The Principal Investigator/Project Director consults with the Grants Accountant in the Business Office for assistance when establishing a budget to submit with the grant proposal, with any post-award budget management issues or questions, and for assistance in the completion of interim and final financial reports (as required by each grant sponsor).
When a PI/PD is preparing their grant proposal, the Office of Sponsored Programs will often refer them to the Grants Accountant in the Business Office. The Grants Accountant will review the budget prepared by the PI/PD and inform them of any guidelines they do not meet or ask any questions regarding the calculations to ensure the budget meets sponsor and university requirements. This interaction must take place prior to the Vice President of Business Affairs and Finance’s approval of the grant proposal.
Each new grant or contract must have its own fund and internal budget based on the sponsor-approved budget. Upon notification of grant award, the Grants Accountant will send the PI/PD an Account Set Up Sheet. Once the completed account setup sheet is received, the Controller will assign the grant a FOP (Fund, Organization, and Program Code). This will be furnished to the Grants Accountant, who will then let the PI/PD know.
The Grants Accountant will then prepare a budget entry to set up the budget in Banner using the sponsor-approved budget detail. If the Business Office has not received a budget approved by the sponsor that provides sufficient detail to set up a fund, the Grants Accountant will request that the PI/PD give them the proper information for allocation of their award among Banner account codes (salaries, benefits, indirect costs, etc.), based on the terms of the award.
A PI/PD is strongly encouraged to maintain their own financial records, allowing independent tracking of grant expenditures and comparison of expenditures in grant-approved categories with expenditures in Banner's budget categories. The Grants Accountant meets with the PI/PD for each grant at their request to compare Banner reports to their own records to ensure that each expense got booked correctly and to ensure that the PI/PD knows how much money they have left to spend in their budget. This also provides an opportunity for the Grants Accountant to reinforce allowable and unallowable expenditures and compliance with applicable laws, regulations, University policies, and specific agreement conditions.
The PI/PD or their department should not issue invoices to the grant sponsors. The Grants Accountant in the Business Office is responsible for requesting payments from sponsors and preparing interim and final financial reports for sponsors. Should the PI/PD receive a check for an award, it should be delivered to the Business Office for processing. Checks for payment should be issued directly to the Business Office at the address below:
Midwestern State University Business Office
Attn: Grants Accounting
3410 Taft Blvd Wichita Falls, TX 76308
Should the reporting requirements be sent to the PI/PD by email or by some other method, rather than being explicitly stated in the award document, the PI/PD should contact the Grants Accountant for the financial portion of the report. It is vital that the financial reports submitted to the grantor match the Banner Financial system.
Should a budget transfer within a grant fund be necessary, the PI/PD should contact the Grants Accountant. If the transfer is allowable per the grant without permission, the Grants Accountant will prepare a budget transfer form. If the transfer requires permission, the Grants Accountant or the PI/PD will have to contact the sponsor and request permission before the budget transfer form is submitted for posting.
Any grant that requires cost-sharing and matching must have the approval of the Vice President of Business Affairs and Finance. Matching is typically defined as cash, and cost-sharing usually involves time and effort by the project staff. Both matching and cost-sharing must be properly documented and reported to the sponsoring agency. Time and effort reporting is required for state and federally funded grants in which only a portion of a base salary is paid by a project.
The Grants Accountant is responsible for booking indirect costs allowed to be charged against certain grants. This is done according to the percentage agreed upon in the grant proposal. Indirect costs may be charged on only salaries and fringe benefits, or on all expenses except for scholarships and indirect costs. Allowable indirect charges are at the discretion of the sponsor.
The university adheres to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, which determines cost principles for federal grants, in conjunction with any provisions of the applicable grant agreement when determining allowable expenditures from federal, state and private grants. Some private grants are less restrictive than OMB Circular A-21, in which case the university would defer to the grant agreement.
Most grants require a final report and return of unspent funds. Generally, the department responsible for the grant is responsible for covering any overages in spending that may occur. At the same time, when funds are leftover, the business office is responsible for preparing a Direct Payment Voucher to return the funds if the funds are required to be returned and for preparing the financial portion of any final report that is required. All time and effort records should be complete by the time the award is closed out. The Grants Accountant will make sure that the project is officially closed out per the sponsor.