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Managing Sponsored Project Funds: Basic Responsibilities

If you manage sponsored project funds, you need to understand the responsibilities of post-award administration, both yours and those of the Office of Post Award Financial Services (OPAFS). Use this list as a reference. Note: This list may not include all of the responsibilities assigned by your department.

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Fund identification

Guidelines and policies

  • OPAFS:
    • Provide guidance in interpreting University and agency guidelines and policies.
    • Maintain the University's official award record for sponsored projects.
  • Department Fund Manager:
    • Understand requirements stated in award documents and applicable agency, federal, and University guidelines.
    • Keep informed of guideline and policy changes.
    • Follow record retention requirements (PDF). In general, central administrative units are the office of record for award agreements and financial records but departments are the office of record for Personnel Activity Reports (PARs) and other project-related documents. You should retain all records for at least five years after project termination or any litigation.

Fund setup

  • OPAFS:
    • Set up the index, fund, and other accounting elements that drive the University's reporting and ledger processes.
    • Manage and sometimes prepare award allocations.
  • Department Fund Manager:
    • Review IFOAPAL and fund setup for accuracy; notify OPAFS of needed changes.
    • Prepare award allocations or review OPAFS' allocation for accuracy.

Financial transactions

  • OPAFS:
    • With departmental assistance, certify to funding agencies that award expenditures comply with award financial terms and conditions, as well as University and agency policies.
    • Audit expense transfers for compliance.
  • Department Fund Manager:
    • Approve financial transactions to be charged to the project.
    • Monitor expenses according to the award budget.
    • Make sure charges should be allocated to the project and are appropriate under project terms and conditions.
    • Monitor the operating ledger and resolve incorrect charges.

Cost sharing

  • OPAFS:
    • Monitor cost-share reporting to make sure the campus follows policy and meets its formal cost-share commitments.
  • Department Fund Manager:
    • Make sure required cost sharing is entered in the sub-system; track expenses.

Effort Reporting (ECERT)

  • OPAFS:
    • Notify ECERT coordinators to review Effort Reports.
    • Provide expertise and training on effort administration to the campus.
    • Review ECERT reporting to make sure the campus follows compliance guidelines and meets Effort Certifications.
  • Department Fund Manager:
    • Review the Effort Percentages using the Electronic Certification of Effort Reporting Tool (ECERT.)
    • Check for Payroll Expense Transfers (PETs.)
    • Notify Principal Investigator (PI) when Effort Reports are ready for certification.
    • Confirm 100% certification prior to deadline.

Post-award administration

  • OPAFS:
    • Provide expertise and training on post-award administration to the campus.
    • Monitor and assist the campus with regulatory compliance.
  • Department Fund Manager:
    • Assist principal investigators (PIs) with actions needed to ensure compliance.
    • Help PIs maximize the use of their funds.
    • Assist PIs with deliverables and deadlines.
    • Help prepare no-cost extensions, budget revisions, etc.
    • Resolve deficit reporting.
    • Maintain department award records per record retention policies.

Reporting and billing

  • OPAFS:
    • Submit financial reports to agencies.
    • Bill agencies for payment per award terms.
    • Manage the reconciliation and collection of payment per award terms.
  • Department Fund Manager:
    • Provide fund status or financial reports to PIs and business officers as required.
    • Help OPAFS submit financial reports on time.

Fund termination

  • OPAFS:
    • Zero fund balances; close and inactivate funds.
  • Department Fund Manager:
    • Make sure that the subsequent adjustments report to OPAFS corresponds with the final ledger.
    • Cooperate with OPAFS to zero ledger balances.
    • Prepare funds for inactivation by zeroing out and inactivating all indexes.

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