Guidance for Research Accounting for Fraser Health Authority Principal Investigators

Please review the following guidance regarding research funds held by FHA for FHA principal investigators who have received research funds.


1. Applicability

1.1 Research Awards/Grants/Grant-in-Aid

According to FHA Research Policy all research awards (i.e. grants) received by FHA employees or FHA privileged physicians (i.e. FHA researchers) must be held in a FHA Research Account. Refer to the FHA Research Policy at http://research.fraserhealth.ca/media/Research.pdf.

1.2 Industry Sponsored Funding

Physician researchers who receive industry funding for research are not obligated to hold these funds in a FHA research account, as they can elect to hold this type of funding in their business accounts.  If physician researchers chose to have industry funding held in a FHA research account, they must adhere to all FHA Finance requirements.

2. Setting Up Cost Centres

  1. The Department of Evaluation and Research Services (DERS) is the department authorized to be responsible for holding all liability and expense accounts. 
  2. The liability (also called holding or deferred) account is used strictly to hold the deposits/funds received. Researchers do not see the funds in this account. 
  3. The cost centre is used to process expenses. 
  4. The principal investigator who is the recipient of any funding must indicate if a cost centre will be required in the FHA Initial Application for Ethical Review. 
  5. Once the study has received ethical approval and has met any other requirements, DERS will ensure that the need for a cost centre is specified on the Letter of Authorization to Conduct Research (LOA). The LOA is issued by DERS once all applicable approvals for the study have been obtained. 
  6. The LOA is sent to the FHA principal investigator with a copy to FHA Finance if a cost centre is required.
  7. FHA Finance will set up the cost centre and liability account upon receipt of the LOA and the Cost Centre Request Form from DERS and notify the FHA principal investigator once this is done.

3. Managing Research Accounts

  1. The FHA principal investigator is responsible for expenses incurred throughout the study and for ensuring that there are sufficient funds to cover all research-related expenses. 
  2. FHA Finance is responsible for providing period end reports to help FHA principal investigators manage their budget. These are termed “Push Out” reports and are generated electronically each period and emailed each period to all FHA principal investigators (at their FHA email address only).  These reports contain expenditure information, not total budget or remaining budget information.  Principal investigators are encouraged to use MicroStrategy for more detailed and user friendly reports.  FHA provides workshops on MicroStrategy.
  3. At the end of each period (which is usually 4 weeks), FHA Accounting transfers enough funds out of the liability holding account to match any expenses (i.e. costs) that are identified in the cost centre.  For example, if a FHA researcher puts through expenses of $1,000 and charges it to their expense cost centre, FHA Accounting will transfer $1,000 from the liability holding account to the expense cost centre to offset the expenses, which will then be seen in the cost centre report.  Finance assumes that principal investigators have approved expenses when RFP and EER forms are signed off.  Finance will also seek principal investigator approval before any transfer requests between departments are processed (such are reimbursement of laboratory for processing of laboratory samples).
  4. FHA Finance reviews the liability holding account each period after transfers are made to the cost centre to ensure that overspending has not occurred.  Overspent accounts may need to reimbursed personally by the principal investigator, as per FHA policy.

    It is the principal investigator’s responsibility to review the cost centre reports carefully to ensure their studies are within budget and the reports are free of error.  It is highly recommended for researchers to keep a spreadsheet of all expenses submitted to FH Finance or Payroll, for budget management purposes and as a comparison for cost centre reports so that errors are more easily identified.
  5. Researchers may request an update on their research study balances from FHA Finance at any time.  Email Jane Scott, jane.scott@fraserhealth.ca or Mandeep Tung, Mandeep.Tung@fraserhealth.ca 

4. Submitting Expenses for Payment

4.1 Purchases made directly by FHA Principal Investigators (Employees and Physicians) for Research 

  1. All FHA principal investigators who require reimbursement for purchases they have made themselves, must complete one of the following forms:
  2. Original receipts must be submitted with the RFP or EER.  This is standard FHA policy.
  3. Ensure that the EEF/RFP specifies the following in the comment section of the form:
    • study title
    • funder
    • FHREB #
  4. Please note that receipts cannot be used for any income tax purposes.
  5. Submit the EEF/RFP to DERS for authorization at the address below, as researchers cannot authorize payment to themselves. Accompany the form with a note explaining that it is being sent to DERS for authorization.

    For Grant Funded Studies Only:

    Attention:  Kate Keetch, Research Development Specialist
    Department of Evaluation and Research Services
    Fraser Health Authority - Corporate Office
    Suite #400, Central City Tower
    13450 102 Avenue
    Surrey, BC V3T 0H1

    For Industry Sponsored And Academic Sponsored Studies Only:

    Attention:  Caroline Shaker, Program Assistant
    Department of Evaluation and Research Services
    Fraser Health Authority - Corporate Office
    Suite#400, Central City Tower
    13450 102 Avenue
    Surrey, BC V3T 0H1

  6. DERS reviews and if all is in order authorizes the EEF/RFP.  Please note that the turnaround time for reimbursement is approximately 4 weeks.  If the delay is greater than 6 weeks, please notify either Finance or DERS (Kate Keetch/Caroline Shaker).
    • For Physician Researchers:  Please note that Physician Contracts reviews the RFP and includes the reimbursement in their regular payments to physicians either by cheque or EFT, depending how the physician is set up in the system. 

