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Glossary of terms

This section lists abbreviations and terms used within the University. You will encounter them frequently so its useful to know them.

Acronyms

AP
Accounts Payable (Creditors) Invoice
AR
Accounts Receivable (Debtors) Invoice
CAWSEP
Capital Works and Significant Equipment and other Projects
CFO
Chief Financial Officer
COO
Chief Operating Officer
DVC
Deputy Vice Chancellor
EFT
Electronic funds transfer – money direct credited to creditor’s bank account.
EFTS
Equivalent Full Time Student
FBT
Fringe Benefit Tax
FSD
Financial Services Division
FTE
Equivalent Full Time Staff
GL
General Ledger
GST
Goods and Services Tax
HEDC
Higher Education Development Centre
HOD
Head of Department
ITS
Information Technology Services
OU
Otago University
OUSA
Otago University Students Association
PAYE
Pay as you earn taxation
PBRF
Performance Based Research Fund
PL
Projects (Research) Ledger
PVC
Pro Vice-Chancellor
TEC
Tertiary Education Commission
TL
Trusts Ledger
UOC
University of Otago, Christchurch
UOW
University of Otago, Wellington
UPO
University Procurement Office
VC
Vice-Chancellor

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Definitions

Account
Basic unit for collating income and expenditure for a University department, research grant etc.
Accounts Payable
Money owed to creditors by University.
Allocation
The total amount that academic divisions are given in the budget process. This amount is calculated using the University Funding model. When entering their budgets, the academic divisions MUST agree to this amount.
Asset
An unexpired expense. A capital item which is expected to last more than one year. Items of plant and equipment with a cost greater than $2,000. Includes all items of furniture regardless of cost.
Back Order
An order, or part of an order waiting to be fulfilled. Normally the supplier will advise that your order or part of your order is on back order and will be delivered.
CAWSEP
Capital Works and Significant Equipment and other Projects - any project which requires the investment of University resources in the creation of future service potential. (NB. this definition is wide enough to capture not only buildings, plant and equipment, but also new technological investments, new courses, investment in research and development etc.)
Chart
Holds descriptions and attributes of an account, for example:
PL - Project Name, Principal Investigator, Project End Date...
Creditors - Creditor Name, Address, GST number...PCARD - Card holder name, Department...
Commercial Activities
Any activity conducted from within the University of Otago to external clients which has the creation of a financial surplus or the reduction of costs, for the University, as its main purpose.
Cost Driver
Cost drivers are used to allocate costs. Examples of a cost driver include full time equivalent staff, research labour costs, equivalent full time students, and square meters. Building maintenance and occupancy costs are allocated using the square meter driver. The costs are apportioned based on share of total square meters.
Credit
An entry to an account which recognises a revenue or a liability, or decreases an expense or an asset. Where the operations of an activity result in a credit balance the sum of revenues exceeds the sum of expenditures. In carry forward terms a credit balance is equivalent to being in funds.
Creditor
An individual or company that is owed money by the University.
Debit
An entry to an account with the effect of increasing expenditure, increasing an asset, decreasing a liability or decreasing revenue. Where the operations of an activity result in a debit balance the sum of expenditure exceeds the sum of revenue. In carry forward terms a debit balance is an overdraft.
Debtor
An individual or company that owes money to the University.
Deficit
Results where expenditure exceeds income for a period
e-procurement
Electronic Procurement involves on-line purchasing of goods and services.
Expense
Payment for goods or services. Amount of money required to obtain an input.
International Air Travel
Destinations further than Australia and the Pacific Islands, also known as Long Haul destinations.
Ledger
Holds details about specific transactions eg dates, amounts, narratives. These can be either the financial year Ledgers – eg 11GLA, or a perpetual ledger eg Creditors.
Liability
An obligation to another party which arises from a past event and results in a sacrifice of service potential measurable in dollar terms.
Non Reciprocal Research
Research projects that have limited or no requirements for reporting back to the funder. These projects are accounted for under the Q Activity.
Overhead
overhead costs are those costs that are not directly identified. For example, research projects will consume labour and materials directly as research is performed. These costs are the ongoing costs which cannot be attributed to a specific activity but are still necessary. Examples include lighting, repairs and maintenance, cleaning, rates, insurance, library and support services provided either in the Department or through the Service Divisions.
Overhead Rate
the total of indirect costs (overhead) divided by the cost driver. The University uses an overhead rate based on direct labour cost to recover overhead. The rate is reviewed annually.
PBRF
Performance Based Research Fund - tertiary education funding process, assessing the research performance of tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and then funding them on the basis of their performance.
PCard
Purchase card or a University corporate credit card.
Project Surplus
The amount of funding remaining unspent at the conclusion of the research project. Surpluses may be transferred only if the funding contract permits and the Head of Department has approved the transfer on the project closing form.
Reciprocal Research
Research contracts requiring the reporting of research outcomes and other contractual reporting. These projects are accounted for in the P Activity and are termed reciprocal research projects.
Research in Advance
The amount of funding received from research project funders not yet earned by the University. This amount is typically the difference between funds received and expenses incurred.
Revenue
Arises from the sale of goods or services. Amount of money obtained or obtainable from the supply of a good or a service.
Short haul air travel
Travel within New Zealand, and between New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
Surplus
Results from revenue exceeding expenses for a period.
TEC
Tertiary Education Commission – The TEC is responsible for managing the Government’s tertiary education funding brining all forms of post secondary school education and training under one umbrella.
Variance
The difference between an actual value and a budget value.