Cost Transfers

Cost transfers and journal vouchers are transactions that move expenditures previously recorded from one fund to another or between line items within a fund.

Examples of circumstances where cost transfers may be considered:

  • Correction of clerical or input error,
  • Transfer of pre-award costs from department holding accounts,
  • Reallocation efforts to reflect actual costs,
  • Activity to clear overdrafts from federally-sponsored project to unrestricted funds,
  • Routine allocations of shared services.


In compliance with the cost allowability and allocability federal requirements, it is important to obtain a full explanation and justification that addresses why the cost transfer is necessary. That explanation should address the following questions:

  • Why was the expense originally charged to the fund from which it is now being transferred?
  • Why should the expense be transferred to the proposed fund?
  • If the transfer being requested is more than 90 days after the expense was initially charged, what is the reason for the delay?

Typically, cost transfer requests more than 60-90 days after the end date of the federal funding shall be considered unallowable, particularly when the final invoice or final fiscal report was already submitted to the sponsor. Extenuating circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Research Foundation and must be clearly and substantially documented.