How GCA obtains payment from the sponsor depends on a grant’s Form of Payment. Sponsor payment types fall into three broad categories:

1. Pay in Advance

The sponsor provides payment in full for the award via check or bank transfer at the time of award setup.

2. Letter of Credit

Most, though not all, federal awards use Letter of Credit payment systems. With a Letter of Credit, rather than UW invoicing the sponsor or receiving payment in advance, the awarding agency allows UW access to pull funds directly via a bank-to-bank transfer up to the awarded amount as expenditures are incurred. This process is often referred to as drawing the funds. Occasionally an agency may contact the PI over concerns that the award is not being drawn down fast enough or over an apparent discrepancy between our withdrawals and the expenditure totals in our fiscal reports. If this happens, please send GCA a GrantTracker under the Sponsor Payments topic or forward the sponsor’s message to

3. Invoicing

Most non-federal sponsors (and federal contracts) require some form of invoicing from UW in order to issue payments. The three types of invoice GCA issues are:

  • Cost reimbursable – The department incurs expenditures,and GCA invoices the sponsor based on the schedule in the award agreement (usually either monthly or quarterly). These invoices are generally issued on or around the 10th of the month following the invoice period to align with the prior month's close and payroll.  Note that expenditures must post to UW’s system of record (FIN/MyFinancial.desktop) in order to be included on an invoice. Please review your budget regularly to confirm expenditures are posting correctly so that our invoices will accurately reflect award activity.
  • Scheduled Payment – The sponsor issues payments on a set schedule regardless of the department’s expenditure level or deliverables completed. When required, GCA issues invoices to trigger these payments.
  • Milestone – The sponsor pays based on completion of deliverables listed in the award agreement. The department must notify GCA when a deliverable is met to let us know an invoice is due.

Foreign Currency Payments

Please see our guide for special concerns related to currency conversion in managing these awards.

Final Invoices and Late-Posting Expenditures

Awards that require cost reimbursable invoicing require a final invoice, typically due 30-60 days after the award period ends. This invoice covers any previously unbilled charges incurred during the award period that post to the budget after its end date, such as Procard charges, travel reimbursement or subcontract payments.

Please make every effort to ensure all charges have posted to your budget on or before the Final Action Date. If any charges have NOT posted by then, you MUST notify GCA via the Invoicing topic on GrantTracker, as the final invoice will normally be issued shortly after the Final Action Date. Please include the exact dollar amount and object/sub-object code for each pending charge.

When Departmental Input is required

  • Special formats: Occasionally a sponsor’s desired invoice format requires departmental input, such as the PI’s signature or a summary of the work completed during the invoice period. In these cases GCA will notify the department via GrantTracker when an invoice is ready for their input.
  • Milestones: The department must notify GCA when a milestone deliverable has been completed.
  • Backup:
    • Sponsors may requires a level of backup on every invoice that GCA cannot provide (e.g. copies of all receipts or timesheets). If this applies to your budget, GCA will notify the department via GrantTracker when each invoice is ready so that you can attach the necessary backup and send the invoice and backup to the sponsor.
    • Sponsors may also request ad hoc backup for an individual invoice. This is most common when there are unexpected charges (e.g. expenditures in categories not included in the award budget or much higher or lower expenses than in previous periods) or when there are travel charges. If the sponsor contacts the department directly, please provide the backup they request. If they instead contact GCA, we will forward the request to the department.
  • Clinical Trial Budgets:The department is entirely responsible for invoicing.

Invoicing FAQ

For more information, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page.