The GDA department assists with several key aspects of the post-award phase:
- Setting up and manage grant accounts
- Tracking and report monthly spending
- Processing reimbursements and reconcile charges to grants
- Ensuring compliance with grant guidelines and federal regulations
- Drawing down federal funds â€¢ Assisting in completing financial and narrative reports
Establishing Grant Accounts
The Coordinator of Sponsored Programs, Grants, & Contracts will review the documentation, grant terms and conditions, and other information necessary to establish a restricted account and the cost share account (if applicable). The Coordinator will submit an Account Number Request Form (see Appendix F) and a Budget Change Form (see Appendix G) to the Budget Department to set up the account number in the Colleague Financial System within five business days from the date the documents are received. Once the new account has been created, the coordinator will notify the PD and departmental staff. The Coordinator of Sponsored Programs will lead a post-award workshop with the PD and departmental staff to review the terms and conditions of the grant and/or business processes, and will issue calendar reminders for reporting deadlines.
If cost sharing requirements are stated as part of the grant proposal, the Coordinator of Sponsored Program, Grants, & Contracts will request two separate accounts for the grant.
- A restricted account is established to track all revenue coming in from the external entity and tracks all expenditures made from these funds.
- A second account is established to track the cost sharing requirements (i.e. salaries, wages, operating, etc.) The account will be set up in the fund group the cost sharing account is coming from. Example: If the cost sharing is from an Education & General Fund (E&G), an E&G Account will be set up. (Note: Federal funds cannot be shown as a match or if the account indicated is inactive or has no funds)
When financial reports are prepared, cost sharing amounts are included from the matching cost sharing account. If the cost sharing expense is something that cannot be tracked-for example, third party commitments-the department will submit a Statement of In-Kind Contribution Professional Services or Goods form (see Appendix H). This form will serve as certification that services were provided. The GDA department will review the form and documentation from third party commitments with the departments. If the department does not meet the cost sharing commitments, the GDA department will contact the department for justification, and the college will have to inform the funding agency why the cost sharing commitment was not fulfilled. Most funding agencies will work with the departments when reasonable justification is provided. If the funding agency does not accept the explanation, the GDA department will engage in negotiations with the funding agency and the PD to resolve the issue.
Management of Grant/Contract Expenditures
The GDA department is responsible for management of college grant and contract expenditures. The department verifies for allowable expenditures, availability of funds, and grant/contract compliance. All expenditures should be in line with funding agency guidelines and college policies.
Salaries and Wages
All personnel who will work on grants, projects, and research contracts should meet college employment requirements. The Coordinator of the Sponsored Programs, Grants, & Contracts monitors grant budgets for availability of funds and grant compliance. Personnel paid from grants will be subject to the Classified Personnel Pay Plan and the same regulations and policies as other employees. Questions concerning recruitment, employment, classification, or other personnel matters should be handled within the regular college procedures by contacting the Human Resource department. To avoid any unnecessary misunderstanding, all questions should be settled prior to any agreement or commitment made to a prospective employee. An offer letter must be approved before an employee can start employment.
All purchases of goods and services, under any budget and regardless of the source of funds, require the issuance of a purchase order, a contract, or a procurement card and shall be made using the procurement method that provides best value to the TSC as per college purchasing guidelines.
Approvals for purchases using grant funding follow the same TSC approvals process with one addition-grant requisitions must be routed through the GDA department to ensure the expense is allowable under the grant guidelines. PDs should use the appropriate form for grant purchases under $10,000 (see Appendix I), over $10,000 (see Appendix J) or the form for bid requests for grant purchases over $25,000 (see Appendix K). As per the TSC procurement process, all purchases of $10,000 or more require approval by the VP for Finance and Administration and the President, and all purchases over $25,000 require TSC Board approval.
Travel All travel funded by grant agencies should be forwarded to the GDA Department for approval, using the Grant Travel Requisition.
Time and Effort Reporting
Time and Effort Reporting is a process mandated by the federal government. All personnel (fulltime exempt) paid from federally sponsored projects are required to certify a Time and Effort Reporting Form (see Appendix M) every semester and submit this form to the GDA department. Any discrepancies cited by the PD must be corrected in a timely manner.
Generating reporting content is the responsibility of the PD. The Coordinator of Sponsored Programs, Grants, and Contracts is available to review and assist with completing reporting documents. All technical and financial reports are submitted to the funding agencies through the GDA department.
What You Need to Know About Time and Effort Reporting
Q: What is Time and Effort reporting?
A: The federal government requires time and effort reporting by all personnel funded through federal grants. Effort reporting certifies that salary sources for a given period align with actual effort distribution.
Q: Why do I need to fill out Time and Effort forms?
A: As a condition of accepting federal grant awards, we are obligated to certify all PDs effort on a regular basis.
Q: How often do I need to fill out Time and Effort forms?
A: One needs to fill out a Time and Effort report at the end of each semester (9/1-12/31 and 1/1-5/31) and at the end of each summer (6/1-8/31). The GDA department will send forms to each PD with active federal awards the month following the reporting period.
Q: How is effort determined? How many hours/week is it based on?
A: Reported effort is based on 100% of the activities for which you are compensated by the college and is expressed in percentages. The PD determines the average number of hours spent on all activities, which may be greater than 40 hours (e.g., 60 hour). PDs then allocate how much time was spent on each area of responsibility (e.g., teaching, scholarly activities, administrative activities, externally or internally funded activities, etc.). The full listing of activities is available on the Time and Effort report. Reported effort needs to reasonably reflect that salary sources for a given period align with actual effort distribution.
Q: What is not included in this effort?
A: Two examples of activities not included in the effort are:
- External professional or consulting activities paid through an agreement outside your TSC contract
- Serving on a National Science Foundation Peer Review Panel, or other grantor project review panel
Q: How do I figure out the breakdown of my efforts?
A: There are a variety of tools that can be used to do so including calendars; journals, logs, and blogs; teaching schedule; leave reports; correspondence; etc.
Q: Who certifies my efforts?
A: It is important that someone in a position to make a reasonable estimate of the work performed certifies your report. Often times this is the department chair; however, there are times when it may be someone else, such as the person to whom the department chair reports (e.g., Associate VP). If you have any questions about Time and Effort reporting, please contact [email protected]