Procedures

Cash Advances - Procedures

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1.0 Purpose and Scope

This procedure outlines requirements for eligibility for, application to receive, and acquittal of, cash advances at the University.

To incentivise a person to participate in research, Chief Investigators of research projects may decide to provide a small payment to participants. The payment is of token value, but may encourage participants to become involved in research by mitigating either the costs incurred by travelling, or the time taken to participate in a research activity.

A Chief Investigator can lodge a claim for a cash advance to enable payments to research participants.

Chief Investigators are responsible for establishing if the intended payment meets their grant requirements and the value does not generate a tax issue for the University or Payee.

1.1 Objectives

This document outlines the Cash Advance claim procedures.

1.2 Related procedures

Cash Advances are claimed through the Expense Management System via an expense claim, therefore this procedure relates to PPL 9.45.03b Expense Claims - Procedures.

1.3 Subject matter covered

 The procedure covers the following topics:

  • Who qualifies for a cash advance

  • How to apply for a cash advance

  • How to acquit a cash advance

  • Required supporting documentation

1.4 To whom the procedure applies

These procedures apply to Chief Investigators who demonstrate a reason to claim a Cash Advance from the University to enable payments to research participants. 

1.5 Exclusions

These procedures do not apply to anyone who is ineligible to obtain a cash advance.

2.0 Process and Key Controls

The below process governs the cycle of the cash advance process from eligibility through to acquittal of funds.

3.0 Key Requirements

3.1 Who qualifies for a cash advance?

To apply for a cash advance, applicants must be UQ employees, who also hold the role of designated Chief Investigator for a research project.

3.2 How to apply for a cash advance

After establishing their eligibility to apply for a cash advance, Chief investigators can apply by:

  1. Requesting access to the Expense Type in Expense Management System (EMS). This is done by completing the application form located within the EMS – Quicklinks.

  2. Use the EMS action – Create Expense Claim to claim the Cash Advance.  This is done by creating an expense claim with expense type of ‘Cash Advance’

Visit the EMS webpage for more information.

3.3 How to acquit a cash advance

Cash Advances must be acquitted with 14 days of the activity end date. Acquittal is processed via the Expense Management System (EMS).

To acquit:

  1. Login to the Expense Management System (ProMaster) at Secure.inlogik.com/uq

  2. Select New Action Cash Balance Acquit (this menu option will be added to the home page of EMS users who have an outstanding cash advance)

3.4 Required supporting documentation

The cash advance acquittal must be supported by sufficient evidence of the expenditure. If the cash was distributed to participants evidentiary documentation will take the form of acknowledgement of receipt from the participants. If the cash has been used to purchase goods the supporting documentation is a tax invoice/s. It is acknowledged that this may not always be available and a document that contains the relevant information, as detailed in the table below, is suitable.

The University can receive one of the following alternative documents to claim a GST credit for acquisitions that cost $82.50 or less (including GST):

  • a cash register docket;

  • a receipt; or

  • an invoice.

For transactions of $82.50 or less, if you can’t obtain one of the alternative documents (listed above) record the purchase on a Statutory Declaration, providing the following details:

  • the name and ABN of the supplier,

  • the date of purchase,

  • a description of the items purchased, and

  • the amount paid.

If you are unable to provide the necessary detailed information, the transaction must be treated as GST FREE.

Supporting documentation must meet the following requirements:

Except for amounts under $82.50 as above, if claiming GST the supporting documentation must include:

Except for amounts under $82.50 as above, if claiming GST the supporting documentation must include:

The supplier’s identity

The supplier’s identity

The supplier’s Australian Business Number (ABN)

A brief description of what is sold, including the quality (if applicable) and the price of what is sold

A brief description of what is sold, including the quality (if applicable) and the price of what is sold

The date the document is issued

The extent to which each sale is a taxable sale – this can be shown separately or, if the GST to be paid is exactly one-eleventh of the total price, as a statement such as 'total price includes GST

 

The date the document is issued

 

The amount of GST payable for each sale

 

The buyer’s identity or ABN (if the total sale price is at least $1,000)

 

Note:  a transaction document is NOT a valid tax invoice.

 

If you do not have adequate supporting documentation, you must submit a Statutory Declaration.

