New Legislation and a New Need for Grant Management Software
Utilizing a quality grant management solution is more important now than ever. Transparency and regulatory compliance has been the national mantra of late, and organizations reliant on grant funding are going to hear the echoes of this mantra—loudly. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act, has been recently introduced to both the Senate and House and is likely to pass. This piece of legislation will transform the level of transparency and accountability of U.S. government spending. How will this affect institutions and organizations reliant on grants? The legislation makes the government accountable for their spending, hereby making most grantors accountable for their spending, in turn making your institution, hospital or university accountable for its spending—more accountable than ever before.
The DATA Act is only one piece of legislation that needs a grant management solution that tracks, reports and organizes to the new standards of regulatory efficiency and transparency. With the momentum of the DATA Act, the proposed 2014 Fiscal Budget by the current administration is also “tightening the reigns” on universities and non-profits. As stated previously, the accountability of the government translates into the accountability of the recipient of funding. Not only will this “tightening” increase accountability for post-award activity, it will create more scrutiny during the pre-award process.
For example, under the new proposed budget and its inherent call for transparency, tax-exempt organizations are to expand into E-Filing, in which organizations and institutions would be required to file 990 tax information electronically. The IRS then releases the information to databases. The goal is for foundations and grantors to have access to organizational data that are in consideration for a grant. Grant management software with accounting and financial systems easily aids this process with detailed reporting. If this is a glimpse of new federal standards for grant allocation, a grant management solution is soon to be the only viable option for accurate, detailed and satisfactory financial reporting.
Grant Management Solutions in a Changing Political Landscape
With the new call for regulatory transparency and efficiency there is good news. However, it only good if your organization is prepared for it. There are many benefits for organizations and institutions in this changing climate that will save time, money and bureaucratic red tape. For example, in the new proposed budget, with federal awards being more scrutinized, a prepared institution with the right resources is more apt to be reimbursed for their allowable non-direct costs faster than in the past. There is also a proposed minimum rate and timeline proposed for this reimbursement. However, an organization or institution that does not have the resources or software for time and effort tracking (quantifying, accounting and reporting) will be at huge disadvantage.
To put it plainly—instead of conducting frequent audits, the government, foundations and grantors are evolving into a process of preventing audits. In essence, they are applying their own form of macro-grant management software and are going to check their processes against your organization’s or institution’s processes. Not only will your grant management solution make your grant cycles more efficient and compliant, you will be prepared for legislative and technological mandates that are sure to come in the near future.
IT Works’ grant management software is prepared for changes that occur in the grant landscape. With frequent updates and innovative technology, we ensure that your institution or organization is prepared. Contact an IT Works representative today to learn more about our grant management product suites.