Frequently Asked Questions

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Grant and contract budgets automatically close to status 3 after their Final Action Dates have passed. Departments may request status 3 prior to that point to block further expenditures on a budget (e.g. to keep a budget from falling into deficit) via a Grant Tracker request.

Closing a grant or contract is the final step in the life of a project. Once the grant or contract has expired, or all of the activity is complete, GCA can start the budget closing process.

GCA begins the closing process after the Final Action Date has passed, any final reporting and/or invoicing requirements have been met, and all sponsor payments have been received. The department may request an early closeout via Grant Tracker.

Our goal is to close a budget within 120 days of its end date. However, closeout may be delayed by a variety of unresolved issues--e.g. an unresolved deficit or surplus balance, open encumbrances, incomplete cost share reporting, or open invoicing.


The Record Retention Trigger Date visible in Grant Tracker, is the date used to signify the beginning of the record retention period for grants and contracts. This “record retention countdown” begins when any one of the following events occur:

  • A final Financial Status Reports (FSR) is submitted to the sponsor.
  • A final Invoice is submitted to the sponsor when an additional FSR is not required.
  • Budget Closeout, when the final budget reconciliation is completed and the sponsor does not require an FSR or final invoice.


In most cases, the answer is "no." However, the answer is "yes" if your award falls into one of the following categories:

  • a clinical trial award
  • a firm fixed price contract
  • has written sponsor approval to keep the unspent the balance

Unspent balances from sponsored program awards must be transferred to a residual balance worktag. Please give GCA your residual balance worktag, and we will transfer the balance when we close the award line. If the surplus is greater than 25% of the award amount, you must provide a justification. (In rare cases, surpluses in budgets other than clinical trials or fixed price contracts may be retained, but only with explicit written authorization from the sponsor.)

If you need a new residual balance worktag, follow the process in the Worktag Template UW connect article. If you have a question about residual balance worktags, contact the UW Finance Operations (Fin Ops) team.

Visit our Closing Your Award webpage for more information.

It depends on the sponsor and the award. Please review your award agreement and/or sponsor policies for more information. If they are silent on carryforward, GCA will require written sponsor authorization to carry a balance or deficit forward.

If for any reason your sponsor is cutting off your project before the original, agreed-upon end date, or if your PI is leaving UW employment and transferring their grants to their new institution, you must work with OSP to create an early termination PAC. GCA cannot update the budget's end date or send the sponsor a final report or invoice until we receive such a PAC. In the absence of such a PAC, we are obliged to follow the original final reporting or invoicing schedule. However, we can immediately put the budget in status 3 to prevent additional transactions from posting. You may request status 3 and inform us an early termination PAC is in process via Grant Tracker.

If a sub budget and its parent have the same end date, it is GCA's practice to close both budgets to status 4 at the same time. We can, however, close a sub budget to status 3 at any time to prevent additional transactions from posting.

If you wish to close a sub budget completely more than six months before the parent budget's end date, please request closeout via Grant Tracker.

If a sub-budget was created for funds restricted for a specific purpose, any funds remaining in that sub-budget remain restricted for that purpose. When the sub budget is closed out, those funds will be restricted on the parent budget in 37-99.

Note: the Transpasu form is NOT required to close a sub budget and return its remaining balance to the parent. Use it if you wish to keep the sub budget open while transferring part of its funding back to its parent.

Know your Final Action Date (FAD), which is listed on the Grant Tracker Budget Information page. If any charges have not posted on or before that date, you MUST notify GCA of the charges by that date, or we will not be able to include them in the final report or invoice, and the charges will become a deficit to the department.

If you are expecting a no-cost extension or a supplement/extension (adding additional funds to the budget), you may notify GCA via the Closing topic in Grant Tracker. We will then flag the budget to prevent it from being closed to status 4. However, we cannot extend the end date unless we receive an Extension PAC (for no-cost extensions) or a Supplement/Extension FA (when additional funding is to be added) from OSP. If you are confident you will receive the extension but expect sponsor approval to be delayed, you may ask OSP to provide an Temporary Budget Extension PAC to extend the budget end date with a department budget as backup in case the extension is denied.

The UW fiscal system codes each budget in one of four statuses, which define the transaction types that can and cannot be posted to the budget.

  • Status 1: Open to revenue and expenditures--i.e. a fully active budget.
  • Status 2: Closed to expenditures, open to revenue. Rarely used for grant/contract budgets. The main exception is when a parent budget is set up to receive funding, but 100% of that funding is then allocated to sub budgets where the actual expenditures will take place.
  • Status 3: Closed to all expenditures and revenue, but still allows for Journal Vouchers on grant and contract budgets. This is a preliminary closeout status automatically applied after the Final Action Date (or earlier at department request). Although this status allows for expense transfers, please notify GCA immediately if you plan to make transfers after the Final Action Date. We need an accurate picture of total expenditures at that point in order to submit correct and timely final invoices and/or reports.
  • Status 4: Fully closed. The budget number is inactive and will purge from the system at the next biennium close.

A budget with a short window for final invoicing and/or reporting will generate an early Final Action Date (FAD). Most sponsors allow 60-90 days after the award end date to complete final invoicing or reporting, which generates a FAD over a month after the end date.

However, if the sponsor allows 30 days or fewer, the FAD window will also be short. GCA recognizes that this short turn-around time produces challenges for departments, especially for procard charges, travel reimbursements, subaward invoices, and other charges where expenditures post after they are incurred. However, if you follow the procedure below for pending charges, credits, or transfers, we can incorporate these transactions.

If your budget's Final Action Date (FAD) is approaching or has already passed, please notify GCA of any pending charges ASAP by submitting the Pending Transactions Detail Form via Grant Tracker. This will allow us to incorporate the charges into our final invoice and/or report.

If the final invoice or report has already been issued, you will also need to provide written sponsor confirmation that they will accept a revised final invoice or report.