June 2020

CAUBO recognizes that our members continue to deal with the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related challenges. CAUBO national office staff are continuing to disseminate new and updated resources to support your work. We are here to answer members’ questions and help the higher education administration sector remain connected. We hope you are staying safe and healthy.

2019/2020 CAUBO Highlights infographic

This year, for the first time, CAUBO presents its annual Highlights in the form of an interactive infographic, so it’s easy to see and explore all the resources, information, and networking opportunities that we made available to members in 2019-2020. Check out the highlights of our past year here: https://www.caubo.ca/latest-news/caubo-2019-2020-highlights/

CAUBO resources to support the transition to the new Tri-Agency guidelines on financial administration

CAUBO has developed a series of resources to support members during the transition to the new principles-based guidelines. As the guide is no longer prescriptive, institutions will need to rely on their own institutional policies to assess whether expenses charged to a research grant are compliant.

New tax note: Honorariums and payments to Indigenous individuals
A CAUBO survey conducted last year revealed that most institutions do not have a policy related to payments for Indigenous individuals. To address this need, we retained KPMG to develop a note clarifying the tax treatment of payments made to such individuals. Institutional members can access this new technical tax note from CAUBO’s website by clicking here.

A webinar on this topic will take place on June 18 (see below for details and registration link).

Statistical approach framework for transactional compliance testing
CAUBO retained KPMG to create a framework that can be used by member institutions to develop a statistical approach to internal compliance monitoring, based on their own circumstances and in ways that would complement the Tri-Agencies’ new monitoring structure.

The framework provides factors for members to consider when developing or adopting a sampling methodology suitable for their institution, including size of institution, review of historical data, internal control framework, advice on how to determine and assess risks associated with key expense categories, and how to set materiality levels and list potential statistical-based software and tools.

We expect to release this framework by the end of June 2020. A series of webinars on this topic are also in the works, so check the CAUBO website for updates.

Leveraging robotic process automation to optimize administrative processes

In an effort to modernize, and due to increasing resource constraints, some universities are investigating emerging automation tools and technologies. Based on feedback from members, CAUBO is exploring how automation can be applied to optimize administrative processes and increase efficiency. We have retained Deloitte to provide a comprehensive report on the state of automation in the higher education sector and insights into how members can leverage Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

The report includes case studies that provide practical examples of how this has been done and suggests a framework administrators can use to identify and prioritize opportunities for automation. We expect to release the report and announce a date for an accompanying webinar by the end of June 2020. Check the CAUBO website for updates.

Comparison of provincial policies on university funding, student financial aid, and research support

CAUBO has retained Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA) to produce a report comparing provincial policies on university funding, student financial aid, and research support. The information has been gathered and summarized in a simplified manner to facilitate useful interprovincial comparisons. The report will be available in the next few weeks for institutional members to review on the CAUBO website.

Financial health indicators dashboard updated

CAUBO’s financial health indicators dashboard has been updated to include data for 2016–17 and 2017¬–18. When viewed together, the financial ratios provide an overall picture of the sector’s financial condition, identifying specific strengths and weaknesses. At the institutional level, the ratios can also provide a baseline to help institutions set priorities. By viewing the indicators in a dashboard format, users can compare nationally, provincially, and/or by institutional size or with selected institutions. A summary of the latest data has also been developed to provide an update on the analysis that was included in the Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) published in 2018. The updated dashboard is available for institutional members to view on the CAUBO website by clicking here.

CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) notice sent to members

A reminder that Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is changing several processes that will directly affect all importers of commercial goods in Canada, including universities. CAUBO sent a notice to all institutional members in May 2020 regarding this change. The text of the notice can be viewed here.

Upcoming professional development opportunities

Wednesday, June 17, 12:00-1:00 PM ET
Virtual Roundtable: Let’s Stay Connected – Academic Administrators (session 2)
Join your peers in this open forum discussion.
Visit the website for topic details and to register – space is limited.

Thursday, June 18 / 12:00-1:15 PM (ET)
Webinar: Payments to Indigenous Peoples for Services
Barry Travers, Partner – KPMG
Rita Blais, Associate Vice-President, Financial Services – Lakehead University
Denise Baxter, Vice-Provost, Aboriginal Initiatives – Lakehead University
For more details and to register, click here.

Tuesday, June 23 / 12:00-1:00 PM (ET)
Webinar: Decarbonizing the University Endowment – The McGill University Approach
Sophie Leblanc, Chief Investment Officer and Treasurer – McGill University
For more details and to register, click here.

Friday, June 26 / 1:30-2:30 PM (ET)
Webinar: Returning to Campus Safely Amidst COVID-19 –  A Planning Framework, Physical Distancing and HR Perspectives
Laura Vajanto, Senior Director, Enterprise Risk & Resilience, Simon Fraser University
Kane Kilbey, Associate Vice President, Human Resources, University of Victoria
Mark McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Services Officer – Simon Fraser University
For more details and to register, click here.

Monday, June 29, 12:00-1:30 PM ET
Virtual Roundtable: Let’s Stay Connected – Finance & Administration (session 2)
Join your peers in this open forum discussion.
Visit the website for topic details and to register – space is limited.