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Re: Cost transfers Richard Moore 31 Jul 1997 12:46 EST

>Greetings  -
>Our institution is in the process of trying to find ways to limit the number
>of cost transfers taking place in grant and contract accounts, mainly
>payroll type expenses.
Although we have had a success this (personnel) continues to be the
area with the most problems.

>Has anyone out there had any success in an endeavor like this? >
>Is it a question of educating PIs and administrative personnel to better
>monitor their accounts?
Thats prob. the greatest contributor to the problem.  One thing we
were able to do was by working with the University's Human Resouces
Office we redesigned the forms used for all personnel appointments/
changes etc to include info. pertainent to grant funded positions as
well as sign off areas for grants accounting and sponsored research.
This means (in theory) all personnel forms for grant accounts come
though us and are checked twice before going to HR or payroll.  We
discover a lot of errors this way that are simplier to fix now than
they would have been if the paperwork went through and we later
discovered the mistake and had to make a cost transfer.  Course we
still have the PI who comes in in October and tells us to charge last
February's effort by their technician to a different account...

>Is it a question of providing more resources to the departments so the
>researchers can research instead of doing mounds of paperwork?

Yes - making sure the administrative folks know what to do is vital.
My office does more workshops for secretaries and other clerical
types than for the PIs.

>Can we just not process cost transfers after a certain time period even
>though we may charge the funding agency with unallowable expenditures?
Not sure what you are asking - but I think not.  Well, you can, but
you live with the consequences (disallowances).

>The manual labor generated by a multitude of cost transfers is getting out
>of hand but we generally process cost transfers that are properly justified
>and authorized.
There always will be justifiable cases that must be handled, but as
you say you spend alot of time doing this type of work - a liitle
effort up front (a 1 hour workshop for clericals) may save you a lot
of effort (hours of cost transfers) later on.

 Richard H. Moore
Assistant Vice President for Grants and Sponsored Research
 and Professor of Biology

Coastal Carolina University     E-MAIL:
P.O. Box 261954                 VOICE: (803) 349-2050
Conway SC 29528-6054            FAX: (803) 349-2726