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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

Institutional support - Faculty of Mathematics

The Faculty of Mathematics allocates an annual research support fund to each CRC holder, as institutional support, based on the tier. A Tier I CRC holder receives $100,000 and a Tier II CRC holder receives $50,000. The funds are added to a specific work order typically during the Fall term of each year that expires at the expiry of the CRC period. After the expiry of the CRC period any continuing preplanned 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.

Effective FY 2020/21, CRC holders (both Tier I and II) are allowed two (2) teaching reductions in each fiscal year. This is determined as 50% of the base teaching load (4 courses in a fiscal year) of a Professor in the Faculty of Mathematics. For those with a research grant and student supervision an additional one (1) teaching reduction will be available during each fiscal year.

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Cash, Invoices and Third-Party Funds

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 legally valid signed agreements with the University of Waterloo. Legally valid agreements must follow applicable signing procedure of the University (Secretariat, Policies procedures and guidelines).

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 Mathematics that do not fall under the classification of accounts receivable (AR). As defined by Finance, if payment is received at the time of providing goods or services then it is a cash sale and not a receivable. However, if goods or services are provided without receiving immediate payment then an invoice must be issued using Unit4.

University financial procedure makes it mandatory for any employee to only use Unit4 to generate invoices for transactions that are classified as accounts receivable. Any other forms of individually designed and generated invoices are not authorized and is a violation of University procedures. 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 Faculty Financial Officer.

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 authorization. Collection of cash for non-University related business is not covered in this procedure and is discouraged. 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.

Cash and cheque collection

For transactions that are not classified as accounts receivable, cash or cheques may be collected or received by designated or assigned staff or faculty with the prior approval of the relevant Chair/Director/Associate Dean. 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 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

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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 financial 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 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 financial 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 (Unit Head) - The minimum recommended frequency to review department/school expenses and budgetary position by the Unit Head 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 accounting reports are reviewed and discussed with the Unit Head, signature of that Unit Head 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 Course Development

Appointment types

Appointments include development of on-line courses for graduate or undergraduate programs. Authors/developers of on-line content 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 classroom-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. 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/developed. If on-line course authoring and/or development 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 (appointing) unit, using the correct work order, and not from the affected individual’s home department/school, unless the course in question is a course owned by the same department/school.

Any exceptions to the above procedure require the written prior approval of the Dean.

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Payments to students​​ 

Graduate Teaching Assistant (TA)

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 (for 5 hours per week up to a maximum of 16 weeks). The Faculty of Mathematics does not offer grad experience awards (GEA). Instead, the rate of pay in Mathematics combines a GEA component as part of the rate as follows: Approved (FY20/21) hourly minimum rate $33.89*1.5+4% vacation for 5 hours per week up to a maximum of 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. The rates currently applicable are as follows:

  • 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 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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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 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.  All such exceptions must have the prior approval of the Dean's Office (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 all 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 reimbursable. 

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Teaching Reductions

Teaching reductions are provided only during a period when teaching would normally be assigned. The idea of a reduction is to allow time to perform responsibilities associated with duties or responsibilities other than teaching. For example, if a faculty member is on sabbatical then his/her teaching does not get in the way of performing responsibilities of being a research chair or fellow, during that period, and therefore it is deemed not necessary (or relevant) to provide additional teaching reductions as a consequence of being on sabbatical.

The dcocument Summary of Teaching Reductions (PDF) describes the principles approved by the Dean for the award of teaching reductions. All teaching reductions in the Faculty of Mathematics (departments and the school) must have the prior approval of the Dean except where a reduction is allowed by the Provost, e.g. for University Research Chairs. In the case of reductions allowed or requested by units outside of Math (Centres, Institutes, other Faculties and Affiliated Colleges) other than the Provost, there must be a compensation mechanism to recover the cost to Mathematics in respect of such reductions. In the case of the latter, consult Faculty Financial Officer or Faculty Executive Officer before making agreements with units outside of the Faculty of Mathematics.

The unit heads (Chairs and Directors of Academic Units) may make special reductions available to faculty members with the concurrence of the Dean. Such reductions are expected to follow a transparent process and be fair and equitable for all faculty members in the unit.

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