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Internal Control Practices: Overview

Learn how to incorporate internal control practices into your department's everyday procedures.

About control practices

Internal control practices enable UC San Diego to achieve its objectives while maintaining an environment that focuses on ethics and accountability. Establishing an ethical environment at all levels of the organization is the most important element of accountability and control.

Effective control activities help you and your department identify priorities, achieve department goals, report reliably, meet compliance regulations, and safeguard university resources.

Your department benefits by:

  • Reducing and preventing errors in a cost-effective manner
  • Ensuring priority issues are idenitified and addressed
  • Protecting employees
  • Providing appropriate checks and balances

4 keys to great internal control practices:

With tightened resources, it’s more important than ever to minimize risk and focus on these key areas.

  1. Separation of duties: Divide responsibilities between different people so one individual doesn’t control all aspects of a transaction.
  2. Authorization and approvals: Be sure that only a person with delegated authority approves or authorizes transactions.
  3. Security of assets: Safely secure equipment, cash, inventory, and resources. Reduce the risk of unauthorized use. Count periodically and compare with amounts shown on control records.
  4. Review and reconciliation: Regularly examine transaction records against official university records to verify accuracy, appropriateness, and proper compliance.

Internal control practices topics

Read about potential consequences and best practices tailored to various business areas:

Consider the consequences of not using these key tools, then build the best practices into your business operations as the standard. Sharing and communicating information is crucial. Everyone at UCSD contributes to an effective control environment.

For more information, see the Internal Controls section of the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook.

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