Colleague FAQ

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General Questions - Budget Questions
Requisition Questions - Approval Questions - Purchase Order Questions
Receiving Questions - Accounts Payable Questions - Travel Question

General Information

Q:

What is the difference between Datatel, Ellucian, and Colleague?

A:

Datatel is the former name of the software vendor whose product Lincoln University selected. Colleague is the name of the software formerly produced by Datatel.  In 2012, Datatel changed names to Colleague.  

 

 

Q:

What is the CORE module?

A:

The CORE module is a Colleague software module containing demographic data, shared data, shared processes and setup and utilities.

Financial

General Questions:

  • On which area of Datatel or type of report is the most current information located?
    • The most current budget information is located on the ACBL screen. It is automatically updated with budget revisions and encumbrance entries. However, requisitions do not show up on the ACBL screen until they have been approved.
    • The inquiry screens for requisitions (RINQ) and purchase orders/blanket purchase orders (PINQ/BINQ) are also automatically updated and will contain current information.
  • When does a contract need to be issued?
    • Contracts are required for all non-bid professional and technical services provided to the University with a value of $2,000 or greater.

 

  • How do contracts get to the appropriate offices for signature?
    How do I know if I have all the necessary signatures?
    How can I find out when the contract is fully signed?
    What offices does a contract go through after it is completely signed and in what order?
    Who keeps the completed contracts?
    • The Ofice of Sponsored Research and Grants is responsible for processing contracts and maintains contract processing forms. The basic steps are:
      • Department completes the forms and contract documents as appropriate.
      • Documents are routed for approval and signatures. All contracts must be signed by the contractor, department head, Vice President of Administration, and the President.
      • Once signed by the President, the completed contract is filed. Copies of hte completed contracts are required by Accounts Payable and Purchasing.
  • Is there an easy way to navigate through all of the screens?
    • The only way to navigate through the screens is by drilling down on each specific piece of information you need to see. This navigation is at times cumbersome, however, in order to access all the pertinent information it will require navigation through many screens.
  • Is there an easy way to navigate through all of the screens?
    • The only way to navigate through the screens is by drilling down on each specific piece of information you need to see. This navigation is at times cumbersome, however, in order to access all the pertinent information it will require navigation through many screens.
  • How can I print only one page of a 12-page report?
    • There is no way to only print one page of a 12-page report. If the 12-page report is too long, there may be a different way to run the report that will use less paper. Please consult with the Budget Office if you are having difficulty with this.
  • Are there any shortcuts?
    • The use of the "@" symbol repeats the last data entered in that field. This can be helpful in entering an account number on multiple lines of the requisition or recalling a requisition you have just entered.
  • How can I delete information from a field?
    • Prior to to deleting any information from the Datatel system please contact someone from the next question.
  • How do we report a problem (we do not receive an order, or a company does not receive a check, etc) to the appropriate department?
    • When problems arise with a purchase order or requisition, contact the person identified as Contact Person in the comments section of the requisition or the initiator. If you have a question about the status of the order, please contact the Purchasing Department.
  • Who are the people to contact if I have questions at each stage of the process?
    • You may contact any of the following individuals for assistance working Datatel:
      • Accounting Services:http://www.lincolnu.edu/pages/218.asp
      • Accounts Payable:http://www.lincolnu.edu/pages/219.asp
      • Kelly Muenks X 5050
      • Purchasing and Warehouse

Budget Questions:

  • How are budget reports created?
    • the primary budget report is created through the GLSA screen. This report will give you a summary or detailed report on any account that you have been given security to access. Report creation can be discussed in a training environment or one-on-one in the Budget Office.
  • Why are restricted budgets sometimes moved or deleted?
    • Restricted budgets are only moved or changed when an approved budget revision has been submitted by the department responsible for the grant or project.
  • How can I create budget reports other than by using the ACBL screen? Is there one screen that prints all budget categories for an account rather than having to enter each category separately? How can I print a complete budget? Is there a way to generate a one-page report showing all object codes, requisitions, and the unencombered balance on an account?
    • there is no catch-all report that will show object code, requisitions, encumbrances, and unencumbered balance. However, the GLSA report will provide three of the four report criteria. The detailed GLSA report will provide the Budget, Actual Expenditures, Encumbrances, and Unencumbered Balance on a report with balances based on how you break the report(refer to your manual). In this instance, Unencumbered Balance would not include any amounts reserved for requistions.

 

  • Why doesn't GLSA reflect "In Progress" requisitions?
    • The GLSA report is a "Pre-written" report from Datatel. This report would require re-programming to allow the requisitions to reflect in this report.

 

  • What different reports are available for Directors/Administration to use?
    • The following reports are available:
      • GLBA - Budget to Actual Report
      • GLSA - Summary Account Availability
      • GLBR - Annual or YTD Budget Report
      • GLBS - Budget Status Report
      • LGLA - List GL Activity
      • ENCI - GL Encumbrance Inquiry
      • GLRQ - GL Requisition Inquiry

 

  • How do I read each type of report?
    • The GLSA is the predominate report used to determine available budget. It contains the following information:
      • GL Account - Provides the account number
      • Allocated Budget - Provides the current budget for the specific umbrella account.
      • Acutal - Displays in dollars, how much you have actually expended in a specific object code.
      • Encumbrances - Lists purchase orders that have not been paid.
      • % Committed - Equals the actual column plus encumbrances divided by the allocated budget.

It is very important to note that requisitions are NOT deducted from the Available column on the GLSA report. Thus, it is still extremely important to look at the ACBL screen if you know or think there are outstanding requisitions that have not been assigned a purchase order number.

 

  • The wording on Budget Printouts is confusing, how can I get the most accurate view of my budget?
    • The budget The budget reports can be misleading in the fact that what is shown as "Available" does not take into consideration outstanding requisitions that are in the systems. The budget report is a very useful tool when looking at your budget from an overall perspective as a "snapshot in time". However, a more accurate method of determining a budget balance is to look at the ACBL screen in Datatel. This not only gives you and unencumbered balance, but also gives you "Available funds" which reduces the allocation by the amount of all approved requisitions that have not been converted to a purchase order, thus reflecting a more accurate picture of your specific budget.

 

  • Budget Revisions are still paper. How can we process a requisition until the paper budget revision is processed?
    • Due to limited security built into the Budget Revision screen on Datatel, the Budget Office will have to complete this process.

 

  • What is the difference between Revenues starting with a number 4 or a number 5?
    • Due to the way the object codes for Revenues are organized, the Finance Team has expanded the G/L class definitions for Revenues from 4 to 4 AND 5. Expenses will now have a G/L class definition of 6.

 

  • Can you use Umbrella Account numbers on the ACBL screen for evaluating your budgets?
    • Yes, Umbrella Accounts are used for budgeting purposes and can be accessed on the ACBL screen to view budget data. DO NOT USE UMBRELLA ACCOUNTS ON REQUISITIONS!

 

  • When will the Available Funds in my budget be affected by a Requisition I am completing?
    • Available Funds will be affected when the Requisition is approved.

Requisition Questions:

  • How can I find a requisition number if I forgot to record it when I entered the requisition?
    • A requisition number can be found by using the Requisition Lookup Shortcuts found in your training manual. The most common lookups are by initiator and by vendor.

      If you have just entered a requisition and clicked "OK" when it displayed the requisition number and forgot to write down the number, you can enter in the "@" symbol in the lookup box instead of hte requistion number and it will bring up the last requisition you entered.
  • Where do you get the estimated price to put on the RQIM screen?
    • This price will come from the catalog, a corporate price list, or a quote from the company. This is the price of the item you want to order. If you have a company quote, please forward it to purchasing@lincolnu.edu with the requisition # and vendor name in the subject line.

 

  • How do you handle prices on Requisitions to Vendors who give LU a discount?
    • Enter the price after discount. If you dealing with an order discount (one sum), contact Purchasing for assistance.

 

  • When you use multiple account numbers for a line item, will the system keep track to ensure that the total price (100%) is covered?
    • When entering line items on the RQIM screen, you will not be able to save out of this screen UNLESS the account distributions add up to 100% (the total price is covered). You will get an alert message that "the sum of the percentages must equal 100" if the account distribution percentages do not add up to 100%. You will not be able to save and update until the account distribution is corrected.

