Managing Award Finances

Initiate Spending

For new awards, the PI and RA receive an email once the fund has been activated.

To initiate spending:

Monitor Spending

Direct expenses, overhead (F&A), and revenue are calculated daily and posted to the General Ledger. Payroll costs (salary, benefits) are updated monthly and typically post to the GL by mid-month.

  • PI Portfolio provides a “layman’s view” of award financials, with spent-to-date totals for each fund current as or the prior business day (or mid-month for payroll).
  • Cal Answers Reporting provides financial data through a variety of reports, as well as specific information for sponsored awards.

If excessive spending results in an overdraft on a cost reimbursable award, CGA places sponsor billing on hold until the department clears the overdraft (see Revenue and Accounts Receivable Collections). Occasionally an audit of award spending may be requested: follow the instructions provided on Managing an Audit.

  • Program Income -- notify CGA when it is determined that award activities generate income. CGA will set up a new Program Income CF1 value to use to track these expense and income transactions. Read more about Program Income.
  • Membership Programs -- when a new sponsor is added to an existing Membership Award/Project, SPO will notify CGA and an additional contract will be created/added to the existing “master” Membership-- read more about Membership Programs.
  • Fabricating Equipment - UC Property Management has special Government Contract and Grant Equipment Requirements - be sure to read about Fabricated Equipment Costing.

Budget Revisions and Updating Award ChartStrings

Occasionally it is desirable to revise budget allocations to track expenses differently (i.e., when a new Co-PI joins the project, or travel is required). Whenever a new ChartString is needed/created for use with a C&G fund value OR a Cost Sharing CF1 value, CGA must update BFS and the Interface Mapping Table in order for the new ChartString to function properly. Unmapped ChartStrings will return errors for BFS journal transfer and/or in interfacing systems.

Submit a Budget Template when reallocating award funds to a new ChartString

To reallocate funds to a new chartstring (i.e., not just redistributing funding between existing chartstrings) submit a new budget template to CGA showing 1) the chartstring the funds are moving from (and the amount as a negative) and the new chartstring the funds are moving to (with the same amount as a positive). Like all budgets, the balance of the amounts must be zero to upload correctly.

Unless the sponsor’s requirements differ, it is not necessary to revise the budget for modular awards, so long as the total award amount does not change.

Submit a Budget Template when new funds are authorized or the award is modified

Submit a new budget template to CGA when a new funding period or amount is authorized by the sponsor, or the award agreement has been modified by SPO (such as when a new subaward is authorized). Submit a budget revision using the same form and following the same process used to create and upload an initial award budget, i.e., begin with an Unallocated Funds line and allocate to expense lines. The accounting date for the new budget submission should be the date the additional authority to spend is received.

NOTE: Effective July 1, 2017, the method of uploading a budget changed.

When a revised budget is received, CGA will update BFS and the interface mapping table within two business days (provided the information CGA receives is complete and accurate). When the revision/update is complete, CGA will notify the PI and RA that spending against the new budget/chartstrings may begin.

Accounts Receivable and Revenue Recognition

Each month CGA prepares and issues invoices to award sponsor in accordance with the terms and conditions of each award. Revenue is recognized as the expenditures are incurred for both cost reimbursable and payment schedule awards. For fixed price contracts, revenue is recognized based on milestones. Read more about Revenue and Accounts Receivable Collections.


There are several Mapping Tables in BFS that interface data entered into BearBuy, Payroll, Travel and other “feeder” systems with the expanded C&G chartstrings in BFS.

Are you are gettings error messages in interfacing systems? Here's help...


Only allowable, allocable, and reasonable technical and administrative costs may be charged directly to sponsored agreements. The Cost Principles for Sponsored Agreements policy outlines how all funds must be spent in accordance with University policy, applicable state and federal law, and sponsor terms and conditions.

Consult the Cost Principles FAQ or go directly to the FAQ for

*NOTE: "Major Projects" allow administrative costs to be charged to the award under specific circumstances -- read more about Major Projects.