A cost transfer, also known as an expense transfer, is an after-the-fact reallocation of the cost associated with a transaction from one account to another account(s) and may involve a sponsored award or a DeptID.
When an expense is posted to a sponsored award, the costs must be allowable and allocable, and must be necessary for the scope of the project. While the University expects that all costs posted to sponsored awards are correctly charged at the outset, it is sometimes necessary to make a correction or an adjustment to ensure proper allocation of expenses. Local Research Administrators (LRAs) are responsible for assisting Principal Investigators (PIs) in regular monitoring of expenses and for submitting timely adjustments when necessary.
Cost transfers should not:
Cost transfers that are made within 90 calendar days from the end of the month when the original charge was posted are expedited. Post-Award relies on Local Research Administrators at the schools and centers to ensure that expedited cost transfers are in compliance with the University policies, sponsor terms and conditions, and federal regulations where applicable. Post-Award reviews expedited cost transfers for completeness of the paperwork before posting. Cost transfer requests are only processed with complete documentation.
Cost transfers made outside of the 90-day window from the end of the month when the original charge was posted are high audit risk transactions. Post-Award completes full review of requests for such cost transfers and may request additional information in order to complete the review.
This process applies to non-salary cost transfers only. Transfers of salary expenses must be processed via a labor adjustment (associated fringe benefits will be transferred automatically when a labor adjustment is processed). Please see Effort Reporting or contact Post-Award with questions regarding such adjustments.
Expedited Cost Transfers
Any charges that require proper allocation, including those that require a split allocation and erroneous charges identified by PIs and LRAs during the routine reviews can be transferred to or from a sponsored award within 90 calendar days from the end of the month when the original charge was posted. For example, on an active award, a cost transfer of October charge requested on or before January 29th may use the expedited cost transfer method. A note in the remarks section is sufficient for justifying such cost transfers. Expedited cost transfers cannot be processed after the award end date.
What to include:
Cost transfers that take place more than 90 calendar days from the end of the month when the original charge was posted pose audit and financial risk to the University and should be avoided. In addition to the full supporting documentation and an approval from the Director of Post-Award, these types of transfers also require an approval from the Executive Associate Dean (EAD) or equivalent before they can be processed. When the adjustments are posted, Post-Award will submit a revised financial report or invoice to the sponsor and returns any associated funds, if applicable.
What to include:
Cost transfers identified after the end date of an award must be submitted with appropriate documentation no later than 45 days from the end date of the award. Once a final financial report or final reimbursement request is submitted, expenses cannot be transferred onto a sponsored award.
In the unlikely event that a charge is identified as not belonging on an award more than 45 days after the award end date, a cost transfer must be submitted with all required documentation to move the expense to a DeptID. This type of transfers requires the approval of the EAD or equivalent in addition to the approval of the Director of Post-Award in order to be processed. When the adjustments are posted, Post-Award will submit a revised financial report or invoice to the sponsor and returns any associated funds to the sponsor, if applicable.
An explanation is required for all expense transfers involving sponsored awards. Explanation codes have been established to help simplify the expense transfer process. These codes are listed at the middle of the Expense Transfer Form and are as follows:
Multiple expenses within the same account code may be grouped together as one line of entry on the Expense Transfer Form, provided that detailed documentation of the transactions adding up to the total transfer amount has been submitted along with the request.
If the funds in the debit account are not sufficient to cover the charge(s), or if no budget exists for the account code, the account may require rebudgeting. Please contact the Budget Center for budget changes on the DeptID.
If it is determined that an expense is unallowable on a sponsored award, a cost transfer will be made to a DeptID.
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Submit Post-Award documents for processing: firstname.lastname@example.org.