 

  • Where do you put information such as Justification for the Requisition of "Do Not Mail"?
    • This information can be placed in the comments field for requisition.

 

  • If you enter an Umbrella Account number on a Requisition, will the system tell you that you cannot use it?
    • No, the system will not STOP you from using an Umbrella Account on a Requisition. However, the Requisition will NEVER reach Outstanding status if an Umbrella Account is used.

 

  • How can I print a requisition?
    • The Datatel system is designed for a paperless environment. Instead of printing and filing paper requisitions, let the Datatel system maintain those files for you. Datatel provides useers with many ways to access a requisition.

      RINQ screen: By using various lookup shortcuts outlined in the training manual on page 3-8. HINT: you can combine more than one lookup shortcut to further limit your search.

      ACBL screen: By looking up the GL account number and drilling down in the requisition screen or the encumbrance screen you cna find a requisition.

 

  • When I enter two requisitions in a row (using the same account number), why do the available funds on the second requisition not reflect the first requisition?
    • The available funds that show on a requisition during data entry of the account number will not reflect any requisitions that have not been approved. Only requisitions with an "Outstanding" status will be reflected.

 

  • Are campus services the only purchases for which requisitions should not be used?
    • The following services do not require a requisition entry in the Datatel system:
      • Warehouse Supply
      • Print Shop
      • Petty Cash
      • University Vehicle Rental

 

  • How do I submit a purchase requisition for computer-related equipment?
    • When submitting a requisition for computer-related equipment:
  1. Follow the guidelines on the OIT web page to order a personal computer.
  2. Complete a purchase requisition.
  3. Submit the following additional information:
        • the quote # in the Line item field or comments
        • the location for installation of the pc being requisitioned
        • a copy of the quote to purchasing@lincolnu.edu

Approval Questions:

  • Why aren't all object codes available on my account? How do I get all of them?
    • If you find that an object code does not appear for your department, please proved the entire 16-digit account number that you need to use to the Accounting Office at either of the following numbers:
      • Sandy Koetting koetting@lincolnu.edu 681-5073
      • Kathy Muenks muenksk@lincolnu.edu 681-5050

 

  • What are the criteria for using the different object codes, such as equipment, office supplies, honorariums, and services rendered?
    • For something to be considered as equipment and coded under the category of 63000, it must meet both of the following criteria:
      • The single item must have an acquisition cost of $1000 or greater. Acquisition cost includes the purchase price, engineering charges, freight, installation charges, site preparation, and any other charges directly related to placing the item into service.
      • It must have a useful life of at least 1 year or more.
    • All other items should be coded under the category of consumable supplies (66000)
    • The categories for Honorariums and services rendered are under the category of contractural services. Any contractural services rendered to the University should be rendered by someone other than a University employee. If an individual is providing a service and is to be paid for that service, they are considered a contractor and should be coded as such. If an individual is receiving a token of appreciation for their services for speaking at an event or such, payments are considered honorariums or stipends.

 

  • Why are on-campus purchases such as Print Shop and Telecommunications not posted within a week?
    • Items that are purchased or services requested from the following departments are typically submitted to the Accounting Office on a monthly basis. They should be posted to your account monthly.
      • Print Shop - Printing and Duplicating Services
      • Purchasing - Warehouse Supplies and Fuel
      • Telecommunications - Base Cost and Long Distance
      • Mailroom - Postage
    • If you have questions about specific charges please contact the departments in charge of those services/purchases.

 

Approval Questions:

  • When does the Director/VP have to approve requisitions, and how long will it take?
    • The following is the general guideline for the approval heirarchy. If approvers check for requisitions on the APRN screen daily, but how long it takes will vary.

Approver

Requisition Total

Department Head/Director

$0 - $2,999.99

Vice President/Dean

$3,000 - $24,999.99

President

$25,000 - $99,999.99

Board of Curators

$100,000 +

 

  • How do you lookul the login code for the next approver?
    • In the Next Approver field type "...". You can then select the approver you need for you Requisition.

