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Policy: I.A.1 x4 (inactive)

Issued: July 17, 1989

Owner: University Comptroller

Latest Revision: May 16, 2003



For Current Policies:
Policy Table of Contents


1.0 Purpose

This policy describes the general guidelines for establishing and maintaining internal control procedures for departments and other University activities.

2.0 Policy [Top]

2.1 General

Internal controls include organizational plans and procedures which are designed to:

Department and activity heads are responsible for conducting their business activities in a manner consistent with good internal control. Individuals responsible for administering University funds are expected to:

The University Comptroller is responsible for the promulgation of policies and procedures directed toward the establishment of good internal control.

The University's internal auditors, in their periodic reviews of departments and activities, will review the system of internal control and make recommendations for improvements.

2.2 Responsibility to Safeguard Assets

Assets include all property of the University. Examples of assets are buildings, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, and cash (including checks).

Extreme care must be exercised in safeguarding cash and items easily convertible to cash, such as accounts receivable. Appropriate physical safeguards must be employed to protect all assets. Cash must be secured in a locked facility (an appropriate safe is strongly recommended).


Any observed weaknesses in internal control should be brought to the attention of the University Comptroller immediately.

2.3 Responsibility to Verify the Accuracy and Reliability of Financial Data

The University's Integrated System maintains a comprehensive record of all financial transactions. Access to information about the status of individual projects, awards, tasks, and transactions is available through queries, pre-defined reports and custom reports.

It is the responsibility of departments and activities to process all transactions in a timely manner and to verify, promptly, the accuracy of all transactions posted to their projects and accounts. This will require, at least, a monthly review and approval of all transactions recorded in a given project or account. Any errors should be reported immediately to the originator or to the appropriate central financial office.

See also Procedure 1-4, "Reviewing Project/Award Activity"

The reliability of information retrieved from the financial modules of the Integrated System is dependent on the timely recording of all transactions. Vouchers, travel expense reimbursement vouchers, billings of support service units, receipts, personnel/payroll actions, and any other financial transactions must be immediately entered into the Integrated System or forwarded promptly to the appropriate central financial office for processing.

The University's central financial offices will review accounts on a selective basis and seek resolution of any questionable transactions or balances.

2.4 Responsibility to Safeguard Personal Financial Information

Financial Institutions, including collegies and universities are subject to the provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (2000) as it pertains to ensuring the security and confidentiality of customer records such as names, addresses, phone numbers, bank and credit card account numbers, income and credit histories, and Social Security numbers. All University service providers are responsible for preparing and executing an Information Security Program to:

2.5 Responsibility to Review Projects and Reconcile Accounts Periodically

Fiscal Administrators are responsible for ensuring each assigned project or account is reviewed and reconciled to departmental records on a monthly basis, and that all transactions placed in suspense projects are also resolved monthly. Departments are responsible for maintaining source documentation for all transactions in accordance with established records retention and distribution schedules. Departments are also responsible for providing source documentation, in a timely manner, at the request of a central financial office or an internal or external audit.

Fiscal Administrators are expected to be familiar with financial policies and procedures and serve as the primary resource for inquiries on that group of projects or accounts. "Fiscal Administrator" is the person responsible for monitoring and reconciling the activity in a group of projects or accounts. A Fiscal Administrator will usually have the Integrated System Funds Management responsibility of "Project Manager" or "Award Manager".

2.6 Responsibility to Promote Operational Efficiency Through Organization and Training

2.7 Adherence to University Policies and Procedures

The University's policies and procedures are a primary means of establishing internal controls. In addition to conforming to certain State and Federal regulations, these controls allow the University to fulfill the dictates of prudent management. All individuals who deal with financial and administrative matters must be familiar with and adhere to these policies and procedures. Failure to adhere to the University's policies and procedures may be considered misconduct, as stated in the State's Standard of Conduct Policy.

2.8 Monitoring of Internal Controls by the Audit Department

The University's Audit Department is an integral part of the internal controls system. This office will monitor and evaluate internal controls as part of its annual audit plan. Weaknesses in internal controls will be commented on by the Audit Department in its reports.

The appropriate department or activity head must make a written response to any findings of inadequate internal controls and take prompt corrective action as recommended.

2.9 Documenting Departmental Business Operations

Departments should document all unique business operations with internal policies and procedures. Such departmental policies/ procedures not only document current operating practices, but also enhance management's communication to employees, help produce consistency of effort during periods of turnover, and provide a training aid for new employees.

2.10 Maintenance of Internal Controls

In an effort to maintain an effective system of internal controls, University management has instituted the following measures:

3.0 Definitions [Top]

4.0 References [Top]

The following is a list of financial policies and procedures addressing major internal controls issues.

See also Employee Policies maintained by Human Resources

5.0 Approvals and Revisions [Top]

         Previous version in effect from 5/16/03 to 7/14/09 available in policy archive. 
Previous version in effect from 6/14/01 to 5/16/03 available in policy archive. 
Previous version in effect from 3/8/00 to 6/14/01 available in policy archive.
       Previous version in effect from 7/17/89 to 3/7/00 available in policy archive.

Maintained by University Comptroller
© 2001 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia