1302 PR.02 Requesting a New Project/Task

Revision Date: 
July 29, 2013

1 – Prepare to request a new project and/or task

1a.  Overview of projects and tasks

This procedure assumes an understanding of the Chart of Accounts and of projects and tasks as implemented at the University. For detailed information refer to the COA Handbook and to Procedure 1302 PR.1.

This procedure is intended to help users to make informed decisions about creating or modifying projects and tasks and to assist in the preparation and completion of the following COA request forms:

  • 1302 FR.11 – Project – New Request
  • 1302 FR.08 – Task Worksheet

1b.  Overview of the Request Process

Who requests a new project and/or task?

Any person authorized by a department can request a new project and/or task.

How do I submit a request?

Request forms should be sent by email to coa@yale.edu.

Does the request need to be reviewed in my department?

Yes – all request forms require departmental review and approval prior to submission to COA.  Please note that the requestor and department approver must be different people.  The department approver must have authority over the organization listed as the project “owner”.  Approval can be indicated in one of three ways:

  • Approver sends the request to coa@yale.edu,
  • Approver is carbon copied on the request submission, or
  • Approver’s authorization is included in the request’s email string.

 

You may be asked to provide additional information or revisions

If you are notified that the request needs additional information or revision:

  • Enter the additional data or make the appropriate changes to the form
  • Resubmit the form for approval.

 

Receive notification of approval or rejection

When a decision has been made on the request for a new project, you will be notified:

If…

Then…

The request is approved

  • The Project Processor will notify you of the new project number. 
  • The project can now be budgeted in University budget applications.
  • Expenses can now be recorded to the project (if the project has been linked to an award and organization).

Remember that you cannot charge any expenses to this project until it is linked to an award and organization. This information should have been included on your request forms (see form instructions below).

The request is rejected

  • Chart of Accounts will notify you of a problem with your request.
  • You may revise the request and resubmit it, if appropriate.
  • Avoid common mistakes by:
  • Filling out the form clearly, completely and correctly.
  • Determining if the action you have taken is the best way to proceed (e.g. consider whether adding a new task to an existing project might be more appropriate than creating a new project).
  • Ensuring that you understand the PTAEO definitions and how each account segment should be used.

2 – Request a New Project

2a.  General Project Information

Determine that a new project is necessary

An activity funded by sources other than sponsored awards will primarily be an operating project or a task within an operating project. An activity that is funded in whole or in part by a sponsored award should be a sponsored project or a task within a sponsored project.

Because of the complexity associated with managing multiple projects, adding a new task to an existing project is often preferable to creating a new project, assuming that the task is appropriate for the purpose of the existing project.

Refer to Procedure 1302 PR.1, Overview of Projects and Awards for additional guidance and information.

Effect of requesting a new project

Requesting a new project will provide the data necessary to:

  • Generate a unique project number.
  • Establish at least one valid task number for the project.
  • Create an award linkage to a specified source of funding.
  • Establish the ability for one or more organizations to charge the new project.

The project is then ready to be budgeted in University budget applications, will accept charges, and can be linked to awards and organizations for funding and recording transactions.

To request charging linkages in conjunction with creation of a new project, complete the award and organization linkage section on the New Project Request form. To establish or change an existing charging linkage for a project at a later time refer to Procedure 1302 PR.4Requesting New/Modified Charging Linkages.

Establish the structure of a new project

Before submitting a project request, the department should determine whether their project should be Operating, Sponsored or Capital.  For assistance with this determination, please consult the Chart of Accounts department.

  • Operating - Operating projects are activities supported by all fund sources other than sponsored awards. As a general rule, an operating project cannot be linked to a sponsored award. Any project funded wholly or in part by a sponsored award will likely be classified as a sponsored project.
  • Sponsored - Sponsored projects are activities funded wholly or in part by sponsored awards, most notably by grants and contracts. Sponsored projects may only be linked to non-sponsored awards when the sponsored award specifies mandatory or voluntary-committed cost sharing (see University Policies 1306 and 1316). Important aspects of the project (e.g. its start and end dates) are determined by the terms of the associated sponsored award.
  • Capital - Capital projects are a specific type of operating project undertaken to extend the useful life of an asset or to create a new asset.  This project type is used for the purchase or construction of buildings and fixed equipment where the cost will equal or exceed $50,000.  All renovations and alterations of buildings or fixed equipment >= $50,000 or that will extend the planned useful life for more than two years should also be captured in capital projects.  Moveable Equipment (MEI) must cost >= $5,000 and have an estimated useful life greater than one year.  If you think a project your organization is considering might be a capital project, please contact the Office of Capital Management at 203-432-8012.

