Financial Services Manual (FIN)

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Effective: 5/1/1985

Revised: 9/12/2011

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FIN 203: Org Manager Responsibilities

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Purpose

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To describe the responsibilities of org managers

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Sources

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Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 38–501 to –511
University policy

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Policy

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An org manager, a faculty or staff employee, has overall responsibility for each university agency/org. The responsibilities of the org manager are to:

  1. Appoint other people as authorized signers for the agency/org. It is recommended that agency/orgs have up to four authorized signers, including the org manager.
  2. Process against the agency/org only expenditure transactions, Personnel Action forms (PAFs), and budget changes/transfers consistent with the agency/org’s purpose. For agency/orgs having gift deposits, ensure that the gift funds are used in accordance with the donor’s stipulations. For agency/orgs having externally sponsored funding, expenditures must comply with any externally imposed stipulations. The spending of donor- or sponsor-provided funds contrary to the donor or sponsor stipulations could also be a violation of state statutes, carrying with it possible significant penalties to the person(s) incorrectly spending the funds.
  3. An org manager’s or authorized signer’s approval/signature on a disbursement transaction is attestation to Financial Services that:

    1. the transaction is valid within the context of the agency/org’s purpose
    2. the documentation is sufficient for subsequent audit review, e.g., there is sufficient indication of the public purpose served if not inherently obvious

      and

    3. the payment is for products/services already received except for items normally paid in advance such as subscriptions, maintenance contracts, and individual book purchases or arrangements where documented significant economic advantages accrue to ASU from such a payment arrangement.
    4. Note: Org managers and authorized signers cannot authorize payments to themselves.
  1. Recognize and be sensitive to the fact that an important part of the delegated accountability for the financial management of ASU’s resources is the establishment and implementation of adequate internal controls. Internal control is the integrated process of checks and balances established by a unit to provide reasonable assurance to protect university assets; to prevent unintentional errors; to detect intentional miscoding, misuse, or misappropriation of university resources; and to reduce risk.

    The basis of ASU’s internal control directive is that primary and ultimate responsibility for the establishment and maintenance of sound internal control systems rests with org managers. A fundamental aspect of this stewardship is the responsibility to provide Arizona taxpayers, ASU students, donors, granting agencies, and others reasonable assurance that ASU’s resources are adequately controlled and that financial statements based upon expenses and revenues recorded in accounts are accurate.

    Org managers, as well as all employees, are responsible for communicating identified operational problems, deviations from established standards, and suspected or actual violations of university policies and procedures or state law to an appropriate department (this can be, depending upon the circumstances, Financial Services, Internal Audit, General Counsel, dean’s office, Police Department, or a provost or vice president’s office):

    General guidelines for internal control include:

    1. Segregation of duties. Individual duties should be separated so that one person’s work routinely serves as a complementary check on another person’s work. No one person should have complete control over more than one key processing function or activity, such as authorizing, approving, disbursing, receiving, or reconciling.
    2. Authorization and approval. Transactions are authorized when they are proper and consistent with university policies and procedures and the unit’s approved purpose, plan, or mission. Transactions are approved by a person who has formal approval authority (e.g., authorized account signers).
    3. Custodial and security arrangements. The responsibility for the physical security of assets is separated from the related record keeping (accounting) for these assets. Unauthorized access to assets and accounting records should not be allowed.
    4. Review and reconciliation. Departmental accounting records are examined by employees who possess sufficient understanding of the university’s financial system to verify that recorded transactions actually took place, were made in accordance with prescribed procedures, and are compared with the university’s financial system (Advantage) reports to verify their reasonableness, accuracy, and completeness.

    A listing of specific internal control examples is available on the ASU University Audit and Advisory Services Web site.

  1. Each ASU manager needs to monitor adherence by their staff to university policies and procedures. The Board of Regents have indicated a desire for stringent personnel action for those that may intentionally or flagrantly misuse or mismanage financial transactions, or not follow financial policies and procedures. The stringent personnel action includes sanctions for the violator’s supervisor or, in the case of the ASU Purchasing Card (P-Card), other departmental personnel entrusted with P-Card reviewer responsibility.
  2. Control spending so that the agency/orgs do not go into deficit status. While the Advantage financial accounting system does have certain expenditure control features, charges for goods/services already rendered are typically processed regardless of availability of funds due to certain automatic override features that have been established in Advantage financial accounting.

