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Compensation

The Academic Student Employees (ASEs) 2018-2021 negotiated agreement includes a $100 lump sum payment to ASEs with at least a 50% appointment, payable during the first quarter of employment starting with the 2018-2019 academic year. The payment is allocated to the cost center (budget) that is covering the salary at the time of payment under Object Code 01-80. It is up to each unit to reallocate the cost if the budget does not have sufficient funds to cover the cost or if the cost is unallowable.

This cost is allowable on Sponsored Awards with the following caveats:

It is allocated to the budgets based on the salary allocation at the time of payment; costs cannot be reallocated based on budgetary convenience.

NIH sets the reasonable compensation level for graduate students to either the zero-level or first-level, if appropriately rebudgeted. This $100 in compensation (as it is charged to Object Code 01-80) is unallowable if its inclusion causes the total amount of compensation to exceed the NIH compensation limitation.

Cost Allocation

You may allocate costs across more than one Award as long as the allocation to each Award is in proportion to the benefit provided. For more information, see PAFC's web page on Cost Allocation.

Documentation

Yes. The goal is to have documentation that the items were received, so indicating on the invoice that the items were received, the name of the person who received them, and the date of receipt is acceptable in lieu of signing the packing slip. 

External sponsors may request a copy of the UW’s Single Audit or A-133 Audit. When such a request is made, Sponsors should be directed to the State of Washington website where Single Audits are maintained.

For more information, see PAFC's web page on the UW single audit.

 

Verification, by either email or signature, would be noted on any of the following documents that contain an itemized list of the goods or services received: 

—Packing slip received with the goods
—Itemized vendor invoice
—Written request for purchase of goods or services
—Other itemized list of goods or services signed by a responsible individual

Equipment

No. The equipment purchase threshold is $5,000 (for total acquisition, which includes shipping and taxes) and any item that meets that threshold must be treated as equipment.

No. Any expenditure made for budgetary convenience (“use up remaining funds”) is not allowable. For more information, refer to PAFC's web pages on the Four Cost Principles and End of Award Expenditures.

If the computer is necessary to complete the objectives of the Award, and the cost is primarily allocable to the award, the computer can be listed as a direct cost. 

For more information on direct billing of F&A costs, see the PAFC web page Requirements to Direct Bill F&A.

Sponsor approval is typically required for all equipment purchases. Review the Award and the sponsor's requirements. See PAFC's web page on equipment for more information on such purchases.

No. Even though laptops do not meet the definition of Equipment, it does not mean that they can be disposed of by giving them away. Laptops should be retained by the department and continued to be used for research. If an individual wants to purchase the laptop, then this should be arranged via UW Surplus. Any proceeds from the sale of a laptop should be credited to the Budget under which the laptop was original purchased.

Fines/Fees

For a single Award, where the controlled substance(s) are required to achieve the objectives of the Award, charging the annual license fee to the Award as a direct cost would be allowable. If the controlled substance(s) are required to achieve the objectives for multiple Awards or other activities, allocating the annual fee to each of the Awards or other activities on some reasonable basis as a direct cost would be allowable. In cases where it is not possible to determine proportional benefits, the annual license fee should be treated as an F&A cost.

This would not be an allowable use of university funds, including grants, contracts, or gifts. At the discretion of the Dean/Director, discretionary funds may be used for these costs.

No, the UW-IT Technology Recharge Fee cannot be charged to a Federal Award or a Federal Flow through Award.  

No, the HRP Payroll Modernization Fee cannot be charged to a Federal Award or a Federal Flow through Award.  

The HRPM fee is allocated to units based on FTE, so units should also use effort to reallocate this cost to budgets where the HRPM fee is an allowable expense. This reallocation should be done via a Cost or Expense transfer using the HRPM fee designated Object Code 03-05.

The HRPM fee should be allocated on a regular basis over the course of the year. This will ensure that budgets are being allocated on the basis of actual effort and not just the effort allocation at the time the HRPM Fee is being charged to the unit. 

This will result in Cost Transfers being completed more than 120 days from the costs’ original posting, so there should be an explanation added in the MyFD Cost Transfer stating that the transfer is delayed in order to ensure that costs are being allocated based on actual effort expended on the budget. 

Historically, costs for an IRB review at a single institution by UW’s IRB have been considered an indirect cost covered by UW’s F&A rates. However, this is changing with the introduction of NIH’s Single IRB policy. Review the UW’s Human Subjects Division website and the NIH IRB website (Section I. Costs) for more information. 

Food/Meals

Auditors scrutinize meal purchases because they can include unallowable costs such as alcohol and/or per meal costs over the per diem allocation. Provision of an itemized receipt will provide proof of the cost allowability.

In planning a meeting/conference, ensure that the vendor will itemize food purchases separately from other costs. If the vendor embeds food and beverage costs into the total cost of the meeting space, the department should work with the vendor to have the food and beverage costs identified separately. Refer to PAFC's web page Food Purchases on Sponsored Awards for more information.

The food and beverage cost, including any applicable taxes, tips, and service charges, may not exceed the per diem allocation for the meal. Some non-federal sponsors may allow meal costs to exceed the standard per diem rate. Written sponsor approval is required in these instances. 

If food is required for an Award, ideally it would be itemized in the proposal budget. If food for research was not included in the budget, then the purchase should include a documented justification for why the food was required. The justification would include how the purchase of food is necessary to achieve the award objectives.  

No, these types of events are not considered necessary to meet Award objectives. See our web page on Food Purchases on Sponsored Awards for more information on purchases of food/meals.

The purchase of alcohol and any costs associated with the purchase or provision of alcohol are not allowable, except where written sponsor approval has been received. For more information, see our web page on Food Purchases on Sponsored Awards. Alcohol and related purchases must be made on a discretionary budget. Examples of costs that are incurred for the purpose of the provision of alcohol are alcohol permits, bar "set up" fees, or costs associated with bartending services.

Departments have an obligation to confirm that the beverages are truly complimentary and will not be reflected as a charge in another area. It is not acceptable for a vendor to embed the cost of beverages in other costs, such as meeting space. For more information, refer to PAFC's web page on Food Purchases on Sponsored Awards.

First, in planning the event and selecting the meal to be served, every effort should be made to have a margin between the planned meal cost and the allowable per diem. This will allow some cushion for no-shows before the per diem is exceeded. However, if the per diem is exceeded and the amount is reasonable, under the circumstances we would consider the additional cost allowable. There is still a possibility that an auditor would disagree and deem the excess unallowable.

Yes. For more information, see "Meals over Per Diem" on the Food Purchases on Sponsored Awards section of the PAFC website.