Baseline Standards - Expenditures

College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics (NSM) is for the most part decentralized in the sense that all financial transactions (travel, purchase requisitions, purchase vouchers, etc.) are reviewed/approved/certified by the Department Business Administrators prior to leaving the departments. Preparation of financial documents is currently completed within the departments. There are 7 academic departments in the College and 4 institutes. Financial transactions and Personnel Action Requests for the academic & Dean designated accounts are initiated by the Department Business Administrator and prepared by the Financial Assistant with some preparation done by the Department Business Administrator. Preparation for requests or expenditures for travel, equipment, etc. by college faculty are based upon prior authorization by the Departmental Chair, College Business Administrator or the Dean. Supervisory personnel approve all reimbursements (travel, purchase vouchers, etc.) for personnel under their direct supervision. Under the supervision of the Department Business Administrator, financial documents are prepared by the Financial Assistant, Office Assistant, Secretary, or by Department Business Administrator directly.

Expenditures - Internal Control Objectives Minimum Internal Control Techniques

Valid authorization of purchase documents

  1. Approval by the proper level of management of established vendors, prices, quality of goods, quantities, and terms.
  2. Current prices, vendors, specifications, and terms are made available to requesting units.
  3. Minimize the departmental personnel involved in the preparation of purchase documents to those specifically trained on the various purchase regulations.
  4. Written approval on a purchase voucher or acquisition by department business manager as to vendors, prices, quality, quantities, and terms by reference to documented data approved by management.
  5. Instruct vendors to forward invoices directly to UH Accounts Payable or submit vendor invoices received by departmental personnel directly to Accounts Payable
Response:
  • All expenditures are approved by the authorized departmental signature authority.
  • Items are readily available on the web and in an internal vendor database to maintain division and departmental specific vendor instructions.
  • Each department has designated purchasing agent.
  • All purchase requests are approved by the Director/DBA or his/her designee.
  • Normally all invoices would be forwarded directly to Accounts Payable. The College is currently involved in a pilot program where all payments (including Purchase Orders) are made in the College.

Validity of travel expenses

  1. Preparation of travel and expense reimbursement requests only on the basis of an authorized travel or expense request by a department employee who does not approve the travel or expense.
  2. Review by department business manager of applicable supporting documentation prior to authorization of travel, or reimbursement request.
  3. Appropriate management level of additional authorization for foreign travel requests, research related travel, or reimbursement requests of unusually large amounts.
Response:
  • A. All travel and expense reimbursement requests must be prior approved by the employees direct supervisor and must have a certifying signature. Travel reimbursements are prepared by support staff.
  • The appropriate business office staff reviews all supporting documentation.
  • The College follows University and state guidelines regarding foreign (and all other) travel. Research related travel is approved by the College‚Äôs Research Administrator according to the granting agency's guidelines and in accordance with the Office of Grants and Contracts. Any unusual reimbursement requests are approved by the Dean.

Completeness of recognition of liabilities for goods and services accepted

  1. Requestor completes receiving report as goods or services are accepted and promptly forwards to Accounts Payable (AP) as authorization to pay vendor.
Response:
  • Normally, the departmental purchasing agents would verify the receiving report and forwarded it to AP. Under the pilot program, all receiving reports are verified by the purchasing agent and forwarded to appropriate internal personnel for payment.

Propriety of account classification

  1. Department business manager checks coding on all purchase and travel documents.
Response:
  • The appropriate business personnel checks all coding on expenditure documents.

Validity, completeness and accuracy of recorded balances

Response:

Consistent and efficient responses to inquiries

Response:
  1. Department business manager periodically compares PeopleSoft with budgeted amounts and prior periods.
  2. The performance of employees who prepare purchase documents is regularly measured and evaluated, and improvement progress is monitored systematically.
    • The Director and DBA each month compare PeopleSoft with budgeted amounts and prior periods.
    • Performance and training of all employees in the business offices are monitored and measured on an on-going basis. Performance evaluations are completed annually.
    1. The department business manager is responsible for all travel purchasing and accounts payable related inquiries and is the primary contact person to whom all questions are directed.
    • The above responsibility for major inquiries is shared with the Director and DBA's with other business personnel being the point of contact for less urgent and critical issues.