Summary of Cost Transfer Guidelines


A Cost Transfer is (GIM 15 – Transfer of Expenditures Between Budgets):

  • Moving an expense from one budget to another.
  • Moving an expense from one object code to another.
  • Correcting other transaction coding errors (e.g., PCA codes).

A Cost Transfer should only be done for the following reasons:

  • To correct an erroneous charge to an incorrect budget or object code.
  • To correct an error when the value of the transaction is greater than $10.00.
  • To re-allocate expenses where the expense can only be initially coded to one or a few budgets.

A Cost Transfer is NOT a Financial Management tool to be used to:

  • Move costs for budgetary convenience.
  • Temporarily post costs on a sponsored budget until a budget number becomes available (use a department budget or request an Advance Budget).

Best Practices to Avoid Cost Transfers

  • Ensure there are good Internal Controls for coding of expenditures.
  • Reconcile budgets in a timely manner.
  • Review the Award and applicable regulations to ensure all costs are allowable.
  • Ensure that costs allocated across more than one budget are treated consistently with other allocated costs.
  • Monitor Award budgets to ensure funds are expended in accordance with the award.
  • Monitor Award budgets to track expenditures and available funds.

Best Practices for Cost Transfer Documentation

All documentation of Cost Transfers should include the following information:

  • Why the error occurred and which internal control broke down.
  • Steps the department is taking to ensure the error will not happen again.
  • The tangible benefit to the recipient budget.

Post Award Fiscal Compliance email:

For questions and issues relating to Effort Reporting, email:

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