Latest Federal Funding E-Strategy

E-Strategies Archive

OMB’s long-awaited grant reform consolidates, repackages, and revises eight current circulars on federal grants administration, cost allowability, and audit and incorporates some other governmentwide policies for good measure. The federal award-making agencies have been given six months to develop conforming regulations and to submit them to OMB for review. They are then supposed to make all of those regulations effective in unison on Dec. 26, 2014. That timeframe should give everybody (you included) plenty of opportunity to get familiar with what has been planned. In the meantime, what makes sense is to take a long-term view. Study the new document and get experienced advice about its implications, so that you can position your organization for a smooth transition. But also be prepared for some other people that you deal with in the vast federal assistance community to start early in trying to implement the changes.


FFMA's "OMB's Grants Reform Package" series of webinars captures the key information you need to know about the comprehensive overhaul of federal grant administrative, cost accounting, and audit policies released by OMB, and provides experienced advice on how to position your organization to be ready for and comply with the new policy regime. Click here for more information on the programs — and learn how to save 25% when you purchase more than one session!

Insightful Webinars: Management, Compliance & Best Practices

May 5
2014

OMB’s grant reform guidance instructs pass-through entities to “make case-by-case determinations whether each agreement it makes for disbursement of federal program funds casts the party receiving the funds in the role of a subrecipient or a contractor.” This webinar will provide a fresh and practical examination of how to make defensible determinations, and then how to proceed with effective management and oversight. Learn more

May 8
2014

An overview of the key elements of the new federal policies for everybody in your organization who touches a federal grant or subgrant. Learn more

May 13
2014

In one of the most significant policy changes to come out of OMB’s federal grants reform effort, primary grantee and other pass-through entities are now required to accept indirect charges through one of three options. This webinar will help you decide how to best employ all of the options available to be both fair to your subrecipients and cost conscious, too. Learn more

May 15
2014

This session will focus on the post-award administrative requirements in the grant reform package, including current policies that were retained but repackaged, the ones that were overhauled and ramped up — as well as new policies OMB added. Learn more

May 29
2014

A clear and timely review of the new consolidated federal cost principles that will take effect later this year. Learn more

Jun 5
2014

Gain an understanding of the policy document that will replace OMB Circular A-133, so you can prepare for future single audits — and emerge from them unscathed. Learn more

Webinar Archives

Apr 16
2014

This webinar will help you think through what, how and when you need to make your grantor aware of what is likely to be bad news. Learn more

Mar 25
2014

While some changes stemming from OMB’s recent grants reform effort aren’t causing much angst, others – such as new procurement standards – involve significant differences from the previous policies. This webinar is organized to help you assess your grant purchasing practices and procedures in light of the new OMB guidance. Learn more

Mar 11
2014

OMB’s new instructions in the “Super Circular” about internal controls have been ratcheted up. So, what features should your federal grant internal controls have going forward? This webinar analyzes the new requirements and identifies the kinds of responses that make sense in a federal grant context. Learn more

Feb 27
2014

In the area of indirect cost policy, the result of OMB’s reform effort doesn’t look very consolidated. So how much has really changed, how much hasn’t, and where can you find a good guide? This webinar will help you navigate the new realities of indirect cost recovery and prepare you to use the new policies to your organization’s advantage. Learn more

Feb 20
2014

Although “A-133” has been a familiar part of federal funding lingo for decades, it is now being replaced by a section of OMB's new “Super Circular.” And, inside that new package are important changes to single audit requirements. This webinar has been carefully crafted to drill down on all of the changes — from both an auditee and auditor perspective. Learn more

Feb 18
2014

In an effort to concentrate more on performance and results than on financial inputs, OMB is emphasizing in its new guidance that federal agencies and pass-through entities can use fixed amount awards and performance-based grants. But what are these awards supposed to look like? This webinar maps out how recipients and subrecipients can prepare for and implement these innovative awards. Learn more

Feb 13
2014

OMB made some important changes when it consolidated its three cost principles circulars into one brand-new document. This webinar analyzes and evaluates these rules that govern what you can charge to your federal awards and what you can’t — from the recipient and subrecipient perspective. Learn more

Feb 6
2014

The OMB reforms contain some significant changes in the way that awards to subrecipients will be made and overseen. Whether your organization is in the subgranting business or it’s on the receiving end of subgrants, this detailed webinar will help you understand what to expect, what you’ll need to do, and how to do it. Learn more

