2. Award Set Up

a. Pre-award Spending

PI’s should not begin project activity or incur costs for a project prior to Foundation signature of the grant or contract award. Some sponsors allow pre-award spending but this is at the risk of the department or college if the proposal is not awarded. Many sponsors do not allow pre-award spending under any circumstances, and expressly disallow costs incurred before the date of award. For these reasons, all pre-award spending must have the prior approval of the college/department and the Foundation. Do not incur any costs or authorize any obligations for an unawarded proposal until both these approvals are received. Pre-award costs or obligations incurred without Foundation approval is solely at the risk of the PI and his/her college.

b. Foundation Chartfield String Creation:

A PeopleSoft chartfield string will be assigned to the sponsored program which the PI uses to charge all legitimate program costs. It is important that this chartfield string is identified on all spending transactions and documentation. The process for receiving a Foundation chartfield string is as follows:

  • On the receipt of a fully executed Grant/Contract Approval Form and the award, the Foundation Grants Analyst will submit a “PeopleSoft chartfield request form” to the Foundation’s Director of Fiscal Operations. The PeopleSoft chartfield will be assigned and emailed to the Grant Analyst usually within 5 -10 business days.

  • An email is sent to the PI/PD, indicating the assigned chartfield string, award amount and performance period along with a signature authorization form and CA 700U Form (Statement of Economic Interest for PI), which must be completed and returned before the PI/PD can start spending.

  • Awards agreements continued or renewed by amendment over multiple years will continue to use the same PeopleSoft chartfield string. An email will be sent to the PI/PD confirming this once the continuation or renewal is received. Sponsored Programs funded by new agreements for every year will be assigned a new chartfield number for the period covered by the new award agreement.

  • PeopleSoft Financial Reporting System – PI/PDs should use the PeopleSoft system to closely monitor program expenditures so that they can remain within budget and avoid overruns. If a PI discovers an error or questionable charge, they should inform the Foundation as soon as possible, to ensure corrections can be made before close of the fiscal year.

c. PeopleSoft Chartfields

Your Foundation chartfield string is composed of six chartfields: Account, Fund, Dept ID, Program, Class, Project. Each chartfield serves a different function (see CSUEB Chartfield Descriptions for further explanation). Chartfields are separated by dashes and a blank chartfield string looks as follows:

example of empty chartfield

It is not always necessary to complete all six chartfields. Only four of the six chartfields are required: Account, Fund, Dept ID, and Project (trust accounts do not require the project field) Each sponsored program will be assigned a unique chartfield string that includes three chartfields: Fund, Dept ID, and Project. These three numbers will always remain the same whenever expenses are to be charged to that sponsored program.

The fourth required chartfield is the Account chartfield. This chartfield will change depending on the type of expense to be charged to the sponsored program. For example, the faculty salary Account code is 601100. The Account code for identifying travel expenses is 606001. Since it is not always obvious from the Check Request description what the purpose of an expense is, it is important to always enter the Account code (see list of Common Account Codes Used). Account codes used should match approved budget categories in your approved budget. If you are trying to charge an Account code that is not in your approved budget, a budget revision may be necessary (see Section 2.d below).

d. Rebudgeting

Changes in a project's approved budget must be approved by the Foundation and may also, in many cases, require prior consent of the funding source. Certain governmental funding sources are particularly restrictive regarding budget changes.

If a budget change is necessary, the project director must submit a Foundation Budget Revision Form. If the funding source's approval is required, the Foundation will submit a re-budgeting request to the sponsor based upon justifications to be provided by the PI.

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