VPF Statement - December 2011

Welcoming the New Vice President for Finance

Michael W. Howard began as MIT's Vice President for Finance on Monday, December 5.

Mike comes to MIT after many successful finance and operations positions at both Deloitte Consulting and Fidelity Investments. He is excited to return to MIT as he completed his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. Mike later received his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Read the official MIT announcement.

New Procurement Card (ProCard) Application Process

The process for acquiring an MIT Procurement Card (ProCard) has recently been enhanced to ensure a rapid turnaround time for applicants. The new process includes updated application forms, a web-based training class, and forms that can be emailed between the applicant and approver for digital signatures.

The new process begins by completing a two-page electronic application (PDF) that requires input from both verifiers and approvers. Subsequent steps, including the online training class, are accessible through links embedded within the application. After completing the required steps, a ProCard will be sent to the applicant's campus address for activation.

Completed applications, including the Administrative Officer's or primary authorizer's approval signature for both the primary and secondary cost objects, should be emailed to the Procurement Card Administrator.

Using the ProCard

The ProCard is an easy way to make small dollar purchases on behalf of MIT. It does not change any of the normal guidelines for good purchasing practice in accordance with MIT Sourcing and Procurement Policies and Procedures. The ProCard restrictions are listed in the cardholder responsibilities section.

Use it just as you would a personal credit card, except that this card is exclusively for MIT purchases. All charges made will be paid by MIT and charged to your specified cost object(s). You may buy things in person, by phone, mail or fax.

MIT is exempt from paying Massachusetts state sales tax on goods and services and also has sales tax exemptions in many (but not all) states. Visit the Sourcing and Procurement website for specific rules and printable sales tax exemption forms for Massachusetts and other states.

Posting Unallowable Expenses to WBS in SAP

New system controls within SAP will now prohibit posting specific unallowable general ledger (G/L) expenses to WBS cost objects in all SAP financial transactions (e.g., RFP’s, credit cards, PO invoice payments, and JV’s). Previously, SAP permitted posting unallowable expenses to WBS cost objects and required journal vouchers to correct the account. By validating expenses at the time of entry, SAP will limit the number of journal voucher corrections that are required, especially during account closeout.

There are 10 unallowable G/L numbers that will be affected by this recent change:

G/L #

G/L Name


Travel - Unallowable Cost




Miscellaneous Receipts (Not MTDC)


Non-Reimbursable Expenses


Promotional & Memorabilia


Public Relations




Recreation Related Expenses


Memberships & Social


Swept Credit Card Charges

Attempting to transfer or post an unallowable G/L to a WBS will prompt this error message, "This unallowable G/L [name] cannot be used on the WBS [name]."

At MIT, WBS cost objects are always associated with sponsored fund and research accounts, and by implementing these new controls within SAP, the system will automatically enforce MIT's long-standing internal control structure and assure compliance with sponsor requirements.

Special Workflow: Journal Vouchers for Correcting Unallowable Expense Postings

A special workflow will temporarily be required until previous unallowable postings are filtered through the system. The G/L Accounting and Reporting group apologizes for the inconvenience.

The new system controls will not permit the use of unallowable expense G/L's on WBS cost objects; therefore, to correct any previously posted entries, please use an allowable G/L on the credit side of the entry, correcting the WBS, and include the following detailed comment at the top of the long text explanation box:

"Lines 'abc' and 'def' are to correct a previously posted unallowable expense using general ledger account: 42xxxx."

Journal vouchers that include detailed notation will be resolved by the JV approver before posting. The JV approver will replace the unallowable G/L with the allowable G/L to ensure the unallowable expense is removed from the WBS.

For specific examples of this special workflow, visit the G/L Accounting and Reporting website (PDF).

Questions & Help Resources

Please contact VPF G/L Accounting and Reporting if you have questions or would like assistance.

Purchase your office supplies from MIT partner supplier Staples

MIT partner supplier Staples continues to work closely with MIT Sourcing and Procurement to provide discounted rates and dedicated account management in meeting the office supply needs of the MIT community.

MIT community members may take advantage of the MIT discount by purchasing Staples products through the eCat ordering system.

As the sole provider of office supplies to MIT, Staples is focused on providing services tailored to MIT's needs. A Staples account manager is located on campus and available to answer questions and provide assistance. Staples also provides next-day delivery to MIT of in-stock products for which purchase orders are issued by 4 pm.

In support of the broader MIT mission, Staples also has partnered with the MIT Sustainability Program to develop and adopt more environmentally sustainable delivery methods.

Please contact our Sourcing and Procurement team ( procurement@mit.edu, 617-253-7241 ) with questions about the MIT-Staples agreement or about any of MIT's partner and preferred vendors.

MIT's Local Hotel Rates for 2012

MIT's discounted rates for local hotels accepted into MIT's preferred and partner vendor program have been published for 2012. A complete listing of rates by season can be found on the VPF Travel Vendor website.


  • Le Meridien at MIT has returned to the program after a brief hiatus in 2011.
  • The Kendall Hotel is once again offering MIT guests a complimentary breakfast, a pass to FitCorp, and hosted receptions (Mon-Thu).
  • Discounted rates may be utilized for personal travel and for your friends and family visiting MIT.

All of the negotiated rates are extremely competitive and include complimentary Internet; a number of the hotels are also offering "LRA" (last room availability) at the offered MIT rate among other amenities.

If you have questions regarding our partner hotels in the area, please contact VPF Procurement Specialist Jimmy Kontoravdis.

Select Electronic Delivery of W-2

Faculty, staff, and student employees may elect electronic-only delivery of their 2011 W-2 tax forms through SAPweb Employee Self Service (SAPweb ESS). If you provided consent last year, you do not need to take any action.

The eW-2 service provides numerous benefits over paper W-2s, including:

  • Ease of access
  • Available sooner
  • More secure
  • Access to archived W-2s, currently back to 2009

The eW-2 service directly supports MIT's efforts to reduce paper consumption and become more environmentally sustainable.

Procurement Card FAQ:

Q: Can I use the Procurement Card for travel-related purchases?

A: No. The Procurement Card cannot be used for travel-related purchases. The purchase will be blocked at the point of sale for hotel and airline transactions. All travel-related purchases should be done using the MIT Travel Card. Please contact the travel team for additional details.

To learn more about the ProCard, Travel Card, and other purchasing methods, please visit the VPF website.

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