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 Grants & Contract Administration.

You are responsible for monitoring all expenses charged to the grant and ensuring that they are compliant. Specifically, you should make sure that all expenses charged to the grant are allowable, allocable to the grant. In addition, all expenses should be properly allocated within the budget, and consistent with the work completed to date. 

Review expenses at least once a month. You can check your budget anytime in Banner Web or review the monthly reports that you receive via email showing budget and transaction details from inception to date for each of your sponsored projects. It is especially important to monitor expenses in the final 90 days of your grant.

Mistakes can happen, and expenses posted to a grant in error can be moved easily if the error is caught within the same fiscal year (July 1 to June 30).

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.

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

Download a guide for reviewing monthly expenses and two appendices: 1) a quick reference table of typical budget items and their corresponding Line Item Account Codes in Banner and 2) annotated sample monthly reports

For help with Banner Web, contact the Technology 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 OGSP 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), check with us or contact the Office of Grants & Contract Administration. If the grant allows Middlebury 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 OGSP staff, 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, OGSP 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. All payments to subawardee institutions must be approved by the Project Director/Princple Investigator; usually the PI/PI initiates request for payment using a standard voucher form which is sent via email to the Director of Grants & Contracts Administration ( Contact OGSP or the 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. Send copies of all reports to the appropriate OGSP staff member. For faculty grants, forward a copy of all narrative reports and correspondence to one of the individuals listed under Sponsored Programs, Faculty Grants. For institutional grants, submit a copy of all narrative reports and correspondence to one of the individuals listed under Corporate & Foundation Relations.

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 Middlebury 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 OGSP 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.