Monitoring Expenses and Managing Your Grant

As PI/PD, you are the sole budget administrator for your grant and must authorize all expenditures posted to it. Only your signature is needed on vouchers or requisitions. Reimbursements to you must be signed by your supervisor or the Office of Grants & Contract Administration.

You are responsible for monitoring all expenses charged to the grant. Review expenses in Banner Web at least once a month. Make sure that all expenses charged to the grant are allocable to the grant and posted to an account code consistent with the grant budget. Move expenses to an appropriate account code if necessary.

Mistakes can happen, but expenses posted to a grant in error can be moved easily if the error is caught within the same fiscal year. Be sure that all invoices, vouchers, and payroll charges submitted are charged to the grant properly: include the grant Fund number on all paperwork. The Banner Fund number for a grant is the same as the Banner Index number.

Banner financial information is accessible through Banner Web or directly from Banner, and Hyperion grant budget reports are also available.

Download a quick-reference table of people who can help you administer your grant.

For help with Banner Web, contact the Helpdesk (x2200).

For help with Hyperion grant budget reports, contact Susan Simmons (x2049).

Questions about Banner financial information? Contact Cory Buxton (x5816).

Cost Overruns

As PI/PD, you are responsible for not exceeding the grant budget. If cost overruns occur, your department budget will be charged for the excess expense. If your expenses are projected to exceed the budget, consult with the SRO about possible sources of college funding, including the Sponsored Research Matching Fund.

Budget Changes and the OPAS Form

If you want to spend grant funds on items that are not included in your awarded budget (or alter other grant terms), contact the SRO, CFR, or the Office of Grants & Contract Administration. If the grant allows the College to authorize such expenditures, you must first request the budget changes from the Grants Accounting Office, using an OPAS form. Some examples of changes to grant terms that require an OPAS form:

  • change of scope
  • pre-award spending
  • no cost extension
  • line-item change in the budget that may violate sponsor policies (for example, changing domestic to foreign travel) even if it doesn’t change the budget in Banner

Include the details of and justification for the change, get the form reviewed and signed by the Coordinator of Sponsored Research, and submit it to the Office of Grants & Contract Administration for approval.

Subawards and Subcontracts

If your awarded budget includes funds that will be awarded to another institution, that is a "subaward" (either a subgrant or subcontract, depending on the form of your award). A subaward is a formal, legal agreement (i.e., a contract) with the other institution and usually uses a format approved for use by the Office of Grants & Contract Administration. For faculty grants, the SRO manages the process of issuing the subaward agreement. For institutional grants, this process is handled by the Office of Grants & Contract Administration. Generally, funds that are budgeted for subaward agreements may not be reallocated to other grant uses without sponsor approval, and any subawards not included in the original budget must be approved by the sponsor first. Contact the SRO or Grants Accounting Office for assistance.

Reporting Requirements

The Office of Grants & Contract Administration prepares all financial reports required by the sponsoring agency. Do not provide any financial information to a sponsor unless it has been verified by the Office of Grants & Contract Administration.

As PI/PD, you are responsible for all narrative or technical reports. Many sponsoring agencies require annual progress reports; check the specific terms and conditions for your grant. For faculty grants, forward a copy of all narrative reports and correspondence to the SRO. For institutional grants, submit a copy of all narrative reports and correspondence to the CFR.

No-Cost Extensions

Most sponsoring agencies allow the grant termination date to be extended if you need more time to finish the project. Many federal grants allow the College to authorize these no-cost extensions. If no-cost extensions are allowed, you generally must be able to show that you need additional time to achieve your original goals and objectives. In all cases, such extensions must be requested well in advance of the approved termination date. Contact the SRO or the CFR for the appropriate procedures.

Closing Out Your Grant

To be processed, vouchers submitted within 90 days of the close of a grant must list only expenses that are within an approved budget category. If an expense is not within an approved budget category, you must request approval of the expense using an OPAS form. All equipment should be purchased well in advance of the last 90 days of a grant period.