University of Minnesota  Procedure

Adjusting/Correcting Non-Payroll Accounting Transactions on Sponsored Projects


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

A. Revenue

Sponsored Financial Reporting (SFR) records revenue to the appropriate project and should reflect the type of revenue being recorded (e.g., account 480101, Sponsored Grants Contract Exchange Revenue). If you have questions regarding revenue recorded on a sponsored project, contact the assigned SFR accountant to determine if an adjustment is necessary.

B. Non-Payroll Expense

  1. Determine the type of transaction being initiated and if it is allowable

    Transaction Type:

    • Correction of technical errors: For example, the wrong expense account was charged. This error can be corrected by reclassifying or moving the expense from the incorrect account to the correct account.
    • Redistribution of expenses/charges among accounts paying for a common activity:In these situations, expenses are charged to a non-sponsored Chartfield String on behalf of others.
    • Refer to Administrative Policies:
    • Transfer of unallowable or unallocable expenses:If an expense is determined to be unallowable, the expense must be moved to a non-sponsored Chartfield String. If the expense is unallocable on a project, the expense must be moved to a non-sponsored Chartfield String or the correct sponsored project.
    • Refer to Administrative Procedure:
    • Elimination of deficit balance or budget overruns: At the end of an award period, expenses related to the award may exceed the budget. Unless additional funding is received from the sponsor, expenses must be moved to a non-sponsored Chartfield String because the award cannot be closed out until the deficit balance is eliminated.
    • Refer to Administrative Policy:

    Allowable Guidelines / Criteria:

    • Negative expenses must not be created. Expenses should have been recorded before they can be moved.
    • The account value must reflect the nature of the expense and the function must reflect the purpose of the expense.
    • To move an expense to a sponsored project, additional criteria must be met:
      • Under most circumstances, expenses incurred before the sponsored project was established cannot be transferred to the sponsored project.
    • Refer to Administrative Policy:
    • The expense cannot be moved from one budget period to another solely to avoid overdrafts (as determined by sponsor regulations).
    • The expense must be allocable as a direct charge to the project. If the expense did not provide a benefit to the project, it cannot be charged to the project.
    • Refer to Administrative Policy:
    • The expense must be an allowable project expense, as defined by University policy, sponsor's policies, and the terms and conditions of the award.
    • Sponsored projects cannot be used as a "holding" or "clearing" account for redistribution of expenses to other Chartfield Strings.
    • An expense from any project in overdraft status cannot be moved to a sponsored project for the sole purpose of eliminating the overdraft.
    • The expense cannot be moved to a project having unexpended funds for the sole purpose of expending the remaining balance.
    • To move an expense from a sponsored project (i.e., to credit a project), when the sponsored project is outside the budget/award period, additional criterion must be met:
      • Notify the SFR accountant, as a revised report/invoice must be submitted to the sponsor, along with return of funds.
    • Adhere to proper deadlines, accounting periods, and protocol when moving a non-payroll expense to a sponsored project.
    • Refer to: Cost transfer approval matrix (PDF)
      • Transactions must be processed within 60 days from when the original charge was posted. This applies to expenses incurred during and after the project budget period ends. If the deadline is missed, additional justification and approvals are necessary
      • No original charges older than 12 months may be moved onto a sponsored project.
      • No transactions after a final report or invoice has been submitted to a sponsor will be allowed.
  2. Initiate and prepare the transaction
    • Prepare and enter the journal entry in the general ledger to move to the appropriate expense account. The justification for the journal entry must be documented in the Header Long Description field of the journal entry, which includes the business purpose or explain the validity of the expense being charged to the project and answers the questions: who, what, where, when, and why. Transactions processed after the deadline must also include an explanation as to why it was not processed timely.
    • Refer to Job Aid:
  3. Obtain approvals
    • The general ledger will route the journal entry for applicable level of approvals. Journal entries that charge a sponsored project will be routed to a Certified Approver for approval. If the journal entry debits multiple DeptIDs, certified approval from each of the departments is required.  Transactions processed after 60 days from when the original charge posted, requires Principal Investigator (PI) approval prior to the certified approval.
    • Journal entries $50,000 or greater will also be routed to Accounting Services for central approval.
    • Journal entries that credit a sponsored project are routed to the DeptID approver and Accounting Services, if applicable.

Imaging of back-up support in Perceptive Content or attaching documentation to the journal entry in the Enterprise Financial System (EFS) is required. All journal entry documentation must be retained in either EFS or Perceptive Content.