Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Banking and Deposits

Where can I obtain Macalester’s banking information?

A:    What you need will vary by what you’re trying to do. The following individuals are knowledgeable and authorized to share Macalester’s banking information. They will connect you with the right information for the task at hand. 1. Doug Rosenberg,  2. Patricia Langer, or 3. Dave Berglund.

I am expecting a deposit to Macalester from an outside party.  How can I find out if it has arrived and to which bank account it was deposited?

A:    Contact Deanna Hiew in Accounting. Deanna reconciles all of Macalester’s bank accounts each month. She has access to on-line banking systems that allow her to view daily account activity.  If you’re expecting a deposit, she can help you locate it. Deanna’s back-up for this type of inquiry is Doug Rosenberg.

Why do I need to record the daily deposit(s) our area receives?

A:    At the close of each monthly banking cycle, Macalester reconciles the activity in each account against the college’s internal records. This is an important part of our internal control practices.  When you record deposits daily, it keeps our internal records in sync with the bank. That facilitates our reconciliation processes and also allows us to identify and resolve problems promptly. When activity from multiple days is batched, it can mask problems and/or complicate internal processing.  It often combines transactions from two different reporting periods, a situation that requires the Accounting staff to research and manually peel the items apart and place them in the appropriate periods. Recording daily deposits eliminates this time consuming step.

Credit Card Charges by Macalester

How can I find out why there is a charge from Macalester College on my personal credit card or someone else’s?

A:    Contact Deanna Hiew in Accounting, Deanna reconciles all of Macalester’s credit card activity each month. She can trace any charge by the college appearing on a cardholder’s account.

Asset disposal or sale (vehicles, equipment, etc.)

Who should I talk to if I am considering disposing of a Macalester asset, e.g. vehicle, equipment, etc.?

A:    Contact Deanna Hiew in Accounting. Deanna maintains Macalester’s inventory of fixed assets.  She can provide guidance for appropriate steps to take when disposing of a college asset, regardless of methodology, e.g. sale, trade, recycling, demolition, trash, etc. Deanna’s back-up for this type of inquiry is Dave Berglund.

If I plan to sell a Macalester asset, who should I talk to about this and what should I do with the money I receive?

A:    Contact Deanna Hiew in Accounting.  Deanna maintains Macalester’s inventory of fixed assets. She can provide guidance for appropriate steps to take to ensure a fair sale, set a reasonable sale price, identify necessary paperwork, e.g. vehicle titles, etc. Deanna can also explain the process for depositing the proceeds of the sale. Deanna’s back-up for this type of inquiry is Dave Berglund.

Fund Balances

How can I find out the balance available in a fund?

A:   Contact Tracy Arndt in Accounting.  She can share the available balance in any of the college’s funds and help you to get training on how to view this information yourself (assuming you are an authorized Banner Finance user). Tracy’s back-up for this type of inquiry is Dave Berglund.

How can I find out how much is available to be spent from a specific endowed fund?

A:    Contact Deanna Hiew  in Accounting. Deanna handles the accounting for Macalester’s endowed funds. She can share the available balance in a spendable endowed fund. She can also forecast the amount projected to be available under the terms of the college’s endowment spend policy. Deanna’s back-up for this type of inquiry is Dave Berglund.

What is my grant indirect fund balance?

A:    Contact Tracy Arndt in Accounting.  She can share the available balance in any of the College’s funds – including grant indirect funds. She can also train you in how to view this information yourself (assuming you are an authorized Banner Finance user).  Tracy’s back-up for this type of inquiry is the Grants Accountant.

PCard Usage

How many days do I have to reconcile my online Pcard statement?

A:    Cardholders and reconcilers have the first six calendar days of each month to complete the online Pcard reconciliation process, i.e. from the 1st of the month through the 6th.  (Note: Calendar days include Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.)

How many days does my approver have to approve my online Pcard statement?

A:    Your approver has four calendar days to approve your online Pcard statement – from the 7th of the month through the 10th. If you complete your online reconciliation before the 6th of the month, your approver can begin reviewing as soon as your statement is ready, i.e. before the 7th of the month.  In other words, the earlier you reconcile and review your online Pcard statement, the more days your approver has to complete online review and approval.

When are Pcard charges reflected in Banner?

A:    Pcard charges are typically posted to Banner by the 20th of the following month. "Why does this take so long?". Here is the timeline for the required processes for each month’s cycle:

1st – 6th of the month: Cardholder reconciliation
7th – 10th of the month: Approvals
11th – 15th of the month: Pcard Administrator reviews data
15th - 20th of the month: Data into Banner

I will be out of the office during the regular Pcard review cycle.  Can I reconcile my Pcard statement before the end of the month?

