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Disclosure Statement Information
for Cost Accounting Practices

Federal Public Law 100-679 requires a Disclosure Statement (DS-2) of cost accounting practices from any institution of higher education that receives $25 million or more in sponsored agreements/awards.   The institutions must demonstrate adherence to Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) as stated in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A- 21, Cost Principles for Institutions of Higher Education. 

The DS-2 is intended to clarify the cost accounting practices that the institution follows or proposes to follow. The DS-2 describes the methodology for distinguishing direct costs from facilities and administrative costs (also known as indirect costs) and identifies the methodology for cumulating and allocating the facilities and administrative costs. 

Disclosure Statement Information for Cost Accounting Practices

Federal Public Law 100-679 requires a Disclosure Statement (DS-2) of cost accounting practices from any institution of higher education that receives $25 million or more in sponsored agreements/awards. The institutions must demonstrate adherence to Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) as stated in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Institutions of Higher Education. The DS-2 is intended to clarify the cost accounting practices that the institution follows or proposes to follow. The DS-2 describes the methodology for distinguishing direct costs from facilities and administrative costs (also known as indirect costs) and identifies the methodology for cumulating and allocating the facilities and administrative costs.

CAS 9905.501 -- Consistency in estimating, accumulating and reporting costs by educational institutions.

Purpose

The purpose of this standard is to ensure that each educational institution's practices used in estimating costs for a proposal are consistent with cost accounting practices used by the educational institution in accumulating and reporting costs. Consistency in the application of cost accounting practices is necessary to enhance the likelihood that comparable transactions are treated alike. With respect to individual sponsored agreements, the consistent application of cost accounting practices will facilitate the preparation of reliable cost estimates used in pricing a proposal and their comparison with the costs of performance of the resulting sponsored agreement. Such comparisons provide one important basis for financial control over costs during sponsored agreement performance and aid in establishing accountability for costs in the manner agreed to by both parties at the time of agreement. The comparisons also provide an improved basis for evaluating estimating capabilities.

Definitions

A. The following are definitions of terms which are prominent in this standard.

  1. Accumulating costs means the collecting of cost data in an organized manner, such as through a system of accounts.
  2. Actual cost means an amount determined on the basis of cost incurred (as distinguished from forecasted cost), including standard cost properly adjusted for applicable variance.
  3. Estimating costs means the process of forecasting a future result in terms of cost, based upon information available at the time.
  4. Indirect cost pool means a grouping of incurred costs identified with two or more objectives but not identified specifically with any final cost objective.
  5. Pricing means the process of establishing the amount or amounts to be paid in return for goods or services.
  6. Proposal means any offer or other submission used as a basis for pricing a sponsored agreement, sponsored agreement modification or termination settlement or for securing payments there under.
  7. Reporting costs means the providing of cost information to others.

Fundamental Requirement

An educational institution's practices used in estimating costs in pricing a proposal shall be consistent with the educational institution's cost accounting practices used
in accumulating and reporting costs.

An educational institution's cost accounting practices used in accumulating and reporting actual costs for a sponsored agreement shall be consistent with the educational institution's practices used in estimating costs in the related proposal or application.

The grouping of homogeneous costs in estimates prepared for proposal purposes shall not per se be deemed an inconsistent application of cost accounting practices of this paragraph when such costs are accumulated in reported in greater detail on an actual costs basis during performance of the sponsored.

CAS 9905.502 -- Consistency in allocating costs incurred for the same purpose by educational institutions.

Purpose

The purpose of this standard is to require that each type of cost is allocated only once and on only one basis to any sponsored agreement or other cost objective. The criteria for determining the allocation of costs to a sponsored agreement or other cost objective should be the same for all similar objectives. Adherence to these
cost accounting concepts is necessary to guard against the overcharging of some cost objectives and to prevent double counting. Double counting occurs most commonly when cost items are allocated directly to a cost objective without eliminating like cost items from indirect cost pools which are allocated to that cost
objective.

Definitions

(a) The following are definitions of terms which are prominent in this standard.

  1. Allocate means to assign an item of cost, or a group of items of cost, to one or more cost objectives. This term includes both direct assignment of cost and the reassignment of a share from an indirect cost pool.
  2. Cost objective means a function, organizational subdivision, sponsored agreement, or other work unit for which cost data are desired and for which provision is made to accumulate and measure the cost of processes, products, jobs, capitalized projects, etc.
  3. Direct cost means any cost which is identified specifically with a particular final cost objective. Direct costs are not limited to items which are incorporated in the end product as material or labor. Costs identified specifically with a sponsored agreement are direct costs of that sponsored agreement. All costs identified specifically with other final cost objectives of the educational institution are direct costs of those cost objectives.
  4. Final cost objective means a cost objective which has allocated to it both direct and indirect costs, and in the educational institution's accumulation system, is one of the final accumulation points.
  5. Indirect cost means any cost not directly identified with a single final cost objective, but identified with two or more final cost objectives or with at least one intermediate cost objective.
  6. Indirect cost pool means a grouping of incurred costs identified with two or more cost objectives but not identified with any final cost objective.
  7. Intermediate cost objective means a cost objective that is used to accumulate indirect costs or service center costs that are subsequently allocated to one or more indirect cost pools and/or final cost objectives.

Fundamental Requirement

All costs incurred for the same purpose, in like circumstances, are either direct costs only or indirect costs only with respect to final cost objectives. No final cost objective shall have allocated to it as an indirect cost any cost, if other costs incurred for the same purpose, in like circumstances, have been included as a direct
cost of that or any other final cost objective. Further, no final cost objective shall have allocated to it as a direct cost any cost, if other costs incurred for the same purpose, in like circumstances, have been included in any indirect cost pool to be allocated to that or any other final cost objective.


