10.6 Late Expenses

1. About Late Expenses

Expenses including salaries may not be charged to a project after the project end date. An exception may be made if the product or service was acquired and consumed during the project period, or if specific written approval was received from the sponsor.

How late in a project is it “safe” to order technical supplies or other project materials?

“Any time, as long as the materials will be ACQUIRED AND CONSUMED during the project period.”

If a requisition is submitted before the project end date, but the materials are received after the project end date the expenses will be considered unallowable and unallocable.

Committing dollars for an expense does NOT mean that the item was USED during the project period. Common sense would say that, if you order a new computer on the last day of the project period, it is not likely that that computer will be used for project performance. In rare cases, a last-minute acquisition may be necessary.

Last-Minute Purchase Requisition

  • Were the purchased items used during the project period?

  • Would you assume these items were allocable to the project?

Example: What’s wrong with this purchase requisition?

In this example, a number of expenses were charged to a project on the last day of the project period. The nature of the expenses indicates that they are for general laboratory purposes. Anyone might reasonably conclude that the expenses were for products and services which were not used during the project period. If such charges are questioned, the supporting Purchase Reqs will be reviewed, and if they look like this one, there will be a problem.

Example: Out-of-Period Expenses


Are these project costs allowable?

Equipment Acquisition

Final Reports

  • $30,000 oscilloscope ordered, received and used during the life of the project.
  • Invoice received and paid after project end-date.
  • Project budget includes funds to pay for technical prep of final reports
  • Reports are written and produced after project end-date.

Example: Equipment Acquisition

Equipment costs are allowable to the project, as long as there is documentation that the equipment was actually ordered, received and used specifically on the project (during the project period).

Example: Final Reports

Costs to prepare final reports are NOT allowable to the project, even if budgeted and adequate funds remain, if they are not charged during the project period. Solution:

  • If you will not be able to produce final reports during the project period, and you have the funds left in project accounts, request a NO-COST EXTENSION from the sponsor.
  • This will allow you to spend project funds after the conclusion of the project for the purposes specified in the extension.
  • Check the requirements for advance notice before requesting a No Cost Extension.

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