Monthly Review and Quarterly Certification of Expenditures


The purpose of PI quarterly review and certification is to confirm that all expenses charged to the account are allowable, allocable to the project, and reasonable. The certification of salary expenditures confirms that salaries charged to the account are supported by a corresponding expenditure of effort during the time period being certified. The certification also assures that other expenditures are for items or services purchased and used during the project period as specified by the award.

University policy RPH 3.2: Management of Project Expenditures requires a quarterly review and certification of expenditures for sponsored project and cost sharing accounts by the Principal Investigator.

The Quarterly PI Review

  1. The PI has overall responsibility for the technical and fiscal management of a sponsored project. This includes the management of the project within funding limitations, adherence to reporting requirements and assurance that the sponsor will be notified when significant conditions related to project status change. 
  2. While responsibility for the day-to-day management of project finances may be delegated to administrative or other staff, accountability for compliance with Stanford policy and sponsor requirements ultimately rests with the PI.
  3. Quarterly Certification cannot be delegated. It must be done by the Principal Investigator. (Monthly review can be done by a knowledgeable administrative staff member).
  4. Faculty who are not Principal Investigators and whose salary is charged to sponsored projects must review and certify their payroll distribution.
  5. Expenditures must be reviewed and certified in the ecertification system by the certification due date, which is approximately 75 days after the end of the academic quarter being certified.
  6. The following certification statement appears in the eCertification System.
    As the principal investigator I confirm that to the best of my knowledge, salary and wages charged to this project are appropriate in relation to work performed on this project. All other costs charged to this project are, to the best of my knowledge, appropriate. Where required, corrections have been or will be made through the accounting system.

The Monthly Research Administrator Review

  1. Research administrators must reconcile expenditures on sponsored projects and cost sharing accounts monthly.
  2.  In addition, the Research Administrator must record/verify that review quarterly in the eCertification system. Review is expected to be completed before the quarterly certification by the PI. Any questionable charges must be brought promptly to the PI's attention, and, if needed, corrected by an appropriate transfer. Transfers should be initiated as soon as possible after a need has been identified. The Research Administrator will acknowledge the following attestation in the eCertification system.
    •  I have reviewed the three months of expenditures for this quarter. To the best of my knowledge, all expenditures are appropriate. Where required, corrections have been or will be made through the accounting system. I understand that to be considered timely all corrections must be made in accordance with RPH 15.8, Cost Transfers for Sponsored Projects.  

The eCertification System

The eCertification system supports a single consolidated review and certification process for managing sponsored project expenditures and cost sharing commitments.  Visit the ORA Website's eCertification page for complete information about eCert access and capabilities.