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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

General PRISM FAQ

Purchase Order FAQ

General Ledger FAQ

 

PCard Redistribution

 

Internet Expenses FAQ

How can I become a PRISM User? Top

If your department is already on-line, simply fill out a PRISM Access Information form and then have your business manager and authorized RC sign and forward it to FIS Customer Assessment at 1917 Cathedral of Learning. Forms can be found at www.bc.pitt.edu/prism/userforms.php.

If your department is not already on-line, contact FIS Customer Assessment at 624-6580 or Contact Us to schedule a customer assessment meeting.

How do I setup up a printer for PRISM printing? Top

If you would like to be able to print from PRISM, please contact the Technology Help Desk or call 412-624-HELP. To speed the process, prerequisite steps can be found at: www.bc.pitt.edu/prism/docs/printprereq.pdf.

What should I do if I forget my password? Top

In the event that you forget your PRISM password, please contact the Technology Help Desk or call 412-624-HELP.

How do I make changes to my PRISM Access? Top

See: www.bc.pitt.edu/prism/userforms.php.

How do I add a room number or building name to PRISM? Top

See: www.bc.pitt.edu/prism/forms/locationupdate.php.

How do I change the room location associated with my name? Top

To change the room and building associated with your name, submit an Employee Record (E/R) with the new location to Payroll in Craig Hall. They will update the address in the PRISM system. If you receive the updated E/R and notice that the change is not appearing in the PRISM system, please contact the Technology Help Desk or call 412-624-HELP.

What should I do when an employee leaves? Top

If an employee transfers to another department or terminates his or her employment with the University altogether, please complete the following to avoid future problems:

  1. Send notification to FIS Customer Assessment immediately. Please specify the employee's name. Customer Assessment must be notified in order for the department to maintain access to the purchase orders and/or requisitions initiated by the transferring or terminating individual.
  2. Once FIS Customer Assessment is notified of the individual’s departure, a mass update of open PO’s can be performed. This process will reassign all of the open PO’s to another designated department buyer.
  3. Notification can be sent to FIS Customer Assessment via campus mail (1917 CL), fax (412-904-5502) or by submitting a request through the Technology Help Desk or call 412-624-HELP.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS ? Top

If so, please contact the Technology Help Desk or call 412-624-HELP, or you can Contact Us for a prompt response.

How do I change the supplier name on a PO? Top

The vendor name on an approved purchase order cannot be changed. The incorrect PO must be cancelled and a new PO must be created with the correct vendor information. The Copy Document feature can be used to reduce the data entry required. (Tools --> Copy Document) This will copy all of the original PO information to a new PO number with a status of Incomplete. Modify the vendor information on the incomplete PO, then save and approve the PO.

How do I find POs associated with a specific charge account? Top

Distribution inquiries can be done in order to find purchase orders associated with a specific departmental account number. However, users will only have access to those purchase orders secured by their responsibility and position in the hierarchy. A buyer can only see his/her own PO's and the PO's of their subordinates in the Purchasing Hierarchy.

N → Purchase Orders → Purchase Order Summary

  1. Open the Accounting alternative region.
  2. Enter the Period range.
  3. Enter the desired Charge Account number.
  4. Click the Find button.

How do I FAX a PO? Top

To FAX a PO remember these important steps:

  1. When entering header information into the PO, select a FAX Contact in the Contact field. Fax contacts will always appear in the following format: LASTNAME, FAX-FIRSTNAME. (i.e. SMITH, FAX-JANE; SALES, FAX). If "FAX" is not at the beginning of the first name field then the contact is not a fax contact.
  2. After the PO is approved, submit the FPOR850 Print Custom PO report. Make sure that Copies are "1" for this report, if "0" copies are selected the PO will not be sent to the FAX server.
  3. You will receive an email message to verify that the PO has been successfully faxed. If you do not receive this message with 30 minutes, please contact the Technology Help Desk or call 412-624-HELP.
  4. To create or change a supplier FAX contact, submit an on-line request to Purchasing.

How do I delegate PO/Requisition approvals? Top

PRISM allows approvers to temporarily redirect their Notifications for Approval to another user in the event of their absence for a specific time period.

  1. Open the Notifications window.
  2. Click on the Vacation Rules link.
  3. Click on the Create Rule link.
  4. Select Item Type = All.
  5. Click the Next button.
  6. Enter Start and End Date.
  7. Optionally enter Message.
  8. Click the Flashlight icon to select the Reassign to person.
  9. Click the Apply button.

