Restricted Expenditures on Federal Projects

Restricted Expenditures on Federal Projects


The Uniform Guidance (UG) published guidelines require certain expenses to be reviewed to determine if they are allowable. These expenses include: clerical and administrative salaries, supplies (consumable and office supplies), postage, telephone line charges and local calls, memberships and dues, journals and other subscriptions, books, and hosting and food expenses. The main purpose of these federal guidelines is to confirm that all expenses charged to a research project have a "Direct Benefit" and should be charged as "Direct Costs" to the project.

While some expenses may have a "Direct Benefit", they may be more appropriate as charges on a discretionary Chartfield combination. Some of these expenses may already be included in the indirect cost recovery under federal guidelines and therefore, are not appropriate to the federal project. For example, general postage and telephone charges are included in the indirect cost recovery calculations and should not be charged as direct costs to a federal project, unless specifically requested and approved in the proposed budget submitted to the sponsor.

Request of Funds in Original Budget Proposal & Post-award Requests

When a grant proposal is submitted to the sponsor, specific funding should be requested for any category of expenses that may be questioned under the UG. Justification should be provided as to why these expenses are necessary to conduct research during the scope of the project. For example, it may be appropriate to request funds for general postage in conjunction with an anticipated survey that will be mailed out as part of the research project.

A job aid titled Review of Uniform Guidance Monitored Budgets has been produced to assist Project Directors and Project Administrators in preparing proposal budgets by identifying those types of expenses included in the UG monitored budget categories. The job aid also identifies those types of expenses that are not included in the UG monitored budget categories.

Other post-award considerations apply to purchase requisitions, petty cash reimbursements, Non Po vouchers, transfer vouchers, journal entries, hosting/travel expense reports, and purchasing card expense reports. When preparing these documents, a more descriptive Account code than 615560 or 616040 should be provided, when one is available. If an accurate Account code is not available, contact the Financial Operations-Financial Reports area to establish a new Account.

Annual and Final Review

A review of certain restricted expenses is required for awards with activity beginning 7/1/94 or later. Sponsored Programs staff will review all Federal Project/Grants on an annual basis. In addition to the annual review one will be completed when the final Financial Status Report and/or final bill are completed. The review may result in costs being identified that need to be addressed. In such cases a Uniform Guidance Report will be sent to the Project Director detailing the costs to be reviewed.

A job aid titled Review of Uniform Guidance Reports has been produced to assist Project Directors and Project Administrators in reviewing these reports. The job aid analyzes how expenses will be treated (1) if the funds were requested and approved as part of the initial budget submission, (2) are classified with an incorrect Account or (3) if the expense is justified but the funds were not approved as part of the budget submission. To use this job aide, find the Account for the restricted expense in the first column and determine the correct treatment from one of the last three columns.

If you have any questions, please contact your Sponsored Programs Customer Service Coordinator. To obtain contact information for the Sponsored Programs Customer Service Coordinator for your department, please check your Statement of Activity (SOA) or visit Coordinator by Department.