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Research: The Growing Impact on the Financial Operations of Universities. CAUBO 2006 Conference June 25, 2007. Agenda. Challenges, issues and impacts York’s solutions Questions. Challenges. Grant/Contract Complexity Reporting Requirements Matching Funding Challenges

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research the growing impact on the financial operations of universities

Research: The Growing Impact on the Financial Operations of Universities

CAUBO 2006 Conference

June 25, 2007

agenda
Agenda
  • Challenges, issues and impacts
  • York’s solutions
  • Questions

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 1

challenges
Challenges
  • Grant/Contract Complexity
  • Reporting Requirements
  • Matching Funding Challenges
  • Financial Management Challenges
  • External Audits
  • Funding Pressures
  • Cultural Issues

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 2

grant contract complexity
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

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 3

grant contract complexity cont d
Grant/Contract Complexity (cont’d)
  • 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

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 4

grant contract complexity cont d1
Grant/Contract Complexity (cont’d)
  • 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.

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 5

reporting requirements
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

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 6

reporting requirements cont d
Reporting Requirements (cont’d)
  • Impacts
  • Valuation issues
  • Implications for automation of reporting
  • Cash flow impacts
  • Managing multi parties in agreements

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 7

matching fund challenges
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

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 8

matching fund challenges cont d
Matching Fund Challenges (cont’d)
  • Impacts
  • Financial pressures on University budgets
  • “Conflict of interest”/Source of funds

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 9

financial management challenges
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

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 10

financial management challenges cont d
Financial Management Challenges (cont’d)
  • 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

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 11

financial management challenges cont d1
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)

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 12

financial management challenges cont d2
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

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 13

external audits monitoring visits
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

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 14

funding pressures
Funding Pressures
  • 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

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 15

cultural issues
Cultural Issues
  • Challenges
  • Researchers’ attitude

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 16

york solutions to date
York Solutions To Date
  • Restructured Research Accounting; replacing staff vacancies with increased skill levels;
  • Introduced new Research Administrator positions at Faculty level for post-award support;
  • Vice-President Research and Innovation established Research Officer positions at Faculty level for pre-award assistance;
  • Introduced new Accountability Agreements for all researchers;
  • Introduced pre-requisites to open research accounts
    • Signed accountability agreement
    • Mandatory training on eReports

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 17

york solutions to date cont d
York Solutions To Date (cont’d)
  • Introduced monthly email warnings and advices re:
    • Available balances by grant number
    • 90-day notice of expiry of grant
    • Overdrafts
    • Expiry of payroll contracts
    • Considering others
  • Increased training to researchers:
    • Small groups
    • Faculty-specific

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 18

york solutions to date cont d1
York Solutions To Date (cont’d)
  • Workshops and reference manuals for CFI awardees;
  • Established dedicated Procurement Professional to support CFI awardees;
  • Implemented monthly checklists on all CFI grants;
  • In process of obtaining funding for a “Central Fund of last resort”;
  • Increased communication/cooperation with Office of Research Services/Associate Vice-President of Research
    • Joint training and information sessions

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 19

york solutions to date cont d2
York Solutions To Date (cont’d)
  • Developed guidelines for Managing Foreign Currency Contracts;
  • Ontario Universities have requested CAUBO to assist in dealing with the Federal Agencies regarding their requirement for extensive copying.
  • Created a compliance officer position to monitor high risk research areas (overspends, receivables, etc.)

Trudy Pound-Curtis, Assistant Vice-President Finance & CFO CAUBO 2007 Conference, June 25, 2007 / 20

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