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Research Accounting is the central, post-award accounting department reporting to the Office of the Controller, which in turn reports to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer at the University of Pittsburgh. Research Accounting is responsible for the central, post-award accounting, administration and management of sponsored projects at the University. Responsibilities include timely and accurate post-award accounting, financial reporting, invoicing, accounts receivable management and administration of sponsored project funds from account activation to account closing. To accomplish these responsibilities, Research Accounting works closely with the University’s Office of Research, principal investigators, deans, directors, department chairs, department administrators, central administrative offices, internal and external auditors and external representatives of federal and non-federal sponsoring agencies.
Overview of Research Accounting Responsibilities
- Account Activation – establishing the sponsored project account in the University sponsored project financial accounting subsystem along with the related project budget and the appropriate award attributes in accordance with sponsoring agency regulations and requirements, and University policies and procedures
- Account Maintenance – processing ongoing changes to the sponsored project account throughout the life cycle of an account such as new project year add-ons, budget modifications, new subaccounts, changes in PI, changes of address, change of department, no-cost extensions, journal entries, monitoring early, overdrafted and unbilled accounts, etc.
- Invoicing – preparing the majority of University sponsored project invoicing based upon the requirements of the notice of award in a timely and accurate manner
- Cash Application – applying payments received from sponsoring agencies to University sponsored project accounts and related accounts receivable in a timely and accurate manner
- Accounts Receivable – accounting, administration and management of sponsored project accounts receivable assuring that all sponsor financial commitments to the University are met in a reasonable period of time; with the support of Principal Investigators, departmental administration and the Office of General Counsel
- Financial Reporting – preparing required financial reports for sponsors based upon project costs recorded by departments in a timely and accurate manner
- Account Closing – determining that sponsored project accounts are financially balanced and all sponsor financial requirements are met including required University financial and other administrative reports to finalize the sponsored project award and close the account
- Audit Support – providing central accounting and administrative support on a majority of University sponsored project and program audits, financial site visits, agency desk reviews, certain financial questionnaires, A-133 inquiries and other agency financial inquiries
- Miscellaneous Sponsored Project Administration – providing sponsored project account financial support, administration, customer service, oversight, compliance and issue resolution in coordination with the Office of Research, Principal Investigators, department administrators, central administrative offices and sponsors