With few exceptions, agencies or organizations sponsoring University research or training projects require some form of financial reporting. Reporting requirements vary in frequency, format, due dates and detail. The Office of Grants Administration complies with all financial reporting requirements once a contract or grant is accepted, with the exception of the updating of budgetary data mentioned in the paragraph below.
On multiple-year projects with federal agencies, the University is required (long before the current budget year is complete) to update the budgetary data previously submitted for remaining project years and to provide an estimate of funds which will remain upon completion of the current budget year. The federal agency uses this estimate (normally prepared by the PI/PD) to determine the next fiscal year's funding requirements and new funding necessary for the project. Estimates in which events ultimately prove to be unrealistic are not without effect. Overestimates of remaining budget year funds result in underfunding for future project years. Underestimates can unnecessarily tie up federal agency funds. Neither situation is desirable, and estimates should be made with care.
Some sponsors require interim reports, such as monthly or quarterly, for purposes of tracking the financial status of the project and for handling reimbursements due the University. The Grants Administration Office normally handles these interim billings or reports without requiring input from the PI/PD or department. Only in exceptional cases is reporting detail likely to be requested of the department.
The University is required to submit a final report of expenditures generally 60 to 90 days subsequent to the termination of an award. All authorized expenditures and outstanding obligations must be determined and considered in preparation of this report. Accurate, timely and complete input from the PI/PD and department is essential to prepare this report. A termination notice is sent to the PI/PD approximately 45 days prior to the termination date. This serves as a reminder to begin winding up expenditures for the budget period, so that the final report of expenditures may be completed with minimum complications. It is requested that the PI/PD forward a copy of the letter of transmittal for the final project report to the Grants Administration Office. This will serve as notification that the project is complete, and that final billings, if necessary, can be made.
Certain obligations will not be reflected in the monthly budget and expenditure report until paid, sometimes for as long as one or two months after the obligation is incurred. Therefore, such obligations must be carefully controlled, particularly near the date of termination. Any obligations presented to the Grants Administration Office after the final report of expenditures has been filed must be paid from a source other than grant or contract funds.