How do I view invoice information for a specific PO? Top

  1. Open the Find Purchase Order window (Purchase Order Summary).
  2. Enter the PO number.
  3. Click the Find button.
  4. Select Inquire → View Invoices from the drop down menus.

How do I resolve a NOID? Top

See: www.bc.pitt.edu/purchasing/usingprism.html.

 

How can i determine if my requisition has been assigned? Top

If you prepared the requisition in PRISM, you can view purchase order and invoice information.  Open PRISM and find the requisition.  Click the Lines button and scroll to the Order Number field.  If the field is blank, a PO has not yet been assigned.  Click Tools → View Purchase Orders for additional PO details.

 

What documents are required by purchasing for a requisition? Top

Refer to the Requsition Checklist.

 

How do i find a listing of the univerSIty's contracted suppliers? Top

Refer to the University Wide Contracted Suppliers list. 

 

How do i get a supplier added to PRism ? Top

The Purchasing department must approve all new suppliers.  To request a new supplier, complete the Supplier Verification Form and submit it to the Purchasing Department.

 

How do I prevent incomplete journal batches from being posted? Top

When saving a Journal Entry that is not yet complete, make sure “1” is in the Control Total field at the Batch level to indicate the entry should not be posted. Remember to include the correct Control Total when the entry is completed. If the Control Totals do not match the batch will not be posted.

How do I change a GL period on a journal batch? Top

Normally, a journal entry is created and posted within a single period. Occasionally, a PRISM user might create a journal entry during a given period but not complete it and have it ready for posting until the following period OR a customer may have created an entry after the specified cutoff date/time for that period. When this happens, the Period field on the Enter Journals window must be the current period. To change the Period field on an unposted journal entry, perform the following steps.

N → Journals →Enter

  1. Enter Batch Name.
  2. Click the Find button.
  3. Click the Review Batch button.
  4. Click the Change Period button.
  5. Enter new Period.
  6. Click the OK Button.

How do I drill down to Payables information from the GL Application? Top

N →Inquiry →Account

  1. Enter Accounting Periods From and To (e.g. JUL-05 to JUL-05).
  2. Enter Account.
  3. Click the Show Balances button.
  4. Select the desired line.
  5. Click the Journal Details button.
  6. Select the desired Payables batch line.
  7. Click the Drill Down button to view invoicing information.
  8. Click the Show Transaction button.
  9. Click the Overview button to view invoice and payment information.

 

Why does the journal control total change or double after posting? Top

If your journal batch contains multiple entities (02,04,05,etc.) the Interfund lines are created by the posting process.  Interfund lines are general University accounts and will thus not appear in your PRISM form because of security rules.  These accounts have no effect on the charges to your departmental account.

How do I redistribute PCard charges for airfare? Top

  1. Query the airfare transaction in the Transactions screen by  pressing F11, entering search criteria (e.g., Transaction Total, Vendor name, Transaction Status of  New, etc.), then pressing Ctrl/F11.
  2. The Vendor field and Merchant field contain the airline name.  Additionally, the Merchant field contains the airfare ticket number.
  3. Transaction Item information will fill in automatically.
  4. Enter the purpose of the travel under the Business Purpose tab.
  5. Enter Travel Start Date and End Date under the Travel tab. The other fields in this screen fill in automatically.
  6. Click on the Distributions button.
  7. Select $ Amount or Quantity in the Type field.
  8. Enter the dollar amount or quantity being redistributed in the Value field.
  9. Enter the account to which the charge is being redistributed.
  10. If you are redistributing to multiple accounts, enter the Type and Value on the second distribution line, and the second account number being charged.
  11. Click on Save.
  12. Close the Transaction Distributions screen.
  13. Change the Transaction Status to Approved.
  14. Click on Save.

Are there any PCard Redistribution reports specific to airfare? Top

There are two pcard redistribution reports specific to airfare: Airfare Transactions by Card, and Redistributed Airfare Transactions.  Additionally, each of these reports has a “file” version, which generates the same output that can be easily exported to Excel or other applications.

 

 Airfare Transactions by Card and Redistributed Airfare Transactions will show you airfare transactions or redistributed airfare transactions for a specified card holder for a given peiod of time.

