Self-help housing resources

General resources

RD regulations and guidance forms

Due to technical problems, some of the RD forms are no longer available to outside staff on the USDA website. Until the accessibility problems are resolved, you can download the forms you need for your application here or contact your local RD office. For a complete and up-to-date listing of the forms and regulations, please go to the USDA website here:

523 Grant

502 Direct Loan

Free financial tools and trainings for grantee fiscal staff

Welcome to the Self-Help Financial Tool Kit! We hope that you will find these resources useful in your daily financial management responsibilities. If you have any questions or issues with content, please email Samantha Bowley, Financial Management Specialist,

Uniform Guidance Hide & Seek: Each month we will pose a compliance questions. See if you can find the answer in the eCFR200.

  • NOVEMBER – What are the two methods of INFORMAL procurement? What are the two methods of FORMAL procurement? What circumstances allow for NONCOMPETITIVE procurement? Click here to see the answers
  • DECEMBER – What is the definition of “Equipment” per the Uniform Guidance?

Video Highlight


Upcoming trainings

There are no trainings at this time. Please check back later or view our Training Calendar.


Tools & Resources


Mutual Self-Help Orientation

An overview of the Mutual Self-Help Program. What is is, how it works and the relationships between USDA RD, RCAC and you, the grantee. Live orientation sessions are offered quarterly (see Upcoming Trainings above)

1-1 – New Staff Resources | 1-2 – New Staff Orientation PowerPoint slides



Uniform Guidance

Compliance, What You Need to Know

Next UG session: Please check back later for upcoming trainings.

eCFR200 – Uniform Administration Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

2-1 – Uniform Guidance Table of Contents Reference
2-2 – Ready, Set, Action Plan handout
2-3 – UG Day 1 PowerPoint slides (8/23/2022)
2-4 – UG Day 2 PowerPoint slides (8/25/2022)
2-5 – Action Plan answers
2-6 – Rules and Regulations (Sing Along Video)



Indirect is a challenging component of financial grant management.

Learn all about the mysteries of applying indirect (both provisional and final), reporting requirements and monitoring your percentage rate.

Indirect Training PowerPoint slides | Indirect Cost Allocation Spreadsheet Tool

ICR Sample Documents from a DOI ICR Calculation submission:

ARTICLE: Cost Allocation & Applying Indirect – Judy Monteux (2018)


Bookkeeping 101

Accounting For Success | Setting Up Your 523 & 502 Books (see Upcoming trainings above).
Set up your Chart of Accounts, generate accurate reports in both 523 technical grant management and the 502 custodial account books for family builder’s loan funds. The platform used is Quickbooks, but concepts will apply to any financial software.

7 – AFS Handbook


MSH Custodial Accounts & Supervised Bank Accounts

The guidebooks for custodial and supervised bank accounts is here!
Discover all the how-to’s of responsible financial management of the family loan funds.



8-1 – Custodial SBA Loan Account Guidebook (7/13/2022) | 8-2 – Custodial SBA Accounts PowerPoint slides (7/27/2022)
8-3 – Sample Lot 15 BTA | 8-4 – Sample Draw Request Form | 8-5 – Sample Back Up | 8-6 – Sample Reconciliation Sheet


Financial Policies & Procedures

Your financial policies and procedures are an essential component of your financial management system. Ensure that all the processes, responsible parties and clear practices are recorded, trained to and actively monitored and updated.   

P&P Format | P&P Template


National Council of Nonprofits Financial Management