Research Accounting

The Research Accounting area of the Controller's Office manages the billing, reporting, and accounting of Awards for Grant and Contract programs on the  UMass Amherst campus. This involves working with the Office of Post-Award Management (OPAM), Principal Investigators, Researchers, Business Managers, Sponsors and Federal Accountants and Auditors. Our mission is to assist the research community of the university in exercising fiscal responsibility of Federal funds or State funds for Grants and Contracts in accordance with guidelines, terms and conditions that come with each Award.


Award life cycle in Research Accounting:

I. Award Set-up:

OPAM notifies Research Accounting an award has been uploaded to the Kuali system for review.  The award is then reviewed and processed by the Research Accountant (RA) assigned to manage that type of award (RA areas of responsibility)  The RA highlights and bookmarks important attributes that are used to set up and manage the award (i.e. billing terms, reporting requirements, budgets, etc.).  These attributes and budgets are entered into Kuali and uploaded overnight to PeopleSoft (PS).    The next day a speedtype is obtained and the setup in PS is completed. All award documents are then uploaded in Kuali and are made available for PI’s and Business Managers to view in SUMMIT (see Training on how to access Award documents in SUMMIT).  The PI and Business Manager are notified via email that the award is available.

As supplements or changes are processed on an award, PIs and Business managers are notified and the additional documents are appended to the original file and are available in Summit.

II. Award Management Process:

During the life of an award the RA works closely with the Business Managers and PI’s to assist in determining if charges are allowable and allocable to the award. 

If it is determined that any expenses is disallowed or results in an over expenditure, the department is responsible for transferring the expenses to another appropriate funding source.

If required, the RA is responsible for processing invoices and preparing financial reports.  If payment is not made timely, the award is referred to the Cash Management/Research Receivable Manager.

III. Award Closeout:

90 days prior to the expiration date of an award an email reminder is sent to the PI and Business Manager.  The email outlines the PI’s responsibilities to close out the award timely.  Once the award expires, the RA confirms all expenses have been charged, any over-expenditure has been cleared, all payments have been received, all financial reports have been submitted and any cost share has been met.

Once an award is closed, the speedtype and project are inactivated. All paper documents related to that award are scanned and saved in the master file on the Research Accounting shared drive.