Monthly budget reports are available from your grant manager upon request. These monthly transaction reports from People Soft will show you each transaction during the period, and totals for each budget category.
These reports show you what expense have been charged to your grant. At almost all times, there are expenses that have not yet been posted (recently submitted purchase requests, current payroll, etc). These transaction reports are helpful in reconciling your grant account. However, as the PI, it is your responsibility to track all expenditures requested for your grant.
If there are expenses that you have submitted, but which do not appear on the People Soft transaction report, or if expenses appear on the transaction report that you did not initiate, alert your grant manager so the discrepancy can be addressed.
Over the course of your project, you may find you need to move money between budget categories. Most grant sponsors allow a certain percentage of the total award to be moved between existing categories without submitting a formal modification. Sponsors vary widely, however, so always be aware of the terms on your award.
Budget modifications that include creating a new budget line (i.e., adding the purchase of equipment when your proposal did not originally include it) always require sponsor approval.
When considering a budget modification, contact your grant manager. Budget modification requests should always be sent from your grant manager, rather than from the PI.
Direct Costs are those expenses charged to your account. Each transaction will apear on your PeopleSoft transaction report. Remember, the budget categories in your proposal and budget may be different from the PeopleSoft budget categories where the expense appears.
Direct costs include the following categories:
Indirect Costs (also called facilities and administration, or F&A costs) cover expenses that cannot be allocated to one specific grant. This includes items such as lights and power to labs where research occurs, motor pool availability, payroll support, etc.
Generally, indirect costs are charged at a percentage of the total award. SU's federally negotiated rate is 35.9%. This rate is determined via a lengthy survey, site visit, and negotiation period. Our rate means that of every dollar brought in by a grant, it costs the university 35.9 cents to provide the services necessary to support the grant (buildings, facilities, administration, etc). A video from Ann Homes at the University of Maryland provides an exceptional overview of what services F&A costs cover.
Either monthly or quarterly, your grant manager will transfer money from your grant, to cover indirect costs. At the end of each fiscal year, these funds are then distributed among the deans and other campus offices.
Some grants include cost-sharing, that is, for the university to cover some of the costs associated with the grant. If your proposal includes cost-sharing, your grant manager may set up a second account to track those funds. Using a separate account number allows your grant manager to track internal payments related to the grant, and to show the sponsor that SU's cost-sharing obligation was met.