Procedures

Retained Earnings - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline how the University carries forward unspent funds from one year to the next in the University’s retained earnings account.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Carry forward - a local level term used to refer to Retained Earnings.

Chart string - the account numbers that are used to define the allocation of funds to purchasing, budgeting, and expenses. ChartField values are combined to create a chart string.

Operating Budget - a component of the University budget that is used to fund general University operations.

Operating Grant - Operating funds that are part of the University's total equity which are held or utilised for the University's general purpose and which are not under the discretionary control of individual organisational units or researchers. Operating funds also are not subject to restricted use or conditions on use.

Retained earnings - the cumulative net financial result of the University for the current and previous years.

Management Reporting Framework (MRF) - a standard suite of finance reports that provides financial information across all areas of the University.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures are applicable to all units in Faculties, Institutes and Central Services within the University.

4. Procedures Statement

It is a requirement under the Higher Education Support Act (2003) that the Operating Grant must be spent each year. The Operating Grant is provided to the University to enable it to meet its operational expenses for the relevant year and is not intended to be carried forward or “banked” for a future year. However the other elements in the Operating Budget such as tuition fee income provide some flexibility in this regard.

5. Method of Retained Earnings (Carry Forward)

While the University’s balance sheet is maintained at a UQ level only, the retained earnings figure is dissectible to chart string level.

The current procedure is that any chart string level surplus/deficit for the financial year is added to the opening retained earnings figure for that chart string. The physical process to undertake this is to run the year end procedures in UniFi. As this is a system process, any consolidation of chart strings into a higher level will need to be undertaken before this process commences.

Retained earnings is currently reported in the local MRF reports, as “Carry Forward” but it is excluded from the higher level reports for University Senior Management Group etc.

6. Movement of Retained Earnings

As the Retained Earnings account represents an "Opening Balance" the account should not change during the year. The following document provides guidance on circumstances when this can be changed at chart string level: Retained Earnings.

Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts

Forms

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Retained Earnings Movement Justification - Form

Retained Earnings Movement Justification - Form

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Description: 

This form must be filled in and returned to FBS Journals before any retained earnings journals will be processed. The journal XML file MUST accompany this form.

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