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Glossary of Budget System Terms

The following glossary contains a selection of – not always unambiguous – terms commonly used in daily practice. This selection is by no means exhaustive and is updated on an ongoing basis. Since the full benefits of such a glossary can only be realized when the budget-specific requirements and questions of all user groups are sufficiently included, any suggestions, comments and critiques are particularly welcome. Please send these to the Division II team.

Abbuchungen (Einzugsermächtigung für Lastschriftverfahren) [Direct Debits (Direct Debit Authorization]

Payments via direct debit (direct debit authorization) require prior authorization by the Hauptkasse (Cashier’s Office) of Freie Universität Berlin (II B 3). Such payments are only permitted in substantiated exceptional cases (e.g. public utility companies); in principal, standard payments have to be made by transfer to a bank account of the rightful recipient.

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Abschreibungen (Anlagenbuchhaltung) [Depreciation (Asset Accounting)]

Freie Universität Berlin uses the straight line depreciation method.

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Änderungsanordnung (förmliche Zahlungsanordnung) [Change Request (Formal Payment Order)]

If any information in a formal payment order already submitted to the Hauptkasse needs to be changed or supplemented, a change request has to be filled out.

Change requests usually apply in connection with standing orders. In this case, change requests are used, for example, to provide information about changes of address, bank account changes, increases/decreases in the payment amount, or changes to the duration of the standing order.

Go to form

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Anlage (Fixed Asset)

A fixed asset is an object, a right or another item owned by the enterprise that is intended for long-term use and can be individually identified in the balance sheet.

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Anlagenbuchhaltung (Asset Accounting)

See: Inventarisierung (Inventory)

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Anlagenart (Asset Type)

The asset type is a category identifier that classifies assets into the following groups:

01 – Office and laboratory furniture and fittings

02 – Office equipment

03 – Financial investments (securities, shares and holdings)

04 – Vehicles

05 – Non-scientific devices, equipment and furnishings (not applicable in the 2014 budget year)

06 – IT and TC hardware, detectors

07 – Scientific devices, equipment and large equipment/major instrumentation, laboratory instruments

08 – Real estate

09 – Gardening tools/equipment/machinery

10 – Household appliances and cleaning equipment, tools

11 – Transport equipment, devices and aids

13 – Media and audio-visual equipment, photo-optical equipment

14 – Software and licenses

15 – Sports equipment and vehicles:

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Anlagenklassen (Asset Class)

In asset accounting, the asset class is the main criterion for classifying fixed assets according to legal and management requirements.

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Anlagennnummer (Asset Number)

The asset number uniquely identifies a fixed asset. At Freie Universität Berlin, the asset number has been used as the inventory number since 2004.

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Anlage zu Werkverträgen mit Privatpersonen (Appendix to Contracts for Work and Services with Private Individuals)

A social security status check must be conducted prior to concluding contracts for work and services with private individuals. This status check is done using the “Appendix to Contracts for Work and Services with Private Individuals” (Appendix 3 to Newsletter H 2 /2000), which must be filled in by the principal. To complete the form and check, the principal has to obtain certain personal information from the contractor.

The appendix is not required for corporate bodies and entities under public law (public law institutions, foundations, trusts and corporations), private corporations/stock corporations (Aktiengesellschaft / AG), limited liability companies (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung / GmbH) and limited partnerships (Kommanditgesellschaft / KG) or for general partnerships (offene Handelsgesellschaft / oHG) and civil law partnerships (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts, GbR).

Since there are no clear and definitive rules for differentiating registered companies, freelancers and other similar entities from private individuals working on a permanent self-employed basis or as independent entrepreneurs, the appendix to contracts for work and services with private individuals has to be completely filled out in all cases.

Work and services subject to social security contributions can be identified by cross-checking the appendix to contracts for work and services with the “Positive-Negative List”. If any work and services are or are likely to be subject to social security contributions, contracts may not be awarded. Otherwise, the form notifies the contractor that any relevant tax payments are his or her own responsibility, and contains information about Freie Universität Berlin’s obligation to submit a disclosure notice to the relevant fiscal authorities.

Also see: Positiv-Negativ-Liste (Positive-Negative List); Werkverträge (Contracts for Work and Services)

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Annahmeauftrag (Acceptance Order) 

Form for collecting and processing any payments made to Freie Universität Berlin. The acceptance order has to include information and/or documents that enable the Hauptkasse (Cashier’s Office) to unequivocally allocate the expected payment to the designated account. As a rule, this information includes the address of the payer, the amount, as well as the purpose of the payment. In all cases, an authorized employee has to verify the factual accuracy of the transaction.

If the Hauptkasse receives payments for which an acceptance order does not exist, it notifies the department by sending a Cashier’s Office notification. This notification is the basis for preparing an acceptance order. The recipient of the Cashier’s Office notification should promptly prepare an acceptance order and forward it to the Clerical Accounts Office (Wirtschafts- und Rechnungsstelle, II B 1).

Division II forms or BIOS forms

Also see: Anordnung (Order); Kontierung (Account Allocation); sachliche Richtigkeit (Factual Accuracy)

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Anordnung (formal payment order)

After the orders (acceptance order, disbursement order, re-posting/transfer order, etc.) submitted to the clerical accounts offices have been recorded, the accounting system used at Freie Universität Berlin creates the corresponding payment orders. This does not apply to change requests.

See: Annahmeauftrag (Acceptance Order); Auszahlungsauftrag (Disbursement Order); Umbuchungsauftrag (Re-posting/Transfer Order); Kassenänderungsanordnung (Change Request for Cash Office Orders)

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Ansatz (Budget Appropriations)

Budget appropriations allocate the expected receipts, expenditures and commitment authorizations in the budget. The budget includes all receipts categorized by their causal origin, and all expenditures and commitments categorized by their purpose, itemized and in their full amount.

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Anordnungsbefugnis (Authority to Issue Orders)

The authority to issue orders to the Hauptkasse (Cashier’s Office) of Freie Universität Berlin.

The person authorized to issue orders is the officer commissioned with managing the budget (Director of Administration and Finance) or the employee to whom an authority to issue orders has been assigned.

The authority to issue orders is executed by signing the formal payment order (see, e.g., “Änderungsanordnung (Change Request)”). The person authorized to issue orders may also verify the factual and arithmetical accuracy of the formal payment order at the same time.

By signing the formal payment order, the person authorized to issue orders affirms that:

  • the formal payment order does not contain any obvious errors
  • the authorized employees have verified the factual and arithmetical accuracy
  • in the case of collective certification, a payment liability is incurred for the formal payment order or the appendices to the same from the enclosed records or documents and the amount, payer or authorized recipient correspond to these documents
  • that funds and resources are available for expenditure
  • the correct account allocation (posting attribute) is specified
  • if a checklist for installment payments is maintained, it was available for checking at the time of authorization

See: rechnerische Richtigkeit (Arithmetical Accuracy); sachliche Richtigkeit (Factual Accuracy); Wirtschafterbefugnis (Management Authorization for Budget Funds)

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Arbeitsprozess (Work Process)

Essentially, all steps involved in an administrative procedure. The term is used in budget management, especially for the Digital Document Management System (DMS). A detailed description of the workflow is documented in the accompanying training materials.

See: Workflow (Work Process)

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Auftragserteilung (Order Placement / Awarding of Contracts)

A written order placement is required [No. 10.1 Section 55 of the Regulatory Statutes for the Berlin State Budget Code (AV LHO)] for purchase orders/orders which exceed the value of 150 EUR. As a rule, the order forms of Freie Universität Berlin must be used for this. Please note: Orders without order forms also have to be signed by a person with management authorization for budget funds (e.g. disbursement requests).

The relevant provisions of Section 55 LHO in conjunction with the AV (“public calls for bid”, also called “open procedure”) apply to orders and awards for contracts. These are primarily governed and supplemented by the applicable regulations specified in the German Award and Contract Code for Supplies and Services (Verdingungsordnung für Leistungen, abbreviated as “VOL/A”). In principle, these regulations stipulate that a freihändige Vergabe (single tender action/direct award, also called “negotiated procedure”), i.e. the placement of an order or contract with no prior formal procedure, selected based on comparing various offers that were obtained, is only permitted up to a value of 7,500 EUR. If the order value exceeds this limit, we strongly recommended consulting the relevant department administration and/or the II C Procurement subdivision. In this connection, please also refer to Newsletter V 04/2006 (German only) concerning the new regulations for placing orders and awarding contracts.

