The mission of Penn State College of Medicine Finance and Business team is to provide financial services to the organization in the most efficient and accurate manner, while keeping customer service the top priority.
The College Finance group works in conjunction with Penn State Finance and Business in University Park.
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The administrative Office of College Finance and Business is located in Room C1607 in the College of Medicine.
Transactions requiring assistance or signature from key financial leaders are triaged through this office. Additional duties include College of Medicine legal services, University Floating Permit and Main Campus permits for parking, any request for exception to policy and deposits for the College of Medicine.
Located at the Hershey Consolidated Building on Granada Avenue in downtown Hershey, the Controller’s Office is responsible for payroll, accounts payable and research accounting for Penn State College of Medicine.
The Office of Research Affairs and the Controller’s Office work together to provide post-award functions for sponsored projects.
The Penn State College of Medicine bursar is Bonnie Moody.
Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-531-0003, ext. 284116, or in the office from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
- Tuition is paid through LionPath.
- A current schedule of tuition rates is available through the University Budget Office. Other fees, such as an information technology fee, may apply.
- Full tuition information is available through the Office of the Bursar at University Park.
- See the University tuition refund policy through the Bursar’s Office.
- Learn more about health insurance for College of Medicine students, including insurance requirements, through University Student Affairs.
Transition to SIMBA
Penn State has selected the SAP S/4HANA business system to replace its financial and other integrated systems, including Penn State’s legacy Integrated Business Information System (IBIS).
Penn State has the following strategic goals for the SIMBA project:
- Streamline arcane and inefficient business processes
- Create better business practices
- Leverage what is currently working
- Maximize robust SAP S/4HANA reporting and analytics tools to provide the institution better data
The mission of the SIMBA project is to support and advance Penn State’s teaching, research and service missions. The outcome will provide superior financial, budget, planning, and operational services through efficient, innovative, value-added processes and dynamic, real-time reporting.
The SIMBA solution will provide an intuitive solution to effectively plan, budget, manage and steward Penn State’s assets and resources to meet the expectations of internal and external stakeholders.
The University has training resources available to help with the SIMBA transition.
Users can register for SIMBA 101 via the Learning Resource Network. SIMBA 101 is a self-paced, online course that provides a solid foundation focusing on core SIMBA financial concepts before the more in-depth training that is to come. The course contains foundational information to read and watch, with a few simple knowledge checks along the way.
Support and Reference Materials
SIMBA Support and Reference Materials are available on the University’s SIMBA Resources page. Resources currently include simulations offering a demo and practice mode, an IBIS-SIMBA Terminology Crosswalk, glossaries and more. New items are added regularly, so users are advised to check back often.
The College of Medicine SIMBA Task Force is holding a weekly virtual forum via Zoom every Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. to help navigate this new system. Details on upcoming sessions are listed here. Click each one to see the Zoom link and add it to a calendar.
The transition to SIMBA is a significant change. It is normal to have questions and feelings of unease while going through the trainings and getting acclimated with the new system.
The College of Medicine SIMBA team is here to help. College of Medicine employees should contact COM_SIMBA@pennstatehealth.psu.edu instead of the SIMBA team at University Park.
University Park SIMBA FAQs
The University has posted answers to many questions about the SIMBA transition on its SIMBA website.
College of Medicine SIMBA FAQs
The College of Medicine will be posting answers to COM-specific SIMBA questions as they are received. Click the plus sign next to any question to see the answer.
Reach the College of Medicine SIMBA team at COM_SIMBA@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.
Note: Those emailing the COM SIMBA address should copy their department’s financial analyst on any correspondence.
COM SIMBA Task Force Members
- Michael Andre (Penn State)
- Erica Barley
- Ben Brewer
- Misti Dotts
- Shanda Graby
- Debbie Meder (Penn State)
- Aravind Menon
- Erlee Meyers
- Kim Schaeffer
- Jay Shoen
- Marc Startoni
- Adam Walter
Using the Integrated Business Information System (IBIS)
Access to IBIS
The Access and Security Representative will work with University Administrative Information Services (AIS) to complete the access request process. AIS is allowed up to two weeks to process the request once it is received.
Cara Coulson keeps tokens on hand for employees. They are $25 and are charged to the budget by IDCC.
The Help Desk has personnel trained to assist in installation of these systems. In most cases, individual users cannot install new software; this must be done by the Help Desk.
Finding out if IBIS is down
To see if IBIS is down, call the University AIS Help Desk at 814-863-2276. The first recorded message will state whether all systems are operational.
For assistance with a lost password, call the University AIS Help Desk at 814-863-2276.
The finance and business team conducts one-on-one trainings for IBIS and its partner, the Financial Information Tool (FIT). This training usually takes two hours.
Information Extraction from IBIS
FIT was created to allow University personnel to view all financial information in IBIS. This software also provides the capability to export the information to Excel.
Information can be requested by account or by cost center. For complex areas (many cost centers, accounts, divisions), access can be requested to use the Data Warehouse. This involves a good understanding of Microsoft Access to link with the Data Warehouse and run queries on the information.
Permanent and Temporary Budgets
A permanent budget (IBDA or PBDA) is one that continues from year to year. A temporary budget is for a limited time. Either of these items would be included in the current carry-over dollars.
Any salary savings remain within the department to offset other salaries or other costs.
Indirect Cost (IDC) Recovery
IDC return or recovery is equal to 15 percent of the previous fiscal year’s total indirect cost returned to the department that was generated by the department’s faculty member.
