Government agencies have historically viewed grants management as a purely administrative activity that typically relies on manual, paper based processes to track and report on the allocation and distribution of granted funds. But the regulatory landscape is rapidly changing. With the implementation of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), the federal government instituted an unprecedented level of reporting rigor that is designed to improve the public’s understanding of how grant funds are allocated and spent. With the implementation of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) this trend continues to expand to all types of federal grants and contracts.
Faced with these increased reporting requirements, and in light of these challenging economic times, organizations need to find innovative ways to improve efficiency and save time and money. By using technology to automate and simplify labor‐intensive tasks, eliminate redundancies and standardize business processes, organizations can meet these new transparency requirements while improving their own internal business functions.
Introduction to the Grants Management Lifecycle
A grant management solution is comprised of a series of modules that map to the major processes of the grant lifecycle. Some solutions choose to focus on specific aspects of the process, such as compliance reporting or accounting. Other solutions may focus on a full end‐to‐end process automation, providing organizations with the opportunity to integrate and standardize several grant programs and/or processes across their enterprise. Moreover, these solutions can integrate with existing systems for accounting, or with advanced business intelligence solutions like Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) that provide map‐based views of grant distributions. But understanding how the full grant lifecycle is structured can help organizations not only to understand how their immediate business needs can be met, but also to understand how a grant management solution can address future needs.
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