Jan 30
2014

Front and center in OMB’s reforms are new requirements ostensibly intended to reduce the burden of documenting time and effort on federal grant awards. Some observers, however, are already questioning whether that will be the result. This webinar takes a “deep dive” into the new requirements to explain what will change, what won’t and how you can help your organization transition effectively. Learn more

Jan 23
2014

This webinar captures the key information you need to know right now about the comprehensive overhaul of federal grant administrative, cost accounting, and audit policies released by OMB and will provide experienced advice on how to position your organization to be ready for and comply with the new policy regime. (This program was also held on Jan. 16, 2014.) Learn more

Jan 14
2014

The future direction and funding levels for many federal grant programs will be front and center in upcoming policy debates, but if you want to have an impact on the decisions, you have to follow a straight and narrow path. This webinar will provide a critical body of knowledge you need to have about where the boundaries are, what you can safely do and what you ought to steer clear of. Learn more

Jan 7
2014

Thousands of organizations are excluded from the federal government’s policies on indirect cost recovery on federal grants. This webinar provides helpful strategies aimed at helping affected organizations, such as subrecipients, overcome restrictive indirect cost recovery policies. Learn more

Dec 16
2013

There isn’t much guidance from the feds about how to conduct the kind of due diligence necessary when subgranting federal funds. This webinar helps you perform a careful pre-award review of subrecipients. Learn more

Dec 10
2013

Deciding whether — and how — to respond to an objectionable approach taken by a federal grantor involves applying balanced judgment and, perhaps, polite diplomacy. This webinar discusses the gentle art of “pushing back” on your federal grant and offers strategies that can empower you to make sensible decisions on these sensitive matters. Learn more

Nov 21
2013

This webinar will help you understand what is currently required when conducting procurement transactions, what will be required once OMB finishes overhauling the existing rules, and how best to respond. Learn more

Nov 12
2013

The federal rules associated with “intangible property” generated under federal grants are arcane at best and can generate as many questions as they answer. This webinar answers those questions and provides the tools that federally funded organizations can use to manage this intellectual property. Learn more

Oct 23
2013

Get clear guidance about what federal grant rules apply to your human resource management and how your organization should respond with policies, procedures and practices. Learn more

Oct 21
2013

Often, the reasons behind noncompliance in a federal grant program can be traced to deficiencies in the policies and procedures that the organization uses to manage the federal funds. This webinar provides practical tips about the control features your organization should put in place to protect its federal grant portfolio. Learn more

Oct 7
2013

This webinar takes a practical look at current and proposed guidance on subawarding federal grant funds and charts a clear path for pass-through entities. Learn more

Sep 26
2013

This webinar will help you successfully overcome the compliance challenges of requirements for matching, cost sharing and similar limitations in federal grants. Learn more

Sep 24
2013

Find out how to conduct an effective compliance risk assessment so you can detect vulnerabilities and address them before they become compliance problems. Learn more

Sep 10
2013

Timely and proper closeouts are a key measure of grants management effectiveness, regardless of the source of the federal money. This webinar reviews the award closeout process by analyzing what the federal rules actually require and identifying best practices for all parties. Learn more

Aug 15
2013

A well-designed system for generating records, retaining them, disclosing them (when appropriate) and disposing of them when they are no longer needed is an essential element of good grants management. This webinar will provide a comprehensive and practical examination of these critical activities. Learn more

Aug 1
2013

Part of the problem with federal grant auditors is that they speak a language that most “regular” people can have trouble understanding. This webinar will help you get a handle on the key auditing standards, objectives and procedures that are essential in getting your organization audit-ready — and help you forge a more effective partnership with your finance office. Learn more

Jul 24
2013

Understanding the standard features of OMB’s Compliance Supplement for Circular A-133 Audits— and how they make it a guide to effective federal grants management — is its real value to recipients and subrecipients. This information-packed webinar will help you gain that understanding to make your organization more “audit ready.” Learn more

Jul 17
2013

Learn about properly charging: travel costs; meeting expenses, including meals and incidentals; professional activity costs; training and education charges; membership fees; employee morale, health and welfare costs; and participant support stipends and subsistence. Learn more

Jun 18
2013

This webinar on how to manage and improve the delicate relationship with your funding agency offers a targeted look at some key federal regulations that are intended to preserve recipient and subrecipient prerogatives — and provide experienced-based advice about how to use those rules effectively to achieve the kind of project that the federal government intended when it made the initial grant. Learn more