As a rule, various bids on purchase orders/orders have to be obtained and compared prior to placing orders. For orders up to an amount of 500 euros, an informal price comparison is sufficient (amounts in euros, including sales tax). Further price checking is not required for purchases made via the BIOS online ordering system of Freie Universität Berlin, since BIOS only contains products that have already been checked or selected via calls for bids by the II C Procurement subdivision. In the case of more favorable offers, it is sufficient to include a reference to the prices and to the regulations governing contracts in BIOS.

Please take into account that the offers contained in BIOS usually include additional services, which, in some cases, may give rise to slightly higher prices in comparison to obtained bids.

Decisions to award contracts have to be documented and put on record; in particular, negotiated procedures in the case of amounts exceeding 7,500 euros require detailed substantiation with reference to the exceptional cases permitted by the LHO and/or VOL/A. All contract award documents are subject to the customary retention period for receipts and documents, usually 6 years.

Prior to awarding a contract or placing an order, purchases of IT equipment/materials have to be coordinated with the IT officers of the decentralized departments. Also see “Procurement – IT”.

See also: Bestellbefugnis (Purchase Authority); BIOS-FU; freihändige Vergabe (Single Tender Action/Direct Award)

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Ausgeschlossene Personen (Excluded Persons)

Pursuant to Section 20 of the German Administrative Procedures Act (Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz/VwVfG), the following persons may not act on behalf of Freie Universität Berlin in administrative proceedings:

  • whoever is himself/herself a participant
  • whoever is a relative (Section 15) of a participant
  • whoever by virtue of a law or authorization represents a participant in general or in specific administrative proceedings
  • whoever is employed by a participant and receives remuneration from him/her, or is active on his/her board of management, supervisory board or similar body; this shall not apply to a person whose employing body is a participant
  • whoever, outside his/her official capacity, has furnished an opinion or otherwise been active in the matter

The Administrative Procedures Act remains on a relatively abstract level in this regard; specifically, this means that with respect to all administrative procedures related to budgetary matters (purchase orders and contracts, notes of endorsements, orders, etc.), the aforementioned persons cannot make decisions or sign documents, since is not (or is no longer) ensured that these persons are impartial in exercising their duties. This is the general assumption about the persons listed above.

See: Anordnungsbefugnis (Authority to Issue Orders); Bestellbefugnis (Purchase Authority); rechnerische Richtigkeitit (Arithmetical Accuracy); sachliche Richtigkeit (Factual Accuracy)

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Auslagen / -erstattung (Expense Reimbursement / Refunds)

See: Erstattung (Refunds)

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Aussonderungsantrag (Request for Disposal of Assets)

Requests regarding the disposal of fixed assets subject to inventory and goods that are relevant to asset accounting (see the Instructions and Guidelines Regarding Inventory) need to be submitted using the designated form to the II B 12 unit via the respective department administration or department head. Please also submit information about changes to existing assets (e.g. changes in locations) using the available “Notification of Change” form.

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Auszahlungsanordnung (Payment Order)

See: Auszahlungsauftrag (Payment Request)

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Auszahlungsauftrag (Payment Request)

In addition to the invoice cover sheet and the account assignment stamp, a payment request is a form for the expenditure/payment preparation of funds.

The invoice cover sheet and the account assignment stamp have to be used for payment transactions that arise from an invoice.

The "payment request" form should only be used when an invoice that clearly shows the payee’s information does not exist or there is no document which has already been signed by a person granted management authorization rights for budget funds. This can, for example, be disbursements of discretionary funds or reimbursement of expenses. In such cases, both the signature of a person granted the appropriate management authorization rights for budget funds and the verification of the factual accuracy are required. Both signatures may be made by one person if that person has been granted management authorization rights for budget funds.

Go to form

See: Rechnungsanweisung (Payment Authorization); Kontierungsstempel (Account Allocation Stamp)

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Automatische Budgeterhöhende Einnahmen (Automated Procedures for Revenues Increasing the Budget)

See: Budgeterhöhende Einnahmen (Revenues Increasing the Budget)

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Bankverbindungen/ -zweigstellen (Bank Account Details / Branches)

  • for new enrollments (new registration):

Recipient: Freie Universität Berlin
Account number: 513 12 8908
Bank code number: 100 708 48  (BERLINER BANK NDL DEUTSCHE BANK PGK AG)
Purpose: Your last name / first name / registration no. / NEW
IBAN: DE 45 10070848 0513128908
BIC: DEUTDEDB110

  • For re-registration:

Recipient:  Freie Universität Berlin
Account number: 513 12 8903
Bank code number: 100 708 48 (BERLINER BANK NDL DEUTSCHE BANK PGK AG)
Purpose: Your last name / first name / matriculation number
IBAN: DE 83 10070848 0513128903
BIC: DEUTDEDB110

  • For ordinary business transactions:

BERLINER BANK NDL DEUTSCHE BANK PGK AG, Account number: 0513128900, bank code number: 100 708 48 ,
IBAN: DE 67 10070848 0513128900, BIC: DEUTDEDB110
Postbank Berlin, Account number: 228 08-109, bank code number: 100 100 10,
IBAN: DE 73 1001001000 22808109, BIC: PBNKDEFF

  • for university sports:

Berliner Bank AG, account number: 513128906, bank code number: 10070848

IBAN: DE 02 10070848 0513128906

  • for external funding grants to Freie Universität Berlin:

BERLINER BANK NDL DEUTSCHE BANK PGK AG, account number: 0512158700, bank code number: 100 708 48,
IBAN: DE 35 10070848 0512158700, BIC: DEUTDEDB110

  • For personal external funding grants:

BERLINER BANK NDL DEUTSCHE BANK PGK AG, account number: 0512158703, bank code number: 100 708 48,
IBAN: DE 51 10070848 0512158703, BIC: DEUTDEDB110

  • sales tax/VAT ID number:

DE 811 304 768

The following branches of the Berliner Bank are located in the vicinity of the university: 

  • Dahlem-Dorf, Königin-Luise-Str. 43, 14195 Bln.

  • Drakestr. 48A, 12205 Bln.

  • Schlossstr. 114, 12163 Bln. (mit Kassenschalter!)

  • Steglitzer Damm 13, 12169 Bln.

  • Argentinische Allee 2, 14163 Bln.

  • Teltower Damm 29, 14169 Bln.

  • Kaiser-Wilhelm-Str. 72, 12247 Bln.

The following branches are located in central Berlin:

  • Friedrichstr. 185-190, 10117 Bln.

  • Hardenbergstr. 32 10623 Bln. (main branch)

Safebag-Einzahlungen (Safebag Deposits)

Please note that all of the local bank branches charge a fee for safebag deposits! Safebags have to be turned in at the Cash Desk of the Hauptkasse (Cashier’s Office) during the office hours (Mon., Wed., Fri. 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.).

Auslandsüberweisung (Adresse) [Foreign Bank Transfer (Address)]

In some cases, the payment partner needs information about the address of the university’s main bank in order to process payments from foreign countries. The main branch of the Berliner Bank is located at Hardenbergstrasse 32, 10623 Berlin, Germany.

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Bargeld (Cash)

Non-cash payment transactions are preferred, i.e. as a general rule, payments have to be made without the use of cash (generally via bank transfer).

Before establishing a (decentralized) receiving office for cash payments, it has to be checked whether such payments can be processed using the pay stations. Newsletter H 1/2005 provides information about receiving payments for Freie Universität Berlin, safe and secure storage of cash inside university facilities, and cash-in-transit security.

For information on applying for discretionary funds, please see Newsletter H 3/2001.

See: Barscheck (Cash Checks); Erstattung (Refunds); Kassenautomat (Pay Stations); Selbstbewirtschaftungsmittel (Discretionary Funds)

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Barscheck (Cash Checks)

Cash checks should be used for the payment of advance payments for forwarding (e.g. meetings, conferences, visiting scientists and scholars, field research, and discretionary funds). In the case of visiting scientists and scholars from abroad, the bank transfer process may not be feasible (e.g. due to high transfer fees, long payment times or lack of infrastructure). For these cases, payment by cash check or payment via Division IV are alternative methods.

A cash check can either be issued directly to the visiting scientist/scholar, or – as an advance payment for forwarding – issued to a staff member/employee (university employees with their own area of responsibility) of the relevant division/department. Since checks can only be picked up in person at the Hauptkasse (Cashier’s Office) of Freie Universität Berlin, which is usually not reasonable to ask of a visiting scientist/scholar, the second method is generally preferred for such persons. The check can be cashed free of charge at the Berliner Bank. The visiting scientist/scholar must confirm receipt of the money transfer on the payroll clearing form. For smaller amounts, disbursement by the project management has also proven to be a good alternative. In principle, combining various forms of money is not allowed.

Newsletter H 1/2005 provides information about the safe and secure storage of cash inside university facilities and cash-in-transit security.

