Office of Sponsored Programs - 600.03 - Principal Investigators and Departmental Administrators Financial Reporting Responsibilities


Office of Sponsored Programs - 600.03 - Principal Investigators and Departmental Administrators Financial Reporting Responsibilities


This operating standard describes general responsibilities for Principal Investigators (PIs) and Department Administrators (DAs) in maintaining essential data for reporting requirements.

Policy Statement

The PI is responsible for submitting programmatic reports by the deadlines established in the award agreement or contract, providing an explanation of the research progress, a summary of results, any publications stemming from the research, and other pertinent information, including an explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs.

When it is needed for preparation of financial reports to the sponsor, the PI provides information about program performance to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).

PIs and DAs must establish reliable departmental accounting practices for day-to-day financial monitoring of sponsored research projects in compliance with Federal regulations established in 2 CFR §200 Subpart E. The award terms and conditions detail the financial data that must be reported. The department establishes a tracking system (also known as a "shadow system") that reflects the sponsor’s requirements at the onset of the award.

The DA is responsible for performing a monthly comparison of the department’s records to the University records in ConnectCarolina and monitoring items that are not reflected there. Since the data reported in ConnectCarolina serves as the basis for financial reporting to the sponsor, it is critical that the department maintain current and accurate records. As a general rule, once a Project ID is assigned to a project, expenses should be incurred immediately and on a regular basis. This practice helps to ensure that expenses align with the progress of the project, therefore providing an accurate report to the sponsor.

PIs and DAs are also responsible for tracking cost sharing commitments as well as effort reporting using the University’s Effort Certification and Reporting Technology system (ecrt). PIs and DAs also oversee subrecipient accounts and activities to ensure compliance and timely reporting as established in the award terms and conditions.

Related Requirements

Unit Polices, Standards, & Procedures

Contact Information

For questions regarding this operating standard and its related procedure, please contact

For questions regarding Pre-Award management or Post-Award administration, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Specialist (SPS).

For invoicing, reporting and other financial matters, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Accountant. OSP Staff assignments are found in RAMSeS or on the OSP website.


History Table
Date Revision
07/01/2022 Revised to reflect the new office name.
05/15/2018 Revised to coincide with the release of the new OSP Website.

The operating standards in the Office of Sponsored Programs Operating Standards & Procedures Manual supersede any OSP operating standards, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.

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Article ID: 132331
Thu 4/8/21 9:28 PM
Thu 6/27/24 1:51 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Research-Office of Sponsored Programs
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Vice Chancellor
Policy Contact
Person who handles document management. Best person to contact for information about this policy. In many cases this is not the Issuing Officer. It may be the Policy Liaison, or another staff member.
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
01/19/2025 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
01/19/2024 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
07/01/2022 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
07/01/2022 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
03/31/2009 12:00 AM
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level