Accounting & Finance

The R&D Center Accounting & Finance Office is responsible for the accounting and finance issues associated to all research projects administered by the R&D Center.


Staff

  • Mayra Borrero
  • Supervisor & Finance Officer II
  • mayra.borrero@upr.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5245

  • David Ramos
  • Accountant II
  • david.ramos3@upr.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5239

  • Emilio Figueroa
  • Accountant II
  • emilio.figueroa@upr.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5251

  • Evelyn Guzman
  • Administrative Assistant III
  • evelyn.guzman@upr.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5201
  • Geneida Gonzalez
  • Accountant II
  • geneida.gonzalez@upr.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5257
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  • Griselle Rodriguez
  • Accountant II
  • griselle.rodriguez3@upr.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5239

  • Janette Rivera
  • Auxiliary Accountant I
  • janette.rivera3@upr.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5239

  • Janice Acevedo
  • Auxiliary Accountant I
  • janice.acevedo@upr.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5239

  • Jose Torres
  • Accountant III
  • jose.torresgu@upr.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5209

  • Maria Castillo
  • Accountant II
  • maria.castillo4@upr.edu
  • (787) 832-4040 X 5257
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    Contact information

  • (787) 832-4040 Ext. 5201
  • (787) 265-1675
  • 7:30 am-4:30 pm (Mon-Fri)
  • #JD R&D Administration Building
  • Services

    The R&D Center Accounting & Finance Office offers an array of services concerning post-award management, including project auditing, billing and closeout. It is also in charge of administrating the R&D Center Corporate Card – currently American Express.

    Auditing of: (Preintervención)

    Billing of: (Facturación)

    • Federal, local and private funds
    • Accounts receivable (“Cuentas a cobrar”)

     

    R&D Center American Express Corporate Card

    The American Express Corporate Card was established in 1996 to reduce the costs and shorten the procedure of purchase orders and travel associated to the research enterprise. The Corporate Card Program does not replace any Regulation or Procedure established by the University, regarding Purchasing, Traveling or others. Thus, the UPR Purchasing Regulations (Reglamento de Compras) still applies to AMEX purchases.

    REQUEST AND AUTHORIZATION OF THE CORPORATE CREDIT CARD

    [Process Flowchart under development]

     

     


     

    Service Contracts

    The role of the Accounting & Finance Office in the processing of service contracts is:

    • To certify availability of funds and encumber those funds prior to the signature of the contract by the R&D Director.
    • After the contract is signed by R&D Director and the Chancellor, the final contract is filed. The Accounting & Finance Office will then proceed with payments according to the terms of the contract.a. The PI must certify the work was performed and request the corresponding payment be processed.b. In the case of purchases made under contract, the PI must submit a Solicitud y Comprobante de Desembolso: Disbursement Request Form to process the payment.

    Stipends

    Graduate Assistantships:

    What is the role of the R&D Center in the processing of Graduate Assistantships?

    The UPRM Graduate School (http://grad.uprm.edu/oeg) oversees all matters concerning graduate assistantships on Campus. There are three types of assistantships: teaching, research and service assistantships. In the case of research assistantships, the student participates in a research project under the supervision of a UPRM researcher.

    The role of the R&D Center in the process is to simply certify the availability of funds in the project where the student will be participating, upon being authorized by the PI of the project. Access the Authorization to Pay Graduate Student Tuition with External Funds here: Autorización de Pago de Matrícula con Fondos Externos (Estudiantes Graduados).

    To process an assistantship it is the student’s academic department the one that fills in the Request for Assistantship Form (R3 Form) which is only available on line and accessible to authorized administrative personnel. It must be approved by the Director of the Department, the Dean of the College (or the R&D Center, in case the assistantship is paid with external funds) and, finally by the Office of Graduate Studies.

    For information on Graduate Assistantships, access the Graduate School Office page at: http://grad.uprm.edu/oeg/AyudasEconomicas/#ayu

    Undergraduate Research Assistantships or Fellowships:

    The R&D Center oversees the process concerning undergraduate research assistantships or fellowships since these are not regulated by the Graduate School. The PI must request and authorize the assistantship using the form Autorización de Pago por Beca Investigación y Enseñanza (Estudiantes Subgraduados): Authorization to Pay Research or Teaching Fellowship to Undergraduate Students, available. The R&D Center will certify availability of funds and will send the original document to the Deanship to be processed.


    Billing

    Billings to Sponsor

    Generally, billings and payments for federal awards are handled through a Letter of Credit (LOC) type of agreement. The expenditures are reported to the agency and reimbursement of those funds is requested via the billing process. This is a semi-automated process and is managed by the R&D Center Office of Accounting & Finance. The frequency of billings is dependent upon the volume of activity occurring between UPRM and the sponsor. Payments are assigned to the correct project accounts by the UPR financial reporting accounting system. In rare occasions, a federal sponsor requires a manual bill as specified in the Award Notice, or the contract.

