Please see the December 2008 Statement Message -- Just Released >>

1. Team begins work to automate Request for Payments (RFP) via SAPWeb
2. Business Travel Accident Insurance and International Travel Assistance Services
3. Tax treaty table now online—Could affect international students and visiting scholars
4. Reminder: Petty cash no longer reimbursed at time of drop-off
5. Shipping update: Open account with Federal Express before January 30
6. Slides from VPF Community Forum available online
7. VPF Points of Interest
8. Links and Contact Information – When You Need Help

1. Team begins work to automate Request for Payments (RFP) via SAPWeb

The SAPWeb RFP Project, which will automate the processing of an estimated 50,000 RFPs annually, was formally launched December 2. The project will allow members of the community to input data through SAPWeb, with an electronic workflow for approvals and routing to Accounts Payable for processing. The project represents another effort by the VPF and our partners in the MIT community to streamline processes and save time for our end users in the DLCs.

Under the automated system, reimbursements will be handled through direct deposit for MIT faculty and staff. The new process will eliminate the need to hand carry forms and checks and will expedite processing and reimbursement of funds. The project team is setting up a DLC users group to advise the team and assure the needs of the community needs are met. Project completion is targeted for the fall of 2009. If you are interested in additional information, please contact Senior Accounting Officer John Larkin,

2. Business Travel Accident Insurance and International Travel Assistance Services

Domestic and international travel is vital to MIT’s mission, and as such MIT faculty, staff, and students traveling on MIT business have significant catastrophic benefits under MIT’s Business Travel Accident Insurance policy.

Moreover, MIT has supplemented the coverage extended under the business travel accident insurance policy by contracting with International SOS to provide travel assistance services to the MIT community. The most significant service extended under this agreement is security evacuation assistance.

Please see a summary of MIT’s Business Travel Accident Insurance.

See MIT’s custom portal on the International SOS website (MIT certificate required) for covered services and services available for an additional fee.

We encourage you to contact Insurance, 3-2823, should you have any questions concerning MIT travel insurance coverage and services.

3. Tax treaty table now online—Could affect international students and visiting scholars

Many international students and visiting scholars are eligible for coverage by a tax treaty, which reduces payroll taxes. A list of countries that have tax treaties with the U.S. is now available on the VPF Payroll website.

The application of tax treaty coverage is not automatic. Eligible students and International Scholars must complete the appropriate forms, which are available at the Payroll Office, NE49-3131. If you are unsure of your eligibility for coverage by a tax treaty, please email with your name, MIT ID, and country of tax residence.

4. Reminder: Petty cash no longer reimbursed at time of drop-off

As the VPF works to make policies and procedures more efficient and more user friendly, it seems appropriate on occasion to include a reminder in the statement message about changes that have already taken place. Considering its importance to members of the community, the process for obtaining petty cash seems worthy of a reminder. It changed September 17, 2007. As of that date, the VPF no longer provided petty cash reimbursement at the time of drop-off. Instead, the procedure was and is as follows:

  • Send the Petty Cash Envelope through inter-office mail to Accounts Payable’s Janet Mulstay, NE49-4064. Make sure to include all your receipts and code the costs to the proper GL accounts.
  • Upon review of the receipts and charges, you will be notified via email that your reimbursement money is ready for pick up at the Cashier’s Office. Please allow 3-5 days for reimbursement.
  • If you elect to drop off your Petty Cash Envelope at the Cashier’s Office, you WILL NOT receive reimbursement at that time; you will be notified when the money is ready for pick up.

With these procedures in place, Accounts Payable asks that you please make sure you have sufficient funds in your petty cash fund to cover any reimbursements that you will need to make in the 3-5 day reimbursement window. Also, please note that there are other means for reimbursement that all DLCs should be reviewing and evaluating:

MIT Procurement Credit Card
The MIT Procurement Credit Card can be used for general office use postage stamps, miscellaneous supplies, and food for meetings, etc. Please see the following web page to determine if some, if not all, of your petty cash reimbursements could in fact be Procurement Credit Card purchases. More>>

Request for Payments
DLCs can also consolidate many of the same type of purchases made by an individual into a Request for Payment.

