Financial Administrator

The term Financial Administrator encompasses Grant Administrator, Department Administrator, Grant Managers, Business Managers and Financial Designees.

While ultimate responsibility for the direction of any sponsored project remains with the Principal Investigator (PI) and/or Program Director (PD), the PI in consultation with the department chair, must designate an administrator to assist in managing the financial and administrative aspects of the sponsored project (unless the PI has been designated as the financial administrator, in which case they must have the appropriate training). This person will manage finances, reconcile individual expenses to the award amount, prepare reports and perform other administrative functions related to the grant.

  1. Assist the PI/PD in managing the financial aspects of the project and shares ultimate responsibility for compliance issues. Reviews financial transactions on sponsored projects to ensure that:

    1. The transaction occurs within the project period.
    2. The cost of the transaction is reasonable based on their best estimate.
    3. The transaction represents a reasonable allocation of the cost.
    4. The transaction is treated consistently with regard to direct/indirect cost purposes if the transaction occurs on a federal project (refer to General Accounting Procedures 200.320-200.330). Examines and confirms costs normally charged as indirect when proposed as direct charges such as office supplies, administrative and clerical salaries, or local telephone service charges.
    5. Expenses are allowable.
    6. Funds are available in the sponsored program to support the transaction.
    7. Transactions are processed and financial reports are analyzed on a monthly basis for sponsored project(s).
    8. Corrections of errors are processed in a timely manner.
    9. Formal re-budgeting is performed, seeking prior approval from sponsor, when necessary.
  2. Seeks the advice and approval of higher authority, such as the Pre-Award Office, Office of Sponsored Programs, Management Centers, etc. for guidance on proper procedures and resolution of compliance issues.
  3. Prepares and/or approves financial, human resources and other documents for sponsored projects in the following areas:

    1. Prepares documents for appointment of individuals to sponsored project(s).
    2. Ensures all revenue and deposits are assigned to the proper project and coded appropriately.
    3. Monitors to ensure that all project and G/L account codes are assigned properly, provides information and processes purchasing documents.
    4. Prepares and initiates processing of cost sharing/matching documents in accordance to University policies and timelines.
    5. Prepares documents and provides information for re-budgeting in a timely manner.
    6. Provides information and prepares documents to resolve project cost overruns.
    7. Processes documents to record program income (income earned by a grant recipient from activities which are supported by the direct costs of an award).
    8. Prepares documents and provides information for compliance with the effort reporting (GAP 200.170, Effort Reporting).
    9. Monitors effort certifications through their Effort Coordinators.
    10. Prepares or provides information for interim and final financial reports as needed by OSP.
    11. Prepares or provides information for closing documents as needed by OSP.
  4. Ensures proper documentation is maintained according to GAP 200.240, Record Retention.
  5. Remains current with relevant sponsor and University policies, procedures and regulations.
  6. Reviews terms and conditions of award notices with PI and assists in establishment of oversight procedures and controls.
  7. Serves as an advisor to the Principal Investigator and Department Chair or Dean on financial/administrative issues.
  8. Responsible for the development and administration of service center rates in accordance with GAP 200.300, Service Center Administration.
  9. Investigates non-fraudulent financial compliance questions/issues using available resources such as sponsor regulations, University policies and procedures, and the network of informed individuals such as the PI, Departmental or Research Administrator, Business Manager, Chair or Dean. If the questions/issues remain unresolved or if it seems inappropriate to use the above resources, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs for assistance.
  10. All instances of possible fraud must be reported to Internal Audit regardless of the financial value involved. Internal Audit provides a reporting hotline.

Special Guidance on managing internally created "child" WBSE’s:

Duke University allows for the establishment of certain "Parent/Child" relationships to facilitate conduct of the sponsored project. The Financial Manager of both the Parent and the Child WBSE have responsibility for managing their respective WBSE’s in accordance with general roles and responsibilities as defined. In addition, both should coordinate financial management actions to ensure that appropriate and compliant management is achieved, and that timely closeout is attained.