The Sponsored Project Lifecycle
There are various activities associated with closing out a sponsored project or award. There are usually reporting obligations to the sponsor, financial reconciliations, forms and reports for the institution, and account closeout tasks which must be completed.
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Overview Accordion Closed
Prudent financial management of sponsored accounts includes timely and accurate reporting to sponsors and account/award close out. These functions are tested as part of the annual OMB single audit as well as by other sponsoring agencies when requested.
Closing an award out is a collective process with close communication between the PI and/or department and the Office of Sponsored Projects. The Final Expense Report (FER) was created to enable this process to be streamlined, efficient, provide direction with the result of a clean close out within the 90 day window of time allowed by most sponsors. As the project nears the end date, it is important to review all costs, remove any unallowable charges, and update coding for any recurring charges.
Final Invoices and Reports Accordion Closed
Final Invoices and Reports
90 days prior to the award end date the OSP will advise the department and PI that a sponsored project will be ending. The Fund Manager will prepare Financial Expense Report (FER) then forward the form electronically to the department financial manager and the PI. This process will repeat 60 and 30 days prior to the award end date. For 45 days after the end date the Fund Manager will continue to work closely with the PI ensuring the department is actively in the close out processes and to address any issues of fiscal compliance that maybe discovered.
As part of the close out process, the local administrator needs to do the following (if necessary):
- Notify internal service centers and payroll of an account change for recurring costs such as printing, telephone, postage and salary/fringe.
- Promptly transfer all erroneous charges, clearing any deficits and charges past the projects end date.
In most cases for federal awards, final financial reports must be submitted within 90 days from the award end date, and within 60 days for final invoices. Non-federal deadlines may vary by sponsor.
Deficits Accordion Closed
Deficits occur when cumulative expenses exceed the amount awarded by the sponsor and could be considered voluntary uncommitted cost sharing. It is the responsibility of the local unit to transfer deficits out of sponsored awards promptly.
Unallowable and Un-allocable Costs Accordion Closed
Unallowable and Un-allocable Costs
Unallowable and un-allocable costs are defined as sponsored project expenditures that are not in compliance with the OMB Uniform Guidance, University policy, or specific sponsor terms and conditions. If audited such costs may give the appearance of inadequate financial controls and stewardship of sponsored funds at the University.
Potential unallowable/un-allocable cost areas:
- Restricted purchases without proper authorization from the sponsor and/or the University.
- Costs that would normally be indirect but are charged as direct costs without proper justification or demonstration of unlike circumstances. Two examples of this are office supplies and clerical/administrative salaries.
- Charges found to be out of compliance with the reasonability and allocability provisions of the OMB Uniform Guidance.
- Post-term charges as previously described, specifically charges not incurred for activities within the award period.
These expenditures are prime candidates for disallowance, and the local unit will be consulted to substantiate them. If these charges cannot be justified, then the local unit may be required to remove them.