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May 8 / SPA

Ask Dr. Llama About Computers


“If you drop a computer on your toe, you will have megahertz.”


Dear Dr. Llama,

I am nearing the end of my project and need to purchase a computer and the Sponsored Programs office is giving me grief about this. I’ve got my eye on this sharp new Macintosh and want to get it. Now. Any advice?


Dr. Jona Licious


Dear Dr. Licious,

Computer purchases in the final months of a project period raise audit concerns. What is the benefit to the sponsored project? Obtain documentation and keep for audit purposes. All charges to a project, particularly in the last 90 days of the project period, must be allowable and allocable as a direct cost, and be reasonable and necessary for the conduct of remaining project activities. If the computer is expected to be used beyond the project expiration date, the cost should not be allocated 100% to the expiring project unless continuation funding from that same sponsor is expected.

And remember, purchases to just use remaining funds at the end of a project are not appropriate!