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Collections and Write Off Procedures for Sponsored Research Invoices

Many of UCSD's research awards are invoiced which means that in accepting these awards there is a risk that we may not receive reimbursement according to the award contract. Although a write off situation is rare with invoiced research awards, the information below sets forth OPAFS and department responsibilities in managing awards together, in particular the collection process and write off process.

Situation examples that may result in bad debt:

  • Contractual issues: agency not paying because they feel our PI did not do something when our PI feels he/she did
  • Invoice backup documents needed such as DOPES, ledgers, etc.
  • Untimely submission of invoices
  • Sponsor bankruptcy/out of business
  • Sponsor spending federal funds elsewhere instead of reimbursing UCSD
  • UCSD PI did not fulfill obligations
  • Email communications not supported by contract

Collections Responsibilities:

Departments:

  • Work with OCGA to ensure clear billing terms and conditions prior to agreement on the award. Try to get payment in full up front
  • Work with PI to ensure that he/she submits all necessary reports and documentation such as progress reports so payments are not delayed
  • Monitor outstanding invoices (Accounts Receivable) using the General Ledger Trial Balance, General Ledger Transaction and/or the AR Aging report in Financial Link
  • Ask your OPAFS accountant or use the Document Lookup Tool for any correspondence regarding Accounts Receivable (AR)
  • If there is outstanding AR, work with your PI to slow/stop work until payment resolution

OPAFS:

  • Create and submit invoices timely and according to the terms and conditions of the award
  • Follow up by 60 days outstanding with the sponsor
  • Communicate regularly with department if any potential payment issues
  • Escalate as needed
  • Process write off/bad debt entries

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60 Days outstanding:

The OPAFS Accountant will be in contact with the sponsor for payment resolution.  In addition, they will inform the department fund manager of the award of delinquent payment.

 Accountant will continue to:

  • Attempt resolution at least monthly
  • Document collection attempts in iDocs (Department Award Lookup Tool)
  • Document reasons why they are not paying (if they respond)
  • If everything required by the agency has been provided in terms of copies of invoices, backup, etc. and the sponsor is still not paying, the Accountant will escalate to their Associate Director.  This should be done by the time the debt is 6 months old

180 Days outstanding:

OPAFS Associate Director will then:

  1. Attempt collections from the agency by contacting the agency management.  The Associate Director will use professional judgment for whom to call and will ensure that proper backup documentation has been gathered to effectively communicate with the sponsor
  2. Will inform OPAFS Director as needed
  3. Will inform department C&G Manager/MSO of situation
  4. May inform OCGA for contract assistance
  5. OCGA/OPAFS may contact UCOP and/or General Counsel for further assistance

240 Days outstanding (or when determined uncollectible):

If the debt appears uncollectible (bankruptcy, or standstill with agency)

  1. OPAFS will inform the department of non-payment
  2. OPAFS will process credit memos to clear the AR from ISIS
  3. OPAFS will deallocate the fund/award to equal payments received
  4. OPAFS will prepare a summary memo of the situation and rationale for deeming AR uncollectible for the department to then pursue further actions as they choose
    1. Summary memo will include:
      1. Age of outstanding AR
      2. Amount of AR
      3. Amount of direct costs to be written off
      4. Steps taken to resolve outstanding AR
      5. Request to move off the bad debt balance
  5. Quarterly, a summary report will be sent to the Controller’s Office.  The Controller’s Office will then work with the VC areas for an index to move the bad debt to if the department has not yet moved the direct cost of the bad debt to a department discretionary fund. 
    1. If an index is provided to OPAFS, a financial journal will be done to move the bad debt off instead of using the normal cost transfer processes

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Note: this page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/collections