Financial Services

Financial management and responsibility

Further information

University finance manual

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The University and all of its staff who have financial responsibilities are obliged to act in a proper and lawful manner.

Policy

  1. Financial Management Responsibility
  2. Financial Accounting Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
  3. Reporting for Internal Management Information
  4. Reporting for External Bodies
  5. Funding and Budgetary Controls
  6. University Financial System
  7. University Business Units
  8. Data Management
  9. Expenditure
  10. Assets and Capital Expenditure
  11. Income
  12. Banking
  13. Taxation
  14. Retention of Financial Records
  15. Audit

Financial Management Responsibility

The University has a legal, statutory and ethical obligation to ensure all financial activities are conducted in an efficient, economical and appropriate manner, including timely and accurate recording and reporting of fund movements, security of assets and the maintenance of adequate controls. This responsibility will be met as follows.

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Ensure all financial decisions and transactions undertaken comply with the University’s policies and guidelines, applicable accounting standards, and statutory and audit requirements.
  2. Ensure staff have the skills and/or training necessary to enable them to fulfill their financial responsibilities and are fully aware of, and have full access to, all relevant policies, standards and legal and audit requirements.
  3. Provide feedback to and liaise with Financial Services on corporate policy, standards, guidelines, procedures and education packages, including the development of University financial policies, guidelines and related staff education programs.
  4. Manage budget allocations, income and expenditure for which responsible.
  5. Ensure budget is adequate or funds are available to cover all expenditure.
B. Financial Services
  1. Develop, revise and monitor adherence to policy, procedures and standards to fulfill all statutory requirements.
  2. Ensure staff have the skills and/or training necessary to enable them to fulfill their financial responsibilities and are fully aware of, and have full access to, all relevant policies, standards and legal and audit requirements.
  3. Assist with the training of faculties/schools/business unit staff in relation to financial management responsibilities through the provision of regular training sessions on the core components of the University Finance Manual.
  4. Respond to feedback from and liaise with faculties/schools/business units on corporate policy, standards, guidelines, procedures and education packages, including the development of University financial policies, guidelines and related staff education programs.
  5. Review the financial status of faculties/schools/business units and liaise with the responsible staff member regarding any overdrawn fund groups/project grants or other financial concerns.

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Financial Accounting Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

The University is required to develop, maintain and adhere to policies, procedures and guidelines in a manner that ensures the reliability and accuracy of financial management information, thereby ensuring the financial management and administrative obligations of the University are satisfied. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Ensure staff are trained in their financial administrative responsibilities, including the use and contents of the University’s Finance Manual.
  2. Ensure the University’s Finance Manual is used as the main reference on financial accounting policies and procedures.
  3. Consult Financial Services for advice on areas outside the scope of the University’s Finance Manual.
  4. Advise Financial Services of particular areas in the University’s Finance Manual where additional information, clarification or specific training is required.
B. Financial Services
  1. Develop financial accounting policies, procedures and guidelines in consultation with faculties/schools/business units to be documented in the University’s Finance Manual
  2. Provide interpretation and operational advice on accounting policies, procedure guidelines and associated processes within the University’s Finance Manual and on complex financial management issues.
  3. Log and analyse queries from faculties/schools/business units to identify problem areas and develop strategies to remedy problems in consultation with faculties/schools/business units.
  4. Provide particular consultancy services to faculties/schools/business units on a user pays basis by negotiation.

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Reporting for Internal Management Information

The University is required to develop and prepare relevant, accurate and timely financial management information which supports the review and control of the University’s financial resources. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Provide input to Financial Services on specification, design and prioritising of reports required to effectively monitor and manage the financial position of faculties/schools/business units.
  2. Access, review and interpret relevant standard financial reports.
  3. Undertake corrective action in relation to financial position and/or data management, as required.
B. Financial Services
  1. Develop and provide ready access to appropriate standard financial reports to support the effective monitoring and financial management of faculties/schools/business units.
  2. Prioritise requests for the development or modification of management reports.
  3. Liaise with client groups during development, testing and sign-off phases and ensure appropriate documentation is completed.

