We’ve worked with some of the nation’s most respected research universities, their individual departments, including schools of medicine, arts and sciences, and engineering. Each of these settings has its own unique mission and funding environment, yet we find that each entity faces a common set of challenges when it comes to grant management – especially in the area of grant accounting, which includes overseeing balances and expenditures.
Considering the resources it takes the development and grant writing team to research and develop a grant proposal, the effort shouldn’t stop there. Managing grant funds requires a focused and streamlined process. After all, responsible stewardship of grant funds has much to do with obtaining funding for additional projects.
Grant Accounting Challenges
Some of the most effective organizations turn to grant accounting software to help with day to day award management. Specifically, these organizations cut the administrative burden it takes to accurately report, maintain, budget and balance funds for multi-year projects, as well as calculate projected personnel costs.
Typically, research organizations and other nonprofits select grant accounting software solutions to help them meet the following five challenges:
- Streamline time-intensive tasks: Manual data entry, cumbersome spreadsheets and duplicate record-keeping takes time when it comes to analyzing spending, budgets, data reconciling and more. Automating grants fund accounting speeds the process, and removes the administrative burden.
- Handle system integration: A grants accounting best practice is to fully integrate grants accounting with the institution’s general ledger or ERP system. The key is to supplement the GL transaction information with additional information to track post award activities. Data should also tightly link with payroll, purchasing and other systems.
- Create user-defined calculations: Effectively accounting for grant funds means departments need to easily calculate and track F&A costs, and easily handle user-defined coding systems for tracking special commitments.
- Simplify the process: Making record-keeping simple, especially in the important area of grants accounting, is key for a busy department. Ease of use and an intuitive, web-based interface is a must when looking to implement automated grants accounting systems.
- Increase transparency: Granting organizations regularly ask for comprehensive reporting showing how funds are used. By automating grant management, users are better able to view grant, vendor, salary and other financial data in one place.
For further insight, see a complete library of successful grant management stories.
You’ll read real-life examples of effective grant management solutions in place at leading universities, research hospitals and other research-based nonprofits.
Contact the IT Works team to discuss your specific grant accounting challenges.