Since the grants management process is usually decentralized, your agency’s effectiveness and efficiency in managing grants depends heavily on how well employees in Finance communicate with the grants managers in various departments.
In this post below, we’ll explain how to achieve the best-possible results for governments grants management by incorporating planning and close-out meetings into your agenda.
What happens if you don’t communicate well?
Lack of effective communication makes it more likely that your agency will experience the following common problems:
In order for your agency to minimize the risk of encountering these problems, we strongly recommend that you hold a planning meeting when each grant is received, and a close-out meeting when each grant ends.
Below, we’ll go over the items both of these meeting should cover and achieve.
First, in the Planning Meeting, you will:
Who should be in the Planning Meeting?
We recommend that the grants manager and all Finance Department employees responsible for grant accounting participate in the Planning Meeting. This will ensure that all key people stay informed and know which action items to follow up on.
When should you hold the Planning Meeting?
The planning meeting should be held immediately upon the grant being awarded to your agency.
Next; near the end of the grant but before the final bill is submitted, we recommend you hold a Close-out Meeting with the same employees who participated in the planning meeting (i.e. the grants manager(s) and Finance Department employees responsible for grant accounting).
In the Close-out Meeting, you will:
The Close-out Meeting should be held near the end of the grant but before the final bill is submitted.
Holding both a planning meeting when a new grant is received, and a close-out meeting when a grant ends, will help your government stay informed on open items and to-dos, and helps keep track of all grant status. Need help on how to create a proper grant status report? Download a useful Excel template for free in our post here.
For even more tips on better grant record keeping, check out this post.
If you’d like a personalized consultation for your grants management, please email or call Kevin directly – at no cost:
Kevin Harper, CPA
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Kevin W. Harper is a certified public accountant in California. He has decades of audit and consulting experience, entirely in service to local governments. He is committed to helping government entities improve their internal operations and controls.
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