Grant Management Standardization: Preparation Tips for Community Colleges

community collegeThe AmpliFund Team recently returned from the Council for Resource Development 2014 Annual Conference. StreamLink Software founder and CEO Adam Roth presented on the conference’s final day along with Daniel Cronrath of Florida Gateway College.

The presentation, “Grant Management Standardization: What’s to Come From the Federal Government,” gave an overview of recent legislation and what it means for community college campuses, tying in to the conference’s forward-looking theme “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.” Below are key takeaways from the event for community college leaders.

Changes on the Horizon 

Federal legislation will directly impact federal agencies, but the burden of funding accountability will have a ripple-down effect on recipients of all federal grants, contracts and loans. Among the recent legislation:

  • Treasury “Do Not Pay” Initiative: Prevents improper payments from being made, mitigates fraud, waste and abuse, and creates a central depository to verify program eligibility  
  • OMB Uniform Grant Guidance: Guidance that will supersede requirements from OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-110 and A-122; Circulars A-89, A-102 and A-133; and the guidance in Circular A-50 on Single Audit Act follow up.  
  • DATA Act: Creates standardized federal data formats and processes, and sets a realistic implementation timeline.  

Community college leaders must begin laying the groundwork now in order to effectively compete for funds and comply with impending award requirements.

 

How Grant Management Will Change

The above legislation will fundamentally change the way federal grants are managed; namely, how funding and programmatic performance data is tracked, collected and reported. Changes coming down the pike include:

  • Standardized data (and later, machine-readable data).
  • Enhanced funding transparency and accountability.
  • Systemization of processes for both financial and performance reporting data.

Preparation for Future Compliance

To lay the groundwork for future awarded funds and compliance with federal grants, community college leaders and grant managers should focus on:

  • Measurable performance and auditable spending accountability.
  • Standard business processes and data.
  • Consistent and transparent treatment of costs.

Data, reporting and measurable outcomes will be essential to long-term program viability. In order for your grant management system to drive compliance, accountability and trust, it must track and manage programmatic, financial and HR data through the grant ecosystem.

To learn more about the future of grant management, download our white paper on the topic, The Changing Landscape of Grant Reporting. 

 Grant Reporting Whitepaper 

Image Source: Jeff via Flickr Creative Commons