VPF Statement - MIT Office of the Vice President for Finance
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June 2019
Financial Operations News — and the New VPF Forum

I am happy to announce that Kathleen McGrath will be VPF’s new Director of Financial Operations, following Gerry O’Toole’s retirement from MIT on July 15.
Kathy brings to this role twelve years of senior management experience in VPF overseeing systems, processes and staff that help effectuate the Institute's purchasing activity. As Director of Financial Operations, she will build on her strong relationships throughout MIT and continue to advance technological, organizational and policy innovations for the benefit of our community. (See story below.)

Please join me in congratulating Kathy on her promotion.

Kathy will be one of the presenters at the upcoming VPF Forum—a new community outreach program launching next month. VPF staff members will share updates on our financial services and systems, walk you through live demonstrations, and answer your questions. The first VPF Forum, on Buying and Paying at MIT, is on Tuesday, July 25 (details below). I hope that you will sign up to attend – and bring your questions, ideas and insights. Watch this space for news on future VPF Forums on different finance topics in the year ahead.

Glen Shor
Vice President for Finance 
Kathleen McGrath Promoted to Director of Financial Operations

Kathleen (Kathy) McGrath has been named VPF’s new Director of Financial Operations, effective July 16, following Gerry O’Toole’s retirement from MIT.
Kathy has served as an Assistant Director of Financial Operations since 2016, overseeing Travel and Card Services, Procurement Operations, and more recently, the Accounts Payable team. With this promotion, Kathy will now lead all VPF Financial Operations units, adding HR/Payroll, Merchant Services, and Financial Systems to her roster.
“Kathy brings the perfect skill set and background to her new role,” Vice President for Finance Glen Shor said in an email announcing her appointment. “She is well known and highly respected inside and outside of VPF for her keen ability to lead and manage operational teams, extraordinary work ethic, creative problem-solving skills, commitment to customer service, and robust engagement with our community.”
Kathy has helped lead the implementation of many systems in use at VPF today, including a request tracker and email response system, the Concur Travel booking and expense reporting tool, and Coupa, the platform underlying Buy-to-Pay (B2P). She has worked closely with VPF leadership and teams on the creation of the B2P Contact Center and the introduction of the Amazon Business Account for ProCard purchases.
“As I move into this new role, I want to focus on continually enhancing our level of service to MIT's departments, labs, and centers,” says Kathy. “At the same time, I want to provide growth opportunities for our staff, to learn new tools, develop new skills, and work across our business units. We have many more tools to automate processes and create efficiencies than we did when I arrived at VPF in 2007, which in turn gives us more bandwidth to address community needs through more training, more listening, and more outreach.”
Prior to joining MIT, Kathy spent twenty-six years in the banking industry. She held senior operations positions at Fleet Boston Financial and joined Bank of America as an assistant vice president and manager of liability risk management.
Introducing the VPF Forum

VPF is launching a new series of topic-based forums to update the MIT community on finance matters. These sessions will be held on campus and are designed to share information and gather feedback from the finance and administrative community on VPF finance operations and systems.
The first VPF Forum will focus on Buying and Paying at MIT and will be held on Thursday, July 25, 10:30 am-noon, in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Building Singleton Auditorium 46-3002. Register on Atlas.
VPF teams will cover the following buying and paying topics:
  • Following a quick overview of the Buy-to-Pay (B2P) system, the session will provide a closer look at the Recent Activity & Settings functions followed by a demonstration on how to create “Views” so you can customize the information that’s most relevant to you and share that information with others. VPF teams then will provide updates on B2P system enhancements and the forthcoming Amazon punchout catalog in B2P.
  • Relatedly, there will be an update on changes to the process for registering new suppliers and independent contractors (see story below).
  • And on the paying part of B2P, VPF will demonstrate how electronic invoicing can support sustainability and streamline payments.
  • Following the presentation, VPF teams will take questions and suggestions on all aspects of buying and paying at MIT.
The Travel Collaborative: MIT's Preferred Travel Agency

Reminders and Upcoming Information Session

MIT community members are encouraged to book their travel through The Travel Collaborative (TTC), a full-service travel agency. As MIT’s Preferred Travel Agency, TTC is able to provide special, negotiated rates on airfare, hotels, and ground transportation to MIT travelers.

