McMaster University

McMaster University

Guide to Research Administration: Monitoring & Reporting

The Researcher

The Researcher is the ultimate authority on any expenditures made to a research account. Since the Researcher is personally responsible for any overexpenditure, and is responsible to the granting agency for the research work done (including financial management of the account), it is vital that the Researcher take an active role in the monitoring of his/her accounts. In particular, if the account represents non-peer-reviewed, non-contract research, the account is NOT allowed to be in deficit.

Each month, two copies of the financial accounting printout will be forwarded to the Department. One of these copies should be received and reviewed by the Researcher, to ensure that only proper charges have been made, and that the account balance is appropriate.

Also, each Researcher has the ability to obtain on-line access to their accounts through Oracle (via the web). Researchers should contact Financial Services about setting up access.

The Department

The Department, and more specifically, the Office of the Chair, has a large role in the monitoring of research accounts. Not only will they approve many of the expenditures made on the grants, they will also ensure that personnel issues are taken into consideration.

Each month, two copies of the financial accounting printouts for all of the Department's research accounts are forwarded to them so that the Department can retain one copy for their records, and the other copy can be forwarded to the Researcher. In that way, all involved will be able to monitor the accounts, and ensure that no problems occur. The Department also receives their copy of the "Research Overdraft Report", which should be reviewed in depth. This report summarizes the accounts in the department which have a projected deficit.


At this stage of the grant process, the involvement of the above offices is minimal . They serve as resource for such things as space requirements. As well, they monitor the balances for summary reporting purposes.

Research Finance

In conjunction with the Researcher and the Department, Research Finance monitors financial status of all research grants. This monitoring includes reviewing the monthly account balances, and the day-to-day expenses.

Research Finance is constantly reviewing balances in the accounts. When expenses are submitted for approval, Research Finance checks to ensure that the charge is appropriate for the account, and that there are sufficient funds in the account.

Each month, Research Finance receives a copy of the monthly account printouts. These printouts are used as the basis for reviewing the accounts. Questions arise as a result of this review and are directed to the Researcher/Department.

The month-end account balances are the basis for the Research Overdraft Report which is distributed within the Faculty to senior administration and each Department. This report lists every account that shows an actual or projected overdraft, and Research Finance assigns a deficit "risk factor" to each grant based on the information received from the department, researcher and CSD. The risk factor will determine the depth of the action which must be taken by the Senior Administration and the researcher to clear the deficit.

Another large responsibility of Research Finance is the reporting to the granting agencies. Where required, and at prescribed times (quarterly, annually, etc.), Research Finance prepares a Statementof Expenditures for those grants that require such a report. This report is forwarded to the Researcher/Department for their attention.

Research Finance also reports to the University as required on the status of all research accounts.

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