Invoicing/Accounts Receivable for Externally Sponsored Grants and Contracts Grant Accounting Office – Policy


Grant Accounting is responsible for requesting and collecting funds related to externally sponsored grants and contracts.  Ensuring timely receipt of these funds is an important function of Grant Accounting (GAO) and requires a combined effort with the PI and research administrator (Department) and sponsor. 

Policy & Procedures

Invoicing requirements

When new awards are received by the University, GAO will review the award documentation and identify how funds will be received.  Sponsors may refer to payment requests as financial reports, rather than invoices; if the financial report triggers payment then it will be considered as an invoice-required award.  Invoicing information, including Responsible Party and Frequency, is identified on the Award Information tab of the EFR-Grant Reports.  

GAO Invoicing

The GAO Billing Team manages invoicing for awards identified as Payment Method “Invoicing” and Responsible Party “GAO.”  The Billing Team monitors monthly invoicing status lists to identify upcoming invoicing deadlines.   To prepare the invoices, the Billing Team will follow these general invoicing guidelines:

  • For cost reimbursement invoicing, invoices will be based on transactions that have posted to the University general ledger account for the sponsored project for the applicable invoicing period as of the most recent closed accounting month.  Encumbrances will not be included. 
    • Departments are responsible for ensuring that costs are allowable, reasonable and allocable to the project (see Costing Considerations for additional information).
  • For milestone/task based invoicing, the Billing Team will work with the Department to determine when invoicing can occur.
  • If any unallowable transactions are identified, GAO will notify the Department.  Unallowable costs should be moved to an unrestricted funding source as soon as possible.

GAO will not invoice, if:

  • the award is not fully executed, i.e. final agreement is not signed (unless sponsor specifically requests an invoice);
  • the budget period has ended and an expected extension or renewal has not been received (unless sponsor specifically requests an invoice);
  • the total expenses for the billing period are zero or a net credit (unless sponsor specifically requests an invoice), or;
  • the cumulative expenditures exceed the budget (unless sponsor specifically requests an invoice).

Departmental Invoicing

GAO will usually be responsible for invoicing, but Departments may be allowed to handle for industry-sponsored clinical trials or other similar capitation type awards.  When processing new awards, GAO will identify who is responsible and include in the comment section of the AAAN.  Invoicing assignment of Responsible Party will also be identified on the Award Information tab of the EFR-Grant Reports.   

When Department is identified as the Responsible Party, the Department is responsible for the following:

  • Submitting invoices/requests for payments to the sponsor as defined in the award agreement and as often as allowed.
  • Providing copies of invoices to GAO on the same day the invoice/request for payment is sent.  If request for payment is submitted through an electronic system, copies of the confirmation in an email indicating Amount, Grant #, and Sponsor Name can be provided instead.
  • Payment(s)/checks/remittance advice must be directed to:

The University of Iowa
 Grant Accounting Office
 2410 UCC
 201 S. Clinton Street
 Iowa City, IA  52242-4034

Overnight mail/packages should be sent to Campus Mail at:

The University of Iowa
Grant Accounting Office (2410 UCC)
2222 Old Hwy. 218 S
Iowa City, IA 52242

ACH/EFT Remittance Advice to:

  • Tracking of outstanding balances and timely follow-up, if necessary, with the sponsor for non-payment.

Monitoring for Payment & Collection

For any award that is invoiced by Grant Accounting, the Billing Team will monitor to ensure timely collection of funding and following up as appropriate.  The guideline for follow-up on non-payment, by Grant Accounting is:

  • At 31 to 45 days after the invoice date, a second request is sent to the sponsor. 
  • At more than 60 days after the invoice date and a second request has been sent, the Billing Team will alert the Grant Accountant and the PI/Department and ask if they are aware of a reason for delay in payment. If not, the Billing Team will contact the sponsor again via email or phone.
  • At around 90 days or more, Grant Accounting will work with the PI/Department to determine if the balance is uncollectible. 

The Department is responsible for covering any uncollectible balances due to unallowability of costs, dispute with the sponsor, sponsor bankruptcy or any other reasons.

If the award is invoiced by the Department, the Department is responsible for timely invoicing, timely accounts receivable follow-up, and notifying Grant Accounting if there are issues affecting funding or timely collection of funds.  The GAO accountant will monitor these awards as part of regular review. If the accountant determines that invoices are not being sent to GAO, invoices are not being sent to the sponsor timely, or funds have not been received, the accountant will contact the Department to resolve the issues.

Receipt of Payment

UI policy requires that all payments for externally sponsored grants and contracts must be sent to Grant Accounting for processing, refer to UI Operations Manual, Part V, Ch.5.6(c) and Ch.5.3(f).  If the Department receives a check for a grant or contract, it must be forwarded directly to Grant Accounting. 

Last updated: 11/17/2020