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Unallowable Costs / Over Expenditures

It is the Principal Investigator’s (PI) responsibility to comply with all the financial terms and conditions of an award.  This includes ensuring that costs are correctly charged to the restricted account according to the sponsor-approved project budget and the terms and conditions of the award.

Each expense charged to the account must be:

  1. directly related to the project,
  2. must be allowable under the terms and conditions of the award, and
  3. must be included in the sponsor-approved budget. 

Any questions concerning the allowability of costs should be directed to ORSP staff prior to incurring the cost.  ORSP staff can assist the PI in determining if the cost is allowable under the current budget or if a budget revision is required.  While departmental administrators may assist PIs in managing their accounts, the PI is ultimately responsible for all costs charged to their restricted accounts.

ORSP staff monitor expenditures for compliance with University, state, federal, and sponsor guidelines to ensure policies are consistently applied.  However, only the PI can verify that each individual expense is appropriate to the account.  As a result, the PI and the PI’s unit are responsible for any over expenditures or any costs that are determined to be unallowable.  It is therefore critical that the PI carefully monitor all expenditures charged to his/her restricted accounts and implement procedures as necessary to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the award.

Resolution - Cost Transfer of Expenses

When an 1) overbudget, 2) unallowable expenditure, or 3) expenditure after end date of the grant occurs, the post-award specialist will send an email notice to the PI and departmental research administrator (DRA) requesting immediate resolution.  

If the problem is not resolved in a timely manner (for example, if an unallowable expenditure is flagged at billing, follow-up will occur at the next billing cycle), the post-award specialist will again email the PI and DRA, and copy the ORSP director and the PI’s chair/director.  If unresolved, ORSP will move the expense(s) to the appropriate departmental SPABA account.