Cost Transfers

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.

Read IU's policy on cost transfers on grants and contracts

Regular monitoring

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.

Read IU's policy outlining the roles of fiscal officer, account manager, and account supervisor

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?

Request approval of a late cost transfer

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

Cost Transfer Calendar
Month 1Month 2Month 3Month 4Month 5
Original Transaction Date – No ORA Late Cost Transfer Committee review requiredNo ORA Late Cost Transfer Committee review requiredNo ORA Late Cost Transfer Committee review requiredNo ORA Late Cost Transfer Committee review requiredRequires ORA Late Cost Transfer Committee review

Advanced accounts

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.

Learn more about advanced accounts