Post Award Administration: Grants and Contract Accounting Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to commonly asked questions regarding grants and contracts.


1.1. What parts of the grant life cycle are Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA) responsible for?

Answer: Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA) is responsible for post award accounting, which includes but is not limited to the list below:

  1. Establish and maintain Awards and Grants in Workday, including assigning Award and Grant numbers, after receipt of approved award documents from Research Administration Services (RAS).
  2. Establish and update Plan (budget) information in Workday, based on grantor notifications and re-budget requests approved by RAS.
  3. Approve all spending against Grants including Payment Request Forms (PRF), Interdepartmental charge forms (ICF), and Cost Transfers (CT)
  4. Invoice (or request drawdowns) of all sponsors for approved grant spending based on the University’s accounting records.
  5. Prepare all financial reports due to sponsors.
  6. Prepare Final Financial Reporting for all Awards/Grants.
  7. Provide Cash Management - Apply cash received from sponsors to grant outstanding balances.
  8. Manage Grants and Contracts Receivables, Advancements, Schedule Payments, Deferred Revenue 
  9. Manage the semi-annual Effort Certification process for federal awards.
  10. Manage Closeout of Grants and Contracts
  11. Manage Annual Audits, Site Visits and Agencies Inquiries
  12. Responsible for the University’s Indirect Cost (F&A) and Fringe Benefits Proposals
  13. Responsible for the Reporting Portfolio of Grants and Contracts Accounting

1.2. How long does it take for Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA) to process transactions (awards, allocations, requisitions, etc.)?

Answer:  Three (3) business days are allocated to process transactions after receipt. Processing can take longer if there are issues.

1.3. What information should I provide Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA) when contacting them?

Answer:  Please always provide the grant number, PI responsible, budget information, start / end dates, etc. when making inquires to GCA, most GCA records are indexed by grant number.

2. Awards

2.1. My award / grant is a multi-year grant, can I use the same grant number for all years?

Answer: Multi-year grants may vary dependent on sponsor requirements; therefore, grant years may need to be tracked and reported separately by year. (GCA) will notify you of the specific grant number assigned whenever the grant is established.

2.2. Can my award/grant be modified, continued or extended?

Answer: Yes, an award/grant can be modified, continued, or extended per sponsor agreements, terms and agreements, other documentation, approvals, etc.

3. Grant Budgets

3.1. My grant budget needs to be adjusted, can I email the needed changes to Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA)?

Answer: Rebudgets are submitted by the PI / Administrator to RAS and GCA for approvals (in this order); GCA processes rebudgets in Workday typically within 3 business days.

4. Grant Spending – Non Personnel

4.1. Since Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA) approved my payment request forms (PRF), Student Financial Aid Requests, Labor and Non-Labor Cost Transfers and/or Interdepartmental Cost Transfers, where can I get updates on payment statuses?

Answer: Please see table below:

Type of Spending






Financial Aid

Payment Request Form (PRF)


See Form for levels



Processes Payment


Financial Aid Requisition (FAR)


See Form for levels




Processes aid

Interdepartmental Charge Form (IDCF/ICF)


See Form for levels


Approves and processes as journal entry



Cost Transfer (CT)


See Form for levels


Approves and processes as journal entry



4.2. I am initiating spending on my grant, should I send the documents directly to Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA) for approval?

Answer: Spending initiated in Workday (such requisitions, expense reports, cost allocations, etc.) follow the Workday processing flow, which is indicated by the process history section of each transaction. 

4.3. What is the difference between the object class and the spend category?

Answer:  The object class is a budget classification; the spend category is an accounting classification used to record transactions in Howard’s financial statements.  The object class is a group of spend categories; spend categories are mapped to an object class.

4.4. I provided the object class (budget code) for my spending, why do I need to provide a spending category also?

Answer: The spending category is needed to correctly record the transaction in Workday and ultimately in Howard’s financial statements. Please contact your departmental research administrator for assistance in selecting spending categories.

4.5. How can I find out what's been spent on my grant?

Answer:  Spending on a grant can be found on the Workday GMR report “Grants Management Report – TMM.

5. Grant Spending – Personnel

5.1. I want to charge payroll costs (salaries/wages) to my grant, can I provide those employee names and effort percentages to Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA) to set up the allocations?

Answer: All personnel costs will be charged in Workday to grants via costing allocations which the PI must initiate by working with their HR Delegate.

