Other issues affecting special purpose funds

Overheads

Details relating to implementation of this policy are under review. Details of the University's current policy regarding recovery of indirect costs (overheads or infrastructure costs) can be found at the Research Office web page under Recovery of Infrastructure Costs for Externally Funded Research.

When a new fund is opened, details of overheads to be charged and any approved waiver of overheads are recorded in the Special Purpose Funds database, in accordance with the current policy.

The Special Purpose Funds section prepares a journal entry each month based on the previous month's income for funds marked to be charged overheads.

Interest on funds

The interest earned on funds is distributed to a single account in the 'Q' ledger segment of each faculty, school or centre.

ANU usually owns the income earned on all moneys invested, including special purpose funds of all types. ANU prefers not to accept funds subject to the condition that interest is to accrue to the fund itself.However, where a fund is accepted by the Director Finance and Business Services to be established on this basis, then periodic interest is credited from the school, faculty or centre interest pool to the fund at the same rate earned by the University's general cash pool.

Overdrawn funds within a budget unit reduce the total funds for that budget unit on which the interest earned will apply. Where a fund is accepted by the Director Finance and Business Services to allow interest to be accrued to an individual fund, and that fund becomes overdrawn, then debit interest will be charged to that fund.

Financing of overspent funds

Applicants for external funding must consider the financial implications and the possibility that the expenses incurred in completing a project may be greater than the funds provided by the grantor. It is ANU policy that where a shortfall occurs, the faculty, school, centre or division concerned bears the additional cost. Applications must therefore include an indication of the intended source of funding in the event of an anticipated shortfall.

Any overspent funds not recovered from the funding body will be funded from income allocated by the Delegate from funds available within the budget unit's discretionary funds.

Debtors

The general rule is that overspent balances on external funds are reported as debtors in the University's Annual Financial Statements, where there is a right to recovery from the funding body. Research grants from external sources are commonly paid in advance. A growing number of donors follow a policy of paying grant instalments in arrears. In these cases, a University Debtors Invoice should be raised for the value of the instalment when it falls due in accordance with the agreement or contract. The University's debt management policy should always be observed in recovery of any installments outstanding.

Commitments

Funding bodies often require information on forward commitments to be included in financial reports. Details should be provided only on the basis of existing approved commitments, shown in the ledger as encumbrances.

Long service leave

Those funds which employ staff who accrue Long Service Leave rights, need to make provision for this cost. The liability should be recovered at quarterly intervals by charging the appropriate percentage of the employee's salary, if in accordance with grant conditions, and crediting the long service leave fund in the recurrent ledger segment or 'Q' ledger segment.

However, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) does not allow transfer of NHMRC funds into any account relating to the provision of Long Service Leave.