Project Grant Review Procedures Guideline

LAST UPDATED: December 20, 2011

In most cases, it is expected that project grant review procedures will be completed on a monthly basis and in a timely manner.  It is, however, understood that in certain circumstances a different timetable for review procedures will be appropriate.

Project grant review procedures should include:

  • Review project grant activity for appropriateness against the restrictions of the project grant, University policy and the department’s financial plan.  Consideration should also be given as to whether the expenditure is reasonable and prudent.  Specific procedures include:
    • Review recorded transactions and investigate those that you don’t recognize or appear unusual,
    • Compare transactions to source documents as needed,
    • Review infrequent transactions, and
    • Investigate and resolve issues of concern – It is the University’s expectation that any compliance concerns be brought to the attention of the employee’s supervisor, an employee in the University office that has oversight authority for the policy or law, the Director of Academic Management (academic department issues) and/or reported on the University Helpline.
  • Review project grants with deficit balances and establish and document an explicit plan to eliminate such deficits.  Careful monitoring of restricted project grants will help to ensure that departments comply with the University’s expectations that deficit balances only occur in rare situations.  
  • Review inactive project grants and those which have unspent accumulated balances.
    • For those project grants where spending cannot occur because of a narrow restriction, such restrictions should be reviewed by the department administrator, and the Associate Budget Director (Treasurer’s Office) should be contacted to obtain assistance in determining what options are available pertaining to these unspent funds. The Associate Budget Director will then contact the OGC, Development and Provost offices for necessary or required assistance.
    • It is the University’s expectation that departments should attempt, when possible, to spend restricted funds prior to University funds.  It is, however, understood that departments may need to accumulate funds in anticipation of future needs.  When this accumulation occurs departments should have a clear, documented plan which outlines the anticipated future use.
  • Document that the review has been completed and obtain approval when required.

The person responsible for reviewing the project grant activity should have a strong understanding of the following:

  • Initiating source or event – what is the triggering action causing the transaction and who are the appropriate initiating individuals,
  • Type of expenditures and the related business purposes that generally occur,
  • Frequency of expenditures,
  • Recurring or non-recurring nature of the transaction,
  • Unusual or exceptional transactions – understand what activity would constitute an unusual or exceptional transaction that might require additional review or special handling,
  • Transaction risk – understand the financial, compliance and operational risk of the business activity.  Consider the source of the funding, compliance requirements for the type of transaction, department or management expectations, past history or knowledge of potential problems, and
  • Restrictions of the project grant, University policy and the department’s financial plan.


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