The University of Arizona

Advance Accounts

Principal Investigators (PI), departments and colleges can use advance accounts to start recording and tracking project expenses in advance of receiving the fully-executed notice of award. Advance accounts allow the PI to begin a sponsored research project and incur allowable expenses before formal university acceptance of the award.  Advance accounts eliminate the temptation to improperly charge unrelated accounts and submit expense transfers once the award is accepted by the university.  

The PI, department or college initiates the advance account request by filling out the Advance Account (PreAward) & Backstopping Form and forwarding it to Sponsored Project Services. Note that the backstop form and the request for PreAward costs are now the same form.  

Using advance accounts for PreAward costs is allowable if the sponsoring agency allows for these costs. In requesting the advance account the PI, department or college assumes the financial risk in the event that the award is not made or if the award effective date is greater than the 90 day preaward cost window.

The PI, department or college assumes the financial risk by requesting an advance account in the event that the award is not made, not accepted or if the terms of the award deem certain expenditures as unallowable or the award start date is different than the anticipated date on the advance account form.

It is important to work with Sponsored Projects Services to understand the specific terms and conditions of the award and to determine if the use of an advance account is appropriate. 

Please see the Backstop Procedure for more information on the process for requesting an advance account.