- Setup a summary sheet for each grant with reporting dates and other crucial date information. This summary is updated for each new grant and is reviewed every week to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
- Develop your own standard template for each grant. Every write-up should look the same with a couple of sentences about the purpose of the grant and then fields for dates, specific requirements and other compliance issues in detail, such as staff education level requirements. The template could be setup in a spreadsheet or in a database to facilitate access and reporting.
- Make sure the accounting system captures revenues and expenses on each grant. You could identify grants through the chart of accounts by reserving a couple of digits towards specific grants or through "classes" or other method specific to your software. You may also need to train your accounts receivable and payable staff to recognize grant funds coming in and out so they can code them properly. If items are not coded properly, you will have a nightmarish time providing reports to grantors and other interested parties.
- Develop a good filing system. Be sure to download and print all OMB Circulars and other documentation relevant to grant control, including notes on meetings and phone conversations. Keep them filed and accessible at all times. You can make a summary listing of all non-allowable costs that you are likely to have and keep it handy.
- Establish a budget for the organization based on grant budgets. Every grant funded project should have its own budget, which is entered in your accounting system. Review reports on each project monthly to be identify errors and monitor financial compliance.
- Review documentation on journal entries associated with grants. It is easy to make mistakes in journal entries and a regular review can identify and correct the mistakes. All journal entries should have proper documentation attached to them explaining clearly the purpose of the entry and how numbers were derived.
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