A:    You cannot fully reconcile your statement before the end of the month, but you can add descriptions and edit FOAPALs at any time during the statement cycle. To make changes outside the normal review period:

  • Log into the Wells Fargo Pcard system. 
  • Click on the "Cycle-to-Date Transactions" button to access you charges. 
  • Review and update the information for each transaction. 
  • SAVE.

    Alert Macalester’s Pcard Administrator that you have completed your review, but will be unable to submit it for approval during the regular cycle (1st – 6th of each month).  The Pcard Administrator can submit your statement while you’re gone for final review by your approver.

Who should I notify if I will be traveling and plan to use my Pcard outside the Midwest?

A:    Whether you are traveling domestically or internationally, you should notify both Wells Fargo and Macalester’s Pcard Administrator of your travel plans. This is especially important when traveling out of the country.  Be prepared to provide the areas/countries to which you’ll be traveling and your dates of travel.

  • Wells Fargo:  Notify in advance at 800-932-0036.  (This phone number appears on the back of your Pcard.)  Wells Fargo will monitor charges to your Pcard and contact the College to alert us to irregularities or verify legitimacy of expenditures.
  • Macalester’s Pcard Administrator: Contact the Pcard Administrator regarding your travel plans so that we can monitor your Pcard activity and, in particular, watch for purchase declines or other anomalies while you’re away.

What billing phone number should I use when ordering online with my Pcard?

A:    If your online order requires a telephone number that matches the billing address, use Macalester’s general switchboard number: 651-696-6000.

Can I purchase computers with my Pcard?

A:    NO.  All computer purchases, including software and peripherals are to be purchased through the Macalester College Information Technology Services (ITS) department.  Should you decide to purchase computing equipment with your Pcard, please be aware that your equipment will not be supported by ITS.

If I have made a personal charge on my Pcard, how do I repay the College?

A:    Making personal charges on your Pcard is not recommended, however, this does occasionally happen. You are able to repay the college by utilizing the OOP (out-of pocket) option in Wells Fargo. Once you have signed in to Wells Fargo's Pcard site, all you need to do is place a check mark in the "Personal" column on your Wells Fargo statement. Follow this link for more information on how to mark this column.

Just like OOP reporting, which electronically reimburses you for out-of-pocket expenses, the “Personal” check mark tells Wells Fargo to electronically pull the funds from your designated personal bank account to pay Macalester College back. This is a very efficient, safe and secure way to process personal spending and out-of pocket reimbursements.

Fraud, phishing, and identity theft risk

How should I report fraud on my Pcard?

A:    You have several options for reporting fraudulent use of your Pcard:

  1. Call Wells Fargo Customer Service at: 800-932-0036 in the U.S. or call collect 415-243-1935 when traveling internationally.
  2. Dispute fraudulent charges in your online Pcard statement. Log into the Wells Fargo Pcard system.  The dispute button is located at the bottom of the list of your charges.
  3. Call the Macalester College Pcard Administrator

What is 'phishing' and how can I protect myself—and my company's cardholders—from falling victim to a phishing scheme?

A:'Phishing' refers to fraudulent emails that solicit sensitive account information. The most common form of phishing is a fake email that mimics the look and feel of a genuine company’s communication. The email may ask the recipient to reply via email or to click on an embedded website link, then provide private information. Either way, it’s fake and it’s dangerous!  Wells Fargo will never ask for confidential information through an unsolicited email, a website link within an email, or an unsolicited phone call.

To protect yourself from phishing schemes:

  • Never respond to or click a link within an unsolicited e-mail.
  • Never give out your password, account number or ID, or any other authorization credentials via e-mail, the web, or text messages.
  • Never offer account information over the telephone unless you initiate the call or are certain you are speaking with a Wells Fargo representative.
  • Always protect your Commercial Electronic Office® (CEO®) password, token passcode, and PIN number.

To report phishing or fraudulent attempts to gather Pcard information, send an email to Wells Fargo at or contact Macalester’s Pcard Administrator .

Identity theft is an ongoing issue for consumers. How am I protected?

A:Identity theft—the assumption of an individual's personal account information and credit history for fraudulent purposes—can wreak havoc on card programs with individual liability. The good news for Pcard holders is that we do not retain any personal information to secure your account. The information associated with your Pcard is that of the College, rather than the individual level. The social security numbers and employee identification details that fraud perpetrators look for are unavailable. As a result, Pcard holders can use their Pcards with confidence.

Reimbursement requests -- Macalester employees

Can I report a per diem when requesting reimbursement?