See: Bankverbindungen/ -zweigstellen (Bank Account Details / Branches)

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Beauftragter für den Haushalt 

At Freie Universität Berlin, the Director of Administration and Finance is the Budget Officer. He is responsible for preparing financial planning documents and the documents for the draft budget (estimates) as well as for the implementation of the budget plan. In addition, the Budget Officer is involved in all measures of financial significance. He can delegate tasks related to the implementation of the budget.

See: Wirtschafterbefugnis (Management Authorization for Budget Funds)

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Befangenheit (Bias)

“Fear of bias” means there are suspicions that a public official cannot be impartial when exercising his/her duties. The criteria for determining potential bias are described in more detail in Section 1 of the German Administrative Procedures Act (Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz / VwVfG).

See: Ausgeschlossene Personen (Excluded Persons)

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Berufungs- und Bleibemittel (Appointment and Retention Funding)

Appointment or retention funding granted for the start or continuation of a professorship at Freie Universität Berlin is to be obtained via the respective Department Administration. For the management of these resources, both the relevant budget regulations and procedural principles of Freie Universität Berlin apply.

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Beschaffungen – EDV / IT (Procurement – IT)

In general, the regulations set out in FU Newsletter 07/2009 apply to the procurement of IT equipment and materials. As soon as possible, the II C Procurement subdivision (Central University Administration) will offer the standard IT components in the BIOS-FU, the FU’s online shop, for purchase by all FU facilities. As a rule, the available standard IT components have to be procured via BIOS-FU.

See: BIOS-FU

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Beschaffungen - Mobiliar (Procurement – Furniture & Furnishings)

Furniture and furnishings are procured through the II C Procurement subdivision (Central University Administration). Furniture and furnishings are paid for by the locally available funds (decentralized process).

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Bestellbefugnis (Purchase Authority)

The purchase authority is the authority to conclude legally binding contracts for the provision of goods and services with third parties on behalf of Freie Universität Berlin (legal power of representation).

Upon request, a BIOS purchase authority is granted for orders with a maximum order volume of 250 euros per order, which is explicitly limited to orders placed via the university’s own BIOS.FU online shop.

Only persons who have been granted management authorization for budget funds can initiate orders that exceed this limit (250 € and higher).

The department administrations and the divisions of the Central University Administration can apply to the II A 1 Budgeting and Budget Management team for the BIOS purchase authority as well as for management authorization for budget funds.

See: Wirtschafterbefugnis (Management Authorization for Budget Funds); BIOS-FU

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Besucherbetreuung (Visitor Support and Hospitality)

Expenses for visitor support and hospitality should only be incurred when necessary. With respect to the procedural and accounting requirements, the information and guidelines concerning the funding of expenses for visitor support and hospitality must be complied with.

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Betrieb gewerblicher Art (Commercial Institution Established under Public Law)

A commercial institution established under public law distinguishes between the taxable activities of institutions in the public sector and the non-taxable activities involving the exercise of public authority. The taxation of commercial activities of institutions in the public sector is intended to ensure fair competition vis-à-vis fully taxable private competitors.

The legal definition of a commercial institution established under public law can be found in Section 4 (1) of the German Corporation Tax Law (Körperschaftsteuergesetz / KstG). According to the law, a commercial institution established under public law exists if an institution “undertakes an economic activity on a continuing basis for the purpose of generating revenue not arising from agriculture or forestry, and such activities are commercially distinguished from the overall activities of the legal entity. The intent to realize a profit and participation in general business transactions are not required.” The definition of a commercial institution established under public law is also relevant to income tax. Therefore, the public sector is only considered an entrepreneur as defined by the German Value Added Tax Act (Umsatzsteuergesetz) insofar as the business activities of its commercial institutions established under public law are concerned, and only provides services subject to sales tax/VAT within the scope of the activities of such institutions.

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Bewirtung (Hospitality)

See: Besucherbetreuung (Visitor Support and Hospitality)

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Buchungsmerkmal (Posting Attribute)

See: Kontierungselemente (Account Assignment Elements)

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Budget 

See: Ansatz (Budget Appropriations)

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Budgeterhöhende Einnahmen (Revenues Increasing the Budget)

In order to motivate the departments to independently generate revenues, a supplementary budget is automatically provided in the full amount for revenues related to the following items and commitment items. A separate application is not required.

  • 11101 (Administration and dunning fees),
  • 11115-000 (Treatment charges; Department of Veterinary Medicine)
  • 11120 (Fees for attending seminars, classes and courses)
  • 11180 (Tuition and enrollment fees)
  • 11901 (Publications)
  • 11902-000 (Handover of income earned from secondary employment; only Department of Veterinary Medicine)
  • 11931 (Student co-payments)
  • 11961-081 (VAT/sales tax refund for commercial institutions established under public law)
  • 11979 (Various revenues)
  • 11981 (Sales of used materials and scrapped items)
  • 12504 (Payment for services for others)
  • 12511 (Sales revenues)
  • 13201 (Sale of vehicles)
  • 13202 (Sales of scrapped capital goods)
  • 90070 (Expenses for safe custody of budget items; only Department of Veterinary Medicine and Chapter 09 (Service Areas) and Chapter 70 (Safe Custody) funds

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Budgetierung (Budgeting)

Budgeting refers the provision of funds to an account allocation or the transfer of funds to another account allocation in order to cover a demand.

In this context, the information and guidelines regarding the budgeting variants and extensions of the decentralized authorizations for budget transfers must be taken into account.

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Clearingstelle (Clearing House)

See: DMS

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Dauerauftrag (Standing Order)

Standing orders are used for regularly recurring payment transactions (grants, scholarships, rent payments, etc.). Payment dates specified by the Central University Administration are the 1st or the 15th of the month. These orders are generally set up for just one specific budget year; the last payment date for each respective year is therefore December 01 or December 15.

Any changes to the standing order (change of address, bank account changes, changes in the duration or the payment amount) have to be made using a change request form and submitted to the II B 3 unit.

Go to form

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Diebstahl (Theft)

In the case of theft of money and inventory of Freie Universität Berlin, a report must be filed with the police. Please inform your department management and report the matter to the Rechtsamt (Office of the General Counsel of FU Berlin) as well as to the II A and II C units!

In connection with the processing of funds for discretionary use and/or work in payment offices of the University, please refer to the information in Newsletters H3/2001, H 2/2004 and H 1/2005.

See: Versicherung (Insurance)

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Dienstkraftfahrzeuge (University Vehicles)

For more information, please see the guidelines dated 02-27-1998 on the procurement, provision and use of university vehicles, and the coverage of operating costs related to university vehicles. Furthermore, the relevant forms for reimbursements for travel expenses for business trips have to be used; these can be accessed on the webpage of the Travel Expense Office.

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Dienstreisen (Business Trips)

See: Reisekosten (Travel Expenses)

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Digitales Dokumentenmanagement System (DMS) [Digital Document Management System (DMS)]

FU Berlin uses a DMS for the purpose of switching to an electronic procedure for order processes and the subsequent processing of invoices for those orders.

Links to web/online release and approval:

  • Factual correctness
  • Anordnung (förmliche Zahlungsanordnung) [Order (formal payment order)]

See: Workflow (Work Process)

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Drittmittel (External Funding)

Donations and grants from external parties to Freie Universität Berlin for funding specific research projects are listed separately in Chapters 04, 05 and 06 of the respective budget. In addition, there are external funding custody funds for individual funding donations starting with 00. The External Funding Administration office (VI C-DMV) is responsible for setting up and managing external funding projects.

For information on the numbering system used for external funding projects, see “Fonds (Funds)”.

More information on external funding can be found on the webpage of the External Funding Administration office.

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Druckkostenzuschuss (Subsidies for Printing Costs)

In general, subsidies for printing costs are not provided. For certain exceptions, please refer to the leaflet on “Information and Procedural Rules Regarding the Budget System (“Hinweise und Verfahrensregelungen zur Haushaltswirtschaft”). The respective department administration is responsible in each case.

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Einnahmen (Receipts)

All receipts owed to Freie Universität Berlin have to be collected in due time and in the full amount, regardless of whether they are projected in the budget at all or estimated in a corresponding amount. The receipts have to be credited to accounts of Freie Universität Berlin, which are managed by the Hauptkasse (Cashier’s Office).

The Hauptkasse of Freie Universität Berlin must be promptly informed about the expected incoming payment by sending an acceptance order. Documents substantiating the reason for the payment or a detailed statement explaining the reason for it must be enclosed with the acceptance order.

