When a new research project has been funded, the grant officer gathers together the relevant documents and presents them to the Finance Office so that they can establish an account. These documents include the full proposal and budget for the project, and the letter or email of agreement or contract. Whenever possible, signed agreements are preferred. When the Finance Office has received these documents, an account for the project will be established. Once established, this account is the means by which payments are made for personnel, equipment, supplies and other costs, and all expenditures are tracked. Financial reports on these expenditures can then be created. Primary Investigators are encouraged to track their expenses independently on a spreadsheet and reconcile their accounts with the Accounting Department on a quarterly basis.
Notice of funding comes to us in a variety of ways. With NSF grants, for example, no letter of award arrives. The agency tells us of the award by email, and then the "contract" is confirmed when we draw down the first payment. With foundations (such as Murdock) a letter arrives for the President, and copies are sent to the grant officer and the awardee.
Primary Investigators should work closely with their grant officer to present the appropriate documents.
The Grant Accountant Will
- Prepare financial reports when requested.
- Perform audits and close the account at the end of the grant period. The close of the account indicates that all other narrative progress and final reports have been submitted to the funder.
Accounts Payable in the Business Office Will
- Issue refunds when requested.
Note: The PI has primary responsibility for ensuring that funds received from these external funders are spent in compliance with the funder's regulations as well as University policies. The grant accountant provides a quarterly review of grant expenditures.
Work with your grant officer to submit interim and final reports. They will also work with you to balance accounts and assure what you have in your records is reconciled with the accounting office's records.