Award Verification: Workflow Process and Role Examples

The Award Verification Tool was designed with built-in flexibility to meet the varied needs of research teams. The following workflow process diagrams illustrate a few of the ways to integrate the award verification process and use of the Award Verification Tool into local financial procedures. Your local award verification process and role assignments should complement and leverage your existing procedures such as PI/RSA meetings, and BSR or other financial reports. 

Keep in mind that not all awards and projects within a PI's portfolio need to follow the same process; apply the process that best fits the specific situation.

Underlying High-Level Workflow Process and Roles

These simplified high-level steps underlie all the following process and role examples. Refer to Award Verification: Detailed Procedures and Portfolio Considerations to learn more about these steps and to view detailed considerations for each step. 

High level diagram of award verification process. Diagram outline follows this image.

Diagram Outline

Actions begin when new monthly data becomes available.

  1. General Ledger Verification
    • Review and verify selected transactions
    • Identify errors and initiate corrections
    • Conduct trend analysis
    • Approve and attest GL verification is complete
    • Notify others when complete
  2. Award Verification
    1. Determine necessary actions
      • Is verification required for any sponsored awards?
      • Are expenses correctly recorded?
      • Identify adjustments
      • Enter comments as needed
      • Notify others to review and/or verify
    2. Review project(s)
      • Evaluate projects
      • Identify adjustments
      • Enter comments as needed
      • Mark project-activity period as Reviewed (optional)
      • Notify others as needed
    3. ​Verify sponsored award(s)
      • Evaluate awards
      • Work with research and support teams as needed
      • Identify adjustments
      • Enter comments as needed
      • Mark award as Verified (at least quarterly)

Award Verification Tool Roles

Role View All Data Enter Comments Review Projects Verify Awards Source
Award Principal Investigator  Yes Yes Yes Yes RAS - Award Owner
Project Principal Investigator  Yes Yes Yes No RAS - Project Owner
Multiple Principal Investigator Yes Yes No No RAS - Multi-PI
Program Manager Yes Yes Yes No RAS - Program Manager
Research Services Analyst (RSA) Yes Yes No No RAS - RSA
Viewer Yes No No No MyReports - Financial Role

For Teams Using the Optional Review Functionality

This process could be used by a research team composed of RSA(s), a Program Manager, several Project PIs and/or Co-Principal Investigators (Multi-PIs) and takes advantage of the optional project review functionality in the Award Verification Tool. The RSA or other financial analyst conducts General Ledger verification and adjusts award and project expenses as needed.

Diagram of award verification process using review function. Diagram outline follows this image.

Diagram Outline

  1. Complete monthly GL Verification using the GL Verification Tool
  2. Complete Award Verification using the Award Verification Tool
    • RSAs
      • Analyze award/project expense data
      • Add auditable comments as needed
      • Request or initiate award/project expense adjustments as needed
    • Project PIs and Program Manager
      • Review project expense data
      • Add auditable comments as needed
      • Submit project review (optional)
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
    • Multiple-PIs
      • Evaluate award/project expense data
      • Add auditable comments as needed
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
    • Award PIs
      • Evaluate award/project expense data
      • Add auditable comments as needed
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
      • Verify each award at least quarterly
  3. Adjust award/project expenses as needed

For Teams without Project PIs or Program Managers

This process could be used by a research team where an RSA supports one or more Principal Investigators (PIs). In this example, the RSA is responsible for monthly General Ledger transaction verification and for initial analysis of awards and projects in the Award Verification Tool. The RSA or other financial analyst adjusts award and project expenses as needed.

Diagram of streamlined award verification process without Project PIs or Program Managers. Diagram outline follows this image.

Diagram Outline

  1. RSAs
    • Complete monthly General Ledger verification using the GL Verification Tool
    • Adjust award/project expenses as needed
    • Using the Award Verification Tool
      • Analyze award/project expense data
      • Add auditable comments as needed
    • Initiate award/project expense adjustments as needed
  2. Award PIs using the Award Verification Tool
    • Evaluate award/projects expense data
    • Add auditable comments as needed
    • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
    • Verify each award at least quarterly

To Supplement Regular Meetings between PI and RSA

This process could be used for a research team where the RSA meets with the Award PI to discuss management of award and project finances. In this example, the RSA conducts the initial analysis of awards and coordinates the review process by Project PIs, Program Managers, and Multiple PIs prior to meeting with the Award PI. The RSA or other financial analyst conducts General Ledger verification and adjusts award and project expenses as needed.   

Diagram of process that supplements PI and RSA meetings. Diagram outline follows this image.

Diagram Outline

  1. Complete monthly GL Verification using the GL Verification Tool
  2. Complete Award Verification using the Award Verification Tool
    • RSAs
      • Analyze award/project expense data
      • Add auditable comments and email PIs and Program Managers as needed
      • Request or initiate award/project expense adjustments as needed
      • Meet with Award PIs prior to or during verification
    • Project PIs and Program Manager
      • Review project expense data
      • Add auditable comments as needed
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
      • Submit project review (optional)
    • Multiple-PIs
      • Evaluate award/project expense data
      • Add auditable comments as needed
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
    • Award PIs
      • Evaluate award/project expense data
      • Read and add auditable comments as needed
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
      • Meet with RSA
      • Verify each award at least quarterly
  3. Adjust award/project expenses as needed

For Teams with a Program Manager

This process could be used by a research team in which a Program Manager is responsible for initial evaluation of awards and coordinates the review and verification process in the Award Verification Tool. The RSA or other financial analyst conducts General Ledger verification and adjusts award and project expenses as needed.

Diagram of Program Manager driven award verification process. Diagram outline follows this image.

Diagram Outline

  1. Using the GL Verification Tool
    • Complete monthly General Ledger verification
  2. Using the Award Verification Tool
    • Program Managers
      • Review award/project expense data
      • Add questions using auditable comments and email to Award PI, Project and Multiple PIs, & RSAs for resolution as needed
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
      • Submit project review (optional)
    • Multiple PIs, Project PIs, and RSA
      • Evaluate/Review/Analyze project expense data
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
      • Add response using auditable comments as needed; email Program Manager
    • Award PIs
      • Evaluate award/project expense data
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
      • Add auditable comments as needed
      • Verify each award at least quarterly

For Award PIs who Independently Conduct Financial Analysis

This process could be used if the Award PI prefers to independently conduct financial analysis of their research portfolio. These Award PIs will generally be comfortable using MyReports and are already familiar with MyReports Faculty Portfolio. In this example, the Award PI initiates actions in the Award Verification Tool and uses comments to coordinate actions with other Award Verification Tool users. The RSA or other financial analyst conducts General Ledger verification and adjusts award and project expenses as needed.

Diagram of Award PI driven award verification process. Diagram outline follows this image.

Diagram Outline

  1. Using the GL Verification Tool
    • Complete monthly General Ledger verification
    • Notify Award PI General Ledger verification is complete
  2. Using the Award Verification Tool
    • Awards PIs
      • Evaluate award and project expense data
      • Add questions using auditable comments and email to Project and Multiple PIs, Program Managers, and RSAs for resolution as needed
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
      • Verify each award at least quarterly
    • Project PIs and Program Managers
      • Review project expense data
      • Add response using auditable comments as needed
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
      • Submit project review (optional)
    • Multiple PIs
      • Evaluate award/project expense data
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
      • Add response using auditable comments as needed
    • RSAs
      • Analyze award/project expense data
      • Request award/project expense adjustments as needed
      • Add response using auditable comments as needed
  3. Adjust award/project expenses as needed