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Managing Deficits for Sponsored Research Funds

Deficit Definition: The amount by which final cumulative expenditures exceed the budget amount after final reconciliation by OPAFS* (see link below for more info). This can be caused by: 1) expenditures beyond the authorized amount by the sponsor; 2) non-payment by the sponsor even if expenditures are within original authorized amount (see Cash Deficit below), or 3) untimely submission of FER in which case, OPAFS only bills or draws cash per ledger for final reports without final FER.



Deficit is expected to be cleared by Departments within 120 days of the award end date.  

Transferring/clearing deficits

Deficits may be cleared by either a write off journal or expense cost transfers (non-salary and salary). OPAFS can prepare the write off journal for Departments with an unrestricted index provided. For help with cost transfers, see link below:


Deficits that remain after 120 days will be moved by OPAFS to fund 69975A -Sponsored Research Deficits so that the research fund can be inactivated.

  • OPAFS will create one index for each ORG with deficits
  • A notification about the journal moving the deficit will be sent to the Department fund/fiscal manager from OPAFS after processing.
  • If a fund is expecting an amendment or pending final transactions at 120 days, Departments need to inform OPAFS so that OPAFS will postpone moving the deficit

Cash Deficits

On occasion, sponsor’s non-payment for amount billed may result in a deficit. Non-payment may occur for a variety of reasons.

When OPAFS has exhausted all attempts to collect payment and the outstanding account receivable amount is deemed uncollectible, OPAFS will:

  • Provide the finalized amount paid by the sponsor to the Department
  • Do a budget de-allocation to match the amount of cash the sponsor has paid
  • Move the deficit to fund 69975A