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Research: Closeout

Learn how to prepare for final or annual agency reporting for a sponsored project award.

Report requirements

Most agencies require the University to submit a final invoice or financial report when a project ends. Some also require reports annually or at the end of each budget period. Other reports (progress, technical, patent, equipment, etc.) may also be required by the agency and are the responsibility of the department to ensure submission for agency closeout.

OPAFS and department responsibilities

 The Office of Post Award Financial Services (OPAFS) is responsible for preparing these reports, submitting them, and certifying on behalf of the University that project expenditures comply with agency financial terms and conditions. If you manage sponsored project funds for your department, you assist in this process by following the guidelines below:

  • Review award documents for reporting deadlines (usually 30, 60, or 90 days after the end date of a project or budget period).
  • Perform a preliminary review of expenditures 60 days before the project ends, and perform a final review of the ledger 30 days after the project end date. Be sure to:
    • Review unliquidated obligations and encumbrances. Determine which incurred expenses won't post to the ledger by the end of the project period. Determine which encumbrances should be lifted and which should be charged to the project.
    • Review account codes for unallowable expenses. Without agency approval, those expenses must be removed from the fund.
    • Verify that the award budget and specific expense limitations haven't been exceeded. Many agencies require that expenses conform to the award budget or have spending limits on specific categories. Without agency approval, expenses that exceed the budget must be removed from the fund.
    • If the total budget balance is in overdraft, transfer the expense overruns off the fund.
    • If there is a budget unexpended balance, review the award policy. Your options may include:
  • Review subsequent expenses (those posted after the end date). Verify that they legitimately apply to the project and were incurred before the end date.
  • Confirm that all appropriate expenses have been posted to the fund.
  • Make sure that all expenses comply with award terms and are appropriate to the project.
  • Confirm expenditures reported on FER match the ledger within 120 days after the award end date.
  • OPAFS will initiate final closeout steps, including fund inactivation, as soon as possible after the final expenses have posted to the ledger with the goal of inactivating the fund by 120 days after the end date.
  • Help the appropriate OPAFS award accountant get final reports submitted on time by: