Fiscal Management of Awards
There are 4 cornerstones to proper fiscal stewardship of sponsored project awards. Questions are listed next to each rather than definitions. If someone walked up to you (or a newspaper reporter) and asked these questions, could you answer them to defend placing the cost on the award. If so, then it’s a good cost!
- Allocable – Is it a charge you can directly tie to the project? If so, can you explain the benefit to the grant?
- Allowable – Do the sponsor, the feds (A-21) and University allow the cost on the project?
- Reasonable – Would the prudent person agree with your justification?
- Consistent – Is the cost treated the same throughout? If you can’t buy a pen on one grant, it shouldn’t show up on another one.
If you have questions about a cost, please call 425-352-3398 or e-mail Cindy at email@example.com.
Award Kick-off Meeting
Congratulations on your new award! To get you off on the right foot, the Office of Sponsored Research will schedule a meeting with the PI and the post-award management team from the School or Center. We'll cover what is allowed with your budget, budget categories, how salaries should be paid, and who is responsible for what. Contact Leena Perera firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Each month, our staff will match the appropriate receipts (procard, e-procurement, e-travel, etc) with the transactions from your budget. This helps us review your costs for the above 4 spending guidelines. We will contact you should we have any questions.
Reconciliation is the process of matching supporting documents with charges on a sponsored project budget. Reconciliation status is tracked in the system called MyFinancialDesktop (MyFd). The Office of Sponsored Research will reconcile budgets in the system within 30 days from the date of the month close.
The PI is responsible for spending the awarded funds based on the project plan. The reconciler reviews the expenditures based on the research administration principles (2 CFR 200) of allowability (after examining federal, state and UW regulations), allocability, consistently treated and reasonableness. The Office of Research will track all assigned budgets for adherence to the University of Washington’s guidance for financial reporting.
Each center or school for which OSR reconciles budgets will establish and maintain a central electronic document repository for expenditure back-up. It is the responsibility of the PI and Center/School administrator to ensure paperwork is complete and placed in the repository.
Once reconciled, the budget will appear in bold under “Reconciliation Status” in MyFD as reconciled. The OR reconciler will notify PI via e-mail confirming the budget is reconciled and alert the PI to the deadline for their approval.
View instruction handout on how to review budgets
PIs should review budgets in MyFD immediately upon notification that the budget was reconciled. Approval is required in MyFD within 45 days from the month-end close.
- Questions during the review should be addressed immediately with the reconciler.
- Unreconciled expenditures will be moved to a department budget at 30-days post month closing.
- The PI’s approval by checking the box in MyFD indicates the expenditures were allowable for their project.
- Directors or administrators will be notified if PIs have not approved their budgets to ensure compliance policies are followed. It is expected that budget approvals be resolved within a week of notifying directors, PIs, or administrators.
- For PIs who are Center Directors, the Center Director supervisor will be notified for unapproved budgets to ensure compliance policies are followed. It is expected that budget approvals be resolved within a week of notifying the Center Director’s supervisor.
Leena Perera email@example.com is our Budget/Fiscal Analyst Lead and Sarah Verlinde firstname.lastname@example.org is our Project and Fiscal Coordinator. Together, they manage quarterly check-ins with investigators. During these meetings, they follow-up on PI reviews in myFD, challenges PIs may be encountering, GCCRS, and budget management.
Reporting and Closing
Reporting on a grant or contract budget is how UW confirms to sponsors that we have used their resources appropriately in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award agreement. Timely and accurate reporting is critical to maintaining good relationships with sponsors and ensuring future funding for the PI, the department and the university as a whole.
All the required reporting is completed through GCA (Grants and Contracts Accounting) including closing of the budgets. Visit GCA website.
The UW Seattle Financial Management offers excellent resources.
Subjects and services include:
- Monitoring compliance with federal, state, and UW polices, as well as other sponsor's terms and conditions. Preparing complex data analytics.
- Performing reconciliations and interpretations of award requirements.
- Providing post award fiscal compliance training to the University.
- Working with departments to examine and enhance internal controls.
- Consulting with Departments.