Questions About Financial Record Systems (FRS)

What is the Principal Investigator's role regarding FRS? 

 FRS provides the PI with much information necessary for financial management to meet their research objectives. On the FRS 19 screen, the penultimate line ("total expenses") in the last ("available") column shows the available budget funds remaining to be spent. Other lines in the screen 19 show the amount available in various budgeted object codes (e.g., travel, equipment). The screen 21 shows pending requisitions and purchase orders on your grant. The screen 23 shows all transactions on the account, and the 23A shows transactions involving actual expenses. Screens 22 and 29 show financial history of the grant account. The AP6 screen shows the account end date, and other non-financial information. 

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How do I change the amount budgeted in any particular object code of my grant budget (i.e., the 19 screen in FRS)?

This is called a Budget Transfer. A PI may request a Budget Transfer by email to their grant accountant with a statement of the amount to be transferred, from which object code(s) and to which object code(s). If ABR rule 1 is in effect for the account, budget transfers should involve only major object codes (ending in 000). The Federal guideline is that budget transfers should not exceed 10% of the grant total without prior written permission from the granting agency. Also, budget transfers should be consistent with the approved proposal. For example, adding travel to an approved budget that has no travel would be inconsistent with the approved budget. Another instance is that NJIT has had costs of consultants disallowed by sponsors because no consultants were in the original budget. If you need a budget transfer approaching or in excess of the 10% limit, or if your planned budget transfer might be inconsistent with the original budget, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs to help you get prior approval from the sponsor for such budget changes.

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How do I know whether funds will roll down from major budget categories, for example on the 19 screen? 

Automated Budget Reallocation (ABR) provides an alternative to budget transfers. One kind of ABR, ABR rule 1, automatically rolls-down available funds from major categories such as 5000 (Travel) into specific object codes like 5105 (Domestic travel) or 5110 (Foreign travel), as necessary to cover expenses in those minor object codes. ABR rule 1 is usually used for accounts representing federal and state grants. ABR rule 1 does not roll-down personnel and fringe benefit budget; so a budget transfer specific to the personnel/fringe object code is necessary. Budget transfers may still be required among major budget categories, even with ABR rule 1 because ABR rule 1 will not move budget (e.g.,) between 5000 (travel) and 4000 (supplies).

ABR rule 2 automatically allocates available budget funds to where they are being spent in any object code greater than 3900. ABR rule 2 is usually used for unrestricted Foundation accounts. Which ABR rule is in effect, if any, is indicated in the upper right corner of the screen 19. ABR rule 2 is used in accounts having no personnel expenses.

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What do the negative numbers mean on the 19 screen? 

There may be negative numbers in the first and last lines of the 19 screen during the month. The grant is automatically billed at month-end, and the revenue account is credited to remove the negative entries. However, negative numbers on the 19 screen, in the "available" column, indicate that we have exceeded the budgeted amount for some cost such as equipment or travel. The budgeted cost codes and descriptions are listed in the extreme left column of the 19 screen. As a consequence of a negative number, any additional requisition in the cost code with the negative amount available will not be processed by the purchasing system (unless there is an override of the budget). In an emergency, a "budget override" can be requested by email to, but budget transfers, to make up the deficits, are required to follow.

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How should I dispose of NJIT capital equipment? 

Capital equipment is equipment having an acquisition cost greater than the capitalization threshold set by NJIT. Presently this threshold is $2500. The capitalization threshold increased to $2500 on 7/1/2001. Capital equipment should have an NJIT tag on it with a 10-digit asset number. If capitalized equipment is no longer needed, and you plan to dispose of it, there are two things you should do.

First, notify Purchasing Department (x3070). If another part of NJIT is in the process of acquiring similar capital equipment, Purchasing Department can coordinate the transfer of custody. Purchasing Department will help also with external transfers of NJIT equipment to non-NJIT organizations.

In addition, it is important to remove capital equipment from the NJIT capital asset database before disposing of it. Contact the General Accounting Department (Sunil Patel, x7737) to have an item of capital equipment removed from the capital asset database.

If the unwanted capital equipment is usable furniture, contact Physical Plant (Bill Freeman, x3165) to arrange removal and possible storage for re-use at NJIT. If the unwanted equipment is a computer or peripheral, contact Academic Computing (Joe Polyak, x2912) to determine the possibility of re-use at NJIT.

Any proposal to provide equipment to a non-NJIT party should be reviewed and signed-off by appropriate NJIT authorities before the proposal leaves NJIT. Consult Purchasing Department before sale or barter of equipment.

Proceeds from the sale of university-owned equipment are generally credited to the University's general revenue account. Proceeds from the sale of externally funded equipment will be handled in accordance with sponsor regulations. Grant and Contract Services will provide specifics applicable to any particular sponsor.

After the above notifications, disposal should be accomplished in a way that minimizes appearances of self interest of the person making the disposal decision. General Accounting should be notified also if custody of the equipment is transferred, or if the location of the equipment is changed, even though the equipment isn't being disposed.

Note: for additional information see Surplus Property

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How should I write an accounting journal voucher to represent transfer of financial assets or liabilities from a sponsored program? 

Use the following procedures and work with your Grant and Contract Accountant:

  1. Fixed Fee Contract Profit
    Debit receivable or deferred income on contract account
    Credit Foundation misc Income 889029-0470
  2. Clean-up of old grant receivable debit or credits
    Debit or credit Allowance for Doubtful Accounts 0-90001-1399
  3. On-going Grant Maintenance
    (a) Usually overexpenditures should be closed-out to home department accounts, dean's accounts, PI discretionary accounts (university funds) or appropriate other sponsored programs.
    (b) In extenuating circumstances: use Allowance for Doubtful Accounts 0-90001-1399
  4. Year End review of Allowance for Doubtful Accounts- If increase in allowance is needed:

    Debit Fdn unrestricted transfers to restricted funds    885755-8520 Credit Audit adjustments grants - transfers from C/U/F   998998-8520

    Debit Audit adjustments - grants write-off   998998-6911 Credit Allowance for Doubtful Accounts - grants    090001-1399
  5. Interest Income:
    Debit Sponsored Account with Interest Income
    Credit FDN MISCELLANEOUS     889029-0599

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