Frequently Asked Questions - General

The following questions and answers are broad and very general in nature. They represent common questions we receive and the most common answers. They are meant as a guideline only and should not be taken to apply stringently to every grant. If you believe your grant may be an exception please call us and we will be happy to help you.

Do all grants and contracts that are restricted go through Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC)?
 Yes. All current funds expendable for operating purposes, but restricted by donors or other outside agencies as to the specified purpose for which they may be expended must go through the Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC).
Can Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC) extend my grant completion date?
 No. All negotiations to extend a grant's ending date must go through the Office of Grant and Contract Services first; with the exception of student financial aid funding. If and when an extension is granted Grant and Contract Services will notify us and we will make the change on the PeopleSoft system.
Can Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC) increase my budget?
 Depends. All negotiations to increase or change a grant's budget on National Science Foundation, DHHS, Department of Energy and other projects that require prior approval through the agency must go through the Office of Grant and Contract Services first. If and when an increase or change is granted Grant and Contract Services will notify us and we will make the change on the PeopleSoft system.
Can Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC) change my budget?
 The requirements provided by the agency at the the time of the award are noted in the Notice of Grant or Contract Award. The extent to which a Principal Investigator can authorize expenditures that differ from those set forth in the agency-approved scope of work and budget varies with the agency. In some cases, any deviation from the approved scope of work and budget requires prior agency approval. Therefore, it is essential that the Principal Investigator and department representative thoroughly understand the terms of each specific contract or grant BEFORE processing any transactions that deviate from the originally approved budget. Whenever there is any doubt, the Principal Investigator or department representative should refer to sponsor regulations and contact the Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC) or the office of Grant and Contract Services for assistance. If a budget modification is needed the Principal Investigator contacts the office of Grant and Contract Services and coordinates any budget changes. For more information on this subject visit Rebudgeting under our Project Management page.
What is the difference between Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC) and the Office of Grant and Contract Services?
 The Office of Grant and Contract Services assists departments in obtaining grant funding, grant extensions, funding increases or extensions, and budgeting. Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC) comes in after the funding has been obtained and assists the Principal                                  Investigator by doing invoicing, purchase approvals, financial reports, maintaining appropriate PeopleSoft tables, and helping the PI maintain the grant within accepted accounting standards and the financial standards of the grant. For more information on this subject visit our Project Management-Responsibilities page.
What are Effort Distribution Reports and why do we do them?
 For information on this subject visit our Effort Distribution Reports page.
Can grant funds be expended out of the foundation?
 No. All grants, gifts, and contracts should be processed through Grant and Contract Services and Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC).  This ensures proper administration of funds.
How do I bill for funds, do expenditure billing, send in financial reports, etc.?
 Financial reports and billings are one of the main responsibilities of Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC). The PI should not present any bills to a funding agency. All financial reports and invoices must come from Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC).
What should I do if I receive payment from a sponsoring agency?
 All agencies making sponsored program awards are requested to transmit funds directly to the office of Post Award Accounting Services and Fiscal Compliance (PAASFC).  Occasionally, checks are erroneously addressed to the Principal Investigator or respective departments. These checks should be forwarded immediately to PAASFC for deposit. The check must be accompanied by a memo indicating the funding agency, the check number, the Project ID# (if established), project title, and Principal Investigator's name. Deposits to Project ID accounts may not be made by the Principal Investigator or their respective department.
Why do I keep getting financial reports and what do I do if they keep coming when my grant is ended?

The financial reports you receive are for your information. They can help you stay abreast of where your grant is financially. If you need help understanding the reports please call our office and we will be happy to assist you.

If you continue receiving reports after your grant is over please contact us. Let us know what reports you are receiving and we will arrange for them to be terminated.

Flying on Federal Funds, what is the Fly America Act?

Fly America Act

Read about the Fly America Act, federal regulations that requires the use of U.S. carriers for travel that will be reimbursed from federal grants and contracts.

Compliance with the Fly America Act is the responsibility of each department. Before making arrangements for air travel for NAU business, find out about the funding type and, if applicable, ensure the booking is in accordance with the Act. If you feel an exception applies, consult with your Fiscal Operations Manager. 

Exceptions to the Fly America Act: Travel that is to be reimbursed from federal grants and contracts must be booked through U.S. carriers except in the following circumstances:

  • When the use of U.S. carrier service would extend travel time (including delay at origin) by 24 hours or more
  • When the costs of transportation are reimbursed in full by a third party, such as a foreign government or an international agency
  • When U.S. carriers do not offer nonstop or direct service between origin and destination. However, a U.S. carrier must be used on every portion of the route where it provides service unless, when compared to using a foreign air carrier, such use would:
    • Increase the number of aircraft changes outside the United States by two or more
    • Extend travel time by at least six hours or more
    • Require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
  • When an Open Skies agreement is in place between the United States (U.S.) government and the government of foreign country. Under the Open Skies agreement, the use of a foreign carrier is allowable when that airline is a member state carrier, transportation is between the U.S. and any point in the member state or between two points outside the U.S. provided that:
    • No City-Pair fare exists. Review the fare finder.
    • Funding is not provided by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of a military department.
    Note: When one or more of the above circumstances apply, an explanation indicating the appropriate exception must be provided on the Exception to Policy Blanket Form.

Code-sharing agreements with foreign air carriers, whereby American carriers purchase or have the right to sell a block of tickets on a foreign carrier, comply with the Fly America Act Regulations. The ticket, or documentation for an electronic ticket, must identify the U.S. carrier's designator code and flight number.

Note: Some funding sources may not recognize code-sharing as being compliant with Fly America Act regulations. When fund source policy is more restrictive than NAU travel policy, the more restrictive policy applies.