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Closing Overview

GCA begins closing an award line after the award line expires and the Final Action Date (FAD) has passed.

Closing Process at a Glance:

  1. The PI and department staff should closely review their award and work with GCA to ensure that all expenditures are posted and allowable prior to any reporting or invoicing deadlines.
  2. When the award, expenditures, cash, and revenue are all equal, all payments have been received from the sponsor, all encumbrances have been cleared, and any cost sharing commitment has been met, GCA closes the award line by changing its Award Line Lifecycle Status to Closed. Once all award lines are closed, GCA will change the overall award's Award Lifecycle Status to Closed.

NOTE: GCA will not close an award line if notified by the department of a pending extension or a supplement/extension.


How Departments Can Support the Closing Process

GCA endeavors to close award lines in a timely manner because the longer an award line remains open due to an unresolved issue, the more difficult it becomes to resolve it. For example, staff turnover at either the department or the sponsor's offices can lead to a loss of institutional memory necessary to correct cost share issues, resolve unpaid invoices, etc. These issues can in turn jeopardize UW's ongoing relationship with the sponsor. We therefore ask you to partner with us to ensure a timely and smooth closing.

Know Your Final Action Date

The Final Action Date (FAD) is the date by which the department needs to complete all transactions related to a budget or inform GCA of the exact dollar amount and spend category of any expected late-posting charges, credits, or transfers. The FAD is calculated to allow the PI and their department to charge allowable expenditures after the end date while providing GCA with time to complete the final reconciliation. The FAD is posted in Award Portal.

GCA begins work on final invoices and financial reports as soon as the FAD has passed without departmental notification. If you expect late-posting charges or credits, you must inform GCA no later than the Final Action Date. Failure to comply with the Final Action Date may result in a deficit and/or jeopardize UW's relationship with the sponsor.

NOTE: The Pending Transaction Detail Form was retired on 2/7/23, and does need not be submitted with your late charge/credit notification.

Respond to GCA Requests to Resolve Outstanding Issues

The following issues may prevent your budget from being in balance and ready for closeout:

Open Invoices
If GCA hasn't yet received all payments due from the sponsor, the award line cannot be closed. While GCA sends monthly delinquency notices for most past due payments, the department may be asked to follow up with the sponsor, since in many cases they respond better to a more personal contact. If your department receives communication from a sponsor refusing to pay an invoice, please inform GCA immediately.

Open Encumbrances
An award line cannot be closed if it has one or more open encumbrances.

Unmet Cost Share
An award line cannot be closed it if has an unmet cost share commitment. Learn more about the cost share process.

An award line cannot be closed if it has a deficit balance. To resolve a deficit on a sub budget, please submit an Award Portal ticket using the Closing topic. If unallowable costs have caused a deficit, an accounting adjustment should be processed instead. See Grant & Contract Deficit Procedures for explanations of different deficit situations.

Residual Balances (formerly Fixed Price Surplus Transfers)
An award line cannot be closed when the cash received exceeds the total expenditures. In most cases, GCA will issue a refund to the sponsor, then close the award line. Less frequently, UW may retain the residual balance (typically with clinical trial awards or fixed price contracts). GCA transfers these balances to a residual balance stand-alone grant worktag.

GCA may contact your department about these issues via Award Portal. Please respond to these requests as soon as possible.

Closing Resources