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General Accounting FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about General Accounting can be found below. Clicking on a question's text will display the corresponding answer. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact a member of General Accounting.

What is an Internal Award?

Internal Awards are defined as award numbers that start with 4, (e.g. Project-Task-Award (PTA) 12612-13-4100001).

Internal Awards are internally funded and managed by planning units. They can be for Honors Tutorial Funds (HTC), Student Enhancement Awards (SEA), Research Incentive funds (RI), etc.

Can I use transfer codes (Object Codes starting with 6) to move money into or out of an internal award?

You can never use Object Code 620100 or 620200 on any internal award.

You can use object code 630200 to move funds in to or out of Research Incentive (RI) awards only, since RI awards do not have funding, budgets or revenue set up as part of the Internal Award Process.

If you need to increase or decrease funding on any non-RI Internal Award, (e.g., Startup, HTC, SEA, PURF, etc.) you must work with the award manager to increase or decrease the internal award through the internal award process.

Can I use Internal Awards funds to support an event, symposium, conference?

Yes. If an Internal award is providing funds to support a symposium, conference, event, etc., you should use object code 780300-IC Sponsorships on the debit side to charge your internal award and the department receiving the funds would use object code 480300-IC Sponsorships (Revenue)

I have a check, can I deposit funds into an Internal Award?

Internal Awards are set up, by definition, with internal funds only. You cannot deposit external funds into an internal award as revenue.

However, if a vendor has supplied you with a refund or reimbursed you for conference registrations, etc., you can deposit the funds into the internal award as an expense reduction.

How do I find and correct overspends on Internal Awards?

Internal awards are not permitted to have a negative available balance. These accounts should be reviewed at least monthly.

Directions on how to run the OBI query to see overspent PTA accounts:

Select the following Prompts on the Grants Funds Available Dashboard in OBI:

  • Project Type
    • Select INTERNAL
  • Task QRG Parent Level and #/DESC
    • Level C
    • Select your Planning Unit
  • Restrict to Overspent PTAs
    • Defaults to N
    • Select Y to view overspent PTAs (selecting Y provides a list of all overspent accounts)
  • Include Closed Awards
    • Defaults to N
    • Select Y to include closed Awards (selecting Y includes awards that are closed to ensure the balance is correct for the award)
  • Include Closed Projects
    • Defaults to N
    • Select Y to include closed Projects (selecting Y includes projects that are closed to ensure the balance is correct for the project)
  • Apply
    • On the resulting list, the "Avail Balance ITD" column will show your overspent amount that will need to be corrected.
Picture of the OBI prompts listed above

Correcting overspent balances:

  • Open commitments may be creating the overspend so review them for possible closure or adjustment through a Change Order.
  • Transfer expense(s) to a different allowable account. Policy requires the correction to be done within 60 days of the posting of the expense.
    • Complete a journal entry using the JET Tool. (Refer to page 34 and Appendix H of the Internal Award - How to Guide for journal entry examples)
    • Submit a Payroll Expense Accounting correction form

Note:Indirect Cost Distribution earned will post on a one month lag until the end of the fiscal year. (i.e., IDC calculated amounts earned in April will post in May. IDC calculated amounts earned in May and June will post in June). If you have a negative balance on a Research Incentive account, check if the IDC journal entry has been posted (normally mid-month) which may bring your PTA back to a positive balance and no adjustment will be needed.

How do I review for expired Internal Awards?

Internal Award accounts attached to projects that have passed the end date should not have an available balance. These accounts should be reviewed at least monthly.

Directions on how to run the OBI query to see expired PTA accounts through a specific end date:

Select the following Prompts on the Grants Funds Available Dashboard in OBI:

  • Project Type
    • Select INTERNAL
  • Task ORG Parent LEvel and the #/DESC
    • Use to refine your search
  • Award Type and Member
    • Use to refine your search
  • Include Closed Awards
    • Defaults to N
    • Select Y to include closed Awards (selecting Y includes awards that are closed to ensure the balance is correct for the award)
  • Include Closed Projects
    • Defaults to N
    • Select Y to include closed Projects (selecting Y includes projects that are closed to ensure the balance is correct for the project)
  • PTA with end date before
    • End date is entered to view PTAs ending within a specific time period (selecting a specific date provides a list of PTAs that have ended through the date)
  • Apply
    • On the resulting list, the "Avail Balance ITD" column should be zero.
Picture of the prompts listed above

Correcting available balances on expired PTA accounts:

  • Open commitments will need to be cleared to zero before adjusting any award amounts. A project member will need to request purchase order closure or adjustment.
  • Project members should ensure all spending was correctly charged to the PTA.
  • The award manager can decrease the award by the available balance amount. (Refer to Appendix G - number 1 of the Internal Award - How to Guide)
  • The award manager can coordinate with the department on the project and extend end dates if allowable.