4.2 Purchases made by other FHA researchers who are not principal investigators and therefore do not have signing authority on grant cost centres (employees and physicians) 

  1. Other study team members who require reimbursement for purchases they have made themselves must complete one of the following forms and have their principal investigator provide approval signatures:
    •  Request for Payment Form (RFP) if they are a physician (contractor); or
    •  Employee Expense Reimbursement form (EER) if they are an employee. 
  2. Instructions to fill out the forms are the same as in 4.1 above, with the exception that the principal investigator can provide approval signature and the forms can be sent directly to FH Finance at the following addresses:

    To reimburse employees:

    General Ledger, Accounting Services
    330 East Columbia Street
    New Westminster, BC  V3L 3W7

    To reimburse physicians:

    Physician Contracts Office
    330 East Columbia Street
    New Westminster, BC  V3L 3W7

  3. The FHA principal investigator must send a copy of the vendor’s invoice and RFP to the attention of the DERS office as above for monitoring purposes only.  Both hard copy and electronic versions are acceptable. 

4.3  Purchases  from vendors that are payable directly to vendors

  1. Vendors can send their invoice to the FHA principal investigator for reimbursement.
  2. The principal investigator can authorize up to $50,000 per single transaction in accordance with the Spending Authority policy.  Any transaction above the limit requires the approval of the Director, Department of Evaluation and Research Services. 
  3. The FHA principal investigator must complete the RFP and sign off as the approver.
  4. The FHA principal investigator must send a copy of the vendor’s invoice and RFP to the attention of the DERS office as above for monitoring purposes only.  Both hard copy and electronic versions are acceptable.
  5. The FHA principal investigator attaches the original vendor invoice to the RFP and sends it to:

    Accounts Payable (AP)
    Support Services Facility
    8521-198A Street, Langley, BC  V2Y 0A1

  6. AP will process the form and send a cheque to the vendor. 

4.4  Reimbursing study participants

Please contact DERS for forms required for reimbursing study participants that must be attached to the RFP.  Email Kate Keetch.

4.5  Reimbursement of travel expenses

Please note, it is FHA policy that all out-of-province travel be approved prior to making travel plans.  This policy applies to all employees and physicians using research grants held in an FHA account.

4.6  Reimbursement between accounts

A Journal Voucher (JV) transfer may be authorized between accounts to reimburse another department's cost centre, for example when reimbursing a department for back-fill / an employee's time spent on the research project.  

4.7  Delegation of signing authority

Please contact DERS or Finance for forms to assign signing authority of a research cost centre to another research team member. 

5.  Receiving Funding Cheques for Deposit (Industry sponsored and academic sponsored studies)

5.1 Applicability

 This guidance applies to:

  • FHA researchers who are employees and who receive funding as a secondary site, on the basis of enrollment of research participants, i.e. completed case report forms, from a primary non-FHA research site;
  • FHA researchers who receive a transfer of funds on a period basis or annually as a secondary site from the primary non-FHA site;
  • FHA researchers who are physicians and who receive funding as a secondary site, on the basis of enrollment of research participants, from the primary non-FHA research site that requires the funding to be held in a FHA account.
  • FHA physicians who have decided to hold industry sponsored funds in a FHA research account and who receive funding on the basis of enrollment of research participants from the industry sponsor. 

This guidance does not apply to grant funded studies where FHA is the primary site. 

5.2 Process for Depositing Cheques 

  1. The primary site sends a cheque directly to the FHA site to the attention of the principal investigator, or the FHA principal investigator invoices the primary site/industry sponsor based on the number of completed case report forms or other criteria required by the funder.
  2. Upon receipt of the cheque from the funder, the FHA principal investigator sends a letter to DERS with the cheque, requesting deposit to their research account:

    Attention: Caroline Shaker, Program Assistant
    Department of Evaluation and Research Services
    Fraser Health Authority - Corporate Office
    Suite #400, Central City Tower
    13450 102 Avenue
    Surrey, BC V3T 0H1

  3. DERS prepares the deposit memo, with appropriate account coding, and sends the memo with the cheque to: 

    FHA Treasury
    Accounting Services
    330 East Columbia Street
    New Westminister, BC V3L 3W7 

A copy of the deposit memo is emailed to the principal investigator and General Ledger (Jane Scott and Mandeep Tung). 

6.   Invoicing third parties, outside of FHA, for services rendered or products supplied

See the Sales to External Parties policy.

7.  FH Finance Processes 

  1. DERS sends all RFP/receipts for physician researchers to:

    Physician Contracts
    330 East Columbia Street
    New Westminster, BC  V3L 3W7

  2. DERS sends all EER/receipts to:

    FHA General Ledger (GL)
    Accounting Services
    330 East Columbia Street
    New Westminister, BC V3L 3W7

    GL reviews the package and sends to AP to process/send a cheque to the researcher.