Contracts & Grants Accounting

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  • Effort is the portion of time spent on a given professional activity and expressed as a percentage of the total professional activity for which an individual is employed by the University of California. (Total professional activity includes research, teaching, patient care, administrative and other University appointed activities.) As recipients of federal funding, educational institutions must abide by Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), part 220 (formerly Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21). 2CFR, part 220 requires an effort certification system that:
  • Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) supports UCSF's mission by providing collaborative and advisory post-award management and financial oversight of sponsored research. CGA works collaboratively with Principal Investigators, research administrators, the Office of Sponsored Research, other University units, and sponsors from award set-up through close-out; managing billing, collections, and financial reporting as well as monitoring post-award compliance.
  • The Research Administration System (RAS) is our system of record for post-award contracts and grants financial transactions used by campus/UCSF Health Research Services Analysts (RSAs) and the Contracts & Grants Accounting (CGA) unit of the Controller's Office throughout the award lifecycle. RAS is a module of the PeopleSoft financial system. RAS transactions include:
  • A stipend is a payment made to an individual under a fellowship or training grant in accordance with pre-established levels to provide for the individual's living expenses during the period of training. A stipend is not considered compensation for the services expected of an employee.
  • Billing and collections is a collaborative effort requiring Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) and the individual department to partner together. Depending on the type of award, either CGA or the department will handle the procedures and responsibilities.  Broadly, CGA handles the majority of specific billing tasks including updating the Research Administration System (RAS) with the department reviewing RAS regularly and contacting CGA to ensure billing is complete and payment is received and applied correctly.
  • An External Audit is a periodic or specific purpose audit conducted by external (independent) qualified accountant(s). Its objective is to determine, among other things, whether (1) the accounting records are accurate and complete, (2) prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and (3) the statements prepared from the accounts present fairly the organization's financial position, and the results of its financial operations.
  • Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs are the costs that are incurred by a grantee for common or joint objectives that cannot be identified specifically with a particular project or program. These costs are also known as “indirect costs” or “overhead.” At UCSF, the Costing & Cost Recovery Policy & Analysis unit of Budget and Resource Management develops the F&A proposal and negotiates F&A rates with our assigned federal agency, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
  • NIH Career Development Awards, commonly referred to as K-awards, are intended to provide support and protected time for faculty to develop research skills and to ultimately ensure a pool of highly trained research scientists. There are three main types of awards:
  • Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) is responsible for completing the setup of both new awards and award modifications in the Research Administration System (RAS) and ultimately generates a Project for the department and PI to use for spending on the award. Once setup is complete, the CGA Service Team notifies the PI, Research Services Analysts (RSA), and OSR Primary Analyst.
  • Student Accounting provides individualized assistance to UCSF students who have active loans.  If you need to postpone your loan payments, please contact the Student Accounting department at (415) 502-4591 for help in choosing an option listed below.
  • At UCSF, Principal Investigators and department research administrators work with the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) on pre-award activities from proposal development and submission through award negotiation and acceptance. OSR negotiates award terms on behalf of UCSF and the Regents of the University of California. 
  • Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) is responsible for sponsored award financial reporting. CGA works with Principal Investigators and departments to ensure that financial reporting is completed timely. Frequency of submission will vary and is based on the terms of each agreement or sponsor request. CGA prepares and submits financial reports for federal awards. For private awards, departments prepare financial reports and submit to CGA for review and submission to the sponsor. CGA will always contact you before submitting a final financial report, and may contact you with questions regarding the preparations of interim financial reports.
  • Establishing Journal Preparers and Approvers in PeopleSoft Take the online course “Understanding PeopleSoft Journals” in the UC Learning Center. Completion of this course is required for access to PeopleSoft General Ledger and Journals. Journal Preparers must complete Parts 1 and 2 of the online course Journal Approvers must complete Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the online course Notify your manager and department Access Administrator of the date you completed the training so that PeopleSoft access can be requested. The Access Administrator submits the request for access to PeopleSoft Journals using the Access Management System available in MyAccess.
