Financial Reports and Invoices

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some commonly asked grants and contracts accounting questions. Information specific to effort reporting, financial reports/invoices, service and recharge centers, and subrecipients is also available.
  1. Where do I get a copy of a financial report or an invoice?
  2. Can GCAS hold off on sending out Final financial reports if a no cost extension or a second year of funding is expected from the sponsor?
  3. What am I supposed to do when I receive a PI certification notice for interim or final financial report?
  4. The Final report is not due until end of month why is a final report being completed now?
  5. What should I do when I receive a 90-day review notice?
  6. If as a Principal Investigator (PI) I receive a copy of an invoice that has been prepared by GCAS and sent to the sponsor, what do I do with it?  And what do I do when a sponsor contacts me for an invoice?
  7. Can GCAS send out Invoices under Administrative Establishment and Administrative Funding?
  8. Is it possible to revise an invoice so that recently posted adjustments can be included?
  9. Why is a member of GCAS checking on my progress/technical report?
  10. Does the close date and award status have to be changed to clear items in suspense that will NOT post to the award?
  11. Can you use estimates\projections in your invoice\financial report because the expenditure is in process but has not posted to the award?
  12. What is required if the residual balance on a fixed amount award is equal to or greater than $50,000 or 20% of the total awarded?
  13. We did not clear suspense because we are expecting a second year of funding and suspense will be moved when the second year of funding is received and established.
  14. How do I manage a Foreign Currency Award?

Q1. Where do I get a copy of a financial report or an invoice?
A.  Please log into GW Documents as financial reports and invoices are saved to your award documentation within two weeks of being issued.  If the document cannot be found, please contact the Sponsored Project Financial Accountant or Analyst assigned to your department as they can email a copy to you..

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Q2. Can GCAS hold off on sending out Final financial reports if a no cost extension or a second year of funding is expected from the sponsor?

A. GCAS can hold off on sending a financial report if a fully executed extension or agreement has been received from the sponsor. GCAS cannot hold off on reporting based on the expectation of an extension. When departments communicate that a no-cost extension is expected on the award GCAS can indicate in the financial report that the report is being submitted pending an extension approval.:

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Q3. What am I supposed to do when I receive a PI certification notice for interim or final financial report?
A. The award should be examined to ensure that all charges that you expect to see are posted (i.e., salaries are for personnel assigned to the award). You also want to make sure that there are no outstanding invoices that have not been processed. If you agree with the award numbers, then sign the PI certification letter and email it back to your designated Sponsored Project Financial Accountant or Analyst.:

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Q4. The Final report is not due until end of month why is a final report being completed now?
A. Please refer to the award close out timeline https://sponsoredprojects.gwu.edu/award-closeout-timeline. Per the timeline reports are submitted within 75 days of award end date or sooner:

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Q5. What should I do when I receive a 90-day review notice?
A. When the PI receives a 90-day review from the Sponsored Project Financial Accountant or Analyst, the first step is to determine if a No Cost Extension should be requested from the sponsor. Other items to verify include:

  • Are all salaries charged to the award?
  • Are there open encumbrances that need to be liquidated?
  • Have all expected expenses posted to the award?

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Q6. If as a Principal Investigator (PI) I receive a copy of an invoice that has been prepared by GCAS and sent to the sponsor, what do I do with it?  And what do I do when a sponsor contacts me for an invoice?

A. GCAS sends a copy of the invoice to you as a courtesy for your information.  No action needs to be taken.  If the sponsor contacts you regarding an invoice, please forward the call to your Sponsored Project Financial Accountant or Analyst.

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Q7. Can GCAS send out Invoices under Administrative Establishment and Administrative Funding?

A. GCAS cannot send out an Invoice for an award in At Risk Status established through Administrative Establishment. Once the Fully executed agreement is received from the sponsor and award updated in the system by OVPR, GCAS can then send out an Invoice. GCAS however does review Awards under Administrative Establishment Extension to complete invoicing and financial reporting as long as expenditures are within the original period of performance.

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Q8. Is it possible to revise an invoice so that recently posted adjustments can be included?
A. Any recently posted adjustments will be included in the subsequent Invoices, unless a Final Invoice and Final Financial Report has already been submitted to the sponsor.  It is important however to ensure that charges posted to the award are correctly charged to minimize the need for adjustments after expenditures have already been charged to the sponsor. Frequent adjustments send the wrong signal to sponsors that our award stewardship system is not dependable which impacts future funding opportunities. It could also lead to questions and even rejection of our invoices by sponsors. In addition, it is difficult to calculate burn rate when corrections frequently appear on an award.

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Q9. Why is a member of GCAS checking on my progress/technical report?
A. In some instances, GCAS is only allowed to invoice a sponsor upon completion of a deliverable. Therefore, from time to time, GCAS will have to inquire about the progress/technical report..

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Q10. Does the close date and award status have to be changed to clear items in suspense that will NOT post to the award?

A. The award status and close date do not need to be changed to clear suspense if the charges are not posting to the award.

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Q11. Can you use estimates\projections in your invoice\financial report because the expenditure is in process but has not posted to the award?
A. Financial reports and Invoices cannot be submitted using projections. Financial reports and invoices are completed based on actual costs charged to the awards or based on deliverables completed and in accordance with the agreement, GW policies and Federal regulations with emphasis on ensuring cost are allocable, applicable and reasonable.

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Q12. What is required if the residual balance on a fixed amount award is equal to or greater than $50,000 or 20% of the total awarded?
A. According to GW’s Award Closeout Policy http://my.gwu.edu/files/policies/AwardCloseoutPolicyFINAL.pdf, page 3, if the residual balance is equal to or greater than $50,000 or 20% of the total awarded (whichever is lower), the PI must prepare a memo for approval by the individual school’s Associate Dean of Research (ADR) explaining the reason for the residual balance. The ADR is responsible for reviewing and approving the residual request, representing acceptance of any associated compliance and financial risk associated with the award and the residual amount. Residual transfers should be completed during award closeout period and within the same fiscal year of when the award is expected to close.

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Q13. We did not clear suspense because we are expecting a second year of funding and suspense will be moved when the second year of funding is received and established?

A. In circumstances when a second year of funding is expected an Administrative funding request has to be submitted to OVPR so expenditures can post to the award in an At Risk status rather than staying on the suspense account until the next year of funding is received. This will allow the proper closing of the prior award while charges for the next year of funding can be charged to the award.  Note: Administrative Funding can and should be established before the end of the current year award.  We recommend preparing the document upon receipt of the 90 day alert notification.

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Q14. How do I manage a Foreign Currency award?

A.  Financial Management of Foreign Currency Awards (pdf) - This document provides guidance on what to expect when accepting agreements using the sponsor's local currency aside from the U.S. dollar. It also provides a foreign currency exchange risk consent statement to be reviewed and kept on record for School Finance Directors or PI designee.

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