 

  • Why can OIT approve a requisition before a supervisor approval? Under what circumstances must individuals other than people in my department approve my requisitions?
    • As soon as someone puts in the login ID of a next approver and saves the requisition, the requisition will immediately go to the APRN box of that approver. An approval from OIT is an example of a policy class approval. This means that based on the account number of object code used, a specific person or department must approve this requisition.

 

  • Does it matter in what order the approver names are listed?
    • It does not matter what order the names are entered in the next approver fields. As soon as the login ID's are entered and the requisition is saved, the requisition will show up in their APRN box, ready for their approval.

      Hint: Requisition initiators should only put in the first GL class approver and all of the policy class approvers.

      Hint: Do not enter the next approvers until you have completely finished the requisition and are ready to mark it as done in the requisition done field. If you put the approvers in prior to completing the requisition, it will still go to them for approval.

 

  • Is there a way to stop the next approver when you have not finished inputting information on the system?
    • To prevent an approver from approving a requisition before you are finished inputting information, do not enter the next approver's login ID in the next approval list until you are sure that you are finished inputting data.

 

  • At what amounts are certain approvals needed for restricted funds?
    • All requisitions need an approval based on amount.

      All requisitions from restricted funds also need policy class approval.

 

  • Will all approvers get to see a requisition if a person with a policy class approval approves it first?
    • If a policy class approver approves a requistion prior to the GL class approver, the GL class approvers should still be able to see the requisition.

 

  • How can I make changes to a requisition after my supervisor has approved it? What can or can not be changed?
    • If a requisition has already been approved and you discover that you need to make changes to that requisition, you must first go into the requisition and delete out all of the approvals, then save and update that change. You then go back into the requisition, make the appropriate changes, and re-enter the next approvers. The requisition will need to be approved again by all approvers.

 

  • Will the system automatically send your Requisition to the approver based on the account number you use?
    • No, the system does not automatically send requisitions to approvers. The only way that a requisition gets sent to the next approver is by putting htat approver's login ID in the Next Appoval section on the REQM screen.

 

  • What happens if an approver is out?
    • If an approver is out for the a day, the requisition can wait until the approver returns. IF it is an emergency situation, the requisition could be forwarded to the next level approver. If an approver is out for several weeks, the approver can have OIT set up a designated replacement approver prior to leaving only for the dates they will be out.

 

  • How do I know that there are requisitions needing my approval?
    How often do I check to see if there are requisitions needing approval?
    • Each approver will know that he/she has requistions to approve by accessing the APRN (Approvals Needed) screen. This screen will show all the requisitions still waiting your approval to be processed further.
      You can check this screen as often as you would like, but it is recommended that you check the APRN screen at least once a day for more efficient processing of requisitions.

 

  • What happens if the approver wants to decrease the number of items on the requisiton or disapprove any part of the requisition?
    • The approver would disapprove the requisition and the initiator would have to revise the requisition and send it through for approval again. The approver can put comments as to why they disapproved the requisition in the comments field for the initiator to review when they bring up the requisition to revise it.

 

  • If the approver disapproves a requisition, how will the initiator know it has been disapproved?
    • This will mainly rely on communication between the approver and the initiator. The initiator can review the status of their requisitions on the RINQ screen. If a requisition has been approved, it will have an "Outstanding" status. It may be good practice to check on your requisition's status if you have concerns that it may not be approved. For departments that enter large numbers of requisitions, the UNRQ report also identifies requisitions which are not fully approved.

 

  • How will requisitions reach the upper levels of approvals needed for higher dollar requisitions?
    • The initiator will place the login code for the first level approver in the "next approver" field. The first level approver will enter their approval, and also enter the login code for the second level approver. Each approver will know if a requisition requires additional approvals and will put the appropriate next approver's login code in the "next approver" field. A requisition will not be processed until the proper level has approved the requisition.

Purchase Order Questions:

  • We have no way of knowing if a PO is created. Is there a way to automatically email us when Purchasing is done with a requisition?
    • Datatel does not have an email notification feature. By accessing the RINQ (Requisition Inquiry) screen, you will be able to determine the status of your requisition. The blue header box at the top of the RINQ screen will tell you what the status is. If you have questions regarding the status of your purchase order, please contact Purchasing.

