Reconcile Accounts & Write/Submit Reports

Financial Reports

All the above aids in the financial reporting you will make to the funder.

Effort Reports

On government grants, the Effort Report (also known as the "Time and Effort" Report) must be completed and submitted quarterly by the PI, Co-PI (faculty, faculty administrators, and professional staff) to the Accounting Department, regardless of current grant activity.

Audit Reports

All contract and grant funds awarded to the University are subject to audit. This audit can be performed by any one or combination of the following people:

Areas of Risk that will cause audit concern include:

Cost Transfers. Effective grant management eliminates the need for excessive cost transfers (moving costs from one code to another) being processed during a project.

Last Minute Spending. This may indicate that the grant has not been managed effectively throughout the year or that you are trying to use unspent funds on activities that are not directly related to the project's scope of work. The funder may question the need for the expense if it was only requested near the conclusion of the study.

Over- and Under-spending. A pattern of significant over-spending could indicate that funds are being used inappropriately or that the next year's budget funds are being spent in advance and could imply that the grant will run out of funds before the work is completed. In this case, the PI's department will have to cover the overage on the project. A pattern of significant under-spending may indicate the research is not being completed or the "good faith estimate" in the original proposal was overstated.

Cost Sharing or Matching. Cost sharing or matching funds are defined as committed resources that are not budgeted in a sponsored research agreement. Common examples include salary costs in excess of the NIH salary cap, or committed but unpaid effort (e.g., if a PI has 50% effort on a grant and only 30% is funded by the grant; 20% is cost shared. This 20% is typically paid by the department or through a discretionary account.)

Late Reporting. The department and PI are responsible for ensuring that all project costs are accurately recorded in a timely manner so that the Offices of Research and Corporate & Foundation Relations can submit financial status reports to the funder. It is important that you be in contact with the grant officers during the closeout of a project. In addition to the financial reports, PI´s are responsible for submitting timely and accurate progress reports according to agreed-upon deadlines or no later than 30 days after the end of each specified reporting period for quarterly and semi-annual reports. Late reporting shows poor project management and may raise questions to an auditor about overall management of the project.

 

Project Changes

It is important to prepare the necessary paperwork to hire consultants, contractors, and other personnel as needed for your project.

To establish subcontracts you must have the necessary documentation from that organization or person who will be supporting the work of your project.

Ensure that you purchase the necessary equipment, materials, and supplies and other needed things that will be used throughout the life of the project. Be vigilant as to what equipment is purchased based on the agreed-upon terms, as well what is equipment is not really considered materials or supplies. Any changes to personnel and equipment must be based on the agreement/contract. Check with the grant accountant as to the specifics.

Project Management

Your proposal is your project guideline. If you stated in the proposal that you will hire a director to oversee the management of your project, then you must follow through on hiring this person. You cannot change the proposal specifications by instead using a student or not hiring anyone for project management, unless you formally contact the funder and agree upon this change in writing. Please consult with your grant officer should you need to revise your project in this way, and they will assist you in this process.

As the PI, you are the primary person to oversee or guide the technical and management progress of the any internal personnel/contractors hired to work on the project. These include:

If there are any unexpected project issues that involve personnel, financing or reporting of the grant that affect the scientific and educational progress of your project, you must immediately communicate with the grant officer, grant accountant and the funder. Remember, the funder views themselves as a partner in the implementation of your project and it is important to keep them apprised of the progress and necessary changes as your project is implemented. If you do not maintain contact with your funder on such issues, you may risk the University ever receiving a grant from this funder again.

Other Changes to be Addressed

Other project changes for which you will want to keep your funder informed include: