- Set funds up on the University of Alaska’s Banner accounting system and generate UAF budget revision forms for both grants and funds.
- Coordinate activity among GI researchers, staff and central functions. Work with faculty, staff and the UAF Office of Grants and Contracts administration to resolve award problems and initiate award changes.
- Provide financial status of current awards and work with PIs to project expenditures to the end of awards and minimize over- and under-runs.
- Process journal vouchers and labor reallocations to correct or adjust restricted and unrestricted accounting transactions.
- Provide contractually required special financial reports to funding agencies, in addition to special ad hoc financial reports as requested to facilitate award management.
- Bill a limited number of awards directly to funding agencies.
Award Negotiations and Acceptance: All GI awards are handled centrally for negotiation and acceptance. All incoming GI awards are routed to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Office of Grants and Contracts Administration for:
- Negotiation of terms and conditions with the funding agency
- Facilitation of the award process
- Official University signature
Research Award/Modification Arrival at the GI Business Office: After an award arrives in the GI Business Office, GI Business Manager David Read reviews the award terms and conditions and assigns a grant fiscal officer to be responsible for the new award. The grant fiscal officer will be in contact with the principal investigator throughout the duration of the award and will assist in the financial and management activities pertaining to the award. To kick-off the process, PIs will be sent a copy of the award (or funding modification for a currently existing award) by email. Principal investigators will be asked to provide a code name for the award and asked whether or not pre-award expenses are anticipated for the new award. If the funding agency changed the project prior to issuance and this resulted in a change to the proposed budget, the grant fiscal officer will work with you to incorporate this change into the official budget.
If an award notice comes directly to the PI, please forward it immediately to GI Business Manager David Read at firstname.lastname@example.org, and GI Financial Manager Debbie Ice at email@example.com, so it can be expedited for signature through the UAF Office of Grants and Contracts Administration and then processed into Banner. Expenditures cannot begin on an award until it is negotiated and signed.
University Accounting System (Banner) Setup: A GI grant fiscal officer will pull the officially submitted proposal for new awards and initiate budget revision forms to establish a new grant and fund on BANNER. The financial manager will key the grant to Banner and forward the BRF package to the UAF Office of Grants and Contracts Administration.
The grant fiscal officer will notify PIs by email when an award (or funding modification) is fully established on Banner. Once the PI receives notification, they may begin research work effort and process charges against the research award. The grant fiscal officer will be in contact with PIs periodically during the life of the award to assist with financial/contractual activities and process any funding modifications that arrive for the award.
Interpretation of Allowable Costs: As PIs spend on an award, they will work with GI Business Office staff to initiate procurement requisitions, work orders, travel authorizations, subawards, etc. Office staff and grant officers are required to adhere to University of Alaska Board of Regents regulations, the State and Federal Office of Management and Budget circulars and other funding agency regulatory requirements.
Proposal narratives and budget forms are key elements of the legal award document and PI expenditures must be consistent with the budget and support the award’s scope of work. A number of expenditure categories are reviewed automatically at OGCA before authorization. It is essential that PIs allow sufficient time to ensure that requisitions can be processed in a timely manner and that authorizations for variances can be requested, if needed, from the funding agency.
All requisitions, including travel, sub-recipients and petty cash, are reviewed for budget availability, appropriate accounting and consistency before entry into the Banner system and forwarding to the appropriate department for further processing.
Monthly Reporting: The GI Business Office has online status reports to assist principal investigators as they manage their awards. The reports allow PIs to review both financial and payroll expenditure data posted against their awards. It is imperative that PIs review award expenditures monthly for any charges that may have been processed in error and to insure that award budgets aren’t over-expended.
Status reports are populated with Banner data after the University of Alaska has closed its financial accounting records for the month. The GI Business Office’s goal is to have reports online by the 15th of the following month. Any questions resulting from the status reports should be forwarded to the awards’ assigned financial officer.
Contact Fiscal Analyst Donna Evans at 907-474-2408 to receive online access to the monthly status reports.
Any time current data is needed on an award, PIs should meet with the award’s assigned financial officer who can help interpret current charging data either directly through Banner or by using Qmenu or QAdhoc.
Research Accounting: GI grant fiscal officers work with PIs to review awards and are responsible for making transaction corrections via journal vouchers and labor reallocations in Banner. University of Alaska Internal Audit and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Office of Grants and Contracts Administration periodically review transactions in accordance with UA policies and procedures. GI Business Office staff correct any errors in the system.
Notice of Expiring Awards: Each month, the GI Business Office’s Financial Manager publishes a list of research awards that are due to expire in the next 90 days. This list is created to facilitate expenditure planning and the closeout process of GI’s research awards.
Principal investigators are strongly encouraged to review the monthly list and work with the assigned grant fiscal officer on any expiring award to project costs through the end of the award. If additional funding is expected for an award listed in the monthly report, assigned grant fiscal officers should be informed so they may anticipate funding modifications to arrive.
Please note that overruns on awards must be written off against the Geophysical Institute’s General Fund. Therefore, it is crucial that PIs work closely with their awards’ assigned grant fiscal officers. This ensures awards stay within budget and protects the GI’s limited General Fund resources.
Award Projections: GI grant fiscal officers work with PIs to create a projection of all expenditures, as well as labor and non-labor activity, to determine the approximate ending balance of the award. A projection is a best guess made in good faith by an award’s assigned financial manager. There may be offline transactions pending processing, such as credit card activity (Travel or ProCard), shop charges, labor processed by other university departments, labor reallocations, journal vouchers and more.
No-Cost Extensions: If it is appropriate and necessary for a PI’s work effort, paperwork for a no-cost extension can be initiated with the award’s assigned financial officer at least 45 days prior to the award’s expiration date. Last minute requests for NCEs decrease the likelihood of the award’s funding agency granting an extension. Principal investigators should also be aware that funding agencies’ rules regarding the timing, number and authorization of extension requests vary.
Once it’s established that a NCE is necessary and justified, the award’s assigned grant fiscal officer will request the PI to complete either a Department Authority form or a Restricted Fund Notification and Request form, depending upon the level of authority the University of Alaska has on the award.
Department Authority Forms can be processed within the university. The award’s assigned grant fiscal officer will initiate Budget Request forms; key expiration date changes into Banner and forward the BRF to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Office of Grants and Contracts Administration for additional keying.
Restricted Fund Notification and Request forms require contact with the award’s funding agency to receive approval of the requested No-Cost Extension. After this form is fully executed, including all appropriate signatures, the award’s assigned grant fiscal officer will initiate Budget Request forms and forward them to the UAF Office of Grants and Contracts Administration for a formal request to be sent to the funding agency. Once approval is received from the funding agency, the Budget Request forms are keyed to BANNER in order to change the expiration date of the award.
No-Cost Extensions are not guaranteed. Funding agencies can deny approval. Only one NCE should be requested for an award; it is difficult to obtain funding agency approval for second NCE requests. If the funding agency is not the primary award holder (i.e., they have received funding from another source and have passed some of that funding down as a “sub-recipient” to the university), approval of the NCE request is dependent upon the funding agency receiving an extension of the prime award from their funding source.
Award Billing: The UAF Office of Grants and Contracts Administration invoices most awards centrally. The GI Business Office bills a limited number of GI awards that entail individual project knowledge and special contractual requirements and deadlines.
Award Close-Out: The GI Business Office submits final financial and close-out paperwork to the funding agencies that it directly bills. The UAF Office of Grants and Contracts Administration closes out all other GI awards. Final technical reports need to be sent to the award’s assigned financial manager when they’re submitted to the award’s funding agency.