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Posted by on Apr 11, 2016

#NGMA16 Wrap Up

#NGMA16 Wrap Up

Grants Community, NewsPshew! I hope all of this year’s National Grants Management Association (NGMA) Annual Training Conference (#NGMA16) attendees have recovered. I know that many of us were in the midst of proposal responses….grants.gov has been busy, no?

So, what did I learn at NGMA?

First, as a community we need to improve our communication that the Uniform Guidance is requirement, especially to those who may not be on board with compliance yet. I heard several of my grants colleagues ask the question, “how do I explain to my [insert leader] that we have to do [X] because of this part of 2 CFR 200?” I agree with Tiffany Winters’ comment that we should use 2 CFR 200 more often – because “Code of Federal Regulations” does sound much more official than the Uniform Guidance.

Second, time and effort reporting requirements continues to cause some confusion. Since I’ve been working for companies who serve as Federal contractors, it’s natural for me to fill out a timesheet each day, with multiple project codes. It was good for me to get the reminder that filling out a timesheet is not normal for a good portion of the grants community. I also find it interesting that this is one thing that the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) wanted to make easier for the community to use existing reporting systems to comply. Generally, I’d follow the advice to keep doing what you’ve been doing in terms of time and reporting if you’re getting clean audits. If you need transition from “no system” to “some system,” reach out to your fellow NGMA members for assistance. There are a lot tools out there.

Third, as I mentioned in my pre-conference post, indirect costs (IDC) are definitely a challenging area. I think that as more of us increase our understanding and application of IDCs, we will become more comfortable and confident in this area. I appreciate that more people understand that organizations – government, nonprofit, or private – need to fully cost the cost of managing our grants.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not ask you to save-the-date for April 18 – 20, 2017. I can’t wait to see the agenda for next year’s NGMA training.

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