UCR Policies and Procedures

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 For a hardcopy pdf of this document, contact the Office of Compliance (2-8246).


Policy Title:                      Cost Transfers


Policy Number:                200-50



Responsible Officer:

Associate Vice Chancellor of Business & Financial Services and Controller

Responsible Office:

Business and Financial Services – Accounting Office

Origination Date:


Date of Revision:


Date of Last Review:



Cost Transfers between FAUs


I.       General Policy

Cost transfers occur when a transaction originally posted to one FAU and must be transferred to another FAU.


A.  Non-Payroll

Users completing non-payroll cost transfer must complete the following training available via the Learning Management System (LMS) before accessing the University Of California, Riverside Financial System (UCRFS) cost transfer applications:


·       Enterprise Accountability On-Line

·       Introduction to the Full Accounting Unit (FAU)

·       Cost Transfers:  NCT & FCT Training

·       Cost Transfers:  PCT Training


When a non-payroll expenditure needs to be transferred to another FAU (account-activity-fund-function-cost center-project code) and neither the credit or debit is to a federal or a federal flow-through fund, the Non-Payroll Cost Transfer (NCT) application should be used to complete the transaction  If either the credit or debit is to a federal or a federal flow-through fund, the Federal Non-Payroll Cost Transfer (FCT) application Federal Expenditure Cost Transfer Form is used to complete the transaction.   FCTs will generate a negative confirmation e-mail notification to the Principal Investigator on the federal funds; the PI has 10 days to notify his/her department administration of errors.

The campus financial system (UCRFS) and payroll system will automatically detect when federal funds are involved, however, users can identify a federal fund by following the steps below:


·       In UCRFS, select the Accounting Admin-Chartfield Attributes-Fund Attributes menu item and enter the fund number. Under the Extramural tab, if the Fed Flow-Thru Code equals, 2, 3, 6, 7 or 9, the fund contains federal funds.


If the cost transfer involves the re-distribution of a procurement card purchase (source code PRO), the ProCard Cost Transfer (PCT) application should be utilized.


B.  Payroll

Cost Transfers involving payroll transactions must be processed through the ServiceLink Salary Cost Transfer (SCT) tool. Cost transfers involving salaries will automatically include the related benefit expenditures. Any transfers to and from Federal Contracts and Grants must be approved by the PI and include an explanation of how the error occurred. The department is responsible for retaining this documentation for audit purposes.


C.  Criteria for Cost Transfers

University requirements and federal regulations specify the following concerning cost transfers:

1.  Once an expense is initially recorded in the general ledger, it is only appropriate to transfer the expense from one FAU to another under the following conditions:

a.  To correct an erroneous recording when the original transaction (e.g., invoice, travel expense voucher, purchase order, etc.) cited an incorrect FAU.

b.  To record a change in the decision made originally as to the use of the goods or services (e.g., a case of beakers is originally ordered for and charged to a teaching program, but later is actually used in a separate research project).

c.  To redistribute certain high numerical but small individual and/or minor charges billed to a single FAU, but a portion applies to other FAUs as documented by internal records/logs of usage to support the adjustment.


2.  Cost transfers to correct errors must be made promptly 120 days from the original charge when the cost is being transferred to a federal or federal-flow through fund.  Both the FCT and NCT applications inhibit prior fiscal year cost transfers. The FCT application inhibits the transfers of transactions 120 days and older involving contract and grant funds. The FCT and NCT applications also inhibit transfers of previously transferred costs. Similarly, the ServiceLink Salary Cost Transfer (SCT) tool inhibits cost transfer by preventing the transfer of payroll transaction 120 days and older to a contract and grant fund. If a correction is required, the cost may be transferred to an unrestricted fund. 


3.  Exceptional approval is required for cost transfers:

a.    Involving charges that cross fiscal years.

b.   Cost that are more than 120 days old based on the original posting date     and being transferred to a contract or grant fund.

c.   Cost transfers to correct non-payroll expenses previously transferred using the NCT application.


II.     Exceptions 

Please note that requests for exceptions must fully document the circumstances   causing the delay, as well as the cause of the error. Exceptions must be approved by the PI, Department Chair/Head, Organizational Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, the campus Controller and/or the Vice Chancellor of Finance & Business Operations. Requests for exceptions will be granted infrequently due to University policy and compliance requirements.


III.   Roles & Responsibilities 

A.   Departments

It is important that departments initially code transactions to the correct FAU, reconcile and certify departmental ledgers per campus guidelines and timelines, and review financial activity recorded under contract and grant funds promptly. Departments and organizational units should ensure all required cost transfers are completed within the 120-day eligibility period and use the campus pre-awards process when applicable to eliminate the need for cost transfers. 


B.   Organizations

Communicate expectations to departments for prompt identification and correction of errors. Review requests for exceptions ensuring the documentation is complete, the reason clearly explains how the error occurred and how the error will be prevented in the future, and approve as appropriate.


IV.         References 

·       Uniform Guidance

·       Business and Finance Bulletin A-47, "University Direct Costing Procedures

·       UC Contract and Grant Manual

·       UCR Pre-Award Policy 550-80

·       UCR BEA, NCT, Recharge Use Policy Number 200-03

·       UC Learning Center

·       Salary Cost Transfer Request Tool


V.         Questions 

Questions regarding NCTs, FCTs, and PCTs should be directed to the Accounting Office at ucrfsfeedback@ucr.edu. Question regarding ServiceLink Salary Cost Transfer (SCT) tool should be directed to the UCR Payroll Office at ucrpayroll@ucr.edu.