Timely Cost Transfer Requests

In the initial months after Workday go-live, account reviews and reconciliations proved challenging for many users due to the steep learning curve associated with the new Financial Management System as well as the need for enhanced custom reports in addition to the delivered reports available on July 2. Consequently, both payroll and non-payroll cost transfer requests deviated in some instances from the expectations stated in RSP 506-02: Cost Transfers to Sponsored Projects.

Sponsors require grantees to have systems in place to detect and correct clerical, bookkeeping, or other posting errors within a reasonable time frame. To promptly identify costs that have been erroneously posted to a sponsored account, the PI and designated support staff is expected to review and reconcile expenses on at least a monthly basis. Timely review of expenditures will help to correct errors and limit the number of cost transfers.

If an inappropriate expenditure is discovered on a sponsored project it must be removed. As best practice, units are advised to process cost transfers to correct errors immediately upon discovery and within 90 days after the inappropriate cost was originally discovered. However, in some circumstances, cost transfers may be approved beyond this 90-day period provided such approval is consistent with the sponsor’s guidance.

Shorter cost transfer periods may also be required by some agencies’ regulations (e.g., HHS requires cost transfers to be corrected within 90 days following occurrence).

The worklets of Grant Administrator Reports and Principal Investigator Reports now available in Workday have greatly reduced the challenges in routine account reviews and reconciliations. As continued system stabilization occurs and we look forward to fiscal year end and upcoming audits, we will be carefully reviewing cost transfer requests to ensure alignment with policy.

Additional guidance on processing cost transfers can be found here.