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Reporting for External Bodies

The University is responsible for the preparation of timely financial reports which fairly present financial transactions in accordance with data recorded in the University’s financial management information system and satisfies both the relevant funding body and any relevant statutory, legal and generally accepted reporting requirements. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Ensure all transactions are recorded correctly, accurately and in a timely manner in accordance with University requirements with due regard to the appropriateness of the project grant and account codes.
  2. Provide information on request to Financial Services and/or Research Services for the preparation of financial statements required for research grant and granting body reporting.
B. Financial Services
  1. Produce reports to fulfil University external financial reporting obligations including:
    1. Annual financial statements
    2. Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) annual return
    3. Australian Bureau of Statistics Quarterly Report
    4. Granting bodies acquittance reports
    5. DEEWR Higher Education Research Data Collection
  2. Provide adequate training to ensure external reporting obligations are satisfied in regard to timeliness,accountability and quality of data in accordance with legal and audit requirements and generally accepted accounting principles.

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Funding and Budgetary Controls

The University is responsible for establishing a financial planning framework that provides for the allocation of resources in a manner consistent with the University’s strategic objectives and ensures financial control and prudential management of funds. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Participate in the decision-making process of the University's annual DEEWR Operating Grant, Investments and International Students Fees income budgets.
  2. Develop and prepare of faculties/schools/business units budgets for income and/or expenditure, and provide such information to relevant parties.
  3. Prepare, review and amend salary budgets.
  4. Monitor expenditure against budget to ensure spending level is responsibly managed.
  5. Ensure adequate budget and/or funds are reserved for contingencies and liabilities.
B. Financial Services
  1. Provide data, reports and assistance to the University’s Planning and Budget Committee for input into the decision-making process of the University’s annual DEEWR Operating Grant, Investments and International Student Fees income budgets.
  2. Prepare University budgets in accordance with Planning and Budget Committee decisions.
  3. Act on budget allocations in accordance with University budgets and directions from faculties/schools/business units.
  4. Assist faculties/schools/business units with budget responsibilities by providing information and training relating to the University’s budget process and financial and budget statistics.
  5. Develop budget formats and detailed procedures for preparing faculties/schools/business units.
  6. Provide advice to faculties/schools/business units on associated budget matters. Refer to Funding and Budgetary Control.

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University Financial System

The University is required to maintain accounting and financial management information systems which ensure all financial transactions are brought to account and reported in an accurate and timely manner and which support the efficient and effective use of financial resources. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Provide input and feedback on the development of effective financial management information systems through liaison with Financial Services.
  2. Consult system’s user guides and appropriate documentation for assistance with system problems.
  3. Authorise new and amended users and advise Financial Services accordingly.
B. Financial Services
  1. Manage the development, implementation, review and maintenance of the University's accounting and financial management information systems.
  2. Provide appropriate training and support for system users.
  3. Provide functional administration of the University's financial accounting system including connecting users and provision of functional advice and assistance with technical systems advice provided by Information Services (IS). Refer to University Financial System.

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University Business Units

The University is responsible for the establishment of a financial administrative structure which enables the devolved, decentralised management of accounting and budgetary responsibilities whilst ensuring the University satisfies legal, statutory and audit, activity related disclosure requirements. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Ensure all financial transactions of faculties/schools/business units are accurately and properly recognised by the appropriate University business units.
  2. Prepare and lodge formal requests to the University Senate for the creation of new business units.
  3. Liaise with Financial Services to request the creation of new business units approved by Senate and arrange fund, income and expenditure transfers from existing business units to ensure appropriate disclosure.
  4. Liaise with Financial Services to request the deletion of a business unit for which dissolution has been approved and arrange fund, income and expenditure transfers from existing business units to replacement business unit to ensure appropriate disclosure
B. Financial Services
  1. Create new business units as approved by the University Senate and as allocated by the Office of Planning Services.
  2. Close existing business unit at the request of faculties/schools/business units.
  3. Liaise with faculties/schools/business units on the creation/deletion of approved business units ensuring appropriate transfer of funds, income and expenditure data for accurate financial disclosure. Refer to University Financial System.

