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Guide to Financial Management

This guide is a key resource for financial administrators, staff and faculty on how to handle financial related matters at the University of Toronto.

The following four boxes represent the most frequently accessed sections of the Guide to Financial Management (GTFM).  Below these boxes is the complete GTFM, by major section. There is also a search box at the top of every page on our site.  Our objective is that you should only be a click or two away from any information you are seeking.  If you have difficulty finding any information, please complete our Feedback Form.

See the Updates and Changes to the Guide to Financial Management page for recent updates  and the effective dates of changes to policy.


This section provides a window into budgeting for the various funds at the University of Toronto, and includes topics such as: what policies are applicable; how are budgets created; how are budgets changed and under what conditions; authorizations required; and where to obtain additional assistance.

Capital Assets

This section focuses on the security over the class of purchased goods called “Capital Assets” (formerly “Fixed Assets”), as well as the full and optimal use of capital assets. Capital Assets owned by the University include land, buildings, furniture, equipment, books, artwork and other assets funded from any source, including research awards. Specific issues covered include: Disposals; Internal Sales; Use Away from the University Premises; and Transfers to Another University.

Capital Projects and Renovations

This section covers the activities which fall into the broad category of “capital projects”, including: overview of capital projects categorized by size and type; the various approvals which apply to these projects; the key points in initiating an application for capital projects and renovations.

Cash, Other Receipts and Banking

This section covers the various policies and procedures relating to monies coming into the University including: Processing Responsibilities for Receipts; the Cashier function; Direct Deposits; and Incoming Wire Payments. This section also contains a link to guidance and assistance in setting up a debit card or credit card facility.

Financial Management

This section covers the following topics: The Objectives and Responsibilities for Financial Management at the University; Financial Accountability (including guidelines for completion of the financial accountability report forms); Reporting Incidents of Financial Impropriety; FIS Accounts – Establishing, Changing and Deactivating; Divisional Carryforward; Reporting; Managing Risk – Insurance & Contracts; Source Documents and the Audit Trail; and Fund Accounting at U of T.

Financial Information System (FIS)

This section details the various aspects of our Financial Information System (FIS), including an overview of the Administrative Management Systems (AMS), an introduction to FIS, an introduction to SAP screens, and additional training available for FIS.

Fundraising and Donations

This section covers the activities surrounding donor contributions and private funding, specifically: the role of the Division of University Advancement (DUA) and contact information; Solicitation Programs; Role of University Departments; Donor Relations; and financial guidelines relating to Monetary Donations and Gifts-in-Kind (Non-Monetary Donations).

Human Resources, Payroll and Benefits

This section provides links to the policies, guidelines, procedures and manuals. Specifically, this section discusses: HR Payroll and Benefits Overview; the Employee versus Contractor decision and Taxation of Payments (HRIS vs. FIS); Payroll and the HST; and Moving Expenses.

Investment, Internal Financing and Loans

This section provides an overview of the University’s investment and provides information on the two investment pools: LTCAP and EFIP. This section also covers the policies, guidelines and procedures relating to internal borrowing at the University.

Purchasing and Payments to Vendors

This section provides information on: Purchasing Policy and Administrative Regulations; uSOURCE; Purchasing Card; Purchase Order Invoices; Certified Invoices; Payments Without Invoices Processed Through FIS; Petty Cash; Imprest Expenditure Bank Account; Payments Associated with Contractual Agreements; Payments to Hospitals or Other Institutions to Recover Costs; Prepayments; Courier, Brokerage & Freight; Foreign Payments; and HST.

Restricted Funds

Restricted Funds is one of the four fund groups which the University has established to manage its funds (the other fund groups being the Operating fund, Ancillary Operations and the Capital fund). Sources of restricted funds are government and non-government research funding and charitable donations, the majority of which are governed by restrictions set by external organizations. The University is entrusted with the responsibility to ensure that the funds are used in accordance with the terms set out in the trust or funding agreement.

Revenues and Expense Recoveries

This section covers the financial objectives of operations which generate external divisional income and external expense recoveries. This includes the processing of University of Toronto invoices and the collection of amounts due (Accounts Receivable). In addition, this section provides an overview of the administration of internal sales and expense recoveries, and the financial objectives and recommendations for satisfying these objectives.

Travel and Other Reimbursable Expenses

This section covers important information regarding travel, meals and other business related expenses, and reimbursement of those expenses, including: travel services; the travel and hospitality card; policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures; how to claim an expense reimbursement; accountable advances; and kilometrage and per diem rates.

Feedback Form

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