As a best practice, everyone responsible for sponsored research expenditures should be reviewing their reports on a regular basis utilizing the Business Warehouse reports.
A good resource for Financial Reporting FAQs includes information about running financial reports.How to use GM reports for post award financial accounting
Most commonly used grant management reports
Some things to look for:
- Do you recognize all of the individuals who were paid? Is anyone missing?
- Are the salary charges correct?
- Are your subrecipients invoicing?
- Do you have an appropriate burn rate? i.e. spending too fast or too slow?
- Is the budget amount correct?
- Are there any expenses you do not recognize?
- If you had foreign travel on your federal award, are you compliant with the Fly America Act?
- Did any expense on your award require sponsor prior approval? Did you retain said approvals?
- Were all expenses for goods and services received during the period of performance?
- Do you have a National Institutes of Health annual progress report due within the next quarter? Do you have more than 25% of the current year budget unspent?
- Are expenses reasonable, allowable, and allocable?
- Where and how do I move an unallowable cost?
Business Warehouse How To
One other frequently used report is the Budget vs Actual Report located in the Grants Management (Distributed) folder. This report is mainly used by Central Offices and Departmental Administrators.
Here is a list of commonly used GM reports for post award financial accounting, including guidance on when and how to use them.
As a reminder:
- All reports show data that is one day old so if you are running a report today, the data that is shown is through yesterday.
- None of the Business Warehouse reports currently encumber salary, fringe, or indirect charges. Please see your department administrator with any questions.
IS&T offers several training classes around Business Warehouse Reports. See their training link here
My Grant Expenses How To
Sponsored Programs Post Award Approval Transactions
Sponsored research activity consists of expenses charged to BU Grants in Boston University’s financial system that begin with 50 (Federal) or 55 (Non-Federal). The following table summarizes those transactions that require approval by Research Accounting.
|Capital Equipment||Approval Required|
|Salary Adjustments / Cost Transfers *||Approval Required|
|Subrecipient Invoices||Approval Required|
|Journal Entry – Cost Transfers|
(Transaction Code “ZK” or “ZV”) Journal Entry – Original Charges not via ISR (Transaction Code ZJ)
|Approval Required (except when the adjustment is between two IO on the same SAP grant or when the adjustment is to correct a GL within the same IO)|
|Internal Service Requisitions – Original Charges|
(i.e. Service Center billings)
|No Approval Required|
|Non-retroactive first time pay to any funding source||No Approval Required|
|All Other Invoices||No Approval Required|
*For the purposes of this policy, Salary Adjustments / Cost Transfers include any retroactive revisions to salary and wage distributions and are requested in the “Personnel Actions” under the “Manager Self Service” tab in the SAP Business Warehouse.
Valid/Invalid Internal Orders for Cost Recovery Journal Entries
Please note that while this workbook is accurate to date, status is subject to change based on day to day grant activity. This report is updated on a monthly basis by Sponsored Programs Post Award. If you have any questions or if you would like to be notified monthly when the report is published, please contact SP Post Award at email@example.com.
Treatment of Unallowable Costs Charged to a Sponsored Project
Upon monitoring all of your expenditures, if an error is discovered, please refer to the Cost Transfer Policy.
Review the Charging of Direct Costs to Sponsored Awards Procedure for reasonableness, allowability, and allocability of charges.
Salary and Wage Expenses
Administrative and Clerical Expenditures
Criteria for including administrative and clerical salaries in the proposal budget
- Are the administrative/clerical services integral to a project or activity? Does the project require services that are beyond the routine level normally provided by administrative unit personnel, or by personnel in comparable units?
- Can the individuals involved be specifically identified with the project or activity and is their effort commitment on average at least 20% (approximately one day per week) during the budget year?
If the answer to each of these questions is yes, then it is acceptable to include the related costs in the proposal budget. Please include the following template statement in the budget justification, tailoring it as necessary to apply to your project:
“This project includes extensive management of [subawards / travel / investigator coordination, etc.] This volume of activity and the tight timeline of the project mandate more extensive monitoring than the services routinely provided by the department. A XX% time administrative / program assistant is needed to oversee the following activities
For further assistance with proposal budgeting, please contact your Sponsored Programs Research Administrator.
Charging Administrative and Clerical Salaries Under Uniform Guidance
Awards issued after December 26, 2014 are subject to the Uniform Guidance. Per the criteria above, if you receive an award in which these proposed costs were specifically included, they may be charged directly to the award. If such costs have not been included in the proposal and award budget, you will need to obtain prior written approval from the awarding agency in order to direct charge them to the project.
