Good grants management has many elements, including: ensuring that charges are allowable, allocable, reasonable, and consistent; spending funds in accordance with the budget; paying researchers and staff correctly and on time; certifying effort of faculty and researchers on federally-funded projects; adhering to University procurement and travel policies; keeping track of equipment bought with grant funds; monitoring expenditures by subcontractors; tracking cost sharing, if any; filing interim and final progress reports; and closing out awards in a timely fashion.
Monthly Account Monitoring
Access to accurate and timely financial information is essential for successful grants management. It is wise to review charges on sponsored accounts at least monthly in order to identify and correct errors as quickly as possible.
FAS Sponsored Project Accounting Reports (FASSPAR)
FASSPAR is a tool that provides a suite of reports, some general and others quite detailed, for a Principal Investigator’s sponsored accounts. FASSPAR gives summaries of the PI’s sponsored portfolio and a PER-like report for each individual account.
Federal funding agencies require that institutions working on subawards under Harvard prime awards follow all of the rules and regulations that would apply if the award had been issued to them directly.
The PI is responsible for the submission of all technical reports required under the terms of an award in the form required by the sponsor. Failure on the part of the PI to deliver any required technical reports or deliverables to the sponsor in a timely manner may effect the collection of funds for the project and future funding from that sponsor to the University.
The Office for Sponsored Programs (OSP), as the central financial administration office for all of Harvard’s sponsored awards, reviews, approves, and signs all invoices and financial reports on behalf of the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
Interest Income on Non-federal Grant Balances
The University pays simple interest per annum on a monthly basis on balances in non-federal grants and exchange accounts (Fund numbers in the range 200000 - 299999).
Projecting and Resolving Over-Expenditures on Sponsored Accounts and Interest on Deficit Sponsored Accounts
Principal Investigators are responsible for managing expenditures on their grants and for working with administrators to project sponsored accounts and ensure that over-expenditures do not occur. If interest charges on deficits are significant, they are passed on from Harvard’s central bank to FAS departments and centers, which may in turn pass them on to non-sponsored fund(s) belonging to the PI.