GCA's goal is to close budgets to Status 4 within 120 days of a grant or contract budget's end date.
Budget closeout begins after:
- The grant or contract expires; and
The Final Action Date (FAD) has passed.
The closing process at a glance:
- 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.
- 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 budget by changing it to Status 4.
NOTE: GCA will not close a budget to Status 4 if they have been notified by the department of an extension or supplement/extension in process.
How the Department Can Support the Closing Process
GCA endeavors to close budgets to status 4 within 120 days because the longer a budget 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 account code of any expected late-posting charges, credits, or transfers. The FAD is calculated to allow the PI and his or her department to charge allowable expenditures after the end date while providing GCA with time to complete the final reconciliation. The FAD is posted on GrantTracker.
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, or these charges or credits will not be included in your final invoice or report.
Failure to comply with the Final Action Date will lead to inaccurate final invoices and reports, which may put your budget in deficit and/or jeopardize UW's relationship with the sponsor.
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 budget cannot be closed. While GCA sends monthly delinquency notices for all past due payments, the department may be asked to follow up with the sponsor, because in many cases they respond better to a more personal contact. If the department receives communication from a sponsor refusing to pay an invoice, please let GCA know immediately.
- Open Encumbrances
A budget cannot be closed if it has one or more open encumbrances. The encumbrance code table lists contacts for liquidating the different types of encumbrances.
- Unmet Cost Share
A budget cannot be closed it if has an unmet cost share pledge. Learn more about the cost share process.
- Award and Revenue Out of Balance
A budget cannot be closed if the award and revenue amounts are out of balance. Award-revenue imbalances can arise from a variety of issues, and the GCA closing team will contact the department if there is a need to reverse or correct a transaction to bring the budget into balance.
A budget cannot be closed if it has a deficit balance. For parent or standalone grant budgets, you can resolve a deficit using the GrantTracker Deficit Transfer tool. To resolve a deficit on a sub budget, please submit a GrantTracker request in the Closing topic. For more information, see Deficit Transfer Instructions. If unallowable costs have caused a deficit, a MyFD cost transfer should be processed instead. See Grant & Contract Deficit Procedures for explanations of different deficit situations.
- Surplus Balances
A budget cannot be closed when the cash on hand exceeds the total expenditure amount. In most cases, GCA will issue a refund to the sponsor, then close the budget. Less frequently, UW may retain the surplus balance (typically with clinical trial awards or fixed price contracts). These balances are transferred to a departmental fixed price surplus budget when GCA closes the grant or contract budget. For more information on this process, see Fixed Price Surplus Budgets.
GCA closing staff may contact the department about these issues via GrantTracker. Please respond to these requests as soon as possible.