Accounts are set up/modified in GMAS (Grants Management Application Suite; the official record for all sponsored accounts at Harvard University) in accordance with the Harvard University Sponsored Chart of Account Business Rules. Once the account(s) and award information has been completed, a notification (Action Memo) is generated and the account information is sent to the General Ledger (GL). Please see the Award Setup Process (SPH) for the step by step procedure to follow when an award is being set up.
Things That May Delay Account Set-up
- The project involves animal subjects, but the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval is not available.
- The project involves human subjects, but the appropriate human subject Internal Review Board (IRB) approval is not available: HMS/HSDM, SPH.
- Conflict of Interest matters have not been resolved in accordance with the policies and procedures of the appropriate school: HMS/HSDM, SPH.
- Signed Harvard Participation Agreements are not on file for key personnel: Harvard Personnel, Visitors Participating in Harvard Projects.
- The project involves cost sharing, but the appropriate documentation has not been supplied by the department to the SPA office.
- The project is funded by the National Institutes of Health, but the Principal Investigator has not signed a Harvard NIH Public Access Policy Form.
- Unusual sponsor grant or contract terms that require extensive negotiation.
- Use of the Harvard name issues.
- Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (ESCRO) approval for stem cells has not been received.
- Proposal is not on file with the appropriate SPA office.
- Proposal budget and awarded budget do not match.
Types of Accounts
At-Risk accounts, also known as Advance Accounts, allow Principal Investigators to initiate spending on their projects before the University receives and/or accepts an award. A Principal Investigator/Department may want to request an At-Risk account when the appropriate SPA office has received notification of a sponsor’s intent to fund a proposal, but the issuance of the actual award document by the sponsor may be delayed, or an incoming award may require a substantial negotiation period and there is an immediate need to begin work or continue existing work that benefits the sponsored project. The establishment of an At-Risk account provides the Principal Investigator (PI) access to funding by assigning a Fund number in GMAS in advance of arrival or approval of the official award document. The PI’s department assumes the liability for all expenditures if the award does not materialize or if the appropriate SPA office is unable to approve the award due to noncompliance with University policies. Principal Investigators/Departments are advised to review sponsor policies on pre-award spending prior to requesting At-Risk accounts.
To request an At-Risk account, an At-Risk Request must be completed in GMAS and routed to the SPA office electronically for approval. At SPH, at-risk requests will not be awarded for greater than $200K. Please see the Department At-Risk Account Process (SPH) for the step by step procedure.
Streamlined Advance Accounts - The request should include the attachment of any compliance material (COI, IRB, or IACUC) which may not have been previously submitted to the appropriate SPA office at the time of proposal.
Streamlined Advance Accounts are automatically set up by the SPA office for non-competing NIH awards that require a request for carry forward and/or annual reporting (ie. year logic). This includes Research and Training Fellowships (T and F), Institutional Training and Director Program Projects (D43), Research Project Cooperative Agreements (U), Program Project/Center Grants (P) and Education Projects (R25) awards. The establishment of a streamlined advance account provides the Principal Investigator (PI) access to funding in advance of arrival or approval of the official award document. Please see the Streamlined Advance Accounts Process (SPH) for the step by step procedure.
If more than one account is needed to manage an award the additional accounts are called part-of accounts. Part-of accounts are established to manage discrete tasks due to award restrictions and to discretely capture financial data for reporting purposes. PIs and administrators wishing to set up part-of accounts should contact their SPA representative (HMS/HSDM) (SPH) for assistance.
GMAS and CREW security to view and report on account activity will be automatically granted to the part-of account department. Approval from the SPA office is required to opt-out of granting this security.
A sub-agreement account is established for each sub-agreement issued by the University to a specific sub-recipient under a sponsored award. A Subaward account may not appear on its own without the main account being set up first. While the subcontract(s) is under negotiation, funds for the subawardee are held in reserve until the subcontract is fully executed. When the subaward is fully executed, accounts will be established and a notification issued.