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  6. Charging Costs Directly or Indirectly to Sponsored Projects

Charging Costs Directly or Indirectly to Sponsored Projects

Directive Statement

Cost Accounting Standard (CAS) 9905.502 states “All costs incurred for the same purpose, in like circumstances, are either direct costs only (can be charged to a grant) or indirect costs only (must be paid with unrestricted funds) with respect to final cost objectives.” Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200 then goes on to list specific costs that the federal government considers to be normally charged indirectly, “Items such as salaries of administrative and clerical staff, office supplies, postage, local telephone costs and memberships”.

The Uniform Guidance does allow for exemptions where cost items normally treated as indirect (F&A) costs may be charged directly if certain conditions are met.

Principal Investigators (PIs) who believe circumstances of their federally funded project warrant a CAS exemption that would allow direct charging costs that are normally treated as indirect (F&A) must submit a Cost Accounting Standard (CAS) exemption request through UFIRST.

Reason for Directive

To comply with the Federal government’s Uniform Guidance, codified at 2 CFR 200, which incorporates the Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) 48 CFR 9905.501, 9905.502, 9905.505, 9905.506, the University of Florida has determined the following costs shall normally be treated as indirect (F&A) or unallowable as a direct charge to a federally funded award unless a CAS Exemption is approved.

Who must comply?

All University Departments.

Costs and myUFL Account Codes Normally Treated as Indirect (F&A) costs and Not Charged Directly to Federally Funded Sponsored Agreements

Salary and Wage Expenditures

Cost Item Cost Treatment Account Code
Administrative and Clerical Salaries
To direct charge, a CAS Exemption is required and will only be approved where the costs have been specifically budgeted for and/or justified as integral to the performance of the project or activity being funded, otherwise sponsor approval is required.
normally indirect See Payroll Distributions of Job Codes Normally NOT Directly Charged to Federal Projects

Operating Expenditures

Group 1 Cost Items:
For a direct charge to an item in Group 1 that is normally indirect a CAS Exemption is required.

Cost Item Cost Treatment Account Code
Audio Visual Devices < $5,000 normally indirect 731800
Cell Phones & Service Plans normally indirect 722200
Computer Devices < $5,000 normally indirect 734800
Computer Peripherals < $5,000 normally indirect 734900
Computer Software – General Purpose (Word, Excel, etc) normally indirect 734200
Memberships & Dues normally indirect 791000
Postage Stamps normally indirect 794000
Specialty Printing normally indirect 793300
Subscriptions normally indirect 791100
Supplies – Audio Visual normally indirect 731300
Supplies – Computer normally indirect 734100
Supplies – Office normally indirect 732100
Telephone – Local Calls normally indirect 722100
Telephone Install/Maint/Repair normally indirect 722120
Telephone Contracts normally indirect 722140
Telephone Leasing normally indirect 722130

Group 2 Cost Items:
For a Group 2 cost item to be direct charged a CAS Exemption is required and will normally only be approved where the costs have been specifically budgeted for and/or justified as essential or necessary to the performance of the project or activity being funded, otherwise sponsor approval is required.


Cost Item Cost Treatment Account Code
Accounting Services normally indirect 711100
Bank Charges & Custodial Fees normally indirect 711900
Books & Publications – Non-Library normally indirect 739300
Building Maint & Supplies normally indirect 733000
Cable Television normally indirect 721700
Chilled Water normally indirect 721600
Construction Contractors normally indirect 714000
Electricity normally indirect 721100
Electronic Data/Subscriptions normally indirect 734260
Fax/Phone Equipment < $5,000 normally indirect 729900
Garbage Collection normally indirect 721400
Insurance –Malpractice, Liability, Property normally indirect 795000
Janitorial Services normally indirect 719100
Land Purchase normally indirect 781000
Laundry Services normally indirect 719110
Legal Services normally indirect 711200
Library Resources & Publications normally indirect 785000
Linens normally indirect 738200
Maintenance Contracts – Buildings normally indirect 741200
Modular Buildings normally indirect 783200
Moving Contractor normally indirect 719400
Natural Gas normally indirect 721200
Office Equipment < $5,000 normally indirect 732900
Other Equipment < 5,000 normally indirect 739400
Pagers normally indirect 722300
Photocopying normally indirect 793100
Proctoring Services normally indirect 715400
Professional Licenses normally indirect 791200
Rentals – Dormitory Furniture normally indirect 792300
Repairs & Maintenance – Buildings normally indirect 741100
Repairs & Maintenance – Facility Surfaces normally indirect 741175
Repairs & Maintenance – Infrastructure/Grounds normally indirect 741100
Sewage normally indirect 741400
Small Hand tools < $5000 normally indirect 739700
Steam normally indirect 721500
Student Recruitment Services normally indirect 713100
Tempforce Employee – Clerical normally indirect 719310
Uniforms normally indirect 738100
Utilities & Communications – Resale normally indirect 729100
Utilities / Communications – Other normally indirect 729200
Utilities Tax normally indirect 799500
Utility Reimbursement normally indirect 721999
Vehicles & Transportation >$4,999 normally indirect 784000
Water normally indirect 721300