However, if the faculty member is also a member of Penn State Cancer Institute or Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute, and has grants/contracts identified as institute grants/contracts, 16 percent of the previous year’s total indirect costs are returned, with 8 percent returned to the institute and 8 percent returned to the faculty member’s home department.
Capital equipment (equipment $5,000 and greater) is recorded in IBIS and the College of Medicine fixed asset system at cost, and depreciated over the useful life of the equipment.
The Manager of Accounting Control receives a report each month that details all of the items paid for that month with object code 710 for review. Equipment that qualifies as capital is entered into the property records and a tag is issued and sent to the department to be put on the piece of equipment.
Being Over Budget
The IBIS system is set up to permit spending up to the amount of the approved permanent and temporary budget. If that amount is reached prior to the end of the year, electronic documents will not be able to be processed. Any overexpenditures are covered by a transfer from the department’s Academic Enrichment Funds in Reserve (AEF reserves).
A semi-annual inventory of capital equipment is required by the Federal DCAA auditors. However, if the College anticipates an audit of its fixed assets, it may request inventory.
For electronic devices such as PCs, external hard drives, software, etc., University internal auditors require an annual audit due to the equipment mobility, unauthorized uses, data protection issues and frequency of purchase.
Federal regulations require that a physical inventory of capital equipment be taken at least every two years. The University must be able to demonstrate to federal auditors that its property records are accurate, and that the capital equipment listed in those records actually exists and is usable.
A list of each department’s capital equipment, as stated in the University’s property records, plus an inventory verification form to be completed and signed, are sent to each department for them to take the physical inventory. Once completed, all are returned to the Manager of Accounting Control for review and update of the University’s property records.
Faculty Effort Reporting
Faculty effort is the faculty member’s estimated amount of time they devote to each research project, teaching duty, administrative duty or other function over a fiscal year. Effort must be expressed in percentages, not hours, and total effort must add up to and not exceed 100 percent. Effort must be confirmed by the faculty member at least annually, or more often as duties change. Effort also determines the amount of salary is charged to specific budgets.
IBIS RAPP forms must be completed with the new salary not less than the NIH minimum.
Salary Increase Approvals
If requests were within the allocation amount and did not need approval from the Associate Vice President for Finance and Business, then salary increases in the budget would be for the amounts requested. Any approval requests should receive a response from the Associate Vice President.
When setting up budgets for new awards:
- Use function code 217 for awards that are gifts, education, training or fellowships.
- Use function code 417 for awards that are research (externally or internally funded).
- Use function code 517 for industry-sponsored pharmaceutical agreements.
Fringe and Overhead Charge/Credit Postings</4>
Fringe and overhead post on a weekly basis on all actual details that have completely resolved and posted. The procedure runs overnight each Friday. For expenses sitting on CRFN at the time of fringe and overhead posting, the applicable fringe and overhead detail will go to CRFN as well.
Changes and Corrections
- Approval paths: Upon written request from a department head, Cara Coulson will change the approval path in IBIS.
- PI names under miscellaneous funds: To update a PI name that is listed incorrectly under a miscellaneous fund, contact Tressa Jilek at 717-531-8082 and provide the budget number, fund number and the correct PI’s name and employee ID number.
Work with College Finance and Business
The Financial Analysts and Administrative Assistants group comprises those who deal with fiscal information at the departmental levels within Penn State College of Medicine.
The group meets bimonthly during the academic year with the mission of informing and educating personnel in items related to fiscal issues and Penn State policies as they relate to those fiscal issues.
It is the responsibility of all departmental financial analysts, in consultation with the study team, to manage the financial aspects of the clinical trials. This includes AURAs, BARAs, closeouts and extensions.
A number of University and College policies are relevant to finance and business processes. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Full Policy Directories
- Penn State Policy site (all University policies)
- Penn State Health/Penn State College of Medicine Policy Portal (Penn State Health ePass login required)
Specific Policies and Guidelines
- University Policy RA10 – Costing Principles for Sponsored Awards
- University Policy BS15 – Disposal and Purchase of Obsolete, Surplus or Scrap University-Owned Equipment, Supplies and/or Materials
- University Policy FN2 – Non-Office Telecommunication Services
- University Policy FN10 – Other Business Expenses and Activities
- University Policy TR02 – Penn State Travel Policy
- University Policy RAG64 – Salary Caps
- University Policy AD18 – Possession, Use and Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages
- University Procedure: Permission to Possess/Use Alcoholic Beverages
- NIH Salary Cap Summary
For Financial Analysts
For financial analysts, the Expense Detail folder is found on the Hershey network drive in the “COM Expense Detail” folder, which is accessible with Penn State Health ePass access. For details on this resource, call Erlee Meyers at 717-531-5601.
Financial System Links
- University Data Warehouse
- Employee Reimbursement System(ERS)
- Financial Information Tool(FIT)
- Strategic Information Management System(SIMS)
Frequently Used Information
These links include details such as the appropriate tax ID and authorized signer information.
- University Audited Financial Statements, OMB Uniform Guidance/Circular A-133 Audit Reports and Right to Know Law Reports
- University Object Classification Codes
- University-accepted chartered bus line vendors
- University-accepted entertainment vendors
- University-accepted caterers
- University State Tax-Exempt Letter and Certificate
- University Fact Book
Other College of Medicine Offices or Departments
- Office of Research Affairs
- Clinical Trials Office
- Research Development/Research Concierge
- Facilities (internal access only; Penn State Health ePass login required)
Other University Offices or Departments
Donations can be made online to either Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center or Penn State College of Medicine.