5. Shipping update: Open account with Federal Express before January 30

As reported previously, Federal Express is now MIT’s preferred supplier for express shipping under a contract between FedEx and the Educational and Institutional Cooperative (E&I), the largest higher educational buying organization group in the country. The contract carries rates at competitive levels never before offered. View sample prices:

In previous communications, we reported that DLCs could continue to use DHL for shipping needs in light of the shipper’s longstanding relationship with MIT. DHL recently announced, however, that it would discontinue domestic shipping on January 30, 2009. As a result, DLCs need to set up an account with FedEx. Please note:

  • The recommended payment process for FedEx is the MIT Procurement Card. If that is not an option, a blanket purchase order will be required.
  • If you already have an account with FedEx, you do not need to take any action. FedEx has loaded the new pricing into all existing accounts.
  • If you are a new customer with FedEx, please set up an account at the E&I web site>>

If you would like to continue doing business with DHL for international shipments, the process will remain the same. Air bills should be created on the Smartship web site and invoices will continue to be posted electronically to the designated cost center.

6. Slides from VPF Community Forum available online

More than 100 people representing areas across MIT attended our very first VPF Community Forum, December 9, in the Bush Room. Successor to the Brown Bag Lunches we formerly held, the forum is an important opportunity for dialogue over how the VPF can improve services to the MIT community and how the VPF and DLCs can work together to support MIT’s overall mission.

The December forum featured presentations on the VPF approach to building partnerships across MIT, VPF process improvement projects, initiatives concerning payroll, and the MIT Training Alignment Team.

Look for details on the next VPF Community Forum in the December Statement Message. Download the slides from the December forum:

7. VPF Points of Interest

  • Travel Notes: The reimbursement rate for using personally owned vehicles for official MIT business travel is slated to decline from $0.58 per mile to $0.55 per mile as of January 1, 2009. For travel started prior to that date and completed after it, the higher mileage rate will be reimbursed for the entire trip. … MIT is finalizing new negotiated rates with our partner hotels. Look for details on the VPF web site by the end of the year and in the next Statement Message. … MIT Card Services provides a passport photo service to members of the MIT community. A sheet with two photographs, each measuring 2” x 2”, costs $7 and only takes a few minutes to print out. Obtaining your photo this way offers an additional benefit of one-stop shopping, since the entire passport application can be dropped off down the hall from Card Services at the U.S. Post Office. More>>
  • A Full-Service Connection: If you have ordered products through GovConnection, you know MIT receives a high level of service from the representatives assigned to us. What perhaps you don’t know is that GovConnection is more than just a vehicle for processing MIT orders. Our representatives advocate on behalf of MIT buyers in disputes with vendors. They can also use GovConnection’s buying power to help with a purchase through a vendor not listed on their website. So, before you look elsewhere for product purchases, we recommend you check out GovConnection. You can access the web site though SAPWeb, and we encourage you to contact the MIT representative listed on the website to discuss options for custom orders. Launch SAPWeb>>
  • Gift Policy: The VPF is refining the MIT policy concerning the acceptance of gifts and gratuities by MIT employees. The refined policy should be announced within the next few months. In the meantime, with the holidays upon us, we ask you to remember that MIT and federal policies (in connection with sponsored research) prohibit the acceptance of gifts or gratuities from any supplier or prospective supplier during this holiday season or at any other time. The goal of these policies in short is to ensure that authorized agents of MIT – that is, anyone who selects or approves a vendor for a PO or a request for payment – are not compromised in making purchasing decisions.

8. Links and Contact Information – When You Need Help

Web Links


Web address

VPF Home Page

Accounts Payable

Accounts Receivable

Budget, Finance & Treasury


Controller & Accounting Services

General Ledger Operations & Reporting


Journal Vouchers

Lincoln Fiscal

Controller & Accounting Services




Sponsored Projects Accounting



Contact Information

Financial Area



Credit card payments

Department of Facilities billing

General ledger account changes & closeout of internal orders

Information Services and Technology billing (incl. telephone & network)

Journal vouchers


  • Timesheets
  • eSDS and eDACCA
  • HR-Payroll forms
  • Student Personnel Action Form
  • Payroll Data Warehouse reports
  • Authorizations/Roles Database



  • Procurement Card
  • Purchasing Initiative
  • Purchasing issues (general)
  • Purchase order closeouts


Sponsored billing

Under-recovery of F&A