Group 3 – Normally Unallowable Costs:
For a Group 3 normally unallowable cost item to be direct charged, a CAS Exemption is required and will only be approved where the costs have been specifically budgeted for and/or justified as essential or necessary to the performance of the project or activity being funded, otherwise sponsor approval is required.

Cost Item Cost Treatment Account Code
Awards & Commendations normally unallowable 799200
Entertainment Expense normally unallowable 799600
Entertainment Services normally unallowable 711800
Event Tickets normally unallowable 799620
Food & Beverages for Human Consumption normally unallowable 799400
Catering Services normally unallowable 715500


Most Common Costs and myUFL Account Codes that are Charged Directly to Federally Funded Sponsored Agreements

This list of cost items is not intended to be all inclusive. Other costs will be allowed as a direct charge so long as the item and amount are considered necessary, reasonable, allocable, and allowable under Uniform Guidance (UG) 2 CFR 200.

Salary and Wage Expenditures

Professional and technical salaries (faculty, other senior personnel, postdocs, graduate & undergraduate students) Direct charge In general, salary support for those positions that will carry out the proposed project’s activities
Fringe Benefits Direct charge Use HHS approved rates

 Operating Expenditures

Cost Item Cost Treatment Account Code
Animal Care Services Direct charge 731200, 731210, 731220
Computer Software – Technical / Specialized Direct charge 734250
Consultant Services Direct charge 711300
Equipment – Technical / Scientific >$4,999 Direct charge 780000 (must be budgeted for)
Material and Supplies – Laboratory Direct charge 731100
Research Subject Payments Direct charge 719500
Participant Support – Participants in meetings, conferences, symposia, and workshops Direct charge 719200 (IDC Charged)
719250 (No IDC Charged)
Repair and Maintenance – Equipment Direct charge 742100
Subawards Direct charge 712100 ($25,000 or less)
712200 (Subcontract over $25,000)
Telephone – Long Distance Charges Direct charge 722150
Travel – Domestic Direct charge 771100 (In State)
771200 (Out of State)
Travel – Foreign Direct charge 772000

Non-Federal Sponsored Agreements

All costs that are reasonable, allocable, and necessary for the performance of the project or activity being supported by the non-federal award may be direct charged, subject to any special terms and conditions.


Cost Accounting Standards

The Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) consist of nineteen standards promulgated by the Cost Accounting Standards Board (CASB) designed to ensure uniformity and consistency in the measurement, assignment and allocation of costs to contracts with the United States Government. CAS covers a variety of costs such as depreciation, pension plans, personal compensation, indirect costs, and other areas of cost accounting.

Direct Costs

Costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored award, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy. Costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances must be treated consistently as either direct or indirect costs. Where an institution treats a particular type of cost as a direct cost of sponsored awards, all costs incurred for the same purpose in like circumstances shall be treated as direct costs of all other activities of the institution.

Federal Sponsored Award

Any Federal grant, contract, or cooperative award received directly by the University of Florida, as well as subawards received by the University under Federal Sponsored Awards to other organizations.

Indirect (F&A) Costs

Costs incurred for common or joint objectives [of the University] and not readily assignable to a particular sponsored award, instructional activity or other institutional activity, without effort disproportionate to the results achieved. “Facilities” is defined as depreciation on buildings, equipment and capital improvement, interest on debt associated with certain buildings, equipment and capital improvements, and operations and maintenance expenses. “Administration” is defined as general administration and general expenses such as the director’s office, accounting, personnel, and all other types of expenditures not listed specifically under “Facilities.”

Last Reviewed

07/31/2021: reviewed content


2 CFR 200 Quick Reference Guide

Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200

48 CFR 9905 – Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) for Education Institutions


UF HR Toolkit – CAS Exemption Process


RSH260: Cost Principles

RSH206: Cost Principles Advanced Topics

RSH282: UFIRST Awards

RSH212: Post Award Overview


Cost Analysis: (352) 392-5778

Contracts and Grants Accounting: (352) 392-1235