The grants management process is extensive and can be overwhelming. The process includes meeting deadlines, communicating among different departments, creating reports, keeping track of funds, compliance, and more. Manual systems often create challenges in grant management, and many institutions face similar challenges in their systems. Here are some of the most common challenges in grant management to look out for and how to overcome them.
Many institutions face similar challenges in grant management. These are often caused by mistakes made with manual systems, or incomplete work when time is an issue. Paperwork can get messy and unmanageable quickly, especially when there are multiple grants to be managed. The most common challenges to effective grant management include:
When an institution has several staff members handling documents, problems may arise. Using manual systems means that documents are handled by several different staff members for proofreading, revisions, and more, leading to duplicate data entries, outdated information that hasn’t been deleted, or incomplete documents when meeting a deadline priority over ensuring data is entered properly.
When multiple people in an office manage grants, and those people must coordinate with other departments, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Connecting different departments and communicating between them is challenging with manual systems. Sometimes only a certain number of people have access to specific documents, so others cannot view them and communicate what needs to be done.
Research compliance is complicated due to protocol reviews, providing service to many departments, regulatory requirements and changes, and more. Creating and running required reports can be time-consuming and overwhelming for staff members who are busy with other tasks. This may cause mistakes in these reports leading to possible fines, penalties, or loss of funds.
Institutions may feel overwhelmed managing multiple grants and awards at once. Staff members may lose important data or find it difficult to consolidate multiple grants while attempting to record and report them separately. Institutions may also be understaffed or have lower administrative support budgets, causing employees to take on too many tasks, leading to stress among staff members, documentation errors, or filing issues.
Many granting organizations request reports that show how grant funds were used, and what progress was made during the reporting period. With manual grant management systems, it is easy to make mistakes in these reports, or miss items that should be included. Failure to communicate the allocation of your funds with those who issued them can jeopardize your project or institution, and submitting incomplete or incorrect reports may cause your funders to request additional auditing or take away potential future funding. You may also find yourself running out of funds if you do not keep up-to-date reports and are unable to complete the project without requesting help from your institution.
Many organizations that issue grants frequently request reports showing how the funds are dispersed and what progress was made, and manual systems can make it difficult to create these reports. By having an effective grant management system, you can remain transparent with granting organizations ensuring they stay informed on your use of funds and any other information they require.
Manual data entry, keeping track of spreadsheets, and analyzing budgets are just some of the complex and time-consuming tasks involved in the grant management process. An effective system can help streamline and simplify your process by cutting time, efficiently managing documents, and ensuring appropriate use of funds. Successful grant management systems can also reduce stress for staff members and help keep track of multiple grants and awards at once.
Grant management software can significantly reduce the problems associated with grant management. The best Electronic Research Administration systems can simplify the process because they are paperless, cloud-based, and available to everyone simultaneously. They make reporting easier and can reduce time and stress. At Kuali, we provide modern software to streamline your work and merge with your existing systems. Learn more about how Kuali can help you achieve a more effective grant management system.