The fiscal year for most grants at Concordia University is from April 1 to March 31. As a result, the period from the end of March to June is a busy time for grant reporting, for the creation of new grants, and for ongoing financial management.
With the transition to UNITY this year, these tasks will require more attention and effort since it will be the first year-end performed using the new system. We want you to know we are committed to meeting our reporting deadlines while continuing to offer the research community support for the financial management of their research funds.
The Tri-Council (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR) has extended the reporting deadline to September 30, 2022, for all Canadian universities.
Until further notice, the reporting deadline of all other sponsors (FQRNT/FQRSC/FRSQ, MITACS) for the period ending March 31, 2022, remains June 30, 2022. The Research Funds team will be prioritizing these reports as well as inter-university reporting. Report production will begin on May 5, 2022, when Financial Services will close the month of March.
Expense transfers: The Research Funds team will ensure that all expense transfers affecting the reporting requirement are processed, provided they are received no later than April 20, 2022. These expenses will be backdated to March 31, 2022, and they will be included in the 2021-2022 reports.
Final financial reports: We anticipate that the remaining expenses will be processed on these research accounts between April 1 to May 31, 2022. All eligible expenses will be included in the March 31, 2022 final report.
April 1 is the university’s peak date for creating new research grants. Financial Services has increased its resources to deal with this large influx of new grants in order to minimize any delays that the researcher community experiences in opening new grants.
Both Financial Services and the Office of Research (OOR) are working together to quickly transfer the results of this year’s applications. Results for external grants are dependent on the sponsor’s confirmation and the grant opening can only be done once cleared by the OOR and a Notice of Award (NOA) or Contract Data Sheet (CDS) is created.
If you have not received your new grant account once the opening has been released by the OOR, we encourage you to contact email@example.com to request an alternative holding account to charge in lieu of a new grant account while waiting for the opening of an Internal Order number (which is the term in SAP which equates to fund/org in Banner’s terminology).
New installments/budgets starting April 1, 2022: As part of the Research Funds normal process for a new grant year, new budgets will be entered on many grants. Budgets will be entered as of the beginning of May 2022 through to the end of June 2022. Confirmation of yearly amounts have historically only been given at the end of April (NSERC).
Due to the transition to UNITY, for a temporary period the budget check feature (formerly referred to as NSF) is not turned on. It will remain inactive until the UNITY solution is stabilized.
Although yearly budgets/installments will only begin in May, spending will be possible due to the temporary deactivation of the budget check, allowing researchers to continue to process their expenses while the budget/installments are added.
We recognize this can cause many researchers additional efforts to track spending manually. The UNITY project team are working tirelessly to prioritize all system-related issues impacting the researcher community. The teams are determined to stabilize the solution as soon as possible so we may turn on the NSF budget checking at the soonest possible date.
With the expenses posted to Empath and the adjustment to UNITY, some researchers have only recently been able to access their grant balances. Deficits may result due to various situations since the new solution went live.
The financial officers will work with researchers on resolving the deficits as part of the research year-end process. Determining responsibility to cover deficits will be exercised fairly by Financial Services, given the current situation. You will find your financial officer’s contact information on Carrefour.
Resources, including manuals, one-pagers, and eLearning for UNITY’s Researcher Dashboard is available on Carrefour. They are also available on QuickAccess, UNITY’s in-app help. We are in the process of updating training strategies and making documentation more accessible in order to ensure researchers have the resources and support they need to manage their research funds.
Invitations will be sent shortly to invite researchers to an important information session to be held the first week of April. At the session, we will provide more details about year-end processes and explain how the UNITY solution is being adapted to reflect feedback you provide to us.
Two sessions will be held to allow the greatest number of researchers to attend, depending on their schedules. Researchers will receive an Outlook invitation in the coming days to the two sessions, and they can accept the one they will attend. Tentative placeholder times for these sessions are:
Information session for researchers, Option 1: April 5, 1-2 pm.
Information session for researchers, Option 2: April 6, 3-4 pm
We wish to thank you for your patience and your collaboration during this time of transition for our financial processes.
Please contact your research grant financial officer with any comments or concerns.
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