Outcomes: Understand the requirements for preparing an adequate NICRA proposal to support the reimbursement of indirect expenses under US Government funded programs. Consider the full cycle for this issue: selecting the indirect cost method, creating the proposal, using approved rates to improve cash flow, computing year-end actual rates, and resolving differences between provisional vs. actual rates. Understand how and when the “de minimis” rules for a fixed indirect rate may be applied in this environment.  Conducted by Certified Public Accountants with 30+ years of experience with indirect costs, this seminar will give you practical, hands-on know-how.

Group-Live Offering;

Basic: No Advance Preparation or Prerequisites Required; 8 CPE Hours (Government)






October 30 - 08:45 AM

October 30 - 05:30 PM

Pretoria, South Africa

The Aurum Institute, Ditsela Place, Corner of Duncan /Jan Shoba Street with Park Street, Hatfield (Training Room – Ground Floor)

Doug Franke & Mark Hoffman



Mandatory cost sharing and aggressive disallowance of direct costs by Government auditors have created cash flow pressures that strain the finances of many NGOs. Maximizing the recovery of allowable indirect costs is crucial to long term viability. Proper use of indirect expense rates can increase total cost recovery and improve timely cash inflows. This one day course starts with the strategy of selecting an indirect expense recovery method from the range of structures permitted for US Government funded programs subject to the Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200 and associated regulations. We will cover the process of preparing and submitting a proposal to establish a NICRA, using the approved rates in monthly billings/reporting, and the year-end close-out. We will cover the “de minimis” fixed rate that may be available to some organizations as an alternate to a NICRA. We will go through the fundamental cost accounting requirements in detail and introduce advanced cost recovery concepts. This is a highly interactive seminar with group discussions and a real world case study executed in small groups.

Understanding the Options in Obtaining a NICRA
  • Strategic planning for indirect expense recovery – What are the options?
  • Requesting a NICRA with annual indirect rates – What are the steps? Will it be approved? Are my systems adequate? Am I prepared for the annual true-up from provisional to actual rates?
  • Electing a fixed de minimis rate – Do you qualify? What rules apply? Will the Agency approve?
  • Direct Charging – What if you are denied indirect cost recovery? What is the impact of charging all costs directly to projects?
  • What is the Agency supposed to do? What are they actually doing?
  • Indirect rates for subawardees – What is the role of the prime awardee in approving an indirect rate for a subaward?
Preparing/Reviewing an Indirect Cost Proposal
  • 3 Acceptable Organization-Wide Indirect Cost Methods
  • 13 Examples of Typical Indirect Cost Functions
  • Acceptable Bases of Allocation/Distribution
  • Proposal tools issued by Agencies
  • Importance of a written Cost Policy Statement
Direct Costing Concepts
  • 7 Mandatory Direct Cost Functions
  • Direct-Costing Shared Field Office Costs
  • Methods for Directly Allocating Administrative Costs
  • Allocating Joint Direct Costs
Typical Indirect Cost Rates
  • Range of Indirect Cost Rates Approved by Agencies
  • Conforming to Ceilings Imposed by Non-US donors (Gates Foundation, Global Fund, etc.)
  • Creating a Special Business Unit for Lower Indirect Cost Awards
  • Creating Administrative Service Center(s) for Direct Costing
Implementing Actions with an Approved Indirect Cost Rate
  • Applying/Proposing Indirect Costs on Prospective Awards
  • Setting Up the Account Structure for Accounting for Indirect Costs
  • Documenting, Accumulating, and Tracking Indirect Costs
  • Monthly billings and expense reporting
  • Preparing the Annual “True-Up” Report of Actual Indirect Costs
Reviewing an Indirect Cost Proposal/Annual True-Up Report
  • Review of Major Indirect Cost Line-Items
  • Consistency in Charging Direct and Indirect Costs
  • Identify and Classify Any Unallowable Costs
  • Verify the Base of Allocation/Distribution
  • Preferred Annual Rate Calculation Format

Practice Set for Preparing an Indirect Cost Proposal There will be a 2-hour hands-on exercise in conceptualizing and preparing an indirect cost proposal for NFEs. (Participants to please bring a calculator.)


Agenda TBA

Venue and hotel

The Aurum Institute, Ditsela Place, Corner of Duncan /Jan Shoba Street with Park Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa (Training Room – Ground Floor)


CPE Credit

SustainAbility Solutions is registered with the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA) which is a sponsor of continuing professional education credits. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit and SustainAbility Solutions works with the MACPA to ensure that it’s courses and trainers meet the high Michigan standards. Complaints regarding our courses may be submitted to

Payment Policy

Payments for all participants must be made before the first day of the course. Individuals and companies/organizations have three different methods of payment: credit card, check (drawn on a US bank) or wire transfer. When you register through our on-line form you should indicate which payment method you prefer and we will send you the appropriate payment instructions. If you wish to register multiple participants or if you are signing up for more than one course in a week then discounts may apply. See below.

Cancellation/No Show Rules

Cancellation notifications received in writing to within 10 working days before the first day of any course will be eligible for a full credit to a future course. Registrants who cancel between 10 working days and the first day of the course will receive a credit of the fee paid less a $75 cancellation penalty. This fee will go to covering some of the costs that will have been incurred for the pre-booked venue. Registrants who do not show up for the course, without prior notification, will forfeit the full registration fee.

Group Discounts

Individuals or groups that sign up for more than two courses during the year are offered a 10% discount. Also, organizations that sign up more than three participants for any individual course can also earn a 10% discount. To receive the discounts you must register all participants at the same time and receive confirmation of this arrangement with our registration staff.

If you have any questions about our policies please send us an email as noted on the Contact Us tab.

Visas and Vaccination

Remember to apply for any visit visas early and to bring the Yellow Travel Card showing proof of vaccination if necessary.