Explore the five (5) tracks being offered at this year's iSRA Financial Management Conference.
Grant Accounting: This track is designed to provide training and development in all matters related to the allocation of expenses to sponsored projects, financial monitoring and adjustments of active awards, financial regulations and compliance, and sponsor reporting. The primary goal is for this track to build core capacities in early-career grant accountants and cultivate more profound understanding and nuances to more complex financial topics for advanced learners. Basic training sessions topics could include monitoring expenditures, cost transfers, portfolio management, and monthly closes, financial reporting, managing accounts receivable, drawing down funds from federal sponsors, and final financial reporting. Additionally, consideration should be given to including these topics as they relate to different sponsor types (Federal, non-profit, commercial) and different award/agreement types (cost-reimbursable vs. fixed-price, clinical trial agreements, sub-recipients, etc.). Intermediate and advanced topics could include all of the above topics considered through the perspective of managers, directors, and senior leadership. Hot topics and updates to changes in regulations and methodologies will be very beneficial to the professional community. Particular emphasis could be placed on managing accounts receivable, collaborating with department administrators, ERP system management, and closing out awards.
Departmental Administration Finance: This track is focused on building skills for department administrators who work directly with Principal Investigators and research teams. Sessions within this track should help early-career DAs develop foundational principles such as allowability, allocability, and consistency when making charges to sponsored projects, understanding Uniform Guidance, allocating and managing effort, differences between managing fixed-price and cost-reimbursable awards, portfolio management, sub-recipient monitoring, managing specific funding mechanisms (i.e., career development awards, fellowships, cooperative agreements, training grants, etc.), and residual balance transfers. Intermediate and advanced topics in this area could be focused on emerging hot topics, inter-departmental collaboration, financial reporting, effort reporting, institutional base salaries, data management and shadow systems, and managing cost transfers.
Non-Financial Post-Award: This track is designed to cover all non-financial activities related to sponsored projects from the period immediately after an award has been received through final sponsor reporting. Early career professionals would benefit from sessions on topics including budget set-up, regulatory compliance, managing financial conflict of interest, effort reporting, sponsor prior authorizations (regulations and requests), preparing and submitting progress reports, and final scientific and invention reporting. Advanced sessions could take deeper dives into these areas and also explore nuances within these areas by focusing on specific sponsor and award mechanisms.
Financial Leadership: This track provides an opportunity to engage current and future leaders of finance in training and conversations about managing diverse teams of grant accountants, A/R specialists, IT groups, and costing experts. Sessions could include professional development of leadership skills, strategies, and approaches to change management, strategic planning, and project management. Additionally, leadership sessions on organizational structures, managing complex personality types, management, and leadership styles, building team cohesion, crisis management, and mentoring may be of interest to this group of professionals.
Advanced Finance Topics: This track should consist of sessions and panel discussions to provide advanced training and stimulate conversation on complex, pressing challenges facing finance specialists and senior financial leaders. Topic areas may include managing F&A and fringe benefit rate development and negotiations, managing A/R, ERP system implementations, and upgrades, and creating, managing, and refining chart of accounts, financial close-out projects, data migration for new and upgraded IT systems, and service center rate development and maintenance. Policy and procedure development, collaborating with Central finance, and petty cash management (philosophy, systems, etc.) may be of interest to this community. *