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About cost transfers

Faculty and staff must make every effort to allocate expenditures (costs) to the appropriate account(s) at the time the costs are initially incurred. However, sometimes it is necessary to transfer costs from one account to another through an after-the-fact re-allocation, otherwise known as a cost transfer.

Transfers that involve a sponsored project account (grant) are monitored by ORSPA’s Post Award Services Team. 

Cost transfers involving grants are allowable only in special circumstances, such as:

  • Error correction
  • Transfers between sub-allocations of the same sponsored project
  • Costs benefiting more than one project
  • Clearing potential or actual overruns
  • Disallowed costs

Any time a transfer is initiated, it invites the assumption that the transaction was not initially handled properly. If expenses are being transferred onto a sponsored project account there will be considerable scrutiny of the reasons for the transfer, and the justification for moving those charges. To adequately support these transfer requests, it is essential to provide justifications explaining how the cost directly benefits the project account being charged.

Mechanisms used to initiate cost transfers are:

Types of expensesCost transfer method
Salary and wage corrections for FY19 payroll and beyondPayroll redistribution application in PeopleSoft
Salary and wage corrections for FY18 and earlier payrollAccounting journal in Workday (refer to full instructions here)
Non-payroll cost transfers for FY18 and earlierAccounting journal in Workday with Non-Payroll Cost Transfer Request (CTR) ORSPA 510 form
Non-payroll cost transfers for FY19 and beyondAccounting adjustment
accounting journal in Workday with Non-Payroll Cost Transfer Request (CTR) ORSPA 510 form


Work instructions and training

All employees with a grant manager role in Workday (Grant Manager, Peoplesoft HR Grant Manager) must take the following brief cost transfer training:

ROps: Review and approval of cost transfers on sponsored projects

CTR submitters are highly recommended to take this training as well.




  • Workday home page > work instructions
  • Create accounting adjustment
  • Create accounting journal
  • EIB preparation and submission


Payroll redistribution training


Identifies the system that the transfer is created in.


Accounting Adjustment (required default):

Retains all the historical journal information of the original transaction.

Can only be used when transferring the full transaction amount of Supplier Invoices, Supplier Invoice Adjustments and Expense reports.

Accounting Journal

Can be used to transfer multiple accounting items from/to multiple accounts. 

Can transfer partial dollar amounts, multiple expenditures on multiple accounts to multiple spend categories on multiple accounts.

Does not provide an automated audit trail and should only be used when necessary (i.e., p-card transactions).


Bulk Import for accounting journals.
Forms and templates > journal bulk import – ORSPA EIB


Payroll redistribution

Payroll generally processes the Monday through Wednesday before payday but ERE does not post until Thursday. Payroll redistributions submitted on the Thursday/day before payday will not result in ERE being moved.

To ensure salary, ERE and tuition will all move together with the same redistribution, wait until both salary and ERE post in Workday (generally on a payday) to submit a payroll redistribution for that period. 


Roles required to submit and approve cost transfers.


Submitter (dept): Department Accountant
ServiceNow > Workday Landing Page > FMS Department Role Request
Approval (dept): Grant Manager (ASU)
ServiceNow > Workday Landing Page > FMS Approval Role Request


Submitter (dept): ASU_HR_PM Redistribution role in PeopleSoft, also known as the FSO Redistribution role.

Approval (dept): PeopleSoft HR Grant Manager

An employee is not permitted to submit and approve their own payroll redistribution. 

90-day Rule: Calculating

Generally, transfers must be in ORSPA’s queue for review no later than 90 days from occurrence (see details in following columns).

Removing an unallowable cost on a sponsored project has no time limit.

Shorter periods are necessary near the project end date to ensure a timely final financial report/invoice to the sponsor. The assigned AMT GCO will be able to answer questions relating to a project end date and/or final invoice/report submission required by the project.


90-days from the Workday close of the month in which the transaction originally posted.


90-days from the close of the month in which the last pay period for the related semester posted and the After the Fact report has not been acknowledged by the PI.

SemesterLast paydayFiscal month close90-day deadline
Summer 20238/6/20239/6/202312/5/2023
Fall 202312/24/20231/3/20244/3/2024
Spring 20245/12/20246/6/20249/4/2024
Summer 20248/4/20249/5/202412/4/2024
Fall 202412/22/20241/6/20244/5/2024


See instructions in following columns for requesting an exception.

Exception approvals are required before processing transactions onto a sponsored grant account that exceed the 90-day rule or, for payroll transfers that fall under cost transfer worktag type category three, if the After-the-Fact report has already been acknowledged.

There are a handful of transfer types that do not fall under the 90-day rule. See cost transfer worktags for details.


Submit to: AMT AD (or an appropriate post-award services backup/proxy identified by the AD, such as a manager or principal)


Submit to: FOT AD (or an appropriate post-award services backup/proxy identified by the AD, such as a manager or principal)

E-mail [email protected] for exception request details.


