Financial Management of Award
Distribution of Facilities and Administrative (Indirect) Costs
Indirects/Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs earned on awards are shared between the Kennesaw State University Research and Service Foundation (KSURSF) and KSU. Indirects retained by KSURSF are used to defray audit, banking, and other administrative costs it incurs, and are also used to support research and intellectual property development.
Each award is tied to the Principal Investigator's (PI's) department.
University indirects are distributed as follows:
50% - Dean of responsible college (the PI's home college) to share with department(s) and investigator(s)
30% - Office of the Vice President for Operations
20% - Office of the Vice President for Research
Transfer of Earned Indirect Costs
The Office of Research transfers earned indirects to the respective dean’s indirects account upon payment to the University by KSURSF. Business Managers receive email notification indicating that the indirects journal has been posted. Business Managers may, upon approval of the Dean, transfer funds from the Dean’s indirects account to an indirects account established under a department within the college; funds cannot be transferred to a regular state departmental account.
Indirects Earned on Inter-College/Intra-University Collaborations
When faculty/staff from more than one college collaborate on a proposal, the question, “Who gets the indirects?” often arises. The distribution of the PI college share of indirects is decided by the project investigators and their deans, not the Office of Research. Although projects often have multiple investigators, only one is named the PI and is the contact for the Office of Research and the sponsor. The collaborating investigators decide who will serve as the PI.
Where more than one college is involved, it is advisable to have a written plan signed by the respective investigators and deans, and possibly also the department chairs and college business managers. This should be done at the proposal stage.
Once indirects are earned, the Office of Research will post them as listed above. The college business manager will be responsible for transferring the agreed-upon amount(s) to the collaborating college(s)/uni
Cost Sharing or Matching
Fulfillment of Cost Sharing Agreement
Once a sponsor accepts a proposal containing cost sharing, it is considered binding upon the University and the University accepts the same fiduciary responsibilities in expending these funds as for the funds from the sponsoring agency. Written approval from the sponsor is required to change the matching or cost sharing commitment. The Principal Investigator is responsible for ensuring that any cost sharing commitments are met and that all necessary documentation is provided to the Office of Research. Cost sharing or matching expenditures incurred or services rendered must occur during the period of the award and are subject to the same sponsor guidelines and regulations.
If, at the time of award, the sponsor’s level of support is less than the University’s originally proposed budget, any original matching commitments offered by the University or external entities on behalf of KSU should be reconsidered for possible reduction or elimination from the award in consultation with the Office of Research. If conditions arise that make it impossible to satisfy the matching requirements, the Principal Investigator should inform the Office of Research immediately. The Office of Research is responsible for renegotiating any reduction in the level of matching required by the sponsor. The Principal Investigator is responsible for eliminating any matching shortfall requirements.
NOTE: A signed cost sharing commitment form must be on file prior to the expenditure of any project funds.
Characteristics of Contributions to Shared Costs of Federally Sponsored Projects
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 definitions of cost sharing and matching contributions require that they meet all of the following criteria:
- Are verifiable from the records of the Principal Investigator.
- Are not being included as contributions for any other federally assisted project or program.
- Are necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient accomplishment of project or
Are allowable under the applicable cost principles.
- Are not paid by the federal government under another award, except where authorized by federal statute to be used for cost sharing or matching.
- Are provided for in the approved budget when required by the federal awarding agency.
- Unrecovered indirect costs may be used as cost sharing or matching only with the prior approval of the federal-awarding agency.
Capturing Required Information
To assist the Principal Investigator in capturing the cost sharing information in accordance with University requirements, the Office of Research will provide guidance.
Program income is the gross revenue earned from activities for which the direct costs have been charged to a grant (or sub-grant) or counted as a direct cost toward meeting a cost sharing or matching requirement of a grant.
Examples of Program Income
In addition to other possible sources, program income includes:
- Fees for services such as laboratory drug testing or conference fees
- Proceeds from sale of equipment or supplies purchased or constructed with grant funds if title does not vest in the grantee
- Usage or rental fees charged for use of facilities or equipment such as computer use charges
- Funds generated by the sale of commodities such as sale of tissue cultures, cell lines, or research animals
- Third party patient reimbursements for hospitals or other medical services where such reimbursement occurs because of the grant supported activity
- Patent or copyright royalties
Accounting of Program Income
The Office of Research should be contacted at the time it is recognized program income will be generated. The Office of Research will assist in establishing the proper method of accounting for the income. Because program income has the same accountability requirements as federal grant funds, the Office of Research will select a mechanism that will account for program income in accordance with federal requirements. Program income, in accordance with specific agency requirements, will be reported to the sponsoring agency on financial reports that are prepared periodically.
