Funding in arrears (FIA) refers to a process by which internal funding is transferred to operating units to offset pre-approved expenditure incurred against projects that belong to defined UQ internal funding schemes.

Funding in arrears applies to all 'major UQ-wide' funding schemes. Professional Services Team Finance Managers can arrange for their local schemes to be attached to the centrally managed FIA process.

Benefits of funding in arrears

FIA results in the following benefits:

  • prevents receiving funding in advance of spending from distorting the annual operating result for a project.

  • minimises the amount of funding being shuffled around the University from one project to another

  • enables scheme managers to identify if a surplus of funding exists, allowing them to make the funding available for other priorities.

Before you get started

The key requirements for the funding in arrears process are:

  • Expenditure related to a FIA activity must be recorded against a UniFi project and use any one of the four standard generic Internal Scheme Fund Codes (296-299).

  • Internal transfers are not expenditure. They cannot be used to reflect expenditure in a FIA project. All transfers recorded in a FIA project will be treated as FIA reimbursement contributions.

  • Special procedures must be followed in order to facilitate funding subsidiary projects from within a FIA project.

  • An FIA project cannot be used as the source of funding for another FIA project.

  • Projects in receipt of external funding as well as internal funding can share the same UniFi project code.

  • External revenue should not be receipted against an internal FIA fund code (296-299).

  • The local Professional Service Team (PST) is responsible for adding the details of FIA eligible funding agreements to their local PST FIA Register. This includes providing funding chartstrings (including Free Format Tags) for all non-central contributors.

  • Financial Planning and Analysis will work with the Central PST to provide the funding chartstrings (including Free Format Tags) for all central schemes.

  • The FIA process will accept any validly structured chartstring as a source of funding provided the chartstring combination allows for internal fund transfers (e.g. so not fund code 4XX projects as internal transfers are not allowed from them).

Processing reimbursements

FIA reimbursements are processed quarterly by Financial Planning and Analysis.

The reimbursement journal is usually available on the second business day of a new quarter. A final FIA journal is posted at the end of the adjustment period at the end of the calendar year. The final journal includes reimbursement for end of year expenditure accruals.

When to use funding in arrears

'Major UQ Wide' internal funding schemes use FIA. These schemes have a:

  • total project allocation of over $10,000

  • project span of over 1 financial year.

You should use a one-off allocation or reimbursement instead of FIA if either of these conditions does not apply to your project.

Funding in arrears register maintenance

Maintenance of the FIA registers follows this process:

  1. FIA register rollover occurs in late January. This involves removing projects if they have expired and auditing and updating the 'Total Amount Claimed in Prior Years' for continuing projects.

  2. PSTs are notified that the registers are available for editing. PSTs must then review their remaining active records and update the details to reflect the funding arrangements for the upcoming year. FIA registers remain available for editing until approximately 3 days before the end of each quarter.

  3. FIA registers are closed for data checking and processing. About 1 week after the start of a new quarter, the FIA registers are again opened for editing.

Internal schemes fund codes

"UQ" in the 'generic description' column of this table means UQ has funded contributions towards the project, not that the project must be exclusively funded from UQ sources. For example, ARC Laureate Fellow projects can have codes 297, 298 and 299 allocated in addition to their base code of 423.

All four of the internal codes are available to and should by used by all operating areas, not just Central. For example, an Executive Dean can allocate $1 million of funding to a faculty strategic initiative under code 299 even if there is no central strategic contribution.

The nature of the activity being funded determines what the best code is to be used, not the source of funding.

Fund code

Generic description

Examples and comments

296

UQ Academic Awards

One-off UQ awards for Teaching Excellence, Research Excellence, Travel, etc. Typically under $10,000.

297

UQ Fellowships

UQ Development Fellowships, Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellowships, UQ gap funding for Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Research Grants and other ARC/National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Fellowships, School or Faculty and Institute Fellowships.  Project primarily consists of Chief Investigator (CI) salary costs.

298

UQ Other Grants

UQ Early Career Research Grants (ECRG), UQ Major Equipment Infrastructure (MEI) Grants, UQ Collaboration and Industry Engagement Fund (UQCIEF), etc. Typically a grant made as part of a scheme not captured by 296 or 297.

299

UQ Strategic Initiatives

Standalone strategic initiatives or co-funding for non-CI salary components of significant ARC/NHMRC Fellowships or Cooperative Research Centres etc.

Managing subsidiary projects

You cannot transfer funds from an FIA project to any other subsidiary activity or project. FIA reimburses only expenditures. An internal transfer is not an expenditure.

There are some circumstances where an FIA project may need to transfer funding to subsidiary, minor or sub-projects. These can be handled using one of the following options.

Option 1

Report all expenditure transactions directly through the FIA project chartstring but use a Free Format Tag (FFT) to enable further reporting against the subsidiary projects.

Option 2

Establish separate projects to record expenditure as it happens. Through a local reconciliation process, acquit those amounts back to the core FIA project on a regular basis.

The acquittal process involves clearing the balance of activity being recorded in the subsidiary project as a single lump-sum amount using account code 710140 'Collaborative Projects - Not Restricted' on both sides of an occasional journal.

Variation on option 2

If small funding amounts are involved (less than or equal to $10,000 in total), make a single up-front transfer. Use account 710140 on both sides of the journal.

Subsidiary project funding codes

A subsidiary project is more likely to be attached to a fund code 298 (other grant allocations) than 299 (strategic allocations).