IFR Funds

If you have questions about your IFR accounts, contact your budget analyst. See the Staff Directory for contact information. You can also review the IFR Frequently Asked Questions.

For current IFR fringe benefit and overhead rates, see Rates. To access current IFR Spending Plan templates and instructions, see Forms.

Income Fund Reimbursable Budgeting

IFR accounts are self-supporting accounts with activity that generates revenue in support of the expenditure activity within the account. In general, the expenditures have a direct relationship to the revenue generated. The accounts are usually established for a single, distinct activity and under no circumstance are accounts to duplicate activity for which the State appropriates its regular budget.

The special nature of these accounts, as defined above, is supported by a series of budget and accounting procedures which the campus operates within. The following items and procedures define operating procedures designed to meet budgeting and accounting requirements.

A. Revenue

The IFR program is a cash-based operation. It is necessary for all project earnings to be collected and deposited to the accounts. Except for recharge areas, expenditure transfers (whereby expenses incurred by a project are transferred to another account) will not be allowed. As revenue generation is the basis for the account, continual follow-up on unpaid and past due invoices is necessary. Project Directors may follow-up with users who have not paid their invoices within 60 days to attempt to obtain payment. Once an IFR account is incorporated into PeopleSoft, the dunning process will be initiated by the Accounting Office on a quarterly basis.

Revenue is deposited to IFR accounts based on information supplied through University invoices. Most projects issue invoices to the users of its goods or services and subsequent payment is received and credited to the project by the Collections Office. Some projects are authorized to receive funds directly from users and to deposit the funds in the Collections Office through the use of "confirming" invoices.

B. Allocation Levels

The self-supporting nature of IFR accounts requires that projections of revenue and expenditure plans be made each fiscal year. The expenditure plans cannot exceed revenue and must specify whether expenses will be for personal service, temporary service, supplies and expense, or equipment. Each fiscal year the Office of Financial Management & Budget requests an IFR Spending Plan from the account managers. The plans are analyzed and in turn used as the basis to establish the allocation levels. If you anticipate that revenue will not be forthcoming as originally planned, the Office of Financial Management & Budget should be contacted so that appropriate adjustments to the allocation levels can be made.

C. Relationships of Income to Expenditure

The State of New York requires that expenditures in IFR accounts be directly related to the purposes for which income was collected. This means that expenditures made from IFR accounts must fall within the stated purpose of the account, and must be related to the reason for which revenue was collected. Any violation of this principle may result in penalties to an account and could jeopardize the existence of an account.

D. Expenditures

Expenditures in IFR accounts are made through the same procedures that guide expenditures of State appropriated monies.

E. Deficits/Surpluses

The nature of the IFR funding mechanism requires that all IFR accounts be "self-supporting." The definition of this term is that no IFR account should incur an ongoing deficit or surplus of expenditures versus revenue. IFR account managers should take care to assure that IFR accounts maintain a reasonable balance between revenue and expenditure at all times. The Offices of Financial Management & Budget and Accounting will monitor expenditures versus revenue regularly and will contact any and all account managers whose accounts do not appear to be in balance.

In the event an account has excess funds available, the reserve mechanism may be used to earmark or set aside those funds as follows:

Reserve for Equipment Replacement and Repairs - Funds may be reserved to replace, repair, or upgrade existing equipment. Reserves for equipment replacement should reflect replacement cost of the asset, not historical cost. Reserves for equipment repairs may not include routine maintenance costs. This reserve may only be used for major repairs, such as upgrades, that will extend the service life of the equipment, or materially increase the capacity or operating efficiency of the equipment.

Reserve for Facilities Rehabilitation and Renovation - Funds may be reserved to rehabilitate or renovate related facilities. This reserve represents funds that will eventually be used for expenditures that materially extend the useful life of the facility. The reserve is the cost of these future improvements.

Reserve for Budget Stabilization - Funds may be reserved for program continuation and fluctuation. This reserve is established to accommodate short-term revenue downturns and to provide for the orderly and fiscally responsible termination of a program, should such action be determined necessary. Items that are to be considered in establishing the reserve include such contractual commitments and obligations as term appointments, refunds for prepayments, equipment leases, essential operating expenses and other liquidation costs associated with the unplanned elimination of a program. The maximum size of the reserve should not exceed one cycle of program operations.

Reserve for Research Investment - Funds may be reserved for program investment in research extending program activity, enhancements and or new program developments.

F. Adjustments to Plans

The Office of Financial Management & Budget will request updated Spending Plans in the middle of the fiscal year from accounts which appear to be experiencing deficits, excessive surpluses, or substantial changes in activity. Should Project Directors become aware of adjustments or changes to either expenditures or revenue before or after the mid-year review process, they should notify the Office of Financial Management & Budget as soon as possible.

G. Contracts

The University Controller must execute all revenue and expenditure contracts, regardless of the amount. Prior to that execution, the budget plan for the contract must be approved through the Office of Financial Management and Budget. All contracts should be processed through the campus Office of Purchasing and Contracts prior to the Controller's signature. Contracts processed late or ex post facto risk being voided. More information on contracts can be found earlier in this document, or can be obtained by contacting the Purchasing Office at 437-4579.

H. New Accounts

University personnel who anticipate new operating programs or functions involving the receipt of revenue to be deposited in an IFR account should contact the Controller's Office in UNH 212 and obtain an Account Application. This application should be completed and returned to the Controller's Office at least 30 days prior to the start date of the proposed activity in order to insure the establishment of an account in a reasonable time frame.

I. Pricing

If an account manager wishes to have a pricing structure reviewed he or she must contact the University Controller's Office. Similarly, before instituting a new fee or charge, the Controller's Office must be contacted as a pricing study needs be completed prior to the establishment of a new fee or charge. A pricing study is used to determine the appropriate price of the item(s) or fee(s) being implemented. As a requirement under OMB Circular A-21 all fees implemented by the University at Albany must be cost based and shall follow the principles of A-21, which include that all costs are allowable, allocable, reasonable, and consistent treatment guidelines are respected.

J. Fringe Benefits and Overhead Assessments

IFR accounts are assessed University Overhead and Fringe Benefits. These assessments are reflected monthly as a reduction to revenue in the Accounting Reports.

Assessment for Fringe Benefits is charged on expenditures for all full and part time staff and teaching assistants charged to IFR accounts (PSR and TS fringeable). The Fringe Benefits assessment is not charged on expenses for graduate assistants, student assistants or honoraria. For current Fringe Benefits rates, please see the Rates page.

University Overhead is assessed on the revenue received into an IFR account. The assessment is intended to cover account set up and on-going administrative IFR costs. Please see the Rates page for current overhead rates.

Inquiries about policies should be directed to the analyst in charge of IFR funds. Please refer to the Staff Directory. Inquiries about specific charges should be directed to the Accounting Office.

K. Revenue Reporting

IFR billing and collection information is available for all IFR accounts that invoice through the Oracle/PeopleSoft module.