Project Attributes

Each project must have a:

  • name, which must be unique and clearly describe the purpose of the project. Can use up to 30 characters. Sponsored project names are assigned by the Grants and Contracts Pre-Award Offices. Other project types are named by the departments.
  • functional classification, which indicates the purpose of the activity. This provides the ability to summarize and report by major program. There are 12 functional classification codes. See the Functional Classification list below.
  • project-owning organization that is responsible for monitoring and managing the project. However, a project can be linked to other organizations for charging purposes.
  • project manager who is responsible for conducting the activity of the project. On a sponsored project, the principal investigator is the project manager.
  • start date. End dates are optional. Thus, the duration of a project may be limited to a specific period or may continue indefinitely if the project represents an ongoing activity.

Optional: Due to certain department reporting needs, projects may need to be grouped in ways other than through Functional Classification or Task. In these circumstances, departments should consult with the Chart of Accounts department to explore the use of other attributes, such as the Department Reporting Cluster.

Determine your project’s functional classification

Functional classifications refer to the primary purpose of the project activity.  Consult the online Functional Classification Code found in the COA Handbook (Functional Classifications) to help identify the functional classification of your organization’s projects.

Determine what organizations need budget and viewing privileges

Ownership of projects and tasks by a particular organization determines who can have access to budgeting and viewing privileges.

  • The project-owning organization can view all data and transactions for the project.
  • Budgeting ability for a task is limited to the organization that owns the task.

If a project belonging to one organization has tasks that are assigned to a different organization, the project-owning organization can only write budget lines for the tasks owned by it directly.

  • An organization that owns a task within a project belonging to a different organization can view only the data and transactions of its own task.

Organization

Can write budget lines for:

Can view data for:

Tasks it owns   

Tasks owned by other orgs

Tasks it owns

Tasks owned by other orgs

Project-owning org

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Task-owning org

Yes

No

Yes

No

 

Be cautious about assigning end dates when making the request

The University’s financial systems perform validations to ensure that the project, task, award and organization are all open and linked as of the transaction date.

Transactions will not pass validation if the project is closed, the task is closed, the award is closed, or the charging linkages have been end dated.

To avoid validation errors and transaction bounces, be cautious about assigning end dates to projects and tasks.  It is recommended that end dates be left open on operating projects and any tasks associated with them until it is necessary to close the project, unless some compelling reason requires a specific end date.

2b.  Complete and submit the New Project Request form

Obtain the New Project Request form (1302 FR.10)

Obtain the New Project Request form on-line at the PTAEO Maintenance page of this website.  Full instructions are included.

Complete all sections of the form. All fields are required, unless otherwise stated.

2c.  Perform other important project activation responsibilities

Make a decision about linking the project to an award and organization

Remember that a project must be linked to an award and organization in order to record expenditures. If you have not requested a linkage during project setup, no money will be available for spending. 

Schedule labor, if applicable

If, for costing purposes, you determine that all or part of an employee’s salary or wages should be charged to this new project, you will need to modify the labor schedule for that employee.

Refer to the LD Handbook for information and instructions on entering or modifying a labor schedule.

You should schedule labor now if information is known or available. Prompt action will help avoid the need for labor adjustments.

Review the Confirmation report detailing your new project

Review the information provided to you in the Confirmation report to confirm that it corresponds to your request.

  • Make sure that the Project you receive is consistent with what you requested.
  • Review and verify any changes made to your request by the Project Processor.
  • Notify the Project Processor immediately if you find discrepancies or have questions.
  • Take note of the Project and Task numbers.

3 – Request a New Task

3a.  General Task Information

Every project must have at least one task. However, there is no limit to the number of tasks that may be associated with a project.   When a new project is established, departments have the option of using a default task (00 – General or 1 – Sponsored).  If you do not wish to use a default task, you may link to an existing task or create a new task or tasks using the Task Worksheet.  New tasks may be created for an active project at any point in the project life-cycle.

Task Attributes

Each task must have:

  • A unique task number that is between 1 and 8 alphanumeric characters. All alpha-characters must be in uppercase format.
  • name that clearly describes the purpose of the task. The name is chosen at the discretion of the department. Up to 18 characters can be used.
  • task manager who is responsible for conducting the activity of the task.

3b.  Complete and Submit Task Worksheet Form

Obtain the Task Worksheet form (1302 FR.08)

Obtain the Task Worksheet form on-line at the PTAEO Maintenance page of this website. Full instructions are included.

Complete all sections of the form. All fields are required, unless otherwise stated.