See: Formulare (Forms); Annahmeauftrag (Acceptance Order)

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Einzugsermächtigung (Direct Debit Authorization)

See: Abbuchungen (Direct Debits)

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Entsorgungen (Waste Disposal)

Please contact the Engineering and Utilities Division for matters concerning the disposal of special waste. If inventoried assets need to be disposed of, an “Aussonderungsantrag” (request for disposal of assets) must be submitted.

See: Aussonderungsantrag (Request for Disposal of Assets)

Ergänzungsausstattung (Supplemental Funding for External Funding Projects) (Chapter 07)

To support research projects funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation), the university management has resolved to provide supplementary funding on the basis of approved project funds (only FU share); the supplementary funding has been available since 01-01-2008:

  • 15 % for experimental natural science collaborative research centers (SFBs) and research groups, veterinary medicine
  • 10 % for humanities and social sciences as well as theoretical natural science collaborative research centers and research groups, International Humanities Research Center
  • 7.5 % for collaborative research centers (SFB) with participation of FU Berlin experimental natural sciences, veterinary medicine
  • 5 % for collaborative research centers (SFB) with participation of FU Berlin, theoretical natural sciences, humanities and social sciences
  • 5 % for participation in research groups
  • 5 % for individual DFG projects (all)
  • 5 % for research training groups

Initiative for Excellence

  • 5 % for clusters of excellence and graduate schools
  • 2.5% for participation in clusters of excellence and graduate schools

The Office of the Research Committee (VI FK subdivision) is responsible for calculating the supplementary funding.

See: Forschungsförderung (Research Funding)

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Erlass (Waiver)

See: Veränderung von Ansprüchen (Changes to Claims)

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Erstattungen (Refunds)

Private advance payments made for the purpose of acquiring the necessary materials, supplies, utensils/equipment, etc. are to be limited to only those cases in which the payment is required immediately. In general, required items are to be purchased via the BIOS purchase order system (online shop) on a non-cash basis (invoice-based payment via the Cashier’s Office). This ensures adherence to the principle of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, which must be observed when making any purchase. The special nature of the facts or circumstances may, however, justify a purchase through a third party. The advance payment must be authorized in advance by a person who has management authorization for budget funds. For reimbursement of a private advance payment that has been made, the payment must be unequivocally verified or documented by means of a receipt (proof of payment/receipt, invoice, bank account statement, etc.). Refund requests to Freie Universität Berlin are to be made in person by submitting an invoice.

The payment should be authorized with the disbursement order, which may not be signed by the invoicing party / payee.

See: Ausgeschlossene Personen (Excluded Persons)

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Exkursionen (Study Trips)

As defined by Section 21 BerlHG (Berlin Higher Education Act), study trips are field trips for the purpose of educating or supplementing the education of students at Freie Universität Berlin (FUB). Study trips should only be undertaken if the corresponding knowledge, skills and scientific methods cannot be taught or cannot be adequately taught within the physical premises of FU Berlin (necessity to hold the class at a different location).

Trips to university or general political events do not constitute study trips. This also applies to trips of a predominantly tourist nature!

Study trips need to be well prepared and announced early on. In general, the students themselves are solely responsible for the costs for the trip. Therefore, the university has no legal obligation to cover the expenses of the study trip. However, for social reasons, Freie Universität Berlin strives to keep the financial burden on students as low as possible by providing grant funding to help cover excursions. However, the grant funding can only be provided within the limits specified by the committees in charge of the budgetary decisions.

Irrespective of any grant funding available, it must be ensured that the students pay a minimum of 20 euros per day of the study trip as their share towards the covering the costs. In general, however, a larger individual contribution will be required.

Consequently, before organizing a study trip, it is essential to involve the relevant department administration in the planning process. The funding for the study trip has to be settled with the department administration in a timely manner.

See: Link to information

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EU Member States

This link will take you to an overview of the current member states of the European Union.

Feststellvermerke (Note of Endorsement)

Endorsement of the budget refers to the verification of the factual accuracy and/or arithmetical accuracy of budgetary transactions.

Only staff members who have been assigned their own area of responsibility and are able to review and evaluate all of the facts of the transaction (scholarship/grant recipients, contract workers, apprentices, interns, trainees, etc. do not qualify as staff) are authorized to issue a note of endorsement note of endorsement verifying the factual/arithmetical accuracy.

Under no circumstances may members of the staff issue notes of endorsement for matters in which they themselves are involved (e.g. as payees).

See: Ausgeschlossene Personen (Excluded Persons); sachliche Richtigkeit (Factural Accuracy); rechnerische Richtigkeit (Arithmetical Accuracy)

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Finanzposition (Commitment Item)

The commitment item is part of the account assignment elements. The term is derived from the SAP accounting system. Commitment items are used to categorize individual revenue and expenditures based on their type. Commitment items are grouped by five-digit headings (e.g. 52508 – Teaching & Research) and three-digit cost types (e.g. 411 – Chemicals).

An overview of the commitment item hierarchies can be accessed via the links below:

See: Kontierungselemente (Account Assignment Elements)

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Finanzstelle (Funds Center)

The funds center is part of the account assignment elements. The term is derived from the SAP accounting system. The term is synonymous with “cost center”.

See: Kostenstelle (Cost Center); Kontierungselemente (Account Assignment Elements)

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FK-Mittel 

See: Forschungsförderung (Research Funding)

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Fonds (Funds)

Funds are part of the account assignment elements. The term is derived from the SAP accounting system. A fund is a balance of financial resources which represents temporally limited (funding period) and functionally limited (funding purpose) equity or external funds available to cover expenditures. The numbering system follows the chapter structure used in the budget. The fund number is identical to the internal order number (CO).

Overview of chapters

Chapter 01 – University

Chapter 02 – Research Funding

Chapter 03 – Endowments

Chapter 04 – Grants (External Funding)

Chapter 05 – Grants (Excellence Initiative)

Chapter 06 – Grants (Contract Research)

Chapter 07 – Supplemental Funding Excellence Initiative

Chapter 08 – Personnel Management List

Chapter 09 – Service Areas

Chapter 10 – Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem

Chapter 12 –Special Programs of the University

Chapter 14 – Department of Veterinary Medicine

Numbering system used for funds:

For the five-digit budget funds:

PositionMeaning
1-2 Chapter
3-5 Type of management

The budget chapters are 01, 02, 03, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12 and 14, plus there is a special Chapter 70 (Safe Custody).

For the ten-digit external funding funds 04, 06 and 00:

PositionMeaning
1-2 Chapter
3-4 Department
5-6 Professorship
7-8 Granting organization/donor
9-10 Consecutive number

For the ten-digit external funding funds 05 (Excellence Initiative):

PositionMeaning
1-2 Chapter
3-4 Types of Excellence
5-6 Funding for Excellence
7-8 Granting organization/donor (7) and differentiated performance indicator (8)
9-10 Consecutive number

 

s. Kapitel (Budget Chapters); Kontierungselemente (Account Assignment Elements)

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Forderungsverzicht (Waiver of Claims)

See: Veränderung von Ansprüchen (Changes to Claims)

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Formulare (Haushaltswesen) [Forms (Budget)]

All of the forms related to payment transactions can be accessed here.

Members of the pilot areas who already use the digital document management system (DMS), please select the documents that can be accessed via BIOS.

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Forschungsförderung (Research Funding)

The allocation of research funding from Freie Universität Berlin (initiative to establish external funding projects, research centers, research groups, etc.) and the granting of supplementary funding from the DFG (German Research Foundation) for already established externally funded DFG projects is the responsibility of the Research Committee (RC).

  • Guidelines to be followed with regard to the allocation of research.
  • Further information on research funding and its institutionalization at Freie Universität Berlin. The Office of the Research Committee (VI FK subdivision) can also provide additional information.

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Frauenförderung (Promotion of Women)

Various measures are in place at Freie Universität Berlin to promote gender equality and equal opportunities for women. The gender equality officers of the decentralized organizational units and the Chief Gender Equality Officer of Freie Universität Berlin can provide information on this topic.

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Freihändige Vergabe (auch „Verhandlungsverfahren“) [Single Tender Action/Direct Award, also called “negotiated procedure”)]

For detailed information on this topic, see the FU Newsletter H 01/2009

See: Auftragserteilung (Order Placement / Awarding of Contracts); Beschaffungen EDV/IT (Procurement – IT); Beschaffungen Mobiliar (Procurement – Furniture & Furnishings); Vergabeverfahren (Negotiated Procedure); Wirtschafterbefugnis (Management Authorization for Budget Funds)

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Gasteinladung / Gastwissenschaftler (Guest Invitations and Passes / Visiting Scientists and Scholars)

Requests for guest passes/invitations for visiting scientists and scholars must be submitted to the relevant department administration.

