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Financial management

Mathematics Faculty-specific Procedures

The following Faculty-specific procedures are intended to supplement, not duplicate or replace, the University-level policies or procedures.

Canada Research Chairs

There are two types of Canada Research Chairs (CRC) positions:

  • Tier 1 chairs, tenable for seven years and renewable indefinitely. For each Tier 1 chair, the institution receives $200,000 annually for seven years. From the grant amount the University recovers $10,000 (one time) as an administrative charge and the remainder is available for use according to CRC use of funds criteria.
  • Tier 2 chairs, tenable for five years and renewable once. For each Tier 2 chair, the institution receives $100,000 annually for five years. From the grant amount the University recovers $5,000 (one time) as an administrative charge and the remainder is available for use according to CRC use of funds criteria.

Determination of salary and benefits from the CRC Grant

The amount after deducting the administrative charge (referred to above) is available to pay CRC holder salary and/or a stipend. When determining the maximum salary amount that can be paid from the grant, whithout creating a deficit, the benefits that are payable to the CRC holder must be estimated and included in the calculation. Since the benefit amounts are determined as a percent of the salary and the rates vary, it is necessary to consult the faculty financial officer, human resources, or the office of research for the appropriate benefit percentage to use before the CRC Appointment Form (Internal) is completed.

Institutional support - Faculty of Mathematics

The amount of salary saved in operating funds by the Faculty each year is provided to the relevant CRC holder as part of institutional support from the Faculty. These funds are available for the use of the CRC holder with the concurrance of the respective Chair/Director during the tenure of the CRC holder. The funds expire at the expiry of the CRC period. After the expiry of the CRC period any continuing activities beyond the end of the applicable fiscal year make up part of departmental/school plan and budget and not a continuation of CRC support.

In addition, CRC (both type I and II) holders get one teaching reduction per year (equal to the teaching reduction for URC). Along with one faculty research reduction for those with a research grant and student supervision, CRC holders receive a maximum of two teaching reductions annually during the CRC period.

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Cash handling

All collections of cash for University business purposes must have the prior approval of the Chair/Director/Associate Dean of the Department/School who may consult the Dean, as appropriate, for authorzation. Collection of cash for non-University related business is not covered in this procedure, and is not encouraged. Such private collections are the sole responsibility and at the risk of the individuals involved. Cash collected for non-University business purposes must not be deposited and mixed with University funds/accounts. Non-University business related funds include funds received or collected on behalf of any party other than the University of Waterloo.

All funds received or collected and deposited in University of Waterloo accounts belong to the University of Waterloo and is subject only to the policies and procedure of the University of Waterloo unless there exists a legally valid signed agreement with the University of Waterloo.

Cash handling in the University falls under Policy 51. The procedure below is intended to provide specific guidelines for all cash and cheque transactions in the Faculty of Math that do not fall under the classification of accounts receivable (AR). As defined by Finance, if you provide goods or services and payment is received at the time of the transaction then it is a cash sale and not a receivable. However, if you are providing goods or services without receiving immediate payment at the time of the transaction then you need to issue an invoice using Unit4. University financial procedure makes it mandatory for any employee to only use Unit4 generated invoices for transactions that are classified as accounts receivable. Department/School administrators or financial officers have access to the Customers & Sales module in Unit4 to set-up new customers and issue invoices. If you require, and do not currently have access to Unit4 invoicing, please contact the FFO.

Cash and cheque collection

Cash or cheques may be collected or received by designated or assigned staff or faculty with the prior approval of the Chair/Director/Associate Dean for transactions that are not classified as accounts receivable. Such approval must be obtained for each event or occurrence and controlled for the purpose of this procedure by the Chair/Director/Associate Dean to ensure accountability and, safety of collections as well as employees. Students or any other person who is not a regular full time employee of the University should not be allowed to collect, keep custody, or held responsible for any connected activities such as deposit. All cash handling must follow the Cash Handling recommendations by Finance

It is important to determine what types of collections are allowed (or prohibited) before making any decision about by whom and how to make these collections. For example, Provincial legislation prohibit charging any fee from a student for any activity that is necessary and required for the completion of a degree program without the prior approval of the relevant Ministry. The departments/school must obtain clarification about any such proposed fee by contacting the EO/FFO who would consult IAP before making any determination.

If and when cash or cheque collection is necessary and allowed (e.g. conference or workshop attendance fee) and approved in advance by the relevant Chair/Director/Associate Dean the following procedure must be followed:

  • Prepare a schedule of names and amounts received identifying whether cash or cheques. If cheques, denote the cheque numbers.
  • Request payees to initial or sign the schedule against their names. The name of each payee must be legible.
  • Keep cash and cheques collected in a safe deposit box. At the end of the event or the end of the day, whichever occurs earlier, the schedule of payees must be reconciled with the collections.
  • The employees assigned to collect cash or cheques and the supervisor or the organizer of the event must sign the schedule to confirm that the cash/cheques collected and the total in the schedule of payees is reconciled and in agreement. The supervisor or the organizer of the event for this purpose is a regular full time employee of the University.
  • Follow the deposit procedure prescribed by Finance.
  • All cash and cheques collected as above must be deposited not later than the next business day. Holding cash/cheques overnight should be avoided if at all is practical. Ensuring safe custody of collections held overnight, if at all, will be the responsibility of the relevant Chair/Director/Associate Dean approving such collections.
  • The schedule of names of payees and the receipt from Finance confirming receipt of cash/cheques for deposit should be given to the person responsible for reviewing financial statements in the department/school.

Alternative collection methods

Credit card payments and debit cards can be accepted as an alternative to collecting cash and/or cheques. Follow the procedure described by Finance

Petty cash

Follow the petty cash procedure described by Finance

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Expense review

Month-end financial statements must be reviewed for accuracy and completeness; errors should be reported to Finance, Human Resources, Procurement and Contract Services or the unit initiating the transaction (e.g. Retail Services).

Review of expenditure and revenue is not an exercise at collecting relevant documents or recreating what is already reported on Unit4. Reports on Unit4 must be used as the basis for any review; supporting documents or copies thereof indicating the account, work order and activity combination, amount, and purpose should be used to verify accuracy of what is reported. During the review the reviewer must be able to study and understand the nature and the type of transaction and its relation to the department/school as a business expense or revenue of the University. If in doubt the reviewer must ask for supporting information that can be attached to the review documents for audit purposes.

What is published in Unit4 is final unless any errors are corrected and disputes resolved within the time frame allowed by Finance before the publication of annual finacial statements at the end of the fiscal year. 

The University procedure makes it necessary to review and identify any errors in expense reports within four months of a transactions. This rule is applicable to both salary and non-salary expenses irrespective of the fund; operating, research, trust, or endowment. Any requests for expense correction outside of this time window may not be accepted by Finance or Payroll, as the case may be, at their discretion.  


  • Departmental Reviewer - Unit4 reports should be reviewed monthly by the nominated departmental reviewer. Nominated departmental reviewer is typically the most senior administrative or the finacial officer in the department/school who is granted access to Unit4 and other relevant University reporting systems. Any significant errors or omissions should be brought to the attention of FFO before the transaction deadline for the following month.
  • Chair/Director/Associate Dean - The minimum recommended frequency to review department/school expenses and budgetary position by Chair/Director/Associate Dean is once each term. The frequency should be pre-established and maintained.


Evidence of monthly and other periodic review should be established by signature and date on appropriate Unit4 reports and maintained chronologically for audit purposes. When the accounting reports are reviewed and discussed with the Chair/Director/Associate Dean, signature of the Chair/Director/Associate Dean on the reviewed document would be required.

Salary expenses

The aim of salary expenses review is to ensure that the faculty, staff, and students are paid the agreed amounts using the correct accounts during the relevant pay periods. If the amounts paid are different from what is communicated to payroll (or GSPA for scholarships) then payroll (or GSPA as appropriate) needs to be notified immediately to rectify the error. If the error is in the account or the work order and activity combination used, then the prescribed form for salary error corrections should be used.

Extra care will be needed at the time of annual salary increases which occur at the beginning of the new fiscal year. The Executive Officer and Faculty Financial Officer will work with the units to ensure the new annual salary increases are accurately reflected on the payroll. 

Non-salary expenses

Invoices paid, travel and other reimbursements, and purchase requisitions form a type of expense for which the documents and approvals originate from the department/school. The original documents for these expenses are sent to Finance to process those payments. During a review of expenses copies of these source documents available on Unit4 may be used to verify the accuracy of the workorder and activity combination used and the amounts.

Expenses that are directly charged to a work order and activity combination without a paper trail and originate from an ancillary service within the University form internal charges. These charges may include telephone, shipping, computing support, central stores, graphics, food services, or the University Club; this is not an exhaustive list. For internal charges, details needed for an expense review may be available from those systems such as shipping or directly from those providing the services.

When an error in the amount charged is identified (i.e. an over or under payment) such information should be communicated to Finance (or the relevant service provider in the case of internal charges) without delay. If the error is in the work order and activity combination ​used, then the prescribed form for non-salary expense corrections should be used.

P-Card expenses

P-Card expenses originate from the department/school and all original documents are retained within the department/school. These original documents form the source for an expense review. Once P-Card expenses are reviewed, the process need not be repeated when those amounts are reported on Unit4.

P-Card expense review is similar to a review of travel or other reimbursement claim. A review of P-Card expenses is not complete if any of the following is not available: original invoice/receipt for payment that describes the purpose of that payment, correct and appropriate account, work order and activity combination, sales tax code, ​​approval of the account/budget holder, and one-over-one approval where applicable. In the case of payments made in the name of the account/budget holder (e.g. subscriptions, conferences, etc.) one-over-one approval is mandatory.

This is not an exhaustive list of requirements for review and therefore the reviewer must become familiar with the applicable policies of the University and any procedure applicable to the Faculty of Mathematics for each type of expenditure and question or seek clarification when deemed necessary.


Revenue in work orders should match the amounts in invoices issued by departments/school using the Customers & Sales module in Unit4. All invoices by departments/school to customers who are not part of the University of Waterloo must be issued using Unit4.

Other revenue sources may include income from disposed assets through Central Stores, fees charged at workshops and conferences, or money deposited without invoices. Details for these revenue items should be available within the department/school and the reason for any unaccounted or unrecognized revenue should be investigated and noted as part of the review.


All expense correction and change requests must be made using prescribed forms on the Finance website. When a salary expense account is corrected it is also necessary to review related encumbrances and make changes to salary account information previously provided to payroll. For both correction and changes to encumbrances, the requests must be approved by the Faculty Financial Officer or the Faculty Executive Officer. 

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Online courses

Appointment types

Appointments types include authors of on-line courses for both graduate and undergraduate programs and instructors for delivery of on-line courses. Authors and instructors may include existing faculty with regular appointments or part-time faculty appointed specifically for the purpose. In addition, markers and/or transcribers may be needed as in the case of class room based courses.

If the course in question is one offered by an academic department or the School, the Chair/Director of the academic unit will be responsible for coordinating the associated administrative functions. For the courses offered by non-academic departments (e.g. Math Undergraduate Office, CEMC) it will the responsibility of the relevant Associate Dean/Director of that originating department to coordinate the associated administrative functions.

Selection and approval of appointments

Selection and approval of appointments should follow the same process as in the case of appointments for courses other than on-line (DE). The applicable forms prescribed by HR/Payroll must be used in all instances. When appointments are to be made for courses offered by non-academic departments it is necessary for that originating department to coordinate the activities leading to an appointment with the relevant Chair/Director of the academic unit from which a faculty member may be appointed. The approval of the Chair/Director of the home department of such appointee is required in addition to the approval of the Associate Dean/Director of the originating department.

When there is real or potential conflict of interest in making appointment decisions, action may be taken according to the existing policies of the University. The following policies specifically deal with this issue:

  • Policy 69 Conflict of Interest
  • Policy 62  Conflict of Interest in the Employment and Supervision of Personnel

In line with what is recommended in Policy 62, the form prescribed in Policy 69 should be used to disclose such conflict of interest and allow the Dean of Math to make the final determination.

Compensation rates and mechanism

Regular faculty will receive two teaching credits for each on-line course authored and one credit for each course instruction. A course as defined here is a 0.5 unit course. This is treated as part of the normal course load of the affected faculty member. If such course authoring and/or instruction exceeds the normal teaching load for the year, the affected faculty member with the concurrence of the Chair/Director of the academic unit will receive either equivalent course credit for carryover to the following year, or overload payment. Payment for overload teaching credits will be at the regular rate paid for sessional teaching.

Compensation for part-time faculty appointed for course authoring and/or instruction will be at the regular rate (+ vacation pay @ 4%) paid for sessional teaching as published by Finance

Markers and transcribers are paid at the same rate for markers in regular courses.

All overload payments, part-time faculty payments and payments to markers or transcribers should be made directly from the budget of the originating unit, using the correct work order, and not from the affected faculty member's home department/school, unless the course in question is a course offered by that department/school.

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Payments to students​​ 

Grad Teaching Assistant (TA) Rate for Math

When a student is employed as a TA, the working relationship and therefore the obligation to remunerate is with the department/school offering employment to that student and not with the enrolled home department/school of the student

The rate of pay (remuneration) is based on the recommended aggregate support according to the compensation rates published by Finance each year. The basis is 50% of the recommended aggregate support (5 hours per week up to a maximum of 16 weeks). Math does not offer grad experience awards. For 2020/21 (effective May 1, 2020) the TA rate is $4,067 + 4% vacation pay per term. This works out to $50.83 per hour + 4% vacation pay ($4,067/80 hours i.e. 5 hours * 16 weeks per term).

Tutorial Centre, Tutors, Markers and Instructional Support Assistants (ISA)

All tutorial centre, weekend, and residence tutorials (excluding SCS) are paid from Mathematics Undergraduate Office (MUO) budget.

These rates are reviewed and revised periodically (not annually) to ensure they remain significantly not different from the rates published by Finance. All revisions to rates of remuneration in the Faculty of Math must receive prior approval of the Faculty Executive Officer. 

  • Markers and Tutorial Centre Tutors (Undergrad Tutors): $19.11 per hour for Spring 2017. From Fall 2017 $19.40 per hour for 36 hours per term = $698.40 per term.
  • Evening & Weekend (Residence) Tutors and Advanced Markers: $25.80 per hour for Spring 2017. From Fall 2017 $26.19 per hour for 36 hours per term = $942.84 per term.
  • Instructional Support Assistants (ISA) in the School of Computer Science: $12, 200 per term.

Vacation pay at 4 per cent of the rate of remuneration is payable to all in addition to the remuneration paid.

Graduate Research Travel Assistantship

The funding support for this purpose provided by the the Faculty of Math via Math Grad Office (MGO) is part of Graduate Growth Funds (GGF) provided to departments/school by MGO. The travel expenses of students in a department/school are not travel expenses of the Dean of Mathematics Office or the MGO. Therefore, all related expenses must be charged to the home department/school of the student, research grant where applicable, and Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) where approved in advance.

Graduate research studentship (GRS) and graduate research assistantship (GRA)

The difference between GRS and GRA is in the nature of work performed or in the job description; read the definitions of GRA vs. GRS to determine the correct type before appointments are made.

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The University of Waterloo Purchasing Card (P-Card) empowers authorized card holders to acquire goods without using own funds as an out-of-pocket expense. P Card is a Visa product and can be used to pay for goods and services (with the exception of some restrictions) for which a credit card payment is acceptable to the supplier. Presently, this card cannot be used to pay for travel, restaurants, hotel accomodation etc. and the value of any one transaction is limited to $3,000. It is not recommended to convert the value of a single transaction greater than $3,000 to a series of smaller amounts to overcome this restriction.

Obtaining a P-card

  • Cards are only issued to permanent, ongoing employees
  • Holding a p-card is equivalent to holding signing authority on the specified accounts. Therefore, the cardholder is given authority and responsibility to spend on accounts according to limits specified by the supervisor or department head.
  • Issue of all new P-Cards must be approved by the Faculty Financial Officer or the Executive Officer; Chair or Director approval is not sufficient.
  • All P-Card changes (e.g. Org unit change upon transfer to another department within Math Faculty) must be approved by the Faculty Financial Officer or the Executive Officer; Chair or Director approval is not suficient.
  • The application form must specify the name of the Reviewer. The Cardholder and Reviewer must be two different individuals.



  • Purchases goods using card. Card is issued in their name and CANNOT be used by anyone else, so the cardholder should be the person who usually purchases those goods.
  • Checks that goods are received as ordered & returns unwanted goods.
  • Retains evidence of prior authorization by the budget/project holder to purchase/pay and charge the account used for the purpose.
  • Checks statement e-mailed monthly to ensure that all goods in account have been ordered and received and that there are receipts to back up each order and that returns have been credited correctly.
  • Checks statement on-line to ensure that goods have been charged to the correct financial account code.  Change financial account code (if required) within required time.
  • Provides Purchase Reviewer with monthly statement of purchases ordered and received & associated receipts.  Identifies financial accounts used if any have been changed from the default.