Jun 12
2013

Get accurate advice about the applicable requirements, and practical tips on compliance and control strategies, to preclude common A-133 audit findings. This webinar will alert you to areas of noncompliance or internal control that auditors find and report on — and outline what steps your organization can take to prevent such findings. Learn more

Jun 4
2013

The federal government requires you to inform your subrecipients about the laws, regulations and provisions of your grant agreement that “flow-through.” Unfortunately, there isn’t a good “cook book” about how to draft subaward agreements that do that effectively. Listen in and learn how to craft well-organized, clear and complete subgrant agreements. Learn more

May 29
2013

Approaching audit procurement systematically is the best way to ensure a balanced independent audit that will meet required standards. No matter what stage of the audit procurement process you are in or whether it’ll be a while before you will re-enter the marketplace, this webinar provides the tools for making one of your most important federal grant purchases. Learn more

May 16
2013

As a result of the federal budget sequester, federal agencies will have fewer dollars for future awards, translating into a much more competitive grant application process going forward. This webinar details what federal agencies will be looking for in applications — both in the near-term and long-range — and provides practical tips for how to present the best grants management face during the application review process. Learn more

May 9
2013

Knowing both the existing federal indirect cost recovery policies and practices, and the outline of possible changes in OMB’s comprehensive grant reform proposal, is important to effectively position your organization going forward. This webinar details the current and future challenges that federal grant recipients and subrecipients face when it comes to recovering indirect costs. Learn more

Apr 18
2013

Regardless of how OMB’s proposed federal grant management policy changes play out, subrecipient monitoring is going to continue to represent a challenge that requires balancing risk, multiple techniques of differing effectiveness, and available resources. This webinar is offered to help meet that current challenge and what are likely to be the future ones. Learn more

Apr 9
2013

Documenting time and effort on federal grant awards has been a source of confusion, disagreement and controversy for decades. This webinar drills down on current time and effort reporting policies — and OMB’s recently proposed revisions to the policies — and then analyzes how the proposed standards will impact your organization and its current practices. Learn more

Mar 27
2013

This webinar has been crafted to help you conduct a structured review of your federal grants management policies by laying out what topics the federal government expects you to cover and how it makes sense for you to do so. It also will highlight ways that your organization can respond to assure proper design and operation while maintaining needed flexibility. Learn more

Mar 19
2013

The skills needed in formulating a grant budget are a combination of financial acumen, effective wordsmithing, and knowledge of key federal grant concepts and requirements. This webinar will help you hone your skills to construct a budget that is of sufficient size and flexibility to get the job done. Learn more

Mar 5
2013

To help federal fund recipients and subrecipients fully understand the historic Office of Management and Budget grants management reform proposal, and prepare for the comment process, Federal Fund Management Advisor presents this intensive three-hour webinar that addresses the key elements of the comprehensive package. Learn more

Feb 19
2013

This webinar presents, in laymen’s terms, the essentials of Circular A-133. This briefing will help you understand the key federal requirements so you can help your organization be A-133 audit ready. Learn more

Feb 14
2013

There are few topics affecting federal grants that involve more judgment than cost reasonableness. This session explores the concept of “cost reasonableness” as a key to good federal grants management. Learn more

Jan 29
2013

There are numerous federal programs where commercial organizations are eligible to apply for and receive grants or subgrants, but the procedures for making these types of awards differ from those that are more familiar to the government, higher education and nonprofit sectors. Learn how these awards are handled. Learn more

Jan 23
2013

Unfortunately, for organizations administering federal funds, assertions about noncompliance with federal requirements and deficiencies in internal control can be a fact of life. But what if the findings are not valid or only partially correct? This webinar addresses how to resolve audit findings from the perspective of the auditee, with the objective of reducing adverse impact. Learn more

Dec 10
2012

Acceptance of a federal research grant means that the organizational staff members who will work on the substance of the project are plunging into an accountability atmosphere that is loaded with administrative risks. This webinar will provide research staff with the right level of knowledge about the federal cost principles contained in OMB Circular A-21, to enable them to steer their project clear of the allowability pitfalls that can too often plague otherwise well-managed research projects. Learn more

Dec 3
2012

Meeting cost-sharing or matching levels is one of the most critical compliance challenges facing a federal grant recipient or subrecipient – and it’s readily auditable. This webinar will help you make sure that you’ve got a good handle on what your organization is required to do in this important area. Learn more

