The literature is out there; many agencies have published guides on grants management. For example, this website from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services does an exceptional job in laying out what your organization needs to do both before and after an award. Yet, due to changing requirements, increased oversight, budget cuts, and variations in operations and management, many grantees need to ensure they are compliant with their grant awards.
Below are three ways your organization can increase the effectiveness and compliance of your grants management in the post-award phase:
1. Assessment of Policies And Procedures
We are a few years past the initial implementation date for the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (commonly referred to as the Uniform Guidance). However, a common error often overlooked is incorrect references to outdated OMB Circulars in proposals and internal controls. Following (or referencing) outdated policies and procedures can lead to troubles in your audits. Single Audit specialists work with your organization to review policies and procedures and make recommendations to help ensure compliance with all current federal and state guidance.
2. Internal Control Over Compliance Roadmap
Having an internal control over compliance roadmap could make the assessment of your controls easier for your grant manager and your auditor and can often reduce internal control over compliance findings. During a Single Audit your auditor will assess major programs, and for those programs selected for testing, they test the direct and material requirements. Through analysis of your grant agreement and assistance from your grant manager, you can build a roadmap document that is tailored to your organization and accurately describes your internal controls over compliance for those direct and material requirements for your federal or state awards.
3. Single Audit Preparation
Do you have an upcoming Single Audit? Are you unhappy with the results of your last Single Audit? Single Audit preparation consultations provide grantees with a dress rehearsal before the show. These consultations may include assessments of your federal expenditures for the year, help in determining which major programs are likely to be part of your upcoming Single Audit, interviews with your grant manager, document review, and help in identifying weaknesses in your grant management before your Single Audit.
Whether you just received your first grant and are finding out what that this “free” money entails, or you are a seasoned grant recipient who would appreciate someone taking the load off, CRI is here to help. We have experienced advisors from across the country available to help address your organization’s needs and ease the pain of grants management.