Most sponsors have a specific format for the proposal budget, but these vary widely and often do not contain sufficient detail to fully characterize the financial structure of a project. A sponsor may be satisfied with round figures and estimates, but such approximations have been found to deviate significantly from the actual costs of projects. In addition, informal budgets often fail to accurately cost out difficult to calculate expenses such as fringe benefits and F&A.
All proposals for funding, therefore, should include a detailed budget on the OSP Budget Spreadsheet. This tool is updated regularly so that it will calculate correctly all of the costs of any proposed project. This internal budget should correlate closely to the proposal budget, but it is NOT necessary that they match precisely. Slight differences of calculation and rounding errors may produce deviations between the two budgets - there is no need to chase down discrepancies under ½ percent of the overall budget.