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Data Management

The University is responsible for the maintenance of an appropriate financial management information system which ensures all data is recorded to accurately and timely reflect all financial transactions of the University and which conforms with University policy, legal and statutory requirements and generally accepted accounting practice. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Ensure all financial transactions for which responsible are accurately and timely recorded against appropriate chartfields.
  2. Monitor financial recording requirements and ensure project grants are created and used appropriately.
  3. Prepare all journals and transfer documents in accordance with University policy and procedure specifications.
  4. Regularly review internal reports for incorrect data and ensure corrections are processed in a timely manner.
  5. Liaise with Financial Services in relation to chartfield administration and specific recording requirements.
B. Financial Services
  1. Develop, document and monitor use of chartfields to ensure data management is in accordance with University policies and procedures and generally accepted accounting principles.
  2. Provide advice on implications and ramifications of chartfield selection and the use of chartfields to most effectively meet requirements of Faculties/Schools/Business Units.
  3. Ensure all corporate reporting attributes are maintained when creating new chartfields.
  4. Liaise with Faculties/Schools/Business Units in relation to chartfield administration and specific recording requirements. Refer to University Financial System.

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Expenditure

The University is responsible for ensuring University funds are expended on University activities in an efficient, economical and appropriate manner to enable the optimum effectiveness of scarce resources in the achievement of the University’s strategic objectives. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Ensure all staff are aware of the University policies and guidelines in relation to expenditure of University funds.
  2. Develop and maintain procedures to ensure all expenses are appropriately approved and are in accordance with University policies, guidelines and requirements.
  3. Ensure all expenditure documentation is accurate, complete and promptly forwarded to Financial Services for processing.
  4. Liaise with suppliers/vendors in relation to inquiries on expenditure for which responsible.
B. Financial Services
  1. Ensure all staff are aware of statutory, legal and audit requirements.
  2. Ensure policies and guidelines are up-to-date, correct and accessible.
  3. Ensure all accounts/invoices are processed and paid in a timely manner after receipt by Financial Services.
  4. Tender on behalf of faculties/schools/business units, if required, for motor vehicle expenditure and the preparation of all relevant documentation for authorisation by the faculties/schools/business units.
  5. Undertake the registration, issue and cancellation of all credit cards held by staff on behalf of the University.
  6. Provide interpretation and advice as required, including clarification of requirements with regard to standards, statutory and audit requirements with relevant bodies. Refer to Purchasing and Payables.

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Assets and Capital Expenditure

The University has a responsibility to establish adequate controls over assets and capital expenditure to ensure the physical safety of assets and their relevant, accurate and timely recognition in the financial management information and asset management systems. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Identify acquisitions, disposals and transfers of assets and ensure relevant, accurate and timely recording of these in the financial and asset management systems through Financial Services.
  2. Perform cyclical stocktake of assets and advise Financial Services of any amendments required to the asset management system.
  3. Ensure that all assets are adequately secured, appropriate to the value of those assets and their locations are known by the responsible faculties/schools/business units.
  4. Ensure asset and capital expenditure management is in accordance with University policies, procedures and guidelines and liaise with Financial Services on any matters not addressed in these policies and procedures.
B. Financial Services
  1. Record all acquisitions, disposals and transfers of assets in the asset management system in accordance with advice from the responsible faculties/schools/business units.
  2. Prepare appropriate reconciliations between the financial management information and the asset management systems, ensuring records are current and in balance.
  3. Produce barcodes for all asset acquisitions and forward them to the responsible faculties/schools/business units.
  4. Produce regular asset reports and coordinate faculties/schools/areas to undertake the cyclical audit of all University assets.
  5. Provide advice to faculties/schools/business units relating to asset and capital expenditure matters in accordance with University policies, procedures and guidelines. Refer to Assets, Capital Expenditure and Attractive Items.

