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Close-out Backlog Clean-up Initiative

April 10, 2017

Research Accounting Services (RAS) is conducting a concerted team effort to eliminate the backlog of close-outs for awards with project end dates of June 30, 2016, and prior by the end of the fiscal year 2017 close. We need the full cooperation of Principal Investigators (PIs) and Departmental Administrators to complete the backlog by this deadline. Completing this initiative will move the University towards full compliance with Uniform Guidance and the Cost Transfer and Effort Reporting Policies.

The current number of awards in this status is significant. At our last count, there are 597 items that need to be addressed. For the last four fiscal years, we have received a finding on our Uniform Guidance (formerly A-133) audit related to the timeliness of cost transfers. We have also received findings on our last two audits in relation to the untimely certification of effort reports. Our goal is to complete this initiative so we don’t have the potential for this finding going into fiscal year 2018.

The close-out process is a collaborative effort and requires the help and support of the PIs, Department Administrators and RAS. During this close-out backlog clean-up initiative, RAS will require a response to inquiries related to close-out issues within 3 business days. Typically, these inquiries are to determine which fund the deficit or non-allowable charge should be transferred to. These responses from PIs and/or Departmental Administrators will allow the RAS team to expedite your close-out entries and submit for final review by RAS management, at which time the fund will be terminated in Banner. If the departmental contact does not provide the fund information to the RAS team member within the 3-day time frame, the RAS team member will be authorized to move any costs in question to your unrestricted departmental fund. If that fund is not appropriate, the department administrator will be responsible for transferring the charge to the appropriate cost center through the appropriate administrative system (i.e. labor redistribution or journal entry workflow).

RAS is striving to provide the highest levels of customer service to our partners in the research community. Completion of the backlog initiative will allow the RAS team to focus on current issues and better respond to issues.

Please feel free to contact Evelyn Balabis, Executive Director of Research Accounting Services, with any questions or concerns about this initiative at 215.895.2946 or via email at As always we appreciate your continued support as we seek to improve our operations.

Thank you.