Limiting Long-Term WBS Account Structures

Long-term WBS account structures create challenges for:

  • Reporting (e.g. the Research Dashboard)
  • Close out
  • OSP and DLC administrators trying to manage projects when they “don’t know the history”
  • Maintaining different terms (e.g. Uniform Guidance) in the same structure
  • Establishing Sponsor-Approved Budgets

The Department of Energy (DOE)’s award practices, in particular, have resulted in a number of large and long-term DOE account structures in Kuali Coeus (KC). DOE treats renewal funding as an extension of the original project period and maintains the same account number.

To minimize such structures and adopt a “fresh start” approach for competing segments of DOE awards, OSP will be setting up all DOE renewals in new WBS account structures rather than extending and revising existing accounts. 

For both the old and new accounts, OSP will:

  • keep the same grant/cooperative agreement number in the Sponsor Award Number field
  • add comments in the General Comment fields that reference the predecessor/successor account number*
  • move all final reporting requirements from the old account to the new account

When a new DOE renewal account is established, DLCs will need to:

  • Notify VPF [Lino Gelormini] of the relationship between the new and the old account(s) and whether they would like VPF to prepare an unofficial “final” SF425 created for the old account, which could be kept for internal purposes only. (VPF would not do the official final SF425 until the award actually ends.)
  • Make account adjustments for overruns/carryforward and process all credits/debits. DLCs should do any corresponding credits/debits to the old and new accounts at the same time. If the DLC moves the charges temporarily to a discretionary account, it causes problems for VPF.

When a new DOE renewal account is established, DLCs will need to:

  • Notify VPF [Lino Gelormini] of the relationship between the new and the old account(s) and whether they would like VPF to prepare an unofficial “final” SF425 created for the old account, which could be kept for internal purposes only. (VPF would not do the official final SF425 until the award actually ends.)
  • Make account adjustments for overruns/carryforward and process all credits/debits. DLCs should do any corresponding credits/debits to the old and new accounts at the same time. If the DLC moves the charges temporarily to a discretionary account, it causes problems for VPF.
    • Overrun: DLCs should use the GL for Research Project Overrun to move an overrun from the prior account to the new account. Since DOE would be looking at this as all one award, this is allowable.
    • Unexpended balance:  Any unexpended funds in the old account would be carried forward to the new account. This would be reflected in the close-out documentation that VPF sends to the DLC and to OSP for processing. Once VPF determines the unexpended amount, OSP will reduce the totals on the old account and increase the totals on the new account to reflect that amount and revise the award budgets posted in KC accordingly.

*OSP is also working on developing the ability to “link” the old and new accounts in Kuali Coeus to show that WBS accounts are related outside of the parent/child relationship and to aggregate for reporting when needed.