A:    No. Macalester reimburses employees on the basis of actual expenses, supported by receipts or other acceptable documentation.

When driving my personal vehicle for College business, should I submit gasoline receipt(s) or actual miles traveled when requesting reimbursement?

A:    Macalester College reimburses using the current IRS recommended mileage rate. The College does not reimburse for gasoline except when you are renting a vehicle.  If you rent a van from Facilities Services, the reimbursement is handled by Facilities Services.

What do I need to report if I’ve paid for someone else’s meals?

A:    Per IRS guidelines, you should provide the following information for all dining expenses:

  • The business purpose of the meal – Note: Meal expenses that lack a legitimate business purpose may be treated as a benefit, the value of which is reportable as taxable income to the cardholder.
  • Event name (if applicable)
  • Date(s)

Can my reimbursement check be deposited directly into my bank account?

A:    Faculty and staff members may have their Accounts Payable reimbursement checks and Payroll checks deposited directly into either their checking or savings account. To have direct deposit set up, complete the Direct Deposit Form.

I lost my check! What do I do to get it replaced?

A:    If someone loses their check, it should be reported to Accounts Payable. They will place a stop payment on the check in question. There is a $20.00 stop payment fee. Upon confirmation that the check has not been cashed, a replacement check will be issued in the next scheduled Accounts Payable check run.

Where is my check delivered?

A:    Checks for faculty, staff and students are sent to your department’s campus post office box (SPO). All other checks are mailed to the address on file.

I haven't received my reimbursement check, what should I do?

A:    If you have waited 10 days since the request and you have not received your check, please contact  Accounts Payable.

My check has not arrived. Can I get a replacement?

A:    Our policy is to wait ten (10) business days for mailed checks to be delivered. If, after ten business days, the check has not arrived, we will place a stop payment on the check. Upon confirmation that the check has not been cashed, a replacement check will be issued in the next scheduled check run.

Payments to others

How soon will someone be paid if I submit the invoice today?

A:    Accounts Payable has a weekly schedule to pay invoices. Items received or approved by 4:30 on Thursday are processed the following check run - typically the following Friday.

What do I need to do to pay someone via wire transfer?

A:    Contact Doug Rosenberg. Doug initiates outgoing wire transfers paying for goods and services authorized by the college. Doug can assist you with the information required and associated fees to pay via wire transfer, both domestically and internationally. Doug’s back-up for this type of inquiry is Patricia Langer.

Why wasn't my payment request processed this week?

A:    The most common reason a payment is not processed when expected is that the item(s) did not reach our office or was not approved by our Thursday deadline. Items received or approved by 4:30 on Thursday are processed the following check run - typically the following Friday.

Where do I name the payee/ person being paid?

A:    The payee or person being paid is listed in the "Vendor" field. The vendor is the person to whom the check is made payable.

What is a stipend?

A:    A fixed and regular payment, such as a fee for services rendered.

What is the importance of 1099 reporting and W-9's?

A:    Macalester College is required by the IRS to report any payments for services performed by a trade, business, or individual not treated as employees. Examples of these types of payments are: honoraria, gifts, donations, or fees for services rendered. Before a check can be processed, a Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN) or a Social Security Number is required along with the legal name and a current address. Failure to provide a TIN or SSN will delay the check writing process or could require backup withholding of 28 percent Federal taxes. Withholding tax does apply even when the amount of the payment is below the IRS reporting threshold of $600.

Purchasing

Who do I call with a question about invoices or purchase orders?

A:    Invoices - Nicole Tillander 
Purchase Orders - Nicole Tillander

When do I need a purchase order?

A:    Macalester recommends purchase orders for major purchases, classified as goods or services valued at $10,000 and over. These can be lump sum purchases or a series of payments totaling $10,000+ associated with a single project. For further information, see “When to Use a Purchase Order”

How can I find information about discounts Macalester qualifies for?

A: Please see the list of consortium discounts in the Contracts, Purchasing and Discounts section of the Policies, Guidelines and Resources page.

Using Banner Finance And ARGOS Reports To Monitor Budgets

What is my Banner log-in?

A:    There is no separate log-in for Banner. Your 1600grand log-in grants you access to Banner.

How do I log-in to Banner Self Service?

A:    Banner Self Service is accessed through Macalester's portal, 1600grand. http://1600grand.macalester.edu  1600grand is also accessible from Macalester's home page: http://www.macalester.edu/  1600grand connects authorized users to the online resources they use most from one convenient location. All of the main online services are "under one roof," including Banner. After logging into 1600grand, choose the Business Services tab. 'Finance Self Service' is in the top left section. From there, you have several choices.

