POL-U5320.03 Authorizing and Defining Financial Responsibilities

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

December 7, 2005

Revised Date:

January 9, 2024

Approved by:

President Sabah Randhawa

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all University faculty and professional and classified staff.


This policy serves to provide guidance and establish controls to assist personnel in being accountable and responsible stewards of University financial resources.



For the purpose of financial control, accountability is the delegation of authority to qualified persons to initiate, approve, process, and review financial transactions and the holding of those persons responsible for the validity, correctness, and appropriateness of their actions.

Budget Authority

An individual authorized by a financial manager to perform specific financial duties, such as approving expenditures and monitoring budgets.

Financial Authority

The authority to receive and expend University funds.

Financial Manager

An employee in a position to which an organization code or fund is assigned; is granted financial authority over the monies allocated to the organization code and/or fund.


A fund represents an accounting unit with a separate, self-balancing set of accounts created to appropriate use of resources in accordance with the fund’s purpose.

Organization Code

An organization code represents a separately identifiable budget unit, such as a college or department, used to track budget responsibility, provide system security and facilitate generation of reports and summarizations.

Policy Statements

1. University President and Board of Trustees Responsible for Ensuring Sound Financial Management

The President and Board of Trustees are ultimately responsible for ensuring sound financial management of the organization, see Board of Trustees Rule of Operations.

2. University President Delegates Financial Authority to Provost, Vice Presidents and other Designees

The Provost, Vice Presidents and designees may further designate Financial Managers within their division or area of responsibility. For funds that include multiple organization codes with more than one Financial Manager, a Vice President will designate one of the financial managers as Lead Financial Manager of that fund.

Designations are maintained in the University’s finance system and are reviewed regularly by Financial Services, Vice Presidents and division budget officers for accuracy.

3. Provost, Vice Presidents and Designees Responsible for Monitoring Financial Operations and Ensuring Appropriate Training

The Provost, Vice Presidents and designees are responsible for monitoring the operations of their unit(s) no less than semi-annually and ensuring sound practices are developed and implemented.

The Provost and Vice Presidents will ensure Financial Managers, including themselves:

a) Participate in Financial Manager overview training,

b) Conduct regular internal control reviews when initiated and scheduled by the Internal Control Officer or the Director of Financial Services, and

c) Take necessary action following an internal control review to meet compliance standards.

4. Financial Managers are Accountable for Financial Management of Delegated Funds

Financial Managers are accountable for the resources entrusted to them. They must maintain a current understanding of their financial situation and ensure:

a) Contracts and agreements (including employment offer letters, hiring agreements, or contracts) that legally obligate the University for performance or monetary issues are approved in accordance with University policies and procedures, and bargaining unit contracts prior to allowing any services to be provided,

b) Funds are spent:

  • In accordance with applicable University policies and procedures, standards, state and federal rules, and agency, grant and contract guidelines, and
  • Within available budget and available cash,

c) Annual projections of self-sustaining revenues and expenditures for each fiscal year are developed and strategies are implemented to maintain fund stability,

d) Financial reports are reviewed regularly for accuracy and appropriateness and that issues are promptly and thoroughly investigated,

e) Internal policies and procedures are:

  • Established and include internal controls in accordance with University standards and guidelines,
  • Are well communicated, followed, and regularly reviewed for updates and effectiveness,
  • Vulnerabilities (including known violations) are documented and promptly and thoroughly addressed, and

f) Performance concerns of employees responsible for the stewardship of financial resources are promptly and adequately addressed.

In the event that a negative fund balance is anticipated to occur, Financial Managers are to coordinate an action plan with their division vice president or Provost (or President when applicable) to prevent negative fund balances in a timely manner. 

5. Financial Managers May Delegate Fiscal Duties and Approval Authority

Financial Managers may delegate fiscal duties and approval authority for financial transactions such as, but not limited to, journal vouchers, timesheets, purchases, and work orders. Authority may include oversight of a specific fund(s), however, the Manager remains accountable for the fund.

All delegated fiscal duties should be clearly stated in each employee’s job Authorization to approve financial transactions may only be granted via the Budget Authority Authorization Form (FRM-U5320.03).

Financial Managers must review segregation of duties prior to granting duties and authority and ensure each involved employee:

a) Is provided with and follows relevant policies, procedures, regulations, rules and guidelines,

b) Participates in all training required by Financial Services in order to perform their fiscal duties in a compliant and efficient manner, and

c) Has their authority or permissions removed when appropriate (such as when changing duties).

6. Employees Must Maintain Compliance and Report Concerns

No employee may authorize financial transactions without official designation as a authority regardless of their position.

Employees who are delegated fiscal duties must follow all applicable policies and procedures and may only perform those duties and/or financial transactions for which they have been authorized. All actions that deviate from policy and/or procedure must be approved by the Financial Manager to ensure internal controls are maintained.

All employees must respond to issues that arise in the course of their duties that pose a risk to the University by promptly reporting them to their supervisors, their division Vice President when appropriate or through the University Fraud Hotline. If there is a known or suspected loss, employees are to the Reporting Loss of University Funds or Property procedures (PRO-U5950.19A).

7. Director of Financial Services Ensures Guidance and Training

The Director of Financial Services will ensure guidance and tools are made available to support Financial Managers and staff. In order to ensure adequate communication and consistent application of policies, procedures, and responsibility expectations, the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs will determine which trainings and internal control review actions are required.

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