May 6, 2022
Y4Y’s course on fiscal management is at your fingertips for those last-minute worries around annual reporting. Check out quick links to frequent questions asked and answered! Y4Y has new tools for guidance specific to the financial aspects of program management, such as the Fiscal Management for 21st CCLC Planning Checklist and Inventory Worksheet and Sample Tracking Form, but don’t forget to consult the Managing Your 21st CCLC course and its list of tools as well.
At this reporting stage of your grant year, your fiscal planning should all be in place and almost fully implemented. If you haven’t been reconciling your budget records with those of your accounting department each month, make catching up on this critical step your first priority. Review and correct any discrepancies with your accounting department.
You may have been submitting financial reports — likely quarterly — throughout the year, depending on your state’s requirements. One lesson you may have taken from this practice is to make drawdowns at least quarterly, if not monthly, so you can gauge your expenditures and encumbered funds in as close to real time as possible. Do one last check against those cost principles — were all expenses allowable, allocable, reasonable, and consistently applied? Be sure that any other funding stream was accounted for separately, as each probably has different restrictions.
Were amendments made to your budget? Make sure you have easy access to all relevant documentation and communication around those amendments. Remember: anything above a 10% change between line items requires approval (but check with your state — the threshold may be even smaller). Stay on top of this step in advance of final accounting. Last-minute budget amendments may be interpreted by your state leadership as poor planning, but it’s still better to seek approval than to be out of compliance with your expenditures.
How might you spend down any remaining funds? Supplies, such as those needed for your summer programming, are an excellent option. Y4Y’s Sample Procurement Packet may be a useful tool. But be sure goods and services are delivered to your program site before the close of the grant year. Excess funds in your personnel line item? Y4Y’s Sample Time and Effort Report is a key tool for documenting in this area. Check in with your program team about best options for boosting staff morale with meaningful trainings to show your investment in them before the year closes out.
Final reporting in your state may include a continuation grant application. Especially if your state decreased funding in later years, be sure your program team has a sustainability plan. This plan not only helps you fulfill your state’s requirements; it also provides a seamless bridge to the future of your program, not just to the next fiscal year, but beyond.
Communication with your state coordinator is key at this time of year. Be sure to check in with them along the way for reassurance, tips, and any modifications to the reporting process. It’s not just their job to make sure you’re “doing it right,” — it’s their job to make sure you succeed. Your 21st CCLC program played an essential role in student reengagement and academic recovery this year, and you’re making a positive difference. Make sure the numbers tell that story!