Consultancies, Contracts and Services - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the financial management, identification and recording of consultancies, contracts and services income and expenditure within the University’s financial management system.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms 

Consultancy - the practice of providing expert advice, specialist knowledge or objective review within a particular field.

User - the customer requesting the goods and services from an organisational unit.

User Charge - a fee for goods or services imposed on a person or entity that uses the goods and services provided by an organisational unit.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures relate to any external funding received by the University. They do not apply to research grants, scholarships and prizes or donations and bequest.

4. Procedures Statement

Consultancy, contract and services projects are created by Contract and Grants Accounting Section within FBS and are required where the income and expenditure needs to be separately identified.  Any consultancy activities that do not meet the criteria for an individual project can be tracked within the Academic’s Consultancy and Award (AC&A) project using the relevant fund code.

5. Financial Management

5.1 Project creation and closeout

5.1.1 Project creation

Contract and Grants Accounting Section within FBS is responsible for the creation and closeout of all projects.  External funding is to be used in accordance with the grant conditions and University policy and a project is required where the income and expenditure needs to be separately identified.

The organisational unit completes the Project Request Form (Non Research) and forwards it to Contract and Grants Accounting Section within FBS with the supporting contract/agreement documentation.

5.1.2 Project maintenance

After a scholarship project is created, the organisational unit can request changes such as project descriptions, dates, budget holders and fund codes via the Project Change Request Form.

5.1.3 Project closeout

Project closeout applies to all projects.  When the project end date is reached, the project status will be changed to "Preliminary Close" and Closeout Reports will be sent to the organisational unit to clear any outstanding commitments or to transfer assets.  The project status will then be changed to "Final Close" to prevent any further transactions.

5.2  Financial administration

5.2.1 Consulting and contract projects

The organisational unit is responsible for the management of non research project income and expenditure.

Refer to the below policies:

Where UQ academics or general staff undertake paid outside work related to their academic discipline or expertise then the revenue attributable to the consulting assignment must be invoiced by the University.  Staff must not privately invoice for work that has been completed using University resources and where the report has been issued under the UQ brand.  The staff member generating the funds does not have sole rights or control over the utilisation of the consulting income, rather the funds are under the control of the head of the organisational unit.

All expenses that relate to the consulting assignment must be identified, including durable items such as books and equipment.  Expenses are to be charged against the income and any surplus funds are to be allocated at the discretion of the head of the organisational unit.

Revenue earned by staff members in a personal capacity cannot be credited to the University accounts, as these earnings are taxable and must be included as income in their personal tax returns.

5.2.2 User charging application

The charging structure that any organisational unit employs is subject to the approval of the head of that organisational unit. The structure needs to identify the goods and services provided and the level of the charges, also the information needs to be reliable and accurate.

Organisational units need to consider a number of factors in determining whether or not a charge is applicable, and if so, what the appropriate level of the charge should be. However, in some circumstances, a charge on the use of goods and services may not be appropriate.

In creating any charging structure it must be determined whether GST is to be charged or not. If this is unknown the Taxation Unit within FBS should be consulted.

An organisational unit, when determining which of its goods and services should be charged to a user, needs to consider a number of issues.



Does not apply

User capacity

user has capacity to pay for the goods or services


User choice

user has  a choice whether or not to accept the goods or services


Goods and Services (or close substitute)

available from a supplier outside the organisational unit

supplied for the benefit of the general public or exclusively for the benefit of users who do not have the capacity to pay for them (a public good)


an agreement exists regarding charging for goods or services



legislation requires a charge to apply

legislation directs that no charge is to apply

Organisational Unit Resources

the charge improves the economical allocation of the organisational unit’s resources

there is no improvement to the allocation of organisational unit resources

Administrative Costs


the administrative costs are more than the expected long term gains in efficiency



the transaction is non-routine and immaterial in amount

5.2.3 User charging level

Once an organisational unit has established that a charge is to be made for particular goods or services, then the level at which the charge is to be set must be determined. The charge should be at a level which is cost effective for the organisational unit, and which encourages the rational use of the organisational unit's goods and services.

When determining the level of the charge, the Unit should in the first instance, determine a rate which will recover the full cost of providing the goods or services.

The full cost of goods or services, means all cost attributed to the goods or services, including:

1. direct and indirect labour and management costs (including accruing staff entitlements and workers compensation);

2. materials (including on-costs to cover handling and holding costs);

3. the opportunity cost or return available from a similar investment of non-current physical assets used in producing the goods or services;

4. the costs of non-current physical assets consumed, debt financing costs and taxes and tax equivalent costs (other than income tax).

An organisational unit may decide that a lower charge than the full cost is more appropriate. This would be likely where:

  • the lower charge reflects the commercial market rates that apply to comparable goods or services in the market that the Unit is operating;
  • the lower charge may encourage a rational choice by users;
  • the lower charge may assist in achieving the social objectives implicit in delivering the goods or services.

Once the appropriate level of charging has been determined, the charges must be approved by the head of the organisational unit.

The charges should be reviewed on an annual basis, and any new charges or changes to existing charges as a result of the review should also be approved by the head.

5.2.4 Charges levied on students

For information on the charges levied on students refer to PPL 3.40.02 Incidental and Ancillary Fees Levied on Students.

5.3 Financial reporting

5.3.1 Financial statements

Contract and Grants Accounting within FBS is responsible for the preparation of all certified financial statements in accordance with the conditions specified for all externally granted projects.  Refer to PPL 9.20.11 Finance Reporting.



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Project Change Request (Non-Research) - Form

Project Change Request (Non-Research) - Form

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This form is to be used to request changes to non research project descriptions, dates, budget holders and fund codes. It can also be used for research projects to change budget holders and add internal fund codes.