PI Frequently Asked Questions Sponsored Projects Accounting

Please select one of the links below for specific questions. If you do not find the answer you need, e-mail us, or call at: 646-1675.

General Information

Award Set-Up


Invoicing/Billing & Reports

General Information

What is Sponsored Projects Accounting (SPA) responsible for?
SPA is a group of professional accountants and support staff within Administration and Finance focused on customer service, who will assist the University by providing technical accounting support through financial reporting, transaction processing expertise, and interpretation of governmental regulations, thereby ensuring the data integrity of the financial information for the Univeristy.

Who are the SPA fiscal monitors and how are they assigned?
The following link provides updated information on the SPA fiscal monitors and their assignments which are by agency; http://www.nmsu.edu/~spa/fm_staff.html

What is the PI Portal?
The Principal Investigator (PI) portal provides the researcher quick and easy institutional information for both the pre award & post award process.

I have a few related restricted funds and I want to transfer money from one fund to another. What do I need to do?

In order to move budget, a budget revision will need to be processed through your Research Center and then through the Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC) office. When the SPA Systems and Project Management team receives the approved copy of the budget revision from OGC, then the budget will be moved.

What account code do I use to pay for a NMSU employee to attend a conference held on campus or at a hotel (within Las Cruces)?

Use account code “750051” (seminars & training) to charge the expense. The below link will show the most current roll-up of account codes after the most recent consolidation.

https://af.nmsu.edu/sample-page/ – Under Updates & Announcements – Account Code Changes

If the Department is generating a JV to charge this expense, the entry would be a debit to the index to be charged using account code “750051” and crediting a revenue code on the index that is hosting the conference/seminar. If the charge was to be paid to an external source, then a check request (prepaid) or a reimbursement voucher (after-the-fact) would be prepared to pay for the charge.

How do I change the index or account code on a Purchase Order (PO) already submitted?

You will need to complete and submit a Purchase Order Funding Change Request form which can be obtained from the link provided below: http://af.nmsu.edu/forms/

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Award Set-Up

How will a Principal Investigator (PI) know when an index has been established in Banner and they can begin using it?
Once the fully executed new award/fund request and related electronic files are received by SPA from OGC an index will be created. SPA has a two-day turnaround deadline. The Principal Investigator will be notified by e-mail of the established index. The e-mail notification also includes OGC, SPA Fiscal Monitors and the applicable Research Center.

What are frequently used screens in Banner for managing an award?
Below is a list of frequently used Banner screens for managing an award:

  • FRAGRNT Grant Maintenance – Used to view award information such as agency, key personnel, and sponsor award number
  • FRIGITD Grant Inception to Date – Used to retrieve award information including adjusted budget, inception-to-date actual activity, encumbrance, and available balance information
  • FRIGSUM Grant Summary Query – Displays the summary activity of unbilled amounts, billed amounts, and payment amounts.
  • FRIBILL Grant Billing Query – Displays all billing invoice numbers, bill amounts, and payments applied against those bills
  • FRIBDET Billing Detail Inquiry – Displays all the billing activity in detail, including unbilled activity, billed activity, and payment activity

If I send you a copy of the e-mail I got from the agency extending the end date of the award, can you change the end date?

No. All revisions, dates or budget, must be processed through OGC.

What is the difference between pre award costs vs. pre award waiver?

Pre award costs are costs that, with Sponsor approval, may be allowed before the effective date of the award. Pre award costs when allowed can be incurred up to 90 calendar days before the effective date depending on the agency requirements. Pre award waiver allows for an award and index to be set up in anticipation of a fully executed award. Awards set up on pre award waiver will allow the Department to charge to an index; however, the expenses will not be billed to the Sponsor until the fully executed award is received. An initial pre award waiver will last for 90 calendar days at which time further approval/justification will need to be provided in order for an additional 90 days of allowed pre award waiver. If the pre award waiver lapses without further approval, the Department will be responsible for transferring all expenses charged to an unrestricted index.

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What is F&A or indirect costs (IDC)?
F&A stands for Facilities & Administration and may also be referred to as Indirect Cost (IDC). These are costs incurred to support the institution’s mission activities that cannot be readily identifiable or directly assigned to a major project or activity with a high degree of accuracy, and benefit more than one project. These costs are recovered by NMSU by charging an IDC/F&A rate to the award. The current Fiscal Year rates can be found under the following link:


What is cost sharing?
Cost sharing or matching means that a portion of project or program costs are not borne by the Federal Government.

Why do we need additional justification for expenditures near the project end date, and do we need to receive goods and services prior to the end date or just order by the end date?

Section 3.15.15 of the BPM states:

Expenses Incurred Near Project End Date

In general, all materials, supplies, services and equipment should be received prior to the expiration date of a project, and would include items encumbered before the expiration date. On continuing multiple year awards purchase requisitions must be entered in Banner by the 15th of the last month of the budget period. This will ensure that the encumbrances are recorded prior to the expiration date and can be included as expenditures on the annual financial report to the sponsor. Expenditures within the last days of the grant/contract period may be subject to additional review in anticipation of sponsor audit of the period. Exceptions will be made depending on the funding agency, the type of expense, and possible continuation of the award.

Equipment purchased within the last quarter of the grant/contract period must have additional justification included on the Purchase Requisition line-item detail (On-line requisitioning PR system screen) or separate justification forwarded by a memo to SPA to be considered reasonable.

Source: Business Procedures Manual section 3.15.15 Expenses for Grants, Contracts and Gift Indexes (FOPALs), Expenses Incurred Near Project End Date.

Do we need to provide CAS Justification for equipment purchases?

No, as long as the equipment was included in the proposed/approved budget to the Sponsor.

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Invoicing/Billing & Reports

Who is responsible for invoicing/billing a Sponsor?
SPA Fiscal Monitors are responsible for billing the Sponsor.

Who is responsible for financial reporting to Sponsors?
SPA Fiscal Monitors are responsible for preparing financial reports to Sponsors.

What is Cognos?
Cognos is NMSU’s business reporting tool where standard developed reports for Budget, Employee, Finance and Instruction are available.

When should a Request of Final Expenses (RFE) be sent to SPA?

It ultimately depends on when the final invoice/financial report is due to the Sponsor. SPA requests for the RFE to be submitted within 45 days after the end date on a typical award that allows 90 days for submission of a final invoice/report. The intent is to split the time between the Department and SPA in order to have a sufficient review done on all final expenditures.

Some agencies such as State of New Mexico request final invoices before the end date of the award. SPA will request that the submission of RFEs be completed using the last closed month’s total and listing all current month’s expenses as outstanding on the form to allow for a clean reconciliation. These RFEs should be submitted within 48 hours of the final due date imposed by the Sponsor. If the RFE is not submitted within the designated time requested, SPA may invoice the amount currently shown in Banner which could cause for some final expenditures to become uncollectable and will be moved off to a Department’s unrestricted index.

Is a Sales Tax expense allowed?

NMSU is a tax-exempt entity on goods purchased. NMSU does, however, pay sales tax on services and construction.

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