How do I log on to Argos?

A:    See the resources available in the Argos Financial Reporting Training section of this website.

When are Banner / Argos training sessions so I can review my budget and learn how to review my department's expenditures?

A:    Training is provided 1-to-1 on an as-needed basis at a mutually convenient time. It can be held in your office or in the training lab 302 Humanities. Contact Aimee Baxter to sign up.

What if I attended training but can't remember how to do something?

A:    You can contact Aimee Baxter with questions. A refresher session is also an option - just contact Aimee to schedule a time.

What if I have a question about which account code (FOAPAL) to use?

A:    Click here to view the "Banner Expense Code Descriptions." If you don't find/understand what you need, call or email Tracy Arndt.

What are accounts 7171xx about?

A:    A:    These accounts are allocations of expenses. They are used when a department's charges reflect more than a specific type of charge--the charges aren't the exact cost of the item; the charges include a variety of things besides the actual item.

Should I be using location codes?

A:    As a rule, NO -- unless you are working with Facilities Management on a project involving a specific building. Location codes are intended for large scale projects or equipment over $10,000. 

How do I correct an invoice that was posted with an incorrect FOAPAL?

A:    This can be corrected by using a Journal Entry. Contact Tracy Arndt  for assistance.

How do I set up My Banner?

A:    See the resources available in the Training section of this website.

FOAPAL

What is a FOAPAL?

A:    FOAPAL is a combination of numeric elements used to classify financial transaction for capture and reporting.  Specifically:
Fund
Organization
Account
Program
Activity
Location

Each element of the FOAPAL plays a different role:

Fund – A required six-character code used to specify the funding source--WHERE the money comes from or goes to. Each grant in Banner is assigned a separate fund code to identify the funding source. Each fund identifies a self balancing set of accounts and identifies ownership and restriction.

  • This code is required input in Banner for all accounting transactions.
  • 100000 is the code for the general unrestricted fund.

Organization – A required six-character code used to identify the organizational unit that is responsible for financial activity captured within the code. It identifies your department. It defines WHO is processing transactions.

  • This code is a required input in Banner for revenue and expense transactions.
  • If you're unsure of your Banner organization code, please call Accounting to help you with it.

Account – A required six-character code used to classify revenues & expenditures by type and spending categories. It defines WHAT kind of revenue you are depositing, or for what you are spending funds.

  • This code is required input in Banner for all accounting transactions.
  • 5xxxxx - Revenue
  • 6xxxxx - Payroll and fringe benefit expenses
  • 7xxxxx - General expenses

Program – A required two-digit code that is used to identify the major purpose of expenditures. Defines WHY you are collecting or spending the funds. This is an additional identifier for your department. Program codes accumulate expenditure information into major categories such as instruction, research, and academic support. They are required in order to meet external reporting requirements. This code is assigned by Accounting and is a required input in Banner for revenue and expense transactions. Most organizations have a default Program code associated with it. For the most part Program codes will default from the Org.  Revenues are always program code 99. For expenses, if you are unsure of which program code to use, please check with Accounting.

Activity – An optional four-character code used to group all costs associated with a specific event or major activity. Activity codes are assigned to transactions involving multiple organizations or funds that share responsibility for a common event or activity.  This code must be set up in Banner by Accounting prior to use. As this is an optional code, transactions with an invalid activity code will be posted without it. An example of an activity would be Conference A, Field Trip B, Event C, or Speaker D.  Click here for a list of Activity Codes.

Location - An optional four-character code used to specify the physical location of an asset or transaction. It enables the college to establish reporting by physical location. This code will be used mostly by Facilities Management & High Winds to track fixed assets.  This code must be set up in Banner by Accounting prior to use. As this is an optional code, transactions with an invalid location code will be posted without it.

How do I request a new FOAPAL or ask for a change to an existing FOAPAL?

A:    Contact Dave Berglund in Accounting. Dave is the guardian of Macalester’s chart of accounts.  If a new FOAPAL is needed or a change to an existing FOAPAL is warranted, Dave will work with you to get things set up promptly and correctly. Typically, a new FOAPAL can be operational within 3 business days of your request. Dave’s back-up for this type of inquiry is Patricia Langer.

What FOAPAL should I use for a specific invoice or expense?

A:    Contact Dave Berglund in Accounting. Dave is the guardian of Macalester’s chart of accounts. He can quickly provide guidance about the correct FOAPAL to use. Dave’s back-up for this type of inquiry is Patricia Langer

What does the “M” in the Chart field mean?

A:    “M” is Macalester’s Chart of Accounts code.