For visiting scientists/scholars who are supposed to receive an expense allowance funded by external funding resources, please refer to the information provided by the External Funding Administration office, available here.

See: Gastprofessur (Visiting Professors)

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Gastprofessur (Visiting Professors)

The procedure for employing visiting professors is described in FU-Newsletter 11/2009.

With regard to the use of external funding for visiting professors, please refer to the procedures for visiting scholars/scientists that are specified by the External Funding Administration office and available via the following link.

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Geschenke  (Gifts)

Within the scope of the employment relationship, no gifts or favors of any kind or size may be accepted. In addition, the rules and regulations specified in FU-Newsletter V01/2001 must be complied with.

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Gutschriften (Credit Entries)

A credit entry can only be offset against a subsequent order debited to the same account allocation. Otherwise, the credit has to be posted as a refund.

See: Kontierung (Account Allocation)

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Großgeräte (Large Equipment and Major Instrumentation)

Large equipment and “major Instrumentation” refer to large-scale research equipment and instruments requiring a gross investment amount of more than 200,000 euros (including VAT/sales tax).

An interstate agreement of the German federal states stipulates that proposals for this type of equipment have to be submitted individually to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG/German Research Foundation).

Proposal forms and further information are available on the DFG website. The completed forms should be submitted to the IIA1 team via the relevant department administration.

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Hauptkasse (Cashier’s Office)

The Hauptkasse (Cashier’s Office) is the administrative unit of Freie Universität Berlin that is authorized to prepare and process payments. All cash and non-cash payment transactions are processed through the office (the only exceptions to this are the decentralized payment offices/payment receiving offices, the management of discretionary funds, and private expenses).

Payment transactions have to be forwarded to the Hauptkasse via the accounting offices.

Cash checks may be collected and safe bags turned in during the office hours of the Cash Desk (Mon., Wed., Fri. 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.). In you have any questions, please contact the responsible unit (II B 3, Mr. Krüger, Ext. 52205).

See: Barscheck (Cash Checks); Safebag (Safe Bags); Zahlstellen (Payment Offices)

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Haushaltsjahr (Budget Year)

At Freie Universität Berlin, the budget year is identical to the calendar year.

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Haushaltsplan (Budget)

For the budget management of Freie Universität Berlin, the budget is the compilation of all estimated revenues, expenditures, commitments, staff positions, and other items for budget year. The budget is used to determine the estimated financing that will be required to perform the duties of Freie Universität Berlin during the authorization period. The budget is resolved by the University Management, adopted by the Board of Trustees, and approved by the Senate Department.

The following budgets can be downloaded here:

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Heinzelmännchen (Studenten- / Studierendenwerk) (Heinzelmännchen Employment Agency of the Berlin Student Union)

The HEINZELMÄNNCHEN employment agency is a facility of the Studierendenwerk Berlin (Berlin Student Union), a public-law institution. It publishes and manages job vacancies for students at Berlin’s universities and higher education institutions.

Many types of jobs are offered through the “Heinzelmännchen” agency. However, the agency cannot assign students to long-term jobs. Rather, the assignments are limited to short-term, temporary jobs that do not require a training period.

For example, the following types of jobs may be offered: archiving, care and supervision jobs, stocktaking/inventory, photocopying, distribution of publications, cleaning, clerical work, moving/transport jobs, events services, catering, hospitality jobs, and others.

For more information, please refer to the Newsletter H 3/2008.

See: Positiv-Negativ-Liste (Positive-Negative List); Werkverträge (Contracts for Work and Services)

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Hochschulsonderprogramme (Special Programs of the University)

See: Einstein-Stiftung (Einstein Foundation)

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Honorarverträge (Fee-based Contracts)

See: Werkverträge (Contracts for Work and Services)

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Innenauftrag (Internal Order Number)

See: Fonds (Funds)

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Inventarisierung (Anlagenbuchhaltung) [Inventory (Asset Accounting)]

The implementation of SAP in the accounting system also includes the use of asset accounting. The system is set up so that assets that exceed an acquisition cost of 150 euros have to be recorded. This is done within the scope of invoice processing, as soon as commitment items relevant to asset accounting are affected.

The data in SAP, especially the determination of depreciation periods, is centrally consolidated by the II B 12 unit.

Initially, asset accounting is intended to systemize the inventory at Freie Universität Berlin (see FU Newsletter H 06/1992). To include an item in the inventory, the II B 12 unit provides the departments with a machine-readable label that has to be affixed to the asset as specified in the current, applicable instructions for affixing adhesive labels. Upon receipt, the recipient must confirm to the sender that the label has been affixed to the asset.

The implementation of asset accounting does not affect the responsibility for maintaining the fixed assets registers. The decentralized departments still have to maintain fixed assets registers for legacy assets; for assets already recorded in SAP, the SAP asset accounting itself is the fixed assets register. To ensure that the inventory data are useful, the decentralized departments are urged to check it on a regular basis to ensure that the data are complete and up-to-date. Please submit requests for disposal of assets to unit II B 12.

In this connection, please observe FU Newsletter H 05/2005 (item V) as well as the instructions and guidelines regarding inventory (asset accounting) published by Freie Universität Berlin.

A possible disposal of FU Berlin inventory assets has to be guided by the question of whether or not non-commercial/non-profit use at other public-law institutions (e.g. schools) is feasible, and is subject to determining realistic prices on the basis of the respective values in asset accounting. For devices and equipment purchased prior to the implementation of asset accounting, prices have to be calculated on the basis of comparable assets in the inventory, taking into account the period of depreciation.

The "Hinweise & Richtlinien" (“Instructions & Guidelines”) section on the forms page of the Budgeting and Budget Management team contains an overview of the current asset classes.

See: Aussonderung (Disposal of Assets)

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Inventarnummer(Inventory Number)

See: Anlagennummer (Asset Number)

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Investition (Investments)

Investment expenditures include all construction measures for new buildings, extensions, modifications and renovations, purchases of all vehicles, as well as the acquisition of permanently used immoveable or movable goods, property and assets whose total cost exceeds more than 5,000 euros.

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Jahresannahmeanordnung/-auftrag (“One Year Period” Acceptance Request/Order)

The Hauptkasse (Cashier’s Office) uses “one year period” acceptance requests/orders to simplify the posting of incoming payments within a given budget year:

  •  for recurring incoming payments from the same origin;
  • after consultation, for university conferences, congresses, etc. funded by external funding;
  • for processing payment-intensive and frequent, allocatable payments not related to operational purposes (e.g. enrollment and tuition fees, overdue fees charged by the libraries).

The question regarding which business transactions can be handled with such “one year period” acceptance requests/orders has to be clarified in advance with the Cashier’s Office II B 3.

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Kassenautomat (Pay Stations)

The following pay stations are currently available for use at the university:

  • Iltisstraße 1 (Students Records and Registration Office)
  • Garystraße 39 (University Library)
  • Mensa FU II (Otto-von-Simson-Straße) 

The pay stations may only be used for payments made in cash and for non-cash payments using an EC card. The II B 3 unit is in charge of the pay stations – contact person: Mr. Krüger (ext. -52205).

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Kapitel (Budget Chapters)

The budget of Freie Universität Berlin is divided into chapters (e.g. 01 – University, 10 – Botanical Garden, 14 – Veterinary Medicine). Chapters represent the rough outline of the balance of financial resources according to usage type and purpose, which are further differentiated into various funds.

See: Fonds (Funds)

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Ko-Finanzierung (Co-funding / Co-financing)

See: Forschungsförderung (Research Funding)

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Komplementärmittel (DFG) (Supplemental DFG Funding)

See: Forschungsförderung (Research Funding)

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Kontierung (Account Assignment)

A combination of the fund, commitment item, funds center/cost center elements as well as the work breakdown structure (WBS) elements, if applicable.

See: Finanzposition (Commitment Item); Finanzstelle (Funds Center); Fonds (Funds); Kostenstelle (Cost Center); PSP-Elemente (WBS Elements); Haushaltsjahr (Budget Year)

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Kontierungselemente (auch Buchungsmerkmale od. Buchungsstelle) [Account Assignment Elements (also called “posting attributes” or “posting centers”)]

These elements are components used in the posting and processing of financial transactions within the scope of the management of budget funds and external funding. When processing transactions, please make sure to enter all of the data, since they are essential in order to clearly assign and process a transaction.

See: Finanzposition (Commitment Item); Fonds (Funds); Finanzstelle (Funds Center); Kostenstelle (Cost Center); PSP-Elemente (WBS Elements); Haushaltsjahr (Budget Year)

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Kontierungsstempel (Account Assignment Stamp)

An account assignment stamp can be used instead of the invoice cover sheet for processing invoicing transactions.

