Federal Grant Cost Allowability — The Essentials

Webinar • Wednesday, June 2, 2021 • 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET

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$249.00 Federal Grant Cost Allowability — The Essentials (06.02.21) (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

At the end of a federal grant project period, a key question is: How much of the federal funds that a recipient or subrecipient has drawn and spent will actually pass muster? And the answer often comes after an audit or monitoring visit when the detailed set of federal cost principles is employed.  Packaged and codified by the Office of Management and Budget, the principles apply to federal grants, cooperative agreements and subawards administered by governmental units, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations.

The name says it all. They are principles to be applied to the facts and circumstances surrounding the incurrence of cost. When you look closely at what they say about whether a cost is allowable, the answer is often: “It depends.” Different people often draw different conclusions about whether a cost is allowable.

The cost principles are supposed to be used at each stage of a federal grant award — application, award, expenditure, reporting, closeout and audit. So regardless of which parts of that lifecycle you are responsible for, you’re going to need an understanding of the essential features of the principles, therefore this webinar will cover:

  • The concept of cost-reimbursable flexibilities awards
  • How awards really work
  • 2 CFR 200, Subpart E: The consolidated cost principles covering most awardees
  • Direct vs. indirect costs: Sorting out these terms of accounting convenience
  • How to account for applicable credits — discounts and offsets against expenditures
  • The general tests of allowability that apply to every grant charge
  • The list of “selected items of cost,” and why they were chosen
  • Allowability distinctions: always, sometimes and never
  • Prior approvals and advance understandings
  • What happens when a cost is not listed — guidance for interpretation
  • Indirect cost recovery policy and procedures
  • Challenging questioned costs

Experience has shown that when grant disputes arise, they often involve cost allowability. This informative webinar will give you a solid grounding in the essentials for avoiding disputes and fully recovering costs on your federal awards.


  • Grant project directors
  • Grant and subgrant managers
  • Sponsored projects administrators
  • Principal research administrators
  • Executives
  • Finance directors
  • Accounting staff
  • Internal auditors
  • External auditors

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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This comprehensive resource blends age-old conventional wisdom with the historic changes in OMB’s uniform guidance. You'll benefit from the advice of experts on time and effort reporting, procurement under grants, direct charging certain costs, single audit preparations, subrecipient monitoring and much more. The 500+ page softbound book is a valuable management guide, compliance document and training tool for busy grants managers, program directors, financial officers and auditors at nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and state and local governments.

This valuable resource will help you and your grants management team:

  • Understand the differences between direct and indirect costs
  • Make the subrecipient vs. contractor determination
  • Realize the full impact of OMB’s emphasis on internal controls
  • Understand which familiar elements of time and effort reporting have been retained in the uniform guidance ... and which are new
  • Know the nuances of requirements for subrecipient assessment and monitoring
  • Understand contract clauses in agreements for procurement under grants
  • Apply the general tests of allowability
  • 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
  • Audit the vulnerabilities in your grants management operation
  • Understand what is meant by audit "resolution"
    ...and much more

A Practical Guide to Federal Grants Management is the best insurance policy there is for limiting your organization’s risk of disallowed costs, loss of federal funding and public relations nightmares. Add it to your order today!

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