This is only guidance regarding the allowability of directly charging administrative support to an award; it is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to work with his/her Department Chair or Director regarding the necessary non‐sponsored financial support of the administrative personnel.
The Uniform Guidance requires institutions to ensure that costs that are direct charged in this nature not be recovered as indirect costs. As part of the development of the Facilities & Administrative rate proposal, Sponsored Programs Post Award will ensure these costs are excluded to ensure compliance with the Uniform Guidance.
The following are examples of circumstances under which it may be appropriate to directly charge sponsored projects for administrative costs:
- Large, complex programs that entail assembling and managing teams of investigators from a number of institutions.
- Programs that involve extensive data accumulation, analysis and entry, surveying, tabulation, cataloging, searching literature, and reporting.
- Programs that require travel and meeting arrangements for large numbers of participants, such as conferences and seminars.
- Programs with a principal focus of preparing and producing manuals and large reports, books and monographs (excluding routine progress and technical reports).
- Programs that are geographically inaccessible to normal departmental administrative services, such as seagoing research vessels, radio astronomy projects, and other research field sites that are remote from the campus.
For concerns related to Proposal/Budget Preparation and Submission please contact Sponsored Programs at 617‐353‐4365.
For concerns related to Charging Administrative/Clerical Salaries please contact Sponsored Programs Post Award at 617‐353‐4555
Post-Doctoral Trainee: A person with their PhD appointed on a training grant (T32 / F Series / R25). This person receives a monthly stipend for cost of living. There is no employee / employer relationship.
Post-Doctoral Fellow: A person with their PhD hired as a staff member at Boston University. This person receives a monthly salary. There is an employee / employer relationship.
Pre-Doctoral Trainee: A person working toward their terminal degree appointed on a training grant (T32 / F Series / R25). This person receives a monthly stipend for cost of living. There is no employee / employer relationship.
BU Undergraduate Student: A person working toward their terminal degree who works on a non-training grant (R01, R21, etc). This person is paid weekly via GRA student payroll.
BU Graduate Student: A person working toward their terminal degree who works on a non-training grant (R01, R21, etc). This person is paid weekly via GRA student payroll.
Payroll, Stipend, Benefits & Tuition
Please review the Trainee Expenses Table which summarizes the different populations of trainees at BU and how Payroll, Stipends, Benefits, and Tuition is addressed based on the type of Sponsored Research Awards they are paid from.
Pre-Doctoral Students (Pre-Docs) are Boston University students and must follow University and State Laws accordingly. Predocs can be paid via non-service stipend or service stipend. See Student Employment office for details.
Student Employment Office:
Click on “On-Campus Supervisors” or “Off-Campus Employers” to get started
Post-Doctoral Students (Post-Docs) are not Boston University students and are paid either by stipend via Accounts Payable or paycheck via payroll. It is important that Departments are clear with Post-Docs about the implications of moving from a BU paid employee to a BU paid stipend and vice versa as it significantly affects their fringe benefits.
Payroll: Post-Doc’s who are BU employees must be hired through Human Resources.
Stipends: Post-Doc’s who are paid via Stipend should request the form and guidelines via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Benefits for Non-Employee Post Docs
Boston University offers benefits to Non-Employee Post Docs including subsidized MBTA passes, Health Insurance, and Dental Discounts. Information on these benefits can be found here.
Salary over the DHHS Cap
Sponsored Programs Post Award has created a Salary Tool to help you decipher the appropriate amount to charge to Sponsored Research accounts for those individuals who earn more than the DHHS Cap. Within this tool are four tabs so it is important to ensure you are using the correct tab based on the employee status. You should only fill in the yellow boxes; the rest of the sheet will fill in automatically based on formulas. If you have any questions around this sheet, please reach out to your Sponsored Programs Post Award Research Administrator A Sponsored Programs team member w....
The tool can be found here
Rebudgeting may be required throughout the life of the project. In some cases, re-budgeting will have to be approved by the sponsor. In some cases, departments want to re-budget their award in order to align budget with expenditures. This is not a requirement by the sponsor, however, it is something that departments can work with their Sponsored Programs research administrator to achieve. Listed below are common examples of when a sponsor requires such a re-budget:
Change of Scope
Most common changes of scopes:
- Principal Investigator View Boston University's policy on... is leaving the project for 90 days or more
- PI is changing their effort by greater than 25%
- A subcontract is being added that was not in the initial budget
If the equipment is over the capitalization threshold and was not originally budgeted, regardless of whether or not sponsor has to approve, some schools require the re-budget to be approved by their Dean as the re-budget will have a negative impact on the facilities and administrative cost return to the school.
Upon monitoring all of your expenditures, if an error is discovered, please refer to the cost transfer policy.