Expenditure and Award Management

Allowable Costs

  • Uniform Guidance defines the factors affecting allowability of costs. Under these principlescosts must be:


    1. REASONABLE: A cost may be considered reasonable if the nature of the goods or services and the amount of cost involved reflect the action that a prudent person would have taken under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision to incur the cost was made.
    2. ALLOCABLE to the particular sponsored agreement and in compliance with the federal cost principles and methods.

      A cost is allocable to a sponsored project if (1) it is incurred solely to advance the work under the sponsored agreement; and (2) it benefits both the sponsored project and other work of the institution, in proportions that can be approximated through use of reasonable methods.

      Any costs allocable to activities sponsored by industry, foreign governments or other sponsors may not be shifted to federally-sponsored agreements.


    3. GIVEN CONSISTENT TREATMENTthroughout the institution.


    4. COMPLIANTwith any limitations or exclusions set forth in applicable federal regulations and the particular sponsored agreement’s terms and conditions.


Transferring expenses - (Cost Transfers)
Transfer of costs (expenses) to a Federal grant or contract should be the exception, not the rule. Expenses should normally be applied to the appropriate project account at the time the expense is incurred. However, when errors do occur, they must be corrected in a timely manner and with justification and documentation sufficient for audit review.

UMB policies and procedures for various types of transfers are located at the Financial Services Policies page.