Additionally, TTC is connected to Concur, MIT's online travel booking and expense reporting tool that makes it easy to find the lowest available fares, track and report itineraries and expenses, and sign up for automatic travel alerts. When you reserve your flight using Concur, TTC will automatically issue you an electronic ticket. As a reminder, if you are using a departmental MIT Travel Card, you must book through TTC.

Please note that while MIT travelers always have the option of booking through agencies other than TTC, they will not receive MIT’s special rates.
Jessica Tam, VPF Strategic Sourcing Analyst for Travel and Hospitality, will host an information session with The Travel Collaborative on Tuesday, July 9, 10–11 am, in the Grand Cayman Conference Room, NE49-3000. Members of the MIT community are invited to attend to ask travel-related questions and meet a representative from TTC.
Please feel free to contact Jessica Tam at or 617-253-2756 with questions, or to be introduced to a designated Travel Collaborative agent.
New Supplier Registration: Streamlined Processes and Forms

In response to community feedback, VPF has updated the registration process for new suppliers and independent contractors. The updates are designed to expedite the process while ensuring MIT’s compliance with federal and state regulations.
  • Fewer documents to submit: Independent contractors are no longer required to submit a resume and a list of clients as part of the registration process.
  • One less signature: The Domestic Registration Form no longer requires a digital signature, as the contractor’s signature on the W9 form is sufficient for registration purposes.
  • Certification built into the process: The contractor can certify their status as an independent contractor through a new section on the form. Once a contractor is registered and remains active at MIT, VPF will contact them every two years and ask them to recertify their status. Please note, contractors who have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS are required to complete the Independent Contractor registration process.
These changes are reflected on the VPF website’s updated Request a New Supplier page, VPF Buying and Paying policies 6.00 and 6.06, and all related forms. If you saved the previous versions of these forms on your computer, please delete them and download the updated forms for use going forward.

Keep in Mind...
  • All new supplier requests should include complete supplier contact information. VPF will contact suppliers directly for missing forms or other information. If, after five business days, the supplier does not respond to VPF’s request, the requisition will be returned to the requester for direct follow-up with the supplier.
  • All suppliers are strongly encouraged to join the Coupa Supplier Portal (CSP), where they can manage orders, submit invoices, and track payments. Suppliers can register to join the Coupa Supplier Portal (CSP) on the registration form.
If you have questions about registering new suppliers contact VPF at
Closing Out the Books
The 2019 fiscal year-end closing process is underway. See Fiscal Year-End 2019 Closing Schedule for details.

Members of VPF’s Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and Budget and Financial Analysis (B&FA) teams hosted Year-End Closing Workshops this month. If you were unable to attend this workshop, online training is available in Atlas. A PDF of the workshop is also available online, along with the accompanying Quick Reference Guide.
Please contact VPF Financial Accounting and Reporting at if you have any questions about the year-end closing process.

Purchase Order (PO) and Requisition Closeouts

As the end of the fiscal year approaches, please note that you can complete purchase order closeouts by using the Close Purchase Orders Form. Go to the B2P homepage, and under MIT Buying and Paying Resources, choose “Close PO” to access the form.

If you need an SAP PO closed, please email VPF closeouts and include the purchase order number(s). SAP will update the status of all POs that were closed out in the system before 10:30 pm that day.
If you have questions or comments regarding this tool, please email

Recording End-of-Fiscal-Year Gifts to the Institute

The month of June brings thousands of alumni and guests to campus to celebrate and reconnect during a busy week of activities, receptions, and outings. Many of MIT’s alums also make gifts to the Institute in June—in the form of gifts to their class funds, payments on pledges, or new gifts to a particular fund or initiative—all of which makes for a busy end of the fiscal year for recording gifts.