Project Residual Funds
A residual balance is unobligated money remaining in a fixed-price sponsored project after closeout. Cost reimbursement grants and contracts cannot have residual balances. Projects that have a balance after the period of performance has ended may be permitted to carry that balance forward if allowed by the sponsor under the specific terms of the project.
Kennesaw State University Research and Service Foundation Funds
Before KSURSF can close out an award, the project director must confirm in writing that all deliverables have been met, all activities have been completed, all program reports have been submitted to the funding agency, and all project-related expenses have posted to the account.
If there is a residual balance at closeout, after ensuring that the appropriate F&A rate or management fee has been applied, KSURSF will transfer the residual funds to a KSURSF department or center operating account. These accounts do not lapse. Funds in these accounts must be used to support KSURSF’s mission.
Kennesaw State University Funds
If the award was made to the University (not the KSU Research and Service Foundation) the project director has the time remaining in the current fiscal year and one additional fiscal year to spend the residual funds. The Office of Research will notify the project director when one fiscal year remains in which to expend the residual balance. Any funds remaining in the account at the end of the period will be transferred to the project director’s home department budget and will become lapsable at fiscal year-end. Grant accounts with a residual balance of less than $100 will automatically be transferred to the departmental account at project closeout.
Residual funds must be used for a purpose that is related to the project or to enhance programs to which the project is tied within the director’s home college. Residual funds may be used to support the project director’s professional development or for the professional development of other faculty members in the director’s home college. The State of Georgia’s rules and regulations apply to the use of residual funds.
A cost transfer occurs when costs are moved from a non-sponsored project account to a sponsored project or from a sponsored project to any other account. Cost transfers receive careful scrutiny by sponsors, especially federal government contracting officers and auditors, and are exceptional activities that should not occur frequently.
The following accounting activities are not defined as cost transfers.
Initial Transfers - Initial transfers of charges for supplies or services from an inventory account, cost center, or other similar operations in accordance with established accounting procedures.
Corrections of Processing Errors - Corrections of processing errors that occur within the Business Services accounting systems such that when the correction is made, the accounting records are in agreement with the documentation that authorized the change.
Error Correction by Cost Transfers
Cost transfers required to correct errors or to achieve proper, consistent, and equitable distribution of costs to sponsored-projects are allowed, provided adequate justification for the change is furnished and necessary approvals that certify the accuracy of the charges are received. Corrections must be made promptly after the error is discovered. A cost transfer made within 30 days after the posting date of the transaction requiring a transfer will be considered timely. In other exceptional instances, cost transfers may be required after the 30-day period. The transfer must be supported by a written explanation of how and why the error occurred and a certification of the correctness of the accounting change. An explanation that merely states that the transfer was made “to correct error” or "to transfer to correct project" is not sufficient. The Office of Research will approve or disapprove the request for a cost transfer when all requested documentation and justifications have been provided.
Cost Transfers of Personal Service Expenses
Cost transfers of personal service expenses (salary or fringe distribution changes) requests require adequate supporting statements that clearly indicate that the costs being moved to a project are directly related to the project scope and allowable by the project budget and have been incurred in a timely manner to benefit project activities. In addition, a Time and Effort report will be required as back-up documentation prior to any personal services reallocations for federal awards. Justification must always consist of more than simple statement such as “to correct an error” or “posted to the project number.” While such statements may be correct, justification must be considered adequate to convince a sponsor or auditor of the accuracy of the charge to the sponsored project. The Office of Research approves the cost transfer as to accuracy of the accounting, the proper authorization, and the adequacy of the documentation.
Unallowable Cost Transfers
Costs may not be shifted between accounts or from one budget period to the next solely to cover cost overruns. Cost transfers based on funding considerations are prohibited (i.e., cost transfers cannot be done to expend remaining funds). The intentional “parking” of charges on a restricted grant or contract pending transfer to another grant or contract account upon its funding is unallowable. Parking of charges for any reason is considered a misuse of grant funds.
Should you be unable to complete your project by the end date, you may be allowed to request a no-cost extension. Extensions are not appropriate when the sole purpose is to spend down remaining funds. Most federal agencies allow the institution to have a one-year no-cost extension. For other agencies, prior approval is required from the funder.
Requests for a no-cost extension must be sent to the Office of Research at least 30 days prior to the project end date using the Office of Research’s Administrative Action Request Form.