Presentation on theme: "Stipend Payment Process 2013 Academic Appointments Workshop Dora Blair/Emily Murphy May 8, 2013."— Presentation transcript:
Stipend Payment Process 2013 Academic Appointments Workshop Dora Blair/Emily Murphy May 8, 2013
Stipend Payment Process For every academic appointment, even extensions, the same process is required which takes approximately six weeks.
Why Six Weeks to Process… The unit submits the Academic Appointment Form (AAF/SI-3790A) -formerly Stipend Information Form- to OFI. Any package received with less than a six week processing time must be accompanied by the Stipend Date Waiver. OFI’s Stipend Date Waiver was created to discourage late paperwork, as well as, to help notify unit directors of this important issue. Six weeks is still required to process, but the waiver allows us to accept your package.
Why Six Weeks to Process… OFI reviews and approves (or deny when applicable) the AAF/SI-3790A package then prepares and electronically forwards an award package to the recipient. Intern/Fellow Coordinators, as well as, Mentors/Advisors are copied on the package to stipend recipients. Award recipient reviews package and returns required paperwork to OFI acknowledging acceptance of the award. Award recipient is normally given two weeks to return all of the required paperwork, but any delay on their end extends the process from the normal six weeks.
Why Six Weeks to Process… Once OFI receives all of the required paperwork, OFI completes appropriate vendor enrollment and tax forms for submission to OC/Vendor Maintenance (OC/VM). For proper tax reporting, OFI must work with OC/VM to update the appointment dates, award amount, and vendor record type of each academic appointment (even extensions). Please note that non-US residents must first check-in, which can be done electronically, before we can complete this paperwork so awaiting the check-in may extend the process.
Why Six Weeks to Process… Once the vendor record is created or updated, OFI must create a purchase order to obligate the funds identified for the award. FYI – OFI must send awards over $75k to OCon to budget check so this may delay the process. OFI creates a payment schedule for each award which is submitted to OC/Accounts Payable (OC/AP) for processing.
Why Six Weeks to Process… OC/AP sets up the payment to begin on the next scheduled date. Please note that as of Oct 2012, stipend payments are only released on the 10 th and 25 th of each month. Stipend recipients will see the payment in their accounts a few days later. ALL payments must be issued during the appropriate award period and tax year so retroactive stipend payments cannot be processed.
Main Reasons for Delay… Signed award agreement nor required documentation not returned Health insurance enrollment forms need to be received as soon as possible after an appointee begins their appointment. Health premium deductions affect payments, and in order to ensure accurate payments, we prefer to schedule payments only after enrollment has been decided. Non-U.S. stipend recipients return paperwork, but neglect to check-in (in person nor electronically) OFI is provided incorrect/invalid chartfields FYI-OFI does not have access to unit funding nor terms of unit grants.
Most Common Questions… I would like to provide additional funds for the remainder of the original award. What do I need to do? Submit Section III of the Academic Appointment Form (AAF/SI- 3790A) –with required signatures - to OFI, but don’t’ forget the six-week processing time. Can fellows use unit funds to purchase non-SI health insurance? Yes, unit funds can be used to purchase non-SI health insurance, but the unit must include a note on the AAF/SI- 3790A indicating that funds are to be released to fellow for that purpose. Our unit has received some additional funds so we would like to provide our unpaid intern with a stipend. Can we do this? Yes, as long as you allow six weeks for processing the stipend and you do not want to issue retroactive payments.
Responses to Survey What is your biggest frustration with processing academic appointments? There are a number of policies in place regarding salary level, kind of work that is acceptable for academic appointments, eligibility criteria and acceptable types of visa. At the moment these are not clearly laid out in one place, but if they are going to be enforced uniformly, the information needs to be readily accessible to everyone involved, including potential fellows in the case of the visa situation. The lack of interface with the payroll system, or accounting system since we are not paying a salary but a stipend. This year, at this precise moment, I do not know if I have a budget with which to pay stipends and I am taking it one day at a time. This is problematic in many ways, but most painful in my need to have a brief period of time between selection and appointment. OFI doesn't pay stipends on time.
