Sponsored Programs FAQ
As defined in OMB Circular A-21, "F&A costs are broad categories of costs. "Facilities" is defined as depreciation and use allowances, interest on debt associated with certain buildings, equipment and capital improvements, operation and maintenance expenses, and library expenses. "Administration" is defined as general administration and general expenses, departmental administration, sponsored projects administration, student administration and services, and all other types of expenditures not listed specifically under one of the subcategories of Facilities (including cross allocations from other pools)."
In other words, F&A costs are institutional costs not easily identifiable with a particular project or activity, but are necessary for the general operation of the institution. The terms "F&A costs" and "indirect costs" are often used interchangeably.
Once the proposal has been awarded from the funding agency Sponsored Programs Administration sends the original award to Sponsored Programs Accounting in the Controller's Office. A copy of the award is also emailed to the Principal Investigator (PI) and the budget manager. Sponsored Programs Accounting then sets up a restricted fund number for the award based on who the prime funding source (Federal, State, County/City, or Private) is. The organization code and the program code are identified on the Internal Approval Sheet.
Once the fund number has been set up in Banner the budget is loaded based on the approved budget in the award. An email is then sent to the PI, departmental contact, and Sponsored Programs Administration identifying the following items:
- Project Title
- Award Amount
- Sponsor Award Number
- University Account Number (Banner Number: Fund-Org-Program)
- MSU Award Number
- Budget Period
- Cost Share Requirements
- Title to Equipment
If any of this information is incorrect in the email, please notify us immediately.
We use the following guidelines to set up the program code:
|011000 - General Academic
|022000 - Individual on Project Research
|021000 - Institute and Research Center
|027000 - MAFES Research
|032000 - Family and Consumer Education
|031000 - Academic and Public Service
|033000 - Enterprise and Community Resource Development
|034000 - 4-H Youth Development
|037000 - Agriculture
The department should complete a Preliminary Account Request (PAR) form and forward it to their Sponsored Program Administrator. All questions about the form should be directed to your Administrator. When filling out the form, make sure all the blanks are completed and a budget is attached. If this is not done, the process will be slowed down tremendously. The Sponsored Program Administrator will then forward the form to Sponsored Programs Accounting where they will set up a temporary fund. When the temporary fund is set up, it is assigned a fund number but no budget is loaded. The department contact will receive an email from Sponsored Programs Accounting once the PAR is set up. The department can then start spending money on that project. The PAR serves as an understanding that the department can start spending on that project, but if for some reason MSU does not receive the award money, the department is responsible for the expenditures.
Sponsored Programs Accounting will prepare a closeout sheet to ensure that all costs are included in the final invoice to the sponsor. The closeout sheet will be sent to the Budget Manager. The sheet should be reviewed for accuracy and noted if any charges need to be made for items that have not posted to the ledger yet. Documentation must be provided for all outstanding expenses. The Principle Investigator should be a part of this review to ensure he/she agrees with the final figures. The closeout form should be signed by the Budget Manager and/or PI and returned to Sponsored Programs Accounting. The final invoice will then be submitted to the sponsor based on the figures on the signed closeout. Once the final invoice has been submitted, no additional costs will be allowed.
Once Sponsored Programs Accounting receives final payment from the sponsor, the fund will be terminated.
Upon expiration of a fixed price project with an unspent balance, Sponsored Programs Accounting requires a Certification of Expenditures (COE) to be on file before the fund can be closed out. Sponsored Programs Accounting will notify you by email to complete this form. Once the final overhead has posted and the final payment has been received from the funding agency, Sponsored Programs Accounting will close the fund balance to the appropriate department's residual fund, or keep the money in the current account and extend the project end date for further research, based on what is requested on the COE.