Understanding and Using the De Minimis Indirect Cost Rate

Webinar • Thursday, May 18, 2017 • 2:00-3:30 Eastern time

Webinar Details

Subject: Grants Management

Prerequisites: Some knowledge of federal grant management and audit requirements is helpful

Recommended Field of Study: Accounting (including Government Accounting)

Program Knowledge Level: Basic

Advanced Preparation: None

When the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued its “super circular” to reform and consolidate federal grants management policy, it introduced a new concept on indirect cost recovery: the de minimis indirect cost rate. In doing so, OMB apparently thought that it would be helping to simplify the lives of many recipients and subrecipients. But it hasn’t turned out that way.

When you look up de minimis in a legal dictionary, you get more Latin — de minimis non curat lex, “the law does not care about trivial things.” When you look at Merriam-Webster’s, you get “so minor as to merit disregard.” Unfortunately, when the phrase is applied to the current federal fund management landscape, “trivial” doesn’t describe what’s happening and “disregard” has often been replaced with confusion.

Many staff from federal agencies, pass-through entities, recipient and subrecipient organizations, and independent audit firms share in the confusion about when and how to employ the new method and what accounting and auditing steps go along with it. This webinar is intended to clear up that confusion by analyzing the various policy statements contained in the “super circular” and by answering the many questions that the broad federal grants community has been raising.

During this detailed session, you’ll learn:

  • The basis for the new policy and its intended advantages
  • Which recipients and subrecipients are eligible to elect the de minimis rate
  • Whether the de minimis rate can be used on some federal awards — but not others
  • Whether a federal agency or pass-through entity can force a lower-tier organization to use the rate
  • How the de minimis rate is calculated
  • How OMB defines the required “modified total direct cost” base
  • The kind of documentation required to support the rate
  • How the rate is reviewed during a single audit

Bob Lloyd, principal of Federal Fund Management Advisor™, will conduct this authoritative session. Bob’s hands-on experience with federal indirect cost policy includes joint authorship of the federal government’s guide for state and local government development of indirect cost proposals. During his long career in federal award implementation, Bob has conducted hundreds of training sessions providing clear instruction on grant cost allowability and proper charging practices.


  • Accounting staff
  • Grant and contract manager
  • Sponsored projects administrators
  • Federal program managers
  • Finance directors
  • Controllers
  • Internal auditors
  • External auditors

Hand-out Materials:

Attendees will receive presentation slides as well as access to background materials.

Allowable Charges

The costs of webinars sponsored by Federal Fund Management Advisor™ are allowable charges to your federal grants and subgrants. The cost principles issued by OMB under its uniform guidance (and applicable to all types of awardees) state, “The cost of training and education for employee development is allowable” (2 CFR 200.472).

Attend this Live Webinar and Earn up to 1.5 CPE Credits
Federal Fund Management Advisor™ is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.learningmarket.org.

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