Frequently Asked Questions

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Budget Setup

The status of an eFA (electronic funding action), whether it is a new award or a modification on an existing award, can be found by using OSP’s (Office of Sponsored Programs) "Status Checker". Status Checker stores information on all transactions relating to grants and contracts approved by OSP AND have been entered into OSP’s online system, or have been modified within the past 60 days. The Status Checker can be found at:

If additional time is needed to complete a sponsored research project without additional funding, a budget extension can be requested from OSP (Office of Sponsored Programs). OSP asks that requests for budget extensions be received by their office at least 30 days prior to the expiration date of the grant. The form for requesting the budget extension can be found at:


GCA (Grant and Contract Accounting) is processing eFAs (electronic funding action) within 0-3 business days of receipt of the eFA. As long as GCA receives the eFA at least 1 business day prior to a payroll cutoff, the budget should be established in time for payroll transactions to post. Payroll Schedules and Deadlines can be found at:


When a budget is relying on an ePAC (electronic Post Award Change) for a project date extension, the ePAC would need to be in GCA 1 business day before a payroll cutoff. GCA has a goal of processing extension ePACs within 0-3 business days of receipt of the ePAC extension.

A Payroll Unit Code is a four digit code that identifies what department a particular budget belongs to. This four digit code is also used for generating reports and sorting payroll checks. The Payroll office can provide more information and can be reached at: , or 206.543.9202.

Payroll Unit Code changes are handled in the Payroll Office.  The Payroll office can provide more information and can be reached at:, or 206.543.9202.

Fixed Price Surplus

A Fixed Price Surplus budget is one that has been set up by a department to receive any unexpended balances from fully paid Fixed Price budgets under their department’s responsibility. The Fixed Price Surplus may be used to offset deficits in any grant or contract. A department is allowed a maximum of three Fixed Price Surplus budgets. One surplus budget is to correspond with on-campus fixed price activity, one budget is to correspond with off-campus activity, and one budget is to correspond with clinical trial surplus. For further information, go to Fixed Price Surplus.

A Fixed Price budget is one that represents an agreement made with a sponsor to perform service at a firm price, without the ability to adjust that price for actual increased costs in performing said service. The firm price is usually based on a per test, or per deliverable, service. The University retains the unexpended balance of fully paid Fixed Price budgets. The unexpended balance is transferred to a Fixed Price Surplus budget that has been established by a department in order to receive those unexpended balances from their respective Fixed Price budgets. The Fixed Price Surplus budget may be used to offset deficits in any grant or contract. For further information see Fixed Price Surplus budgets 


Expenditures displayed on Transaction Summary reports, or through MyFD (MyFinancial.desktop), come from various sources. Often the source can be identified by the description, or reference, information. If you need to locate a copy of the original source document, there are areas to help.

  • For Purchase Orders in question, contact Procurement Customer Service at:, or 206.543.4500.
  • For questionable ISDs (Internal Sales Document), CTIs (Cost Transfer Invoice), or CTs (Cash Transmittal), contact the Banking and Accounting Operations department at:, or 206.543.8414.
  • JVs (Journal Vouchers) can be processed by multiple areas. The characters after the identifier of "JV" denote which area processed the document. To determine which department to contact with JV questions, use the following chart: 

Federal regulations do not disallow overtime for personnel other than the PI. However, unless the individual is assigned 100% to the xx-xxxx project, any overtime would need to be distributed to their other activity proportionately.


Account Code 37-99 was used to track F&A encumbrances for subcontracts related to your award budget. Effective November 2010, F&A charges for subcontracts are managed just like F&A charges for the primary award. All F&A transactions for the primary award and associated subcontracts will only display under Account Code 25-99.

If you currently have an award that is classified as MDTC (Cost Base Type 18), the F&A charges for any subcontracts will continue to be manually adjusted until the award has expired. GCA has established a new cost base (Cost Base Type 38) for MTDC awards that include subcontracts. Effective November 1, 2010, all new MTDC awards will use Cost Base Type 38.

Effective November 2010, all F&A charges for any new primary awards and related subcontracts will automatically be charged to your budget and display in MyFinancial Desktop under Account code 25-99.