 

HOW DO I ACCESS THE INTERNET EXPENSES APPLICATION? Top

Complete the PRISM Access Information form.  Make sure you have your department  business administrator’s and the authorized RC’s signature.  Mail the completed form to FIS Customer Assessment at 1917 Cathedral of Learning, or fax to 412-624-9937.  Forms are found on the PRISM website, www.bc.pitt.edu/prism/userforms.php.   Once access is granted, login to PRISM, and choose the Internet Expenses responsibility (e.g., IE DENT MED Bsn Adm Exp).

 

CAN I ENTER EXPENSE REPORTS FOR ANOTHER EMPLOYEE? Top

Yes, you can enter expense reports as a delegate for another University employee.  When completing the PRISM Access Information form, enter the employee names in the Delegates section on the Internet Expenses page.

 

ARE RECEIPTS REQUIRED FOR PER DIEM EXPENSES SUCH AS MEALS? Top

No.  Receipts are not required for meal per diems.

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE SYSTEM CAN NOT FIND THE TRAVEL DESTINATION I AM ATTEMPTING TO ENTER IN THE PER DIEM SCREEN? Top

If the system cannot find the actual travel destination, search for a larger city close to the actual destination (e.g., enter Pittsburgh instead of Johnstown), or enter, “All Other United States” for domestic travel, and “All Other” for foreign travel.  The system will use the entered city’s Per Diem rate, or the standard CONUS (Continental US) rate.  To find the Per Diem rates for domestic or international travel, go to:  http://www.pts.pitt.edu/Travel/common/perdiem.html

 

CAN I ENTER LESS THAN A DAILY PER DIEM IF SOME OF MY MEALS ARE PROVIDED, OR IF IT IS THE FIRST OR LAST DAY OF TRAVEL? Top

Yes.  This can be handled two ways, either a Per Diem reduction (credit), or via a partial Per Diem.

To enter a Per Diem reduction, go to the University’s travel website, http://www.pts.pitt.edu/travel, click on Per Diem Rates, US Per Diem, Meals and Incidental Expense Breakdown.  A table will show you the breakdown of breakfast, lunch, and dinner components of various per diem rates.  Locate the per diem rate for your travel destination, and note the component rates.  First enter the per diem expenses in the Per Diem Expenses screen (enter Date, Destination, Justification, Number of Days).  Then enter the per diem reduction (credit) in the Receipt-Based Expenses screen.  Credits are always entered as a negative number.  Enter a Justification to explain the credit.  The credit amount is deducted from the reimbursable amount.

As an example, you attend a conference in San Diego for 3 days.  You record expenses for meals by recording a per diem for 3 days.  For San Diego, the per diem rate is $64.00.  On one day, lunch was provided by the conference sponsors.  You want to enter a credit for the lunch.  Note from the University’s travel website that the lunch component for a $64.00 per diem is $18.00.  Enter a Per Diem Reduction (credit) for <18.00> in the Receipt-Based Expenses screen.  No receipt is required.

Alternatively, you can enter a partial per diem.  For example, you attend a conference in San Diego for 3 days.  The conference sponsors provide breakfast and lunch each day; you pay for dinner.  The Per Diem for San Diego is 64.00; the dinner component is $31.00.  Enter a partial per diem in the receipt-based expenses screen (93.00), noting in the Justification field that you are claiming dinner for 3 days at $31.00 per day.  Receipts are not required for partial per diems.


 

IS PARKING AND TOLLS ENTERED IN THE MILEAGE EXPENSES SCREEN? Top

No.  Parking and tolls are listed separate from the mileage rate, and are entered in the Receipt-based Expenses screen.

 

CAN I CHANGE THE DEFAULT ACCOUNT NO. THAT DISPLAYS IN THE EXPENSE ALLOCATIONS SCREEN? Top

Except for the subcode segment, the account number can be changed within the authorizations granted via your PRISM Access Information form.  Subcode usage is controlled by Payment Processing, Research and Cost Accounting, and General Accounting.

