When sponsored agreements are entered into PeopleSoft, the entire awarded budget becomes immediately available for spending. The Principal Investigator with the assistance from his or her unit administrators may begin posting expenses up to the total authorized amount. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the University essentially advances funds to each sponsored project until a reimbursement from the funding organization is received.
Sponsored projects can be grouped into three major categories – (1) cost reimbursable, (2) fixed-price, and (3) fixed-rate agreements. Cost reimbursable agreements are paid based on actual allowable costs incurred up to the total awarded amount. Fixed-price agreements are reimbursed based on programmatic work completed regardless of actual expenses. Fixed-rate agreements are most commonly known as clinical trial awards where reimbursement occurs on a fixed amount per unit of measure (e.g. study participants, tissue or blood samples, office visits, completed surveys, etc.). Any unspent balance on fixed-price and fixed-rate agreements is subject to the Residual Balances on Sponsored Agreements SPA Procedure.
SPA’s Cash Management team bears the primary responsibility for all sponsored billing and accounts receivables activities, which are done through UVM’s financial system of record PeopleSoft. Reimbursement requests must adhere to the terms and conditions, which are outlined in every agreement. There are two primary methods for requesting reimbursements.
Letter of Credit (LOC) Draws
LOC draws, which are performed for the majority of federal agreements, are by far the most efficient and least burdensome way of requesting payments. Utilized by federal agencies only at this time, this method allows grantees to request a reimbursement for multiple awards funded by the same agency via one transaction. Drawdowns are performed either once or twice per month for each federal agency. Once the draw request is submitted, the University is reimbursed within a day or two, with funds being transferred via Automated Clearing House (ACH) into UVM’s bank account. LOC draws do not typically require any follow-up or collections activities.
This method of billing requires an actual invoice, which gets submitted either electronically or via mail to the sponsor along with any required back-up documentation. PeopleSoft has a batch billing functionality, which allows to create and print multiple invoices at the same time. Depending on the terms of the agreement, invoices can represent costs incurred grouped by cost category (cost reimbursable invoices) or grant deliverables completed (milestone based invoices). SPA’s AR Specialist follows up at least monthly on all receivables older than 60-90 days. At times, SPA may require assistance from PIs and unit administrators to help us secure payments; however, this doesn’t happen often.
During the negotiation period, Award Acceptance Officers review and, if necessary, negotiate invoicing terms with sponsors. The goal is to increase efficiency and reduce administrative burden on central offices, departments and PIs. Examples of burdensome invoicing terms include requirements to submit receipts, progress reports and other types of back-up with each invoice; reclassify costs in a way different than how they are grouped in PeopleSoft; create invoices on sponsor specific (rather than UVM standard) templates. SPA may require assistance from PIs and unit administrators to collect back-up, reclassify costs, coordinate invoice and progress report submission.
In order for billing to commence, UVM must first receive an award document from the sponsoring organization. The agreement must be accepted by the University, and the project must get established in PeopleSoft. Awards that are set up prior to award receipt (Advance Accounts) remain on hold for billing until the authorization is received and processed by SPA.
Cost reimbursable awards can only be billed after expenses have posted in PeopleSoft, which may result in a time lag between when the award is first set up and when the initial invoice is created. Milestone based payments are requested once the deliverables outlined in the agreement have been completed. SPA staff will contact unit administrators or PIs to confirm deliverables’ completion prior to issuing such invoices.
All invoices submitted to sponsors can be located in the PI Portal, Financial Documents tab.
For more information and for any billing / accounts receivable questions, please contact Sponsored Revenue and Cash Management Team:
Lana Metayer, Team Lead
Maggie Hall, Billing Analyst
Ken Viglucci, Billing/AR SME
Paul Sebastiano, AR Specialist
Lana Metayer | Team Lead
Sponsored Revenue | Cash Management
University of Vermont
Sponsored Project Administration
217 Waterman | 85 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05405-0160
P: 802-656-1457 | [log in to unmask] | www.uvm.edu/spa/
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