 

  • Some companies want hard copies of PO's. Will departments receive a hard copy of the PO's? If not, how can we receive copies without talking to someone in purchasing?
    • All puchase orders are created, printed and mailed to the appropriate vendor by the Purchasing Department. If you have concerns regarding the purchase order information, it can be accessed online by using the RINQ (Requisition Inquiry), PINGQ (Purchase Order Inquiry), or BINQ (Blanket PO Inquiry) screens. If questions are received from the vendor, please refer them to the Purchasing Department.

 

  • How can I find a PO/BPO number if I do not know the requisition number?
    • There are various lookup shortcuts. Some of the most common are the search by initiator (in the LAST NAME OF INITIATOR) or by simply typing in the vendor name in the RINQ, PINQ, or BINQ inquiry screens.

 

  • What should I do if a Purchase Order needs to be increased or decreased?
    • If a Purchase Order needs to be INCREASED the following procedures should be followed:
      • Create a requisition as normal
      • Line item should state "Change Order increase to PO (or BPOD)#____. Then the reason the change is taking place, at the same level of detail as the PO or BPO
      • The total should reflect only the ammount that the PO or BPO is to be increased by.
      • Requisition should then be routed through the regular approval process.
    • If a Purchase Order needs to be DECREASED the following procedures should be followed:
      • Submit an email to purchasing@lincolnu.edu with all original approvers copied, stating:
        • the amount of the decrease
        • the desired amount of the PO or BPO after the change is made
        • the reason for the decrease, at the same level of detail as teh PO or BPO

 

  • Why does it take so long for PO/BPO's to be closed?
    • Purchase orders are automatically closed once all items ordered have been received and invoiced. Blanket Purchase Orders are closed once it is determined that all invoices are received from the vendor and payment has been made. If you feel that a PO or BPO is no longer needed and should be closed, please contact Purchasing or Accounts Payable.

 

  • Why are some requisitions turned into PO's instead of BPO's, so that they have to be recieved by the warehouse?
    • Requisitions for most Construction projects, ongoing projects, and instate travel reimbursements are turned into a BPO. Most other requisitions are turned into a PO. BPO's and PO's have different purposes and it is determined at the Purchasing Department as to which one to use.

 

  • What are the purchasing procedures, or where can I find them?
    • Purchasing procedures can be found on the Lincoln University Purchasing website.

Receiving Questions:

  • How can I check to see if items have been recieved on my PO?
    • To determine the status of an order, enter the requisition number in the RINQ screen and drill down to the PINQ screen by drilling down on the PO number found at the top right hand corner of the RINQ screen. From the PINQ screen, you will see the individual items listed at the bottom of the screen. Each line item will contain a status as follows:
      • Outstanding - item has been ordered, but not yet received.
      • Backordered - item is on backorder.
      • Received - item has been received in the warehouse, but not yet accepted by the department.
      • Accepted - item has been delivered to and accepted by the department.
      • Invoiced - item has been accepted, a voucher has been created, but a check has not been written.
      • Paid - item has been received, accepted, invoiced and a check had been issued to the vendor.
      • Reconciled - item has been paid and the check had cleared the bank.

 

  • How can I check on items that are missing from an order?
    • Contact the Warehouse regarding any items missing from your order or any items which may be on backorder.

Accounts Payable Questions:

  • How can I tell if a voucher has been entered on my PO?
    • If you have the PO/BPO number, proceed to the PINQ/BINQ screen and enter the PO/BPO number. At the top, right-hand corner of the PINQ/BINQ screen you will find the Voucher field. If the voucher field has a number in it, there has been a voucher created on this PO/BPO. If you wish to look at the voucher(s), use the drill down button to look at the detail of the voucher.

 

  • How can I tell if a check has been issued against my PO?
    • If you have the PO/BPO number, look up the PO/BPO by using the PINQ/BINQ screen. Drill down into the detail of the voucher that has been created on the PO/BPO. If you drill down on the detail of the vouchers for a PO, in the middle of VOUI screen you will find the check date, number and amount. If you drill down on the detail of the vouchers created along with the check date, number and amount.

