Managing Expenditures

Allowable, Allocable, Reasonable, and Consistently Treated Costs

SU follows the cost principles presented in the Uniform Guidance. To be charged to a sponsored project, each cost must be allowable,  allocable, reasonable, and consistently treated.

When is a cost allowable?

  • When it is permitted according to the terms and condition of the specific award, SU policies and federal regulations
    • Costs unallowable per SU policy are not allowable unless a waiver of University policy is obtained.
  • When it serves a purpose consistent with the University’s mission, including research, instruction, and public service

When is a cost allocable?

  • When the cost provides a sole benefit to the project; benefits the project and other work proportions that can be readily estimated; or its is necessary to the overall operation of SU (i.e., an indirect cost).

When is a cost reasonable?

  • When it is necessary for the performance of the sponsored project or for University operations;
  • When a prudent person would purchase the item at that price given the circumstances; and
  • When the incurrence of the cost is consistent with established SU policies and practices.

When is a cost consistently treated?

  • When like expenses are treated in the same manner under like circumstances. That is, costs are either directly charged to the award or included in F&A recovery, not both.