Bill Types

Learn about bill types on sponsored projects at Columbia University.


Sponsored projects are funded in various ways. Bill types represent the way in which the University receives and/or asks for payment. Administrators should be aware of the differences in bill types and the bill types applied to each project so that they can monitor and assist with the receipt and application of expected payments.

There are six possible bill types that may be assigned to a sponsored project. These may be divided into two groups, three of which are billable bill types, and the other three of which are non-billable bill types. The billable bill types and definitions are:

  • Cost Reimbursable
    • Projects for which invoices are sent to the sponsor seeking reimbursement for costs after they are incurred.
  • Manual
    • Projects for which invoices are sent on some basis other than costs incurred. These are often fixed-price agreements and typically follow a schedule in the agreement, e.g., 25% of the annual budget is invoiced at the end of each quarter, or a set amount is invoiced on specific dates. Other scenarios may apply.
  • Department
    • Projects for which the invoice requires unique information that positions the department as the office best suited to preparing the invoice, e.g., patient care projects, which are invoiced based on the number of patients seen. Invoices for this bill type must adhere to the Department Billing Memo.

The three non-billable bill types and definitions are:

  • Letter of Credit
    • Projects for which the University requests payment from the sponsor via the sponsor’s electronic letter-of-credit system, essentially a line of credit extended for the amount of the authorized budget.
  • Letter of Credit Special
    • Similar to letter of credit, but used for smaller agencies that do less business with the University, or for projects that have unique letter-of-credit requirements.
  • Scheduled Payment
    • Projects for which payment has been or will be issued in full without being requested and without being dependent upon the submission of an invoice, report or other similar deliverable. Hybrid projects, e.g., projects wherein 50% of the payment is issued up front, but that require an invoice or report for the other 50%, are considered manual bill types since there is a request component involved in the receipt of funds.

Contact your Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF) Finance and Compliance Manager for information about bill types.

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