5.2. My grant received a no cost extension; do the personnel charges automatically continue as part of the extension?

Answer: The personnel charges do not automatically continue as part of the extension; the PI must coordinate with their HR Delegate to ensure that costing allocations are initiated for the new budget period.  If this step is omitted, payroll expenses will cease to be posted on the grant.  Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA) cannot extend the personnel cost allocations.

5.3. Why doesn’t the GMR show any personnel costs for my grants?

Answer: Once a grant is set up in Workday, cost allocations must be created by the HR delegate to assign personnel costs to the grant. Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA are not able to create costing allocations.

5.4. Are costing allocations automatically backdated to cover prior periods?

Answer:  Costing allocations will charge in Workday after the approval date.  A labor cost transfer must be initiated by the PI, Departmental Administrator working with their Research Administrative Services (RAS) analyst, for any prior period personnel costs.

5.5. Some of the staff on my grant work 100% of their time on the grant, why can’t the grant be their default organization assignment in Workday?

Answer: Since grants have an end date, it’s important that all employees have a cost center as their default organization assignment in Workday, and those cost allocations are set up by the grant’s HR delegate to charge staff to grants as appropriate.

6. Invoicing

6.1. The GMR does not reflect some spending on my Grant, can Grants and Contracts Accounting (GCA) manually add that spending to the invoice sent to the sponsor?

Answer:  GCA financial reporting is based on Howard’s Workday financial system; only spending shown as completed in Workday is included on invoices.

7. Financial Reporting

7.1. The financial report for my grant doesn’t match my progress report, can the financial report be amended?

Answer:  The financial report is based on Howard’s Workday financial system, as should be any financial information presented in the progress report.  Monthly monitoring should be completed and maintained to ensure the progress report financial reconciles with actual financials in Workday general ledger.

8. Final Financial Reporting

8.1. When is my final invoice and financial report due? Can I process payment requests after the end dates?

accordance with the terms and conditions of the notice of awards, contracts, cooperative agreements, subcontracts, etc.  The 30, 60, 90, 120 are based on agencies specific timeframes and not available to all grants and contracts.  The extended timeframes are allotted for report preparation, reimbursement and cash reconciliations, adjustments (if any) providing accurate financial reporting only.


1. How do I generate GMR reports?

Workday was designed to allow PIs and departmental research administrators to generate GMR reports on demand, so please use that self-service feature.  To generate the GMR, please enter that phrase in Workday’s search bar, then click on the link, enter the grant number, the period for reporting, then press OK.  The report should display.  The report can be downloaded into Excel using symbol in the upper right hand of the report. Details of spending for each object class can be obtained by clicking on the black upside triangle that appears when hovering over an amount and clicking on it and selecting “Export to Excel”.

2. What are the appropriate fund codes to use for Grants when running the GMR?

Answer:  FD101 is the default fund code for sponsored funded activity.  FD102 is for cost share; when running the GMR remove FD101 and insert FD102 to obtain only the cost share amounts.  To get all grant activity, please run the GMR with the fund code blank.   Please see below example of how to input fund information when running the GMR.

3. The spending per my records doesn’t match the Grants Management Report (GMR). Who can research the discrepancies?

Answer: Before reaching out to RAS and GCA, the PI should work with the departmental research administrator, HR delegate, etc. to identify in writing the specific issues/amounts that are causing the discrepancies.

4. How should the spending on my grant be managed?

Answer: Spending on the grant should be initiated as soon as the grant is established in Workday and monitored throughout the grant using the GMR. Sufficient time should be planned for spending transaction processing so that transactions can appear in the GMR before the end of the grant.

5. What is the cutoff date for processing spending transactions to my grant?

Answer:  Generally, for transactions to be billed to the sponsor, transactions need to appear in the GMR with an accounting date no later than the end date of the grant. Thus, it’s safest to plan for each transaction to be completed (including payment issued and reclassifications done) at least a month before the grant ends.  Since processing times vary depending upon the type of a transaction, transactions may need to be started months before the grant’s end date in order to be completed by then. One exception is personnel costs -- as long as the costing allocation is in place more than three months before the grant closes, salary/wages can continue to be charged up until the last day of the grant.

6. My grant has ended but the final report hasn’t been completed, can grant expenses still be processed in Workday and included in the final report?

Answer: Grant transactions need to appear in the GMR with an accounting date no later than the end date of the grant; and Grants and Contracts Accounting GCA can’t backdate transactions.

7. I’ve budgeted interdepartmental charges in the “Other category”, why is the charge coded to another budget line?

Answer: Generally, interdepartmental charges are charged to the same category as the original expense, and not to the interdepartmental spending categories.