial Services website or contact Campus Billing and Collections at cbs@uci.edu.

Announcement in News Archive

In the current public health situation, it’s important to find ways to do business while protecting the health of the campus community. If you haven’t yet signed up for Direct Deposit, now is the time to do it. With Direct Deposit, your money is deposited directly into your checking or savings account. Receiving your pay electronically protects you and the employees who process payments, and is the safest, fastest way to access your paycheck. Be sure to also update your address, if needed.

  • Enroll in Direct Deposit. It’s free!
    • Log in to UCPath Online
    • On the left side of the screen, select Employee Actions, then Income and Taxes > Direct Deposit
    • Answer the security questions
    • Follow the step-by-step instructions to enter your bank account information
  • Review / Update your address:
    • Log in to UCPath online. On the left side of the screen, select Employee Actions>Personal Information. 
    • Review and update your address, if needed

To accommodate increased telecommuting needs, we are extending the PALCard transaction (PCDO) reconciliation period for auto-sending for all en-route and new PCDO documents that have a create date through April 11th from 15 calendar days to 30 calendar days. This should allow additional time to review routing or uploaded back-up documentation, and ensure PALCard reconciliation in a timely manner.

Back-up documentation can include pictures of receipts, PDF attachments, or other images uploaded to the "Image Scanning" tab in the PCDO. Please be sure to redact any card information or non-UCI addresses. Departments or schools may have internal back-up documentation procedures.

Please refer to Section 7 of UCI's Short-Term Telecommuting Agreement (rev. 3/11/20) regarding "Space and Equipment" which indicates the conditional use and setup of your off-site work space. For business expenses, Section 11 of the agreement states that purchases made with PALCard will need pre-approval from supervisors/department management for shipping to non-campus addresses. Please be sure to use the pre-approval email as part of the required back-up documentation for the PCDO, either uploaded in the "image scanning" tab or back-up documentation routed to the reconcilers/fiscal officers.

Read Full Announcement

The Time Reporting System (timesheet.uci.edu) was recently updated to allow employees to report paid leave hours related to COVID-19. The information below does not apply to employees who use other timekeeping systems like API or Kronos.

Employees who use TRS can report COVID-19 paid leave in the same way they report their normal work hours and leave usage. When you’re in a timesheet, simply select the "Paid Leave (COVID19)" code from the "Add" drop-down menu for the appropriate day and enter in your leave hours as normal. The same code is used for both hourly and salary employees. Paid administrative leave may be used in hourly increments for non-exempt staff and 8-hour increments for exempt staff.

Read Full Announcement

Effective March 12, 2020, CTS cardholders should refrain from purchasing travel on the CTS account. Any purchases for travel which have been deemed essential and must be made on the CTS account must obtain exceptional approval in advance and in writing by the Dean, Vice Chancellor, Associate Chancellor. Any failure to obtain this documented approval in advance of the purchase may result in the closure of the CTS account ...

Read Full Announcement

The Time Reporting System (TRS) was recently updated to allow employees to report paid leave hours related to COVID-19. UCI Human Resources is providing information on when it is appropriate for employees to use COVID-19 paid leave.

To report paid leave related to the current public health emergency, employees should select the “Paid Leave (COVID19)” code from the “Add” drop-down menu in TRS. The same code is used for both exempt and non-exempt employees. All paid leave should be approved by an employee’s supervisor. For more information on when it appropriate to use COVID-19 paid leave, please see the guidance posted in the Leave section of the UCI HR Coronavirus webpage.

Read Full Announcement

Effective Wednesday, March 18, the Campus Billing and Collections Office service windows in Aldrich Hall (Room 101) will be closed. Campus Billing staff will be working remotely and remain available to answer questions by phone or email, but in-person check pickup will no longer be available in Aldrich Hall.

Students, faculty members and staff who wish to pick up a printed check must instead go to the Accounting and Fiscal Services Office located at 120 Theory, Suite 200 in the UCI Research Park. Pickup is only available for checks related to accounts payable and student disbursements. Printed payroll checks are mailed to employee homes directly from the bank. Check pick up will be available Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. Please be sure to bring a photo ID in order to have the check released to you.

Read Full Announcement

UCI Human Resources has issued new guidance for employees on their Coronavirus website.

In particular, campus payroll processors should be aware of new paid leave options. Learn more here: https://hr.uci.edu/disaster-relief/files/uci-public-health-emergency-leave-information-matrix.pdf

OIT is having sporadic issues with the campus virtual private network (VPN), but is working on a solution (both for VPN and the websites affected like KFS). If you are having difficulties accessing the campus VPN to use KFS or other campus administrative systems from off-campus, please be patient -- it may take several attempts to get a connection.

Please also be aware that campus systems are only accessible using remote desktop, including the Payroll/Personnel System (PPS).