To see a summary of all subcontract direct charges to your budget, from the Report option in MyFinancial Desktop, select Transaction Summary. All subcontract direct charges will display under Account Code 03-62 (Outside SVC-SUBCONTRAC).

Generally, the subcontract amount subject to UW F&A costs is based on the business rules of the Funding Action. If, for example, the cost base type for your funding action is Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC), then your subcontract is subject to F&A on the first $25,000 at the same rate as the primary award. If the cost base type for your funding action is Total Direct Cost (TDC), then all of the subcontract is subject to UW F&A at the same rate as the primary award.

You can always use Grant Tracker or review the Funding Action associated with your award for more information about the F&A charges to your subcontract(s).

If you still have questions after you review the Funding Action, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at for assistance.

Effective November 2010, all F&A costs (also known as indirect costs or IDC) for subcontracts are being calculated automatically in the Financial Accounting System (FAS) and added to F&A expenditures for the primary award (budget) under Account Code 25-99.

In the past, Grant and Contract and Accounting (GCA) manually entered the F&A for subcontracts as journal vouchers (JVs). These JVs appeared in MyFinancial Desktop under Account Code 25-99 as expenditures against your budget.

You will no longer see JVs used to charge F&A costs due on subcontract expenditures. In addition, GCA will no longer create a 37-99 restricted encumbrance for F&A costs due on subcontract expenditures. F&A transactions for subcontracts will be generated every time an invoice is paid on that subcontract up to the amount subject. As a result, you will see more timely and accurate F&A expenditures under Account Code 25-99.

Cash Received

The revenue amount that is displayed in FIN is a result of accounting entries created based on the corresponding grant/contract award amount. The revenue displayed in FIN may, or may not, correspond with cash received on the project. If a grant or contract is prepaid (paid in advance) then the revenue most likely will correspond to the cash received. If the grant or contract is to be invoiced, then the cash received will be for invoices the sponsor has paid to date and will not match the revenue amount displayed in FIN.

Information regarding cash related to a particular budget can be found on the GCA (Grant and Contract Accounting) GrantTracker. All GCA budgets can be viewed online through GrantTracker. You can search by various criteria, including budget number, grant number, and PI. One of the items displayed on GrantTracker is a list of payments received from the budget’s sponsor. GrantTracker can be found at:

GCA maintains an Accounts Receivable system for managing invoices and subsequent payments, for billable grants and contracts. This information is available to on-campus users via the GrantTracker. All GCA budgets can be viewed online through the GrantTracker. You can search by various criteria, including budget number, grant number, and PI. One of the items displayed on GrantTracker is a list of payments received from the budget’s sponsor. GrantTracker can be found at:

Unexpended Balance

An unexpended balance is a result of awarded funds not being spent. That is to say that the total expenditures for a project are less than the amount awarded. If a sponsor has paid for the entire award then there could be cash remaining. If a sponsor is one that we invoice then there could be awarded, but yet to be paid, funds remaining. There are certain circumstances that allow the University to keep and/or carryforward the remaining, or unspent, funds. Usually OSP (Office of Sponsored Programs) will identify an award as the University having the authority to retain unexpended balances. OSP will pass the information onto GCA (Grant and Contract Accounting) through the eFA (electronic funding action) process. If OSP has not designated whether the University can keep and/or carryforward unexpended balances, approval may need to be obtained from the sponsor. If the project with the unexpended balance has a continuation budget (the continuation of a project under a separate budget number) it is possible to have the unexpended balance moved to the new budget number. If the project with the unexpended balance is a fixed price, or clinical trial, grant or contract, it is possible to move the unexpended funds to a corresponding department surplus account. If the budget with the unexpended balance is neither a fixed price, nor a clinical trial, has no continuation budget, and the University does not have the authority to keep and/or carryforward the balance, GCA will return the funds to the sponsor. Further information regarding the handling of unexpended balances can be found at:


A grant or contract is in deficit when the total expenditures exceed the amount awarded for the project. Budgets cannot be closed in a deficit position. Costs contributing to the over expenditure will need to be transferred to an appropriate non-federal budget. Information regarding the deficit transfer process, and appropriate non-federal budget types can be found at:

Training Grants

o End the old appointment and distribution in OPUS (but don’t delete!). If the new appointment has the same start date as the old appointment, then end the old appointment and distribution with the same start date (ie. 1/16/10-1/16/10).

o Create the new appointment in OPUS with the correct information.

o Send the PERM to with the “Earn type/job class code change” in the subject line. If you don’t have the PERM, you can go access the PERM Retrieval application here:

o If the budget has expired, please send a GrantTracker request to keep the budget in status 1 to allow the correction to post.