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Income

The University seeks to maximise resources from a diversity of funding sources and is responsible for the proper collection of all monies due, the prompt and accurate recording of all income and the timely appropriation to its operational activities. This responsibility will be met as follows: -

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Ensure understanding and input into the operation of the University’s annual budget processes relating to DEEWR Operating, Investment and International Student Fee income budgets.
  2. Endorse applications for external research income, delegating to the Principal Investigator the responsibility for ensuring the specifications and conditions of the grant are satisfied.
  3. Approve proposed staff consultancy arrangements and ensure resulting income distribution is in accordance with the University's Consultancy Guidelines.
  4. Ensure income from donations, bequests and prizes and the recipients of these donations, bequests and prizes are recorded in accordance with the conditions governing the donations, bequests or prizes and forwarded to Office of Development for timely processing.
  5. Ensure the prompt and accurate preparation of tax invoice requests for all relevant funds owed to the University in accordance with University policies, procedures and guidelines.
  6. Ensure all departmental miscellaneous funds are accurately, timely and appropriately banked, receipted and recorded in accordance with University procedures.
  7. Advise Financial Services of any special funding requirements, including specifications for the payment of interest.
B. Financial Services
  1. Provide input and advice and the preparation of the University’s annual DEEWR Operating, Investments and International Student Fee income budgets in accordance with the decision of the Planning and Budget Committee and University policies, procedures and guidelines.
  2. Liaise with Research Services in relation to the receipt and recording of external research monies and the appropriate distribution to project grants.
  3. Act on directions from faculties/schools/business units regarding consultancy income in the creation of project grants, preparation of tax invoices, and the receipt and distribution of income.
  4. Receive fee paying course fees and off-shore course fees and distribute these in accordance with University policy.
  5. Consult with prospective donors and faculties/schools/business units in relation to establishing and administering donation, bequest and prize income including administering the distribution of funds according to the conditions and guidelines of the donation or bequest or prize and develop education packages to enable faculties/schools/business units.
  6. Manage the calculation and distribution of University investment income through distributing allocations to relevant project grants in accordance with University policy or in accordance with specific terms and conditions and through the provision of advice to faculties/schools/business units on investment policy and interest allocation conditions.
  7. Ensure the safeguarding of funds through daily deposits to the University’s bank account and the timely and accurate allocation of funds to faculties/schools/business units project grants.
  8. Ensure accurate and timely preparation and dispatching of invoices as requested from faculties/schools/business units and appropriate follow-up of debtors’ payments and bad debts after consultation with faculties/schools/business units. Refer to Overarching Revenue and Receivables Policy, Funding and Budgetary Control Scholarships, Endowments and Prizes Calendar for conditions governing specific scholarships, endowments and prizes.

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Banking

The University is responsible for the safe custody and proper investment of university monies ensuring timely deposit of cash collections with authorised institutions, suitable cashflow management and adequate control over the risk of loss through theft or fraud. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Ensure money collections are held in secured locations and banked or forwarded to Financial Services in accordance with University policies, procedures and guidelines.
  2. Advise Financial Services promptly of any direct credits/debits expected to be made to University bank accounts to enable reconciliation of bank statements and correct clearing of the amounts to the appropriate Project Grants or debtors accounts.
  3. Forward copies of bank deposit slips and supporting information daily to Financial Services for reconciliation of bank statements.
  4. Request that Financial Services process any bank guarantees, letters of credit or other special local or international banking arrangements which are entered into on behalf of the University.
B. Financial Services
  1. Establish appropriate bank accounts and develop and document operational procedures and guidelines in accordance with University banking policy.
  2. Manage the University’s cash flow position to ensure sufficient funds are available for daily operational requirements and manage the effective investment of short term cash funds.
  3. Ensure money collected is held in a secured location and banked daily in accordance with University policies, procedures and guidelines
  4. Prepare reconciliations for all University bank accounts.
  5. Allocate direct bank account entries to the appropriate Project Grant or debtors account in a timely manner and undertake prompt investigations on unidentified items.
  6. After consultation with faculties/schools/business units, process all bank guarantees, letters of credit and special banking arrangements on behalf of the University.
  7. Provide advice to faculties/schools/business units regarding special local and international banking arrangements. Refer to Investments Portfolio Policy.

