Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to all your Research Finance questions. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please contact us.

Q: Can Financial Operations generate hard copies of ledger statements for prior months?

Specific ledger statements cannot be regenerated after it has already been printed and distributed to the UBC faculty/department at the end of each month. However, ledger statements can be re-generated in FMS nQuery under the General Ledger menu. Request for FMS nQuery Access if needed.

Q: Do I contact Research Finance, ORS or UILO?

Research Finance looks after the post award financial administration of the PG. If there are questions on expense eligibility, invoices, financial balance of the account or the financial statements, these can be directed to the Finance Officer at Research Finance, listed on the Research Project Budget Form and in FMS nQuery (select Chartfields menu, Project/Grant menu, and key in the PG number).

ORS and UILO ensure pre-award compliance is met and assit in setting up the research PG.

If there are concerns regarding the status of a research application, status of a PG set up, budget or any grant agreement/contract issues, please contact Office of Research Services (ORS), or University Industry Liaison Office (UILO) if it is a contract-based account.


Q: What are my responsibilities as a researcher?

Once the PG is opened, the researcher is responsible for:

  • Following agency policies and guidelines on the use of funds in the PG.
  • Authorizing and reviewing expenditures posted to the PG.
  • Providing technical progress reports to agencies as required on a timely basis.
  • Reviewing and notifying the ORS or UILO of any budget discrepancies in their PG.
  • Reviewing and notifying Research Finance of any revenue or expense discrepancies in their PG.
  • Adhering to UBC Policy with respect to research, (i.e. ensure grant is not overspent, ethics certificate in place, etc).
  • Notifying the granting agency and ORS of any change in academic status.
  • Notifying Research Finance when research is complete and to authorize the close out of the PG (unless unused funds are being returned to the granting agency, the balance of the PG should be zero).
Q: How can I assist Research Finance in expediting my queries?

In order to provide optimal service to our researchers, when contacting Research Finance by e-mail, voicemail or fax, always quote your PG number and provide a brief description of the issue involved. This will allow Research Finance staff to investigate the situation ahead of time and be able to respond to your queries in a more meaningful manner.

Q: How can I tell if the request is contract or non-contract related?

As defined by the Office of University Counsel, contracts are “agreements that are legally enforceable, regardless of the document title, and include Memoranda of Understanding, Licenses and Letters of Agreement”. A signed copy of the contract must always support the request for a "Project/Grant Request, Non-Research Only" form.

Non-research non-contract accounts do not have agreements defined between UBC and a third party. An example would be donations where these are pledges to fund a program which are not legally enforceable and do not involve internal funding allocations from unrestricted sources.

Q: How do I know if a “P/G Request, Non-Research Only” should be set up in a Specific Purpose fund or in another fund?

Please refer to the Chartfields page for a list of the different funds available for PG set up and Research Finance's Specific Purpose Fund guideline.

Q: How do I know whether or not my project/grant account (PG) has been set up?

The Office of Research Services will email the department an electronic notification called a Research Project Budget Form (RPB) confirming the PG and budget to be set up. Expenditures cannot be incurred in a project until a PG has been set up with a budget. It is the responsibility of the researcher to ensure all documentation is submitted during the application process in order for the PG to be created on a timely basis. If the account is a specific purpose PG (S fund), Research Accounting will inform you when it is set up.

Q: How do I know whether or not there is a speedchart associated with the PG?

If the PG is a research project/grant, it will automatically be assigned a speedchart. To find out the speedchart associated with the PG, go to FMS nQuery (FMIS on the Web), select Chartfields menu, Project/Grant menu, and key in the PG number. Alternatively, the speedchart assigned to a PG is indicated on the Research Project Budget (RPB) issued by ORS/UILO.

Q: How will I know if I have overspent on my research PG?

The balance on FMS nQuery will show a negative amount. Per UBC Policy #90, over-expenditures are not permitted unless prior approval is obtained.

Q: What do I do when I receive cash for a research grant?

All cash received must be forwarded to either Research Finance or Office of Research Services (ORS), along with a completed UBC cash receipt deposit form. If the cash received has a direct impact on the budget, these should be forwarded to ORS right away so the budget can be adjusted accordingly.

Refer to section 9 under UBC Policy #119 - Cash Handling.

Please use extra care in completing the section for account code, speedchart, Fund code, Dept ID and PG on the Bank Deposit Form since a deposit coded to a wrong account or PG will cause many problems. Two general guidelines should be followed:

  1. Only monies that are identified as part of the funding agreement (e.g. 1st quarter payment of a 12 -month sponsor contract) should be coded to a revenue account code in the 4xxxxx range (refer to the account code listing in FMS nQuery under the Chartfields menu).
  2. Cost recoveries (e.g. staff reimbursement for personal use of photocopiers) must not be coded to the 4xxxxx revenue account code range but to the relevant expense code where the cost was originally charged to. Please provide appropriate backup documentation with the cash receipt form:
  • copy of ledger statement identifying expense item being reimbursed,
  • copy of invoice, purchase order, sponsor letter, or
  • reference to the Requisition Number of the expense being reimbursed.

If in doubt, please contact Research Finance for assistance or leave the space(s) in the Bank Deposit Form blank and attach a note clearly explaining the nature of the deposit. Then forward the entire package to Research Finance for processing.

Q: What does the Department Head’s/Senior Financial Manager’s signature signify on the form?

The signature on the 'Project/Grant Request Non-Research Only' form signifies: 

  • The department, faculty or division’s willingness to administer the specific purpose funds, in accordance with university and sponsor policies.
  • The department, faculty or division's awareness and administrative support for the activity.
Q: What information needs to be included with the "P/G Request, Non-Research Only" form?
  • If this is a non-research contract PG, a copy of the signed contract/agreement needs to be included with the request.
  • If this is a non-research non-contract PG, supporting documentation (eg. gift agreement, pledge form, solicitation letter, communication from donor or granting agency indicating the specific use of funds, website address that solicits donations) explaining the reason for the new PG to be set up is required.

Attaching the necessary supporting documentation to your request will expedite the process of setting up the new PG.

Q: Where do I submit my “Project/Grant Request, Non-Research Only” form?

Non-research contract:

University Industry Liaison Office
The University of British Columbia
103-6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3
Tel: 604-822-8580 | Fax: 604-822-8589

Non-research non-contract – send to UBC Research Finance

Q: Who in my department needs to authorize my "P/G Request, Non-Research Only" form?

Department Head or Senior Financial Manager and not the PG manager should approve the form. This process indicates that the Department Head/Finance Manager authorizes the set up of this PG for their department.

Q: Why do inactive project/grants (PG) still generate a monthly report?

PGs will generate a report if there is a balance left in the account. This balance can be smaller than $1.00. When preparing the journal entry to clear out the account for inactivation, please refer to the FMS nQuery (FMIS on the Web) General Ledger PG balance as opposed to your monthly reporting balance as these reports are rounded to the nearest dollar. Reports will not be printed only if the PG has zero balance and inactivated.

However, closed or inactivated PGs will continue to appear in these reports as long as these PGs have at least one transaction during the fiscal year or has a balance at any time during the year in either the ACTUALS or CENTRAL ledger.

Q: Why is my PG active when I sent in a request to deactivate it?

Before a research PG can be deactivated, its budget balance and cash balance must both be zero. Research Finance must resolve any cash imbalance before deactivation, which requires considerable effort, especially if the PG's transactions goes back several years.