Monitoring Expenditures

Reconciling accounts on a regular basis will help you to manage your sponsored funds to ensure that expenditures and revenues are within appropriate limits and guidelines.


After a grant or contract has been awarded, the PI may determine that the approved budget allocations are not consistent with actual project needs. S/he may request the formal reallocation of funds from one spending category to another category that better reflects the project requirements. This process is called re-budgeting or budget revision.

All re-budgeting should be reviewed by OSPR and under expanded authorities re-budgeting may or may not require formal approval from the sponsor. To initiate a re-budget, please complete a Re-budget Worksheet (XLS) or a Re-budget Worksheet for Companion Projects (XLS) and forward it to your Sponsored Program Officer for review. 

Carryover Process

In many instances, an unobligated balance on a grant may be carried over into the next budget period without sponsor approval. If this is permitted, it will be indicated as such in the notice of award (NOA).


  • NIH prior approval is required for carryover of unobligated balances on the following awards:
  • All P mechanisms except P01's
  • Cooperative agreements (U mechanism)
  • National Research Service Awards (T and F mechanisms)
  • Phase I SBIR and SSTR (R43 and R41 mechanisms)
  • Clinical trials (regardless of mechanism)
  • Awards to individuals

Where carryover requires sponsor approval and/or when it exceeds 25% of the award, or when it exceeds $250,000, the request should be mentioned by the PI in the progress report. In the justification section, and in the progress report itself, the PI should mention that a formal request will be submitted under separate cover.


The PI is responsible for submitting programmatic reports by the deadlines established in the award agreement or contract, providing an explanation of the research progress, a summary of results, any publications stemming from the research, and other pertinent information, including analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs.

PIs and departmental administrators must establish reliable departmental accounting practices for day-to-day financial monitoring of sponsored research projects in compliance to federal regulations established in OMB Circular A-110. The award document terms and conditions detail the financial data that must be reported.

The departmental administrator is usually responsible for performing comparisons of the department's records to the University's financial records and monitoring items that are not reflected in Management Reports.

Because the data in Management Reports serves as the basis for financial reporting to the sponsor, it is critical that the department maintain current and accurate records. As a general rule, expenses should be incurred immediately and on a regular basis once an account number is assigned to a project. This practice helps to ensure that expenses align with the progress of the project, therefore providing an accurate report to the sponsor.

PIs and departmental administrators are also responsible for tracking cost sharing commitments as well as effort reporting. They also oversee sub-recipient accounts and activities to ensure compliance and timely reporting as established in the award terms and conditions.

Information on final reports can be found in Close-out.