Responses to Survey What is the most helpful tool OFI has provided to make this process easier? A commitment to issuing stipends within a specified period after paperwork is submitted.
Responses to Survey Is it clear what needs to be submitted to OFI in order to pay a stipend? If no, please explain: NoAgain, i say 'no' but it's more of a sort of. Seems like the old list of what to include with the stipend form is outdated so it's not clear what paperwork needs to go with it. NoWe do not offer paid internships, so I do not have experience with this step in the process. NoI thought all this could be done through SOLAA - but that is not the case. NoI still don't quite understand how to get a stipend paid to a foreign scholar upon their arrival at the Smithsonian. What do they need to do to check-in in advance? NoI think the form has been updated? Also, the form requires several parts that are not listed in chronological order and I have forgotten certain pieces. I believe the form requires a statement of work from the supervisor, but it is not listed clearly. NoOnly the problem with terminology noted previously. NoNo matter how hard you try, it is impossible to submit paperwork that OFI accepts. Fellows and mentors both experience this.
Responses to Survey What is your biggest concern/hurdle when it comes to stipends? Reminding folks that in-kind support for housing must be included on the form. not being able to submit it all online. seems sort of counter-productive that i've had to enter all the info online, but still have to print and interoffice it to OFI. Getting them submitted 6 weeks prior! Especially a renewal. Often renewals come late in the process. If folks knew 6 weeks prior, they'd generally include as part of the initial award. Unnecessarily rigid stipend limits that do not take field-specific circumstances into consideration. that you receive the information and can act on it - that nothing is left out that holds things up See previous page. If I don't find out whether or not I have funding to pay until the end of April, I cannot meet your 6 week advance notice in order for the stipend to be processed. This is very problematic. The process is onerous and punitive. It seems to have gotten worse as other things within the OFI have gotten easier. That they are paid on time and folks get their initial payments immediately upon arrival. Raising money for it. The processing time for six weeks Getting money to these poor folks in a timely manner. I'm very hopeful that all will work well this year. OFI has, on numerous occasions, "lost" the paperwork faxed by fellows or claimed to not have received it despite sending confirmation of having received it. Also, outright incorrect information supplied by OFI. For example, telling Fellows that they must accept SI health insurance if they want the $3000 health supplement. This is simply not true.
Responses to Survey Please feel free to add any additional comments or suggestions here: All OFI staff are very customer oriented, and responsive. "The new processes (except SOLAA) are all headed in the right direction but the learning curve is very painful, especially on Coordinators who generally have to take on the extra work AND extra grief from staff. I have been very impressed this year with the new website, the newsletter, and I think the fact that you are soliciting feedback is great. Staff at OFI have always been cheerfully willing to answer any questions I have. They have certainly made it easier to understand the new registration process, and Eric's explanations at various coordinator meetings have been crystal clear. I greatly appreciate everyone's openness, patience and empathy as we try to meet the new guidelines and understand the reasoning behind them. Thanks, all. I am glad you are on the trajectory to have more staff. Now, let's improve the stipend process using some lean principles. I have rated overall experience as "awful" based on the past few years. After this summer, I hope to change that to wonderful. OFI staff always seem well-meaning, respond quickly, and try to help.
Important Year-End Deadlines Aug 12 th – Last day to submit AAF/SI-3790A to OFI for stipend appointments with FY13 payment. Sept 13 th – Last day OFI can submit purchase orders over $75k to Ocon to budget check by Sept 30 th. Please note that these stipend recipients will not be paid until October/FY14. Sept 24 th – Last day OFI can budget check purchase orders up to $75k in ERP Sept 24 th – Last day OFI can submit payment schedules to OC for payment in September.