See: Formulare (Forms)

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Kontoauszug (Haushalt/Drittmittel) (Haushalt/Drittmittel) [Account Statement (Budget/External Funding)]

The account statement contains all of the transaction postings made by the Clerical Accounts Office (Wirtschafts- und Rechnungsstelle) and Hauptkasse (Cashier’s Office) during the period specified in the respective statement.

For detailed information about account statements, please refer to the “Instructions and Guidelines” section, which can be accessed here.

If you have any further questions, please contact Ms. Pann (ext. 52255, e-mail: nicole.pann@fu-berlin.de), Mr. Scheel (ext. 53065, e-mail: marco.scheel@fu-berlin.de) or Mr. Grüner (ext. 56615, e-mail michael.gruener@fu-berlin.de).

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Kontostandslisten (Account Balance Lists)

Account balance lists provide a summarized overview of the amounts contained in the account statement, including a credit or debit balance, on a single page.

See: Kontoauszug (Haushalt/Drittmittel) [Account Statement (Budget/External Funding)]

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Kostenart (Cost Element)

The cost element is an account assignment element which provides information about which costs are incurred.

See: Finanzposition (Commitment Item); Kontierung (Account Assignment)

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Kostenstelle (Cost Center)

The cost center is part of the account assignment elements. The term is derived from the SAP accounting system. The term is synonymous with “funds center”. It forms a clearly defined area of responsibility for budget management and at the same time, serves to divide the structural organization into divisions, departments, institutes, professorships, etc. An eight-digit numbering system is used for the cost centers (e.g. 13000000 - Department of History and Cultural Studies). In general, an eight-digit cost center has to be used for managing revenue, receipts and expenditures.

In principle, the numbering system used for cost centers is as follows:

StelleBedeutung
1-2 ID number of the department or the Central University Administration (CUA) division
3-4 Scientific facility/institution or department
5-6 Professorship or team
7-8 Consecutive number

See: Finanzstelle (Funds Center); Kontierung (Account Assignment)

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Kreditkarten (Credit Cards)

Credit cards are not issued at Freie Universität Berlin. The payment and accounting procedures required for credit cards are difficult to reconcile with the budgetary rules and regulations. In general, other settlement options for the financial transaction should be considered (by invoice or advance payment). In unavoidable cases, obtain approval from the IC subdivision. For purchases that can only be made by credit card, please contact the relevant facility/institution listed below:

  • Purchase of literature – John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies
  • Software purchases – ZEDAT
  • Other purchases – II C

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Kunstwerke (Artwork)

Pieces of artwork have to be reported at their value as part of the asset accounting. Changes in inventory have to be reported in the “Zu- und Abgänge bei den vermögenswirksamen beweglichen Sachen” (“Moveable Property Recognized as Assets or Liabilities”) form and submitted annually to the II A1 team.

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Landeshaushaltsordnung (Berlin State Budget Code)

The Landeshaushaltsordnung (LHO) is a law of the state of Berlin that stipulates the mandatory basic financial and budgeting principles for the administration. Consequently, it is a directly binding law that applies to everyone involved in the administrative process. The LHO and the Regulatory Statutes for the Berlin State Budget Code (AV LHO) generally remain on a relatively abstract level. Therefore, the budget system and management of Freie Universität Berlin are supplemented with a series of FU Berlin newsletters, instructions/guidelines, information and establishment agreements, which ensure compliance with common standards and support and assist the departments and divisions in the management of budget funds.

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Lastschriften (Direct Debit Authorization)

See: Abbuchung (Direct Debits)

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Leergut (Empty Returnable Bottles and Cans)

Deposits for empty returnable bottles and cans are not refundable. This also applies to orders made via BIOS.

See: Besucherbetreuung (Visitor Support and Hospitality)

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Lehrauftrag (Contract for Teaching Assignment)

Please refer to the current version of the Berlin Higher Education Act (Berliner Hochschulgesetzes (BerlHG) for a definition of lecturer/instructor (Lehrbeauftragter). In general, applications for teaching assignment contracts have to be submitted to the relevant department administration, including a request for approval. The same applies to the settlement of accrued fees. FU-Newsletter 65/2008 provides information on the amount of fees for teaching assignment contracts.

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Leistungsmittel (Performance Incentive Funds)

Pursuant to the Higher Education Contract (Hochschulvertrag), a distribution of performance-based incentive funds among the contract universities has been implemented since 2002; during the contract period, the volume of the performance-based funds that are distributed was increased from 20% in 2006 to 30% in 2008, i.e. in the future, up to 154 million euros will be redistributed among the universities in Berlin. Moreover, the Higher Education Contract stipulates that the internal distribution of funds at the contract universities should also be aligned with these criteria.

Consequently, the fund distribution model previously used at Freie Universität Berlin has been adapted to the Berlin state model as of the 2006 budget year. The performance criteria governing the redistribution are categorized into education and studies (50 %), research and support of junior scholars (45 %), and equality and equal opportunities (5 %).

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Mittelbindung (Funds Commitment)

Funds commitment refers to reserving/committing funds for a specific purpose and defined period or specific number of payments. The reserved/committed amounts are reduced by the respective payments.

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Nebentätigkeiten (Secondary Employment)

Any type of secondary employment requires the consent of the primary employer on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, the Personnel Division has to be notified of the secondary employment. Please also refer to the information in Newsletter V 06/2011.

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Nutzungsdauern (Anlagenbuchhaltung) [Useful Economic Life (Asset Accounting)]

The expected useful economic life of fixed assets is managed via the asset classes. The useful economic life is the expected period (in years) during which the economic good/asset will be used and depreciated. Here, you can find an overview of the asset classes, including the useful life.

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Niederschlagung (Write-Off)

See: Veränderung von Ansprüchen (Changes to Claims)

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Obligo (Liabilities)

See: Mittelbindung (Funds Commitment)

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Obligoprozessor (Commitment Processor)

This is a program within SAP which creates a commitment at the start of the budget year for all existing personnel transactions up until the end of the year, or in the case of temporary staff positions, until the end of the employment period. During its daily run, the Commitment Processor creates new commitments for new personnel transactions or adjusts already committed funds as needed if personnel data is changed.

See: Mittelbindung (Funds Commitment)

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Onlinebestellung (Online Purchases)

According to the budgetary rules and guidelines, orders exceeding 150.00 euros have to be placed in writing. In principle, the order form provided by Freie Universität Berlin has to be used for such orders, because it contains provisions that modify the contractor’s general business terms and conditions to the benefit of Freie Universität Berlin.

In cases where the only option is to place the order online , the data must be stored (see “online invoices”) and all of the associated correspondence has to be printed and signed by a staff member who has been granted management authorization for budget funds.

The signed correspondence should be attached to the incoming invoice as a substantiating document

See: Auftragserteilung (Order Placement / Awarding of Contracts); Bestellbefugnis (Purchase Authority); BIOS; Wirtschafterbefugnis (Management Authorization for Budget Funds)

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Onlinerechnung (Online Invoices)

Online orders and thus also paperless (online) invoices are increasingly being used in business. This gives rise to the question of how to handle and process such invoices.

Basically, a paperless invoice is no different than an invoice sent by postal mail. Therefore, these invoices are handled and processed as original invoices.

However, the Clerical Accounts Offices (Wirtschafts- und Rechnungsstellen) and the University’s Cashier’s Office (Hauptkasse) have no way to verify whether the printed invoice is identical to the original (file). Depending on the file format, it may be possible to manipulate the invoice, for example, change the amount or the payment method. This also applies to presumably secure file formats, such as the widely used PDF format.

Only the initiating party can confirm that the printed invoice matches the original file and does that by verifying the factual and arithmetical accuracy. A separate handwritten note on the printed invoice itself is not necessary.

The original file has to be retained for a minimum period of six months, or even better, for a period of two years after the end of the calendar year. The statute of limitations for the claim does not expire until after that period.

Please note: Refund requests from individuals must be submitted in writing with the original signature. No electronic refund requests (e-mails) may be sent.

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Parkgebühren (Parking Fees)

Parking fees are generally only refundable if they are incurred during approved business trips or by contractual agreement. For further information, see FU Newsletter 7/2006 V (“Abrechnung von Dienstreisen” / “Settlement of Travel Expenses for Business Trips”).

See: Dienstkraftfahrzeuge (University Vehicles); Reisekosten (Travel Expenses); Werkvertrag (Contract for Work and Services)

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Pfand (Deposits for Returnable Bottles and Cans)

See: Leergut (Empty Returnable Bottles and Cans)

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PSP-Element (WBS Element)

At Freie Universität Berlin, WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) elements are used to map cost objects in the cost and management accounting system.

