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Sponsored Project Administration - SPA

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Advance Accounts

Establishment of Advance Accounts for Sponsored Agreements UOP

An advance account (formerly known as guaranteed funding) allows a sponsored project chart string to be set up in PeopleSoft before a formal notice of award is accepted by the university.  

Work may not begin until the award has been formally accepted by the university or an advance account has been established.

Background

The Establishment of Advance Accounts for Sponsored Agreements University Operating Procedure (UOP) became effective on April 1, 2014.  

This UOP replaces the university’s guaranteed funding process and continues to provide a mechanism for investigators to begin work on a sponsored project in advance of receiving an executed award document, when requested by the Principal Investigator's academic or administrative unit. 

SPA will assist in evaluating the risk of entering into an advance account to help units make an informed decision about whether or not they wish to accept the financial responsibility of an advance account. 

In addition to allowing work to begin in a timely fashion, establishing an advance account has numerous other benefits:

  • Chartstrings remain the same after the award arrives
  • Expenses are charged to the appropriate chartstring(s) initially, resulting in fewer cost transfers and less use of departmental suspense
  • Facilitates easier and more timely fiscal oversight for the Principal Investigator and business unit administrator
  • Sponsor can be billed immediately once UVM receives a fully-executed award document, demonstrating work is taking place and providing an accurate spending rate

Process

  • To initiate an advance account on a new or continuing award, complete the Advance Account Request Form, located in the SPA Forms Library

  • A project’s chartstings can be extended via advance account while awaiting receipt of a no-cost extension. Please use the No Cost Extension Request Form, also available in the SPA Forms Library

  • Advance accounts are limited to 90 – 180 days. The budget and time period established in PeopleSoft are also pro-rated based on the length of the advance account request.

  • Prior to approving an advance account request, SPA conducts a risk assessment, including a review of the university’s history with the sponsor and the status and any special circumstances of the project, and communicates the results to the Principal Investigator and Principal Investigator's unit to inform the decision to proceed. Written notification from a sponsor that an award is forthcoming is required in most cases. If not available, then the risk of entering into an advance account is higher.

  • In collaboration with the Principal Investigator, SPA staff will regularly follow up with the sponsor on the status of the award during the advance account period.

  • At the end of the advance account period, if the award or amendment has not arrived, the Principal Investigator's unit may choose to extend the advance account or must move the project expenses to an unrestricted chartstring within 30 days

  • Upon receipt of a completed advance account request form, SPA will set up the project chartstrings within five business days. Please note that all regulatory requirements must be met for a request form to be considered complete.

  • SPA will send to units a monthly report of projects established via advance account to facilitate their appropriate and regularly monitoring and closeout.

For additional information, please review the recent Sponsored Project Training Program presentation or contact the SPA research administrator or financial analyst with whom you work.

Last modified April 01 2014 11:26 AM

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