Post-Award Grant Financial Management

Grant Management Policies

  • Cost Transfer Policy

  • Definition:

    A cost transfer is the reassignment of an expense to a sponsored project after the charge was initially charged to another sponsored or non-sponsored project or department. Cost transfers include reassignments of salary, wage and other direct costs.

    Restrictions on Cost Transfers:

    All charges to projects must be:

    • Allowable (the cost is allowed by federal regulations, sponsor terms and conditions, including program specific requirements);
    • Reasonable (this reflects whether the individual acted with due prudence);
    • Allocable (the cost has a direct benefit to the account being charged); and
    • Treated consistently (like costs in similar instances are treated consistently throughout the University).

    Transfers of costs to the project are allowable only where there is a direct benefit to the project being charged. Overdrafts of direct cost items incurred in the conduct of a sponsored project may not be transferred to another sponsored project to resolve a deficit. Cost transfers may not be used as a means of managing awards.

    Timing of Transfers:

    Any cost transfer must be prepared on a timely basis but no later than 90 days form the end of the month in which the transaction appears on the project (except where the sponsor's terms and conditions are stricter than stated here). To meet financial reporting requirements, at year end all entries must be posted to projects by the statutory close.


    The University expects that costs directly charge to federally sponsored awards be compliant with the cost principles outlined in the OMB Circular A-21.


    Submit Grant Cost Transfer Form to Post-Award Grants Financial Management Office.

  • Deficit Resolution Policy

  • Purpose:

    The purpose of this statement is to set procedures to ensure timely resolution of deficits on completed sponsored agreements.


    A deficit is the amount by which expenditures exceed a sponsored agreement, budget allocation, or revenue collected from a sponsor.


    Deficits must be covered by the department within 30 days upon grant termination date.

    In the event a deficit is the result from non-payment by the sponsor, Post-Award will notify the department after all efforts to collect the funds have been exhausted. The department must cover the deficit within 30 days of notification of non-payment.

  • Fixed Price Contracts Close Out Policy

  • A. Purpose:

    The purpose of this statement is to set procedures to ensure timely closure of completed, fixed price contracts/agreements and the proper disposition of any unexpended balances.

    B. Definitions/Applicability:

    1. "Fixed price contracts" referred to here are characterized by payments of predetermined amounts by a sponsor to support a project. The payments are either lump sum or periodic and may or may not require a payment request from Towson University. The payments are not made on an expense reimbursement basis but on a predetermined lump sum project cost, without further accounting.

    2. If the actual documented project costs are less than the award, the excess revenue is retained by Towson University. Cost overruns exceeding $50 will be assumed by the department (if the sponsor does not provide the needed additional funding).

    3. Following positive indications of contract completion (such as copies of final technical reports or deliverables), unexpended funds on fixed price contracts will be shared equally by the Office of Sponsored Programs & Research and the department of the principal investigator if (1) there was no voluntary waiver of facilities and administrative (F&A) costs, and (2) the unexpended balance is greater than $100. If there were F&A cost waivers, funds will first be used to reimburse the campus for unrecovered F&A costs, according to the normal distribution policy.

    C. Procedure:

    1. One-half the total unspent funds from completed fixed price contracts, after appropriate F&A cost distribution, will be transferred to the appropriate departmental self support account following these procedures:
      1. If the termination date of the project has passed, all end products including reports have been delivered, and the sponsor has indicated successful completion, then the project is in the closeout period. During this period of not less than 90 days, no unexpended funds may be transferred out.
      2. If F&A costs have been voluntarily waived by the campus, unexpended funds will be used first to reimburse central campus accounts for such costs with the remainder reverting equally to the department and the Office of Sponsored Programs & Research.
      3. Only unexpended balances greater than $100 will be transferred to unrestricted department accounts; balances of $100 or less will revert to the Office of Sponsored Programs & Research.

    2. No special revolving department numbers will be established; each department will elect an existing self support department for this purpose. Departments should inform the Office of Sponsored Programs & Research of the department number that will be used for this purpose, to avoid delay in transfer.
  • Record Retention Policy

  • Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records and all other records pertinent to an award shall be retained for the period detailed below from the date of submission of the final financial report:

    State contracts/grants three (3) years

    Federal contracts/grants under $25,000 for three (3) years

    Federal contracts/grants over $25,000 for six (6) years three (3) months

    Records for equipment acquired with federal funds shall be retained for a period of three (3) years after final disposition of equipment.



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