Closeout

Closeout of a grant, cooperative agreement or contract is a required element of most sponsored research projects. Upon reaching the project end date, the Principal Investigator, college/departmental administrators, and NU-RES must verify all research activities have been completed and deliverables have been met. Projects should be financially reconciled and inactivated in the system within 120 days of the project end date.

Closeout Process

What is Involved

Closeout is the process through which a financial reconciliation is performed and the following deliverables are completed:

  • Final financial statements
  • Applicable administrative information, such as invention disclosures
  • Final technical reports / deliverables
  • Other funding agency specific deliverables, including release of claims, government property forms, etc.

Colleges and PIs must work with NU-RES to submit final financial reports/invoices (NU-RES Finance) and non-financial reports (NU-RES Administration), as required by Sponsors.

If PIs require additional time to complete the project, they must work with Grant Officers to pursue a no-cost extension.

Why it’s Needed

  • Required under federal regulations (Uniform Guidance).
  • Fulfills contractual obligations to the sponsor as defined in the original award/agreement (submission of programmatic, financial, technical, patent reports, etc.)
  • Ensures timely grant close-out and prevents cost overruns or unallowable spending beyond the award end date.
    Fulfills our obligation to the University by ensuring the proper closing of the award in Banner.

Potential Consequences of Not Closing Out an Award

  • Noncompliance with Federal regulations and sponsor’s terms & conditions could:
    • Delay processing of additional funding. Some sponsor portals such as FastLane / Research.gov will generate warnings upon proposal submissions if a PI or Co-PI is delinquent in submitting a final report.
    • Result in cost disallowance to the University based on audit findings.
    • Jeopardize the University’s and/or Principal Investigator’s future funding with sponsor.

Administrative Closeout

Principal Investigator

  • Prepares final technical reports to the sponsor; coordinates with NU-RES for submission.

Department Administrators

  • Review closeout requests with the Principal Investigator and confirm what, if any reports are required in addition to the final financial and technical reports. Examples include invention disclosures and equipment or property reports. These reports must be submitted on behalf of project subrecipients as well.
  • College runs a report of projects ending in the forthcoming quarter that won’t be seeking no-cost extensions (or NU-RES receives a request from the funding agency for administrative closeout materials)
  • Complete a transaction form and submit to NU-RES@northeastern.edu along with completed closeout materials.

NU-RES Administration

  • Grant Officer reviews completed administrative closeout materials and coordinates with the appropriate offices for verification and / or signature as necessary:
    • Center for Research Innovation to confirm invention disclosure reports.
    • Accounting to confirm property and equipment reports.
    • Finance Director or Associate Director to confirm release of claims and de-obligation notices.
  • Grant Officer submits completed administrative closeout materials to sponsor.

Financial Closeout

Principal Investigators and Department Administrators

  • Confirm that the project has ended, scope of work has been completed, and that fund/grant can be closed.
  • Ensure that all project expenditures are allocated in accordance with the award’s terms and conditions, and within university policies and business practices.

NU-RES Finance

  • Generates closeout email notices with a checklist of action items. Notices are sent to the PI and Department Administrator within 30 days prior to the award end date.
  • Prepares and submits financial reports and final invoices upon receiving approval from the PI/Department Administrator.
  • Performs a final reconciliation of expenditures, payments, and financial reports prior to inactivating the fund/grant in Banner.

Reconciling Variances

Spending in Excess of Budget (Deficits)

  • Expenditures in excess of the award budget or received payments, which result in cost overruns, must be addressed by the department.
  • PI/Department Administrator can identify a non-research fund to cover a deficit, or coordinate the necessary accounting actions with -NU-RES Finance.

Spending Less than Budget (Residual Balances)

  • The disposition of unspent balances is generally detailed in the award agreement. In general, federal sponsors and cost-reimbursable projects require funds to be returned, while fixed-price contracts (non-federal) may allow the PI to retain residual funds.
  • NU-RES Finance reviews the terms and conditions of the award and works with the PI/Department Administrator to process final reconciling items.
Last modified: Apr 4, 2019