Nov 13
2012

The conduct of due diligence in selection of the organizations and people who are going to play roles in the administrative integrity and program performance of your awards involves a combination of regulatory requirements and best practices that every federal grant recipient should grasp. This webinar will review the new Sponsored Award Management (SAM) system and other regulatory processes and help you develop a common sense vetting process to help you assure that bad actors are kept away from your grant programs and that those who might introduce compliance, control, performance and security risks are effectively managed. Learn more

Oct 30
2012

The federal rules related to grant documentation are fairly ambiguous, leaving the details to recipients and subrecipients to craft – and, too often, for auditors to second guess. This webinar will show you how to develop credible, reliable and defensible documentation to support federal grant transactions. Learn more

Oct 23
2012

While the federal government offers some flexibility about how to meet subrecipient monitoring responsibilities, it can leave key stakeholders adrift among various opinions about what techniques to use and how to allocate oversight resources. This practical webinar is structured to help you and your organization meet that challenge, by providing a clear and detailed presentation of the requirements and key techniques for effectively monitoring subrecipients of federal grants. Learn more

Oct 18
2012

The job of managing your grants and subgrants can be made a lot simpler and less burdensome if you can cut some unnecessary red tape. Despite a popular belief that everything in these agreements is “required,” it is possible for an awarding agency to agree with a recipient or subrecipient to tailor an award to waive certain requirements and permit certain actions without asking federal permission. This webinar will help you get a firm grasp on what the rules really do allow, and will deliver the details and citations that you can use in asking for a more tailored fit. Learn more

Sep 24
2012

As independent auditors reviewing grant and subgrant expenditures in audits performed under OMB Circular A-133 have become more aggressive, patterns have emerged as to the types of requirements where auditors are rendering findings. This webinar drills down on a dozen of those common audit findings and suggests some grants management antidotes to help assure that they don’t show up in your next A-133 audit report. Learn more

Aug 9
2012

Whether you’re renting space, buying it with federal funds, or occupying a facility your organization already owns or is in the process of buying, you need to know the rules for properly charging space occupancy costs to your grants and subgrants. This webinar will help you sort out the related allowability of operation and maintenance costs, insurance, security, and even alterations and renovations. Learn more

Jul 17
2012

Understanding the documentation requirements surrounding time and effort recording and distribution is essential to effective compliance, so it’s prudent to take a close look at what the federal government actually requires and what options exist for compliance by recipient and subrecipient organizations – and what changes could be ahead. This webinar will provide practical, hands-on assistance on the ins and outs of time and effort reporting, to be sure your practices are effective and compliant. Learn more

Jul 10
2012

Misunderstanding abounds whenever the topic of indirect costs associated with federal awards surfaces, yet, the underlying federal policies on the subject have withstood the test of time. This webinar will help overcome the misunderstandings, reinforce accurate concepts and summarize the specific federal requirements for recovery of indirect costs. In addition, it will identify the indirect cost matters that are on the table in OMB’s recently announced grant reform effort, and help you assess the likelihood and impact of any changes. This program is an effective introduction for those participants who have limited exposure to the subject and a solid refresher for those who have worked more extensively with federal award costing issues. Learn more

Jun 21
2012

Because of extensive legislation affecting grant reporting, the complexity of who reports, what they report, and when and how they do it has grown, becoming more detailed and more challenging. And because late or inaccurate reporting is often the first “red flag” that awarding agencies raise when monitoring recipients and subrecipients, managing multiple reporting expectations should be “job one” for those on the receiving end of federal awards and subawards. This comprehensive and practical discussion will enable you to effectively handle your grant reporting. Learn more

Jun 12
2012

In today’s highly charged federal accountability atmosphere, a formal federal grant compliance program is a virtual necessity for recipient and subrecipient organizations. This webinar will identify the kinds of features that a solid compliance program should have and the steps that you can take to assure that the program achieves objectives tailored to your organization. Learn more

May 31
2012

Staff members of the organizations that receive and administer federal grants and contracts have to be familiar with several different sets of “cost principles” to help avoid costly disallowances and other adverse consequences. This webinar – an encore of a highly acclaimed program held in November 2011 – will provide an overview of the key policies that cut across all of the federal cost principles and those that are different for each type of performer. Learn more

