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Project Budgets (Non-Research)

Project budgets are meant for a particular project for a specific period of time. Some examples of non-research projects include grants and contracts for training, development or service; or other revenue-generating activities such as conferences.

Budget periods

Project periods are flexible and can span from less than a year to multiple years, and may begin or end in any month. Because of this, the cost centre budget period may or may not line up with the university’s fiscal year of May 1 to April 30.

Budget responsibilities

A project’s funding guidelines will usually indicate the start date, reporting requirements and expense eligibility criteria. If you’re the project manager, you’re responsible for the day-to-day management of budgets and deliverables as well as for controlling costs to deliver project goals within the approved budget.

The day-to-day financial management of a project includes the following:

  • Approving all expenditures related to the project to ensure that expenses align with sponsor eligibility and university policies;
  • Hiring personnel and approving position requisitions;
  • Reviewing monthly financial reports provided by the department financial contact to determine and report any discrepancies;
  • Progress report on deliverables submitted with financial reports (if required); and
  • Attestation of expenses related to financial reports.

Note that if you’re new to budget management, you’ll need to complete learning workshops in order to gain access to the university’s financial systems. Visit the Learning Paths page for help identifying which workshops to take.

Budget entry methods

There are two styles of budget entry you can use, depending on the level of detail needed. Visit the Fiscal Budgets page for explanations on the line-level and summary-level budget entry methods.

Non-research project cost centre setup process

Before initiating setup for a cost centre, be sure to have your project contract reviewed by the General Counsel and Board Secretariat ( and the Financial Services risk and insurance officer. This review should be completed before your project contract is signed by the authorized signing authority indicated in the Execution of Contracts Policy and the project sponsor. This way, we can address potential risks and implications for the university.

From there, the process is as follows:

Contact and our team will work with you to complete the appropriate forms to activate a new project cost centre. 

The following forms will be provided to you and are required to be completed prior to cost centre activation: 

  • Contract  (PDF file) checklist for risk management
  • Cost centre information form (CCIF), confirming the:
    • sponsor;
    • funding source;
    • effective and conclusion dates;
    • reporting requirements or audits;
    • acknowledgement and approval by a senior administrator such as a director, dean or vice-president; and
    • project manager acknowledgement form.

Once the proper forms are in order, your financial advisor will assign you a cost centre.

As you work on your project, your financial advisor can help you prepare journal entries and  external financial reports required by the sponsor. All financial reporting is prepared in collaboration with your financial advisor, project manager and/or department financial contact. All external financial reports must be reviewed and signed off by Financial Services.

To close your project cost centre, please ensure that:

  • The cost centre balance is at zero;
  • All reporting has been completed;
  • There are no outstanding accounts receivable invoice balances;
  • No encumbrances remain; and
  • All prepayments and advances have been cleared.

Please note that you can determine if prepayments or advances exist if your cost centre has the account codes 7305, 7306 or 7711 and a balance attached to them.

Once you have addressed the above items, please email a request to and we will confirm that the cost centre is closed.