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Delegation of Authority and Potential Risk: Finance

Read the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook's section on financial responsibilities and delegation of authority.

Administrative officials can delegate certain duties to staff. Even so, administrative officials remain accountable for all activities in their areas of responsibility and should take appropriate precautions to avoid risk.

Responsibilities that cannot be delegated by administrative officials

  • Ensuring that proper controls and monitoring procedures are in place
  • Ensuring that reports are accurate and meaningful

Responsibilities that can be delegated by administrative officials

  • Establishing financial plans that result in maintaining a positive financial fund balance and avoid overdrafts
  • Complying with applicable laws and regulations, policies, and contract terms
  • Implementing monitoring and reporting procedures to measure financial performance against established budgets
  • Implementing ethical business practices and operating procedures
  • Safeguarding assets against waste, loss, and misuse
  • Assuring that costs are properly recorded and charged
  • Segregating duties to prevent any one individual from exercising control over all financial transactions
  • Reviewing work for policy compliance, accuracy, and timeliness
  • Ensuring that employees provide explanations and documentation to support post-authorization review and audit
  • Identifying unauthorized transactions, loss of university assets, or material irregularity and inform management
  • Providing fiscal support staff with core systems training to effectively complete responsibilities

Practices that should be in place to avoid risk

  • Internal control documentation: Key controls that are not adequately documented could impact the university's ability to keep and/or maintain funding.
  • Bank accounts: University monies utilizing bank accounts must be coordinated through the campus Cash Handling Coordinator and pre-approved by the State Treasurer's Office.
  • Cash and checks: Monies received must be deposited daily and secured in a locked recepticle.
  • Charitable or political contributions: Contributions should not be made on behalf of the university unless they are consistent with the mission of the university and approved by the chancellor.
  • Conflict-of-interest issues: University funds cannot be used for personal use or for products or services from an employee or a relative. Employees cannot accept cash, gifts, or benefits from vendors or organizations that do business with the university.
  • Cost transfers affecting governmental funds: These transactions must be processed on the ENPET system according to procedures established by the Office of Post Award Financial Services (OPAFS).
  • Department financial systems/ reporting: Departments are encouraged to use the university's FinancialLink module to assure that income and expense activities are reconciled to official financial records.
  • Disbursing monies to employees: Employees cannot approve payroll or other disbursements to themselves and cannot be paid as independent contractors or consultants.
  • Foreign visitor payments or reimbursements: They must adhere to Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) regulations.
  • Inadequate training: Staff should be properly trained in order to avoid inappropriate or erroneous transactions that can lead to inaccurate reporting, loss of productivity, and loss of funding to the university.
  • Purchasing goods and services: University funds cannot be committed without specific delegation of purchasing authority. Employees contemplating business arrangements with outside entities should contact appropriate offices for consultation and support.
  • Recharge activities: Activities must be processed through the Financial Analysis Office, reviewed by the Recharge Rate Review Committee and approved by the controller.
  • Safeguarding university assets: Contact Risk Management if there is a possibility of loss or damage to university goods or property. Equipment used in homes or other locations remains the property of the university and must be returned when no longer used for university business.

If a situation involving financial risk occurs or seems likely to occur, involve the appropriate office immediately.