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Guidance for Tracking Fiscal Impacts from COVID-19 Activity 

Updated: September 17, 2020

The situation for UC Davis continues to develop; therefore, these guidelines will be updated and expanded as the guidelines for COVID-19 financial reporting continue to evolve. 

This page has recently been updated with the latest information on tracking fiscal impacts due to COVID-19 including enhanced examples.

Under the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, UC Davis is required to provide monthly reports on financial impacts to UC Office of the President for reporting to the California State Department of Finance (DOF). The following sections provide guidance on how to use the COVID19 and COVID19C project codes in a manner that will ensure appropriate reporting of COVID-19 fiscal impacts.* 

The following guidance is intended for UC Davis Campus (Chart 3 and L). For UC Davis Medical Center (Chart H) and the School of Medicine (Chart S) please refer to:

*UC Davis may also use the information in these project codes to identify costs that might be eligible for federal or other reimbursement. However please note that recording a cost to the project code does not mean that the cost will be reimbursed by central campus or any external agency. The codes have been established for tracking purposes only.


Direct Expenses  

Campus departments must use Kuali Project Code COVID19 to capture direct expenses related to the COVID-19 emergency. These costs should be captured in the department account incurring such costs. If expenses have already been incurred, please process a General Error Correction (GEC) document to re-class those expenses to the COVID19 project code. 


Eligibility

Eligible expenses must be:

  • Directly related to the campus response to the COVID-19 emergency
    • These are costs incurred over and above the normal course of business.
    • For research, cost must pertain to preserving pre-COVID research impacted by closing of operations or increased costs related to the ramp-up of research activities.
  • Reasonable and necessary
    • There is no specific materiality threshold for reporting as every unit is different. The most important consideration is that the purchase is fiscally responsible and demonstrates good stewardship of the University’s resources.
  • In accordance with UC Davis and UCOP policies

Refer to these examples for more details on qualifying and non-qualifying expenses.


Supporting Documentation

Eligible expenses must include sufficient supporting documentation including:

  • A brief statement of why the expense is relevant to COVID19 in the Kuali document description or explanation field
    • In AggieBuy include the explanation in the comments section of the requisition
    • In AggieTravel include a detailed business purpose
      • Clearly identify which cost(s) of the event were cancelled but not refunded/credited back for future use
      • Provide a description of the supplies purchased for remote work and teaching
  • Attach all supporting documentation so that it may be readily retrieved
    • Invoices or receipts should be attached, not quotes
  • If you are submitting a request that is over $10K, a Source Selection & Price Reasonableness Justification Form should be included.

For a General Error Correction (GEC) it is critical to include in the document description or explanation field what the COVID19 expenditure is and to attach supporting documentation. The explanation must be sufficient to establish eligibility. Do not just say “transferring to COVID19”.

Fiscal officers play an important role in ensuring the transaction is appropriate and the supporting documentation is accurate and thorough. Document approvers should be knowledgeable of the expense, question unusual items, and make sure that necessary details are included to justify the transaction before approving.


Labor 

If you have employees engaged in work activities related to the campus response to COVID please contact Controls & Accountability for reporting instructions. Work related to COVID research or COVID related leave should not be coded to the COVID19 project code.


Travel 

Expenses reported in AggieTravel that relate to COVID-19 cancellations or disruptions should utilize the Kuali Project Code COVID19. If a travel voucher is issued for future use, the department should track the use of that voucher to ensure it is used for future university business. Refer to these examples for more details.


Lost Revenue 

As with extraordinary costs, units are asked to report monthly on losses of net revenue incurred as a result of COVID-19. Since this is not captured in our financial system, BIA analysts are working with units to collect and evaluate any claims of lost revenue. BIA has created a template to be used for this purpose, which has been distributed to Assistant Deans and COOs. The template is not intended to capture system-wide tuition and fees and/or campus-wide fees. It is intended to identify unit level lost revenue resulting solely from the response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Lost revenue should not be entered into Kuali. Units are to submit a single monthly report at the Dean/VC level only, not at the department level.  

Instructions are included in the template, but BIA analysts will be available to provide assistance throughout the process. Units are asked to email completed templates and any supporting documentation to BIA@ucdavis.edu.  

As with COVID19-related expenses, UC Davis may use the information in the templates to identify financial impacts that might be eligible for federal or other reimbursement. Reporting lost revenue does not mean that the loss will be reimbursed by central campus or any external agency. The templates have been established for tracking purposes only.


School of Medicine (Chart S)

Clinical operations:

  • For expenditures related to clinical operations, follow the Medical Center/Chart H guidance (pdf).
    • Project code COVID19C must be used.
  • Lost revenue related to patient clinical activity will be collected separately and reported by the UC Davis Health Finance team. 

Non-clinical operations:


Fraud Awareness Reminder

Please be aware that during this unprecedented time fraud is at an all-time high and it is important to be especially vigilant.

  • Be sure emails you receive were sent from a correct account and that the communication and its tone are as expected.
  • If you are asked to approve an unusual charge or to change payment details such as the place or account to which a payment should be sent, call and confirm with the person with whom you normally interact at the organization involved.
  • Never compromise internal control processes to provide quick service, no matter who the requester appears to be.
  • Please encourage everyone on your team to watch the 7 minute fraud awareness video.
  • Overall, if something does not seem right to you, take the time to ask questions or to ask for help from others on the UC Davis Accounts Payable or Controls & Accountability team.

 Examples

Qualifying expenses for COVID19 include:

  • Additional cleaning/disinfecting supplies and services - include only those over and above normal processes
    • All materials are available thru AggieBuy, please use AggieBuy as your first choice.
  • Enhancements to existing facilities such as physical barriers
  • Communication of public health information
  • Cost of computer, audio, software and other equipment and accessories necessary to transition to remote work and online instruction
  • Non-refundable travel expenses for conferences and meetings that were cancelled due to COVID-19
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and face masks that normally would not have been purchased
  • Medical supplies and equipment for the screening of employees and students for COVID-19
  • Packaging materials and mailing services to ship items to students and employees off-campus

Non-Qualifying expenses include:

  • Expenditures related to new COVID19 research projects (these are tracked in the award fund)
  • Minor office supplies such as pencils, pens, paper clips, etc.
  • Food and catering for lunch meetings that normally occur as part of University operations such as weekly or monthly staff meetings, regardless if COVID-19 is part of the discussion
  • Food delivery is not an allowable expense for virtual meetings
  • Registration, conference, or training fees for virtual or on-line classes unless the topic is specifically related to COVID-19 crisis management
  • Membership fees
  • Course materials that would have been purchased regardless of remote learning
  • Costs reimbursed from another funding source – for example a contract or grant, or insurance
  • If expenses would have typically occurred, but there are no longer revenues to support the expenses, we should not attribute the expense as a COVID-19 related cost, but instead report the impact in lost revenue.

Refer also to the Temporary Remote Work: Reimbursement Guidelines on the Supply Chain Management website.

Below are a few common examples of what should be included in the COVID19 project code:

Example A

A research lab normally purchases 3 boxes of disposable gloves to perform lab experiments and now needs to purchase 4 boxes to comply with new COVID-19 re-opening policies. 

  • Only 1 box of gloves should be coded to COVID19. 
Example B

A department hired a speaker to give an on-site symposium. The department purchased $50 food and beverages for attendees. The speaker was to receive $300 as an honorarium and $500 for airfare and lodging. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, the speaker now has to host the symposium virtually.

  • The $50 food deposit and beverages for attendees (which are not able to be returned or used for another event) and $500 airfare and lodging expenses (which was not refunded or credited for future travel) should be coded to project code COVID-19. The honorarium, however, should not because the person provided the original services. 
Example C

An engineering laboratory course normally spends $100 per lab kit per student. The students are now studying remotely and the professor has to mail the lab kits to each student.

  • The costs to package and ship the lab kits to the students should be coded to COVID19. The original cost of the lab kit should be considered normal course of business.
Example D

Due to the shut-down, a laboratory now has to preserve specimens until re-opening. Simultaneously, the PI was awarded new funding to perform research related to the COVID-19 virus and with the new award purchased necessary lab supplies.

  • The cost to preserve the specimens should be coded to the COVID19 project code. The purchases related to the new award are considered normal course of business and coded to the grant fund.
Example E

An employee was to travel to a conference. To receive the discounted membership conference fee, the employee purchased both the annual membership and the conference fee. The conference was canceled due to the COVID19 crisis.

  • Any portion of the conference fee that is not refunded should be coded to COVID19 as the conference was cancelled. The annual membership fee should be considered normal business operations. 
Example F

A graduate student was going to present a paper at a conference. The conference decided to change the event from an in-person event to a virtual event. 

  • Cancelled travel fees that are not refunded or credited for later use, including airfare and lodging, should be coded to COVID19 project code. The conference fee should not be because the event still occurred.

Additional Resources