    However, many other types of sponsors require manual billings, including sponsors who have issued a subcontract / subagreement to UPRM on federal or other flow-through funding. All billing activity will be handled through the Office of Accounting & Finance.

    Sponsor Payments

    Payments from most federal sponsors are handled through a Letter of Credit process followed by subsequent posting of the electronic transfer to the corresponding project account. There are some federal sponsors with whom we have LOC drawdown authority. The method is fairly straightforward: individual project account expenditures are reviewed and approved and, if correct, the corresponding funds are drawn down from the sponsor and then applied to the project account. Other sponsors require different processes, for example, the sponsor bills are prepared and submitted, the sponsors remit payments to identified lockboxes, the lockbox is cleared and payments are applied to the correct project account. The Office of Accounting and Finance is vested with the responsibility for these activities as they relate to research and sponsored projects.

    The frequency of payments from other types of sponsors, or contractors will be identified in the Notice of Grant Award, or the contract award document.

    No UPRM employee should directly receive payment from a sponsor. If a payment is mistakenly directed to an employee, he/she should inform the R&D Center to deposit the funds to the institution.

    Financial Reporting

    Financial reporting is a critical element of every award. To sponsors, prudent fiscal management is an indication that the organization understands and follows commonly accepted accounting practices and can act as a good steward of the sponsor’s funds. In the case of federal sponsors, there are specific requirements that govern the management and reporting of award funds (Circular A-110). Failure to observe these requirements can result in serious negative consequences, including reduction in funding levels, interruption or suspension of an award for individual PIs, institutional interruption of federal support and even fines or other penalties.

    The Financial Status Reports (FSRs) are prepared and submitted by the Office of Accounting and Finance. A copy is kept in the account file.


    Accounts receivable (“Cuentas a cobrar”):

    The R&D Center Account Receivable Unit is in charge of dealing with funding requests to federal, private and governmental sources that are pending receipt or have been declined. Contact: Frank Miranda at extension 5245 or email at: frank.miranda@upr.edu.

    The billing process with most funding agencies consists of a Letter of Credit, which results in reimbursement of approved expenses as defined in the funded proposal (award), or contract. Non-compliance with award or contract clauses may result in non-reimbursement of the expense, resulting in loss of institutional funds.

    Common causes of non-compliance are:

    • Lack of progress reports
    • Missing final report
    • Non-authorized transfers within account’s expense codes
    • Purchasing of materials or equipment not related to a given project.
      • PI’s with more than one project must keep track of orders and corresponding accounts in order to comply with regulations and proper accounting practices.
    • Purchasing of major equipment or materials near end of budget period (particularly if proposal doesn’t contemplate ‘carry over’)
      • It is typically expected that the final months of a grant will involve relatively few expenses since most of the larger commitments typically take place early in the award period. Requisitions for the acquisition of materials, equipment and supplies late in the project period (generally within 90 days of the project “end date”) will routinely be scrutinized to assure that the expense is allowable and allocable. While such expenses may be completely appropriate, they must be reviewed to assure that unspent project funds are not being “used up” with acquisitions which do not benefit that project. A key to the allowability of these expenses is proper documentation. A written statement from the Grant or Contract Administrative Officer authorizing the expenditure is usually enough. E-mail is usually acceptable for grants. A signed document may be necessary for contracts. A copy of the authorization should be kept with the project records. Consult the R&DC Purchasing Office Staff ahead of time. If you are envisioning a no-cost extension, please contact the R&DC Office of the Director.
    • Submission of reimbursement request is off-period, as established by agency.

    Travel

    Certification No. 78, 2005-06 (“Reglamento de Gastos de Viaje de la Universidad de Puerto Rico”) of the UPR Board of Trustees governs travel expenses at UPR. Thus, all travel arrangements must be made according to these regulations.

    The R&D Center is required to enforce these regulations. Issues of particular concern to R&DC associated travels are:

    • Article 4-k: Travel in and outside Puerto Rico will not be authorized to persons that have pending a travel advance settlement (“liquidación de viaje”), except in exceptional cases that are duly justified.
    • Article 18-m: All claims for reimbursement of travel expenses in and outside of Puerto Rico should be submitted within the first (90) calendar days after the arrival date. The University will not process any reimbursement of travel expenses after 90 days.
    • Article 15-a: After receiving ‘cash’ advance (“anticipo”) for travel outside of Puerto Rico, the traveler will submit, within the first thirty (30) calendar days after his arrival, a detailed list of all the expenses incurred, along with a copy of the travel report.
    • Article 15-b: When travel cash advance is provided for travel in Puerto Rico, an expense report should be submitted within ten (10) calendar days after arrival.

