Frequently Asked Questions
Pre-award administration includes all activities that occur prior to the University accepting a grant award. The pre-award grant process is administered by the Sponsored Research Office.
Post-award administration begins when the University accepts a grant award. The Accounting Office administers post-award grant processes and provides the following services related to sponsored projects:
Creation of unique funds to track accounting activity of sponsored projects, including cost sharing funds
Preparation and submission of all grant billings, invoices, or requests for funds
Preparation and submission of all financial reports and financial portions of any project reports that include accounting information
Examination of monthly accounting activity to assist financial managers and promote compliance with federal, state, institutional, and other regulations including OMB Circulars A-21, A-110, and A-133
Evaluation of account balances to validate account classifications and identify trends.
All payments to the University of Southern Indiana (including income related to grants and sponsored projects) should be sent directly to the Bursar's Office. Grant funds which are routed elsewhere on campus by a granting agency should be delivered immediately to the Bursar's Office in the lower level of the Orr Center in accordance with the University cash handling policy.
Requests for funds should be directed to the accounting contact assigned to your college or department. The Accounting Office will work closely with the Sponsored Research Office to obtain the information necessary to create a fund and notify you when it is ready.
All financial reports and financial portions of grant reports must be completed by the accounting contact assigned to the grant and submitted to the granting agency by the Business Office. All narrative reports should be sent to the accounting contact assigned to the grant in order to be submitted to the granting agency along with the financial report. Narrative reports that exclude financial information are submitted by the principal investigator or project director.
Cost sharing, also referred to as matching, refers to the costs related to sponsored projects or programs that are contributed by the University or a third party other than the granting agency.
Any cost that directly relates to a sponsored project or program that is not charged to the grant fund, but is instead absorbed by another University fund, is considered a cash match. Examples of cash matches include salaries, wages, supplies, etc. Non-cash contributions of goods or services by a third party (other than the University or granting agency) are considered in-kind contributions.
Cost sharing is considered mandatory when it is required by the agency and voluntary when it is not. However, it is important to note that voluntary cost share that is offered in the proposal budget or narrative becomes mandatory if the proposal is accepted by the agency and the grant is awarded.
In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110, expenditures must meet the following criteria to be eligible for cost sharing:
1. Cost sharing expenditures must be verifiable in the University's accounting records.
2. Cost sharing expenditures may not be included as cost share for more than one project.
3. Cost sharing expenditures must be reasonable, necessary, and directly related to the project objectives.
4. Cost sharing expenditures should be allowable under the terms of the award. Expenses that are disallowed from a grant fund are also not eligible for cost share.
5. Cost sharing may not be paid by federal funds unless specifically authorized by federal statute.
6. Cost sharing expenditures are included in the approved project budget if required by the granting agency.
Your accounting contact will create a separate fund to track the cost share portion of each sponsored project or program so that those contributions can be included in financial reports to granting agencies and properly reflected in the University's financial statements. All cost share expenses, including employee compensation, should be paid directly from the cost share fund and not charged to other, existing funds. Please refer to the Cost Transfer Procedure if cost share expenditures are erroneously charged to a fund other than the associated cost share fund.
A cost transfer occurs when an expense that is originally allocated to one fund/orgn is moved to another fund/orgn by journal entry or payroll reallocation.
It is important for financial managers or their designees to review their accounting activity on a regular basis to ensure that all expenditures are properly recorded and to request cost transfers when necessary.
The Office of Management and Budget A-133 Compliance Supplement indicates that frequent requests for cost transfers are considered by auditors to be indicative of weak internal controls or unreliable accounting systems. Further, this document specifically instructs auditors to examine cost transfers for allowability. Any transactions that would be deemed to be noncompliant or disallowed may result in reimbursement to a grantor or loss of future grant funding. College & University Business Administration, 7th Edition, a publication of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), also states that auditors have disallowed cost transfers made near the end of a project period when they appeared to be primarily done to utilize remaining funds before a grant expired.
Every effort should be made to avoid cost transfers by ensuring that the correct fund and orgn are provided when a transaction is initiated by any method (including payroll notifications, requisitions, direct pay forms, commercial card transactions, and travel authorizations).
Cost transfers must be requested within 90 days of the Banner transaction date.
Requests for cost transfers must include sufficient explanation to justify the need for the transfer. The statement to correct an error is not sufficient.
Requests for cost transfers relating to employee compensation or benefits should be submitted to the payroll department for payroll reallocation. (Please note that payroll expenses cannot be reallocated after the effort has been certified.) Non-payroll requests for cost transfers should be sent by email to the accounting contact for the fund and orgn. A list of accounting contacts is available at Financial Manager Spreadsheet.
updated 2/13/2012 3:34:36 PM
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