Must be clear, concise and comprehensive to provide a proper audit trail. A descriptive phrase or two can suffice if it adequately answers the questions. Examples of poor justifications: 

  • I am moving this charge to place it on the correct account
  • To correct an error
  • There is no error

The unit/Financial services, as appropriate, are required to retain the support documentation for the original expense in the event of an audit.

See Cost Transfer Worktags for additional guidance.

Transfers from one sponsored project to another sponsored project to reduce cost overruns, to spend unused balances, to avoid restrictions imposed by law or agreement terms, or for other reasons of convenience are strictly prohibited.


Accounting Adjustment/Accounting Journal should stand on its own.


Each answer box within the questionnaire, defaults to a 255-character limit. If needed, click on the “Addt’l Text” icon next to the appropriate answer box to be allowed to enter an unlimited number of characters. Third question: Describe one or two specific tasks performed by the employee for the project during the payroll redistribution period, not a list of tasks mentioned in the SOW.

Submission and review checklist

Expense is allowable

Account availability

  • The project is still open and the sponsor has not received the final invoice.
  • The assigned AMT GCO can advise on the status of the final billing, as needed

Account balance

  • Confirm there is available budget for the transactions moving onto the account (including associated ERE and F&A).
  • If additional funding is expected but the award notice has not yet arrived, please consider an At-risk increase using a guarantee account.


  • Budget date (non-payroll) / close date (payroll) represents incurred date of original transaction
  • Incurred date is within the start/end date period of the grant account


  • Appropriate cost transfer worktag is applied.
    • Use EITHER department reporting roll or department reporting, not both
  • Ledger account/spend category is accurate (non-payroll)

Exception reviews

  • 90-day calculation has been completed
  • Status of the After-the-Fact (ATF) report for the period is known
  • Exception approval for these items have been documented, as needed 

Memo (non-payroll)

  • Journal line memo references original transaction number being moved​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


  • ​​​​​​​Required backup documentation is supplied/attached
  • Justifications are sufficient


Describes how each type of cost transfer routes for approval


Accounting adjustment

Grant manager > award management specialist > AMT/FOT AD (for >90 days)

Accounting journal (onto a grant)

Grant manager > award management specialist


Payroll redistribution

PeopleSoft HR grant manager > fiscal oversight (ORSPA)

An employee is not permitted to submit and approve their own payroll redistribution. 

Once the transaction is approved, payroll redistributions post to Workday daily, except on Fridays due to Workday maintenance. 


How to edit draft and in progress transactions


Accounting adjustment (draft only)

Find accounting adjustments – pending > related action > accounting adjustment > edit, add/change attachment

accounting journal

Workday: find journals – pending accounting journals > related action > journal > edit, add/change attachment


Payroll redistribution

Once submitted, the only information that can be edited are the responses to the three questions. If the accounting information needs to be changed, withdraw the submitted transaction(s) and resubmit new transaction(s).

To edit question responses:

Use the “Edit/Resubmit Redist Trans” in ASU Position Management to search the transaction.

Edit the responses. Additional text can only be modified if it is part of the original request; it cannot be added to a returned request.

Submit transaction again within 5 business days. 


How to cancel draft and in progress transactions


Accounting adjustment

Workday: find accounting adjustments – pending > related action > accounting adjustment > cancel

Accounting journal

Workday: find journals – pending accounting journals > related action > journal > cancel



PeopleSoft: ASU customizations > ASU HCM custom > ASU position management > edit/resubmit redist trans. Pull transaction and click the withdraw button at the bottom of the screen.

Redistributions stuck in employee queues due to leave, retirement, etc.

ORSPA’s payroll redistribution approvers can search for the transaction and select the “deny” button by going to Peoplesoft > ASU customizations > ASU HCM custom > ASU position management > ORSPA redistribution approval.


Required on a monthly basis for all accounts, both sponsored and non-sponsored. Will help minimize the time it takes to identify a cost that needs to be transferred and prevent additional charges from posting. FIN 201: Cost Center, Grant and Project Manager Fiscal Responsibilities


Account reconciliation > best practices for reconciling payroll expenses


Account reconciliation

Operational transaction best practices

Purchasing card best practices


View Workday Report “Expenditure Monitoring – Cost Transfer Dashboard” for details and statistics of cost center cost transfer activity.


Questions on requesting a cost transfer such as allowability on a project and proper justification may be directed to the unit’s RA staff, or to the assigned AMT GCO. Contacts for the unit can be found by using Who Can Help Me?.


Workday (FMS) assistance: Service Now FMS Support, Phone: (480) 965-2334


Payroll redistribution grant mailbox: [email protected] 

PeopleSoft-payroll redistribution system assistance: UTO CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Submit case at: https://uto.asu.edu