Research Administration System (RAS) Project Updates

Contracts & Grants Accounting (CGA), with the help of IT, is making two changes in the Research Administration System (RAS) to help better manage our sponsored projects.  Both changes are to RAS Project Information; one change will help us better account for program income on federal awards, and the other will allow for project specific periods.  These updates are scheduled for implementation on September 15, 2017.  

Program Income:
In the October 2016 edition of the Controller's Office Newsletter, CGA announced an update for handling program income. Awards that have program income should have a dedicated secondary Project established for program income activities when the program income will be treated as match under the sponsored project or if it includes any activity that incurs costs to generate the income. All income and offsetting expense related to the program income should be posted to this secondary Project. To streamline the process for invoicing and Letter-of-Credit (LOC) drawdown purposes, an additional flag will be added at the Project level to indicate that the Project is to record program income activity. This will eliminate the need for CGA to prepare financial journals to remove expenses related to the program income activity from specific RAS processes including revenue recognition and the LOC draw. The Program Income indicator will be located on the Project Details page as shown below.  From the Award Profile page, select Project Information and drill down on the Project specific link. When selected, any expenses posted to a Project with the program income flag will not be captured for billing purposes. These expenses will be captured during reporting as an offset to the income generated by the activity.  Note that this selection cannot be reversed once marked. To update existing program income Projects, submit a Sponsored Project Award Setup Change Request Form after September 15.

RAS screen shot highlighting location of program income checkbox and exceptional dating fields

Project Specific Start and End Dates:
Currently, Project start and end dates are linked and equal to the award performance dates. In reality, there are many awards where specific research Projects or task orders are subsets of the award performance and might even overlap with the award activity periods. To accommodate this type of activity, RAS Project Information will be been modified to allow for Project start and end dates that do not match the award performance period. CGA will then be able to establish Projects that can be specifically defined to tie with the research and not the award performance period. Use the updated Sponsored Project Award Setup Change Request Form, after September 15, to request an update to an existing Project or when establishing an additional Project that will require different start and end dates than the primary award.

The Project Details page will have the additional selection criteria Exception Project Dating (as shown above) for these Projects. Once selected, two text boxes will open to input the specific begin and end dates for that Project.

Training and Support:
As a result of these system changes, updated versions of the Sponsored Project Award Setup Change Request Form and the Accounting for Program Income job aid will be available on the Controller’s website when these changes are implemented (scheduled for September 15).  If you have questions regarding the application of either of these changes, please direct them to your applicable Service Team member.