Cost Transfers

Cost Allocation Correction


ORSP Cost Transfer

An ORSP Cost Transfer must be used to 1) correct an error on grant accounts, whether the cost is being moved on or off the grant and regardless of the source of funds involved, or 2) if a Procard default JV exceeds 90 days.

Journal Voucher

A Business Services' Journal Voucher (JV) is used when:

  1. Moving charges incurred within 90 days from a Procard default index/account (done monthly) to an appropriate grant index (JE2) 
    • Attach backup documentation if necessary.
    • In the detailed explanation, ALWAYS
      • include the document number, transaction date, and Banner description; and 
      • tell how the purchase benefited the grant.
    • As with all transfers involving restricted funds, this request should be made within 90 days of incurring the cost or prior to the submission of the final grant expenditure report, whichever comes first.  If over 90 days, an ORSP Cost Transfer must be used in order to document the delay in transfer of expenses to restricted funds.
  2. Reclassifying costs between existing account codes within the same sponsored project index (JE1)
    • Such requests must explain why putting the cost to another account code is appropriate and may be initiated via 1) U-Approve and approved by the appropriate ORSP departmentally-assigned post-award specialist (SPS) or 2) e-mailed to the appropriate SPS.
  3. Transfers to correct a central office (Business Services, ORSP, HRS) error may be initiated by ORSP without approval of the Principle Investigator (PI). 

Cost Principles

Federal, state and private agency policies and audit guidelines have become quite stringent as they relate to allocable costs and cost transfers to, from, or between sponsored projects. See 2 CFR 200.405.  While these guidelines are based upon the federal definitions and cost principles, in order to maintain consistency in the administration of restricted funds, the requirements will be applied to all sponsored programs regardless of the funding source.

The University has a stewardship responsibility for all sponsored funds and these cost allocation correction guidelines will be applied consistently to all sponsored agreements regardless of the funding source.

Standard Process

If a PI determines that a cost allocation correction is necessary and appropriate, an ORSP Cost Transfer Request (separate forms exist for Payroll and Non-Payroll) should be completed and forwarded to the appropriate departmentally-assigned post-award specialist within 90 days of incurring the charge or, if at the end of a project, 15 days prior to the final grant expenditure report due date, whichever comes first.  Note that a Payroll Cost Transfer cannot be used in any circumstances that would result in an increase or decrease of an employee's pay.  This type of transaction must be corrected with an HRS Request for Personnel Transaction (RPT) via U-Approve

Cost Transfer Requests should be signed by the PI for each sponsored program budget involved in the transaction. If this responsibility is delegated, written authorization must be maintained at the department level.  


The applicable sections of the Cost Transfer Request must be filled in accurately and completely.The cost allocation correction will not be approved if it contains insufficient data or inadequate explanation.  

The reasons for transferring the expenditure must be sufficiently stated to establish that the correction is within the approved guidelines of the budget to be charged and is in direct support of the project objectives. 

  • Stress the benefit to the program receiving the cost. 
  • Clearly indicate why the cost wasn't charged correctly initially, and why the cost is a proper and allowable charge to the sponsored project.
  • Where appropriate, indicate what steps have been taken to prevent similar errors from occurring in the future. 

Cost allocation corrections will not be approved if the justification given is to remove cost overruns on the sponsored project, as this clearly violates the federal regulation cited above.

Involvement of a non-sponsored account

If the transfer involves a non-sponsored program account, any authorized departmental approval is acceptable for that account.

Supervisor Approvals

For both below, the completed cost transfer request must be approved by the PI's supervisor of the ORG under which the grant activity resides (department chair/unit head).  In some cases, this may be different than the PI's academic supervisor.  If the department chair/unit head is the PI or otherwise signs for either the from/to account, then the PI's supervisor of the ORG under which the grant activity resides must approve on the department chair line.  Find the ORG via Banner FTMACCI or InfoGriz FRAGRNT Report (search by PI).

  • Corrections in excess of $1,000
  • Corrections after 90 days may be considered only when unique, unavoidable circumstances exist. The unusual circumstance and corrective action taken must be explained on the Cost Transfer Request

 Correcting Systemic Problems

Frequent errors in the recording/monitoring of costs may indicate the need for improvements in the PI's or the department's grant management system. Therefore, where frequent errors occur, the PI and/or department will be required to evaluate the need for improvements and make improvements as recommended by ORSP or Internal Audit.