PI Quarterly Financial Monitoring

New federal grants management regulations known as the  Uniform Guidance  reinforce the need for regular monitoring of a sponsored project’s progress and expenditures as part of ongoing award management.  Columbia is applying this aspect of the guidance to all sponsored projects by establishing the formal process of Quarterly Financial Monitoring.

Provided here are answers to FAQs and helpful information for Investigators and Administrators to regularly monitor Sponsored Projects and ensure that all expenditures are reasonable, allocable and allowable.

 


General Information
What is Quarterly Financial Monitoring?  
Does this Financial Monitoring requirement replace Effort Monitoring?  
How does LDEO conduct and document PI Quarterly Financial Monitoring?  
Who is required to certify the review of Financial Statements?  
How are Project Expenses reviewed?

WebViewer Tool and Reports 
What is the Sponsored Projects Financial Reports Web Viewer?  
How do I access the Sponsored Projects Financial Reports Web Viewer?  
What information is available on the Financial Reports Web Viewer?  
Why does WebViewer indicate, “You do not have any Sponsored Project Reports at this moment…”

Financial Data Store Reporting Tool 
How do I access the Financial Data Store (FDS)?  
What Quarterly Reports are now available in FDS?  
How are the Quarterly Reports generated in FDS?  
How do I run the Quarterly Financial Statements? 
Where can I locate instructions to generate and read reports?  
Who do I contact about FDS Reporting Access and Issues?

Reviewing & Correcting Expenditures 
What would a PI consider during the Financial Statement review of each project?  
Who should I contact about investigating or correcting project-specific transactions?

Links to More Information  
Where can I find more general information about this new Quarterly Financial Review process?  
Who can I direct specific questions to about the LDEO Process for Quarterly Financial Monitoring?  
Where can I find more information about Uniform Guidance?

 

 


 

General Information

What is Quarterly Financial Monitoring?
It is a new process that formalizes the longstanding requirement that the Principal Investigator is responsible for all scientific and financial aspects of a sponsored project, including ensuring that all expenditures are reasonable, allocable and allowable to the project.

This review is required each September (Q1), December (Q2), March (Q3), and June (Q4) for any PI or Scope Investigator of government grants, private grants, and industry clinical trials.

 

Does this Financial Monitoring requirement replace Effort Monitoring?  
No. This quarterly financial review does not replace the quarterly monitoring of effort on sponsored projects. PIs should continue to monitor their effort and that of their staff at least quarterly using the Effort Certification and Reporting Technology (ECRT). This monitoring of effort allocation should be done before or concurrent with the review of project expenditures.

More information about monitoring effort is available at: http:// www.effortreporting.columbia.edu .

 

How does LDEO conduct and document PI Quarterly Financial Monitoring?  
Within 15 days following the end of each Fiscal Year Quarter, LDEO Finance will e-mail a request to Principal Investigators, Scope-Investigators (of non-LDEO owned Projects only), and Division Administrators to conduct and certify a review of the Quarterly Financial Statements.

The PI and DA will have 30-days to identify expenditures that require further review, request corrections, and submit e-mail certifications to confirm the appropriateness of expenditures incurred to date.

Compliance reports will be provided to the Directorate within 60-days of the fiscal quarter end.

 

Who is required to certify the review of Financial Statements?  
Beginning with third quarter FY15 data (January through March of 2015), Principal Investigators and Scope-Investigators with sponsored research funding (government grants, private grants, industry clinical trials), as well as their Department Administrators are expected to thoroughly and regularly review expenses charged to active awards at least quarterly.

 

How are Project Expenses reviewed?  
Various financial statements and ledger detail for every sponsored project can be acquired from the Sponsored Projects Financial Reports Web Viewer or the Financial Data Store (FDS).

 


 

WebViewer Tool and Reports

What is the Sponsored Projects Financial Reports Web Viewer?  
It is a tool that was developed to provide a way to deliver pre-run PDF reports, on a monthly basis, for Investigators. As of April 2015, the WebViewer includes a new set of quarterly reports that can be utilized to review project expenditures for the Quarterly Financial Monitoring process.

