New Advance Accounts and Backstops on Existing Accounts

Training Video (8min) and Slides are available for the content on this page 


Advance new account:

Principal Investigators (PI) and departments may establish an advance sponsored project account to incur expenses prior to receiving the fully-executed notice of award. Advance accounts minimize after the fact expense transfers and reconciliation challenges. Using advance accounts for costs prior to the official award start date is allowable if the sponsoring agency permits charging preaward costs.

The UA Proposal Routing process in UAccess Research must be completed and the PI and department are responsible for satisfying all regulatory requirements (e.g.IRB, IACUC, financial conflict of interest, etc.) prior to requesting an advance account. The advance account request will be returned if financial conflict of interest requirements are incomplete. 

Once the advance account is established, Sponsored Projects Services will notify the Principal Investigator, department and/or college of the new account number.

When postaward processing of the award is complete, the sponsored account will be removed from advance account status. The PI and department should review expenses to ensure they are within the preaward window if applicable, and allowable under the award terms and conditions. 

Backstop existing account:

A backstop may be used to continue incurring expenditures on a sponsored project account when the PI and department are expecting a modification to an existing award.

  1. Backstops for additional funding and time:
    • The backstop dollar amount should cover the estimated expenditures during the backstop period. An approved UAccess Research proposal must cover the time and amount expected for the pending award. The PI and department are responsible for satisfying all regulatory requirements (e.g. IRB, IACUC, financial conflict of interest, etc.) prior to submitting a backstop.
  2. Backstops for a no-cost extension:
    • A backstop dollar amount is not required, nor is a revised proposal. Documentation of the request for no-cost extension is required.


Form Instructions:

*Download Advance Account (Preaward) & Backstopping Form and click "Email to SPS" button when complete. Electronic signature or email approval is accepted. *

The form must include:

  • New Advance Account - Institutional Proposal (IP) ID: Must be the eight digit UAccess Research IP number. Example: 00000395. This number is generated within UAccess Research after a proposal is fully approved. If you do not have the number, it can be found by opening the proposal in UAccess Research and navigating to Medusa. The IP must be compliant with financial conflict of interest or the request will be returned.
    • How to review COI on advance account backstop before submission:
      • Disclosure Project-Based Investigator Status Dashboard  
        1. Open: UAccess > Analytics/Reporting > Dashboards > Research > eDisclosure - Conflict of Interest (COI) > eDisclosure Project-Based Investigator Status 
        2. Enter the UAccess Research Institutional Proposal Number.
          1. If dashboard returns green or gray rows for determination status, the project is compliant.
          2. If the dashboard returns red rows the project is not compliant - please work with Office of Responsible Outside Interests (OROI) to resolve incomplete requirements.
          3. If the dashboard does not return results, email sends e-mail) with the IP number so SPS can investigate.
  • Backstop Existing Sponsored Account: Must be the seven digit UAccess Financials account number – Example: 3000120

Risks and Restrictions:

  • The PI and department assumes the financial risk if the award is not issued, or if the award effective date is outside of the preaward cost window for an advance account (typically 90 days for federal sponsors).
  • An advance account or backstop request cannot be used to expedite workflow if the award has been issued and is in queue for award/account setup.
  • Only Sponsored Project Services accounts can be backstopped (3XXXXXX and 4XXXXXX accounts). 
  • Backstop accounts are limited to 90 days past the official end date of the award. If a PI, department or college wants to backstop beyond 90 days, Sponsored Projects Services must receive: 
    • Award verification from the sponsor, such as email correspondence or a draft award.
    • Approval from the Department Head (electronic signature or email approval is accepted)
    • Exceptions to the 90 day limit are:
      • Accounts with operational advances and documented evidence of anticipated future funding may be backstopped up to one year at a time to enable to establishment of the next year of the advance. Department Head approval is required.
      • Cash basis accounts (Ex. new sponsors, foreign sponsors, high risk sponsors) which may be backstopped up to one year at a time with Department Head approval.
      • Industry clinical trials
        • Backstop does not require Department Head approval
        • If revenue exceeds expenses the backstop is not required
  • Please note that the Account Close-Out Process will continue while backstopped to insure that the University can claim valid expenses in the event the grant/contract is not extended as expected. Budget will be reduced to match the final claim of costs. When the project extension is fully executed, the budget will be loaded back into the account and the backstop will be removed.

Subscribe to the UArizona Impact in Action newsletter to receive featured stories and event info to connect you with UArizona's research, innovation, entrepreneurial ventures, and societal impacts.

Subscribe now