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FAQs

Choose an FAQ link below to jump to the respective answer or scroll through and read all of the FAQs and answers:

       "At-Risk" PTAOs:

       Retro Requests:

       OTPS Cost Transfers:


Q. Who submits the invoices for my award?

A. All award types (except Clinical Trial, Contingency Payment, and Sample Testing) are invoiced by the Office of Sponsored Programs, Post Award, Invoicing accountants. The three exceptions of Clinical Trial, Contingency Payment, and Sample Testing are invoiced by the particular Department conducting the study/activity. 

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Q. Who submits the Financial Reports for my award?

A. Most are submitted by the Office of Sponsored Programs, Post Award, Reporting accountants. However, when there is a financial reporting requirement associated with a progress report that is a coordinated effort between the Office of Sponsored Programs and the department. You should send email to osp-postaward@virginia.edu in those cases.

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Q. Can we get copies of invoices or Financial Reports that Sponsored Programs has submitted for one of our accounts?

A. Due to the high volume, OSP does not send out copies of invoices or reports that have been submitted. However, if you have a valid need, please submit your request via e-mail to osp-postaward@virginia.edu; be sure to include the Award and/or invoice number.

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Q. What does BBA stand for?

A. BBA stands for Budget Balance Available. It is the amount of available funding after expenditures have cleared the project.

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Q. Are leftover funds carried over automatically into the next year of our award?

A. If it is automatic under the award terms, then OSP will move it, if you do not see that carryover has been processed, e-mail osp-postaward@virginia.edu. If it is NOT automatic by award terms, has the Principal Investigator asked for the carryover in a timely manner according to the award terms? If yes and you do not see it, e-mail ospnoa@virginia.edu.

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Q. Have our carryover funds been moved to the next year of our award?

A. When carryover is moved in the next year, the budget “bumps” up and you can see it in Oracle, GM, Award screen on an installment line as well as in the BBA reports. If you do not see it, e-mail osp-postaward@virginia.edu.

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Q. I have more expenses to put on the grant and I am getting an error when I try to put them on.

A. All grants have a start and an end date referred to as the grant’s “period of performance”. All expenses must occur on or between these dates. After the grant’s period of performance ends, there is another short period allowed for items to clear (vendor invoices, payroll, and corrections) that is controlled by the “close date”. If you are having issues posting charges, please email the details of your situation to osp-postward@virginia.edu.

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Q. What happens if my sponsor requires that interest must be earned on the funds?

A. If the sponsor requires that award funds be deposited in an interest-bearing account, OSP will invest the funds. Interest is posted quarterly and the budget “bumps” up. You can see it in Oracle, GM, Award screen on an installment line as well as in the BBA reports.

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Q. Who submits progress reports?

A. A Progress Report is the technical report detailing the progress of the project which is prepared and submitted by the principal investigator to the Sponsor according to award terms. A copy should be sent through your School Research Administrator for processing and ultimately routed to Sponsored Programs to be included in the official file of record.

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Q. Where do I get a copy of the agreement signed between UVA and the Sponsor?

A. You should first begin with the Principal Investigator or their Fiscal Contact, as they have access to these documents in ResearchUVA. If they are missing then please send an email to ospnoa@virginia.edu.

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Q. What do I do when I find a set-up error in one of my accounts?

A. Please send an e-mail to osp-postaward@virginia.edu.

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Q. I am having troubles using ‘Recon@’ to reconcile my accounts.

A. Contact the Recon@ experts at recon@virginia.edu, or 924-HELP.

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Q. My PI left, and I need to change his name on the grant including on the Recon@ system.

A. To start the process, send a Grant Change Form (SP-23) through your School Research Administrator and discuss the situation with them on what other steps are needed. Be sure to refer to the Faculty departure checklist found here: www.virginia.edu/provost/facultyexit.pdf.

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Q. My Fiscal Administrator left, and I need the Recon@ reports to come to a different contact.

A. Contact your GM Role Manager for assistance.

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Q. Where do I see the status of something sent to OSP?

A. Check the status of your action in ResearchUVA.

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Q. Can I move the budget between the projects in the same award?

A. Start by reviewing the award terms; if it is allowable, send a Grant Change Form (SP-23) with explicit instructions showing how the re-budgeting should occur in each project through your School Research Administrator.

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Q. What are the transaction controls on the PTAO? Can I get it changed?

A. The Integrated System allows OSP to block expenditures through transaction controls when such control is required by sponsor, federal, state or University policy. This does not eliminate the responsibility of the Principal investigator and his/her administrators to insure that expenses are allocable, allowable, appropriate and accurate on the sponsored program account. If you need to have a transaction control released, please complete a Federal Costing Exception Request form and send it through your School Research Administrator to Sponsored Programs.

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Q. We need the PTAO account extended past the end date. How do I get it changed?

