Canadian Association of Research Administrators Bad-Debt Write-Off Policy


1.0  Purpose

The Canadian Association of Research Administrators’ (CARA) has policies and procedures to prevent the accumulation of uncollectable income/bad debt; however, there is an occasion when the income due to CARA cannot be collected and has to be written off. This policy specifies steps that must be taken to designate an account as uncollectible and to remove such accounts from the general ledger account fund balance (e.g. write it off).


2.0 Policy Statement

2.1 Money owed to CARA for goods, programs or services is determined to be uncollectible if it meets one or more of the following criteria:

-  CARA has followed its standard collection procedures including prompt invoicing and three follow-up emails and/or telephone calls and the account remains unpaid

-  CARA has not been able to successfully establish communication with the debtor after multiple attempts over a six month period

-  The debt is disputed and CARA lacks sufficient documentation to pursue collection

-  The treasurer determines it is not cost-effective for CARA to continue its collection efforts

-  The debtor (in the case of an individual) has died or ceased to exist (in the case of an institution)

-  The debtor has declared bankruptcy

2.2 In the event the debt is determined uncollectible, the debtor shall be prohibited from accessing any further CARA programs and services until the debt is paid in full. This provision will not apply if the debt is fully discharged in bankruptcy or if the account was disputed and CARA had insufficient documentation to pursue collection.

2.3 The treasurer is authorized to determine if debts up to five hundred dollars are uncollectible. For amounts greater than five hundred dollars, the Executive Committee is authorized to determine if a debt is uncollectible. When debts are determined to be uncollectible, CARA staff will record the decision and ensure that the debtor is not able to incur any further debt with CARA.

2.4 The treasurer and/or Executive Director may elect to delegate a collections agency to recover funds owed.   


Approved by the CARA Executive Board: 5 April 2016, 11 July 2017, 7 April 2020

Revised by the CARA Executive Committee: October 9, 2018

In the event of inconsistency between the French and English versions, the English language version shall prevail.