FAQ - Non-Sponsored Projects

What is a Project?

A project is a collection of related financial activities across one or multiple business lines for the same objective and/or mission. To achieve a more detailed picture of all the financial activities, the project can be sub-divided into tasks. Rutgers has identified the following project types:

  • Capital Project
  • Endowment Principal and Operating
  • Gifts – Restricted
  • Loans
  • Federal Work Study Program
  • Investment Management
  • Treasury Bonds
  • Future
  • State Appropriations (SEBS)
  • Land Grants (Federal)
  • Grants
  • Clinical Research
  • Clinical Trial
  • RU Initiative – Reporting Project

The Projects module, implemented in October 2016, gives a complete picture and timely access to project information and all accounting details.

What is a Non-Sponsored Project?

A non-sponsored project is a project that is not award based. It can receive funding through internal and external sources. Spending has either minor or no restrictions.

What Project String will I enter to create and process a transaction against a project?

In order to transact against a project, information will be entered in the following fields:

  • Project ID - (system-generated number) – Project IDs within a project type will start with the same number
  • Task(s) – Task numbers within a project type will start with the same number as the project in most cases
  • Expenditure Type – This is similar to the Account segment in the General Ledger
  • Expenditure Organization – (Unit, Division, Organization)

These GL segments are also coded when preparing a transaction against a project in most situations

  • Location - part of the new Chart of Accounts
  • Business Line - part of the new Chart of Accounts
  • Activity - part of the new Chart of Accounts
  • RU Initiative - an optional field which can be populated to group GL and Project transactions

What is a Task?

A task is used to break down a project into more manageable parts. Tasks are created to track specific activities within a project that are not covered by the Expenditure Type, Business Line or Location. Every project must have at least one task. Non-Sponsored projects can have multiple tasks; Sponsored projects will have only one task. Tasks will be standardized and approved by the Project and COA Governance Committee.

What is an Expenditure Type?

An expenditure type is the same as the account (natural account) segment in the new Chart of Accounts.

What is an Expenditure Organization?

The expenditure organization includes the unit, division, and organization segments in the new Chart of Accounts that is being charged to on the Project.

What is the RU Initiative in the Project String?

The RU Initiative is a reporting project type used to track expenses charged to related projects or GL transactions. A department will not be able to budget or charge to a RU Initiative. RU Initiative will be a list of values created by central accounting at the request of departments. This field is optional when transacting against a project or GL, or making a project adjustment or GL journal or when transacting in Sci Quest or PeopleSoft. If a department wants to track expense or revenue details, the RU Initiative must be entered on each individual project or GL transaction.

What is the Federal Appropriations Project Type?

The Federal Appropriations project type is for Land Grants.  A land grant is land awarded to Rutgers University for expansion (Cook/Douglass Campus). Rutgers receives federal funding authorized under the Smith-Lever and Hatch Acts  which established “Cooperative Extension Services” research for agriculture, economic development, public policy, 4-H, home economics, and coastal sciences.  These grants are administered by the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS).

Where are tuition transactions and salary reallocations done?

Tuition transactions will continue to be processed in their current Student Accounting Systems and salary information in the PeopleSoft system. Salary reallocations for legacy PeopleSoft payroll and for all employees paid via PeopleSoft after 10/8/16 will to be processed in PeopleSoft. Salary reallocations for legacy Banner payroll will be processed by the GCA and Payroll departments via journals since the legacy Banner payroll system has been turned down.

Are designated projects only associated with one Fund Type?

Designated projects can have more than one fund type.  For example, you could have a Task associated with 100 Unrestricted Operating General and another Task associated with 150 Unrestricted Internally.

Are schools setting up Non-Sponsored Projects/tasks individually or will they be set up centrally?

It is important to have consistency in the way projects/tasks are established and for the University community to understand how the projects module is best used. Non Sponsored Project types will be set up initially by central accounting. After go live, central accounting will reevaluate this process and determine if departments could set up their own projects and or tasks using project templates.

Can you end date a task?

Yes. All tasks have a start and end date.

Who is a project manager for a Sponsored or Non-Sponsored Project in the Projects module?

After Grants and Contract Accounting (GCA) sets up an award in projects, the Principal Investigator automatically populates to the project manager field. For Non-Sponsored Projects (no award), UCO personnel will be the Project Manager for centrally run projects. For Designated Projects, the units determined who would be assigned for each project. The project manager can be changed using the new Project Request form located on the UCO website.

How can I find my project balance?

After you search for your Project (select the Projects tile>Project Financial Management), as part of the Project Overview page, the Project balance is listed on the Financials tab labeled as Recognized Revenue. 

How can I view which expenditures have hit my project?

In Projects there is a dashboard which lists transactions, and inquiry reports that show what transactions have hit your projects.

Will there be a notification sent when an expenditure has been charged to a project?

No, however, after you login to the system, there is a dashboard which you can use to see information about your projects.

Will a Principal Investigator be able to view a project?

Yes, the Principal Investigators will be able to see all projects in the system if they have been given the RU Project Inquiry role. They also will be able to use the project dashboard to see only the projects that they were assigned as the Principal Investigator at the time of conversion.

