Tracking COVID expenses with Banner activity code
Due to COVID19, the university experienced new costs to accommodate remote work arrangements including new computer equipment, supplies, and other materials. The university will continue to have COVID-related expenses moving forward such as personal protection equipment, cleaning supplies and various capital purchases. It will be important for us to have a timely and accurate picture of these expenses and the ability to track these costs. The instructions below will help you to track COVID expenses using the activity code.
- What is a COVID expense?
An expense incurred because of COVID which would not have otherwise happened.
- Should I be tracking these expenses?
It is important to track COVID expenses to help the university better understand the cost of COVID and for potential 3rd party reimbursements.
- Is there a way to track expenses directly in Banner?
Yes, using Banner Activity Code. The solutions above describe how to add the COVID activity code using various Finance processes.
- Is there a special budget I can charge?
To keep the integrity of the financial data we’ll track expenses using department budgets. Finance created a temporary COVID index in Spring of 2020 for large, urgent COVID-related purchases; use of that index has been discontinued.
- What if COVID expenses cause me to go over budget?
Budget overages will be handled on a case by case basis; please work with your contact in the Office of Financial Planning and Strategy. Tracking your COVID expenses with the activity code will make it easier to evaluate the impact on your budget.
- Do I need to get approval for coding a transaction as COVID?
No. Approvals were required to charge the temporary index last spring. You will now be charging your own budget so no additional approvals are required.
- How do I run a report of my Banner Activity code data?
1) Login to myNortheastern and search for Banner Finance (SSB)
2) Click “Finance” and select “Budget Queries”
3) Select one of the three options from the “Create a New Query Type” and click on “Create Query”
4) Enter the Index and click “Submit Query.” The “Program Code” will auto populate. Enter “Activity Code” of COVID. Click on “Submit Query” again.
- Should I add activity code to financial transactions which have already been recorded?
Fiscal year 2020 is closed; we will not be updating expenses from FY20. For fiscal year 2021, it is important that we thoroughly track COVID expenses. For expenses that have been recorded since July, please use the JV process described in Solution 4 above to add the COVID activity code.