Closing Out Your Grant

All good things must end, including your project. Before you say your final good-byes to your program, there are a few steps to take to properly close out your grant.

Reporting to the Funding Agency

Most sponsors require a final, comprehensive project report bringing closure to the project. There are normally two parts to this report: (1) a project report describing how well the project met its goals, and, (2) a financial report detailing project expenditures. There is usually a firm due date by which the report should reach the agency. The basic contract or grant award document contains detailed instructions on termination procedures and final reporting. Although not always a requirement, you should include reprints of any published articles generated by the supported project. The Grants Administration Office can help you interpret the requirements.

Financial Reporting - Steps

Step 1: Both the Grants Administration Office and the University Controller's Office must be notified first of the closeout and should be involved in the close out process.

Step 2: the University Accounting Office will prepare the final financial report. Prior to completion of this report, the grant account must be balanced, (revenues=expenses). If there is a deficit or unspent funds, please contact the University Controller for assistance in closing out the deficit or surplus in a timely manner.

Step 3: Once the project is ended and the accounting is completed, the grant or contract project will be closed out on the University Financial Records System (FRS) by the University Accounting Office.

Step 4: At this point, the following additional offices need to be notified that the project has ended and the assigned account has been closed:

  1. University Convenience Copy Services
  2. University Food Service
  3. University Payroll Services
  4. University Postage Services
  5. University Purchasing Services
  6. University Telephone Services
  7. Any other special University Services involved with the project

Step 5: Usually, a final narrative summary is required within ninety days of completion of the project. Copies of that report should be sent to the funding agency and to the Grants Administration Office.

Requesting an Extension

If you feel it is not feasible to complete the project by the end of the designated period and you have funds remaining in your account, you may want to request a one time no-cost extension. Procedures for requesting an extension vary according to the type of award and the funder. The request must be submitted in writing at least 60 days prior to the project termination date, and approved by the Grants Administration Office prior to submittal to the federal or other sponsoring agency. If you spend funds after the closing date of the grant without receiving approval in advance from the funding source, the agency is likely to refuse reimbursement to the University. Be sure to send a copy of any extension request to the University Controller.

Records Retention

As a general rule, GVSU is required to retain all records pertaining to a grant or contract project for up to seven years. The University Accounting Office retains original accounting records, purchase orders, invoices, personnel files, payroll records and other official documents. As Project Director, you need to retain correspondence and data for seven years as well. The time period required for retention of records is often stipulated in the funding award notice. The Grants Administration Office or the University Controller can help you with this portion of the project.