  • Reviews purchases made by Card Holder and signs to confirm all expenditure is appropriate. The card holder cannot review their own transactions.
  • Verifies whether appropriate authority to make purchases/payments and as a charge to the account has been obtained by the cardholder.
  • Verifies that single item purchases over $50 (or other appropriate amount) have actually been received.
  • Forwards signed purchase statement and receipts to Purchase Reconciler.
  • Files Statement and receipts for 7 years.

Employee transfer, sabbatical, maternity leave, retirement or termination (includes Math Faculty-specific requirements):

  • Upon transfer to a different department, temporary change of responsibilities (i.e.: maternity leave, sick leave, retirement or termination) from the University, the employee must surrender the Card/account number to their supervisor.
  • The supervisor will notify the Executive Officer or the Faculty Financial Officer who will request the Purchasing Card Administrator to notify the Bank and cancel the Card.
  • Sabbatical: The individual Cardholder should notify the Executive Officer or the Faculty Financial Officer in writing in the event of sabbatical or extended travel when he/she plans to use the card. Upon the Cardholder's return to UW, notify the Executive Officer or the Faculty Financial Officer about your return. Remember to keep all receipts for charges incurred while away.
  • Maternity Leave: The individual Cardholder should notify the Executive Officer or the Faculty Financial Officer in writing in the event of maternity/paternity leave. The card will be temporarily suspended. Upon the Cardholder's return to UW, notify the Executive Officer or the Faculty Financial Officer about your return

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Starter grants

Starter (or Start Up) grants are funds provided by the Faculty of Mathematics from its operating budget to assist new researchers in starting their research programs. These funds are expected to serve as a bridge fund until external research grants/funds are secured.

Time frame

Start-up grants must normally be spent within a five year period (effective fiscal year 2016/17) from the date of hire/award. Only under circumstances that prevent a faculty member from spending (e.g. parental leave) will funds be available beyond this period of time.  All such exceptions must have the prior approval of the Dean's Office (e-mail Executive Officer or Faculty Financial Officer). The period of grant (availability) is restricted to ensure the funds are actively used for the purpose for which it is granted.


Expenses must relate to the faculty member's responsibilities for research and should not have been previously reimbursed. All expenses and reimbursements are subject to relevant University of Waterloo policies. All payments to individuals must be paid directly by the University. Any such expenses paid directly by a researcher is not reimbursible. 

Eligible expenses Non-eligible expenses
Membership fees for professional associations or societies related to the faculty member's discipline.  This does not include membership fees to the Faculty Association (FAUW). Home office furniture or equipment.

​Books, journals, subscriptions, and other similar professional publications.

Payments made directly to individuals.
Purchase of research related supplies, equipment, software, or services including standard office furniture and computer equipment.

Items that are included in Policy 31 (Travel) as non-reimbursable items.

Cellular phones, tablets, and similar electronic devices are allowed when they are necessary for data collection.  Monthly user fees should be paid by the researcher and reimbursement claimed from the start-up grant.  NOTE: Some of the montly expenses/charges may not be eligible for reimbursement from certain research grants. Therefore, an alternative source of funding must be secured/determined before the start-up grant is exhausted or expired. Items that are already reimbursed from the Faculty Professional Expense Reimbursement Plan or a research grant. 
Travel costs for field work, research conferences, collaborative trips, archival work, and historical research for the researcher, research personnel, students, and colleagues working with the researcher. Any expense that is deemed as for personal benefit or with an element of non-business use.
Travel costs to visit manufacturers to select major equipment purchases.  
Transportation, brokerage, and customs charges related to purchased equipment and supplies.  
Costs of training staff to use equipment or a specialized facility.  
Monthly charges for use of the Internet from the University or home, only when this service is required for the purpose of research.  
Costs of developing Web-based information, including Web Site maintenance fees.  
Costs of publication of findings through traditional venues as well as videos, CD-ROM, etc.  
Salaries, stipends, and non-discretionary benefits for research work performed by research personnel. (students, research associates, technicians, etc.).  
Consulting fees.  
Clerical salaries directly related to research communication activites, including manuscript preparation.  
Honoraria for guest lecturers.  
Page charges for articles published.  
Translation costs.  
Costs of holding a workshop or seminar related directly to the research.  
Recruiting costs for research personnel including advertising and travel for candidates.  
Costs for safe disposal of waste.  
Costs associated with the submission of a research grant.  

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