Eligible Spending

Research funds are restricted. This means that these funds may only be spent in accordance with the sponsor's expectations. The responsibility for spending properly rests with the project holder pursuant to University policy (PDF). RAS assists researchers who are unclear about how to interpret sponsor expectations, and with preparing reports to sponsors.

There are several internal and external processes that determine if research funding is being used correctly. Please see below for more details and guidelines for what to do if your project is selected for one of these processes.

Sponsor Audits

Each year, the University is visited by a wide variety of auditors and financial monitoring teams to review the financial accounting and related issues of externally funded research. These visits have two main objectives:

  • Ensure that agency rules are being followed and that funds are being used properly (i.e., according to the budget and eligible expenses)
  • To ensure that the financial transactions included in the sponsors' financial records based on our information are sound

What to do if you are selected for audit

Researchers with project(s) selected for audit should immediately contact:

Lorena Li
Manager, Research Finance

What to Expect During an Audit

Research Administrative Services will provide auditors with a detailed list of expenditure transactions for the project(s) that are being audited. The auditors will select a sample list of transactions that they would like to review. RAS will work with the researcher's department and other central departments to gather the documentation (original copy of expense, backup documentation, etc.) for the selected transactions.

The auditors may request to meet with the researcher during their audit visit. If this is requested, the department and researchers will be notified and a suitable time will be arranged.