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On this page:

  1. Closeout responsibilities
  2. Award closure checklist
  3. Residual balance
  4. Sub-awards close out
  5. Final financial report
  6. Final progress report


Closeout responsibilities

Principal Investigator (PI)

  • Review financial reports prepared by Research Accounting
  • Prepare and submit any required progress/scientific/technical reports or milestone deliverables to the sponsor
  • Provide Research Services with the confirmation of the final account balance, completion of all contractual commitments, and submission of all reports required by the sponsor
  • Ensure that all requirements are completed to formally close the project


Research accounting

  • Provide the PI and/or department with the account reconciliation for review
  • Coordinate with the PI to ensure that all expenditures are finalized and adjustments are processed in order to reach a final balance.
  • Prepare and submit the final financial report to the sponsor
  • Submit any required invention/property reports to the sponsor
  • Close sponsored award fund sources in the financial system

Award closure checklist

As the project nears termination, it is important to review all costs and remove those that are ineligible.

The following is a list of requirements Research Services is looking for when closing out accounts.

  • PI has submitted final technical report. All milestones and deliverables have been met.
  • All funding has been received from sponsor.
  • All inter-institutional advances to partners have been received and accounted for.
  • All payments to sub-awardees and vendors have been made.
  • Outstanding commitments are cancelled.
  • Outstanding travel advances are reconciled.
  • All financial reporting and/or invoicing is complete.
  • Balance is at $0.


Residual balance

Residual balance refers to unspent funds on a research grant or contract that has terminated or expired.

As your project nears termination, please contact the sponsor and request an extension if you expect you will have unspent funds in your project account by the end date and need access to these funds. Failure to request an extension may limit/prevent your access to the remaining of your funds.

For SSHRC and NSERC programs, if the extension is not approved by SSHRC/NSERC but your funds are eligible, you can request continued access unspent funds through the SFU’s University General Research Fund (GRF). Please refer to the Residual Balance in Eligible SSHRC and NSERC Accounts page for details.

Please note:

  • If your remaining balance is more than 50% of your original budget, the funds will have to be returned to the granting agency and no extension will be granted.
  • If the grant has been expired more than a year, you will not be eligible to access them through the General Research Fund.
  • For CIHR grants, any funds remaining at the end of the Authority to Use Funds period must be returned to the Agency.
  • For other programs, please check the specific sponsor guidelines.

Some sponsors will not release the last portion of the budget until the final reports are received. It is in your interest to make sure reporting timelines are met.


Sub-awards close out

SFU PIs are responsible for obtaining final financial reports from their sub-recipients and retaining a copy in their project file (i.e., supporting documentation for all expenditures and financial statements). SFU PIs are encouraged to remind sub-recipients of this need well in advance of the due date for such reports.

Other final reports (e.g., property reports, patent reports) may be required. SFU PIs may be asked to assist with obtaining necessary closeout reports from the sub-recipient in a timely manner.


Final financial report

A final financial report is required for most sponsored projects. Research Accounting prepares the financial report and, with concurrence from PI, submits the report to the sponsor.

For final financial reports,

  • Outstanding encumbrances must be cleared
  • Unspent balance must be addressed
  • Over-expenditure must be cleared


Final progress report

PI is responsible for preparing and submitting the final progress report to the sponsor. Some sponsors remind the PI the final progress report before closing out the project. You are strongly suggested to be aware of the deadline of submitting final progress report.

Last updated: June 9, 2022