Cost Sharing


Cost sharing occurs when the University proposes -- and the sponsor accepts -- that a portion of  award activities will be funded by the University. Once a cost sharing commitment is accepted, the University is obligated to expend those funds during the award period. Federal regulations and University policy require cost sharing transaction also be identified and tracked as such (see UCOP Contract and Grant Manual Chapter 5, Cost Sharing (PDF)).

CGA will establish a unique ChartField1 value in BFS for each award’s cost sharing. The CF1 should be used on all transactions, including salary and F&A, to track cost share expenses as they are incurred. This will also ensure an expense can be counted as cost sharing for only one award.

Principal Investigators and their departmental administrators are responsible for monitoring cost sharing activity, ensuring the charges are allowable, allocable and reasonable for the designated fund sources, and meeting the cost sharing commitment.

Budgeting for Cost Sharing

 When a new award includes a cost sharing commitment, the initial award budget must include rows that establish how the commitment will be met, what will be recorded in BFS during the life of the award, and ultimately what will be included on the final Cost Share Contribution Report.

  • Direct Costs: create a line for each cost share expense category (BudSum Accounts for faculty and staff salary, fringe benefits, equipment, travel, etc.) as well as a line for related indirect costs.
    • If the Fund used is a faculty-managed fund (e.g., start-up or retention funds), the cost share CF1 “trumps” the use of the Management code CF1 (values beginning with 3). Use the faculty member’s CF2 value in the Chartstring so that person can monitor spending in PI Portfolio.
  • Effort: even when the commitment is for a percentage of time rather than an amount (i.e., no dollar value provided in the award documentation), cost shared effort and associated F&A needs to be included in the budget. Determine the value of the percentage of salary for the budget amount. Include a row for F&A.
  • 3rd Party (also known as in-kind): the value of these non-cash contributions (equipment, services, cost sharing included in Subawards) must be included in the budget. Use the third party cost share fund # 69961 and the third party BudSum account # 58027. Budget equipment third party cost share on a separate line from non-equipement third party cost share.
    • Sponsor terms determine if F&A is charged on 3rd party contributions.
    • Campus Property Management also has specific procedures for managing contributed equipment -- see

Allocate Funds to Initiate Spending

Once CGA has completed award setup, it is the RA’s responsibility to update payroll, recharge, and purchase order chartstrings with the CF1.

As soon as award spending is authorized, the RA/fund manager should initiate 7xx transfers to allocate cost share-committed dollars to the award’s cost sharing CF1 (see illustration above). This is an important step to ensure committed funds are used for only one award, and expenses are tracked to that specific award as they are incurred.

Operating transfer journals require the use of a blank program field. Thus, in order to allocate funds to a cost share CF1 via operating transfer, the RA will need to request chartfield mapping of the combination using a blank program field.

The RA should make 7xx journal transfers for funds they control (or updating the earnings distribution ChartStrings for salary costs). For funds managed by a different department or recharge unit, the RA should request others make the 7xx transfer (or update the earning distribution chartstring) to allocate the cost shared amount:

  • Salaries and Benefits: request HR update the earning distribution chartstring to allocate the appropriate percentage of individuals’ salary to the cost-share CF1 chartstring
    • if the employee whose salary is cost shared is NOT already in the Effort Reporting System (i.e., not paid from a federal fund) CGA can generate an Effort Report for this individual -- see Effort Reporting below.
  • Recharged Costs: request recharge units update ChartStrings with the CF1 for cost shared allocations.
  • Purchase Orders: revise the ChartString on existing POs to track these direct expenses as cost shared.

NOTE: a 7xx transfer does not change the fund #, Dept ID or other ChartFields. The transfer simply allocates the committed amount to the award’s cost sharing CF1.

Effort Reporting System

In the Effort Reporting System, cost-shared salary transactions (those coded with a CF1) are NOT automatically shown “above the line” in the cost share column. The RA/Effort Coordinator must manually adjust the Effort Report to reflect appropriate percentage of cost share effort on an award (i.e., move the % above the line). If the individual whose effort is being shared does not have any part of his effort funded by a federal award, CGA can generate the Effort Report. Read more information on how to record cost shared effort in ERS.

Spending and Monitoring Cost Share

A cost sharing CF1 value (in the 200000-299999 range), when used in combination with a non-grant Fund#, identifies a direct cost transaction as cost sharing. When spending, use the award’s cost share CF1 in the chartstring. Indirect costs will be automatically calculated at the appropriate rate for each cost-shared direct expense as it is incurred.

Contributed equipment will be booked in the GL as both revenue and an asset. “Spend” in-kind contributions using the award’s specific cost share CF1 to ensure these assets are used only once and only for one award.

Principal Investigators and their departmental administrators are responsible for monitoring cost sharing activity and ensuring progress towards fulfilling the cost share commitment is made. The Department should periodically review expenses to see that cost share transactions are allowable, comply with the terms and conditions of the award, and meet the requirements of OMB A-21 and A-110. If there are concerns regarding the fulfillment of a cost share commitment, contact SPO to determine what actions should be taken.

Cost Sharing Details in BFS

A complete list of an award’s Cost Sharing expenses -- direct and indirect costs, waived expenses, etc. -- can be reviewed in the BFS Project Costing module. (note: 3rd party and waived F&A are not recorded in the GL and currently not available on BAIRS reports.) Use the BFS RA WorkCenter Reports/Queries tab to go to Cost Sharing Details for an award.

The Analysis Type -- the two character code seen at the end of every ChartString -- defines the type of cost sharing the transaction represents. 

Analysis Type Code Description
Salaries and Benefits



Cost Share Fringe

Cost Share Payroll



Cost Share Budget Adjustment

Cost Sharing Budget




Commitment Adjustment

Cost Sharing Commitment

Commitment Reversal




Cost Sharing Actuals

Cost Sharing F&A

Cost Sharing GL Expense
Waived F&A WFA Waived F&A

Third party cost share

Award to award cost share



Third Party Cost Share

Award to Award Cost Share

Cost Sharing Reporting

The University is responsible for providing information to sponsoring agencies that demonstrate the cost sharing commitments the University made as a condition of receiving the sponsored agreement have been fulfilled.

Some sponsors require periodic reporting on Cost Sharing. These reports are generated by RA and CGA and sent to the sponsor along with the invoice. More typically, cost sharing is reported at the close of the award.

As the award expiration date approaches, the RA/fund manager should ensure cost shared direct costs are recorded in the GL, just like all other award expenses -- see Award Closeout Procedures.

Cost sharing is reported to CGA by completing a Cost Sharing Contribution Report and submitting it online as an attachment to the Award Closeout Certification form. The Cost Sharing Contribution Report must be signed by the PI, scanned, and submitted online. Like other closeout documentation, the Cost Sharing Contribution Report is reviewed by CGA for completeness and accuracy before it is reported to the sponsoring agency.

The department must keep on file the documentation supporting the reported cost share expenditures. The supporting documentation may be subject to review by Federal auditors or investigators or by external auditors as part of the annual OMB Circular A-133 audit. Records for cost sharing reports are retained for the same period as the records for the related sponsored agreement.