Unallowable Costs

Source: OSP Website

Unallowable costs must not be charged directly or indirectly to a sponsored award or a related [cost share] account. Expenses are unallowable if they:

  • Do not comply with allowability, allocability, and reasonableness requirements in the OMB Uniform Guidance, Subpart E – Cost Principles
  • Do not comply with the terms and conditions of the sponsored award, or Harvard University Policy
  • Cannot be associated to a project with a high degree of accuracy
  • Are for restricted purchases without proper authorization from the sponsor and/or the University
  • Are not incurred during the period of the award
  • Are not being treated consistently to similar expenses for the same purpose and like circumstance (e.g. the recovery of indirect costs as direct costs)

Additional guidance on unallowable costs is available in the Sponsored Expenditure Guidelines. The Transaction Monitoring module in GMAS also provides Department/Local Level Managing Units and OSP Research Finance with a tool to monitor and track higher risk transactions using preset rules for allowability on each award.