Uncertainty surrounding the current economic climate has higher education, public health, nonprofit, and public sector organizations stretched thin. Being expected to provide more and more services to their communities with fewer resources has become the norm. While grants offer financial assistance, they also can bring additional responsibility and pressure to a workforce that is already swamped.
How can public service organizations keep pace with their ever-growing responsibilities and manage grants in an efficient and compliant way? Third-party resources.
Public service organizations often use third-party resources to assist with a number of projects and services. Outside software designers, construction companies, performance advisors, auditors, legal teams, and others are called upon to assist with work that would benefit from specialized training and experience. Why not take the same approach to grants management?
Working with a qualified third-party grants management team not only helps bridge gaps in services; this team can offer knowledge and experience beyond what an organization’s current staff can provide. This article explores several key benefits for organizations using third-party resources to help manage and monitor their grant funds.
The Benefits of Third-Party Resources
The number one benefit to using a third-party resource is freeing up the organization’s staff to handle their day-to-day responsibilities and perhaps even offer new services to benefit the community. Grants management third-party resources can offer support and insight to help community leaders focus on serving the community and planning for the future. Beyond that, third-party resources can:
- Offer grants management skills and training not found among current employees
- Provide timely insight into constantly changing government compliance and regulatory requirements
- Help identify and pursue relevant grant opportunities
- Offer a wide range of resources and advisors to apply their diverse knowledge to unique situations
- Counteract bias to internal processes by providing a fresh, objective perspective
- Provide checks and balances to agency procedures and add a level of transparency to the public
- Assist with efforts to allocate grant funds to provide a significant impact on the community
- Help position the organization to develop a reputation of reliability
- Supply time-saving guidance and tools for administering funds and preparing for required Single Audit reports
Leveraging Grant Compliance Experience
Grant awards come with compliance requirements and risks.
- The Office of Management and Budget provides the Uniform Guidance as a set of guidelines for administering grant awards, but these requirements, cost principles, and rules can be complicated.
- Based on the requirements of the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996, the Uniform Guidance is subjected to live changes in the form of an annual compliance supplement and addenda.
- Granting agencies, state and local governments, and oversight boards also may have compliance requirements for awarded funds.
Without proper knowledge of these requirements and the continuous adjustments made to them, an organization can run the risk of losing funding. Even worse, it could find itself under investigation for misappropriation, requiring it to pay back awarded funds.
Organizations often do not have the resources to keep track of the many regulatory and compliance requirements involved in grants. Fortunately, they do not have to. A strategically chosen third-party contractor with a team of consultants dedicated to staying up to date on these complex issues can be indispensable. Consultants who are knowledgeable and experienced with grants management can help organizations remain compliant with regulatory requirements, set up the appropriate monitoring processes, and prepare for required audits, potentially saving time in the process.
How FORVIS Can Help
FORVIS is dedicated to helping public service organizations at any point in the grant life cycle. We can provide end-to-end grants management guidance or assist with one or two of the stages. We can tailor our services to our client’s unique needs. Using our years of experience and insight in grants management, we help organizations successfully administer and monitor grants as well as prepare for any required audits. Below are just some of the services we can assist with:
- Strategic Planning – We can help identify relevant federal award opportunities that can help meet your community’s needs. FORVIS can guide you through the grant life cycle, helping you develop a grant portfolio tailored to assist your community.
- Inclusive Grants Management – We can read through your organization’s grants management policies and procedures and assist you in identifying weaknesses, potential improvements in internal controls, and ways to remain compliant with grantee requirements.
- Single Audit Preparation – Whether you are preparing for your first Single Audit or have submitted them for years, our experienced professionals can help you navigate the Uniform Guidance regulations and compliance requirements and accumulate the necessary information to help your Single Audit go more smoothly.
- Compliance Evaluations – Current regulations are rapidly evolving. FORVIS works year-round to help our professionals and clients stay informed. Our team members can help you understand new regulatory provisions and maintain your funding with the level of commitment you require.
FORVIS is about looking forward. With forward vision, we can provide assistance with your anticipated needs in mind. We can help you improve service delivery outcomes, comply with policy requirements, reduce costs, and manage waste.
Please note this information is current as of the date of publication. Reach out to a consultant at FORVIS or submit the Contact Us form below if you have questions.