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Grants Accounting

Allowable / Unallowable Costs

All grant/contract expenditures must be based on the cost principles outlined in the Office of Management Budget Circular A-21 guidelines. Allowable costs can be charged to the grant fund, however, unallowable costs must be charged to the department. Following is a list of unallowable costs listed in OMB Circular A-21:

(Click on link for more details.)

Cost Share

  • Office of Research and Sponsored Programs sets up grant/fund and activates a Cost Share Activity Code.
  • The Cost Share Activity Code is used with a 10000 fund and departmental operating org.
  • This Cost Share Activity Code will be needed on all transactions for salaries, supplies, travel and equipment. It will not be necessary to use the CS activity code on tuition, waived IDC or third party contributions.
  • Verification of Cost Share forms will be sent to the PI’s quarterly and must be signed and returned to ORSP.

(Click on link for more details.)

Direct Pay

The Direct Pay Request is used by all departments to process for payment certain current expenditures that are not required to be processed on a standard purchase order or field order. The types of expenditures to be processed on a standard direct pay request are: (Click on link for more details.)


Effort Certification

The Office of Management and Budget requires that each grant recipient document time expended towards a sponsored program. Recognizing the unique nature of universities and the absence of timecards, OMB requires documentation and certification of percent of effort, totaling 100%, in support of one’s total commitment to the university. In order to meet this requirement for documentation and certification, each individual paid on a monthly basis and who has some commitment towards a sponsored program, shall certify their effort based on the distribution of total compensation paid to the individual during that month. DU uses Banner electronic effort certification (Click here for instructions.)



Commitments to match funds from external sponsors for the purpose of purchasing equipment may be made by the Department Chair, the Dean, the Vice Provost for Research, or a university employee who has fiscal responsibility for university nonrestricted funds. Such commitments are considered cost sharing. Authorization from these individuals is required prior to proposing any commitments, and these individuals will need to consider such commitments in their budget planning processes. (Click on link for more details.)


Financial Reporting

Financial Reporting - The Financial Representative for your project will complete any necessary financial reports to the sponsor including interim and final financial reports.


Grant Financial Reports

The Grants Inception to Date Report with transaction drill down capability can now be accessed through Webcentral.  It is tied to grant security access and is available to all research faculty and staff.  Banner Finance access is required to run this report.  Please contact your Departmental Administrator to get registered with the appropriate access.  The following documents are available to assist you in using these reports.  If you would like to have training or questions on using these reports, please contact your Departmental Administrator or Jerry Mauck in ORSP.

PI's and departmental administrators are responsible for reviewing the financial activity on their grants at least monthly.  Departmental administrators and PI's can print these reports directly from Banner.

If you have questions on running reports or need assistance, please contact your Departmental Administrator or Zack Scholnick in ORSP.


Expenditure Documentation and Approvals

In order for an expenditure to be charged to a sponsored award (grants, contracts, etc.) the expenditure transaction must include adequate documentation to support that the nature of the transaction.  The transaction must be certified by the Principal Investigator (PI) or appropriate designee that the expenditure is appropriate and allowable to the award.  By certifying the transaction the PI or designee is certifying that the expenditure is:

Reasonable, allocable and necessary to fulfill the requirements of the project,Allowable under the terms and condition of the award,Allowable under OMB-A-21, unless specifically allowed by the award.

In addition to the certification, ORSP must review and approve all award expenditures before payment to validate that the expenditure is:

Allowable under OMB-A-21, unless specifically allowed by the award,Within the award period of performance, and there are funds available on the award for the expenditure.

(click here for .pdf)



ORSP is responsible for all invoicing and receiving payments on grants and contracts administered through ORSP. The account representative determines the type of reimbursement rate and then invoices accordingly.

(Click on link for more details.)


Journal Entries

A journal entry can be used to distribute expenses to a project, such as telephone and photocopying charges that have been recorded in an administrative account. Journal entries can also be used to correct clerical and bookkeeping errors. Any transfers involving salary and fringe benefits on research accounts must be handled by ORSP.

(Click on link for more details.)


Payroll Procedures & Time Charging


Timesheets are due to Payroll as posted on the Payroll events calendar. Failure to turn timesheets in on time may result in non-payment for the bi-weekly employee and monthly employees will be charged to the department FOAP. (Click on link for more details.)


Program Income

Program Income is disposed of in accordance with OMB Circular A-110, Sub-part C.24, "Program Income." The Project Director/Principal Investigator is responsible for reporting in-come to the Project Administrator in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. The Project Administrator interprets the sponsor rules and regulations regarding use of program income, determines whether or not the income is considered "program income," and initiates any accounts that may be needed to segregate program income. In addition, should a different arrangement than that provided in the grant or other agreement be desired, the Project Administrator coordinates the request to be submitted to the sponsoring agency. (Click on link for more details.)


Closing Encumbrances

It is each department’s responsibility to close their encumbrances since department staff is familiar with the purpose and circumstances of the encumbrance.


Project Closeout

All grants have a defined begin and end date. Once the grant has reached the end date, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs begins the grant closeout process. (Click on link for more details.)


Research Travel Information

Travel Advances

Individuals must complete a Travel Advance Request Form to obtain money for travel expenditures related to a grant. Please refer to Purchasing Services website for complete details.

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