A commitment is an agreement or a pledge to assume a financial obligation at a future date e.g. the funds that we are committing to spend with a supplier when we send them a purchase order.
UFS is a commitment accounting system. This means that details of any orders placed using the Purchasing module (or iProcurement) are recognised by the system and show as costs against the relevant source of funds (or research grant) even before an invoice is received. This helps to ensure that obligations against funds are shown on the system as soon as possible, thereby reducing the exposure to spending funds more than once.
In addition to the reports detailed in this chapter there is also an on-line Funds Available Enquiry within UFS that shows at any point in time the budget, actual expenditure, commitments and thus funds left on any account (or certain groups of cost centres).