2107 - Accounting Authority & Responsibility

Document purpose

To assign authority and responsibility for the accounting for sponsored projects.


December 1986


April 2019


June 2023

Responsible Office

Research Services


Research Services

The Policy

  1. Research Services, in consultation with the Office of the Comptroller is responsible for:

    • Establishing and maintaining funds for sponsored projects;
    • Enforcing all sponsor rules and regulations and University policies governing the financial administration of sponsored projects;
    • Establishing policies and procedures to ensure compliance with sponsored project agreements, regulations, or other requirements relative to the funding of expenditures and financial reporting; and
    • Establishing and maintaining procedures regarding the collection of funds from the sponsoring agency.
  2. Research Services will establish unique fund values for sponsored projects, within the University’s general ledger system, as follows:

    • A single fund will be established for each new sponsored project upon receipt of the Notice of Award or fully signed contract;
    • Multiple funds will be established for sponsored projects when the activity is conducted at both an on-campus and off-campus location and the negotiated on and off-campus F&A rates are applied, accordingly;
    • Multiple funds will be established for a sponsored project when the project comprises multiple tasks or activities and the F&A rate awarded, or authorized and applied to each task or activity is at a different percentage;
    • Multiple funds will be established if components of the project must be separately accounted for per the terms of the award.

    An advance account may be established prior to the actual receipt of the award when the Principal Investigator needs to initiate the project and, as a result, incur expense (salary or other direct cost) and is reasonably assured that the award will be made. However, the fund will only be established upon approval by the Department Chairperson and Dean/Resource Center Director or their designees. An advance account may not be established if there exists a pending Conflict of Interest disclosure.

  3. In the event that an advance account has been established in advance of formal award notification, the school/center accepts financial responsibility for any non-reimbursed costs. (See Sponsored Projects Policy No. 2106, Financial Responsibility.)

  4. Comingling of sponsored projects funds from sponsors or other sources is not allowable.

  5. Sub-accounts may be authorized to facilitate the accounting of project related expenses with the approval of Research Services.

Roles and Responsibilities

Principal Investigator

  • Authorizes and accepts responsibility for expenditures in advance of formal award:
  • Reviews and approves all direct cost expenditures:
  • Reviews financial statements with Business Administrator.

Business Administrator

  • Reviews periodic financial statements with Principal Investigator;
  • Performs adjusting entries within 90 days from month end of original transaction date;
  • Maintains PI approval and documentation to support expense;
  • Monitors advance account status;
  • Communicates with ORS regarding status of funding;
  • Performs charge-back or adjusting entries for non-reimbursable costs.

Office of Research Services

  • Authorizes and establishes funds for sponsored projects;
  • Establishes policies and procedures for sponsored projects;
  • Establishes advance accounts when appropriate;
  • Monitors advance account status;
  • Communicates with Business Administrator regarding status of funding;
  • Performs charge-back entries, as necessary;
  • Reconciles and disables fund, as required.

Pre-Award Staff Member

  • Review Award documents to ensure accuracy.

Post-Award Desk Accountant

  • Invoicing and Reporting based on sponsor requested formats;
  • Account Closeout.


The source of this document is Research Services.