The institution maintains financial control over externally funded or sponsored research and programs. (Control of sponsored research/external funds)
X In compliance Partially compliant Non-compliant
Francis Marion University ensures that it maintains proper oversight over externally funded programs by sufficient grant monitoring and fiscal control. This is seen primarily through the university’s yearly financial audits.
Grant Monitoring and Fiscal Control
Grant applications for externally funded or sponsored research and programs are rigorously examined before they are submitted in order to:
- Ensure compliance with the mission of the University
- Analyze the appropriateness of the proposed budget
- Determine how time and effort spent on a grant project conforms to faculty instructional workloads
- Establish the availability of any matching funds or efforts.
When a grant is awarded to the University, grant funds are treated as restricted funds, and all fiscal activity is recorded in a separate general ledger account dedicated to the grant activity. The grant account is treated with the same fiscal controls and under the same policies and procedures that apply to all other university general ledger accounts. Grant expenditures, which are initiated by the principal investigator or project manager, are approved by his or her department chair and are closely monitored by the Director of Financial Planning who approves all disbursements of funds (typically evidenced by signature on purchase requisitions and routine email communication with the primary investigator). The Director of Financial Planning also monitors and or prepares all required fiscal reporting to the grantor . Grant procedures are published on Francis Marion University’s website .
The Office of Financial Services works with the defined primary investigator for the grant. This collaboration ensures that financial reports and programmatic reports that require financial information comply with the regulations of the grant as well as the financial procedures of the institution.
Grant and contract programs are administered upon the approval by the senior administration (President, Provost, and Vice President for Business Affairs) of the University. Primary investigators, principally from the academic division overseen by the Provost, as well as the Director of Financial Planning have been identified by management to provide day-to-day oversight and administration of these programs. Grants have to be approved by the Provost, Vice President of Business Affairs, and the President prior to request/proposal/application . This review includes review of the assigned primary investigators and necessity of the grant to the University prior to their approval to proceed.
Public Financial Statements
Fiscal activity of grants to include review of internal controls and adherence to grant requirements are reviewed in Francis Marion University’s annual A-133 audit for federal funds and similarly in its financial audit for all other grants. Both audits are consolidated and reported in our annual financial audit reports [4, 5, 6].
Francis Marion University traditionally has had a relatively low volume of federal, state, and other grants and contracts over the years. See Table 1 below for a summary of the level of grant and contract expenditures in the last five years; the data below is taken directly from the university’s audits.
Table 1. Summary of Grant Expenditures
* – All amounts reported on financial statement represent scholarship programs, which we disregarded on this table.
General expenditure of funds are governed by the State of South Carolina Procurement Code as well as the policies and procedures of the Office of Accounting . The Office of Financial Services reviews budgets to ensure compliance to the grant award and allowable costs principles.
In summary, the University has established a framework of approvals, fiscal oversight across multiple departments, and oversight by its external auditors to ensure fiscal control of its grant and contract related programs.