As you communicate with donors or directly receive gifts, the Office of the Recording Secretary (RSO) at VPF asks that you meet the gift recording deadlines to ensure gifts are credited and can be counted in Fiscal Year 2019 giving totals.
See How to Submit 2019 End-of-Fiscal-Year Gifts for deadlines and instructions. Keep in mind:
  • When sending gifts and/or gift information to the RSO, please provide as much detail as possible about the gift, including donor name, amount of the gift, date received, the mailing envelope (from USPS or delivery service) to verify postmark, and any correspondence from the donor.
  • Please remember that cash gifts, checks, or gift forms with credit card numbers should be hand-delivered to W98. Credit card information should not be sent through campus mail, emailed, or faxed. 
Contact the Office of the Recording Secretary at 617-253-5048 or the Alumni Association Office of Records at 617-253-8270 if you need assistance. Please note during the first week of July, these offices will be open and staffed to receive gifts and answer questions on Monday-Wednesday, July 1-3, and on Friday, July 5.
Invoicing Research Sponsors via Sponsor Portals
As more entities use electronic invoicing and bill paying systems, VPF’s Sponsored Accounting team reports an increase in requests from sponsors to use their specific online payment portal systems to transact business with MIT.
If your sponsor or customer requires that an invoice be submitted through an online portal system, please contact Barbara Nickerson in VPF Sponsored Accounting for assistance.
See Understand Sponsored Billing Procedures on the VPF website for an overview of the billing process.
Booking Appointments Online Through Atlas

VPF HR/Payroll foreign national tax specialist Marsha Dailey holds office hours at the Atlas Service Center in E17-106 two days a week to help international students, faculty, researchers, and staff determine their US tax status. Now with IS&T’s new release of Atlas, MIT’s self-service and administrative systems hub, you can book these appointments online. Go to the Atlas Full Catalog to book appointments—on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 am through 4:30 pm—at the Atlas Service Center. 
Marsha is also available to meet on other days at NE49-4000. Call 617-253-2799 to schedule.
Take a Seat

If you are planning to purchase new chairs for your office, you can check out a variety of office chair options at VPF before making your purchase decision. VPF has a selection of chairs from our Preferred Suppliers available in NE49 for you to try out. Make an appointment with VPF Procurement Operations buyer Sheila Kisich at 617-253-8484 to take an office chair for a test drive. Then, contact Stephen Newman, project manager on the MIT Facilities Campus Construction team, to discuss products, pricing, and recommendations. You can reach Stephen at or 617-258-8373.
An Event for Event Planners: Save the Date!

VPF Strategic Sourcing and MIT Institute Events are hosting an Event Planning Expo and Vendor Fair on Wednesday, September 18, 2019. (Time and location TBA.) Meet an array of companies doing business with the Institute, including designers, photographers, and printers; captioning, banner and signage firms; and representatives from local hotels and catering companies which offer preferred pricing and other terms to MIT.
Some of the Institute’s internal suppliers will also be on hand, including CopyTech, MIT Video Productions, and Audio-Visual Services. Learn more about the services these internal groups provide and meet with other campus-based departments that can make every event run smoothly by providing security, printing, video recording and streaming services, and more.
More details will be available from Institute Events and on the VPF website soon. Questions? Contact VPF Strategic Sourcing Analyst Minerva Tirado at 617-253-9310.

Classroom Training

Introduction to Travel & Expense Reporting
An overview of the MIT Travel Policy and a demonstration of Concur, MIT's online travel booking and expense reporting system.
July 18, 2019, 9:00 am-10:30 am
NE49-3100, Grand Cayman Conf. Room
Register on Atlas

Introduction to Strategic Sourcing, Contracts, and Procurement
An overview of MIT's purchasing process, focusing on the required documentation needed to procure goods or services.
July 18, 2019, 10:45 am-12:45 pm
NE49-3100, Grand Cayman Conf. Room
Register on Atlas

Drop-in Training

Concur Travel Expense Reports
VPF Travel and Card Services staff are available to assist with expense reports at sessions every Wednesday, 10:00-11:00 am. Check in with VPF receptionist at NE49 (third floor). If you have a laptop computer, please bring it to the session.

Buy-to-Pay (B2P)
Receive in-person assistance with tasks in the B2P system every Wednesday, 10:00-11:00. Check in with VPF receptionist at NE49 (third floor). If you have a laptop computer, please bring it to the session.
Customized Training
VPF staff members are available to provide customized training to members of the MIT community. Request a session.

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Banner photo by Tom Pixton
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