May 17
2012

Some of your federal grant (or subgrant) funds are likely to be spent buying tangible items like equipment, supplies or real estate, or intangible ones like copyrights, patents and rights in data. But with confusing government policies and procedures for managing things you’ve bought, and independent auditors watching to ensure that rules are followed, this aspect of your grant and subgrant management needs to be well-organized and fully compliant. This webinar will help you navigate through the arcane details of the federal requirements and fashion sensible organizational responses to these requirements. Learn more

May 8
2012

Programmatic staff don’t need a high level of understanding of federal grants management requirements, but they do need to know enough to avoid making inadvertent — and costly — mistakes. During this webinar, designed to help program personnel quickly grasp the basics of federal grant management policy and practice, Bob Lloyd walks through key elements of the applicable federal requirements that program staff are most likely to run into and that can create the most common pitfalls. Learn more

May 1
2012

The federal requirements for subrecipient management and monitoring show up in governmentwide grants administration and audit requirements. This webinar session will help you effectively respond to this key federal grants management responsibility. What you’ll learn: The specifics of federal requirements for subrecipient monitoring; How to organize the “subgrant universe”; What is the “smorgasbord” of available post-award monitoring techniques; How to assure that subrecipient responsibilities for matching or cost sharing are met; What content and frequency of financial and performance reporting can and should be imposed; and How oversight of subrecipient audits should be managed. Learn more

Apr 19
2012

Properly drafting subgrant agreements and using them is fundamental to effective federal grant management. This webinar session will present authoritative and practical instruction on how to do that. You’ll learn about: Use of correct terminology drawn from applicable federal policies; The variables affecting different types of “pass-through” entities and subrecipients; How to start fresh with a new award template; Why proper sequencing of provisions can make post-award management easier; Which federal policies (strings attached) must be flowed through; Where to obtain accurate language for terms and conditions; and How to make the job of future modification and improvement less daunting. Learn more

Apr 12
2012

This webinar session identifies key best practices to help you conduct the kind of pre-award review that will reduce the likelihood that some of your subgrantees will make you wish you never heard of them. Major topics include: What are the federal requirements? What kinds of questions should be built into the subgrant application process? What kinds of document submissions should you demand? What databases must you or can you use for due diligence? What factors should be used in assessing risk? How do you assess subgrantee business management systems? How should the pre-award review be staffed? How to fashion special subgrant conditions if risk is high? Learn more

Apr 5
2012

In the current federal fund accountability atmosphere, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of the question whether a subaward of federal grant funds is a subgrant to a subrecipient or a purchase contract under a grant to a vendor. This webinar session: Identifies and analyzes all of the relevant federal policies affecting the decision; Sorts out the often confusing language used to define roles and agreements; Clarifies how the presence of specific award features may help make more accurate determinations; and Discusses the consequences of making incorrect decisions. Learn more

Mar 22
2012

OMB is beginning an ambitious process of revising its grants management circulars, and is seeking input from interested parties. During this strategic news briefing designed to help federal grant recipients and subrecipients better understand what is being proposed — and be in position to effectively comment on the proposals — Bob Lloyd will draw on his nearly 40 years of experience working with the OMB requirements to clarify how the proposals would affect what is currently required, and gauge their possible impact going forward. He’ll also identify issues that OMB has not included in its list that have been documented as problems by the recipient community in the past and for which solutions are still needed. Learn more

Mar 6
2012

The federal legislation that authorizes grant programs is often loaded with incentives and disincentives, but how these limitations work is not always the subject of clear federal policies. This webinar will provide help on understanding federal grant limitations. Learn more

Feb 9
2012

The best way to satisfy an auditor’s inquiries about federal award charges is to leave a clear “audit trail” of documentation that they can accept as sufficient. This webinar will help you identify the specifics of what the federal requirements actually say about grant documentation, and will introduce you to common sense best practices that will help you develop credible, reliable and sufficient support in a timely manner. Learn more

Dec 15
2011

The days of “no findings” audits involving federal grants appear to be over, which means that assertions about noncompliance with federal requirements and deficiencies in internal control can be a fact of life. This webinar will address how to resolve audit findings from the perspective of the auditee, with the objective of reducing adverse impact. Learn more

Dec 1
2011

Collaboration among organizations and institutions is often a hallmark of federally funded projects ... but the details about how these collaborations should be accomplished are murky at best. This webinar will help sort out the nature of relationships with other organizations when federal funding is involved and help participants chart prudent and effective courses of action. Learn more