 

How do I access the Sponsored Projects Financial Reports Web Viewer?  
The tool is located at: https:// spreports.finance.columbia.edu/index.php

 

What information is available on the Financial Reports Web Viewer?  
Upon the financial close of each fiscal year quarter, a suite of reports for each sponsored project and activity will be available to the owning PI for review. This reporting suite includes:

  • Cover sheet (Project /Activity details)
  • Sponsored Project Quarterly Financial Report – Summary by Budget Category
  • Sponsored Project Quarterly Financial Report – Detail
  • Payroll Summary Quarterly Report
  • Payroll Detail Quarterly Report
  • SAPO Budget vs. Encumbrance

 

In the the Web Viewer, I encounter a message that states, “You do not have any Sponsored Project Reports at this moment…”  
Access to view reports in the WebViewer is exclusive to Project and Activity owning Investigators. Administrators and other staff who want to view financial information can access the same monthly and quarterly reports in the Financial Data Store.

 


 

Financial Data Store Reporting Tool

How do I access the Financial Data Store (FDS)?  
A link to FDS can be found on the ARC Portal at: https:// my.columbia.edu/content/finance-erp

 

What Quarterly Reports are now available in FDS?  
To facilitate quarterly financial reviews, the following four new reports are now available:

  • Sponsored Project Quarterly Financial Report – Summary by Budget Category
  • Sponsored Project Quarterly Financial Report – Detail
  • Payroll Summary Quarterly Report
  • Payroll Detail Quarterly Report

 

How are the Quarterly Reports generated in FDS?  
For Sponsored Project Financial Reports, follow the path:  Public Folders > ARC > Project Lifecycle Reports > Quarterly Reports

 

For Payroll Reports, follow the following path:  Public Folders > ARC > Payroll Reports > Quarterly Reports

 

 

How do I run the Quarterly Financial Statements?  
Select a Fiscal Year and from the drop down menus on the report parameter page. Select all other reporting parameters as appropriate.

 

Where can I locate instructions to generate and read reports?  
A job aid containing general guidance on reporting basics and how to run reports can be found at: http:// finance.columbia.edu/content/reporting-columbia

 

Who do I contact about FDS Reporting Access and Issues?  
If you have questions regarding the new quarterly reports, please contact the Finance Service Center. You can log an incident or request a service by using a self-service web form, or you can contact the Finance Service Center by phone: (212) 854-2122 Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Wednesday 9:30 am – 5:00 pm; Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

 


 

Reviewing & Correcting Expenditures

What would a PI consider during the Financial Statement review of each project?

With regard to Subrecipient monitoring, the Office of the Controller advises that:

  • Do you agree with the level of actual expenditures by category on the project?
  • Has the detail information (i.e. Payroll Detail Report) been reviewed for expenditures that appear incorrect or unfamiliar?
  • Relative to the project budget, are the salary and non-salary expenditures tracking as you would expect? Is the rate of spending on a sustainable path?
  • If the project includes subaward expenses, are you comfortable with the nature and level of the expenditures? See the SAPO report for more detail.
    • Subaward payments need to be reviewed with heightened focus
    • Payments to sub-awardees will be reflected on the SPFR Detail
    • Payments over the quarter should be commensurate with the scientific progress made during that quarter

 

Who should I contact about investigating or correcting project-specific transactions?  
When a PI is uncertain about category spending or the appropriateness of specific expenses, they are expected to convey those concerns to their administrator, who should investigate by locating vendor or subcontractor invoices, looking at salary distribution, etc.

Investigation of one quarter’s items of concern should conclude prior to the following fiscal quarter’s review.

 


 

Links to More Information

Where can I find more general information about this new Quarterly Financial Review process?  
Please visit: http:// finance.columbia.edu/content/quarterly-financial-review

This Finance Gateway has been established to provide information on this process and supporting resources, such as:

  • WebViewer URL
  • A short training video
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • A Quick Guide
  • Links to other helpful resources

 

Who can I direct specific questions to about the LDEO Process for Quarterly Financial Monitoring?  
Clarifying questions about this process can be directed to: Edie Miller, Vicky Nazario, or Jennifer Garcia at: PIQuarterlyReporting@ldeo.columbia.edu .

 

Where can I find more information about Uniform Guidance?  
For more details and resources, please visit the Sponsored Projects Administration website at: http:// spa.columbia.edu/uniform-guidance