  • The proper administration of an award, including award spending, is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) and department. It is important the PIs and departments understand the terms and conditions of the award in order to fulfill the requirements outlined by the awarding agency. PIs are responsible for oversight of financial, scientific, and compliance aspects of the award. PIs and departments exercise budgetary control and ensure that expenditures incurred are within the authorized budget and period and that only those costs that are allowable, allocable and reasonable are charged.
  • Article Contents Uniform Guidance Requirements Establishing the Award Trail Out Period Final Reporting/Invoice Certification and Closeout Process Exception Process for all Refiles and Revisions No-Cost Extension (NCE) during the Financial Reporting and Closeout Process Clinical Study and Non-Federal Reporting/Invoicing and Closeout Uniform Guidance Requirements All federal financial reports must be received within 120 days of the project period end date
  • During the Financial Reporting and Closeout of Federal Awards, departments ensure that all expenses are complete, accurate and allowable; and that costs from subawardees, other Dept IDs, and recharge units have been recorded on the General Ledger. In situations when expenses have NOT been recorded on the General Ledger, an expense accrual may be required. An expense accrual is the recording of the cost estimate for a product or service that was delivered during the award period but has not yet been recorded in the General Ledger. Creating an accrual ensures that all direct expenses are recorded in the General Ledger at award close.
  • This guide outlines the purpose and process for preparing and reversing a non-payroll accrual entry, which may be required in the Final Reporting, Final Invoicing and Closeout of Federal Awards. These procedures apply to Federal and Federal Flow-Through award except for clinical trials. For clinical trials and private awards, see Final Reporting, Final Invoicing and Closeout – Clinical Trials and Private Awards
  • Private sponsors of contracts and grants require periodic Financial Status Reports (FSRs) to help ensure that the funding they have provided is being spent in accordance with their policies and the approved budget. To help ensure that this process is performed timely, CGA sends an email notification to the RSA and to Principal Investigator 45 days prior to the reporting deadline. To create and submit a Financial Status Report to a private sponsor:
  • This procedure streamlines the administrative steps needed to process certain award advances without increasing institutional risk. Use of an award advance allows for spending in the correct Award and Activity Period; minimizing cost transfers. Without an award advance, departments will need to record expenditures on a discretionary fund until the sponsor funds the award/budget period. Which awards qualify for an automatic advance? CGA Compliance will establish an advance in RAS for a continuation or supplemental year on a current award, including City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) awards, when:
  • The Student Service Team in Contracts and Grants Accounting works with departments to disburse funds to students and post doctoral candidates.   
  • An award closeout is the final reconciliation and reporting of expenses and activities. This involves reviewing project expenditures, resolving open commitments, collecting subrecipient documents, and preparing required final reports and deliverables for submission to the sponsor. An automated notification from Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA) will be sent to departments 45 days prior to the award end date that the award is coming to an end. Departments should then determine whether to request a No Cost Extension (NCE) or carryover. If the sponsor has pre-approved an NCE or carryover, then a confirmation from the departments should be sent to CGA via email.
  • Award Modification When project modifications (i.e., revised budgets, no-cost extensions, etc.) are necessary, principal investigators/departments must provide adequate justification and ensure required approvals are obtained. Modifications such as those listed below, typically require approval from the sponsor, RMS as well as CGA. Change in scope Change in Key Personnel Supplemental Funding Budgeting Revisions * Carryover Funding * Sponsor approved No-Cost Extension (NCE) rant Transfers * If pre-approved by the sponsor, these items can be requested of CGA directly.
  • Departments complete the Final Reporting Certification Form in the PeopleSoft Research Administration System (RAS) system as part of the Final Reporting Certification Process initiated by Contracts & Grants Accounting (CGA). CGA will notify the RSA and Principal Investigator (PI) by email when an award is scheduled to expire and action in accordance with the Financial and Reporting Closeout Process is required. The email contains details on the award, and a link to PeopleSoft RAS. Use the details on the award to complete the Final Reporting Certification Form within PeopleSoft RAS and submit online to CGA for review and approval. The form will route to the correct CGA analyst based on the award number.
