Managing Deficit Balances

A gift is considered to be in deficit when total expenditures exceed the gift amount.  Although there are many possible reasons for deficits, some of which may be legitimate and acceptable, deficit balances should be monitored monthly and resolved in a timely manner.  It is not acceptable for deficits to reside in gift accounts for an extended period of time.

It is not appropriate to clear a deficit on a gift by moving it to a different gift.

Department's Monitoring Responsibilities

  • Gift account deficits should be funded on a monthly basis.  If the gift is being held by the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA), the investment pool will need to be provided to the Grant Accounting Office (GAO).
    • Spendable Cash – should be moved over monthly
    • Short Maturity & Intermediate Term Pool – Divest quarterly according to UICA guidelines
    • Long Term Pool – Divest during 3rd quarter of year to cover deficit
  • Gift accounts with large deficits and/or balance forwards from prior years will be reviewed by GAO and a plan of action will be provided by the department to cover the deficit
  • If a plan cannot be provided, the gift account will be closed until the deficit can be resolved
  • The deficit situation will be reported to the University of Iowa Controller who will notify the Dean and Collegiate Budget Officer

Grant Accounting Office's Monitoring Responsibilities

Gift accounts that are in deficit will be reviewed on a monthly basis.  The Gift Accountant, with the Grant Accounting Office contact-us, will contact the department, starting with the WhoKey owner and reviewer to determine the circumstances of the deficit and if there is a plan in place to reduce/eliminate the deficit. 

  • Balance forwards from prior years will take precedence
  • Thresholds for inquiry have been established by GAO
  • Unresolved inquires may result in gift accounts being closed until the deficit can be cleared

Last updated: 12/16/2022