An unexpended balance is a result of awarded funds not being spent. That is to say that the total expenditures for a project are less than the amount awarded. If a sponsor has paid for the entire award then there could be cash remaining. If a sponsor is one that we invoice then there could be awarded, but yet to be paid, funds remaining.
There are certain circumstances that allow the University to keep and/or carryforward the remaining, or unspent, funds. Usually OSP (Office of Sponsored Programs) will identify an award as one where the University having the authority to retain unexpended balances. OSP will pass the information onto GCA (Grant and Contract Accounting) through the eFA (electronic funding action) process.
If OSP has not designated whether the University can keep and/or carryforward unexpended balances, approval may need to be obtained from the sponsor. If the project with the unexpended balance has a continuation budget (the continuation of a project under a separate budget number) it is possible to have the unexpended balance moved to the new budget number. If the project with the unexpended balance is a fixed price, or clinical trial, grant or contract, it is possible to move the unexpended funds to a corresponding department surplus account. If the budget with the unexpended balance is neither a fixed price, nor a clinical trial, has no continuation budget, and the University does not have the authority to keep and/or carryforward the balance, GCA will return the funds to the sponsor.