This section contains the Closeout Report Tutorial. The tutorial is primarily intended for AFG and FPS grant recipients to assist them in submitting their closeout report. SAFER recipients are encouraged to review the tutorial; however, some sections will be different in the actual closeout. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the help desk at 1-866-274-0960.
- Closeout Report Sections
- Submitting a Closeout Report
- Common Reasons a Closeout Report Is Released
- Frequently Asked Questions
There are seven sections in the closeout report you'll need to complete:
- Cover Page
- Request Details Information
- Equipment Inventory
- Residual Supplies Inventory
- Returned Funds
We recommend that you fill out the sections of the closeout report in the order listed on the home screen.
To access a section, select the "Create/Update" function in the "Action" column to the right of the section you want to access.
Report Cover Page
The report cover page is the first section. This section asks for contact information.
The contact information fields will automatically display the information you submitted in your grant application. Please double-check and make sure none of the information has changed. Make any necessary edits. Note that updating the contact information on this page will NOT update contact information on the application itself. You will have to update that information on the application.
When you're finished editing this page, click "Save and Continue" to go back to the closeout report home screen. If you've completed all information, the status for the report cover page will have changed to "complete."
It's important to always click "Save and Continue" when you make any edits to the closeout report. Otherwise, the system will not record any of the changes.
Performance Report Narrative
The next section, Performance Report Narrative, asks you to provide a summary of your accomplishments and how the grant program impacted your community and firefighters.
Before completing the narrative, you'll need to answer a few questions.
First, indicate whether your department began reporting to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, or NFIRS, before your first AFG award. Next, indicate whether your department is currently reporting to NFIRS. The next two questions ask for the specific date your department began reporting to NFIRS and your FDID/FDIN number. This is a five-character number issued by the state fire marshal. This number is auto-populated from your grant application, so please verify that it is correct.
If your organization is an EMS organization, you do not have to answer these questions because you do not report to NFIRS.
In the narrative section, you have a maximum of 4,000 characters to complete your narrative. It should reflect how the AFG grant improved your department's firefighting capabilities and enhanced the safety of the community you served. It is imperative that you include this information, or the closeout may be released back to you for revision.
Do not include any financial information in your narrative unless the prices of items the grant funded have NOT changed since the time of the award. We'll discuss this further in the next section.
Replacing Old Vehicles
Question 13 of the request details section of the application is, "If awarded will you permanently remove this substandard vehicle from service?"
For most FY2006 and later vehicle awardees, the department indicated that it would use grant funds to replace an old vehicle deemed unsafe for emergency use (for example, if the vehicle had an open cab and no seatbelts).
If you answered yes to this question, you will have to provide a status of the replaced vehicle in the narrative, including where it is currently located, whether it has been taken out of service, and whether it will be used for emergency response.
Once you've completed your narrative, click "Save and Continue" to return to the closeout home page.
If you answered all the questions, the status for the Report Narrative will change to "complete."
Request Details Information
The next section is Request Details Information.
This is the bulk of the closeout report. You must include all financial expenditures incurred with the AFG grant and matching funds in this section.
Ensuring Correct Prices
This section will automatically generate information from the original Request Details section in your application at the time of award. It will display which items were funded and at what price (applied or negotiated).
Many grantees see the original information in this section and assume it is complete, but this is not the case. You must look at every section and update them to reflect the true cost of the item.
The closeout report should be an accurate, specific record of all the expenditures made with both the federal funds and your department's match. If prices have changed, which is typically the case, you must update each entry to match your invoices to the penny, including tax and shipping costs that were incurred.
Let's go over how to update items.
You must update each item to match your invoices, delete items that you did not purchase, and add items you did purchase that weren't listed on the original application. First, select the activity you need to update by clicking on the "View Details" link in the Action column. This will take you to a Request Details screen that lists the items and prices for each activity.
Click "Update" to correct existing information, or "Delete" to remove items you didn't purchase. To add new line items, click on "Add Equipment." When updating line items, enter the information in the Description box, or the information will not save.
Once you've finished updating information for the activity, click on "Return to Summary," and repeat the process for each activity: Equipment, Modification of Facilities, PPE, Training, and Health & Wellness.
When you've finished updating information for each activity, click "Save and Continue" at the bottom of the page to ensure all changes have been saved. Otherwise, you will have to start over.
Update Additional Funding
This section reflects any changes that were made to the Object Classes via Article IV of your award package. This usually includes grant writer fees, traveling expenses for vehicles, installation costs for training rooms, etc.
If you need to update additional funding for an activity, you must return to the Request Details Information page, and click "Update Additional Funding" in the Action column for the appropriate activity.
If you fill out this form and click Save and Continue, the system will always recognize this as part of the closeout report. If you need to deleted any entries, enter $0.00 for the cost and "Not Applicable" for explanation.
Once you have accounted for all of your costs and answered all required questions, this section will be complete.
The next section is the Equipment Inventory section. You should complete this section only if you have a single-item purchase priced $5,000 or more.
Complicated projects, such as exhaust systems and communications systems, don't need to be entered here because they usually comprise multiple parts.
However, items such as compressors, fill stations, extrication equipment, generators, and vehicles should be included here.
To add or update equipment, click on the "Create/Update" link under the Action column for "Equipment Inventory." This will take you to an Equipment Inventory screen.
If the Equipment Inventory section does not apply to the closeout report, check the "Not Applicable" box, and click "Save and Continue" to return to the closeout report home page. The equipment inventory status will change to "Not Applicable."
If it does apply to your closeout report, proceed by answering the questions at the top of the page. If your department plans to use this equipment after the grant has been closed, you should answer "Yes" to both questions. Sometimes grantees are confused by these questions, and the AFG Program Office will not process a closeout report if you answer "No."
After answering the two questions, click "Add Equipment," to get to an "Add Equipment" screen. Fill out the fields on this screen.
Note the question, "Do you request the use of equipment on other federally supported activities?" This is asking if your department will be using this equipment with other federal programs or agencies if the need arises.
For example, if your department is awarded a TIC, and another department requests to use it for a wildlands fire, will your department lend them the camera? This is similar to mutual aid. If this type of situation is likely to occur, answer "Yes" to the question.
Please note that the acquisition cost should match the price listed in the Request Details Information section to the penny. When you are finished entering information, click "Save and Continue," and repeat the process for each item that needs to be listed in the equipment inventory. When you have finished entering equipment, click, "Save and Continue."
Residual Supplies Inventory
The next section of the closeout report is the Residual Supplies Inventory. You should complete this section if your department has $5,000 in items that are not in immediate use after your grant is completed. An example would be fire prevention materials that will be distributed at another date.
For example: A department purchased $10,000 worth of smoke detectors, and at the time of closeout, they had distributed $4,000 worth of smoke detectors. They will need to account for the remaining $6,000 in this section. Note that if the department had distributed $6,000 worth of smoke detectors, they would not have to complete this section since they would have less than $5,000 in residual supplies.
If your department does not need to complete this section, select "Not Applicable," and click "Save and Continue," which will return you to the Closeout Report home page. The Residual Supplies Inventory status will change to "Not Applicable."
If you do have to complete the Residual Supplies Inventory, click "Add Supplies," to get to the Add Supplies screen.
The questions on this screen are similar to the ones in the Equipment Inventory section, except they don't ask for a specific price. Instead, you have to provide an estimated current fair market value.
Complete all questions on the screen, and click "Save and Continue." Repeat the process for each item that needs to be listed in the Residual Supplies Inventory.
When you've finished, click "Save and Continue" to return to the home page of the closeout report.
Final Financial Status Report SF-425
The next section of the closeout report is the Final Financial Status Report, or the SF-425. This is a new standard form that was implemented for all grantees who did not submit a closeout report prior to October 1, 2009.
Due to the complexity of the form, the majority of information will be auto-populated from your application, history, and Total Reports Costs from the Request Details Information section of your closeout report. It's important to note that if you have not completed the Request Details Information section, the link for the SF-425 will remain "view," and you will not be able to see the create/update link. Make sure you have finished the request details information first.
Questions You Must Answer on the SF-425 form
While much of the information on the SF-425 fis auto-populated, you will need to provide answers to a few items on the form:
- Basis of Accounting
- Indirect Costs
- Cumulative Transactions
- Total Recipient Share Required
- Recipient Share of Expenditures
Let's talk about each of these.
Basis of Accounting
Question 7 on the SF-425 form asks whether your accounting basis is cash or accrual. If you are not sure, ask your department’s accountant or the person who handles the department’s finances.
Question 11 asks you to account for indirect costs if you have an indirect cost agreement. For the majority of grantees, this is not applicable and should be left blank. If you do not know whether or not you have indirect costs, contact the AFG program office.
The cumulative transactions section, lines 10a-10c of the form, determines whether funds need to be returned or not. There are three number auto-populated in this area:
- Cash receipts
- Cash disbursement
- Cash on hand
These lines are based on your grant history and how you've filled out the Request Details Information portion of your closeout.
The cash receipts number is the sum of approved payment requests to the grantee. It will equal the total from the payment history. For example, a grantee is awarded $10,000 and has a 95/5 cost share. The federal share is $9,500. The department withdrew the full $9,500.
Cash disbursements is generated by taking the sum of the Total Cost of All Activities and the grant writer fee from the Request Details Information, or RDI, section of the closeout report and multiplying it by the federal cost-share percentage.
Continuing with the example, in the RDI of the closeout report, the grantee has $8,000 for the Total Cost of All Activities and a $500 grant writer fee. $8,000 plus $500 multiplied by the 95 percent federal cost share is $8,075.
Cash on Hand
To get the number for cash on hand, subtract the cash disbursements from the cash receipts. If there is a positive number, the grantee will have to return this amount back to FEMA. This will trigger an automatic amount in the Return Funds section of the closeout report.
Continuing with the example, $9,500 minus $8,075 is $1,425. The grantee must return this amount to FEMA.
If the grantee spends funds correctly, this number should equal $0.00
In some circumstances, this number may be negative which could indicate an overmatch by the grantee. In this case, after the grantee submits the report and there are still federal funds remaining in the account, a closeout specialist will review and determine whether the grantee is still entitled to the funds.
Total Recipient Share Required (Line 10i)
Line 10i, Total Recipient Share Required, is based on the items you have charged to AFG. This question asks you to enter the total cost-share required for these purchases. The amount you enter should NOT include cost sharing and match amounts in excess of the amount required by FEMA.
For example, if you have a 5 percent cost share and your total award is for $40,000 worth of equipment, you would enter $2,000 because 5 percent of $40,000 equals $2,000.
Recipient Share of Expenditures (10j)
Question 10j, Recipient Share of Expenditures, is also based on the items you've charged to AFG and asks you how much of your cost share you've spent.
For example, if you have a 5 percent cost share, and have purchased $40,0000 in equipment and withdrawn $40,000 from AFG, then you have only used federal funds to cover the costs of your items. You have not met your match. Therefore, you would answer $0.00 to this question.
After you've reviewed the SF-425 and entered all required information, click "Save and Continue" to return to the Closeout Report home screen.
The last section of the closeout report, "Return Funds," is only applicable to closeouts for fiscal year 2005 and later. Regardless of whether you owe funds or not, you must still access and perform an action this section. You can determine whether an amount is owed by entering the Return Funds section and viewing the Unused Funds and Interest Earned tables at the top of the page. If less than $100 is owed, the amount will be waived.
A great way to avoid returning funds is to maintain your match at all times. Always fulfill your scope of work before purchasing additional items that weren't awarded.
Accessing Return Funds
Click on "Create/Update" under the Action column for "Return Funds." This screen will take you to the Checks Summary screen.
Checks Summary Screen
This screen will list the funds that need to be returned based on the information you provided in your closeout report in either the unused or interest earned table(s) at the top of the page.
Even if no funds are owed, or funds less than $100 are owed, you must still take action in this section. You must click the “Return Funds” hyperlink at the bottom of the Return Funds homepage. Doing so will pop-up a window with a summary of unused and interest earned. Click the “save and continue” button. Once you’ve saved the information, you can now return to the closeout homepage. The Return Funds section should now be complete.
In the event that you owe funds greater than $100 back to the Program, click on "Create" under the Action column to enter or update the details of the check or checks you'll need to send. If you need to modify the check amount, click the "Go Back" button and update your closeout report.
When you're finished, click "Save and Continue" to view the Check Details screen.
View the Check Details form you'll need to send in with your check. Verify that the information is correct, and click "Print Check Details" to print the form. Prior to mailing your check, please include your grant number in the memo line.
Completing Return Funds
Click "Print" in the pop-up box to print the form, of click "Cancel" if you've already printed it. After printing the form, click on "Back to Check Summary" ONLY if there are other checks you need to submit. If you do not have to send additional checks, click on "Back to Grant Closeout Reports" to submit the closeout report.
Note: If you entered check information, that section will remain "incomplete" unless you print your form.