  • This article outlines the purpose and process for preparing and reversing a payroll accrual entry, which may be required in the Final Reporting,Invoicing and Closeout of Federal Awards. See the article Final Reporting and Closeout of Federal Awards – Non-Payroll Accruals for instructions on preparing and reversing non-payroll accrual entries.
  • Program income is gross income earned by the University that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of a federal award, in whole or in part, during the period of performance. The period of performance is typically the award period but may be defined as alternative dates in the award document. Examples of program income include:
  • Award Requirements All end of project financial reports must be received per the sponsor’s requirements and deadline. The financial report must accurately account for all expenditures. Institutions must liquidate all obligations incurred per the sponsor’s requirement and deadline. All awards must be closed out in the institutions financial system within 120 days of the project end date. All technical reports, progress reports and other deliverables must be completed per the sponsor’s requirements and deadlines. Establishing the Award Trail Out Period
  • Participant support costs are defined in the Uniform Guidance as direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to, or on behalf of, participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences or training projects (except NIH Kirschstein-NRSA programs). Participant support costs do not include expenses incurred to incent or enable research subjects to participate in studies, such as gift cards, stipends, dependent care costs, parking fees and transportation.
  • Describes the UCSF procedures for requesting approval for additional compensation for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellows under National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants Policy Statement
  • Information for prospective and current postdocs, postdoc alumni, and faculty mentors is available on the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars website.  In the Controller's Office:
  • A special state appropriation is a type of agreement which is a hybrid between a sponsored project and internal University of California agreement. Special state appropriations exist for all four tenets of the Mission Statement of the University of California, San Francisco: Instruction, Research, Patient Care and Public Service. For research purposes, a special state appropriation is a study that has been approved for funding internally by a University of California program. In this regard, a special state program has features of an intramural agreement. The primary University of California statewide research programs are:
  • New Award Setup Process When the appropriate unit within the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) completes the input and loading of appropriate documents into the Centralized Agreement Contract Tracking and Approval System (CACTAS), they hand off the record to CGA by populating the “Award Set-Up Queue” in CACTAS which indicates that the record is ready for processing.
  • The Certified Financial Research Administrator (CFRA) Body of Knowledge review session originally scheduled for February 9, 2018 has been rescheduled. The new date is June 15 and is perfectly timed for the September exam cycle. For the session to proceed, 15 people must be registered by May 25*. We encourage you to register early to ensure the class is not cancelled. The exam and review...
  • The Controller’s Office, on behalf of UCSF's Research Advisory Board and in conjunction with Human Resources, has created a UCSF policy and process for gaining approval for additional compensation for T32/F32 Post-Doctoral Fellows from federal funds. Related to the article posted in the January 2018 CO Newsletter on the Compensation Policy for Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs), this...
  • The new job aid NIH K Awards: Clarification of Level of Effort and NIH Policy on Compensation and Salary Supplementation may help you answer questions from Principal Investigators (PIs) about level of effort on K Awards and to explain the difference between complementary effort, concurrent support, and compensation.  Diagrams of several examples of Compensation,...
  • The federal government does not expect voluntary committed cost sharing in proposals. It cannot be used as a factor during the merit review of applications or proposals unless it is both in accordance with the federal awarding agency regulations and specified in the notice of funding opportunity. When cost share is required as part of the notice of funding opportunity, the cost share is...
  • The Post Award Management (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. There are five separate two-hour modules in the PAM series; the PAM series is presented twice per year. Currently scheduled and available for registration:​ March 28 - Billing for Sponsored Projects...
  • The next Research Administration (RA) Town Hall will take place on March 27, 2018 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in room 1401/1402 Mission Hall at Mission Bay. We encourage everyone to join us at Mission Hall, if possible. This is a great opportunity to meet others working on research administration at UCSF and to get your questions answered in person. If you are unable to attend in person, the Town...