Carnegie Mellon University

Coronavirus Information

As the coronavirus situation rapidly evolves, the Finance Division is committed to serve our customers and to fulfill our mission to provide university partners and stakeholders with the tools and resources needed to be well informed leaders and effective decision makers. 

The majority of Finance Division departments and services will operate normally during this time, but please note the following information and reminders regarding a few specific Finance Division procedures. The temporarily modified procedures, where applicable, are effective immediately.

The Finance Division appreciates your patience and collaboration during this time and will continue to communicate developments related to Finance Division services as they occur and provide guidance to the CMU financial community as needed.  

COVID-19 Operating Expense Tracking (Updated on April 29, 2020)

The university must track COVID-19 related operating expenses for federal appropriations. The COVID-19 related operating expenses will also be included in external sponsor reporting, internal management reporting and the footnotes of the university’s Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) financial statements. These expenses may include, but are not limited to, costs of ramping down/up research or classroom activity, personal protective equipment (PPE), nonrefundable event costs and travel charges and may be sponsored and/or non-sponsored. 

To facilitate university-wide tracking, departments should submit their COVID-19 related non-personnel expenses as outlined below.

COVID-19 expenses incurred through April 30, 2020

Each ALG member or their designee should submit a Financials Data Warehouse GL Transaction Detail query by division to COVID19finance@andrew.cmu.edu by May 8, 2020 for COVID-19 operating expenses that contains the:

  • transaction date
  • accounting period
  • amount
  • purpose/description/justification
  • Oracle General Ledger (GL) and/or Grants Management (GM) account string

COVID-19 expenses incurred May 1, 2020 or later

  • GL transactions:  Use the newly created “C19” activity code for any non-personnel COVID-19 related expenses.
  • GM transactions: A new task service type “COVID” has been created for COVID-19 related non-personnel expenses that replaces the usual task service type of “unspecified”.  Departments will need to take one of the following actions to use this new task service type: 
    • Create a new task called “COVID” and link this task to the newly created task service type “COVID” OR; 
    • If your department has already established a new task(s) to track COVID-19 related expenses, link your new task to the “COVID” task service type.   

COVID-19 related expenses incurred after May 1, 2020 that do not utilize the “C19” GL activity code or “COVID” GM task service type will need to be corrected via an Accounts Payable Redistribution Form [.pdf]. Corrections cannot be made via GL Journal Entry to ensure sufficient documentation for federal and other required reporting.

Personnel charges related to students without remote work and the costs associated with the newly created emergency leave will continue to be tracked by the Office of Human Resources.  Furthermore, this information is not intended as guidance regarding the handling of such personnel charges not included above or for expenses associated with federal relief funding. 

In addition, when reviewing related COVID-19 expenses, please consider the following:

  • Emergency Operation Center costs
  • Messaging and outreach costs
  • Training costs specific to declared event
  • Disinfection and cleaning of university above and beyond typical costs
  • Emergency medical facility services and supplies (e.g., Student Health Services)
  • Conversion of dorms for medical use
  • Enhancing campus security and law enforcement
  • Costs associated with housing foreign students that cannot go home
  • Animals research area costs to separate animals and related additional costs
  • Purchases of personal protective equipment
  • Construction costs related to change orders for COVID-19 work site compliance
  • Costs of overtime hours paid to permanent, budgeted employees performing emergency work as well as both straight time and overtime hours paid to unbudgeted employees performing emergency work

It is each unit’s responsibility to maintain supporting documentation for how costs relate to COVID-19, which may be requested.

Please direct any questions to COVID19finance@andrew.cmu.edu.

PCIDSS (Updated on April 7, 2020)

The university processes over a million credit card transactions each year and must comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), the industry standard for safeguarding cardholder data. Various stakeholders across campus and associated with the university PCI environment are required to provide documentation and participate in an on-site assessment with the university’s third-party qualified security assessor (QSA) to demonstrate compliance.

Given the current campus access limitations associated with COVID-19, on-site assessment procedures are not practicable at this time. On-site assessments will be postponed until further notice and are expected to resume as quickly as practicable once campus access is reestablished. The QSA will perform virtual assessments for all pure SAQ-A environments, which makes up about half of the university’s environments.

