Tip of the Month
Policy 1218 – Purchasing Method
Q: Why do I need to get authorization to purchase goods or services in excess of $5,000?
A: Authorization is required to ensure adherence to State statutes and maintain effective internal control. Contracts of suppliers who do not have to accept returns usually contain language that increases the difficulty of pursuing that vendor in a potential lawsuit. In addition to ensuring the University receives the best value through open competition, required authorization and rules governing state agency purchasing provides Purchasing Services with information on a vendor’s historical performance, financial status and other important factors that mitigate the risk of receipt of faulty goods.
Emergency or Pressing Need Purchases
Q: My department was just given some additional money but needs to spend it within the next several days. Can this be considered an emergency purchase?
A: No, your circumstances do not fit the emergency or pressing need criteria as listed above.
For further details, see:
Policy 1240 – Emergency or Pressing Need Purchases
2-Step Verification (DUO)
Q: What is 2-Step Verification and why is the university using it for W-2 forms?
A: Two-step verification is a security method that uses two methods of identity verification to ensure that you are “you” before allowing you access to personal or sensitive data from a website. Traditionally, when accessing information on the web at UNC, employees would use their Onyen and password to gain access. The two-step adds a second verification: by registering your mobile phone, landline or tablet in the system, the system then sends you a link to the device you registered with a code. Using the code, you can then access the system with the sensitive information that you are trying to obtain.
UNC is using it for W-2 forms to provide extra protection from online hackers who are trying to access financial or personal information.
For more information see: http://ccinfo.unc.edu/featured-resources/online-employee-tax-forms/
Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP)
GSHIP is a separate plan from the UNC system-wide mandatory student health insurance plan.
Q: If a student is not eligible for the Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan, is there other insurance available?
A: If these students are degree seeking, enrolled in at least one credit hour, and eligible to pay the Campus Health Services student health fee, they can participate in the student health insurance plan. More information about this plan is available through Campus Health Services.
The determination that an individual is an independent contractor is to be made prior to the individual’s performance of service.
Q: Is a single-member LLC (limited liability company) an independent contractor?
A: Yes. An LLC can be one of four types – 1) a single-member, 2) C corporation, 3) S corporation, or 4) P partnership. If the LLC is a single-member LLC, they are an independent contractor and UNC will issue form 1099. Single member LLCs can use either their social security number or an employer identification number (EIN) for tax reporting and form 1099.
Mobile Communication Devices
Policy permits the University to issue a monetary stipend to select employees who meet the policy criteria pertaining to the use of wireless devices for University business purposes.
Q: The stipend I receive is not enough to cover my entire phone bill. May I request a reimbursement for the balance?
A: No. The intent of the stipend is to provide compensation for business-related activity on a personal MCD without the user having to submit documentation for business-related calls. The allowance is not intended to cover personal use of the device.
For more information, see Policy 1269 – Mobile Communication Device Business Expenses.
Q: May an employee be reimbursed for home internet expenses?
A: No, this is a personal expense. The state budget manual allows for internet connectivity while traveling, but not from home. If a Dean believes that reimbursement is permissible due to health reasons or if regular on campus work space has been temporarily unavailable (such as in a remodel), this would be allowable. A memo justifying this reason from the Dean specific to the individual and stating the time period permitted must be attached to every voucher.
For more information, see Policy 1227 – Unauthorized Purchases
Q: Should I use the payroll suspense chartfield string to fund a new hire or give a salary increase?
A: No. Payroll suspense is not designed to be an intentional funding source. Payroll suspense is designed to capture transactions created by a system funding error such as an expired funding source, etc.
For more information, see Policy 1124 – Payroll Suspense.
A: An account is generally considered delinquent if it is at least 60+ days in arrears or past due, and no arrangements have been made by the debtor to satisfy the obligation.
A: No, cash and “cash equivalents” such as gift certificates and gift cards do not qualify for the “de minimis fringe benefit” exception even if the cash or cash equivalent is for less than $100.
For more information, see Policy 1123 – Taxation of an Employees’ Gifts, Prizes and Awards.
A: Contact the vendor, provide a copy of the University’s tax-exempt number and obtain a credit for the charged tax
A: It is not difficult. Departments need to document the problem, the conversations with the vendor about improving their performance, and the mutually established deadlines for improvement. Provide this documentation along with the Vendor Complaint form, and the State Purchasing Officer will take appropriate action to remedy the problem. The vendor could possibly be debarred from doing business with the State of North Carolina.