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Research Accounting

Research Financial Statement Process Updates

From 13th May, a number of minor changes to the research financial statement process will come into effect, to help streamline the process, remove unnecessary touch points and improve the submission time of financial statements to research sponsors.

The key responsibilities are summarised in the table below.  Scroll down for FAQ's, guidelines and contact points for research accounting processes and queries.

Responsibility Pre Preparation Preparation Review & Approval Lodgement Escalation
Faculty Finance Review and correct ineligible income and expenses for projects in advance of financial statement preparation

ARC financial statements: review & approve

NHMRC & other financial statements: review by exception only

ARC financial statements: follow up with Faculty Finance & Planning Manager

 

NHMRC & other financial statements: Chief Investigator> Head of School

Research Accounting

Prepare ineligible income report for all projects

Prepare ineligible expenditure report for ARC & NHMRC projects

Complete compliance checks and journal ineligible expenses & income to default project at time of financial statement preparation

Submit financial statement directly to Chief Investigator where there are no exceptions

Lodge by due date
Chief Investigator Ensure all eligible expenses in line with the approved grant budget or agreement are costed to the project(s) three (3) weeks before the financial statement due date NHMRC & other financial statements: review & approve

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the key changes to the financial statement process? 

    The key changes are as follows:

    • A more rigorous review of ineligible income and expenditure in advance of financial statement preparation.
    • The Chief Investigator with support from their Faculty Finance business partner as required is to ensure all eligible expenses are costed to the project(s) in line with the approved grant budget or agreement three weeks before the due date of a financial statement.
    • Financial statement preparation by Research Accounting will commence three weeks before the due date of a financial statement.
    • Research Accounting will submit financial statements directly to the Chief Investigator for review and approval two weeks before the due date. Faculty Finance will not be included in the email correspondence where there are no exceptions.
    • Where there are exceptions in the financial statement preparation, Research Accounting will submit the financial statement via Faculty Finance to the Chief Investigator.
    • There is a new escalation process where financial statements are overdue for submission with sponsors.

  • What does the change in process mean to a Chief Investigator?

    Research Accounting will submit financial statements directly to the Chief Investigator for review and approval where there are no exceptions.  Approval of financial statements by the Chief Investigator is to be submitted directly to Research Accounting via return email to finresearch@aelaide.edu.au.

    Queries from Chief Investigators in the financial statement review and approval process are to be directed to Research Accounting via return email to finresearch@adelaide.edu.au. Research Accounting will assess the query and action accordingly including forwarding to Faculty Finance as required.

    To ensure timely submission of financial statements to sponsors there is a new escalation process.

  • What are the exceptions when a financial statement will be sent to a Faculty Finance to review ahead of sign off by the Chief Investigator?

    Financial statement will only be sent to Faculty Finance ahead of sign off by the Chief Investigator under the following exception criteria:

    • Final financial statement and where there is a deficit balance of funds
    • Final financial statement and where there is a surplus balance of funds
    • Categorisation/sub-categorisation of expenses on an activity basis per sponsor requirements

    In determining the value of surplus funds, it is important for the Chief Investigator to ensure all eligible expenses in line with the approved grant budget or agreement has been costed to the project(s) three weeks before the due date of a financial statement.

  • How do I know when financial statements are due?

    The financial statement due dates are available from Orbit under Project Milestones in the General Details tab. These dates are sourced from the Research Master system. In the future, these dates will be sourced directly from the Grants Module in PeopleSoft Finance.

    Alternatively Faculty Finance have access to run a Milestone Status Report from Cognos Business Intelligence which also contains the financial statement due dates.

  • How do I know what expenses are ineligible? 

    Guidelines for both ARC and NHMRC ineligible expenses are available on this webpage.  For all other agreements reference should be made to the approved grant budget or agreement attached in Orbit against the project(s).

    Faculty Finance will review and correct ineligible income and expense account codes for projects no later than three weeks before the due date of a financial statement. Any transactions remaining in ineligible income and expense account codes at the time of financial statement preparation will then be journaled by Research Accounting as follows:

    • Income unrelated to the grant - to a Discretionary default project per school
    • Ineligible expenses - to the 18 Fund code (Residual Research Funds) for the Chief Investigator, the 18 Fund code (Residual Research Funds) for the School, or the Discretionary default project per school.

  • What is the new escalation process for submission of overdue financial statements? 

    Research Accounting will send reminder emails as per the following escalation process:

    • One week before the submission date: Reminder to Chief Investigator
    • On the submission date: Reminder to Chief Investigator
    • One week after the submission date: Financial Statement approval will be escalated to the Head of School

  • What if I have queries about my financial statement?  

    Queries from Chief Investigators in the financial statement review and approval process are to be directed to Research Accounting via return email to finresearch@adelaide.edu.au.  Research Accounting will assess the query and action accordingly including forwarding to Faculty Finance as required.

  • Can I approve my financial statement electronically?

    Yes, the financial statement can be approved through electronic signature or email approval by replying to the Research Accounting financial statement email.  Approval implies the following:

    "Certification that the attached financial statements is an accurate reflection of project income and expenditure for the reporting period and that all funds that been spent in accordance with the approved research objectives of the grant.  Funds not applied in this way may be recovered in accordance with the conditions of the Funding Agreement."

    To be a valid approval, the email must be direct from the Chief Investigator's University of Adelaide email address.

  • Who submits a financial statement to a sponsor?

    Financial statements are submitted to sponsors directly by Research Accounting or via Research Services where a financial statement is part of other progress reporting.

Ineligible Expense Guidelines

Research Financial Statement Process Maps

Key Contacts

This document provides an overview of contact points for research accounting processes and queries.