What is Grant Billing Allocation?

Last Updated: March 30th, 2024

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Grant billing allocation refers to the process of gathering direct operating expenses and applying them to a Grant(s) that the organization was awarded. The grant award usually covers various expenses (approved) that must be spent to receive the reimbursement funds from the grant. Types of approved expenses would be costs associated with personnel (salaries and fringe benefits), program supplies, equipment, rent & utilities and other expenses. The total grant award would comprise of these expenses and become the approved grant budget.

The grant billing allocation and submissions are done at the end of an accounting period (typically monthly or quarterly). The expenses that are billable to the Grant need to be identified and recorded directly to a designated accounting code in the General Ledger (GL) that represents the grant.

All expenses submitted to the grantor for reimbursement must be supported with documentation such as payroll registers, timecards and vendor invoices. Submitting more expense to a grant than what was approved in the Grant Budget or not providing the required support will result in the expense being rejected which leads to having to resubmit your billing and having to wait longer to receive your award. Considering that many organizations receive multiple grants for specific programs, which adds more complexity to the process and furthermore could lead to billing submission problems if the other grant’s billing allocations are incorrect as well.

Getting paid from the grantor is most important but won’t happen if there are problems with the billing submission. Therefore it’s mission critical that the process is standardized and automated as much as possible, and that there are management tools that allow for quick analysis with the ability to easily modify the grant budgets. This will ensure the grant funds are being used in a way that aligns with both the program and grant in reaching the goals and objectives. It also provides the basis for reconciling with the grantor organization for the remaining balances available.

Why is Grant Billing Allocation So Important for Non-profit Organizations?

Grant billing allocation is important to all non-profit organizations because it is the means of getting funds back into the organization’s operating bank account. This is especially true for non-profit organizations where their fundraising is seasonal and where they have limited cash. The grant funding is their bloodline and plays a crucial role in the organization’s overall financial health.

Definition of grant billing allocation

Grant billing allocation is a process used to apply costs associated with a grant throughout a certain period. This process is important to ensure that all expenses associated with the grant are properly tracked and accounted for. The allocation process involves looking at the total budget for the grant, then allocating the costs in a way that distributes the expenses evenly over the effective period of a grant. This helps to ensure that the grant is used efficiently and that all expenses associated with it are properly accounted for.

What is grant billing allocation used for?

Automated Grant Billing adds accuracy and efficiency by eliminating the manual points of failure. This is an important process within the grant billing life-cycle because it speeds up the receipt of payments that are vital to an organization’s cash flow. It also identifies other program expenses that are unfunded, which gives the organization the opportunity to seek other means of funding. It allows for proactive management of budgeted grant-related expenses so you can request a Budget Modification if necessary. Additionally, grant billing allocation can be used to ensure that grant-funded activities are complying with grant regulations and laws.

Grants serve different purposes – three types of funding

Grants are a form of funding that are provided by a variety of sources, such as the government, foundations, and corporations. While there are many different types of grants, most can be divided into three main categories.

The first type of grant is a project-based grant. These grants provide funding for specific projects and activities related to a specific cause and are generally awarded to non-profits and other organizations.

The second type of grant is a program-based grant. These grants are awarded to organizations to provide funding for a specific program. These grants usually carry the expectation that the organization will use the funds to fulfil a particular purpose.

The third type of grant is a general operating grant. These grants are provided to organizations to help them cover the costs of general operating expenses, such as staff salaries, rent, and other overhead costs. These grants are typically awarded by foundations and corporations to help organizations accomplish their overall mission.

How to determine the correct allocation

Determining the correct grant billing allocation can be a complicated process and must adhere to two sets of guidelines.

  • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) requirements – Following preferred accounting treatment with the purpose of ensuring the financial reporting is transparent and consistent from one organization to another.

  • 2 CFR Part 200 (aka uniform guidance) – applies to all new federal funding, including grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts. It establishes uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal awards to non-federal entities.  Grantees and subgrantees that are not states must follow the procurement standards set out in the Uniform Guidance in 2 CFR § § 200.218- 200.226

Grant billing needs to be precise. The best way to determine the correct allocation is to consider the budget of the project and allocate it according to the outlined expenses. This applies to allocations of labor costs and direct overhead and any costs associated with materials and supplies. Once a budget has been established, it is important to review all line items to ensure they are accurately represented and allocated correctly.

Benefits of automated grant billing allocation

Grant billing allocation is the process of assigning costs to grant-funded activities and tasks. This process is essential for organizations that receive grants, as it allows them to track their expenses and measure the impact of their grant-funded activities. There are several benefits to grant billing allocation, including improved cost control, enhanced financial reporting, and better budgeting. With improved cost control, organizations can better manage their expenses and make sure that their grant funds are being used for the intended purpose. Improved financial reporting helps organizations better track their activities to measure the impact of their grant-funded projects. Finally, better budgeting enables organizations to estimate the cost of future grant-funded activities more accurately.


To conclude, grant billing allocations can be a complicated task due to its various regulations, guidelines, and funding sources. To ensure the best results and accuracy, it is important to clearly understand the requirements and dedicate sufficient resources to ensure compliance.

Edge GBS provides an innovative solution for efficient grant billing allocation, offering a streamlined, automated system that enhances accuracy and reduces administrative burdens. Their services empower organizations to focus more on their primary objectives by simplifying financial management related to grants. For a deeper understanding of how Edge GBS can assist your organization, read their solution overview.

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