Establishing an Account

Objective: Know the procedures necessary to set up a project account, including special award approvals and requirements.

Accounting services are provided via the VPF (Vice President for Finance) using MIT’s enterprise accounting system, SAP. Sponsored Projects are entered into SAP by OSP, via Kuali Coeus feed shortly after the receipt of an award or the negotiation of acceptable terms and conditions.

Award information is fed daily (at approximately 3:30pm) from Kuali Coeus to SAP.

How is an SAP cost object created for a new award?

  • When the award is received by MIT, the award document, proposal or request for funding, and related communication with the awarding organization are reviewed by OSP to determine whether the award is a sponsored project.
  • When an acceptable, fully executed sponsored project award is received by OSP, a New Project WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) element is created
  • Organized Research and Non-Research WBS
    • Research Project WBS are used for all organized research activities
    • Research WBS accounts are funded by outside sponsors and used to track the costs of a particular research project over its entire span of activity
    • Research accounts are numbered 5000000 through 9999999
    • Non-Research (Fund) Project WBS are used for all other sponsored project activities, including professional conferences, fellowship awards, and instructional and educational activities such as curriculum development
    • Fund accounts are numbered 2000000 though 4999999

Creating a cost object prior to the official start date

  • The DLC may authorize OSP to create a new WBS element in Pending Status provided that a discretionary source of back-up funding has been designated
  • A request for the cost object in Pending Status must be submitted in writing by the DLC and must be endorsed by an individual authorized to commit the source of back-up funding and by the DLC administering the pending WBS element
  • The DLC assumes all financial risk associated with possible failure of MIT to negotiate or receive an acceptable, fully executed award from the sponsor
  • “Pending Status” means that no charges are billable to the sponsor. However, charges can be placed on the account.

Important Restrictions and Notes:

  • Regulatory Research Requirements
  • Issuing a Subaward
  • The SAP cost object is based on Kuali Coeus data shown in the Notice of Award. If there are inaccuracies in the NoA, the DLC and OSP must act promptly to correct the data and ensure that the SAP cost objects match the award terms and conditions
  • When a new award includes cost sharing, the DLC and OSP must establish accurate cost objects to account for cost sharing. Once voluntary cost sharing is committed in the proposal, it becomes mandatory cost sharing for accounting purposes.
  • Kuali Coeus should capture specific restrictions on award expenditures as coded descriptors or comments

Key References

FAQs

What is a “WBS element”?

A WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) element is a cost object in SAP that collects expenses and revenues related to sponsored projects. WBS elements are both research and fund accounts. Projects often include several WBS elements forming a WBS (parent/child) hierarchy.

Can I get an account created before the award formally starts?

Yes. With the designation of a discretionary source of back-up funding, the DLC may authorize OSP to create a new WBS element in Pending Status (not billable to sponsor). Under such circumstances, the DLC assumes all of the financial risk associated with the possible failure of MIT to negotiate or receive an acceptable, fully executed award from the sponsor. The DLC must submit in writing the request for a cost object in Pending Status; the request must be endorsed by an individual authorized to commit the source of back-up funding and by the DLC administering the pending WBS element.