A sponsored project account is activated by Research Accounting in the University of Pittsburgh’s general ledger system upon receipt of a properly approved notice of grant award, or other similar grant or contract award agreement. A properly approved award will reflect the signatures of the appropriate representation of the sponsoring agency and the Authorized Institutional Official of the University of Pittsburgh, who is the Director of the Office of Research.
The University’s Office of Research will forward the following executed documents to Research Accounting:
New Accounts - The NGA and related University forms are delivered by the Office of Research to Research Accounting and are distributed to the appropriate Research Accountant based upon department assignments. The Research Accountant reviews the NGA and related documents. Any questions, are directed to the responsible Office of Research Grants Officer and/or the Department Sponsored Projects Administrator. Once it is determined that the appropriate paperwork is complete, a sponsored project account will be activated in the University’s general ledger system. Research Accounting strives to achieve a maximum 72 hour turn-around for all new account activations after all appropriate paperwork and related information is made available to us.
Subaccounts - Sponsored projects that require the expertise of one or more University Departments/Principal Investigators to accomplish the required work scope require separate sponsored project subaccounts to the master account to properly administer the award. Accordingly, separate subaccounts require separate University Forms 0136 and Forms 0202 for each of the required separate subaccounts that reconcile to the master project account. The Department Administrator responsible for the master account will be responsible for ensuring that the summation of all master and subaccount documentation reconciles to the total sponsor’s NGA.
The following sponsored project account attributes are established in the University’s sponsored project general ledger data base to ensure responsible sponsored project accounting and administration in accordance with applicable sponsoring agency regulations and requirements.
Sponsored project account – The sponsored project account number assigned by Research Accounting is the six digit number that appears in the project field in the University’s PRISM account number structure. The first two digits of the project number represents the agency designation for ease of identification as follows:
01XXXX – National Science Foundation
07XXXX – Department of Education (letter of credit only)
1XXXXX – Department of Health and Human Services (letter of credit only)
Includes the National Institute of Health (NIH)
40XXXX – Other Federal Agencies
Includes agencies that require invoicing and federal-pass funds
received from other Universities, companies and state and local
60XXXX – State and Local Government Agencies
Excludes federal pass-through funds
70XXXX – Private Companies and Foundations
Includes cost reimbursable pharmaceutical company sponsored
90XXXX – Fixed Price Clinical Trials
Represents fixed price (not cost reimbursable) clinical trials
received from pharmaceutical companies and other non-federal
health science organizations
Budget – The sponsored project budget is entered in the University’s sponsored project general ledger data base from the Sponsored Programs Detailed Award Budget form. The sponsored project budget per the 0202 form must be consistent with the NGA including any subaccounts.
Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Costs – Facilities and Administrative costs, also referred to as indirect or overhead costs, are verified to the NGA. The Research Accountant will establish the appropriate application base of direct cost subcodes to properly calculate F&A costs for each individual project account in accordance with the University’s negotiated F&A rate agreement with the federal government.
Department Notification of Project Numbers
Once the sponsored project accounts are activated, an automated overnight import process occurs for all projects that have been activated that day. These projects are posted every morning to the PRISM general ledger system and are then accessible by the Department for sponsored project expense accounting.
An account activation report prints automatically (RPAR105) the day following activation. A copy of this report is mailed by Research/Cost Accounting to the Department Administrator designated by the Department. All activations are reviewed by Research Accounting. Department Administrators are asked to review all the information on the activation per the RPAR105 and contact the Research Accountant assigned to the Department with any questions, errors or discrepancies noted by the Department that require correction.
Early Accounts – An early account is a sponsored project account that is requested and approved prior to receipt of a properly executed NGA. Early accounts numbers are appropriate in a variety of circumstances:
To allow for proper sponsored project management, an early account number is an integral internal accounting control within our sponsored project accounting system. To request an early sponsored project account number, the Department needs to initiate the Request for Approval for Early Account Number (Form 0146) through the Office of Research. Detailed information also has to be provided to assure that appropriate funding is going to be awarded by the designated agency. The Office of Research will verify this information with the agency. The Office of Research will forward the appropriate documentation to Research Accounting for early account activation in the financial system consistent with new projects. Once the official NGA is received, previously activated sponsored project attributes are verified and variances are corrected including budget variances.