FMPM 271 Debt Management

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To set out the requirements for managing the University’s debtors.



Student Debtor


Financial and Business Services manages the recovery of all non-student related debts owing to the University. Student and Academic Services manage the recovery of all student related debts owing to the University.

In managing debtors the University must:

  • ensure that proper accounts and records are maintained for each debtor of the University;

  • promptly bring all debts to account in the accounting records of the University; and

  • promptly instigate debt recovery procedures if the debt is not paid within the University’s normal terms of trade.

Student Related Debts

When managing student related debts the following Acts/Policies must be adhered to:

  • The University's Domestic Tuition Fee Policy;

  • The University's Tuition Fee Policy for International Students;

  • Higher Education Funding Act 2003;

  • Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000; and

  • The University’s Student Loans Policy.

Non-Student Related Debts

Period of credit

The University’s credit terms for invoices are strictly 30 days from the date of invoice.

Credit Control

To facilitate the recovery of debts the following credit control procedures are applied:

  • if full payment of an invoice is not received by the due date, a reminder notice is sent to the debtor reminding the debtor of the obligation to pay the outstanding amount;

  • if payment of an invoice is 14 days overdue, a final notice is sent to the debtor, advising the debtor that if payment is not received within the next 14 days the debt will be referred to the Solicitors; and

  • if full payment of the outstanding amount is not received after 58 days, the debt may be referred to a debt collection agency depending on the economic viability of such action.

Disputed Invoices

In resolving disputed invoice amounts a request for further information will be forwarded to the officer who raised the invoice. If a response is not received within 14 days, a credit note will be raised and any further negotiation will be the responsibility of that initiating officer.

Credit/Adjustment Notes

A Credit/Adjustment Note may be raised with the approval of the Financial Delegate. Credit/Adjustment Notes are raised to:

  • record the return of goods or services; and

  • record a change in value of an invoice raised.

Debts that are Non Recoverable

The Director, Financial and Business Services makes a recommendation for the write off of a debt only under the following conditions:

  • The non recovery has been authorised by an Act (eg Bankruptcy Act); or

  • The Director, Financial and Business Services is satisfied that the debt is not legally recoverable; or

  • The Director, Financial and Business Services considers that it is not economical to pursue recovery of the debt. (ie: the cost of recovery exceeds the debt).

Where a debt is written off, the bad debt expense is allocated to the account originally credited with the funds.

After a debt has been written off, consideration must be given to whether or not further provision of credit will be granted.

Debt Collection Costs

Fees paid for debt recovery work (eg. issuing letters of demand) will be charged to Financial and Business Services.

Following consultation with the relevant Organisational Unit, if legal proceedings are commenced, all further legal costs will be charged to the account specified on the invoice request form.

In circumstances where full recovery (including reimbursement of legal costs) is received, the reimbursement of legal costs will be credited to the account specified on the invoice request form.

Payment by Debtor

Where invoiced payments are received by an Organisational Unit it must:

  • immediately forward them to the Cashier for processing; and

  • ensure that the invoice number to which the payment relates is clearly identified.

Refund of an Overpayment

Where invoices have been overpaid, a refund (including any applicable GST) is to be processed promptly.

Minor overpayment amounts (eg. less than $20) are not normally refunded unless requested by the debtor. The refund of these amounts is uneconomical.

Larger overpayments are referred to the Organisational Unit concerned to ascertain whether the debtor is likely to receive further services from the University. If so the overpayment may be offset against further charges otherwise a refund will be issued.

If a refund cannot be made to the debtor for any reason, then approval is sort from Finance Committee to transfer the credit amount to central University funds.

Write Off of Debts (Student and Non-Student)

The Director, Financial and Business Services may approve the write off of debts less than $10,000. Debts of $10,000 or more require the approval of Finance Committee prior to write off (refer FMPM 920: Policy - Losses).

For enquiries in relation to this Finance Procedure please contact


Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Date for next review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Policy Sponsor and Approval Authority updated to reflect the approved Policy and Delegations Framework

Quality Standards and Policy Unit