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Acronyms & Definitions and Terms

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ADA - Americans with Disability Act
AICPA - American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
APPA - Association Of Physical Plant Administrators
AUTM - Association of University Technology Managers, Inc.
BPR - Business Process Reengineering
CASB - Cost Accounting Standards Board
COGR - Council on Governmental Relations
COSO - Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (adopted by UC in 1995)
GAAP - Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
GASB - Governmental Accounting Standards Board
IACUC - Institutional Animal Care Use Council
IRB - Institutional Review Board
IRS - Internal Revenue Service
IT - Information Technology
MDQ - Market Driven Quality
NACUBO - National Association of College and University Business Officers
NCAA - National Collegiate Athletic Association
NCURA - National Council of University Research Administrators
NIH - National Institutes of Health
NSF - National Science Foundation
OMB - Office of Management and Budget
OP - Office of the President
P4P - Partnership for Performance
PI - Principal Investigator
PHS - Public Health Services
PPG - Project Planning Guide
STIP - Short Term Investment Pool
SRA - Society of Research Administrators
TQM - Total Quality Management

Definitions and Terms (in alpha order)

Audits (types of)

  • internal audits
  • external audits
  • funding agency audits

Benchmarking is an ongoing discovery and learning activity for improving key business processes. The formal definition is "the continuous process of measuring products, services and practices against the toughest competitors or those companies recognized as industry leaders." (David T. Kearns, former CEO, Xerox.)

Best practice is any practice, knowledge, know-how or experience that has proven to be valuable or effective within one organization and may have applicability to other organizations. (Chevron)

Control Self Assessment (CSA) is a process in which people directly involved in a business function determine the effectiveness of the processes in place and how well business objectives are being met. CSA is a powerful tool of governance that can be used to examine and assess business process and control effectiveness within the organization. CSA helps evaluate informal or subjective controls in such areas as ethical practices, management philosophy, and human resource policies. By encouraging employee involvement, CSA solicits open communication, teamwork, and continuous improvement.


Direct Costs can be readily identified with a specific sponsored project or institutional activity may be allowable on one project where it benefits the project, but be unallowable on another project where no similar performance requirement exists.

Indirect Costs cannot be specifically identified with a particular sponsored project or other direct activity such as instruction or research. Instead, they are generally related to departmental operations and administrative activities that support sponsored projects and other institutional activities.

Cost Transfer is the process of moving expenses from one account/ fund/ sub/ object code to another

Cost Sharing: included in the program budget when required by the sponsor, and in conformance with the requirements in Circular A-110.

Unallowable Costs may not be allocated to sponsored projects, either as direct or indirect costs.

Effort Reporting completed on a scheduled basis, is an after the fact certification of effort and is paid directly form a federal or federal flow through award.

Ethics: Thinking systematically about morals and conduct; Making judgments about right and wrong; Guidelines for action that draw on what is right or wrong; Beyond talk and thinking to performance and action

Federal False Claims Act - Qui Tam: Allows private citizens to file a lawsuit in the name of the U.S. Government charging fraud by government contractors and others who receive or use government funds, and share in any money recovered.

Fund Accounting is the procedure by which financial resources are classified for accounting and reporting purposes in accordance with activities or objectives specified by donors, by regulations, restrictions or by limitations imposed by outside sources.

Internal Control is broadly defined as a process, effected by an entity's board of directors, management, and other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding achievement of objectives in the following categories: effectiveness and efficiency of operations, reliability of financial reporting, compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Personnel Activity Report System (PARS)

  • Circular A-21 requirement
  • required to be completed according to established timetables (academic reports on some campuses are completed every six months).
  • directly paid from a federal or federal flow through award.

Qui Tam - Federal False Claims Act: Allows private citizens to file a lawsuit in the name of the U.S. Government charging fraud by government contractors and others who receive or use government funds, and share in any money recovered.

Risk Assessment Strategy is a management framework that narrows the band of hazards and uncertainty and widens the avenues of academic/ business opportunity.

Risk Management is defined as identification, analysis and measurement of risks (hazards/ opportunity/ uncertainty) and selection of the best method of treating the risk.

Support Group is any group, organization, foundation or association other than a Campus Alumni Association of Campus Foundation whose primary purpose is to provide assistance through fund raising, public outreach, and other support for the University mission.


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