The following are questions considered by SPARC when reviewing the proposal budget:
Budget Development and Clearance
The GrantsmanCenter lists five principles of sound financial management as Consistency, Timeliness, Justification, Documentation, and Certification.
- Does the budget accurately reflect the narrative?
- Will the budget cover the project costs?
- Which units and whose personnel at the University are being committed in the budget and have the appropriate individuals been apprised of and approved the submission?
- Are the costs listed in conformance with the sponsor guidelines?
- Do the facilities described in the proposal currently exist? Are they adequate to support the program?
- Does the agency have a written policy requiring cost sharing?
- What is the source of the cost sharing funds?
- Has cost sharing been approved by those authorized (Dean or VP) to make a commitment?
- If a collaborating institution is unknown to you or not in NIH Top 500 Research Institutions, have its financial stability and reputation been ascertained?
- Has an authorized official approved participation and budget for his/her institution in writing?
- Are the collaborating institution's responsibilities clearly delineated (scope of work)?
- Have you confirmed the collaborating institution's status vis-à-vis the investigator and/or SUU? (No conflict of interest)
- Is the time commitment consistent with his/her academic responsibilities?
- Is the time on the budget commensurate with the activity reflected in the narrative?
- Is the time available to this individual? (check current support)
- Are the people described already employees of the institution? If not, are the hiring personnel policies being followed?
- Are the individuals listed as key personnel truly key to the project?
- Have you ensured that SUU Policy 6.9 is being followed?
- Are there any individuals listed as consultants who are employees at SUU?
- Is the individual truly serving in a consultant capacity? (Twenty-factor test)
- Is foreign travel distinguished from domestic? (Check sponsor's definition of foreign travel)
- Is the travel properly supported?
- Do requested costs follow sponsor guidelines?
- Will foreign travel conform to the requirements of the Fly America Act?
- Check the Controller's Office Travel guidelines for current rates and travel reimbursement requirements.
Equipment & Property Management
The University’s policy for management and accounting of equipment and property purchased with funds provided by a sponsoring agency will comply with OMB Circular A-110, section 34.
- Has the equipment been screened for availability elsewhere on the campus?
- Does the equipment have any space or facilities ramification (Is there room for it and is the environment adequate to sustain it?)
- Does the equipment follow the purchasing policy for capital equipment?
- Does the equipment being purchased require a bid process?
Have all ancillary costs been accounted for (installation, renovation, maintenance)?
Who is paying for ancillary costs? (cost sharing implications)
Equipment & Property Management Guidelines
Potential Causes for Audit Disallowances
- Are the other costs adequate and appropriate? (Possible categories include, but are not limited to: students, materials and supplies, tuition, scholarships, participant support, printing/duplicating, postage, long-distance/telex, animal care, human subjects payments)
Facilities & Administrative Costs
- Is the calculation of F&A cost consistent with SUU's federally negotiated base and rate as stated F&A agreement?
- If sponsor limits indirect cost recovery, is there an official statement from the funder which indicates the policy on indirect cost?
- All awards that are below the 45% SWB, will require a F&A Justification found in the Post-Award Workbook.