COVID-19 Accounting FAQs

COVID-19 Accounting FAQs

As of April 8, 2020, two information templates have been sent out to help track costs.  One is for individual employees to use to track time/effort expended as a result of the pandemic.  The other is a template for departments to use to report lost revenue and additional expenses that are a result of the pandemic.  In addition, a new PeopleSoft program code “0COVD” has been setup to assist departments in tracking lost revenues, refunds, and additional costs related to the pandemic.

Program Code Questions –

1. Is use of the PeopleSoft Program Code required?

No.   The code is intended as an aid in capturing and documenting lost revenue, refunds, and additional costs related to the pandemic.  Departments may have another way to document these items.   Ideally the items reported can be documented and traced to transactions in PeopleSoft, so please use reference numbers or document the basis for the items reported.

2.  How is the PeopleSoft Program Code used with payroll?

If there are overtime hours related to the pandemic, departments can use the program code when processing those hours.    For a salaried employee’s regular hours spent on COVID-19 issues, it is not necessary to have the program code on those transactions.   For salaried employees it would take a Payroll 101 form, to use program code to report those expenses – this is not necessary – the COVID-19 effort reporting template released by HR/Payroll yesterday will be satisfactory for reporting time spent on COVID-19 issues.

Important Note – the Budget Office needs to be contacted when using the new program code for payroll.

Effort Reporting Questions –

3.  What is the purpose of this form/template?

There are two purposes of the form: 1) there may be a limited administrative expense reimbursement for documented hours used to address issued caused by the pandemic, 2) to capture an estimate of personnel expenses related to the pandemic for general public information and possible future Board of Higher Education or Legislative requests.

4.  Are faculty required to complete a COVID-19 effort tracking form?

No.  The form was not sent out to faculty, except department chairs.  We understand that faculty have expended time on converting courses to online and many other issues.   As a faculty member, if you did not receive an email requesting completion of COVID-19 effort tracking, you do not have to fill out a form.

5.  Are graduate assistants or student employees required to complete a COVID-19 tracking form?


6.  How do I know what time should be entered on the form?

If you spent time on COVID-19 issues that otherwise would have been spent on your normal duties please report it on the template.   If the hours you are working are not impacted and your time has not been diverted by the pandemic, there is nothing to report.

7.  Do I report items such as loss of productivity, fewer hours worked by students (hourly workers?)

It is not necessary to report these kinds of costs on the template.  Just report hours expended related to COVID-19 that would have otherwise been expended on your normal job duties.

8.  I expended time in facilitating and coordinating with nonprofits to get workers to make face masks for the community.  Should that be reported?

Yes.   Congratulations!   Public service is an especially important part of NDSU’s mission at this time.   Reporting this activity to your supervisor is important, as well.  This is similar to the work done by NDSU in past community flood events, where NDSU is in a leadership and facilitating role to gather a volunteer workforce to support the community in a time of need.

Lost Revenue, Extra Expenses Template Questions -

9.  What is the purpose of this template?

Similar to the Effort Reporting form, there are two purposes of the form: 1) to document items that are potentially reimbursable by the federal or state government, 2) to capture an estimate of lost revenues (less associated cost savings), and extra costs for general public information and possible future Board of Higher Education or Legislative requests.

10.  What kind of lost revenues need to be reported?

If in doubt, go ahead and report it.

Some lost revenues are monies that have already been billed and collected, but need to be refunded to the customers.   Those items should be traceable to PeopleSoft transactions, so when reporting those items please show the transactions in PeopleSoft or show some kind of reference number so the transactions can be audited.

Other lost revenues are the result of loss of future business.  These are more difficult to determine as there is no verifiable PeopleSoft transaction.  Please document the basis for reporting these figures.

11.  What are cost savings related to the lost revenues?

In some cases, to be fair, it is appropriate to list the related cost savings to go with the lost revenues.  For example, for lost food sales there is a related cost savings for the cost of food materials and preparation.

Overall –

12.  When do the effort form/template and accounting templates need to be turned in?

We don’t know.  For now, please continue to use the forms until further notice.


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