Technical Accounting Support, including Financial Aid and Gift Accounting

Research centers/departments should review all project-related expenditures and cost transfers. They should regularly review COGNOS reports to ensure all charges are appropriate.

Departments should exercise caution and charge expenses on the correct award when incurred. Research centers/departments and the individual requesting the transfer are included in the responsibility of verifying the correction was properly posted.

A transfer JV should include a copy of the original transaction and contain a full explanation of how the error occurred. An example of an insufficient explanation is “to correct error” or “to transfer to correct project”.

CAUTION: Frequent recording errors and untimely reviews may indicate the need to review internal controls.

Expenditure corrections, including salary redistributions, submitted more than 90 days from pay date will only be approved if there is an external contractual reason why the transfer must be processed.

If an employee’s salary has not been charged to the sponsored award within 90 days of the date of pay, NMSU will be unable to bill the agency for the expense.

Departments should be aware of important deadlines at Fiscal Year-End.

ELRs must be initiated at least 5 working days prior to June 30 to allow time for all required approvals. If ELRs are not completely approved by noon on the last day of close they will be erased and will need to be resubmitted with the new fiscal year’s date. Remember that any labor transfers should be done within 90 days.

Also, Direct Pay Requests (DPRs) for subcontracts (EQ #s) are not processed between 1st and final close. SPA will submit the DPRs to Accounts Payable immediately after final close when encumbrance balances have been updated in the new fiscal year.

State of New Mexico Higher Education Department and U.S. Department of Education provide funding to NMSU each year in order to provide Financial Aid to students. Funding can take the form of scholarships, gift aid such as the Pell Grant, loans and work-study funds.

Work-study is a federally and state-funded, need-based financial aid program that provides part-time employment to students.

A participating institution applies each year for Federal Work-Study (FWS) funding by submitting the Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) to the U.S. Department of Education. Using a statutory formula, the U.S. Department of Education allocates funds based on the institution’s previous funding level and the aggregate need of eligible students in attendance in the prior year. In most cases, the employer must pay up to a 30% share of a student’s wages and the remaining 70% comes from federal or state work-study funds. However, under the federal work-study program, some tutoring and community service jobs qualify for 100% funding.

FWS students may be employed on-campus or off-campus. Off-campus agencies can be a federal, state or local public agency or a private nonprofit organization. A student granted work-study funds is given a maximum amount per year to be covered by the work-study program. Any wages earned over the total allocated amount must be covered at 100% by the hiring department.

FWS funding follows the UG, which prohibits “matching federal dollars with federal dollars” where the institution’s portion is allocated to a federal award. Thus, those departments wanting to cover their employer portion with federal funds must obtain prior approval from the agency in order to submit FWS labor as an allowable federal award expenditure.

SPA works closely with the University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services office and reviews the annual FISAP each September prior to submission. In addition, SPA initiates setup of annual funding within Banner, inputs budget, and monitors spending of Financial Aid awards.

A gift is a donation received for which no specific goods or services will directly benefit the donor. Gifts are made to NMSU or to the University Advancement Office. There are two types of gift funds:

  • Unrestricted – used for any purpose
  • Restricted – used for donor’s specified purpose

SPA’s responsibilities for gift funds include monitoring expenditures for allowability, working with the University Advancement Office for the transfer of funds into the University funds for expenses incurred, recording interest earned on gift funds annually, and verifying that established gift funds do not reflect a deficit fund balance.

Departments are responsible for ensuring that all gift funds have a positive cash balance at Fiscal Year-End. Multiple year-end closes can cause timing issues for items such as ELRs, PCards and the lag payroll, and should be taken into consideration.

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