CAS 9905.505 -- Accounting for unallowable costs -- Educational institutions.

Purpose

(a) The purpose of this standard is to facilitate the negotiation, audit, administration and settlement of sponsored agreements by establishing guidelines covering.
  1. Identification of costs specifically described as unallowable, at the time such costs first become defined or authoritatively designated as unallowable, and
  2. The cost accounting treatment to be accorded such identified unallowable costs in order to promote the consistent application of sound cost accounting principles covering all incurred costs. The standard is predicated on the proposition that costs incurred in carrying on the activities of an educational institution -- regardless of the allow ability of such costs under Government sponsored agreements -- are allocable to the cost objectives with which they are identified on the basis of their beneficial or causal relationships.

    (b) This standard does not govern the allow ability of costs. This is a function of the appropriate procurement or reviewing authority.

Definitions

(a) The following are definitions of terms which are prominent in this standard.

  1. Directly associated cost means any cost which is generated solely as a result of the incurrence of another cost, and which would not have been incurred had the other cost not been incurred.


  2. Expressly unallowable cost means a particular item or type of cost which, under the express provisions of an applicable law, regulation, or sponsored agreement, is specifically named and stated to be unallowable.


  3. Indirect cost means any cost not directly identified with a single final cost objective, but identified with two or more final cost objectives or with at least one intermediate cost objective.


  4. Unallowable cost means any cost which, under the provisions of any pertinent law, regulation, or sponsored agreement, cannot be included in prices, cost reimbursements, or settlements under a Government sponsored agreement to which it is allocable.

Fundamental requirement

(a) Costs expressly unallowable or mutually agreed to be unallowable, including costs mutually agreed to be unallowable directly associated costs, shall be identified and excluded from any billing, claim, application, or proposal applicable to a Government sponsored agreement.

(b) Costs which specifically become designated as unallowable as a result of a written decision furnished by a Federal official pursuant to sponsored agreement disputes procedures shall be identified if included in or used in the computation of any billing, claim, or proposal applicable to a sponsored agreement. This identification requirement applies also to any costs incurred for the same purpose under like circumstances as the costs specifically identified as unallowable under either this paragraph or paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(c) Costs which, in a Federal official's written decision furnished pursuant to disputes procedures, are designated as unallowable directly associated costs of unallowable costs covered by either paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection shall be accorded the identification required by paragraph b. of this subsection.

(d) The costs of any work project not contractually authorized, whether or not related to performance of a proposed or existing contract, shall be accounted for, to the extent appropriate, in a manner which permits ready separation from the costs of authorized work projects.

(e) All unallowable costs covered by paragraphs (a) through (d) of this subsection shall be subject to the same cost accounting principles governing cost allocability as allowable costs. In circumstances where these unallowable costs normally would be part of a regular indirect-cost allocation base or bases, they shall remain in such base or bases. Where a directly associated cost is part of a category of costs normally included in an indirect-cost pool that will be allocated over a base containing the unallowable cost with which it is associated, such a directly associated cost shall be retained in the indirect-cost pool and be allocated through the regular allocation process.

(f) Where the total of the allocable and otherwise allowable costs exceeds a limitation-of-cost or ceiling-price provision in a sponsored agreement, full direct and indirect cost allocation shall be made to the cost objective, in accordance with established cost accounting practices and Standards which regularly govern a given entity's allocations to Government sponsored agreement cost objectives. In any determination of unallowable cost overrun, the amount thereof shall be identified in terms of the excess of allowable costs over the ceiling amount, rather than through specific identification of particular cost items or cost elements.

CAS 9905.506 -- Cost accounting period -- Educational institutions.

Purpose

The purpose of this standard is to provide criteria for the selection of the time periods to be used as cost accounting periods for sponsored agreement cost estimating, accumulating, and reporting. This standard will reduce the effects of variations in the flow of costs within each cost accounting period. It will also enhance
objectivity, consistency, and verifiability, and promote uniformity and comparability in sponsored agreement cost measurements.

Definitions

(a) The following are definitions of terms which are prominent in this standard.

(1) Allocate means to assign an item of cost, or a group of items of cost, to one or more cost objectives. This term includes both direct assignment of cost and the reassignment of a share from an indirect cost pool.

(2) Cost Objective means a function, organizational subdivision, sponsored agreement, or other work unit for which cost data are desired and for which provision is made to accumulate and measure the cost of processes, products, jobs, capitalized projects, etc.

(3) Fiscal year means the accounting period for which annual financial statements are regularly prepared, generally a period of 12 months, 52 weeks, or 53 weeks.

(4) Indirect cost pool means a grouping of incurred costs identified with two or more cost objectives but not identified specifically with any final cost objective.

Fundamental requirement

Educational institutions shall use their fiscal year as their cost accounting period, except that:

Costs of an indirect function which exists for only a part of a cost accounting period may be allocated to cost objectives of that same part of the period.

An annual period other than the fiscal year may be used as the cost accounting period if its use is an established practice of the educational institution.

A transitional cost accounting period other than a year shall be used whenever a change of fiscal year occurs.

An educational institution shall follow consistent practices in the selection of the cost accounting period or periods in which any types of expense and any types of adjustment to expense (including prior-period adjustments) are accumulated and allocated.

The same cost accounting period shall be used for accumulating costs in an indirect cost pool as for establishing its allocation base, except that the contracting--------------parties may agree to use a different period for establishing an allocation base.

Disclosure Statement

 
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