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Oracle, the Oxford University finance system, is set up to restrict awards/projects from overspending on the total budget available. However the finance system does not currently record staff commitments, so the total commitments are not an accurate reflection of all the commitments prior to the award/project end date. The Finance Administrator runs monthly award status reports for all active grants. The report shows:

Top Section

Shows the Award/Project information (including start and end dates)

Column Headers Key

Expenditure Category

Displays all categories with Budget Headings or with Expenditure

Rollup Category

Displays the top level categories


Shows the total Budget for the Award/Project combination for the duration of the Award


Shows expenditure up to the period selected in the parameters


Shows all Commitments on the Project (except salary commitments)

Total Cost

Shows the total cost including (actual plus commitments)

Funds available

Shows the amount of budget remaining per Expenditure Category

Actual Cost Summary

Shows monthly expenditure for the months selected in the parameters

Grand Totals

The sum of all column headings is recorded in the Grand Total line (this includes Overheads and net contributions)

Prior to circulation the award status reports are reviewed by the administration team to check that:

  • Announced start and end dates are correct.
  • Salary budgets are sufficient until the end of the award.
  • All expenditures are allowable under the budget for the award/project.
  • The sponsor's terms and conditions permit the expenditure.
  • The overhead budget is not overspent and overheads are being processed each month where there is an overhead budget and spend has been incurred.
  • The overall funds available will be sufficient until the end of the project.

The Finance Administrator creates workbooks with Award Status Reports for each Principal Investigator (PI), which are sent via e-mail attachment to the PI or other member of the PI's group (agreed by the PI in advance) once a month for their review.