Grant Accounting

Grant Accounting

Overview of Post-Award Administration:
Post-award consists of processes that occur between award inception and award close-out.  During this period, Grant Accounting staff, the Principal Investigator, and the departmental administrators must continually monitor the award to ensure the project is running smoothly.

Grant Management:
Post-award maintenance includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:

  • Establish a fund number for new grants/contracts.
  • Complete all financial reports (quarterly, final, etc.)
  • Maintain and monitor all grants/contracts awarded to UCA to ensure compliance with University policies/procedures and governmental/agency rules and regulations.

Cost Transfer Requests:
The Office of Grant Accounting assists with proposal budgeting and reviews costs associated with sponsored projects.  This process ensures a fair degree of reasonable allocation and allowability of costs to sponsored projects.  However occasionally errors in posting and allocation occur in any accounting system.  It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to periodically review and ensure the reasonable allocation and accuracy of costs charged to the sponsored project.  A periodic review should occur within a reasonable period of 30 days from posting to the ledger.  Generally, error corrections should be completed within 60 days.

Error corrections initiated beyond 60 days or after the project end date are continually an area of audit scrutiny, also requests that appear to use a remaining balance near or beyond the project end date may be questioned.  Losses or disallowed costs on other sponsored projects are not allowable cost transfers, please see cost transfer policy.  It is preferred that a positive, proactive approach to managing sponsored funding be taken by Principal Investigators and supporting administrative personnel.

If assistance is required with reviewing financial reports, reconciling costs to planned budgets, system or report accessibility, or tracing an error in posting, please contact the Grant Accounting Office for assistance.

Expenditure Approval:
Expenditures charged to a sponsored project are reviewed and approved by Grant Accounting to confirm that the expense is consistent with the terms and conditions of the award and to identify that sufficient documentation and justification is provided.

An expense is allowable on a sponsored project if it meets the following criteria:

  • Reasonable – a prudent person would have purchased this same item and paid the same price.
  • Allocable – expense is allocated to a project in proportion to the benefits derived to the program objectives; the investigator is the responsible person who determines the proportional charge to the project.
  • Consistently Treated – like expenses are treated the same by the institution given same circumstances.
  • Allowable – all three above criteria are met and the expense is permitted as a direct cost per the terms and conditions of the award.

Expenditures on Federal agreements are subject to the provisions of OMB Circular A-21 “Cost Principles of Educational Institutions”.  If you have questions regarding the allowability of an item, you are encouraged to contact Grant Accounting prior to placing the purchase.

Budget Monitoring/Amendment:
The Principal Investigator is responsible for expenses charged to his/her award and should meet with the departmental administrator periodically to the review the program.  As a result of this review, a need may arise to amend the program budget.  Note:  Sponsors have differing guidelines for budget modifications and whether or not sponsor approval is required.

Grant Accounting completes all invoicing for sponsored projects.  If an invoice is needed for an awarded project, please contact the Grant Accounting Office for assistance.

Grant Close-Out:
At the end of a sponsored project the fund will be reviewed for any errors.  During this process if any unallowable expenses are discovered the charges must be transferred to a departmental fund.  Cost Sharing and Effort Reports will be verified and deficits need to be cleared.  Additionally, any open encumbrances must be closed.

Time & Effort Report:
Principal Investigators on sponsored projects must complete Time & Effort Reports four times per year according to the following schedule: at the completion of fall term (December), at the completion of spring term (May), and at the completion of summer terms (June, August).  Principal Investigators will be mailed Time & Effort Reports by the Grant Accounting Office.

Grant Financial Reporting:
All financial reports are submitted by the Grant Accounting Office.  No financial report should be forwarded to the funding agency without the approval of the Grant Accounting office.

Facilities and Administrative Cost Rate:

UCA’s F&A rates are negotiated with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). (Revised 01/08/21)

  • On campus: 33.22%
  • Off campus: 14.64%

The “off campus” definition applies to “all activities performed in facilities not owned by the institution and to which rent is directly allocated to the project(s).”

Cognizant Agency: Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
DHHS Representative: Arif Karim, (214) 767-3764

US Department of Education Total Modified Direct Cost (TMDC) F&A Rate 


Fringe Benefits Rate

  • 32% for faculty and staff (academic year)

  • 20% summer fringe

  • 8% extra help <30 hours per week

  • .30% graduate assistants and student help

Estimated breakdown includes:

  • Dental Insurance 1.00%
  • FICA/Medicare Tax 7.65%
  • Health Insurance 9.50%
  • Life Insurance 0.50%
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance 0.20%
  • Misc/Fee Waivers/ Athletic/ Event Admission 0.60%
  • Retirement 12.00%
  • Sick Leave/Vacation 0.48%
  • Worker’s Compensation/Unemployment 0.07%


Facilities and Administrative Costs (Formerly Indirect Costs)

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs are expenditures associated with a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement that cannot be directly charged to nor specifically identified with individual sponsored projects. These costs include maintenance of physical facilities, library services, administrative services, and departmental administration. In general, F&A costs involve expenditures necessary for the development and maintenance of an environment conducive to research and other sponsored projects.

Most grants and contracts provide for the recovery of F&A costs incurred in their executions and management. The recovery is based upon negotiated rates and assessed to individual projects on a percentage basis. The rates for the University of Central Arkansas are negotiated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Cost Allocation (DHHS-DCA). The negotiation is based on a review of the University’s costs and assessment of the reasonableness of the charges.

In most cases, F&A costs for a sponsored project are calculated by multiplying the approved F&A rate and the Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC) paid on the award. MTDC is determined by subtracting tuition (710170); equipment (730200); subcontracts over $25,000; participant costs and other excluded items from the total direct costs (salaries and wages, fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and subgrants and subcontracts) posted on the sponsored project account. Account Code 712300 is used to record the recovery of F&A costs.

F&A cost is charged based upon the rate and base in the approved award, up to the federally negotiated rate.

Additional Information 

The current F&A rates are available here.