See: Kontierungselemente (Account Assignment Elements)

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Rechnerische Richtigkeit (Arithmetical Accuracy)

The arithmetical accuracy of payment documents – in particular invoices, acceptance and payment orders – must be verified and endorsed by the staff of the facilities/units/departments that initiated the reason for the payment (purchases, contracts for supplies and services, etc.). As a rule, these are the facilities/units/departments that have discretionary funds available at their disposal (research groups, working groups, institutes, departments, central institutes, central facilities, etc.).

Only staff of Freie Universität Berlin are permitted to verify and endorse the arithmetical accuracy. Therefore, for example, scholarship/grant recipients and contract workers are not authorized to verify and endorse the arithmetical accuracy.

Only staff members who possess the required knowledge and are able to review and evaluate all of the facts of the transaction with regard to its accuracy, are permitted to verify and endorse the arithmetical accuracy [No. 7.3.1 of the AV (Regulatory Statutes) for Section 70 LHO (Berlin State Budget Code)].

Upon signing the “Arithmetically Accurate” note of endorsement, the endorser affirms

  • the accuracy of the amount to be received or paid as well as all calculation-based information contained in the formal payment order or other invoice-related forms or documents, as well as their appendices and substantiating documents;
  • the accuracy of the information concerning the payer or authorized recipient and the methods used for the calculations in accordance with the calculation bases (e.g. regulations, provisions, contracts, rates, wage agreements); and
  • the inclusion of discounts.

There are different forms of the note of endorsement:

  • “Arithmetically Accurate”
  • “Arithmetically accurate at….EURO”, if the final amounts in the appendices to formal payment orders or other invoice-related forms or documents or in substantiating documents were changed.
  • “Factual and Arithmetically Accurate” / “Factual and arithmetically accurate at….EURO”, as a combined note of endorsement, provided that the endorser is able to review and evaluate all of the facts of the transaction with regard to its accuracy.

See: sachliche Richtigkeit (Factual Accuracy)

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Rechnungsanweisung (Payment Authorization)

For cameralistics (budget-based financial accounting), as for all forms of accounting, the following principle applies: No posting without a receipt. Generally, the documents needed to authorize payment are the original invoice and the order form on which it is based, supplemented by an invoice cover sheet/order or an account assignment stamp that contains the required account assignment information. In the case of payments for which there is neither an invoice nor an order form, the appropriate forms (e.g. payment order) must be used, which provide space for written explanations. The explanations must unequivocally substantiate the reason for the payment.

Posting of expenses to precise headings: While the budget of a department is generally provided as a total sum within the scope of the “global budget”, strict compliance with the designated headings for individual items is required when posting expenditures. Therefore, it might be practical to place orders for different items (e.g. small equipment and consumables) on separate order forms directly at the time of ordering. An internal leaflet about Titelbindung (headings) is available on the intranet.

The key provisions concerning the responsibilities as well as the form and content of the payment authorization form are set out in the Regulatory Statutes (AV) for Section 70 LHO (Berlin State Budget Code).

See: Forms (Haushaltswesen) [Forms (Budget System)]; rechnerische Richtigkeit (Arithmetical Accuracy); sachliche Richtigkeit (Factual Accuracy); Wirtschaftsbefugnis (Management Authorization for Budget Funds)

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Reisekosten (Travel Expenses)

In general, employees of Freie Universität Berlin are reimbursed for travel expenses according to the Bundesreisekostengesetz (German Federal Travel Expenses Act / BRKG) in conjunction with Newsletter 07/2006. Therefore, prior to any trip for business reasons, appropriate applications have to be submitted to the Travel Expenses Office of Unit I A 3 or to the respective department administration. In addition, Unit I A 3 has to be notified of any facts and circumstances relevant to travel expenses, in order to ensure transparency with respect to accounting and reimbursement. Please also note the information on travel expense accounting and reimbursement.

Moreover, I A 3 provides additional explanatory forms and accounting sheets.

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Rundfunkgebühren (TV/Radio License Fees)

Please contact the II C Procurement subdivision before authorizing payment of TV/radio license fees.

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Sachliche Richtigkeit (Factual Accuracy)

Only staff members who have been assigned their own area of responsibility are authorized to issue a note of endorsement verifying the factual accuracy. The person who verifies and endorses the factual accuracy must be able to review and evaluate all of the facts of the transaction, and, upon signing the “Factually Accurate” note of endorsement, affirms

  • the accuracy of the payment-relevant information contained in the formal payment order as well as its appendices and substantiating documents, unless the staff member who endorses the arithmetical accuracy also has to affirm the factual accuracy;
  • that the formal payment order as well as its appendices and substantiating documents contain the required additional information;
  • that the procedure used complied with the current regulations and adhered to the principle of economic efficiency*;
  • that the service itself and the way it was performed were required;
  • that the service was properly and completely performed as specified in the underlying agreement;
  • that any partial payments, advance payments, garnishments and assignments have been fully and properly taken into account; and
  • that the issue of the payment order/request is evident from the files and records [(No. 7.1 of the AV (Regulatory Statutes) for Section 70 LHO (Berlin State Budget Code) (LHO)].
  • In general, the Wirtschaftsbefugte (person with management authorization for budget funds) has an obligation to check and verify the economic efficiency and appropriateness of a purchase and only he/she is entitled to sign order forms. In the context of authorizing the payment, the signature on the order form is therefore also taken as verification of factual accuracy in accordance with no. 7.1.2 (economic efficiency) and no. 7.1.2.2 (appropriateness of the service) of the AV for Section 70 LHO. In the further course of authorizing the payment, only the factual accuracy of the remaining areas must then be checked and verified (e.g. completeness of the documentation, delivery and flawlessness of the goods, etc.) along with the arithmetical accuracy. This may be verified by any member of staff who is familiar with the procedure and has access to the transaction; a formal management authorization for budget funds is not required for this (see the information on verifying and endorsing arithmetical accuracy).

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Safebag (Safe Bags)

Safe bags are used to deposit cash at the Cash Desk in the University Cashier’s Office (Hauptkasse). Safe bags are also provided by the Hauptkasse. In general, safe bags are used for handling discretionary funds as well as for receiving payments in the various administrative units (libraries, examination offices, etc.). Please note the office hours of the Cash Desk (Cashier’s Office): Mon., Wed., Fri. 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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Selbstbewirtschaftungsmittel (Discretionary Funds)

As a rule, non-cash payments at Freie Universität Berlin are the preferred method of payment.

Discretionary funds are only provided upon reasonable request for the purpose of making cash payments that are unavoidable, absolutely necessary, and due immediately.

Please note that discretionary funds are limited to a maximum amount of 250 euros per case. For more information, please refer to FU Newsletter H 3/01, which describes the procedure in detail (request/application, safekeeping, payment/accounting procedure, etc.).

To the accounting form:

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Skonto /-verlust (Discount / Loss of Discount)

Provided that the terms of the contract allow additional discount deductions, they are to be deducted under the payment terms; any other reductions or discounts remain unaffected. As a rule, invoices should be processed with priority and forwarded so that the University will not be put at a disadvantage due to payment delays.

In view of the subsequent invoice verification and auditing process , the reasons for the delay must be noted on the invoice or in an attachment. If the responsible staff member is on vacation time, that in itself is not an approved reason for the payment delay, since substitution arrangements must be planned and ensured for this purpose. In larger teams or administrative departments, this also applies to sick leave. The note must be signed with the person’s full name and dated.

See: BIOS; rechnerische Richtigkeit (Arithmetical Accuracy); Wirtschaftlichkeit (Economic Efficiency)

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Sollumbuchung (Debit Re-posting)

See: Ansatz (Budget Appropriations)

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Sparsamkeit (Cost-effectiveness)

See: Wirtschaftlichkeit (Economic Efficiency)

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Sponsoring

Die Begriffe „Spende“ und „Sponsoring“ werden teilweise synonym gebraucht.

Hinsichtlich der Bewertung und des Umgang mit diesbezüglichen Einnahmen gibt es wichtige Unterschiede.

Spenden sind Zuwendungen, die nicht an eine Gegenleistung geknüpft sind. Spendeneinnahmen unterliegen nicht der Steuerpflicht und können daher zu 100% vom empfangenden Bereich verausgabt werden. Die Ausstellung einer Zuwendungsbescheinigung (Spendenbescheinigung) für den Spender ist möglich.

Bei Einnahmen aus Sponsoring hingegen werden  vom Sponsor in  eine Gegenleistung erwartet. Damit liegt wirtschaftliches Handeln vor, das steuerlich besonders zu betrachten ist.

