Expense Transfers – Guidelines for Use

When and How to Use the Expense Transfer Entry Form

Whenever there is a need for an expense adjustment an Expense Transfer Entry Form should be completed by the department.  The Expense Transfer Entry Form should be signed by an authorized representative of each debit and credit for the DeptID(s) or grant(s) being used.  The signatures will certify the correctness of the transfer(s).  Click here for instructions for completing the Expense Transfer Request Form.

The Expense Transfer Entry Form should never be used for salary or fringe benefit adjustments.  Any salary/fringe adjustments should be made via the labor system. Please contact Sponsored Programs Accounting with questions regarding such adjustments (Boston ext. 6-6561 & Medford ext. 7-2149).

Timing Considerations

For transactions affecting sponsored awards, the expense transfer form should be forwarded to SPA.  For those transfers affecting DeptIDs only, the form should be sent to Financial Information Systems.  All should be accompanied by supporting documentation (including PeopleSoft Transaction Detail Report) and should be submitted to Financial Services as soon as an error or other need for adjustment has been identified.  Expense transfers should be submitted promptly.  They should not be submitted later than 90 days following the month in which the expense was originally charged to the account.  All transfers that take place more than 90 days after the original charge date should include written justification for the lateness of the transfer.

Sponsored Account Considerations

When the requests involve sponsored awards, the costs must be allowable and allocable to the debit account and they must be necessary to the scope/mission of the project.

Explanation Codes

Explanation codes have been established to help simplify the expense transfer process.  The codes are listed at the middle of the form. The explanation code is required for all transactions involving grants.  They are required for audit procedures.  The codes on the Expense Transfer form are as follows:

A. Transfer to continuation project – When an item is charged to a grant that is no longer in use and should be applied to a new grant number that was set up for a non-competitive continuation. The charges to be moved must be within the dates of the continuation grant. Example: $100 in materials was charged to HS0001, but HS0002 should be charged since that is the new grant number set up for the non-competitive continuation of work started on HS0001.
B. Transposition error – When the digits of an account, grant or Dept ID number were transposed during processing. Example: PV1234 was charged for an item that was supposed to be applied to PV1324.
C. Allocation of expenses between Dept. IDs or Project/Grant (method must be attached) – When you want to share an expense between two or more grants, Dept IDs (or a combination there of) for any reason other than fulfilling part of a cost sharing agreement. The “method” used to split the expense is important so that anyone reviewing the transfer will understand why the expense is being divided. Example: The price of an item could be split between two projects based on the size of each projects’ budget. If HS0030 has a budget twice as big as HS9999 then it would be reasonable that HS0030 would be charged two times that of HS9999. Another reasonable scenario would be to divide the price of an item based on project usage. If a computer was purchased and used for project HS0030 just as much as HS9999, then it would be logical to divide the expense between the two projects 50/50.
D. Transfer to Dept. ID – Moving expenses to a hard money account.
E. Pcard Allocation (missed Pcard online system timeframe) – There is a 21 day window of time to move Pcard charges to grants and DeptIDs via the P-Card system in PeopleSoft. When you miss that window of opportunity online, but still need to allocate expenses properly, this code should be used. The reason the allocation was not done within the given 21 days should be noted.
F. Other – When none of the above reasons accurately explain your need for an expense transfer, select this code and write your reason in the space provided as accurately and briefly as possible.


Please Note:  If the transfer references code C, E, F or is over 90 days old, then an explanation is required. Code A will require an explanation if the transfer is to move expenses to a competing renewal grant.  At any time if the reason does not fit in the space provided then a separate memo should be attached.

The explanations should be complete – stating that an error was made is not sufficient justification for the request to be authorized.  A justification of the request must explain how the error occurred and why the charge is appropriate on the requested debit account. If the space provided is insufficient, please attach a separate page to the form.

Documentation Required

Check mark button Financial Summary & Transaction Detail Report
Check mark button Proper documentation should accompany each expense to be transferred
Check mark button Expense Transfer Form

A copy of the Financial Summary Report and Transaction Detail Report for the credit account should be included to reflect where the expense being transferred was originally charged. The information necessary to complete the entries on the Expense Transfer Entry Form should also be obtained from this report.  The description of the expense, the date it originally was charged to the account, the amount of the expense, the account code and related reference numbers) should be transcribed directly from the Detail Transaction Report to the Expense Transfer Entry Form.  The documentation should show the actual expense(s) to be transferred (as shown on the Transaction Detail Report), not simply a total for the expense category.

Grouping Similar Expense Categories

Multiple expenses within the same expense code may be grouped together as one line of entry on the Expense Transfer Form, providing that detailed documentation of the transactions, adding up to the total transfer amount, has been submitted along with the request.

Allocating Expenses

When allocating expenses to multiple accounts, an explanation of the method of allocation used to determine the amount charges to each grant should accompany the Expense Transfer Entry Form.

Budget Considerations

If the funds in the debit account are not sufficient to cover the charge(s), or if no budget exists for the account code, then the account may require rebudgeting.  Please contact your BFO prior to processing any expense in such instances.

Authorizations Required

The Expense Transfer Form requires signatures of authorization from an authorized representative of both the debit and credit accounts. Preferably, the Responsible Person for each account should sign the form.

Once Financial Services has received the request and it has been approved for compliance with university policies, it will be processed. Occasionally, it may be necessary for Financial Services to return the form for additional information/ documentation. In such instances, Financial Services will provide notification as to why the form is being returned.  Please obtain the additional information required and resubmit it, along with the request, to Financial Services.