Office of Sponsored Programs - 600.04 - Sponsored Project Expenditures Accounting


Office of Sponsored Programs - 600.04 - Sponsored Project Expenditures Accounting


An awareness of the co-dependent relationship between departments and the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) underscores the significant impact each has in producing accurate, timely reports to sponsors and helps maximize expenditures efficiently. This operating standard provides common protocols for maintaining sponsored award accounts that uphold the integrity of research at the University.

Policy Statement

Since sponsored research utilizes funds belonging to organizations other than the University, OSP and the administering department work in tandem to provide fully-defined financial information to the sponsoring agency for all required financial reports.

Departments are expected to stridently follow the terms and conditions of the award when spending and recording expenditures. For reporting purposes, the following general standards apply:

  • All expenditures must follow the protocols for direct and indirect costs as established in 2 CFR §200 Subpart E.
  • Each line item must be described precisely to ensure funds are being expended properly. This is a requirement of the final report at closeout and is best practiced throughout the life of the project by use of a shadow system.
  • No spending is allowable after the end date of an award period. Expenditures must occur within the assigned project period.
  • The amount of funding for an established award is finite; thus, overspending on a project is unacceptable.

Financial reports are reviewed by OSP and sponsoring agencies for consistent spending behavior throughout the life of a project. Irregularities in spending habits are susceptible to questioning. To avoid the appearance of erratic or improper spending, it is critical that departments begin incurring expenses immediately and on a regular basis.

Departments are also responsible for maintaining and tracking current financial data in ConnectCarolina and for items that do not yet appear in the system. This includes maintaining accurate job titles, expensing to the correct categories for specific supplies and maintaining accurate personnel forms, including the number of hours worked.

When they are due, by utilizing the financial information in ConnectCarolina as well as information tracked by the department, OSP is responsible for preparing and submitting financial reports on behalf of the PI. OSP submits financial reports to the sponsor and makes these reports available to the administering department.


  • Overdrafts are unallowable on sponsored project accounts. In such cases, the administering department will be required to pay for overdrafts from departmental accounts.
  • Program income, the gross revenue earned from sponsored activities, which is borne as a direct cost toward meeting cost sharing or matching requirements, must be disclosed following specific agency requirements on periodical and final financial reports.

Related Requirements

Unit Policies, Standards, & Procedures

Contact Information

For questions regarding this operating standard and its related procedure, please contact

For questions regarding Pre-Award management or Post-Award administration, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Specialist (SPS).

For invoicing, reporting and other financial matters, please contact the assigned Sponsored Projects Accountant. OSP Staff assignments are found in RAMSeS or on the OSP website.


History Table
Date Revision
07/01/2022 Revised to reflect the new office name.
05/15/2018 Revised to coincide with the release of the new OSP Website.
03/14/2011 Policy and Procedure revised to correspond to on-line ecrt system.
07/31/2010 Policy and Procedure revised to clarify the institution’s anticipated transition to a planned confirmation system.
12/15/2009 Policy and Procedure revised to reflect the development of new effort reporting system standards.

The operating standards in the Office of Sponsored Programs Operating Standards & Procedures Manual supersede any OSP operating standards, procedures and appendices previously included in the University Business Manual, a publication of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Division of Finance.

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Article ID: 132332
Thu 4/8/21 9:29 PM
Fri 1/19/24 12:18 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
07/01/2022 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Vice Chancellor
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
01/19/2024 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
07/01/2022 12:00 AM
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
01/19/2025 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
07/01/2008 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Research-Office of Sponsored Programs