Paul Avery

University of Florida

Jan. 29, 2003

Financial Reporting in GriPhyN


This document summarizes how GriPhyN expenditures are tracked. These expenses include the $11.875M from NSF and $1.17M in matching funds provided by the University of Florida which were included in line “M” of the NSF budget. More detailed information can be obtained from my Assistant Dee Dee Carver, whose contact information is listed below:

Dee Dee Carver

Dept. of Physics

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL 32611-8440




Dee Dee’s assistant works closely with Sponsored Research Office (SRO) personnel who are responsible for monitoring compliance with Federal rules with respect to Florida spending, including the way the 11 subcontracts are administered.

2GriPhyN budget

The spreadsheet summarizing the 5 year NSF budget from Sep. 2000 to Aug. 2005 is shown below

This original budget shown above has a few minor modifications.

  • Starting in FY2001, $100K per year is being transferred from Florida to U Chicago to pay for a portion of Mike Wilde’s salary as GriPhyN coordinator.
  • Rob Gardner moved from Indiana to the University of Chicago. The GriPhyN funds sent to Indiana were moved to Chicago at the beginning of Year 3.
  • Valerie Taylor recently moved from Northwestern to Texas A&M, but her postdoc is still at Northwestern. If he moves to Texas, then we will need to modify the budget again to replace Northwestern by Texas A&M.

There are also $1.17M in matching funds from the University of Florida. These funds were allocated as follows:

Amount / Breakdown / Purpose / Comment
$ 200K / All 5 years / Equipment, M&S, travel, etc.
$ 375K / $75K/year over 5 years / Salary for Scientist / D. Bourilkov
$ 375K / $75K/year over 5 years / Salary for Scientist / J. Rodriguez
$ 110K / $22K/year over 5 years / Funds for Grad Student / S. Katageri
$ 110K / $22K/year over 5 years / Funds for Grad Student / H. Pi
$1170K / Total

These funds are also monitored by our SRO for compliance with Federal regulations and tracked by our office. Small changes to the above table were made to allow for salary growth.

3Accounting for GriPhyN expenditures

GriPhyN charges are tracked by a person working under my Assistant. Our accounting method is designed to do the following:

  • Reflect all activity on the account, i.e. all transactions
  • Ensure expected transactions go through as planned
  • Allow for the breakdown of transactions by a number of variables (date, type, vendor, size, purchase order, etc.)
  • Provide tool for budget forecasting

Transactions are posted as they occur on each account, ensuring that the account balance is up to date within a reasonable period.

3.1University of Florida Charges

UF charges typically are posted shortly after we are invoiced or understand that payment is due. For instance, payroll and overhead are automated. We are not invoiced and the money simply is transferred out of the account without any involvement on our part.

3.2Subcontract Charges

Our subcontractees invoice the University of Florida on different schedules, sometimes as often as once a month but more typically once per quarter. Even then, the invoices can arrive a substantial time after the invoicing period. Thus it is impossible to know the precise state of finances at any given instant. Invoices received from subcontractors also experience a delay in processing for two principal reasons. First, when the Contract & Grants (C&G) office receives the invoices from each subcontractee, it takes a week or two to process the invoice before the payment certification (invoice) is sent to our office. The second delay is obtaining the PI signature, a delay that can range from a few days to more than two weeks on account of travel and other business. After the PI signs the invoices, the payment certifications are faxed to C&G either the same day or the following day. It appears to take another week before the transaction actually goes through on the account after faxing the certification.

3.3Project Report

The “actual” numbers follow the above method for calculation. Transactions are logged only as they occur, not when UF is invoiced, a fact that can be seen by the difference in timing between the actual yearly budget releases and the amortized release.

4Financial Report as of Jan. 29, 2003

The diagram below shows two graphs. The light colored graph shows “ideal” spending for the project, where funds magically appear on Sep. 1 of each year and are spent down precisely to zero before Sep. 1 of the following year. The dark curve shows actual spending.

Note that because of a substantial delay in hiring (and the reporting method discussed above which causes additional delay), the current spending lags ideal spending. Since annual funding is about $2.5M per year and we are $2M underspent, the amount of delay on the chart is about 10 months, of which 2 months is probably due to the delays discussed above. Thus we are about 8 months behind out of 2.5 years. However, the slope of the actual spending curve is the same as the ideal curve, showing that the rate of spending is now correct. We are assuming that NSF will give us the freedom to either take a “no cost extension” of 6 months at the end of the project or to rebudget taking into account new priorities.