Financial Services

Financial Services

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Managing Funds

Authorization of Expenditures

The person responsible for department or research funds is the person authorized to approve expenditures against those sources of funding. For example, department heads automatically have signing authority against departmental expenditures as do principal investigators against their research projects.

Persons responsible for specific chartfields can authorize other University personnel to sign on their behalf. A person to whom such authority has been delegated cannot delegate it to someone else.

Any payment to an individual or any accounting for an advance to an individual cannot be approved solely by that individual but must be countersigned by a person at a higher level in the organization than the individual being paid (i.e. a department head, director, associate dean, etc.) who has had signing authority delegated to them.

Specimen signatures of persons with signing authority are held within Financial Services. Generally, documents received for processing that are not properly authorized will be returned to the originator, though in some circumstances verbal authorization may be sought.

Some internal charges for services provided (postal, telephone, computing, etc.) are made directly to University accounts. These charges may not have been properly authorized but are processed on the basis that any errors will be reversed.

Requesting New ChartFields

The Financial Services department is responsible for opening all new PeopleSoft ChartFields.

ChartFields cannot be created unless proper authorization is obtained. New accounts would only be opened in rare circumstances and must be sent to the Associate Director of Financial Reporting for approval. Programs and classes require Business Officer approval. As a general rule, new departments (cost centres) must be approved by the Business Officer, and the Dean or Vice Principal. The important exceptions to this rule are:

  • Scholarship funds, authorized by the Senate
  • Endowment funds, authorized by the Board of Trustees

Requests to establish new funds should be referred to the appropriate individual using the ChartField Request form.

 

Capital Projects

ChartField request forms are not applicable to Capital Projects. In order to request the establishment of a Capital Project, a space request form must be completed and submitted via the online form https://www.queensu.ca/forms/space-request-form.

Upon review of the request, you will be contact by a representative from Physical Plant Services. Any questions on this process should be directed to Physical Plant Services.

 

Special Requirements for Research Projects

Please note that ChartField Request forms are not applicable to research projects. New research projects are established based on approved TRAQ awards applications. 

Please refer to the TRAQ website for more information.

Responsibilities of Account Holders

Those individuals that have signing authority (or are responsible for the review and reconciliation of specific ChartFields) have a duty to ensure that the funds over which they have control are spent for the purpose for which they were intended and should be aware of any restrictions and limitations which apply to those funds.

Such restrictions may stem from the donor (granting agency or benefactor), Board of Trustees or officer or Committee of the University.

There is also an obligation to ensure that funds are spent effectively, i.e. goods purchased should represent value for money and be fit for the use intended while staff employed should be able to perform their work competently and efficiently. Assistance as regards the former can be obtained from the Procurement and the latter from Human Resources.

University Restrictions on Expenditures

There are numerous restrictions on how funds may be spent at the University. For example, NSERC research projects have a long list of expenditures that must not be charged to projects funded by NSERC.

In addition to specific restrictions made by granting agency noted above, funds expended from the University must be for a purpose that is related to the mission of the University. Since it is not always clear from information on supplier invoices what the purpose of expenditure is, further explanations of the purpose of the expenditure is required in some cases. In other cases, approval from a level higher in the organization than the originating organizational unit would be appropriate (i.e. Dean, Vice Principal or Principal) along with an explanation of the business purpose.

1. If the business purpose of the expense is not readily apparent on the invoice because of the nature of the good or service provided, a detailed description should be added to the cheque requisition. For example, a cheque requisition authorizing a payment to a taxi company or car rental agency should include the following information:

  • person(s) traveling
  • date of the trip
  • reason for the trip

2. Expenditures for such items as coffee makers, televisions, kettles, toasters etc. should have their use and physical location indicated/detailed on the cheque requisition, procurement card reconciliation or purchase order that authorizes the payment.

Examples of the type of expenditures that require approval from a level higher in the organization than the originating organizational unit or individual (i.e. Dean, Vice Principal or Principal) follow:

  • Travel and Entertainment
  • Donations to other organizations
  • Gifts *** or receptions for University employees.

3. Expenditures that should never be processed through a University chart field include the following:

  • Any expenditure for personal purposes**. This would include (but is not limited to) office equipment and supplies, photocopying, long distance calls, courier services, and postal services.

The only exception to this general rule would be if a reliable system exists within a department that ensures that personal photocopying, long distance charges or courier costs are identified and recovered on a timely basis and that sales taxes (if any) are remitted to the appropriate level of government.

  • Payments to staff members to compensate for the performance of duties that are considered to be within the general scope of the duties unless overtime hours or other payments have been pre-approved by a supervisor and/or department head.
  • Decorations for non-public spaces such as framed art and plants.
  • Parking and speeding tickets.

** Please note that personal long distance calls may be made by using a calling card. There is a post office and copy centre in John Deutsch University Centre. The Campus Book Store stocks a wide range of office supplies.

*** Gift certificates intended for employees may not be purchased from a university account due to Canada Customs and Revenue Agency guidelines.

Year-End Carry Forwards

Non-Central Academic Operating Units

The in year surplus/(deficit) for all Academic operating units are carried forward and distributed as directed by the appropriate Dean.

Non-Central Administrative Operating Units

The in year surplus/(deficit) for all non-academic administrative units are carried forward and distributed as directed by the appropriate Vice-Principal. Certain Departments/Programs which are part of the operating fund and are administered by non-academic departments but are not part of the discretionary operations of that department, lapse to surplus/deficit. These include:

  • fringe benefits
  • utilities
  • taxes
  • insurance
  • professional fees, memberships
  • banking and related fees
  • expenditures of the Principal's office
  • building rental
  • convocations, elections
  • certain projects which ended in the current year
  • write offs
  • Student Health Services

Certain departments which have multi-year budgets or are subject to some special budgetary provision, carry forward to themselves. These include:

  • external grants (e.g. disability, counselling, etc.)
  • computing maintenance and upgrades
  • library acquisitions
  • University project initiatives which did not end during the current year (various task forces, searched for Dean's and VP's)
  • Salary Anomaly funding
  • Vice-Principal's contingency accounts carry forward to the vice-Principals as a group.

Ancillary Operations

The balance in ancillary operations s is carried forward to a segregated surplus (or deficit) account which is under the control of the appropriate Vice-Principal. Use of these funds requires Vice-Principal approval.