Advance Accounts

Backstop and Advance Account Procedure

*5/5/22 Newly streamlined form! Download for use and click "Email to SPS" button when complete: Advance Account (Preaward) & Backstopping Form*

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

Overview:

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.

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.

Advance account and backstop risk 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). 

 

Requesting an advance account or backstop account

Request a new advance account

The PI, department or college initiates an advance account request by filling out the Advance Account (Preaward) & Backstopping Form and emailing it to Sponsored Projects Services. Electronic signature or email approval is accepted. 

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.

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. 

Request a backstop for an existing account 

The PI, department or college initiates a backstop request by filling out the Advance Account (Preaward) & Backstopping Form and emailing it to Sponsored Projects Services. Electronic signature or email approval is accepted. 

  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.

 

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)

Two 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 which may be backstopped up to one year at a time accordingly:

  • Cash basis projects (Ex. new sponsors, foreign sponsors, high risk sponsors)  
    • Backstop requires Department Head approval (cannot be delegated)
  • 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.