Office of Finance
Our mission is to provide comprehensive financial management to the School of Education faculty, staff and students by strategically allocating resources with data driven decisions.
We do this by:
- Acting as responsible stewards of the financial resources entrusted to the School of Education and VCU.
- Supporting faculty, staff and others who use the financial resources at the School of Education.
- Developing and maintaining transparent financial data.
- Providing the financial analysis and forecasting needed too strategically allocate resources based on data driven decisions.
- Ensuring compliance with VCU policies and procedures in addition to laws and regulations for sound accounting practices.
There are strict rules about the vendors we can use and the processes required to place all orders. The General Assembly Code of Virginia governs the VCU policies stating that competition must be sought, that we abide by fair practice and contracts adherence, and that we have transparent procedures and reporting, governs purchases made by VCU. Do not enter into any contractual or purchasing agreement without consulting with Finance office.
SOE standard procedure is to submit your purchase request to the Finance office via email at email@example.com. If you are using a new vendor, we will need a copy of their W9 (please see the forms section of this page).
- The Supply Room Company for all office supplies
- B&B Printing for all stationary and business cards using the VCU logo
Please note that you cannot purchase any type of office supply outside the TSRC contract without prior authorization by the Office of Finance. You are not allowed to use the VCU logo on any professionally printed stationary without going through B&B Printing. Failure to comply with our mandatory contracts may result in disciplinary action by VCU Procurement.
Purchases over $10,000
All purchases over $10k must be reviewed by the Procurement legal team. If you have a quote or contract, do NOT sign anything. Submit that quote or contract to the Finance team and we will submit a purchase order to the VCU Buyers to determine needed legal review.
Exceptions to this are only when using an already existing VCU contract. The Office of Finance can help you make that determination.
Purchases under $10,000
While purchases under the same legal review, purchases under $10k must be made by purchase order. If you do not have RealSource access, please send your purchase request to the Office of Finance office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allowable Purchase Chart
Questions about whether or not a purchase is allowable or not, please contact the Office of Finance or refer to the Allowable Purchase Chart in the Forms section of this page.
Amazon is only allowed if you have received prior approval by the Office of Finance and/or Corp Card to use a VCU P-Card. There are no exceptions to this policy. If purchases are made without prior approval with Amazon, you may not be reimbursed for breach of policy.
Equipment purchases over $2,000 using the Corporate Purchasing Card must be reported to VCU Property Management. Purchases made through RealSource will be tracked by VCU Property Management. Any purchase made, through P-Card or RealSource, will need to be tagged as a fixed asset for VCU with a number. Property Management will reach out to you as the buyer to determine where the equipment was delivered to so they can tag it.
Taxes and Tax Numbers
VCU is a tax-exempt government agency. The tax-exempt form is within the forms section of this page. There are exceptions but should be cleared by the Finance team prior to paying taxes.
- Federal Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN): 54-6001758
- Virginia Sales Tax Exemption Number: 01-220-1761
Paying with a P-Card (VCU issued credit card)
There are a handful of staff with P-Cards who can pay for catering, urgent needs and online orders. Please contact the Office of Finance at email@example.com.
Helpful information is available on the VCU Procurement site.
Prior to invoicing, any vendor should have received a purchase order through use of the proper purchasing process. If you did not follow that process, you will need to explain why when you submit the invoice for processing.
Submit invoices to Finance at firstname.lastname@example.org. We require an index to pay the invoice and the purchase order number issued for the payment. If no purchase order was issued, an explanation as to why is required.
The standard turnaround for invoices is 30 days.
Please note that past due invoices cannot be paid by P-Card (VCU credit card). VCU issued credit cards may be revoked for breaking that policy.
If a vendor requires our tax information, please see the VCU W9 in the forms section of this page.
Visits the VCU Office of Procurement Services' Learn the Basics page for paying a vendor.
VCU will reimburse individuals traveling on official University business for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred. Travel expense accounts are open to the public and must be able to sustain the test of public review. When planning and paying for travel, economy, prudence and necessity are of primary concern. The use of state funds to accommodate personal comfort, convenience and taste is not permitted. VCU assumes no obligation to reimburse for expenses that do not comply with this policy. Travel expenses for individuals not on official business for the University are not allowable.
VCU faculty and staff are required to book air and rail tickets for official business using University funds through Christopherson Business Travel. Business travelers are encouraged to utilize Christopherson Business Travel for lodging and vehicle rental as well to receive the benefits associated with VCU’s managed travel program.
