According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the federal government awarded state and local governments over $674 billion in grant funding in fiscal year 2017, reflecting an increase in funding. This extra funding means more complex grant management processes for municipalities and counties.
When applying for grants, be sure to apply only for grants in which you are eligible and that align with your local government’s goals. When growing your grant portfolio, use a grant research database to efficiently identify applicable federal, state, and foundation opportunities. Also, run an audit on existing income sources to determine your municipality or county’s current mix, sustainability of revenue sources, and existing or future gaps.
Ensure a separation of duties across key accounting processes—recording transactions, authorizing transactions, and housing program assets. Train staff appropriately on internal control processes and grant standards.
Another solution to improving internal controls is having a centralized hub for your grants. This is especially helpful for local government because sub-recipients are often involved. Instead of using disparate systems, consolidate your information on one system to consolidate information and keep everyone from your team to your sub-recipients on the same page.
Grant management software can simplify the process by helping you:
Monitor spend and performance regularly. Reconcile balance sheets, review bank and investment accounts, and run financial expenditure reports (e.g. expenditures by project, time/cost versus budget, cost and trend). Flag unusual activity.
If you follow some of these best practices, your precinct will be better equipped to comply with legislation and ensure maximum drawdown of your grant funds.
Everything from the number of grants you manage to the tools you are currently utilizing will influence if software is right for your local government. Think your city or county might be ready to consider grant management software? Take our readiness survey today.