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Resource Management Definitions


Acting on Behalf of SFA

Entity or person who has been given the responsibility to take action for the SFA.


Assigning a cost, or group of costs, to one or more cost objectives, in reasonable and realistic proportion to the benefit provided or other equitable relationship—the cost meets one of the following principles:

  • is incurred specifically for the award/program or
  • benefits both the award/program and necessary work and can be distributed in reasonable proportion to the benefits received or
  • is necessary to the overall operation of the organization, although a direct relationship to any particular cost objective cannot be shown.


Direct or indirect costs that may be paid using Child Nutrition funds.

An independent examination of accounting and financial records for accuracy, efficiency, and consistency. This is also called the annual audit or single audit.

Audit Report
The final summary of audit findings provided by a financial auditor.

Audit Corrective Action Plan
A plan in which the SFA describes the strategies or actions the SFA will adopt to address each finding reported in the audit report.

Audit Summary Schedule or Work Plan
A document that contains a cumulative list of audit findings by year and explanations of the strategies and actions the SFA plans to take or has taken to resolve each audit finding. This summary allows the SFA, auditor, or NYSED staff member to review the actions planned or taken from year to year to maintain an accurate, efficient, and consistent accounting and financial system.

Capital Expenditures
A direct cost for an expense item to be used for general purposes and intended to be used for multiple years.

Charge Period
The span of time during which a cost is paid. This payment process includes spreading payments over a period of weeks or months or establishing milestones that are linked to payments.

Cost Objective
Program function or activity for which cost data and for which specification is made to accumulate and measure the cost of the processes, products, jobs, or other expenses.

Direct Cost
Expenses that can be identified specifically with a particular cost objective used to meet a specific program goal or goals.

Equipment (Property)
Items which have been purchased and are nonexpendable; items have a useful life of more than one year. Equipment purchases of $5, 000 or more are capital expenses and require prior approval.

Excess Fund Balance (Net Cash Resources)
Fund balance that exceeds three months of operating expenses.

Expenditures (Costs)
An amount of money spent on an item or service.

Fund Balance (Net Cash Resources)

The net cash resources available in the SFA’s nonprofit food service account. A SFA must not carry a negative fund balance into the next school year or maintain an excess fund balance.

Indirect Costs
Expenses that are incurred for the benefit of multiple programs or functions and are necessary for the general operation of Child Nutrition programs, but cannot be directly attributable to the program.

Indirect Rate
An established percentage of awarded funds that is dedicated to pay costs that have been identified as indirect costs.

Internal Control
Process designed to establish and maintain effective internal control over the SNP’s financial management system that provides reasonable assurance that the SFA is managing the program in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations and terms and conditions of the program award.

Local education agency, an entity having administrative control and direction of a public or private nonprofit school.

An item or service that is essential to the operation of the program.

Negative Fund Balance (Net Cash Resources)
Negative fund balance (net cash resources) at the end of the school year. A SFA must not carry a negative fund balance into the next school year. A negative fund balance exists when all net cash resources have been depleted, and the resulting negative balance constitutes a liability to the organization.

Net Cash Resources

The amount of funds the nonprofit food service account has available to spend—total revenue minus expenditures. USDA further defines Net Cash Resources as:

This includes all monies, as determined in accordance with the State agency's established accounting system that are available to or have accrued to a school food authority's nonprofit school food service account at any given time, less cash payable. Such monies may include, but are not limited to, cash on hand, cash receivable, earnings on investments, cash on deposit and the value of stocks, bonds or other negotiable securities.

See the Effective Accounting Systems subsection in the section for additional information on the standards for an effective financial management system.

Operating Months
Months during the school year that SFAs operate any child nutrition program (NSLP, SBP, SFSP).

Program Integrity
Organized and structurally sound financial management system that promotes program efficiency and prevents the inappropriate use of program funds.

An amount that does not exceed a cost that would be incurred by a prudent person under similar circumstances.

Income received by an organization.

Revenue to the Nonprofit Food Service Account

All income that is collected or awarded to the nonprofit food service account is revenue (or income). This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Federal Reimbursement
  • State or local funds,such as per meal subsidies and state revenue matching funds
  • Students' payment for reimbursable meals and a la carte sales
  • Payments for items purchased for fund raisers and vending machines
  • Income from catering and adult meals

Single Audit

An organization-wide financial and compliance review of an entity that expends over $750,000 in federal funds to provide assurance that the funds are being managed and utilized appropriately.

State Matching Funds
Matching funds provided to school food authorities that participate in NSLP by New York State based on the number of lunches reported on reimbursement claims filed during the prior year. RCCIs and private schools do not receive state matching funds.

Items that are expendable or consumed in day-to-day activities and replenished as needed.

Any cost that cannot be paid with Child Nutrition funds.

Unit Cost
The cost for a single item.


Back to the Nonprofit Food Service Account Page 

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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