Timeliness of Transfers
Institutional Audit Report:
Submit Underwrite Request:
What: To make an account change to a previously approved and booked expense is called a "cost transfer".
Why: Cost transfers are to be made within 90 days of the booking of the original expense. Transfers after 90 days will require full justification. Cost transfers to or from accounts awarded under federal funds receive additional scrutiny. The Federal OMB Circulars state that cost transfers are to be made in a timely manner with 90 days generally being the standard adopted by institutions of higher education and accepted by federal awarding agencies.
How: A cost transfers in or out of an account in the sponsored project fund group must be supported by documentation. The justification for the transfer or correction must be clearly articulated to establish and maintain an audit trail.
A justification should give a full explanation of why the transfer is being made. An explanation of "to correct error" or "to transfer to correct project" is not sufficient. The explanation must include justification that the person was actually working on the project in the case of a Salary Transfer (ST) document, or that materials were consumed on the project in the case of a General Error Correction (GEC) document. The fiscal officer is responsible for providing the justification for the transfer.
Cost transfers between fiscal years are not allowed without complete justification.
Transfer of an overdraft to another account in the sponsored project fund group is not allowed without specific agency approval in writing for the account accepting the overdraft.
If you need to incur costs for a project where the award is still pending, you are encouraged to underwrite the account to avoid a cost transfer situation later. Please refer to our post award guidance on underwriting accounts, referenced below.
- Refer to specific federal agency guidelines for restrictions on cost transfers after 90 days.