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Research: The Growing Impact on the Financial Operations of Universities CAUBO 2006 Conference June 25, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Research: The Growing Impact on the Financial Operations of Universities CAUBO 2006 Conference June 25, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research: The Growing Impact on the Financial Operations of Universities CAUBO 2006 Conference June 25, 2007

2 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 1 Agenda Challenges, issues and impacts York’s solutions Questions

3 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 2 Challenges Grant/Contract Complexity Reporting Requirements Matching Funding Challenges Financial Management Challenges External Audits Funding Pressures Cultural Issues

4 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 3 Grant/Contract Complexity Issues Increased reporting requirements Expansion of types of programs – federal/provincial/private sector –Different rules –Different reporting timelines –External audit –In-kind contributions/deep discounts Collaborative projects  multi university Foreign grants/contracts

5 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 4 Impact Higher level of professional skill sets required Role of Research Accounting is moving to that of professional financial advisor for budget preparation, financial forecast, procurement advice, etc. Education and training –Research accounting staff –Administrative staff at local level –Researchers Grant/Contract Complexity (cont’d)

6 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 5 Impact (cont’d) Financial pressure on budgets to support Research Coordinating with multi-party institutions Increasing difficulty to ensure compliance with variety of requirements Review and revise internal controls and procedures to ensure compliance. Grant/Contract Complexity (cont’d)

7 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 6 Reporting Requirements Issues Form 300 vs. specific reporting requirements Cash flow projections Recognition/Reporting –In-kind donations –Deep discounts –Partial funding arrangements Multi partner arrangements –Timing of reporting

8 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 7 Reporting Requirements (cont’d) Impacts Valuation issues Implications for automation of reporting Cash flow impacts Managing multi parties in agreements

9 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 8 Matching Fund Challenges Issues Pressure to find funding partners Risk of funding partner default Federal/provincial programs Political risk – provincial matching programs Competitive pressure to accept projects

10 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 9 Impacts Financial pressures on University budgets “Conflict of interest”/Source of funds Matching Fund Challenges (cont’d)

11 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 10 Financial Management Challenges Issues Use of technology –Procurement cards –EFT payments –Electronic travel claim submissions –Document imaging – A/P vouchers (compliance audits) Decentralization vs. centralization – Accounting Timing of application vs. date of award

12 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 11 Issues (cont’d) Foreign grants Public accountability Ineligible direct costs (i.e., severance costs/benefit cost) Retention of records for CFI major capital projects  up to 10 years Financial Management Challenges (cont’d)

13 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 12 Financial Management Challenges (cont’d) Impacts Compliance monitoring standards Review of internal controls and procedures Audit requirements –Photocopy of vouchers –Cancelled cheques –Procurement cards –Electronic travel claim reimbursement –Document retention Communication directly with researcher – no RA involvement (passwords to PIs)

14 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 13 Financial Management Challenges (cont’d) Impacts Managing foreign currency risk Competitive bidding on purchases from research grants Increased reliance on administrative support Cost have risen/technology outdated/funding partner has changed his mind Budget pressures for severance and benefit costs on research grants

15 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 14 External Audits/Monitoring Visits Issues Provincial grants (ORDCF) CIDA Canarie Department of Foreign Affairs Canada International Trade Canada CFI > $4 million Monitoring visits Impacts Significant time consumed Significant cost for separate audits Heightened sensitivity in Ottawa No dispute resolution mechanism Timing of results of Monitoring Visits/Audits

16 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 15 Issues University funding levels (constant budget cuts) Increasing cost to support research (professional staff, etc.) CRC appointments Impacts Indirect Cost of Research grant relief Shortfall in CFI grants – end of day Pressure on Overhead Calculations on Contracts Pressure from Researchers to forgo overheads to subsidize their grant activities Salary/PTR increments/Start-up costs – CRC Chairs Funding Pressures

17 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 16 Cultural Issues Challenges Researchers’ attitude

18 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 17 1.Restructured Research Accounting; replacing staff vacancies with increased skill levels; 2.Introduced new Research Administrator positions at Faculty level for post-award support; 3.Vice-President Research and Innovation established Research Officer positions at Faculty level for pre-award assistance; 4.Introduced new Accountability Agreements for all researchers; 5.Introduced pre-requisites to open research accounts Signed accountability agreement Mandatory training on eReports York Solutions To Date

19 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 18 York Solutions To Date (cont’d) 6.Introduced monthly warnings and advices re: Available balances by grant number 90-day notice of expiry of grant Overdrafts Expiry of payroll contracts Considering others 7.Increased training to researchers: Small groups Faculty-specific

20 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 19 8.Workshops and reference manuals for CFI awardees; 9.Established dedicated Procurement Professional to support CFI awardees; 10.Implemented monthly checklists on all CFI grants; 11.In process of obtaining funding for a “Central Fund of last resort”; 12.Increased communication/cooperation with Office of Research Services/Associate Vice-President of Research Joint training and information sessions York Solutions To Date (cont’d)

21 Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFOCAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 20 York Solutions To Date (cont’d) 13.Developed guidelines for Managing Foreign Currency Contracts; 14.Ontario Universities have requested CAUBO to assist in dealing with the Federal Agencies regarding their requirement for extensive copying. 15.Created a compliance officer position to monitor high risk research areas (overspends, receivables, etc.)

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