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Cost Sharing Reviews

The requirements related to cost sharing can be found in OMB Circular A-110, Sub Part C.23 "Cost Sharing or Matching." When requested, CAAR performs reviews of proposed cost sharing. Amounts proposed for cost sharing are expected to be achieved consistant with what is proposed, allowable per applicable cost principles and adequately documented. If cost sharing is not obtained or adequately documented, NSF could request repayment of NSF funding on the award. If an organization is proposing cost sharing, the following should be considered:

  • Ensure that your organization has written policies/procedures on cost sharing/ matching. Written cost sharing/matching policies/procedures should include:

    • What are allowable cost sharing/matching costs per applicable cost principles.

    • Requirements for accounting for cost sharing as part of the accounting system (by project) and the documentation which is required to support cost sharing/ matching reported in the accounting system.

    • Policies and procedures on monitoring, certification and verification of the certified cost sharing/matching obtained.

    • Policies and procedures for notifying the sponsoring Agency in the event budgeted cost sharing is not (will not be) obtained and/or for approvals when making changes in the types of cost sharing/matching costs budgeted as compared to contributed.

    • Statement that cost sharing/matching is subject to audit and that the sponsoring Agency will require repayment of a portion of grant funds if proposed cost sharing/matching is not obtained and appropriately documented and, additionally, if the award is active it could be terminated.


  • Ensure that your organization's accounting system provides for recording of cost sharing/matching for each project (both budgeted and actual).

  • Ensure that your organization is maintaining accounting documentation to support recorded cost sharing/matching. (i.e., signed timesheets for salaries and wages; letters from vendors donating equipment with stated fair market value, and if significant in value, a confirmation from an appraiser of the stated fair market value).

  • When preparing proposal budgets which include cost sharing/matching, review the policies and procedures to ensure that proposed cost sharing/matching is appropriate. Also, determine if, and how, the proposed cost sharing/matching can be documented. Be clear in the proposal submission on what is being cost shared/matched and the basis of valuation if significant in value (especially for equipment, licenses for software, etc.).

  • If uncertain on what supporting documentation will be adequate for supporting difficult to support types of cost sharing/matching (i.e., one of a kind equipment for which there is no fair market value), discuss with the sponsoring Agency and include this information in the proposal.


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