All payments for meals, lodging, airfare, etc. funded solely from sponsored program funds are governed by the terms and conditions of the individual grant or contract. If the grant or contract is silent regarding these monetary reimbursements, the limitations of VCU’s guidelines will apply.
- Use of Christopherson is required for all airfare.
- All personal reimbursement must go through Chrome River by faculty, staff and students.
Chrome River is available to all faculty, staff and students. Please contact VCU Procurement's Travel Services department at email@example.com with questions about using Chrome River and/or about specific submission questions.
Understanding Budget Indexes
Budget indexes are assigned based on the funding type and the rules guiding spending those funds.
- State fund indexes: These budget indexes start with 1 and 2 (also called 1 or 2 ledgers). State rules apply to these indexes. State regulations prohibit payments for alcohol, entertainment, social club memberships, Christmas expenditures and gifts or donations. Since these funds belong to the Commonwealth, departments are prohibited from moving funds from a state index to a local or grant index.
- Local fund indexes: These indexes start with 4 and 6 (also called 4 or 6 ledgers). The money deposited into these indexes belongs to University/School. These funds are generated by gifts, investment income, or income on endowments. Spending is determined by the donor intent.
- Grant fund indexes: These indexes start with a 5 (also called a 5 ledger). The money in these indexes are strictly governed by the agreement between VCU and the sponsor. Management of these indexes is closely monitored by Grants & Contracts.
- Grant Pool indexes: These indexes start with a T. These funds are excess earnings on fixed price agreements. The sponsor of a grant 5-ledger agrees to a fixed price for the project. When the project ends, whatever funds are left will be deposited into a T account and become unrestricted university funds.
Budgets for State & Local Funds
Budgets are loaded in accordance with the VCU fiscal year that starts on July 1st. These budgets are loaded and reconciled monthly to stay within compliance and monitor for deficits. For questions about your indexes or projections, please contact your SOE finance liaison.
Budgets for Grant Indexes
Budgets for all grants are loaded by Grants & Contracts based on the Office of Sponsored Program award instructions. If your budget is not loaded correctly, please contact Heather Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org to complete the budget reallocation form required to adjust the budget.
The Office of Finance is required by the VCU Controller’s Office policy to review and reconcile expenditures on a monthly basis on all active budget indexes. These reconciliations require two signatures: (1) the Office of Finance staff member who reviews and retrieves all necessary documents for the monthly report, and (2) the department head, manager, or Principal Investigator who acts as the approver and is responsible for verifying the legitimacy, appropriateness and necessity of transactions posted to their budget index. If the department head or manager are unable to sign, they must assign a designated member of their staff to do so.
These reconciliations ensure compliance in spending under the requirements for that budget index type. They also ensure that:
- The reported fiscal transactions are recorded in the most appropriate index and expense type.
- The report matches the submitted receipts, purchase orders, or documentation.
- The transaction was processed in accordance with University policies.
- The budget index has sufficient funds to cover the financial transactions.
- Appropriate action is taken if the transactions were not appropriate or authorized.
Monthly reports can be completed by the Office of Finance and submitted to the budget manager for physical signature, Docusign signature, or by having the budget manager certifying the activity on the Finance Dashboard. If the budget index is a grant, it can be certified using the Research Dashboard.
If you have questions about using the Finance Dashboard, please contact Joanna Bell at email@example.com. If you have questions about using the Research Dashboard, please contact Heather Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Access to either of these dashboards allows you to have real-time updates on your budget and expenditures.
Educational and General (E&G) revenues are derived mainly from state appropriations and student tuition and fees. Educational and General Programs include all of the University's academic programs and support services.
Facilities and Administrative Cost Recovery (FACR) – sometimes called indirect cost – is funding received as part of an externally-supported grant or contract that is intended to offset the expenses incurred by the university to conduct funded projects.
Grants & Contracts (G&C) is the Controller’s Office post-award accounting department managing grants after they have been awarded (post-award). G&C is responsible for managing all grant activity for the University and complying with the many policies and laws that govern our sponsored programs.
The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is responsible for the pre-award functions for the University including reviewing faculty proposals, negotiating contracts and terms with sponsors, and finalizing the agreement for execution.
Advance Index Request (Form and Work Space in RAMS-SPOT):
Alcohol Purchase Policy
Alcohol Purchase Authorization Form
Budget Reallocation Form (for Grants Only)
Independent Contractor Agreement
Non-Employee Reimbursement Setup Form
Research Participant Form
Tax Exempt Form
Both W-9 forms can be used for registering vendors on RealSource
Wire Transfer Form