Cost Allowability for Program Staff: Can We Charge This to Our Federal Grant?

Webinar • Thursday, May 19, 2022 • 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET

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$249.00 Cost Allowability for Program Staff: Can We Charge This to Our Federal Grant? (05.19.22) (On-Demand Recording)
Webinar Details

Prerequisites: Some knowledge of federal grant management and audit requirements is helpful

Recommended Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge and Applications

Program Knowledge Level: Basic

Advanced Preparation: None

It’s probably the most common question posed by federal grant recipients and subrecipients: “Can we charge this to our grant?” So often, however, the answer is a disappointing, “It depends.” That’s because the answer to this allowability question involves applying a part of the federal rule book known as the cost principles — these are general principles to be applied to specific facts and circumstances surrounding individual financial transactions.

That federal rule book also says that recipients and subrecipients must have written procedures for determining the allowability of costs under Subpart E of 2 CFR 200. What the rules don’t say is what those written procedures should contain. Internal reviews, elevation for executive decisionmaking, inquiries to funding agencies are some possibilities. But one element that will certainly help assure that the procedures can work is training on cost allowability for program staffers who are likely to be on the frontline incurring those costs.

This webinar will present such training in laymen’s terms, and answer key questions about the cost principles including:

  • What federal awards do they apply to?
  • How are direct and indirect costs distinguished?
  • What are applicable credits, and how are the treated?
  • How do the feds define cost “reasonableness”?
  • What are the levels of cost allocability?
  • What’s important about the “selected items of cost”?
  • Are there best practices for interpreting the principles?
  • What is the allowability of the “big ticket” items in our grant budgets?
  • What kinds of little “nickel and dime” expenses can cause allowability troubles? 
  • What role do our own organizational policies play in cost allowability?
  • What costs are subject to “prior approval” or “advance understandings”?
  • What documentation requirements appear in the cost principles?

This overview of the cost principles will enable program staffers to join the team in preventing cost mischarging and potential disallowances. Sign up today and join Bob Lloyd, principal of Federal Fund Management Advisor™.


  • Grant and contract managers
  • Sponsored projects administrators
  • Program managers
  • Purchasing agents
  • Principal investigators
  • Executives
  • Finance directors
  • Contractors 

Hand-out Materials:

Attendees will receive presentation slides as well as access to background materials.

Allowable Charges

The costs of webinars sponsored by Federal Fund Management Advisor™ are allowable charges to your federal grants and subgrants. The cost principles issued by OMB under its uniform guidance (and applicable to all types of awardees) state, “The cost of training and education for employee development is allowable” (2 CFR 200.472).

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  • Understand special issues confronting pass-through entities contracting with foreign organizations
  • Know which clauses flow down when crafting a subaward
  • Understand what is meant by a 10% de minimis indirect cost rate
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