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Taxation

The University has a legal, statutory and ethical responsibility to ensure all financial transactions which give rise to a taxation liability and/or benefit under State, Federal or international law, is duly and accurately recorded, presented and disclosed in accordance with the legal, statutory and audit requirements. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Provide staff with opportunities for training in the University’s taxation responsibility and the necessity for full compliance with University’s taxation policies and procedures for the preparation, processing and authorisation of all financial documents.
  2. Ensure all transactions entered into by faculties/schools/business units are examined to identify the appropriate classification for GST purposes and documentation is coded accordingly.
  3. Provide Financial Services with appropriate documentation identifying expenditure for which Fringe Benefits Taz is payable.
  4. Ensure Pay As You Go provisions are applied to all payments to suppliers/vendors according to the appropriate classification with relevant documentation forwarded to Human Resources for individuals without an Australian Business Number (ABN) or to Financial Services for suppliers/vendors with an ABN or for non-individuals to enable proper assessment of taxation status.
  5. Liaise with Financial Services on matters of uncertainty and request assistance with specific taxation issues.
B. Financial Services
  1. Develop, document and maintain University taxation policies, procedures and guidelines to ensure they are up-to-date, correct and accessible.
  2. Interpret taxation law and provide advice as requested by faculties/schools/business units.
  3. Provide appropriate training for staff responsible for preparing, processing and authorising income and expenditure documentation in each faculties/schools/business units.
  4. Prepare all taxation returns required by the Australian Taxation Office, State Revenue and international revenue collection agencies and remit/claim all taxation due/refundable.
  5. Ensure taxation liabilities/benefits are accurately and timely recorded in the financial information management system in accordance with legal, statutory and audit requirements, accounting standards and generally accepted accounting principles.
  6. Liaise with faculties/schools/business units on matters of taxation uncertainty and the provision of technical assistance with specific taxation issues. Refer to Taxation Policy.

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Retention of Financial Records

The University is responsible for the retention of source financial records for a period of time that satisfies all legal, statutory and audit requirements and are retained in a manner which ensures records are secure, traceable and assessable. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Ensure all financial transactions are adequately and suitably documented.
  2. Ensure all financial records for which responsible are retained for the period of time stipulated in the University’s Finance Manual.
  3. Ensure all financial records for which responsible are retained in a secure and easily accessible manner.
B. Financial Services
  1. Develop and maintain the University’s policy and procedures for the retention of financial records to ensure that all legal, statutory and audit requirements for taxation and accounting records are satisfied.
  2. Ensure all financial records for which responsible are retained for the period of time stipulated in the University’s Finance Manual.
  3. Ensure all financial records for which responsible are retained in a secure and easily accessible manner. Refer to Retention of Financial Records Policy.

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Audit

The University is required to maintain a financial framework that enables the external and internal review of accountability and performance by independent auditors, ensuring the establishment and operation of suitable controls and the accountability of monies. This responsibility will be met as follows:

A. Faculties/schools/business units
  1. Ensure adequate audit trails and source documentary evidence is maintained to support all financial transactions for which responsible.
  2. Ensure any diversion from University policies, procedures and guidelines is fully documented and duly authorised by the responsible delegated officer.
  3. Facilitate access and encourage truthful cooperation with organised visits by internal and external auditors.
  4. Provide formal responses to audit recommendations and act on agreed undertakings in accordance with audit findings.
B. Financial Services
  1. Maintain the University’s financial policies, procedures and guidelines in an up-to- date, easily accessible format to facilitate an auditable and controlled financial framework.
  2. Facilitate awareness within Faculties/Schools/Business Units of University financial policies, procedures and guidelines and provide advice on the implications of diversions.
  3. Monitor all central procedure controls and ensure effective monthly reconciliation documentation and reporting is completed in an accurate and timely manner.
  4. Ensure adequate audit trails and source documentary evidence is maintained to support all financial transactions for which responsible.
  5. Facilitate access and encourage truthful cooperation with organised visits by internal and external auditors.
  6. Provide formal responses to audit recommendations and act on agreed undertakings in accordance with audit findings. Refer to Audit Policy.

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