This page provides an overview of PTA components and methods of processing new PTA requests. PTA is an acronym used for a project-task-award combination representing an account in Oracle Financials used to categorize expenditures by funding source. Prior to requesting a new PTA, become familiar with project, task, and award components and related attributes.
An award is a unique source of funding to the university (e.g., sponsored award, gift, designated income, endowment, etc.). Each new award is categorized by type and purpose, assigned an alphabetic code, and further defined by other key attributes that identify the organization and the individuals responsible for the award.
The award type reflects the nature of the funding source for a given award. The most common award types are:
- Operating budget
- Expendable gift
- Designated income
- Sponsored research
Refer to Award Types Table for additional details.
The award purpose reflects the intended use of the funds held in a given award and is used to indicate the university (or legal) level of restriction on the use of the funds.
- Instruction and research
- Student aid
- Property and equipment
Refer to Award Purpose Table for additional details.
New awards are assigned a five-character alphabetic code called the award number. Award numbers are organized in ranges based on award types.
- GAAAA through JYZZZ = Expendable Gift
- PAAAA through VZZZZ = Sponsored Research
Refer to Award Range Table for additional details.
Other Key Award Attributes
Other key pieces of information called attributes must be determined and specified with an award, such as:
- Award owning organization - the organization that has responsibility for administering and managing the award (e.g., approval, reconciliation, and review).
- Award principal owner - the academic individual or position ultimately responsible for oversight of financial activity occurring on the award.
- Award manager - the person or role responsible for performing the administrative functions (e.g., reconciliation and review) for financial activity occurring on the award.
- Start date and end date - the dates the award becomes active and inactive.
A project is a cost-incurring activity with a sufficiently distinct purpose as to require its costs being tracked as a unit (e.g., a specific research project, expenses related to a gift fund, department salary and non-salary operating expenses, a conference).
- Be interdisciplinary, crossing school and/or department boundaries (e.g., the School of Medicine working with the School of Engineering)
- Span more than one fiscal year
- Be either one-time or ongoing events
- Be funded by one or multiple awards
Projects are classified by project type primarily to indicate whether a project will be capitalized. Refer to Project Types and Descriptions for more information.
Each project is identified by a seven-character project number that is automatically assigned. There is no intrinsic logic to project numbers.
Other Key Project Attributes
Other key attributes must be determined and specified with a project, such as:
- Project owning organization - the organization that has responsibility for administering and managing the project (e.g., approval, reconciliation, and review).
- Project principal owner - the person or role ultimately responsible for oversight of financial activity occurring on the project segment of the PTA.
- Project manager - the person or role responsible for performing the administrative functions (e.g., reconciliation and review) for financial activity occurring on the project segment of the PTA.
- Start date and end date - the dates the project becomes active and inactive.
The attributes of a project may be the same or different than those of the award.
A task is a subdivision of a project used to isolate discrete subactivities related to the project. A project may have one or more associated tasks, which facilitates tracking of expenditures by different organizations, owners, or business purposes. Expenditures or purchases are tracked at the task level, so all projects must have at least one task. Budgets are usually created at the task level.
The task number is assigned by the school or department, and can vary in format as defined by the school or department.
Other Key Task Attributes
Other key attributes must be determined and specified with a task, such as:
- Task owning organization - the organization that has responsibility for administering and managing the task (e.g., approval, reconciliation, and review).
- Task principal owner - the person or role ultimately responsible for oversight of financial activity occurring on the task segment of the PTA.
- Task manager - the person or role responsible for performing the administrative functions (e.g., reconciliation and review) for financial activity occurring on the task segment of the PTA.
- Start date and end date - the dates the task becomes active and inactive.
- Task service type - defines the type of expenditure activity associated with a given task.
The attributes of a task may be the same or different than those of the project.
For additional information about service types, refer to:
Review Administrative Guide Policy 3.1.3: Expenditure Accounts (PTAs) to understand authorized use, approved funding source(s), and other requirements for different types of PTAs.
Each school and department may structure Project, Task, and Award Attributes differently to meet unique business needs, so understand this before requesting a new PTA.
Depending upon the nature of the funding and planned use of the money, the PTA request process will vary as indicated in the table below.
|PTA Processing Method
|Capital Projects Requiring a Form 1
|Capital Projects Not Requiring a Form 1
|PTA Manager Capital Projects (PTAC)
|Non-Sponsored (Other Designated, Expendable, or Endowment Gift or Operating Budget)
|Service Center and Expenditure Allocation
|Research Administration Policy and Compliance department of the Office of Research Administration.
PTA Creation Considerations
- Consider two- or three-digit tasks so they sort properly (e.g., 1 and 10 and 100 all sort together in OBI Financial Reporting/Faculty Financial Inquiry Tool (FFIT) because they start with 1).
- If a segment of the PTA is deactivated, make sure there are no open transactions associated with the PTA.
- Decide when to create a new PTA based on reporting/authority granularity needed:
- Need to separate expenditures that are reporting together currently.
- Need to grant authority to approve transactions or view reporting at a more granular level.
- Need to aggregate and restrict visibility for certain transactions (e.g. salary).
- Need to group activity to better support management or business process reporting.
- Need to capture unallowable salary in a task with unallowable service type(e.g., fundraising, public relations, or lobbying).
PTA Owning Attributes
The basic function of the owning attribute is to identify the organization or person that manages the project (P), task (T), and award (A). Each PTA segment is assigned an owning org attribute and a principal owner.
P, T, and/or A owning org changes will always affect financial and reporting systems for the updated segment(s).
This includes historical financial reporting. P, T, and/or A Principal Owner attribute changes will always affect the Faculty Financial Inquiry Tool (FFIT) and Organization Financial Inquiry Tool (OFIT).
- An award’s segment should never be repurposed or reused by way of updating the award’s description attributes; always create a new award.
- The use of a P, T, and/or A free-form text field should be considered for reporting needs.
- The required attributes of an award’s School/Department Level of Control and School/Department Level of Restriction should reflect reporting needs.
- Faculty-controlled awards are those that are owned by a faculty member and are included in FFIT.
- Department-controlled awards are those that are owned by a generic position (chair, dean, director, etc.) rather than a named individual and are included in OFIT.
- Grant authority following this recommended order:
- Principal owner or award type
- P, T, or A
- Ensure that PTA Manager/Maintenance administrator takes action on monthly invalid P, T, and A personnel notifications.
- Make appropriate use of Service Type attributes (e.g., for fundraising salary, create a task with an unallowable Service Type).
- Make appropriate use of projects and tasks to provide department-level resource management (e.g., segment sensitive salary into distinct tasks).
- Use tasks to manage expenses and reporting for interdisciplinary work across multiple business units or departments.
- Make appropriate use of Owner/Manager attribute to provide FFIT access (e.g., three PIs can see the same PTA in FFIT by being owner of the respective project, task, and award) and responsibility for monthly reconciliation (task manager).
- When a unit needs to report bottom-line results for an activity separate from other activities, it is best to create a separate award.