In order to ensure the proper management of funds and that all costs are appropriately reflected on sponsored projects, sometimes a cost transfer is needed to correct or accurately reflect the expenditure. A cost transfer is the reassignment or transfer of charges between funding sources, whether they be sponsored or non-sponsored sources of funding. The expenditures can be payroll or non-payroll in nature.
In accordance with Federal, State, and FSU regulations and guidelines, cost transfers must be completed within a reasonable time frame and include an explanation for the transfer. These transfers present an audit risk to the University, so the policy and procedures FSU has in place are an attempt to mitigate that risk. Please see FSU’s Cost Transfer policy found here: https://www.research.fsu.edu/research-offices/sra/policies-procedures/
When completing a transfer of expenditures to or from a sponsored project, the following documentation must be submitted:
- The Departmental Online Journal Entry Form (DOL) must be submitted to Sponsored Research within 90 calendar days of the end of the month in which the error occurred or within 30 calendar days of the expiration of the project.
- A copy of the original receipt for the expenditure will need to be provided.
- A copy of the Ledger showing where the expenditure originally posted will need to be provided.
- The Cost Transfer Justification form will need to be completed, signed, submitted to Sponsored Research if the charge is being moved to a sponsored project. https://www.research.fsu.edu/research-offices/sra/forms/
- The Electronic Retroactive Distribution of Funding (eRDF) must be submitted through OMNI to Sponsored Research within 90 calendar days from the end of the month in which the error occurred or within 30 calendar days of the expiration of the project.
- The Cost Transfer Justification form will need to be completed, signed, and attached to the eRDF in OMNI if the charge is being moved to a sponsored project. https://www.research.fsu.edu/research-offices/sra/forms/
Best Practices and Tips:
- Please be sure to complete your monthly reconciliations, this will make it easier to discover any errors that need to be corrected and allow for plenty of time to complete the cost transfer process.
- On your Cost Transfer Justification Form provide a detailed explanation of how the expenditure benefits the project. If you need additional pages, feel free to add them.
- Please keep in mind that any time you initiate a transfer, you invite the assumption that the initial transaction was not handled properly. If expenses are being transferred to a sponsored project, there will be considerable scrutiny of the reasons for the transfer and of the justification for moving those charges. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to provide fiscally-sound management of project expenses.
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