Upon receiving a fully executed award or modification to an existing award, OSP research accountants initiate the account setup/modification process within the financial system. Accounts are set up/modified in Advantage in accordance with the approved budget in the award, and a notification is sent to the PI. If no unforeseen obstacles exist, a typical account setup will occur within three days of the receipt of the fully executed award/modification.


Advantage is the university’s financial system, and this is where we go to enter the information to establish an account. Now that an account is set up, the next step is to enter the object codes and amounts based on the budget from the award. Object codes identify the major expense categories that are established for the specific award (e.g., salaries, travel, operations, etc.). When you are processing documents to charge your accounts, you need to identify the proper object and subobject codes. A list of the current object/subobject codes is available through the data warehouse.

PI Notification

The OSP research accountant will notify the PI once the account is set up via email. It is the principal investigator's responsibility to review the award, including all requirements and restrictions. However, if there are any questions, the PI may contact OSP for assistance and explanation at any time.

In general, the notification will include the following information:

  • PI name
  • UNLV account number
  • Award title
  • Sponsor name
  • Award period of performance
  • Award amount
  • F&A rate
  • Sponsor award number
  • Proposal number
  • Payment method
  • Itemized breakdown of the budget

Risk Accounts for Anticipated Awards

There may be a legitimate need to start a project prior to the receipt of the formal award or modification from a sponsor. In these situations, a PI may request a risk account in order to gain access to funds that will enable the project to begin in anticipation of the award. If approved, spending authority for a risk account is typically restricted to 90 days’ worth of funds.

A risk account to spend or commit a limited amount of funds during a defined period may be appropriate:

  • Prior to the receipt of a fully executed award
  • Prior to the receipt of incremental funds
  • Prior to the receipt of a no-cost extension
  • To mitigate the risk of a fixed-price agreement

Recovery of Costs When a Sponsor Does Not Provide Funding

In the unlikely event an award, modification, or extension is not issued, the PI, chair/director, and dean must understand that all expenditures will be covered by the university account provided to guarantee the risk account. OSP will notify the dean/chair/director prior to any such transfer.