The NHMRC Funding Agreement requires Administering Institutions to submit an annual Financial Statement and a final year Financial Statement (Acquittal Statement) for each grant.
All Financial Statements must be submitted through RGMS through the Financial Report Upload method. There is only one method to submit Financial Statements through RGMS, This was previously known as the bulk upload but has been renamed the Financial Report Upload.
The Financial Reporting Section of the RGMS User Guide – Grant Administration has been developed to assist Finance Officers to upload Financial Statements through RGMS.
Financial Report Upload template - updated on1 January 2014
The March 2013 variation to the Funding Agreement removed the requirement, commencing 1 January 2013, for Administering Institutions to calculate interest earned on unspent NHMRC grant funds and attribute it to the relevant grants.
The Chief Financial Officer (or delegate) must certify that the accounts and records underlying the Financial Statements have been maintained in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards.
Submission of Reports
The Annual Financial Statement must be submitted to NHMRC by 30 April following each calendar year of funding. A final year Financial Statement must be submitted to NHMRC no later than six months after the funding period has been completed, or six months after termination of a grant or one month after the transfer of a grant. Failure to provide the report(s) within agreed timeframes will result in consideration being given to suspending payments to all active grants held by the Administering Institution until the report(s) have been submitted.
Unspent funds and Extensions to the Funding Period
In the final year of the Grant
If it is anticipated that the Research Activity will not be completed and that there will be unspent funds at the end of the approved Funding Period, a variation to extend the grant must be submitted to NHMRC, before the end date of the grant. Late extension requests are unlikely to be approved.
In other than the final year of the Grant
The revised Funding Agreement, effective 1 January 2014, removed the requirement for CIA Justification for carrying forward greater than 25% of the annual available funds.
NHMRC financial statements due after 1 January 2014 do not require CIA justification for the carry forward of funds; unless it is the final year of the Grant, then the Extend Grant Duration request must be submitted.
Final year Financial Statement
Acquittal refers to the process of assessing and reconciling the final Financial Statement at the conclusion of the funding or after the transfer of a grant to another Administering Institute. This process enables NHMRC to ascertain whether the Administering Institution has satisfied their obligations to manage the funds as required by the Funding Agreement or Deeds of Agreement. The total funding received for the duration of grant must be reported on a year by year basis. RGMS facilitates this reporting by building the financial reporting history of a grant as each year’s financial information is entered into RGMS. Where there are unspent funds at the end of the Funding Period NHMRC will raise an invoice to recover the unspent funds. Administering Institutions are to return unspent funds on receipt of the invoice.
From 2017 onwards when a Final Year Financial Statement is received that has a negative balance, that is where total expenditure reported over the life of the grant is greater than total grant income, the statement will be rejected.
Accepting Final Year Financial Statements with a negative impacts on NHMRC’s ability to accurately report total grant expenditure.
The Administering Institution will be required to resubmit the Final Year Financial Statement with a positive or zero balance.
NHMRC will continue to accept Annual Financial Statements with a negative balance as this can occur when expenditure occurs earlier than receipt of NHMRC funding.
Scholarship final year financial reporting
The process for acquitting a Scholarship (PhD or Masters) at the end of the approved funding period is identical to other grants. However, the $500 thesis allowance should be shown as spent in the acquittal. No financial report is required from an Administering Institution when the thesis is subsequently paid to the scholar as the funds have already been acquitted. Where there are unspent funds, other than the thesis allowance, at the time of the acquittal, these must be disclosed in the final year Financial Statement and will be recovered by NHMRC.