Sponsored Programs and Research Services

Advance Account Procedure

Discussion

The Sponsored Programs and Research Services (OSPR) issues a Project ID (account number) upon receipt of valid award documentation (e.g., notices of award, grant letters, signed contracts and subcontracts, and purchase orders) from a sponsor and when all internal documentation has been completed (e.g., proposal materials and approvals). As an exception to this, an Advance Account can be established when there is reasonable evidence from a sponsor that an award is imminent, but just delayed. The purpose of an Advance Account is to accumulate expenses and allow the Principal Investigator (PI) to commence work (e.g., hire personnel or order supplies).

For example, an Advance Account may be requested when:

  • Negotiations for a contract have concluded, but the contract is delayed while the necessary signatures are obtained;
  • A new or renewal (competitive) award is anticipated with a known start date, but delayed; or
  • A continuation (non-competing) award is anticipated with a known continuation date, but delayed (for non-competing renewals, SPRS will process an extension (up to 90 days) since the Project ID will remain the same).

It is advisable to request an Advance Account under these circumstances. When an actual award is received, the Project ID (account number) will not change.

Advance Accounts are established for a maximum of ninety (90) days from the anticipated start date and do not require a budget. Any expenses incurred that are later determined upon receipt of the actual award to be either (1) outside the award dates or (2) unallowable will be journaled to the responsible Department/College. This applies to both newly-created and extended Advance Accounts (see footnote below). All expenses charged to an Advance Account must be reasonable, allocable, and allowable under the terms and conditions of the award.

Procedure

  1. Request
    1. Obtain an Internal Prior Approval Form (IPAF). Select “Advance Account” and complete form. Do not select “No Cost Extension” even if you have a current Project ID.
    2. Provide reasonable evidence of an imminent award or continuation.
    3. As part of the “justification,” provide an estimate of expected expenses per account code for the duration of the requested period (e.g., 0110 - $10,000). This is essential so that the necessary salary account codes will be established.
    4. Obtain the required signatures:
      1. Principal Investigator
      2. Department Chair/Director
      3. College Fiscal Officer
      4. College Dean
    5. Submit to SPRS via fax or email (as a scanned PDF file)

  2. SPRS Review
    1. Verify all necessary signatures have been received
    2. Verify internal documentation has been received (e.g., proposal)
    3. Review/consider:
      1. hard-dollar operating budget account
      2. evidence of imminent award
      3. any other outstanding Advance Accounts from the same College
    4. Make final approval decision

  3. If Approved, SPRS Will
    1. For new projects: Establish Advance Account Project ID and disseminate NOA. Please note that although a budget will not be loaded, SPRS will indicate (in the comments section) if any of the following account codes are expected to be utilized: 0745, 0255, and any salary account code.
    2. For continuation projects: Extend the end date for up to 90 days (project retains the same Project ID) and disseminate NOA
    3. SPRS will notify the Budget Office by providing a copy of the NOA and back-up IPAF.

  4. Upon Receipt of External Award
    1. SPRS will review the actual award and issue a Revised NOA to reflect the following:
      1. Update the start/end dates as necessary
      2. Upload a budget
    2. After receipt of the Revised NOA, the Controller’s Office will review the account to ensure all charges are within the actual start/end dates and are allowable. If it is determined that any charges are either (1) outside the award dates or (2) unallowable, the Controller’s Office will notify the responsible Department or College and then immediately journal the charges to the hard-dollar operating budget account indicated on the IPAF.
    3. Notify the Budget Office by providing a copy of the NOA and back-up award.

Upon Notice that an External Award will not be Received (After Advance Account Set-Up)

  1. SPRS will issue a Revised NOA to change the end date (to match the start date).
  2. The Controller’s Office will notify the responsible Department or College and then journal all charges to the hard-dollar operating budget account indicated on the IPAF.
  3. The Controller’s Office will notify the Budget Office by providing a copy of journal(s) and back-up.