When a University department organizes a conference (including colloquia and workshops) it may be appropriate to segregate the income and expenses for the conference from the department’s operating accounts.
Where there is a requirement for segregation, this can currently be accommodated by using a fund (for spending control) and an internal order (for detailed reporting).
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When are Conference Accounts not required?
It should be emphasized that there is no requirement to establish conference accounts. In the following cases they are neither required nor recommended:
- The conference is fully funded by grants or donations.
- There are no conference fees. The conference is funded by a grant in restricted funds. Excess expenses, if any, are to be funded by the department. Expenses should be charged first to the grant. When grant funds are fully expended, additional expenses should be charged to an appropriate departmental operating account or an eligible trust fund.
- There are no conference fees. The conference is fully funded by departmental funds (i.e. operating funds and/or trust funds). Expenses should be charged directly to departmental accounts.
- There are no conference fees and the conference period will not cross the University’s fiscal year. One or more departments are participating in the conference and sharing conference expenses. The administering department should pay for all conference expenses from departmental accounts and bill, using the internal revenues/expense recoveries transaction, the other departments for their share. The administering department records these contributions as expense recoveries and the contributing departments record their contribution using an appropriate general ledger expenseaccount. Note: if contributing departments are not participating in the conference but are simply making a gratis contribution, e.g. a dean providing funding to a department, it may be more appropriate to record this contribution as a budget transfer. Refer to GTFM: Budget Changes – The Decision Process.
When are Conference Accounts recommended?
Where conference funding is more complex and includes a combination of fees, various departmental contributions, and restricted fund grants, conference accounts may be recommended in order to facilitate financial control. This is particularly the case when the conference crosses the University fiscal year.
Requesting conference accounts
When it has been determined that conference accounts are required, complete the Conference Accounts Request Form and forward the form to:
Ensure that the Statement of Responsibility section of the form is signed by the head of the requesting unit acknowledging that any net costs will be absorbed by the department.
The Financial Services Department will advise the requesting department of the fund and internal order numbers which were established. The budgets established for a conference are comprised of equal and offsetting revenue and expense budgets and should reflect the best estimate of anticipated revenues.
The department may wish to keep track of various types of income as follows:
Internally generated income:
The receiving conference fund would record the transfer using the general ledger account 798350 (Internal Recovery Services General). The internal sale/recovery transaction in FIS should be used to reflect this transfer as internal.
External funds received by a conference account would be recorded using the general ledger account 750200 (Conference Fees).
The requesting department will advise the Financial Services Department of their intention to close a conference account.
Expenses exceed Income:
Where conference expenses exceed income, the revenue shortfall must be transferred by the department from an operating fund center or an eligible restricted fund, using the internal revenues/expense recoveries transaction in FIS.
Income exceeds expenses:
Where conference income exceeds expenses, the excess funds will be transferred by the department to an operating fund center or an eligible restricted fund, using the internal revenues/expense recoveries transaction in FIS.
Closing conference accounts
As soon as all conference activity is ended:
- the department should notify the Financial Services Department that the conference account is to be closed
- if there is a surplus in the conference account, the department should:
- reconcile revenue budgets to the actual revenues
- use the internal sale/recovery transaction to transfer funds available to the departmental operating fund center
- if there is a deficit in the conference account, the department should:
- reconcile expense budgets to the actual expenses
- use the internal sale/recovery transaction to transfer the shortfall to the departmental operating fund center.
Details should be forwarded to:
The standard monthly statements of account are available on-line.
Last revision: Mar 23, 2012