Project Close-out

The PI has responsibility for the technical and fiscal management of a sponsored project, and ultimately the orderly project closeout. The Office of Research Financial Services sends a number of letters described below to assist the PI in the vital financial close-out/termination process.

Pre-termination notification

A Pre-Termination letter from RFS is e-mailed out approximately 90 days prior to a project’s termination, is designed to initiate the PI’s review of the project financial activity, especially to clear encumbrances and finalize all relevant charges needed prior to project termination. This letter is informational and does not require the PI to return the letter to RFS. Department administrators/business managers also receive copies of the letter. The letter becomes part of the permanent financial records that are reviewed by internal and external auditors as well as applicable funding agencies.

Close-out letter

This letter notifies the PI that the project has ended and requests that he/she take the necessary steps to resolve any outstanding matters prior to termination (e.g., outstanding charges or issues that RFS needs to know about). A project summary report of expenditures covering the entire grant period is attached. This letter is a certification of expenditures for the entire project period and must be signed, dated, and returned to RFS by the PI within two weeks. Department administrators/business managers also receive copies of the letter. The signed letter becomes part of the permanent financial records that are reviewed by internal and external auditors as well as applicable funding agencies.

Financial close-out of award

To ensure that proper close-out of sponsored awards complies with agency rules, the RFS Officers perform a close-out review that includes the review of all award and companion account expenditures and receipts, as well as, a review of the payroll system records and the accumulation of data necessary to provide an audit trail.

It is the responsibility of Georgia State to ensure that adequate provision is made for the auditing of accounting information and the accounting system that processes the accounting data. To this end, the university’s financial system stores five or more years of award accounting data on-line. RFS maintains hard copies of financial reports submitted to sponsoring agencies and archives related to budget and expenditure correspondence for a minimum of five years, unless specified otherwise by the sponsor. RFS has liaison responsibility for the coordination of all audits, audit responses, and requests for accounting information on sponsored awards from organizations outside the University.

Final reports to funder/agency

With few exceptions, every sponsored project will require a number of reports during the life of the project and most certainly at its conclusion. Every PI/PD should be prepared to submit a final technical report at the very least. The importance of the submission of such a report on a timely basis cannot be overstated. In a grant or contract arrangement, unlike a gift, the sponsor expects and deserves to be informed of results. Negligence by the PI/PD may substantially impact his/her (and the university’s) ability to receive other support from the sponsor; it may also result in a loss of payment for costs already incurred.

In addition to technical report(s), other reports may be required relating to inventions, equipment accountability, and fiscal data and voucher submissions. The latter two are the responsibility of the RFS, while the PI must prepare the first two. The PI should send to OSP a copy of their final programmatic report—(if report not required, a note from the PI/PD so stating) and a report of inventions, patents, and copyright materials produced with the aid of sponsored funds. These reports will be scanned and stored as an attachment to OSP’s database for use in university reports and audits.

Remaining funds

Any “funds” remaining on a cost-reimbursable award is not authorized for expenditure because funds are not collected before they are invoiced. Funds remaining on a fixed price award must be spent within 120 days (three months) of the end of the project after which the funds get moved into a residual account to be used by GSURF.