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Financial Management of Sponsored Research Robert Rono, CPA, M.B.A., M.Sc. Business Official Moi University College of Health Sciences/ Moi Teaching and.

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Presentation on theme: "Financial Management of Sponsored Research Robert Rono, CPA, M.B.A., M.Sc. Business Official Moi University College of Health Sciences/ Moi Teaching and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Financial Management of Sponsored Research Robert Rono, CPA, M.B.A., M.Sc. Business Official Moi University College of Health Sciences/ Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital

2 Did the Hard Work End with the NoA? After the Notice of Award (NoA), the real work begins: The award has been received, negotiated, and accepted Review award details against proposal CAREFULLY READ THE NoA

3 Gears That Drive and Support Research Enterprise Protection Award compliance Project management Procurement Intellectual property Technology transfer Financial management

4 Know Regulations and Cost Principles To be allowable, costs must be reasonable, be allocable, be given consistent treatment, and conform to any limitation or exclusions, types of costs, cost transfers, shared costs Office of Management and Budget Circulars: – A-21: Cost Principles for Educational Institutions – A-122: Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations

5 Know Regulations and Cost Principles (cont.) Agency-specific regulations: NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS), Section 7 USAID Standard Provisions for Non-Governmental Institutions Exercise: – OMB A-21 Section J

6 Project Costs Direct costs can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity, or they can be directly assigned to such activities with a high degree of accuracy (OMB Circular A-21). Indirect costs (F&A): Costs associated with implementing a contract or grant that cannot be specifically allocated to a specific project, grant, or contract. These are costs for activities or services that benefit more than one project, and their precise benefits to a specific project are often difficult or impossible to trace. Accurately identify and understand the full cost of research activities to be able to sustain the research enterprise.

7 Project Launch: A Key Step in Project Financial Management Best practice—launch/orientation meeting: Principal Investigator and his/her team; project management staff, who will include supply chain staff, finance staff, the compliance officer, the contract specialist, and the human resources manager

8 Financial and Contractual Risks in Sponsored Projects Scientific nonperformance/not reporting/ problems with human subjects protection Noncompliance withfunding agency and own institution’s policies (Proc, HR, Fin GM, IRB) and contractual obligations Underbudgeting Financial mismanagement (funds used for other purposes/ nonallowable costs)

9 Financial and Contractual Risks in Sponsored Projects (cont.) Exchange rate risks (international grants) Cash flow risks Credibility of institution/PI at stake Funder not paying as per agreement or under escape clause Inadequately set up finance management section

10 Post-Award Ultimate role of RA and institution – Fiscal responsibility: An obligation to successfully perform and complete a committed task with the committed funds/grant Role of the PI – Scientific management of the sponsored project – Financial management of the sponsored project – Compliance management of the sponsored project

11 Finance Section Set-Up Customized financial management policy Central or semi-autonomous? Structure—segregation of duties, qualified staff Internal control environment: internal audit Financial management system—CRITICAL! Statutory reporting/donor reporting/mainstreaming reports to larger institution Audits—donor required, institutional/country required (who pays? audit fatigue?)

12 Monitoring Expenditures Monitoring requires that: – Actual expenses are periodically compared with original budget – Actual expenses are accurate (i.e. reasonable, allocable, allowable, necessary, and consistently charged) – Mischarges are corrected in a timely manner – Prior approvals are obtained when required – Subrecipient expenses are monitored

13 Variance Analysis Budget vs. actual expenses – Actual expenses should be compared at least monthly to the original budget to ensure: You will not end up with a deficit or large balance (a large balance could indicate lack of progress or that too much money was awarded) Total funds for any cost category have not been exceeded if restricted on the NoA

14 Compliance Issues/Responsibilities FMS Standards: NIH cannot support the research unless it has assurance that its funds will be used appropriately, adequate documentation of transactions will be maintained, and assets will be safeguarded “A grantee’s failure to establish adequate control systems constitutes a material violation of the terms of the award” (NIHGPS)

15 Compliance Issues/Responsibilities (cont.) Compliance with sponsor’s regulations or policies as well as institution’s policies Examples of compliance issues: Timesheets/activity reports, allowable and nonallowable costs, exchange rates, interest repayments, auditing requirements, etc.

16 Financial Reporting Varies considerably from funding institution to funding institution Timely reporting is a contractual requirement Report allowable expenses in line with budget, with reasons for overspends Use correct exchange rate Authority to “sign off” on financial reports Use sponsor templates/uploads Interim reports/final status reports Final report exercise

17 Audits Be aware of OMB A-133 audit requirements and of sponsor programmatic audit requirements—RIG Pretoria list Review the project file once notified of an audit Identify a liaison during the process Request entry and exit meetings Give concise truthful answers Know avenues of resolution in case of conflict of interpretation with auditors Keep leadership in the loop

18 Enforcement Actions A grantee’s failure to comply with the terms and conditions of an award may cause NIH to take one or more enforcement actions, depending on the severity and duration of the noncompliance Modification of terms of award (more stringent) Suspension, termination, and withholding of support Other actions (e.g., suspension, disbarment, civil action) Recovery of FUNDS

19 Foreign Organization System (FOS) Review Documentation forwarded in advance by NIAID/NIH contractor: – Foreign Organization Systems (FOS) Review document in English – Tentative site visit agenda – List of documents to be kept ready for the visit One-week visit Primarily work with the administration, HR, and accounting and finance staff to conduct the FOS review Meeting with the PI at the beginning of the review to brief him/her about the visit objectives and again on the last day to discuss the final FOS and recommendations, if any

20 Issues of Financial Interest in Sponsored Projects Indirects—real cost, rates, expenses, distributions Institutional base salary—research, teaching, care, consult Consolidated financial reporting—local standards/IFRS/GAAP Prior approvals—rebudget, capex, international travel No-cost extensions/supplements—budgets, justification Cost transfers, overruns, accelerated or delayed expenditure IRB fees—not allowed on NIH grants, timing of payment, indirect support

21 Issues of Financial Interest in Sponsored Projects (cont.) Pre-award costs: A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or renewed award Pre-award costs are allowable only if such costs: – Are necessary to conduct the project, and – Would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval (NHGPS)


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