Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do I do when I receive cash for a research grant?
All grant monies received must be forwarded to Research Finance along with chartfield information and backup as applicable. Departments are requested not to deposit research related cheques as per UBC Policy #119. Please use extra care in assigning Account code, Speedchart, Fund code, Dept ID and P/G# since a deposit coded to a wrong account or P/G will cause many problems. Two general guidelines should be followed:
1. Only monies that are identified as part of the funding agreement (e.g. 1st quarter payment of a 12 –month sponsor contract) should be coded to the 400000 series of revenue accounts.
2. Incidental revenues and cost recoveries (e.g. staff reimbursement for personal use of photocopiers) must not be coded to the 400000 series of revenue accounts but instead to the relevant expense codes or cost recovery codes (e.g. a/c #659000 –Cost Recovery Miscellaneous). In these situations, please provide the appropriate backup with the cheque for deposit. Documentation consists of:
- Copy of ledger statement identifying expense item being reimbursed
- Copy of invoice or purchase order or sponsor letter
- Reference to Q requisition #
If in doubt, please contact Research Finance for assistance or attach a note explaining the nature of the deposit. Then, forward the entire package to Research Finance for processing.
All donations are forwarded to Advancement Services-Donations for processing because tax receipts need to be issued. The department first completes a Donation Remittance form for each P/G. Following, a photocopy of the cheque and the Donation Remittance form are forwarded to Research Services/University Industry Liaison Office (UILO) in order to have a budget increase processed on the account.
Q: How can I find out the status of my new P/G account set-up?
You can contact the Office of Research Services to determine whether a research account and budget has been set-up. Expenditures cannot be incurred in a project until an account has been set up with a budget. It is the researcher’s responsibility to ensure complete documentation is submitted during the application process in order for the project/grant to be created on a timely basis (i.e. human ethics, animal approval, biohazard certificates, etc).
Q: How do I know whether or not there is a Speedchart associated with the account?
If the account is a research project/grant, these accounts will automatically be assigned a Speedchart to be used. To find out the Speedchart associated with the P/G account, go to FMS nQuery, select ‘Chartfields à SpeedCharts’ and then key in the P/G number. This Speedchart will also be noted on the Research Project Budget (RPB) sheet received from Research Services or UILO.
Q: How do I know whether to contact Research Finance or Research Services/UILO?
Research Finance looks after the post award financial administration of project/grant accounts. If there are questions on expense eligibility, account balances, or financial statements/invoices, these can be directed to Research Finance.
If there are concerns regarding the status of research applications, status of an account set-up or budget, or any other grant agreement/contract problems, contact Research Services (or UILO if it is a contract account).
Q: What are the responsibilities of the Researcher once the grant account has been set-up?
A researcher is responsible for all of the following:
- Authorizing expenses charged to the account
- Ensuring expenses are eligible under the funding agency guidelines
- Complying with UBC policies and procedures
- Contacting sponsor agency if there’s a change in their status at the University
- Contacting sponsor agency to request an extension of the term of their grant
- Resolving any over-expenditure occurred on an account
- Notifying Research Finance to inactivate account if research is complete
- Notifying Research Finance of change in status or change in address
Q: How will I know if I’ve overspent on my research account?
Monthly ledger reports are available on FMS nQuery that will indicate if you are in deficit. Also, an account balance in deficit will show in red on the FMS nQuery ledger. Please note that the account balance is net of salary and purchase commitments (i.e. future known expenses).
Q: Why is my account active despite the fact that we’ve sent in requests to have them inactivated?
Before a research account can be inactivated, its budget balance and cash balance must both be zero. Research Finance must resolve any cash imbalance prior to inactivation, which requires considerable effort, especially if the account activities go back several years.
Q: Who do I contact if I have a question regarding an expense entry on my ledger statement?
Inquiries regarding expense charges should be directed to the source of the transaction (i.e. who submitted the entry). This can be determined by the three-letter source code that is referenced on each journal transaction. A listing of all source codes can be obtained from the ‘FAQ’s and Information of Interest’ section on the Research Finance website.
Q: Can Financial Services generate hard copies of ledger statements for prior months?
You can generate a hard copy of current or prior month’s reports from FMS nQuery. If you do not have access to FMS nQuery, please complete the FMS nQuery ID application form available on the Research Finance website. However, you must first have a Campus-wide Login (CWL) ID, and this application form is also available on the Research Finance website.
Q: How can I assist Research Finance in expediting my queries quicker?
When contacting Research Finance by e-mail, voicemail or fax, always quote your P/G# and provide a brief description of the issue involved. This will allow Research Finance staff to investigate the situation ahead of time and be able to respond to your queries in a more meaningful manner.