A cost transfer is any transfer of expenditures to or from a sponsored project (i.e. an LBFDN G fund) to align costs with the actual benefit received on the project. The request for a cost transfer should only be required in rare circumstances, as the PI is responsible for ensuring that the original transactions are appropriately and accurately charged to the correct account.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21 Section C4 states that “any costs allocable to a particular sponsored agreement under the standards provided in (OMB Circular A-21) may not be shifted to other sponsored agreements in order to meet deficiencies caused by overruns or other fund considerations, to avoid restrictions imposed by law or by terms of the sponsored agreement, or for other reasons of convenience.” CSULB considers any cost transfer made for any of these purposes inappropriate, but recognizes that there will be certain circumstances when cost transfers must be done to correct charges on sponsored accounts.
The government also requires that cost transfers be done in a timely manner. Most government agencies define “timely” as within 90 days. CSULB has adopted this guideline for timeliness. Only in cases of exceptional circumstances will cost transfers be permitted more than 90 days after the original charge. Additional explanation is required here to document the reason for the lateness of the request and the steps to be taken to assure that transfer requests are made timely in the future.
This policy is not applicable to the following:
Adherence to this policy and procedure is necessary, as inappropriate or poorly documented cost transfers can result denied reimbursement or disallowance of these questionable charges or imposing other sanctions on the University, such as fines or loss of certain authorities.
As defined in the Policy, a cost transfer is any transfer of expenditures to or from a sponsored project to align costs with the actual benefit received on the project. The subsequent procedure should be followed when requesting a cost transfer to or from a sponsored project. It is important to note that transfers made to an unrestricted account to clear a deficit on a sponsored account are not considered cost transfers. If cost sharing is required for the sponsored agreement with the deficit, these costs may be used to offset the cost sharing requirement.
To initiate a cost transfer request to an LBFDN G fund, the PI is responsible for completing a Cost Transfer Request form in accordance with the associated directions. The request form can be sent electronically to the attention of the responsible Grants and Contracts Administrator (GCA) at email@example.com from the PI or an authorized designee’s email, the email will serve as adequate authorization for the cost transfer. The PI should ensure that these requests:
The following illustrates appropriate and inappropriate reasons to request a cost transfer, please contact the GCA office for further guidance or clarification.
Acceptable Reasons for a Cost Transfer
Unacceptable Reasons for a Cost Transfer
Once the Cost Transfer Request form is completed it should be sent to the appropriate GCA (firstname.lastname@example.org). ORSP is responsible for reviewing and approving all cost transfer requests and ensuring that they are compliant with the guidelines established within this procedure. Should ORSP decide that the cost transfer is not appropriate the request will be returned to the PI. If approved, the GCA will prepare a journal entry for the expense to be transferred and posted.
|From Fund #||The fund where the charge is currently posted.|
|To Fund #||The Fund # ("G") where the charge should be posted.|
|Requestor||The name of the person completing the form.|
|Date requested||The date the form is completed.|
|From Expense Account #||The Account (6 digits) code of the original charge.|
|To Expense Account #||The Account (6 digits) code where the charge should be posted.|
|Post date||The posted date of the original expenditure on the General Ledger.|
|Reference Number||The primary reference number on the original transaction, which can be found in the transaction record, typically the Document Line Description (Doc Ln Descr). If you don’t provide the reference number, attach a copy of the detail report with the expense(s) to be transferred highlighted.|
|Description||The name of the vendor, employee name and campus ID #, or other description showing in the transaction record.|
|Amount||The total direct amount to be transferred. Associated F&A costs will be automatically transferred. If only a portion of an expense item is being transferred, explain why in the justification section.|
|Justification||(1) Per OMB Circular A-21 guidelines, expenses “…may not be shifted to other sponsored agreements in order to meet deficiencies caused by overruns or other fund considerations, to avoid restrictions imposed by or by terms of the sponsored agreement, or for other reasons of convenience.”|
This should be the signature of the Project Director (PD) assigned to the project the expense is being transferred to. The PD should review the request for completeness and accuracy. The PD's responsibility is to ensure that the University is in compliance with these regulations. The PD is responsible for ensuring that cost transfers are:
|Approval||The Sr. Director of Sponsored Programs will review the request for completeness and allowability.|
View the Cost Transfer Policy for further guidance.