Message to UI business officers: Documenting costs related to COVID-19

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

This memo was sent to University of Iowa business officers from Debby Zumbach, assistant vice president of finance and operations.

The university is expending efforts to protect its students, faculty, and staff from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We recognize that these efforts are taking place across various departments on campus. There are very specific requirements for documenting costs related to COVID-19 so that we may eventually determine reimbursement eligibility from internal and external sources. As such, we are asking departments that are incurring costs to set up new WhoKeys (accounts) utilizing the following centrally defined grant-program numbers.

Please note that any costs charged to these accounts (including p-card purchases) that are determined to not be eligible and/or do not follow the proper review and approval process will be the financial responsibility of the department.

Grant Program 50700001

  • Description: Phase 1 Coronavirus—Emergency Preparedness
  • Types of Costs to Charge: Includes personal protective equipment, masks, gloves, isolation materials/containment supplies

Grant Program 50700002

  • Phase 2 Coronavirus—Pandemic Event
  • Types of Costs to Charge: Includes costs to respond and recover from a specific COVID-19 case/incident: quarantine, decontamination, cleaning, meals, personal care needs

Grant Program 50700099*

  • COVID-19 Modified Business Operations
  • Types of Costs to Charge: Incremental costs incurred in order to maintain business continuity (examples: cancellation costs, costs to bring study abroad students back to U.S., incremental costs to work remotely, etc.)

* Grant program 50700099 is intended primarily for tracking costs and not necessarily for reimbursement purposes. It is highly likely that departments will ultimately be responsible for funding these expenses. We are tracking the costs as a university in order to potentially seek COVID-19 relief from appropriate governmental authorities.

Each new WhoKey will be established in Fund 275 using your department’s unique Org and Department codes (sub-department is optional). Grant-Program will be one or more of the codes listed above. Function code is 00. Please use the New Chartfields & WhoKeys Application in Self Service to initiate requests for the WhoKeys, through using the Add WhoKey and Other Account request type. New WhoKeys for all Orgs with these established Grant Program #s are allowed in the application. Please email questions/issues for the application to afr-chartfield-whokey@uiowa.edu.

As transactions are charged to one of these COVID-19 WhoKeys (accounts), it is important to assign the cost to the appropriate Institutional Account in order for costs to be properly categorized (e.g.: supplies, non-capitalized equipment, capitalized equipment, etc.). Costs charged elsewhere must be CV’d (reclassified) to one of these WhoKeys. 

The additional information below was shared with campus by Risk Management on March 11:

How should you procure services and supplies?

  • Departments will contact their assigned University Shared Services representative to procure services and supplies.
  • If a Department does not have an assigned University Shared Services representative, please contact University Shared Services Supervisors at USS‐Supervisors@uiowa.edu.
  • UIHC and the State Hygienic Laboratory will procure items following their normal process and not through University Shared Services.

What Information is needed for purchases?

  • All purchases must have a business justification documented on the e‐voucher or requisition. If a purchase is made by p‐card, a business justification must be attached with the receipt/invoice documentation.
  • As part of the claim, all costs using the MFKs above must be routed to Camille Walters through Workflow for Risk Management review and approval. Any costs charged that are determined to not be eligible under the claim and/or do not follow the proper review and approval process, including Departmental p‐card purchases, will be the financial responsibility of the Department.
  • Emergency purchases should be placed on emergency purchase orders, as much as possible and not placed on existing blanket orders.

If you have questions related to charging of COVID-19 related costs, please send an email to the following address: risk-management@uiowa.edu. Risk Management, Purchasing, and the Controller’s Office will work together to respond to questions as promptly as possible.

Please share this memo with others in your unit as appropriate. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience.