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Guidelines for timely cost transfers
Reconciling your grant accounts on a monthly basis will ensure that expenditures are appropriate to, and within the restrictions of, your project. All costs must be allowable, allocable, reasonable, consistently applied, and necessary to achieve project aims.
A cost transfer is an account change to a previously recorded transaction in the General Ledger. Cost transfers for all federal and federal pass-through sponsored awards, including corrections to salary costs, must be received by ORA within three months following the month in which the cost was first incurred.
The principal investigator and fiscal officer (or fiscal officer delegates) are required to review grant expenditures on a monthly basis. IU policy requires fiscal officers to ensure all accounts are reconciled on a monthly basis.
Cost transfers moving expenses to a sponsored project must include a clearly articulated justification for the cost transfer which includes how the expenditures benefited the sponsored project. An explanation such as "to correct error" or “to transfer to correct project” is insufficient.
Late cost transfers
Cost transfers on federal and federal pass through sponsored projects routed to ORA more than three months after the month in which the cost was incurred will be deemed a Late Cost Transfer ("LCT") and require additional justification and approval of the Late Cost Transfer Committee. The justifications must include:
- Why was the expense originally charged to the account from which it is being transferred?
- How does the expense benefit or relate to the scope of work of the receiving account? Describe in detail the expense and its relationship to the project.
- Why is the cost transfer being requested over three months from the date of its origin?
- What is being done to prevent future late cost transfers?
Learn how to complete the Late Cost Transfer Exception Request Form (Accessible 02/18/19)
The graphic below shows the timing of cost transfers requiring Late Cost Transfer Committee Review
|Month 1||Month 2||Month 3||Month 4||Month 5|
|Original Transaction Date – No ORA Late Cost Transfer Committee review required||No ORA Late Cost Transfer Committee review required||No ORA Late Cost Transfer Committee review required||No ORA Late Cost Transfer Committee review required||Requires ORA Late Cost Transfer Committee review|
- Overdrafts on sponsored projects may not be transferred to another sponsored project.
- An LTC proposing a transfer of $500 or less will be denied without further review.
If you need to incur costs for a project where the award is still pending, you are expected to request an advanced account. Late cost transfers due solely to not requesting an advanced account will not be approved.