A. Start by reviewing the award terms; is a “no-cost extension” (NCE) allowed? If so, has it been requested from the sponsor or does UVA have the authority to process it? Please start with your research administrator, or email ospnoa@virginia.edu.

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Q. What do the Cost Share codes in the IS stand for?

Below is a table describing the meaning of the Cost Share codes associated with an award in the IS:

Cost Share Code Description
0 Salary Only
1 NOT IN USE - historical OTPS or Salary/OTPS
2 No Cost Sharing
3 OTPS Only
4 OTPS and Salary
5 MTDC Exclusions only (Equipment, Tuition Remission, Off Site Facility Rental)
6 Waived F&A Only
7 Third Party/External
8 External Subcontractor has Cost Share
9 External Subcontractor and UVA Commitments

 

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Q. Can I get a quick snapshot/status for my account?

A. If you have the Oracle GM Viewer responsibility, you can choose Other/Run/Single Request/UVA OSP Closeout Report, when you get the parameter box, just enter the award and project you want to see and click OK. An Oracle report will be generated that shows you all balances. The UBI BBA report can also now provide this information.

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Q. Why do my Purchase Orders (PO) have to have zero ($0.00) balance and be “Finally Closed”? How can I see the Purchase Orders for an award/project?

A. In order for Sponsored Programs to process Final Financial Statements and/or invoices with our sponsors, all Purchase Orders (POs) should be “Finally Closed” and have a zero ($0.00) PO Balance. If a PO is not properly closed, then charges can be pushed using that “bad” PO. When this happens, it causes an out of balance scenario between our grants module and the GL module. The charges then must be handheld through the system and the department’s overhead account will be charged. Therefore, a PO must have a zero balance and should be “Finally Closed” to limit liability.

To see a report of all “open” PO’s for an award/project you can do the following in the integrated system (Oracle):

1. Open GM Viewer

2. Double click Other

3. Select Run-- Single Request

4. Click the dropdown in Name

5. Select UVA POs Not Finally Closed-XML and click OK

6. Enter the Award and Project numbers -- leaving Display mode as “BOTH”

7. Click Ok

8. Click Submit

9. Refresh until Phase Reads “Completed”

10. Click View Output

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What does “At-Risk” mean?

The term “At-Risk”, in this context, refers to the financial risk assumed when starting work on a research project prior to receiving an official signed award document or a fully executed contract (i.e., final award document) from the sponsor.  Any research effort expended during this period of time is done with the knowledge that the department is fully responsible for all expenses if UVA cannot accept the award for any reason, the sponsor ultimately decides not to fund the award, or the sponsor disallows any of the costs incurred. 

It is important to understand that establishing an “At-Risk” PTAO is not what creates the risk, it is the decision to begin work and incur costs before the award and funding are in place. 

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What is an “At-Risk” PTAO?

A PTAO is designated “At-Risk” when it is initially established in Oracle.  This applies to both new (“At-Risk” Preliminary) and continuation (“At-Risk” No Cost Extension) funding.  An “At-Risk” PTAO is set up in Oracle with a $0.01 budget; once the final award document is received, the “At-Risk” award is funded (i.e., the budget is loaded into Oracle) and it becomes an “Active” award.

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When is an “At-Risk” account needed?

Best practice is to request an “At-Risk” PTAO as soon as the decision is made to start or continue work without a final award document, initial or subsequent modification. 

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Why should I set up an “At-Risk” PTAO?

Although not specifically required by policy, failure to establish an “At-Risk” PTAO is considered to be a poor financial practice because it creates unnecessary rework and gives the appearance of weak internal controls.  Having an “At-Risk” PTAO prevents compliance issues and mitigates risk to the University by ensuring:

  1. departments can properly allocate and accurately charge costs correctly the first time avoiding the need for subsequent labor distribution (LD) adjustments and cost transfers
  2. departments can easily monitor “at-risk” spending
  3. retroactive (≥ 90 days) cost transfers and LD adjustment are avoided
  4. effort is correctly certified if/when the work crosses effort reporting periods

Note:  In the absence of an "At-Risk" PTAO, costs incurred to support research (or other activities) in anticipation of 1) receiving a sponsored award, or 2) an award being executed and set-up in the Integrated System, should be incurred on an non-sponsored PTAO.  However, it is important to understand that these costs are still essentially at risk as they cannot be recovered if the award is not made or the sponsor's terms do not permit us to charge them for the incurred costs.

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How do I request an “At-Risk” PTAO?

Requests should be made using the ResearchUVA's e-SPAR functionality. See the e-SPAR FAQS for more information.

See OSP Procedure 8-12:  Request to Establish or Extend Awards Prior to Receipt of Funding (“At-Risk” Awards) and OSP Procedure 8-13:  Preparation of Grant and Contract Changes for more detailed information.

