Learn about audits on sponsored projects at Columbia University.


As part of the conditions of accepting sponsored projects, the University is subject to various audits of its financial records and processes. Principal Investigators (PIs) and Departmental Administrators (DAs), as the primary stewards of sponsored projects, are key stakeholders in ensuring compliance throughout the lifecycle of sponsored projects, and assisting with the response to audit inquiries as they arise.

Throughout the life of a sponsored project, Principal Investigators (PIs) and Departmental Administrators (DAs) are expected to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations and policies, including the terms and conditions of the award; federal, state and sponsor regulations; and University policies and procedures.

Audits of sponsored projects take various forms, including the annual Uniform Guidance audit, sponsor-specific audits, project-specific audits, and internal audits. The University has a centralized process for handling audits. All audits are managed by the Office of the Controller in close coordination with the applicable PIs and DAs, Sponsored Projects Administration, Sponsored Projects Finance, and the Office of General Counsel.

Any PI or DA who is the recipient of an audit or audit-like inquiry must, within five business days of receiving the inquiry, notify the following administrators and administrative offices:

  • The Senior Business Officer (SBO) of the applicable department or school
  • The Office of the Controller
  • Sponsored Projects Administration

The foregoing administrators and administrative offices will coordinate with the applicable PI, department, and school to determine the appropriate level of support needed in responding to the inquiry.



Contact your Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF) Finance and Compliance Manager for information about the project closure process.

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