Allowable Cost Share

Allowability tests for Cost Shared expenses

To be allowable as cost share, expenses must be:

  • Allowable: Acceptable per the agreement, regulations, and public laws; each expense was incurred during the project period and would have been allowed as a direct charge, but was charged to a non-sponsored fund source. Exceptions are allowed where the award contract explicitly states that a category of costs are not allowed but may be used as cost share, such as waived indirect costs; and
  • Reasonable: a prudent person would have purchased this item at the price paid; and
  • Allocable: each expense was required to achieve the goals in the scope of work; costs can be assigned to the activity using a reasonable and appropriate method of allocation.

If a cost does not meet ALL the criteria above, it is unallowable.

Expense Types: Generally Allowable

  • Faculty, student, staff effort (including fringe benefits) committed to and expended in the performance of a sponsored agreement.
  • Equipment purchased during the project period for use on the project (partial-use okay, in proportion to the expense charged or cost-shared).
  • Travel expenses.
  • Laboratory supplies.
  • Directly-related supplies and services.
  • Items that do not meet the capitalization threshold.
  • Administrative costs that were proposed and allowable as a direct charge, but were not funded by sponsor, yet were still incurred as expenses in the performance of the project.
  • F&A costs associated with the cost shared direct costs, at the rate agreed upon by the sponsor.
  • Sub-recipient cost share.

Expense Types: NOT Allowable

  • Items normally treated as indirect (F&A), such as department administration, buildings, facilities, space, utilities, library resources.
  • Costs specifically unallowed per the award contract, sponsor terms and conditions, or other applicable guidance.
  • Items cost shared on other projects.
  • Items purchased outside the project period.

Fund Sources Allowable

Expenses in any non-sponsored account can be used for cost sharing as long as the account purpose allows for funds to be spent on the type of work being done on the project and the expenses meet the allowability tests above.  The following accounts are restricted and cannot be used for cost sharing.

  • Accounts with Sub-Fund Group Type (SFGT): B, C, F, N, V, W, or X, or
  • Accounts with Sub-Fund Group (SFG): SERENT, SSAUX, OSSSO, SSEDAC, or SSEDPI.
  • Accounts with Account Type: Agency.