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What is a Retro Request (Retro)?  

A request for permission to retroactively move (reallocate) charges from one PTAO to another.  UVA defines retroactive as ≥ 90 days after the Transfer Date (the date the cost is initially posted in the Integrated System) for Other Than Personnel Services (OTPS) cost transfers or ≥ 90 days after the Check Date of the payroll period for Labor Distribution (LD) adjustments.  At UVA such transactions are often referred to as a "Retro".

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When do I need to submit a Retro Request?

UVA requires prior review and approval for all Retros moving charges between sponsored PTAOs (awards starting with G or Z) or on to a sponsored PTAO from a non-sponsored PTAO.  

Submission of a Retro Request Form is NOT required in the following circumstances, even if they are ≥ 90 days past the Transfer Date (OTPS cost transfers) or ≥ 90 days past the Check Date (LD adjustments):
·  

  • The transfer involves ONLY non-sponsored PTAOs;

  • You are clearing a deficit on a sponsored PTAO to a non-sponsored PTAO;
  • 
You are moving an unallowable or unallocable cost off a sponsored PTAO to an non-sponsored PTAO*;
  • You are moving charges between projects (P) or tasks (T) on a single award (A); or
  • You are correcting an expenditure type to reflect supporting documentation.

*Labor/Payroll charges incurred on sponsored PTAOs that are not subsequently supported by effort certifications are NOT allocable to the sponsored program and must be removed immediately via an LD adjustment to a non-sponsored PTAO; notices are provided to the department Effort Reporting Coordinator to facilitate this process. 

Retro Requests will only be approved in truly exceptional circumstances, for example, when a sponsor changes the financial reporting requirements after an award has been set-up and expenses have been incurred.  Retro requests to correct administrative oversights or errors will not be approved without "timely" documentation of the need for the transfer, e.g., the allocation error being flagged as an issue in Recon@ prior to certification or an email (dated < 90 after the Transfer Date for OTPS or Check Date for LD) noting the allocation error and requesting correction. 

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How do I submit a Retro Request?

Complete the Online Retro Request Form. The online form will direct the user to enter the required information including the authorized approvers. Once submitted, the online form generates approval request emails with links to the form for those approvers listed. Once al required approvers have approved the form, it is delivered electronically to the Office of Sponsored Programs. A member of the post-award financial management staff in the Office of Sponsored Programs will review the form and then will do one of the following:  1) request additional information, 2) issue full or partial approval (with an approval number that must be noted when the transaction is processed in the integrated system), or 3) deny the request.

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Why is prior approval from the Office of Sponsored Programs required for Retros? 

The correct initial allocation of costs is critical to sound fiscal stewardship.  Cost transfers or LD adjustments to correct allocation errors are viewed as indications of weak internal controls.  When errors in initial allocation occur, they should be caught and corrected timely as part of the monthly reconciliation process.  UVA considers corrections to be “timely” if they are completed within 90 days of the Transfer Date (OTPS cost transfers) or Check Date (LD adjustments) and does not require submission of a Retro Request for such corrections.  Ninety days is allowed to insure there has been sufficient time for charges to have appeared on a monthly reconciliation and to provide additional time to implement the adjustment.  It is important to remember that when monthly reconciliations are prepared the Preparer is attesting to the following:

"I have reviewed current month expenditures for accuracy and sufficient source documentation in accordance with FIN-023: Reconciling Unit Accounting Records."

The Approver is attestation reads as follows:

"After review of the period expenditure detail report and this summary report, to the best of my knowledge all costs charged to this project are appropriate and wages charged are in relation to work performed on this project.  Where required, corrections have been or will be requested to be made in the Integrated System."

Based on these attestations, the post-award financial management staff in the Office of Sponsored Programs (and auditors) must assume that the initial allocation is correct.

When Retro Requests are approved, documentation supporting the change in allocation must be maintained by the initiating unit and must be provided to support compliance reviews, internal or external audits, or when requested by a Central office, e.g., Finance Outreach and Compliance (FOC), Sponsored Programs (OSP), or Internal Audit (IA).      
 


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Why might my Retro Request be denied?

The following are common reasons for denial:

  1. Failure to adequately document why the charges are allocable to the receiving sponsored PTAO.
  2. The request is to correct administrative oversights or errors but lacks “timely” documentation indicating the need for the transfer by the PTAO owner (Principal Investigator).
    • Note:  Preferably, "timely" documentation would be in the form of a comment associated with the incorrectly allocated salary/wage line item(s) in Recon@.

  3. The LD adjustment(s) would impact one or more certified effort reports.  
  4. The Transfer Date/Check Date is outside the active period of the PTAO.
  5. The cost transfer or LD adjustment would put the receiving PTAO into deficit.
  6. The receiving PTAO is closed.

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What are the policies and procedures?

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What tools and guides are available?

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