Accountancy is the system which gives the financial details of a business or an organization. You can use accrual accounting principles to set aside a portion of the bill every month so that when it comes time to pay, you have enough money on hand. You can even use accrual accounting to prepare for future non-fixed expenses like holiday shopping, a vacation or a future car purchase. The key to using accrual accounting in your personal finances is to look at your budget sheet and not at how much money is actually in your bank account. Accounting incorrectly told my husband they could withhold taxes from his NIH stipend.
I’ve always used accrual accounting and shied away from cash accounting – I appreciate your explanation of the process and encouragement of other people to adopt the method! Our accounting is pretty anal when it comes to reimbursing for dinners with speakers and interview candidates. With a couple weeks left on the grant, I went to the accounting office, asking how much I had left (expecting the answer to be $200-$400-shipping is always a black box amt).
The last time I submitted reimbursement paperwork, it got held up for weeks because accounting thought I had done the currency conversions all wrong, allegedly deliberately, and was trying to rip off the university for thousands of dollars. After several back and forths with the prime’s accounting system, the University got a check for ~140 K$. It took a year to get to that point.
He was able to pay off the school charges before interest hit using what little left he had saved after the wedding and rent, but he wasn’t paid back for them until much later, which meant that he was living off of about $100 without firm assurances that he would in fact be paid his salary soon (remember the funding had dried up). Job offer letter did not make clear which number represented my base salary and which number represented my differential salary (I was getting a differential for being on call 24/7 on certain weeks).
Aside from the ridiculous timing of the university’s demand for money, and the fact that none of this was Labmate’s fault (a since fired accounting person for the department was apparently notorious for paycheck screwups) – we’ve also found out that Labmate isn’t the only one the uni is squeezing. I got a grant for 1/2 my sabbatical salary plus supply $$. I didn’t end up using the supply $$, so I got a one year extension.