VPF Statement - September 2011

WBS Closeout Process Improvements

In an effort to address community feedback, Sponsored Accounting implemented an improved WBS closeout process on Sept. 1, 2011. Under the new process, administrators will receive standardized emails following the final account audit. The email will serve as the closeout notice and will outline audit findings that require DLC attention before the account can be closed.

By standardizing the closeout notification, Sponsored Accounting will ensure consistency in the timing and presentation of closeout information. DLCs will be able to quickly address items like unallowable expenses, under/over spending, open purchase orders and other pertinent audit findings.

As before, DLCs can begin the closeout process prior to receiving notification from Sponsored Accounting. When an account is ready to be closed early, you can contact Sponsored Accounting at wbscloseout@mit.edu to initiate the closeout.

New Process Timeline

Once an account audit is completed, a Sponsored Accounting representative will email DLC staff members and outline any outstanding actions that are required before closeout. The DLC will have ten business days to respond to the initial email. If there is no response, a second email will be sent indicating that the account will be closed in five business days. Sponsored Accounting will make every attempt to send the initial email within thirty days after the account has expired.

If there is no response to the second email in five business days, Sponsored Accounting will allocate any outstanding expenses to a DLC general or discretionary account. If an account is going to be charged, you will receive notification in advance. Once all issues are resolved, a Sponsored Accounting representative will prepare the necessary documents and work with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and the sponsor to complete the final financial reporting and closeout process.

Link to the WBS Closeout Process >>

Ongoing Compliance Efforts

Improvements to the WBS closeout process are part of an ongoing effort to adhere to our sponsors' contractual requirements. Final reports on sponsored projects are generally due 90 days after the end of the project and Sponsored Accounting is committed to achieving 100% timely closeouts.

Please feel free to contact Pam Schickling, Manager of Sponsored Accounting, directly at 617-253-7399 or pamelas@mit.edu if you would like additional information or if you have any questions.

Service and Reliability: Standard with VPF Accounts Payable

The Accounts Payable (AP) team works behind the scenes to support all of the experiments, innovations, and discoveries at MIT. By ensuring accurate and timely payments, AP plays an important role in keeping many activities of the Institute moving forward.

AP is responsible for processing vendor payments, travel reimbursements, independent contractor payments, and more. In fiscal-year 2011, the number of unique invoices and Requests for Payments (RFPs) processed through AP exceeded 275,000. That is the equivalent of 754 transactions per day.

Today, over half of those transactions are managed and monitored electronically. AP has adopted sophisticated digital tools to streamline the buy-to-pay process that supports MIT travelers, vendors and out of pocket expense reimbursements.


Creating New Cost Objects: G/L Team Takes Over Role

VPF General Ledger Operations and Reporting (G/L) assumed responsibility for creating Non-Sponsored funds on Sept. 1, 2011. Previously, these accounts were created by the Office of Sponsored Programs.

This change better aligns the creation of cost objects with subject-matter experts and streamlines overall workflow.

Master Data Requests

Please send master data request forms to the following:

MIT Cost Object Category

Cost Object Type



Cost center



Cost center


Fund (Gifts)

Internal order


Fund (Non-Sponsored)

Internal order


Fund (Sponsored)

WBS element

Your OSP Administrator

Sponsored Research

WBS element

Your OSP Administrator

Balance Sheet

Internal order


*OSP Administrator information is available on the OSP website.

If you are uncertain as to what type of cost object you need, please contact vpf-cost-objects@mit.edu.

International Shipping Resource

Do you know what's required to successfully ship something to another country – or to receive something shipped to you from another country?

You can become better informed and get the answers to at least some of your questions in a new international shipping web portal. Be sure to bookmark the site for the next time you find yourself dealing with exports or imports.

The website is a compilation of information put together by a cross-functional team: Susan Boster (Mail Services), Damual Greaves (Insurance), Dan Kallin, Shana MacDonald, and Carolyn Stahl (all EHS), and Sara Malconian (Procurement).

Time to Select Delivery Preference for eW-2s

Faculty, staff, and student employees as of Sept. 1 will be able to select electronic-only delivery of their 2011 W-2 tax forms through an online form in SAPweb Employee Self Service (SAPweb ESS). Note: If you provided consent last year, you do not need to take any action.

After the launch of MIT's eW-2 service last fall, all MIT employees receive electronic W-2s. The eW-2 service provides numerous benefits over paper W-2s, including:

  • Ease of access
  • Available sooner
  • Email when eW-2 is available
  • Eliminates delay due to printing and mailing
  • More secure
  • Access from anywhere with Internet connection, web browser, and MIT web certificate
  • Access to archived W-2s, currently back to 2009

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

As a result of an Internal Revenue Service requirement, however, members of the community must manually consent to electronic-only delivery in order for MIT to stop providing a paper W-2 and to realize the full sustainability benefits of the service.

Members of the community may provide their consent from Sept. 1 through early January, a few days prior to the scheduled distribution of the W-2s.

Select electronic-only W-2s >>

MIT Vendor Fair, Sept. 22 - Save the Date

The MIT Vendor Fair this year will feature dozens of vendors providing products and services to MIT and will showcase opportunities for simplifying and expediting the purchasing process.

The Fair will be held Sept. 22, 9 am – 2 pm, under a tent in McDermott Court, adjacent to Building 54.

The Fair comes as VPF Sourcing and Procurement continues to make progress in improving the buy-pay experience at MIT and in securing relationships with vendors best suited to meeting the needs of the MIT community.

Mark your calendars for this important annual event and look out for upcoming communications highlighting the vendors that will be present.

VPF Training Classes

VPF will be hosting intro training classes in the fall. Follow the course links below for details and to register.

In addition to the above courses, Concur drop-in sessions are available every Wednesday, 10 - 11am in NE49-3100. For more information, contact travelsupport@mit.edu.

MIT HR Introduces PensionConnect

PensionConnect is a new website designed to help you understand your MIT pension benefits and make plans for the future.

Whether you are ready to retire or just want to estimate your future retirement income, this tool is an excellent resource.

The Pension Estimator and the Retirement Modeler tools, both available through the website, allow employees to predict retirement earnings under a variety of scenarios.

Accounts Payable FAQ
Q: Can I sign for my own reimbursement ?

A: No. Someone other than the individual getting reimbursed must sign reimbursements. Make sure the signer of invoice/request is authorized in the Roles Database for invoice approval.

Important Links