 

  • How can I tell if more than one check has been issued from a single PO?
    • If there is more than one voucher number in the voucher field on the PO/BPO, this indicates that there may be more than one check issued. To get the additional vouchers, use the arrow keys to the right of the voucher field.

 

  • When does Accounts Payable process checks? What are the deadlines for submitting documentation?
    • Accounts Payable processes checks during the Fall and Spring semesters on Monday and Thursday. During the summer hours, checks are processed on Monday and Wednesday. The schedule may vary due to a holiday.
      The deadline for submitting documentation (including a BPO #) to Accounts Payable is 12:00 noon on the day that the checks are to be issued. Any check requests received after 12:00 noon on check day will be processed on the following check run date.
      Checks are disburshed at the Cashiers Office after 3:00 p.m. the day after the check run date (i.e If checks are run on Monday, they will be releashed after 3:00 p.m on Tuesday).

Travel Questions:

  • Why do travel reimbursement checks take so long to be issued?
    • Travel Expense vouchers are processed prior to every check run. If a requisition was created, a BPO assigned, and all the original receipts and documentation are attached to the Travel Expense Voucher with appropriate signatures there should not be any delay.
      Note: Requisitions should be created prior to the travel. Any excess funds allocated to the requisition will be returned to the department when the reimbursement is processed.

 

  • How are requisitions prepared for a cash advance?
    • To request a cash advance, you must initiate a requisition using the object code for cash advance (65500). The vendor name will be the name of the traveler.
  • What conditions must be met before I can receive a cash advance?
    • In order to receive a cash advance you must:
      • Be traveling with a group of students or be travelling internationally
      • Advance must be approved by your department
      • You must not have another outstanding cash advance
      • Submit a Request for Check Form to Accounts Payable

 

  • What do I need to do prior to traveling?
    • Prior to traveling you should:
      • obtain your supervisor's approval for the trip
      • create requisitions as needed for registrations, hotels, and reimbursements. Use estimated amounts.
      • complete the "Request for Check Form" and submit to Accounts Payable with backup documentation
    • After your trip is complete:
      • if a reimbursement is needed, complete the "Travel Expense Voucher" with all pertinent information filled in.

All forms can be found on the Lincoln University web site under Accounts Payable.

 

  • How can I find the per diem rates (meals and mileage) without calling Accounts Payable?
    • The per diem rates are located on the Lincoln University web site under the Controller's Office.

 

  • Who is our Travel Liaison or the person to whom travel questions should be addressed?
    • The Travel Liaison for Lincoln University is Becki Rockers. She can be reached by phone at 681-5079, fax at 681-5080 or email at rockersb@lincolnu.edu. The travel liaison coordinates all questions relative to airline travel. In her absence, you may also contact Tisha Huffer at 681-5084 or huffer@lincolnu.edu.

 

  • When a final reimbursement is required, why does the unused portion remain on account instead of going back to available funds?
    • If the travel expense voucher is marked "YES" on final expense voucher, the BPO/PO will be closed after the payment is made. If nothing is marked, Accounts Pyable will have to further analyze the travel expense voucher and BPO/PO to determine whether to close it. If you feel that your BPO/PO should have been closed and has not been, please notify Accounts Payable by email at ap@lincolnu.edu.
      As soon as a BPO/PO is closed the unused portion will go back into available funds.

 

  • What is the proper procedure if I incure more expenses while traveling then were approved on my travel requisition?
    • If upon return or prior to your trip you realize that the trip cost will be more than you originally requisitioned, a new requisition should be entered for the additional cost incurred. Please remember the following hintes when doing this:
      • If the additional cost of the trip is less than 10% of the original estimate requisitioned, then no additional paperwork needs to be done. Accounts Payable can override small amounts if they are approved by the department. (i.e. If the original cost of the trip was $895 and I incurred additional incidentals of $25, no additional paperwork needs to be done).
      • If there is a need to do another requisition to increase the original one entered, please reference the original requisition number, purchase order number, or blanket purchase order number in the description on the new requisition.