 

CAN I SPLIT DISTRIBUTIONS IN THE EXPENSE ALLOCATIONS SCREEN ?Top

The ability to split distributions is limited, since the system tracks expenses by assigning account numbers to individual expense items.  Expenses can be split between multiple accounts by splitting the expense into multiple expense lines.  The account number assigned to each expense line can then be modified in the Expense Allocation screen.  For example, you traveled to the Pitt Johnstown campus and are claiming mileage and a per diem for meals for 3 days.  You want to split expenses between two accounts.  The only way to accomplish this is to split milege into two expenses, e.g., “From” as one expense, and “To” as another, and to split the per diem into multiple expenses, e.g., the first per diem line is for two days travel, and the second per diem line is for one day of travel.

The recommended way to handle split distributions is to leave the charges on the default account numbers in the Internet Expenses application, and redistribute charges to the proper accounts via a Non-Salary Cost Transfer in the PRISM General Ledger application.

 

HOW DO MY EXPENSE REPORTS GET APPROVED? Top

When you submit an expense report it will automatically forward for electronic approval.  If you are entering expense reports as a delegate, it will first forward to the person for whom you are entering the report, and once her/she approves it, it automatically forwards to your designated approver.  Your designated approver will receive email notification to approve the expense report, and you will receive email notification upon approval.

 

WHAT DO I DO IF I AM MISSING A RECEIPT ? Top

If you are missing a receipt, click on the Details button for that expense item, then click on the checkbox next to Original Receipt Missing. Enter a brief explanation in the Justification field.

 

HOW DO I SUBMIT RECEIPTS? Top

When you submit an expense report, a confirmation page will be generated.  Print the confirmation page, attach copies of all required receipts, and fax the entire package to Travel and Business Expense Processing at 412-904-5520.  If faxing is not available, place the confirmation page and the receipt copies in an interoffice envelope and send to Payment Processing, 116 Atwood Street.  Original receipts must be maintained in your department for a period of two years, or as specified by grant guidelines.

 

HOW CAN I VIEW A PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED EXPENSE REPORT? Top

If the expense report was processed in the last thirty days it will display on the Expenses Home page under Track Submitted Expense Reports.  Click on the Expense Report number to view details.  If the report was submitted previous to the last thirty days, click on the Expense Reports tab at the top of the page.  Search for the report by name, number, date, or status.  Click on the Report number to review report details.  Click on Review Receipt Package by Expense Report Number to see a copy of the report Confirmation Page and receipts.

 

CAN I UPDATE OR DELETE A SUBMITTED EXPENSE REPORT? Top

Yes, as long as the status is not Ready for Payment or Paid.  From the Expenses Home page, locate the expense report under the Track Submitted Expense Reports listing, and click on the Withdraw button.  A confirmation message will appear.  Confirm that you do want to withdraw the expense report.  This cancels any existing approvals and moves the expense report to the Update Expense Reports listing.  Click on Update or Delete.

 

WHAT DO I DO IF I DON'T RECEIVE EMAIL NOTIFICATION WHEN MY EXPENSE REPORT IS APPROVED? Top

System emails will be sent to each user’s University of Pittsburgh email address (username@pitt.edu).  If you are currently receiving email at a different address, it is important to forward your University email to that address.  To forward your University email, visit Manage Your Account at my.pitt.edu.  If you need additional assistance, contact the Technology Help Desk, or call 412-624-HELP.

 

HOW WILL I RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT? Top

Payments will be made after the Expense Report is approved, and the confirmation page and required receipts are received and reviewed by Payment Processing.  Expense reimbursements are direct deposited to the same bank account where your paycheck is deposited.  If the expense report is approved by end of day Wednesday, the reimbursement will be direct deposited on Friday.  You will be notified by email when the deposit occurs. 

If you do not receive Payroll direct deposit, a check will be issued and mailed to your home address as per your HR record.

If you have any questions regarding payments, contact Payment Processing on-line at http://www.bc.pitt.edu/payment/inquiries.

 

CAN I ACCESS THE INTERNET EXPENSES APPLICATION FROM LOCATIONS OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY? Top

Yes, as long as you can access the internet.  Refer to directions on the PRISM website (www.bc.pitt.edu/prism) for placing a PRISM icon on your desktop.  The icon will take you to the PRISM login screen.

 

HOW CAN I REASSIGN AN EXPENSE REPORT TO ANOTHER APPROVER?

1.  To Reassign an expense report, click the Reassign button in the notification.

2.  Select the Employee who will now be responsible for approval.

3.  Select the Transfer notification ownership option.

4.  Optionally enter Comments.

5.  Click the Submit button.