Ask an Expert: How Should We Track Our Federal Funds?

Hi, I’m new to the health center world and I’m reading the Compliance Manual and Protocol in the Financial Management and Accounting System and it talks about documenting the use of Federal Funds. I believe it’s Element B.  We are small and use QuickBooks, but I also just use an Excel Spreadsheet to track federal funds.  What do you suggest?

Hi and welcome to the Community Health Center Family!!  Thank you so much for your question.  You are correct!  The Compliance Manual and OSV Protocol (Chapter 15, Financial Management and Accounting Systems, Element B) does require that a health center keep track of their federal award in their practice management system. 

Please note that it says your financial management “system”; so while you may use an Excel spreadsheet as well, that will probably not meet compliance with this element.  I’m happy you are using an actual system. 

In implementing this requirement, HRSA states that “it’s the health center to determine the accounting software and related systems to use for financial management”. 

There are certain things you need to have in order to track your federal award.  If you look at the footnote in the HRSA Compliance Manual (pg. 61, footnote #4), it states that within your accounting system you need to account for the following:  Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).  You can find this on your Notice of Financial Award (NOFA) that HRSA provides to you. 

In addition, you also need to track the title of the grant, Federal Award identification, the year and the name of the HHS awarding agency (in this instance, this would be HRSA).

I would strongly recommend using your accounting system that is automated to use this to track your federal award. Hope this helps! For more information on this and the footnote, please look at: https://bphc.hrsa.gov/programrequirements/compliancemanual/chapter-15.html#titletop 

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