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National Science Foundation A New Approach to Award Payments. NCURA Region II Spring Meeting April 24, 2012. Ilene Caruso, Denise Robinson & Alisha Williams Grantee Cash Management Section Division of Financial Management National Science Foundation. Learning Objectives.

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National science foundation a new approach to award payments

National Science FoundationA New Approach to Award Payments

NCURA Region II Spring Meeting

April 24, 2012

  • Ilene Caruso, Denise Robinson & Alisha Williams

  • Grantee Cash Management Section

  • Division of Financial Management

  • National Science Foundation

Learning objectives
Learning Objectives

We are here to help.

Where you fit
Where you fit…

Institution Grant Distribution

*as of 01/2011

Portal to nsf financial functions
Portal to NSF Financial Functions

Select NSF User

from the dropdown menu then click ------

Enter your Last Name, NSF User ID, and Password uses the same credentials as FastLane

Accessing nsf financial functions
Accessing NSF Financial Functions

Financial Functions such as Cash Request and EFT Update can

be accessed via

Single Sign-On

by selecting the link located under NSF FastLane Services

Ffr attachment
FFR Attachment

The columns outlined in orange are updated by the grantee. The cumulative amount reported cannot exceed the Total Federal Funds Authorized.

Ffr adjustments to financially closed awards
FFR Adjustments to Financially Closed Awards

Enter the NSF Award ID, New Cumulative Amount, and a Justification in order to increase or decrease previously reported expenditures.

Adjustments of less than ± $300 are not accepted.

Ffr certification preparer
FFR Certification (Preparer)

The FFR preparer will forward the report to the FFR certifier for certification once it has been completed by selecting

Users also have the option to print the full report to PDF from the Certification page

Ffr certification certifier
FFR Certification (Certifier)

The FFR certifier will be notified via email once the FFR preparer has forwarded the report. The FFR certifier will then need to review and approve the submission.

Certify the data by checking the box next to I Certify, and select the Save and Submit to NSF button.

Award payment process
Award Payment Process

A new approach:

Award Cash Management $ystem

  • Cash pooling

  • Award level detailP

The new approach
The New Approach

  • The Award Cash Management System (ACM$) will be based on awardees providing award level detail at the time of the payment request.

    • Enhance access to award financial data

    • Eliminate the need for the quarterly Federal Financial Report

Decision drivers
Decision Drivers

  • Increased focus on transparency and accountability

  • Congress, OMB and other stakeholders are requiring information faster

  • OMB is developing standardized reporting requirements



(Pooling Payment Request)


(Award Level Detail Payment Request)

Award level records

Payment requests provide detail that matches awardee records

Real-time reconciliation

Payment file detail can be used to eliminate distribution discrepancies

  • Institutional level records

  • Payment requests provide total of all institutional grant fund needs

  • Quarterly reconciliation

  • Distribution of payment received may not match records that produced the payment request

Acm transition model
ACM$: Transition Model

  • NSF is currently in the design and development phase

  • Target implementation date: 2013

  • Timeline selected to minimize interference with awardee fiscal year end tasks

  • Reconciliation process:

    • Insure all awardee balances match NSF award balances

    • Bring Cash on Hand (COH) balances to zero ($0) at the award level and institution level

Our vision
Our Vision

  • Retain certain “Current” system benefits

  • Add “New” benefits

  • Implement multiple input options:

    • Manual Web Entryappropriate for smaller organizations

    • Excel Spreadsheet Download/Upload Entryappropriate for medium and large sized organizations

    • Bulk XML Data File Uploadappropriate for those large organizations who desire further automation

  • Complete system pilot and reconciliation

Post implementation ffr reconciliation
Post Implementation FFR Reconciliation






Communication training plans
Communication/Training Plans

  • Communication Plan

    • Phase I: Targeted Outreach/Collect Feedback

    • Phase II: General Outreach/Mass Communication

    • Phase III: Reconciliation/Getting Started Guides/ General Preparation for Transition

  • Training Plan

    • Pilot Group: Reconciliation/Pilot Implementation

    • Webinars: Live/Recorded

    • Online Help/Additional Training Documents

Preparing for the change
Preparing for the Change

  • What can you do now to prepare?

    • Reconcile the Cash on Hand (COH) balance reported on your quarterly FFR to the COH balance on your financial records

      • Identify any manual reconciliation items

    • Submit FFR each quarter by the due date

    • Bring operating COH balances as close to zero as possible

Cash on hand reconciliations
Cash on Hand Reconciliations

  • Common issues institutions have:

    • Refunds credited to canceled appropriations don’t appear on the FFR – this becomes a manual reconciliation item

    • Lingering difference that lasts until the final award expires leaving a balance at the end with no active awards

    • Reported expenditure or cash draw errors that are notcaught during the institution reconciliations

    • Crediting refund errors

    • Tax debt offset creditwithholdings either to/from NSF

Acm use case demonstration
ACM$ Use Case Demonstration

Disclaimer:The information and screen designs presented in the following use case scenario(s) represent preliminary designs and should not be considered final. This demo is intended for informational purposes only.

Submit new transaction payment request open awards
Submit New Transaction: Payment Request (Open Awards)


Submit new transaction adjustment request closed award
Submit New Transaction: Adjustment Request (Closed Award)

Optional Slide (T5)

Submit new transaction adjustment request closed award1
Submit New Transaction: Adjustment Request (Closed Award)

Optional Slide (T6)

Submit new transaction certifier review
Submit New Transaction: Certifier Review


Reconciliation award amendment details
Reconciliation: Award Amendment Details


Items to remember until implementation
Items to Remember Until Implementation

  • Single-Sign On technology implemented 06/03/2011

  • As of January 2012, all financial functions** are only accessible through In addition to the quarterly FFR, these functions include:

    • Cash Requests

    • EFT Update

      **Note: The non-FFR functions will still operate in a FastLane environment accessible via link from

Arra update
ARRA Update

  • OMB Memo M-11-34

    • What does the memo require?

      • Accelerate Spending

        • By 09/30/2013

      • Reclaim Unspent Funds

    • Exceptions?

      • Limited Waivers

Arra expenditure projections
ARRA Expenditure Projections

ARRA Appropriation

~$1 Billion


Arra update omb m 11 34
ARRA Update: OMB M-11-34

  • NSF Implementation Strategy

    • Interagency Coordination

    • Aggressive Stratification

    • Waiver Application

    • Award Modifications

    • Aggressive Communication

  • What YOU need to know?

Canceling appropriations
Canceling Appropriations

Public Law 101-510 requires that all federal agencies financially close fixed year appropriation accounts and cancel any remaining balances by September 30th of the 5th year after the period of availability.

How does this affect you?

Contact information
Contact Information

  • Mike Howe (Section Head) or (703) 292-8285

  • Dorothy Battle or (703) 292-4440

  • Ilene Caruso or (703) 292-8334

  • Karen Cavanaugh or (703) 292-2411

  • Justin Poll or (703) 292-4663

  • Denise Robinson or (703) 292-8293

  • Alisha Williams or (703) 292-4539

Additional information
Additional Information

  • Additional information can be found at