Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to all your Research Finance questions. Use keywords, and not full sentences, to improve your search results. 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).

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: 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.