Campus merchants should continue to prepare their documentation, which is still due April 24 (with the exception of documentation that is inaccessible), and load it into the Suralink collection database.

For questions, please contact pci-dss@lists.andrew.cmu.edu.

Excel4apps (Updated March 31, 2020)

Business Applications Development and Support (BADS) has delayed upgrading Excel4apps Wands to version 20.1 to May 2020. This version provides new and updated functionality in GL Wand, Reports Wand and Budget Wand, including updated toolbar icons. 

For more information and for a list of new and changed functionality along with updated documentation, visit the Excel4apps page

Accounts Receivables (Updated March 27, 2020)

Cash Operations, located at A-11 in the lower level of Warner Hall, is closed until further notice in an effort to minimize on-campus traffic. As such, all payments to CMU that are received from external sponsors should be sent to a lockbox or wired directly to the university. AR includes these payment options on the invoices and is also reaching out to sponsors with this request. Please request that sponsors pay by wire or send checks to one of the lockbox addresses below to facilitate timely payment and application to university accounts. For questions, contact AR at univar@andrew.cmu.edu.   

If a sponsor would prefer to wire the funds, please advise them of the following details:

  • Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon)
    500 Ross Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15262
    Account Number: 1979003
    ABA Number: 043000261
    Swift Code: IRVTUS3N

If a sponsor plans to mail a check, please advise them to use one of the following lockbox addresses:

  • Sponsored Projects Accounting
    Carnegie Mellon University
    PO Box 371032
    Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7032
  • Other AR Lockbox
    Carnegie Mellon University
    P.O. Box 360456   
    Pittsburgh, PA 15251-6456

Payroll (Updated March 27, 2020)

As of April 2, 2020, Payroll is eliminating the option of paper paycheck distribution for CMU employees. Employees must elect to receive their pay via direct deposit or Wisely Pay Paycard, by Thursday, April 2, 2020. If you do not select direct deposit or a Wisely Pay Paycard by this date, you will receive a Wisely Pay Paycard to the address on file in Workday. For questions, contact the HR Service Center at hr-help@andrew.cmu.edu.

  • Direct Deposit: Direct deposit guarantees an employee’s net pay is deposited into their selected account(s) on the scheduled pay date. For step-by-step instructions on signing up for direct deposit, view the Add and Change Direct Deposit Elections Quick Guide [.pdf]. Note that this is a separate process from receiving direct deposit for expense reimbursements. 
  • Wisley Pay Paycard: Instead of a traditional bank account, an employees’ pay is deposited into a Wisely Pay Paycard account in which they can then store or spend their money using their paycard. This is not a credit card, no bank account is required and there is no credit check to enroll. To enroll, employees must ensure their home address is correct in Workday prior to Thursday, April 2, 2020. For more information on how to make changes to personal information, including home address, visit the View and Update Your Personal Information in Workday page. 

Supplier Payments (Updated March 27, 2020)

Accounts Payable (AP) is eliminating check payments to suppliers as of April 10, 2020. Employees that work with suppliers paid via paper check should follow the guidance below to ensure that payments can be made electronically. For questions, contact AP at ap-help@andrew.cmu.edu.

For additional AP information, see the AP section on this page.

Employee Expense Reports (Updated March 27, 2020)

AP is eliminating check payments to employees and will need your completed direct deposit form by April 2, 2020. Employees that submit expense reports should follow the guidance below to ensure that payments can be made electronically. For questions, contact AP at ap-help@andrew.cmu.edu.

The Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivables (AR) teams have been working with suppliers and customers to facilitate electronic payment and electronic receipt of funds and Payroll has been working with university employees to eliminate paper paychecks.

Finance Training (Updated March 24, 2020)

Purchasing card and travel card training are currently suspended due to the fact that cards are not being distributed at this time (see the University Cards and Expense Report section on this page for more information related to card distribution). All other instructor-led training sessions will be conducted via Zoom web conferencing. Staff members should continue to register via FocusU, and a Zoom calendar invitation will be provided.

Cash Operations (Updated March 20, 2020)

Effective immediately, Cash Operations, located at A-11 in the lower level of Warner Hall, will be closed until further notice in an effort to minimize on-campus traffic.

Please do not deliver deposits to the Cash Operations office during this time as the drop slot will not be available. 

