Biennium Close 2011-2013

What is Biennium Close ?

Many governmental organizations, including the University of Washington (UW), divide their accounting records into two-year periods. Each two-year period is called a “biennium”.  During a biennium revenue and expenses  are recorded. 

At the conclusion of the biennium the records are closed and a new set of records is opened and a “new” biennium is created.  At the UW a biennium begins in July of an odd year and concludes at the end of June two years later.

For a month or so after the day a given biennium ends (which is usually June 30), we continue to record revenues and expenses that pertain to the old biennium in the old biennium.  This allows UW to record its financial transactions to the appropriate time period. For a short period of time, two separate sets of records are open, one for the new biennium and one for the old. Biennium crossover is the period of time when the old and new biennias are both open.  Biennium close occurs when transactions can no longer be put into the old biennium. There are a series of steps leading up to this cutoff.

Want to learn more about biennium close, the systems impacted and other important information? Check out our brief PowerPoint presentation (also available in Adobe)


What does this mean to the University of Washington?

To comply with Washington State accounting procedures for closing out the current Biennium, the University's books of account will be held open for a limited time during the month of July to record transactions processed after June 30 relating to business of the expiring fiscal period.

The dates  contained in the “Biennium Cut-Off Dates” web page are the final dates on which various transactions must be received, and or processed, to ensure recording as 2011-2013 business.

It is important to note that various systems may be unavailable, for the processing of transactions.  You can learn more about any planned system downtime, or unavailability here.


Carryover Balance Policy for the 2011-2013 Biennium

Carryover for all unexpended balances in Local Fund Allocation and Research Cost Recovery will be allowed as usual. Carryover for all unexpended balances in General Operating funds (GOF budgets) will also be allowed. However, the Office of Planning & Budgeting (OPB) strongly encourages units to spend down GOF funds by the end of the biennium. OPB will closely monitor and manage GOF balances throughout the biennium close process. Talk to your administrator about any possible restrictions on expense transfers from General Operating Funds to Local Funds (GOF to DOF-LFA).

If you need additional OPB guidance go to Biennium Close Guidelines for the 2011-2013 Operating Budget

See the Office of Planning and Budgeting Notices page here on the Biennium Close website for more information about:

  • Requests for changes and new budgets and/or organization codes and
  • Self-sustaining, Research & Training and Gift Budget Deficits


Important Dates


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