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The National Science Foundation
Cost Analysis and Audit Resolution Branch
Acounting System Reviews
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Organizations receiving awards are required to have an adequate accounting system. Adequate accounting systems provide assurances to the Federal Government that organizations can support that expenditures of federal funds are in accordance with applicable regulations, terms and conditions of the award.

At a minimum, adequate accounting systems provide for:

  • Detailed budget preparation with proposed cost based on actual historical cost data
  • Identification of expenditures as direct, indirect and unallowable
  • Identification of costs (budgeted costs and actual expense) by project/grant
  • Complete and accurate financial reports (including balance sheets and income statements)
  • Maintenance of adequate source documentation (purchase orders, invoices, canceled checks, etc.)
  • Maintenance of adequate documentation to support cost sharing (acceptable forms of cost sharing contributions are those which meet the criteria established in Section .23 of OMB Circular A-110).

Organizations being considered for an NSF award are required to support the existence of an adequate accounting system. If an organization has been audited by the Defense Contract Audit agency (DCAA), or has been audited by another Federal Agency, the organization will be requested to provide a copy of the review and/or audit report resulting from the audit or review.

All organizations will be required to complete and provide the "Financial Management Systems Questionnaire". This form will be reviewed by the Cost Analysis and Audit Resolution Branch. Noted accounting system deficiencies and suggestions for correcting deficiencies will be discussed with the submitting organization.


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Last Modified On: 7/14/04