Grantees are allowed budget flexibility up to 10% of the total amount they are granted over the life of the grant (one year) as long as the adjustments do not change the total in a budget category by more than 10%. Therefore, if a project budget is $50,000 the grantee can move up to $5,000 between major cost categories in the grant year; however, no individual budget category can change by more than 10%. For example, a program decides it needs to put more funds in travel to provide services and there are extra funds in the payroll expense category. The program can overspend travel and underspend payroll as long as the program did not violate the two 10% rules, meaning (1) they did not move more than 10% of the total grant funds and (2) they did not alter any individual budget category by more than 10%.
Changes of line items within a major budget category are not budget modifications -e.g.; overspend payroll of staff 1 and under spend payroll of staff 2; and the payroll total doesn't change.
The two 10% rules and the changes within major cost categories do not require prior approval and are not considered budget amendments.
- moving more than 10% of the total grant;
- altering a single major cost category by more than 10%, either up or down;
- adding a line item not on the original budget;
- adding equipment (see Chapter 12-Property & Equipment);
- changes that affect the indirect cost line item
How to do a budget revision: Prior approval means before it happens. Unfortunately, grantees are not always aware of changes that need to be made until the changes need to be made. It is important to review budgets and anticipate changes which will require a budget revision.
Budget amendments must be submitted in Excel format with the following columns: (1) the entire original budget, not just the line items to be adjusted (2) the changes requested to the line items and (3) the revised budget. The beginning budget and the revised budget must be the same and the total of the revised column must be zero.
Budget revision justifications must be included so it is clear why budget changes are necessary. Justifications help CVAD determine if budget revisions are appropriate and if the changes will impact the approved goals/objectives. It is possible a budget change will also require a modification to the scope of work.
Please note the budget revision request can be denied if the expense is not allowable or is unreasonable. The funded program should submit a budget revision request prior to purchasing expenses associated with the change in budget. Failure to do so may result in an expense not being reimbursed.
The budget revision request will be reviewed within 10 business days and the subrecipient will be notified regarding approval or denial. The budget revision request is to be submitted to the subrecipient’s primary contact either through email or via the correspondence section of IowaGrants.gov.
For reference, a program can access a hard copy of the Budget Revision Request here.