- Construction Project Establishment
Each fiscal year new Construction projects are established in accordance with FAU’s Board of Trustees and the State’s Board of Governors Office. These projects are initially planned through the Facilities Planning Department and as budget is approved the Capital Outlay Implementation Plan (COIP) is forwarded to the Controller’s Office. The project is established in the Banner system based on the funding source of the project.
The above process includes creation of the Index Code, Fund Code, Organization Code, Activity Code and Attribute. Since Construction Projects are usually multiyear funded a BT # is also created at the beginning of a project. This number serves as the highest level of information which pertains to a certain construction project and is created as a Grant number in the Banner system. The number is originally created by the Facilities Planning Department and from that time until the closing of the project is used to reference the project. FAU now uses five character convention beginning with BT (Board of Trustees). The next three characters are digits beginning with a 6. ex. 631. The last character is a letter representing the position of the fiscal year of funding between the last year ending with a ”0” and the next year ending with a “0”. This means if the project is being funded in year 2001 the above example would use a “B” as the fifth character. (2000=”A”, 2001=”B” etc.) Therefore; the above example would have a Grant number of “BT631B”. This is created in Banner in the FRGRNT screen. When this is correlated to a Fund in the FTMFUND screen in Banner, the financial information can be printed from the FRIGITD screen in a Life-To-Date format. This is essential since, as mentioned before, construction projects remain open through more than one fiscal year.
- Entry of Construction Budget into Banner system
As a COIP is received from the Facilities Planning department, a budget is ready to be entered into the Banner system. To enter the budget the Index Code is needed for that particular project being entered. The process is a BD01 transaction used in the FGAJVCD Form. The account code to use for Fixed Capital Outlay is 130050. This is the only account code that is used. No other budget related account code correlates to Fixed Capital Outlay. The only other field needed is the “Budget Period”. This is the month of the fiscal year you are entering the budget.
- Cash Management of Construction Projects
As invoices are paid on projects, the cash balance on a project is reduced. Through the Florida Department of Education a monthly drawdown procedure is monitored. This request is made in the last week of the month. It is based on current expenses and expected expenses incurred prior to the actual receiving of the drawdown. The actual funds are usually received by FAU during the third week of the following month. A spreadsheet listing all current construction projects is updated with FAU’s expenditure and encumbrance information for each project. The drawdown for each project is the difference of the amount authorized at the time for a particular project versus the total amount of expenses and encumbrances that have been reported on the current month’s spreadsheet.
When the spreadsheet is reviewed the information is entered into the Florida Department of Educations Online Request System and the spreadsheet is emailed to Don Armstrong at the FDOE for there files. This concludes the cash drawdown procedure.
The funds requested are wired to FAU the third week of the following month. When the funds are verified, the FOAPAL information is given to the Cash Management area of the Controllers Office and is then is then booked as revenue the Banner system.
- Verify Vendor Payment Information As Needed
Construction Vendor payments can pose certain problems in the Banner system that are only inherent to construction projects. Because of past inconsistencies in the Banner system, various adjustments to banner FOAPAL strings are needed on a continuous basis. These include corrections to Index Codes, Fund Codes, Organization Codes and Activity Codes. These problems have been corrected in the already established projects and are being eliminated prior to setting up current projects.
- Reconciliation of Construction Projects
Through the ongoing reconciliation process, the Controller’s Office and the Facilities Planning Department work together to maintain accuracy in the Banner system. When differences and inconsistencies are identified, the Controller’s office will enter General Ledger transactions. The G/L transactions are entered in the FGALVCD screen with a JE16 transaction code. These are transactions that result from a number of situations. The most common is payment from the wrong FOAPAL string.
- Closing of Construction Projects
As construction projects become fully expended these projects are approved to be closed. These projects are marked in Banner as deactivated but can be activated at any time. Financial information is still able to be retrieved in the Banner system.
When this process occurs the Facilities Planning Department will process a Final Capital Outlay Implementation Plan (COIP). The purpose of this is to reflect the final expenditure amount as the Budget actually used in the project. This allows them to use the remaining Budget for other projects. When the Controller’s office receives this COIP the Budget is adjusted to match the Final “COIP”. This means the Budget is fully reconciled. Through the life of the project the expenses will be reconciled through the Facilities Planning Department.
Cash must also be reconciled. This means cash needs to equal expenses in the project. This has to occur before the project is deactivated.