What is the raw cost?

Raw cost is the expenditure amount before applicable F&A or burden cost is applied.

What is burden cost?

Burden cost is the raw cost (expenditure amount) plus F&A. The system will calculate the F&A for sponsored projects, if the project is non-sponsored, then the raw cost and burden cost will be the same.

Can a Unit, Division, Organization (UDO) other than the owning UDO charge my project?

Yes, other UDOs can charge your project.  If the charge is a mistake, the owning UDO can create a project adjustment to fix it.

What is the criteria for the conversion of current fund sources/indices into the Projects Module?

The criteria for converting existing projects into the Projects Module are:

  • A Fund Source/Index should be currently active
  • A Fund Source/Index should have non-zero balance and/or at least one transaction in FY15 or forward
  • There are non-zero costs/expenses incurred against it and there is non-zero funding/revenue recorded against it
  • A Fund Source/Index can be classified into one of the following buckets
    • Capital Projects
    • Designated
    • Endowments Principals
    • Endowments Operating
    • Federal Work Study Program
    • Gifts-Restricted
    • Loans
    • RU Non-Sponsored Research
    • Land Grants
    • Grants

What systems interface with Projects?

SciQuest, the new procurement system, will feed Supplier and accounting information about Purchase Orders/Invoices to Projects.

  • PeopleSoft, the HR/Payroll system, will provide summary salary transactions
  • Student Accounting will provide summary tuition, fees and Financial Aid will provide summary scholarship information into Projects.
  • University telephone charges
  • Credit card transactions processed through Scholarchip, an online payment gateway, will also feed Projects

What are Project Templates?

A Project template is a shortcut for setting up a project and must be selected every time a project is created. It is important to have consistency in the way projects are established so central accounting will be responsible to set up projects. Project templates ensure consistent structures are used when creating similar types of projects.

Is there a minimum amount of money necessary to create a project and a task budget?

Central Accounting is in the process of creating a policy on minimum dollars needed to create a project and task budget.  In some cases, it will be more efficient for a unit to just track revenue and expense through the GL by adding an additional business line or location value.

Can you enter budgets in the Projects Module?

The functionality to enter budgets into the Projects module exists, but the budgets in projects do not rollup to the General Ledger. Departments will still enter the yearly budget in the Hyperion Planning application against the summary General Ledger segments. Grants and Contract Accounting will add Sponsored project budgets at the task level and Central Accounting will allow departments to maintain their own budgets at the task level for Non-Sponsored Projects at a future date after go live when given access to a budget role.

Can a Project have multiple funding sources?

Yes, a Project can have multiple funding sources.

Are there any unrestricted gifts?  

Gift accounts are to be opened as “Restricted” and should go through the Foundation before being opened at the University.

How will royalties be mapped in the new system?

Royalties will not be mapped as a project.  There will be revenue and expense account values to track royalties in the General Ledger.

How do I view multiple projects?

There is a dashboard to view multiple projects for Sponsored Projects and for Non-Sponsored Projects, you will see all the projects you have been assigned through the search screen.

Can you explain the columns listed in the financials tab in the Projects Module?

The financials tab in the projects module has three columns. The Estimation of Completion will not be used by Rutgers.  The Period-to-Date column will reflect the total transactions for the month and the Inception-to-Date will reflect the total of transactions from day one.

Do you have to put a justification when you enter a project adjustment?

Yes.  After you submit your adjustment for approval, a justification box will appear.  You must enter a justification before the project adjustment is sent to your Approver.

How many characters can be entered in the justification box?

The justification box can contain up to one thousand characters.

Will departments be able to do revenue adjustments?

The access to do revenue adjustments can be seen in the Revenue tile.

How do departments handle funding from one department to another in projects?

This will be done by revenue recognition which will be limited by the roles in the system.  Revenue and invoicing will be handled by GCA for Sponsored Projects.

Is the transaction number the same as the requisition number?

The transaction number is a system-generated number and is not the same as the requisition number.  You can use the transaction number as part of your search criteria.

What are transactional controls in projects?

Transactional controls limit the type of project transactions that can occur on certain project types.  For example, the transactional control for the Federal Work Study project type allows only salary transactions to be charged to this type of project.

Can you do bulk project adjustments?

There is no functionality to do bulk project adjustments?  However, if you are transacting in the General Ledger you can create bulk journal entries.

Can I select my approver when I create a project adjustment?

No. Everyone will be assigned a finance approver. The finance approver has the ability to set vacation rules or designate someone else to approve the transaction.

If a project adjustment is rejected does the preparer have to redo the adjustment entirely or just make the change requested?

The preparer will have redo the adjustment entirely.

Can you add attachments to a Project?

Yes.  Each project has a Documents tab in which anyone can add attachments. Attachments can be in pdf, Word, Excel or text formats.  As long as you have access to the projects module, you can view anyone’s attachments or projects.

Can you add an attachment to a project adjustment?

No, you are not able to add documentation directly to an adjustment.  You can, however, add an attachment directly to the project and reference the adjustment as a way to record documentation for a specific project adjustment.

Do you receive any alert when an attachment has been added to a project?

No, you will not receive an alert if an attachment has been added to a project.