For funds currently held in your department, we ask that you adhere to the following guidance:

  • For petty cash and currency deposits not yet delivered to Cash Operations: All cash shall be physically protected in safes, locked cash drawers, locking cash registers, locked metal boxes, or locked drawers prior to deposit. Safes and drop safes should be bolted in place and smaller receptacles secured in locked areas. The Treasurer’s Office recommends the following safekeeping standards: 

Check/negotiable instrument/cash equivalent deposit

Locked drawer or locked file cabinet

Currency deposits < $500.00

Locked deposit bag or metal cash box inside locked drawer/locked filing cabinet

Currency deposits $500.01 - $5,000.00

Safe/drop safe in locked office

Currency deposits > $5,000.01

Safe/drop safe in locked and armed office

Refer to section 2.0 of the Cash Handling Guidelines [.pdf] for more information on securing currency during the closure.
  • For checks and other negotiable instrument deposits:
    • Complete a Financial Services Receipt (FSR) [.xls] making sure to indicate the date that the checks are mailed.
    • Submit the completed FSR to treasury-receipts@andrew.cmu.edu.
    • Mail corresponding checks/negotiable instruments to the BNY Mellon lockbox at the following address for deposit:
      • Carnegie Mellon University
        PO Box 360154
        Pittsburgh, PA  15251-0154
    • Upon bank verification of the deposit, Cash Operations staff will respond to your submission email with a date and confirmation of receipt in lieu of a stamped receipt. The bank deposit date will be the date of receipt in Oracle.

For questions, contact Judy Cvejkus, manager, Cash Operations, at jc00@andrew.cmu.edu

Accounts Payable (Updated March 18, 2020)

Please contact AP at ap-help@andrew.cmu.edu with any questions.

Business Systems Help Desk (Updated March 18, 2020)

Event Cancellations (Updated March 18, 2020)

CMU buyers who have booked events for university business should attempt to cancel the event(s) and request a full refund or secure credit from the supplier(s). A workflow is available at www.cmu.edu/finance/coronavirus/files/event-cancellation-workflow.pdf to assist buyers with the proper procedure for cancellations both over and under $100K USD.

An event cancellation survey has been developed in an attempt to capture and understand the financial impact of event cancellations due to coronavirus.  Event owners who are cancelling events as a result of coronavirus are asked to complete the survey by Friday, March 27, 2020.

Questions about event cancellations related to coronavirus can be directed to the University Contracts Office at university-contracts@andrew.cmu.edu

Finance Forms (Updated March 18, 2020)

Electronic signatures will be accepted for any Finance forms that are not specifically addressed on this page. Please ensure that if approval/signature is being done via email, the email approval clearly provides information and/or references the specific form that is being approved and that this information is attached to the form that needs to be processed. 

Travel Cancellations (Updated March 18, 2020)

For CMU travelers or travel arrangements who booked university business travel and need to cancel, please follow the respective guidance:

  • Travel Booked through a University Preferred Agency: Those traveling on behalf of the university who have booked travel through one of the university preferred travel agencies should contact the agency directly when cancelling travel. Specific instructions for each preferred supplier is available on their supplier page:
  • Travel Booked Through Other Method: Contact the respective supplier you booked the reservation with in attempt to receive a refund (e.g., flight credit for future university business travel use).

Questions about travel cancellations can be directed to Procurement Services at procurement-inbox@andrew.cmu.edu.

University Cards and Expense Reports (ERs) (Updated March 18, 2020)

  • Card Distribution: Card distribution is suspended until further notice. This includes replacement of cards closed due to fraudulent activity. Employees who do not have a university card and need to make purchases should contact their department’s Administrative Leadership Group (ALG) member. ALG members should contact Procurement Services at procurement-inbox@andrew.cmu.edu for assistance with any university card purchases as needed.
  • Card Transaction Verifications: Card transaction verification is still required within 30 days.
  • Expense Report (ER) Submissions: ERs should still be submitted within the recommended 30 days and are taxable after 90 days.
  • Pcard and ER Receipts: Receipts for transactions $75 and greater should continue to be submitted electronically. Contact the supplier to obtain an electronic copy of any receipts that you may not have access to. If unable to obtain an electronic copy, complete a Missing Receipt Form [.pdf].