Process Change in Accrued Vacation Payouts in Grants

Effective Sept. 1, 2014 (FY15), there is a change in how the University accounts for accrued vacation leave payouts for employees leaving the University. Research universities such as Emory currently operate under OMB Circulars A-21, A-110, and A-133. As of December 26, 2014, we will be operating under the new Uniform Guidance (UG), which effectively combines the three circulars above (and several others) into a single document. One of the key clauses in the UG relates to accrued vacation leave costs for employees leaving the University, and how those costs should be handled. The impact to Emory is described below:

  • Under the previous model (which was effective until the end of FY14), an employee leaving the University who had accrued vacation was paid that vacation time from their smartkey distribution established in the HR system. So if (for example) an employee was paid 50% from a sponsored smartkey and 50% from a departmental smartkey, the accrued vacation payout was charged 50% to both smartkeys. The payout hit a salary account code in PeopleSoft.
  • Under the current (new) model (effective beginning September 1, 2014 for FY15), the accrued vacation payout will be charged to the University fringe pool. You will still see the charges hit as they would have in the previous model, with two differences. First, the charges will show on a newly created fringe account code in Peoplesoft (51982 – Vacation Expense). Second, the charges will be immediately reversed and charged to the fringe pool. The net impact (after the reversal) will be zero on your sponsored and/or non-sponsored smartkeys, with the cost charged in full to the fringe pool.  As a result, you should not see any net charges for accrued vacation payout on any sponsored or non-sponsored smartkeys.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Josh Rosenberg at 404-727-1677 (e-mail: or James Goff at 404-727-3419 (e-mail:

From the Office of Cost Studies

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