Einzelheiten entnehmen Sie bitte dem Merkblatt

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Stipendien /-richtlinie (Grants/Scholarships and Grant/Scholarship Guidelines)

At Freie Universität Berlin, grants and scholarships are generally only awarded by the academic facilities/ institutions/programs listed in the budget. The current funding opportunities and sources can be found in the budget (Chapter 01, heading 681 70).

Funds in the base budget (global budget) may not be used for grants or scholarships. Otherwise, grants and scholarships can be sponsored using external funding or by utilizing the Dahlem Research School (DRS) program. Detailed information can be found in the terms and conditions of the respective grant or scholarship; if you have any questions, please contact the External Funding Administration office. The FU Berlin’s grant/scholarship guidelines contain an overview of the funding opportunities and sources. The guidelines are available here.

Grants and scholarships do not establish an employment or work relationship or contract. In this respect, recipients of grants or scholarships are not bound by instructions, and do not have to submit individual applications for the approval of absences or vacation leaves. This does not apply to the generally binding requirements, instructions and guidelines regarding safety, security, and practical work on the university premises. Since grants and scholarships can only be awarded as a subsidy for living expenses, they are not subject to taxes and social security contributions; therefore, the recipients need to take out health insurance themselves. Accident insurance is included with formal enrollment. Any exceptions and additions are regulated in the scholarship/grant agreement.

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Stundung (Deferrals)

See: Veränderung von Ansprüchen (Changes to Claims)

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Titel (Heading)

The term “heading” is a term used in budgetary law; headings always consist of five digits. At Freie Universität Berlin, all payment transactions are posted using eight-digit commitment items, which are composed of the five-digit heading and a three-digit cost type.

See: Kontierung (Account Assignment)

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Titelverbund (TV) (Global Budget)

The term “global budget” is a term used in budgetary law. The global budget is the aggregate of the commitment items that are to be managed within the scope of the decentralized departmental and divisional responsibilities concerning task fulfillment and resource management. Each budget year, the administrative units are provided with this budget for the purpose of covering their ongoing material expenses. Please refer to the current global budget (TV) list of commitment items for an overview of the commitment items managed under the global budget (link).

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Trinkgeld (Tip)

Non-refundable item in the context of hospitality/visitor support.

See: Besucherbetreuung (Visitor Support and Hospitality)

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Umbuchung (Re-posting/Transfer)

If it is determined that a wrong account assignment was used for a posting, it has to be corrected by using a re-posting/transfer order. Regardless of adjustment postings, a proportional payment of costs and internal FU Berlin services between two administrative units (e.g. software purchase, training) can also be initiated using a re-posting/transfer order.

Re-postings/transfers from budget funds to external funding have to be coordinated with the IC1 team and the External Funding Administration office.

If the affected department unit uses the DMS process, the corresponding BIOS re-posting/transfer order form is to be used, which can be called up through the portal access. If the administrative unit does not use the DMS, the form is available on the Division I webpage.

See: DMS; Fonds (Funds); Formulare (Forms); Kontierungselemente (Account Assignment Elements)

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Umbuchungsauftrag (Re-posting/Transfer Order)

See: Formulare (Forms); Umbuchung (Re-posting/Transfer)

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Vakanzprofessur (Substitute Professor)

See: Gastprofessur (Visiting Professor)

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Veranstaltung (Event)

See: Besucherbetreuung (Visitor Support and Hospitality)

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Verauslagung

See: Erstattung (Refunds)

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Veränderung von Ansprüchen (Changes to Claims)

1. A write-off is an administrative measure which permanently discontinues the further pursuit of a claim that is due and payable.

2. A deferral is a measure which defers the due date of a claim until a later time. A deferral is only granted upon request. When the deferral is granted, a deferment period is specified.

3. A waiver is a measure that waives a claim that is due and payable. When a waiver is granted, the claim is discharged and no longer valid.

Staff members authorized by the Director of Administration and Finance to grant waivers for claims are required to comply with the AV (Regulatory Statutes) for Section 59 LHO (Berlin State Budget Code) as well as FU Newsletter H 06/2001.

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Vergabeverfahren(Negotiated Procedure)

See: Auftragserteilung (Order Placement / Awarding of Contracts)

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Verkauf (Sales)

See: Aussonderung (Disposal of Assets); Inventarisierung (Inventory)

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Verrechnung (Intercompany Billing)

Intercompany billing is used for the proportional payment of costs and internal FU Berlin services between two administrative units. Examples of intercompany billing include the provision of connections in a wired data network and in the ZEDAT telephone network, where proportional costs are settled on a per connection basis. The billing is done quarterly in the following quarter.

See: Umbuchung (Re-posting/Transfer)

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Versicherung (Insurance)

For information on the insurance coverage in place at Freie Universität Berlin, please refer to FU Newsletter H 02/2004. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Jargstorf (ext. 54286) in the II C 14 unit.

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Wegstreckenentschädigung (Mileage Reimbursement)

See the regulations and guidelines regarding university vehicles (Richtlinien zu Dienstkraftfahrzeugen) dated 02-27-1998.

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Weiterbildung (Continuing Education and Training)

For information on the continuing education and training opportunities offered by the I C subdivision (Finances and Human Resources), please see the calendar of events and programs available from the Continuing Education Center.

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Werkvertrag (Contracts for Work and Services)

In principle, all required work and tasks are to be carried out by staff members of Freie Universität Berlin within the scope of their official duties or work obligations. Contracts for work and services are therefore only issued in justified exceptional cases and are subject to various terms and conditions, which can be found in the information sheet listed below. Strict compliance with these terms and conditions is mandatory.

Information on: Werkverträge (Contracts for Work and Services)

In addition, please refer to the pertinent FU Newsletters H 2/2000 and V 08/2004 as well as the “Positive-Negative List”, which explains and details the extremely important criteria concerning social security obligations with regard to awarding contracts for work and services; it is imperative that these criteria be observed by the department or unit awarding the contract. If you have any questions on this topic, please contact the units of the I C 1 team – Budgeting and Budget Management unit.

Only the heads of the department administrations, central institutes, central facilities and divisions are permitted to approve and conclude contracts for work and services. For external funding projects, the project management is responsible for approving and concluding contracts for work and services. The availability of the funds must be ensured prior to awarding a contract for work and services.

See: Heinzelmännchen (Employment Agency for Students); Positiv-Negativ-Liste (Positive-Negative List)

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Wirtschafterbefugnis (Management Authorization for Budget Funds)

The Wirtschafterbefugnis (management authorization for budget funds) is a special regulation at Freie Universität Berlin that is derived from the LHO. By default, it includes both the authority to issue orders to the University’s Cashier’s Office and the power of representation (purchase authority), on the basis of which orders and contracts can be initiated in the name of Freie Universität Berlin. Upon request, the management authorization for budget funds is conferred by the Director of Administration and Finance in his function as the Budget Officer.

The department administrations as well as the divisions of the Central University Administration can submit applications for management authorization for budget funds to the Budgeting and Budget Management unit team – II A 1 (further information); changes in the responsibilities and duties have to be promptly reported to the II A 1 and checked by the decentralized department administrations to ensure they are up to date.

See: Anordnungsbefugnis (Authority to Issue Orders); Auftragsvergabe (Order Placement / Awarding of Contracts); Bestellbefugnis (Purchase Authority); Wirtschaftlichkeit (Economic Efficiency)

More information and the application form can be found here.

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Wirtschaftlichkeit (Economic Efficiency)

In line with the principles of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, optimal use of resources should be a focus of all administrative actions. Accordingly, the observance of these principles also includes checking whether a task is required and whether it must be performed by the public agency.

According to the principle of economic efficiency, the goal is the most favorable and cost-efficient ratio between the purpose being pursued and the funds (resources) to be used. The most favorable and cost-efficient purpose-funds ratio exists when a specific result is achieved with the lowest possible use of funds or when the best possible result is achieved using a certain amount of specific funds.

According to the principle of cost-effectiveness, the funds to be used should be limited to the extent necessary to fulfill the task.

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Workflow (Arbeitsprozess) (Work Process)

The term “workflow” refers to the steps used in the DMS (see DMS training materials, p. 5 et seq.)

See: DMS

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Zahlstellen (Payment Offices)

The payment offices of Freie Universität Berlin accept and receive cash payments. Requests for establishing a payment office have to be submitted to the IC1 team. With regard to storing cash, the cash security rules and regulations apply; a newsletter on this topic will be available here shortly.

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Zielvereinbarungen (Target Agreements)

Target agreements are concluded between the university management and the various departments of Freie Universität Berlin for a specified period of time. They are used to define the results and/or process objectives to be achieved with respect to quality assurance and continuous improvement of teaching and research. The management of funds arising from target agreements is subject to the applicable principles of budgetary law.

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