Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) supports UCSF's mission by providing collaborative and advisory post-award management and financial oversight of sponsored research. CGA partners with departments in the effort to ensure billing for awards is complete and payments are received and applied correctly. In particular, the collections process is a collaborative effort involving both the department and CGA.
If a funder or sponsor is 90 days delinquent on paying an invoice, CGA begins the formal collection process and pursues the sponsor until they have exhausted every avenue. Where appropriate, CGA will consult with legal counsel. In collaboration with the department and legal counsel, a decision to engage outside legal services may be made, the cost of which is the responsibility of the department. If CGA deems the funds impossible to collect, the department must provide a discretionary account to cover the uncollectible accounts receivable.
As we begin 2020, it is a good time to review roles and responsibilities related to the collections process. Below is a summary of department responsibilities and CGA responsibilities pertaining to collections for all award types. These responsibilities are governed by Campus Administrative Policy 300-19, Expenditures of Sponsored Projects, as well as Policy 300-11, Accounts Receivable, which outlines collection efforts.
Department Collections Responsibilities:
- Ensure role information is current in RAS (RSA, PI, etc.).
- Monitor milestones where applicable, and submit all required technical and financial reports in a timely manner.
- Award agreements stipulate that payments should be sent to the CGA lockbox. If a sponsor sends a payment to the PI or department, follow the handling checks received for sponsored projects procedures to ensure payment is correctly deposited and applied.
- Alert CGA immediately about any sponsor changes including concerns about collectibility, address changes, contact changes, etc. Many billing and collections problems can be avoided if information is shared quickly ensuring proper submission of invoices.
- Review RAS regularly to ensure that billing is complete and payment is received per the terms and conditions of the award. RAS Invoice/Payment Reconciliation shows payment and invoice history.
- Review the RAS Accounts Receivable (A/R) Aging Report for outstanding invoices.
- Review the Unapplied Payments report for payments received but not yet recorded.
- Contact CGA in the case of untimely payments, enabling CGA to coordinate communication with the sponsor.
- Assume responsibility for outside recovery service fees and uncollectible payments that were due to fault of the PI, department, or sponsor.
CGA Collections Responsibilities:
- Reviews and applies payments to open invoices in RAS in a timely and accurate manner.
- Actively follows up on outstanding invoices that are older than 120 days.
- Engages PI/department in collection efforts as appropriate.
- Uses Generally Accepted Accounting Principles to assess collectibility of accounts receivable and takes appropriate actions.
- Assumes responsibility for uncollectible accounts receivables that were due to fault of CGA.
- Charges uncollectible invoices back to departments for various reasons, including but not limited to:
- Untimely/non submitted PI progress reports;
- Late billing by department;
- Disallowed costs by sponsor;
- Failure to pay because sponsor is not financially viable; or
- Sponsor defaults on accounts receivable balance after CGA attempts collection process.
- Chargeback may occur six months (180 days) after issuance of the bill through RAS.
Resources for Additional Information
Please consult the following resources for further guidance on department responsibilities during the collections process, including guidance for specific award types:
- Post Award Responsibilities Quick Reference Guide;
- Billing and Collections How-To Guide on the Controller’s Office website; and
- The Post Award Management Training (PAM) training series provides an introduction to post award processes for new employees and is also a good knowledge refresher for those seeking a basic process review. Review the current PAM Training Schedule in the News section of the Controller’s Office website. The fourth module in the PAM series focuses on cash management and collection for sponsored projects.
If you have questions about the collections process, contact your CGA Service Team.