3.5 Statutory declarations in place of supporting documentation

In exceptional circumstances only, a Statutory Declaration may be submitted where evidentiary documentation has been lost or is not available due to the nature of the research activity. The declaration must specify the reason that supporting documentation is not available and must be signed by the Claimant and a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Declarations.

Only one (1) Statutory Declaration per claim is permitted.

Claimants deemed to be abusing this concession by frequently submitting Statutory Declarations may be required to reimburse expenses to the University.

3.6 Outstanding cash advances

Applicants are permitted to have one cash advance outstanding during the activity period. If a subsequent cash advance is required, the non-acquitted balance must be acquitted before the new advance payment can be processed. 

If - due to extenuating circumstances, a subsequent cash advance is required before the acquittal of the existing cash balance - the applicant must obtain written authorisation from Head of School (HoS), or equivalent. The written approval is then sent to EMS Enterprise Controller as detailed in section 2.2 Applying for Cash Advance.

4.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1 Chief Investigator Role and Responsibilities

A Chief Investigator is the only role permitted to routinely claim a cash advance within the University.

The Chief Investigator is the individual designated as responsible for the research/ grant activities for which a cash advance is required. Chief Investigators are required to ensure research/grant activities are undertaken as per the funding agreement. Chief investigators must be UQ employees to claim a cash advance.

When claiming a cash advance, the Chief Investigator must:

  1. Demonstrate that the intended payment meets their grant requirements and the value does not generate a tax issue for the University or Payee.

  2. Acquit the cash advance within 14 days of the activity completion date.

  3. Ensure a cash advance is acquitted within the same financial year in which they applied and received a cash advance.

  4. In the case that a research activity traverses the University’s financial year end (31 December), apply and acquit the advance before the year end, and apply for another advance in the following year.

  5. Ensure unspent funds are returned to the University using online payments.

  6. Demonstrate that the intended payment meets their grant requirements and the value does not generate a tax issue for the University or Payee.

4.2 EMS Enterprise Controller

A non-standard workflow is applied by the Enterprise Controller to any cash advance. The Enterprise Controller uses the information provided in the application form to perform the compliance review before assigning the Financial Delegation approval task to the appropriate PSt Finance Manager. 

  1. The EMS Enterprise Controller verifies that the applicant qualifies for a cash advance.

    1. The applicant is an employee of the University.

    2. The grant or funding body rules permit the issuance of a cash advance for the activity/s outlined in the application.

  2. The EMS Enterprise Controller verifies that there are no unacquitted cash advances issued to the applicant.

  3. The EMS Enterprise Controller verifies that the applicant has obtained approval from HoS (or equivalent) for the cash advance.

4.3 Assigned Financial Delegate

The designated PSt Finance Manager exercises their financial delegation in compliance with 1.10.02 Financial Delegations.

5.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

Compliance with the Cash Advance procedure will be assessed via a range of mechanisms that will help to identity deficiencies and allow them to be addressed.

Monitoring activities and key performance indicators are outlined in the table below:
 

Monitoring Activity

Key Performance Indicator

Monitor acquittal ageing after cash advance made

Acquittals completed within 14 days of advance being granted

Monitor staff eligibility for cash advances

  • Aurion employee record exists
  • Contract/ Grant record includes provision for participant incentives

Cash Advance Reconciliation

The Cash Advance account is reconciled to the General Ledger balance monthly

6.0 Recording and Reporting

Transactions, activities and results of this procedure are recorded via the University’s Expense Management System (ProMaster) and the finance system (UniFi).

7.0 Appendix

7.1 Appendix 1: Terms and Acronyms

Term/Acronym

Description

EMS

Expense Management System

EMS EC

EMS Enterprise Controller

ProMaster

The University’s Expenses Management System

Staff

Employees of the University of Queensland who receive payment via Aurion Payroll

Participant Payment

A payment issued to research participants

Participant Incentive

A payment or item provided to research participants to incentivise participation

CI

Chief Investigator, the individual designated responsibility for the research/ grant activities per the grant agreement

Expense Type

The name of the field that is linked to the account number

Activity end date

The date of completion for the participation round

HoS

Head of School or Business Unit

 

 

Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts
Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts