Glossary of Grant Terms
Agency Fund - This fund is used to record resources received, held and disbursed by an institution as fiscal agent for others. Normally, revenue and expenditure of agency funds are not institutional revenues and expenditures and should be reported separately.
Audit - A review of the accuracy and integrity of the institution's financial reports. Iowa Lakes' is audited annually by an external auditing organization. Grant programs are subject to this annual audit. A report of audits done of federal grants programs are forwarded to the U.S. Department of Education for review. Discrepancies may lead to an in-depth audit by the federal General Accounting Office.
Auxiliary Fund - This fund is to record resources received, held and disbursed by an institution over which the institution has determination as to the nature and degree of receipts and expenditures. The fund is used to account for activities that are intended primarily to provide:
- A. Non-instructional services for sale to students, staff, and/or institutional departments and which are in addition to the education objectives of the institution.
- B. Activities that exist to provided an instructional and laboratory experience for students and that incidentally creates goods and services that may be sold to students, faculty, staff and the general public.
Budget - An itemized, systematic, and authorized plan of operation, expressed in dollars, for a given period. The planned allocation of funds for future expenditures.
Encumbrance - An outstanding obligation. If a purchase order is issued for $100, the account to which it is charged is encumbered by $100. The encumbrance is released when the goods are received and the invoice is paid.
Endowment & Similar Funds - Endowment Fund: Endowment funds can be defined as those resources, the principal which shall be maintained inviolate to conform with restrictions placed thereon by the donor or other outside agency. Generally only the income from these funds may be used.
Fiscal Year - That period by which accounts are kept. Iowa Lakes' fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30; the federal government uses October 1 to September 30.
Fund Accounting - The manner of organizing and managing the accounting so that resources are classified according to activities or objectives as specified by the donor or funding sources. A fund is an accounting entity with a self-balancing set of accounts. Separate accounts are maintained for each fund, but funds of similar characteristics may be grouped together for reporting purposes.
Hard Money - A term used to describe "permanent" funding or that which can ordinarily be expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
In-Direct Costs - (Also called Overhead Allowance) monies allocated to the institution as part of a grant or contract in recognition of certain expenses absorbed by that institution (generally heat, power, light, management oversight, computer availability, etc.) The allowance is generally a percentage of the total grant or percentage of personnel expenditures under a grant, but is frequently negotiated.
IPEDS - Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (HEGIS renamed).
Loan Fund - Loan funds are those funds whose principal is loanable. These funds are established for the purpose of aiding students. Frequently, gifts to the institution furnish the basis for the establishment of a loan fund. Where both principal and interest are loanable, these should be placed in this fund. If the principal is not loanable, it should be placed in the Endowment Fund and only the loanable portion of the fund should be classified in this fund. The equity in this fund is increased by gift and interest on loans and investments and is decreased only by the write-off of uncollectible loans and legally permitted administrative and collection costs.
Operating Budget - The itemized plan for expenditures on non-capital items during a given period.
Plant Fund - This fund is used to account for the following type of resources:
- a. Unexpended Plant Sub-Fund: this sub-fund is used to account for resources which will be expended for the acquisition or construction physical property to be used for institutional purposed and resources designated for the major repair and/or replacement of institutional property. Acquisition or construction of physical property as used here will be all inclusive of the capital outlay expenditures previously charged to the plant fund. Assets consist of cash, investments, accounts receivable, amounts due from other funds and construction in progress. Liabilities may consist of accounts payable, bonds payable, notes payable, and leaseholds payable and amounts due to other funds. As funds are expended for construction, an asset control account for construction in progress should be maintained.
- b. Debt Service Sub-Fund: This sub-fund is used to account for the accumulation of resources that will be used to pay interest and principal payments and other debt service charges relating to long-term plant fund indebtedness. The transactions recorded in this fund are those previously associated with the debt service section of the plant fund. The assets of this sub-fund normally consist of cash and investments to be used for the retirement of indebtedness.
- c. Investment in Plant Sub-fund: The investment in plant sub-fund is used to account for the cumulative cost of plant assets, net of cumulative deletions. The assets consist of land, buildings, other structures and improvements, furniture, machinery and equipment and library materials. Liabilities may consist of accounts payable, notes payable, bonds payable, and leasehold payable that are associated with the acquisition, renewal or replacement of plant assets recorded in this fund. The new investment in plant sub-fund is the fund balance representing the excess of the carrying value of assets over liabilities.
RFP - Request For Proposal. The grant application packet which stipulates regulations governing the grant process, scope and funding. It also includes forms the funding agency requires to submit the grant as well as agency contacts.
Restricted Funds - This fund is used to account for resources that are available for the operation and support of the educational program, but which are restricted as to their use by an outside agency or person. Some examples are: Tort Liability, Unemployment Compensation, direct Federal/State/Private grants and New Jobs Training Programs.
Scholarship Fund - This fund is used to account for these types of resources: Scholarship funds are defined as those resources available for awards to students that are not in payment of services rendered to the institution and will not require repayment to the institution.
Soft Money - Temporary funding. Usually refers to grant or contract funding which will expire. This term includes grant programs, such as the TRIO projects, which an institution has administered for many years but for which the institution must submit a competitive proposal on a regular cycle.
Unrestricted General Fund - This fund is available for any legally authorized purpose and is, therefore, used to account for all revenues and expenditures for activities not provided for in other funds. Organization units to be financed through this fund are those which are generally directly concerned with the operation and support of the educational program of the college as a whole -- the only restrictions being those imposed by the budget.