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Post Award

Processing Retroactive PAs


A Retroactive Personnel Action is any personnel action that affects a prior payroll period (HOOP 137).  It is the policy of the University to assure that submitting and processing Retro PAs that affect funding, salary, or position is truly on an exception basis only. It is also the policy of the University to assure that all Retro PAs are accurate and in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.

This policy applies only to those PAs affecting funding, salary, or position, including changes in fund source; fund extensions; changes in percent time, and terminations.


Sponsored Project Accounts are those accounts involving sponsored projects, and include:

  • Grants
  • Contracts
  • Gifts
  • Endowments

All Other Accounts are all accounts other than those defined as Sponsored Project Accounts (e.g. state accounts, designated accounts, service department accounts, etc.).

For the purposes of applying the Retro PAs policy, any Sponsored Project Account that does not require external financial reporting will be treated as an All Other Account. Confirmation of external financial reporting requirements is the responsibility of the PAF team. 

Established Timeframes

Retro PAs are not allowed to cross fiscal years. This includes processing after fiscal year end.

Retro PAs for Sponsored Project Accounts will only be processed if initial submission is within sixty (60) calendar days from the end of the month when the expense was incurred, unless the Retro PA request is to move the expense from a Sponsored Project Account to an All Other Account. In addition, a Retro PA cannot be requested past the termination date of the sponsored project, unless the Retro PA request is to move an expense off the terminated account.

Any other Retro PA request should be submitted and processed as soon as possible after the need has been identified.


Retro PAs affecting Sponsored Project Accounts are subject to the following allowability criteria:

  • Complies with the terms and conditions of the sponsored project.
  • Supported by accurate Effort Reports in compliance with the Effort Report policy (HOOP 93). 
  • Complies with financial reporting requirements (e.g.,  billings and Financial Status Reports).


Department personnel and leadership are ultimately responsible for ensuring all PAs comply with this policy.



University departments are responsible for submitting Retro PA requests to the System Data Resources (SDR) team on a timely basis within the established timeframes described in the policy overview above. Upon completion of the process, departments will receive notification from SDR concerning the processing of their request.

A Retro PA request submitted to the SDR team also requires a completed Cost Transfer Request signed by the PI and the department's business officer of the appropriate operating unit attached to the Personnel Action at the time of submission

The System Data Resources (SDR) Team 

The SDR team will review the Retro PA request to determine if it meets the criteria for processing. If the request involves a Sponsored Project Account, the SDR Team will submit it to the PAF team for review. 

If PAF disapproves a request, the SDR team will notify the department of the disapproval and forward the PAF team’s reasons for disapproval.

The Post-Award Finance (PAF) Team 

PAF will review those Retro PA requests affecting Sponsored Project Accounts to:

  • Determine with the department if the request is the best option.
  • Determine whether the request is allowable within the rules and institutional policy governing the accounts.
  • Ensure that the Cost Transfer Request has been reviewed and approved in accordance with the Cost Transfers Policy.