    Thus, in order to comply with UPR’s Travel Regulations and expedite your travel plans, you should follow these simple steps:

    1. Obtain the authorization for travel from the corresponding authorities (e.g. Department Chair and Dean), prior to incurring in any travel expense. [See Note.]
      • You must fill in the Travel Authorization Form. [Refer to: SOLICITUD Y AUTORIZACION DE ORDEN DE VIAJE.]
      • Remember that this Form only requires estimates of the expenses. So, estimate lodging, transportation, registration, per diem and other allowed expenses. Obtain the approval signatures of your Department Chair and Dean.
    2. With the authorization signed, proceed with your travel arrangements.
      • Purchase plane tickets, reserve hotel, pay registration, etc. (Beware: The date of purchase must be consistent with the approval date!)
      • If you use the American Express Corporate Card, identify which are the expenses paid with AMEX and which are the ones you will be requesting a Cash Advance (Anticipo), if applies.
      • To request a travel advance, use the form: OBLIGACIONES/ANTICIPO DE VIAJE.
    3. While on travel:
      • Keep original receipts as evidence of approved expenses such as: taxi (transportation (airport-hotel)); hotel charges, plane tickets, for later reporting.
    4. Submit your report upon return:
      • If you requested cash advance for travel in Puerto Rico, you must submit your expense report within 10 calendar days after arrival date, along with your travel report.
      • If you requested cash advance for travel outside Puerto Rico, you must submit your expense report within 30 calendar days after arrival date, along with your travel report [See Note 2.]
        • If no cash advance was requested, you have up 90 calendar days after the arrival date to submit any claims for reimbursement of travel expenses.
      • Use the Form: LIQUIDACIóN Y COMPROBANTE PARA GASTOS DE VIAJE to submit your expense report, along with supporting evidence.
        • The University will not process any reimbursement of travel expenses after 90 days upon arrival. Be diligent; file your report on time, and keep a copy for your records.

    Notes:

    If you have any pending travel reports or travel advance settlements (liquidación de viaje), submit those travel reports, and contact the R&D Center Accounting Office to clear out your travel records.

    For Guidelines on Travel Authorization for Academic Personnel at UPRM (“Guía para la Autorización de Viajes del Personal Docente del Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez (Cert. No. 90-91-366”), access: http://www.uprm.edu/ac/formularios/guia-viajes.pdf. Pg. 3: Academic personnel are required to submit a Travel Report addressed to the Chancellor, by means of its Director and Dean no later than 30 days upon return.


    Documents


     

    Forms

    Note: Most forms are drafted and posted in Spanish. For English version, if available, contact the R&D Center.

    AMEX

    Project Account

    Students

    Travel

    Petty Cash

    Disbursement & Direct Payment


     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    AMEX:

    How do I request a corporate card? What are the requisites?

    The PI must complete and sign the AMEX Application Form and designate the account(s) that will be used for the charges. Only one card per PI is allowed. (Refer to the R&DC Administration and Services page for AMEX Form Request.) After the R&DC Administrator or Finance Officer certifies the accounts in the AMEX form are correct and have enough funds for allowable purchases, the application is presented to the R&DC Director for his authorization and signature. The Administration and Services Office sends the authorized application to American Express Company with a letter requesting a credit card. Receipt of card, if approved, takes approximately 6 to 7 working days. The AMEX card must be picked up at the UPRM R&DC Administration and Services Office. Attendance to the Research Administration Academy CID-203: American Express Corporate Card seminar, or equivalent, is required for all new AMEX users.

    Which is the monthly deadline for submission of the AMEX Purchase of Goods and Services Report?

    The day established in the General Procedures for the Use of the American Express Corporate Card is the 24th day of each month.

    Subagreement invoicing:

    For subagreements, what information an invoice must contain to be processed effectively?

    The invoice must be dated and contain details of the expenses (i.e: salaries, fringe benefits, equipment, travel, supplies, etc.) and an original signature of an authorized representative that certifies that the expenses reflected in the invoice(s) are actual expenditures consistent with the terms and conditions of the Subagreement.

    Travel

    I plan to travel using external funds. What I need to do to process my travel request?

    1. Obtain the authorization for travel from the corresponding authorities (e.g. Department Chair and Dean), prior to incurring in any travel expense. [See Note.]
      • You must fill in the Travel Authorization Form. [Refer to: SOLICITUD Y AUTORIZACION DE ORDEN DE VIAJE.]
      • Remember that this Form only requires estimates of the expenses. So, estimate lodging, transportation, registration, per diem and other allowed expenses. Obtain the approval signatures of your Department Chair and Dean.
    2. With the authorization signed, proceed with your travel arrangements.
      • Purchase plane tickets, reserve hotel, pay registration, etc. (Beware: The date of purchase must be consistent with the approval date!)
      • If you use the American Express Corporate Card, identify which are the expenses paid with AMEX and which are the ones you will be requesting a Cash Advance (Anticipo), if applies.
      • To request a travel advance, use the form: OBLIGACIONES / ANTICIPO DE VIAJE.
    3. While on travel:
      • Keep original receipts as evidence of approved expenses such as: taxi (transportation (airport-hotel)); hotel charges, plane tickets, for later reporting.