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Updated Advance Grant/Fund Numbers and Grant Billing Module

July 20, 2016

This past week, the Banner Grants Billing module went live for our largest federal agencies that use the Payment Management System (Department of Health and Human Services, National Science Foundation, and Department of Education).  For the period beginning July 1, 2016, to July 13, 2016, we drew down funds over $3.5 million, including $2.5 million of federal student loan funds.  Going forward, these agencies will be drawn at least once per week.  All other agencies will be billed monthly or on the schedule dictated by the award notice. 

The grants billing module requires Research Accounting Services (RAS) to modify its process for handling budgets in Banner for Advance Grant/Fund numbers.  RAS will no longer put in a budget for an advance grant/fund request.  Establishing the grant/fund with a zero budget prevents the Banner Grants Billing module from billing the award prematurely.  The Banner Grants Billing module will not bill more than the total budget.  This change will allow the RAS team to provide the research community with a report to monitor advance grants/funds and will be called the “Advance – Zero Budget Report”.  This report will enable both RAS and the research community to monitor outstanding advance accounts and ensure that budgets are updated to the full amount of the award as contracts and award notices are received.  In light of the process changes, the Advance Grant/Fund Request Form has been updated.  Please only use this form for new requests.  Old versions of the form will not be accepted.

New advance grants/funds set up on or after July 18, 2018, will not have a budget established in Banner.   Over the next several weeks, RAS will begin zeroing out all existing budgets in any existing advance cost centers.  Once that process is complete, we will make the “Advance – Zero Budget Report” available to the community.

RAS will not reject transactions (journal entries, requisitions, check requests, ePAFs, labor redistributions) because a budget is not sufficient on an advance cost center.  Your school, college or department is responsible for these charges if the award does not materialize. 

Establishing advance grant/fund numbers is highly recommended, as it will enable you to proactively charge staff to the award and have the proper information in place for each effort reporting cycle.  Further, it will allow RAS to retroactively bill for all of your expenses when the budget is updated when the award notice is received.  Remember, if expenses are not being charged to your grant, we are not able to bill for them.  It is extremely important that we become vigilant about charging to the correct fund number in a timely fashion. 

Just as important to the Grants Billing module is the need to clear deficits in a timely manner.  A bill will not generate if the grant’s expenditures exceed its total budget.  It is the responsibility of the department administrator in tandem with the principal investigator to review their accounts no less frequently than monthly to ensure expenditures are not exceeding budget. 

Another important item to note is that beginning with the FY17 fiscal year, RAS will no longer approve over 90 day forms that exceed the current fiscal year.  Please ensure that you have moved all of your transactions to the correct grant/funds during the 2016 fiscal year close-out or risk having those charges expensed to your departmental funds.

Thank you for your cooperation.  If you have any questions regarding the change in process, please contact ras@drexel.edu.