Things to Keep in Mind

o If the trainee was paid under Earn Type REG but should be paid under Earn Type TRN, this means that the trainee may have overpaid Social Security, Medicare and Retirement and may be receiving a refund.

o If the employee was paid under Earn Type TRN and should be paid under Earn Type REG, this means that the employee may owe Social Security and Medicare taxes and if eligible for retirement, may opt to have this deducted as well.

o If the correction impacts a previous tax year, Payroll may need to issue a W2C (W2 correction).

Cost Share

The eFECS cost share summary application, accessible via the My Financial Desktop (MyFD) "more Systems" drop down menu. Select  "Cost Share". This will open a new window for the eFECS cost share summary application. Enter a budget number and click find to see what is recorded for pledges and actuals to date for the referenced budget number. For more instructions on using the eFECS application, email


08-05 tuition charges are a result of a department processing tuition scholarships or fellowships, through the University’s SDB (Student Data Base). Questions regarding tuition charges should be directed to Student Fiscal Services. They can be reached at:, or 206.543.4694.


Budget information is available to on-campus users via Grant and Contract Accounting's GrantTracker. All GCA budgets can be viewed online through GrantTracker. You can search by various criteria, including budget number, grant number, and PI. A question can be posed through GrantTracker itself or you can call GCA's main phone number, 206-616-9995. GrantTracker can be found at:

There has been no change to the way F&A cost rates for subcontract awards is determined. To verify the F&A cost rate for your award, go to MyFinancial Desktop and click Budget Profile. For more information about how cost rates and cost base types are defined, see GIM 13.

Questions on how F&A posts to grant budgets should go to GCA.  Questions on how the rates are actually calculated/negotiated should come to MAA.



Gift Processing in University Advancement sets up gift budgets and processes all gifts to the University. Details are available on their website--

Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a research study designed to test the safety and/or effectiveness of drugs, devices, treatments, or preventative measures in humans. Grant and Contract Accounting (GCA) and the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) have implemented a process improvement to increase efficiency, accuracy, and transparency, with check processing for the 27% industry sponsored Clinical Trials. The goal is to allow departments to start spending on their studies quickly. Checks for the 27% industry sponsored Clinical Trials should be sent directly to GCA. In order for GCA to be able to process the check in a timely manner, the following information must be included with the check: Budget Number Principal Investigator Sponsor Study Title Administrative contact The checks, along with the required information noted above, should be sent to:

UW Grant and Contract Accounting
4300 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite 300
Box 354966
Seattle WA 98105

Payments posted on a Clinical Trial budget can be viewed using GrantTracker. GrantTracker can be found at: Some of the highlighted process improvements are: Having the checks sent directly to GCA lessens the administrative steps OSP followed for each, individual, Clinical Trial check they received. The funds and the corresponding information is at GCA sooner than before. Hopefully, by having a more efficient process in depositing checks the need for Advance Budgets will decrease, since the funds will be more readily available. OSP will only create one electronic Funding Action (eFA) for each award. Only one electronic Grants and Contract form (eGC-1) needs to be created for each clinical trial contract. On the eFA, OSP will enter the total anticipated dollar amount. However, GCA will set up the budget with zero dollars ($0) until the first check arrives, at which time the budget will be increased to the amount of the funds received. While the budgets are set up with a $0 amount, departments will be able to begin spending once a budget number has been assigned. The risk will be that if, for some reason, funds are not received from the trial sponsor, the expenditures may result in a deficit for which the department will be completely responsible for covering.


More information can be found on our Checks Received Page

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