    Some examples of charges that are subject to the automatic override are:

    1. all payroll charges, including those that are retroactively transferred from one agency/org to another
    2. Departmental Limited Value Purchase Orders (PDLVPOs)
    3. payments to off-campus vendors, including use taxes, freight, etc., once the purchase order has been written

      and

    4. payments to ASU service departments.
  1. Determine timely funding sources for any agency/org deficits. If the org manager does not indicate a funding source for the deficit, the applicable provost/vice provost/vice president or dean is responsible for determining a funding source (see FIN 215, “Vice Presidential and College Area Responsibilities). If the agency/org becomes inactive, instruct the appropriate accountant on the disposition of any surplus.
  2. It is inappropriate for a department to have a deficit agency/org while the department has related funds on deposit at the ASU Foundation or other financially related organization. Each deficit agency/org at ASU represents lost investment income to the university. A deficit agency/org can be assessed, upon notification by Financial Services, a charge equivalent to the amount of investment income lost during a given period due to that agency/org’s deficit balance.
  3. Adhere to the policies and procedures presented in this manual for maintaining agency/orgs and processing/coding transactions.

    If the university incurs an IRS penalty as a result of departmental coding errors or failure to follow prescribed policies and procedures, the department may be assessed the penalty.

  4. Violation of policies and procedures could subject the violator, and his or her supervisor, to disciplinary action ranging from reprimand to involuntary termination.

  5. Designate another person as org manager if transferring to another position on campus or leaving university employment.
  1. Review the monthly Advantage financial accounting system detail expense transaction reports to determine that all charges and credits for the month are appropriate. The monthly expense review should also include the use of the BPC dashboard, MyReports queries, or other resources as necessary to verify salary and/or wage expenses for each employee. If the monthly review identifies an overpayment or underpayment of wages or salary, please contact your payroll specialist in Payroll Services to promptly correct the error. Best Practices related to reconciling payroll expense are available on the Financial Services Web site. Adopting these Best Practices ensures that adequate controls in compliance with this university policy are in place. Review the monthly Advantage detail revenue transaction reports to determine that all revenue has been recorded. Review monthly Advantage summary reports for reasonableness. These duties may be performed by the org manager or other personnel in the office (e.g., administrative associate/assistant or business manager).

    For org managers having responsibility for Auxiliary Enterprises (third digit of area code is a 2), reconcile on a timely basis balance sheet accounts (e.g., deferred revenue and deferred expenses) to supporting internal documentation.

  2. Contact the accountant in Financial Services or the sponsored projects officer (SPO) in the Office for Research and Sponsored Projects Administration (ORSPA) assigned to the agency/org to answer questions or provide further clarifications.

    Note: The accountant or SPO for each agency/org is listed in the upper right-hand corner on the monthly Advantage reports.

  3. Ensure that any lobbying-related expense—including the payment of membership fees for which a portion of the fee has been designated to be used for lobbying—has written approval from the vice president for Public Affairs or the university designated lobbyist (see ACD 205–01, “Political Activity—General”).
  4. Ensure that a department or similar organizational unit proposing a capital acquisition costing $5,000 or more screens for equipment availability within the department or unit. An org manager’s or authorized signer’s online approval, or signature on an offline form, certifies to Financial Services that screening for equipment availability has occurred.
  5. Ensure that, in accordance with university policy and Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 38–501 to –511 (Conflict of Interest of Officers and Employees), neither the org manager, anyone else participating in the award decision, nor a relative will benefit financially from or be a recipient of any outside services order or related payment. If any potential conflict of interest exists, it must be reported to the Office of General Counsel.
  6. Ensure that all written documents that result in an expenditure of university funds are approved with an original authorizing signature. Signature stamps are not acceptable.
  7. Restrict personal use of university resources. If personal use of university resources does occur, however, the org manager is responsible for ensuring within her or his area compliance with university policy requiring reimbursement to ASU from ASU employees for any university resources committed to personal use (see FIN 117, “Personal Use of University Resources”).
  8. Ensure that Financial Services is consulted about potential sales tax reporting for departmental sales of goods/services (see FIN 108, “Sales Tax”). Ensure that Financial Services is notified in writing of any revenues being generated that may be subject to unrelated business income tax (see FIN 122, “Unrelated Business Income Tax”).
  9. Notify Financial Services when an agency/org is no longer needed so that the agency/org can be deactivated on the Advantage financial accounting system.
  10. Make all payments for:

    1. student scholarships, grants, loans, and other financial aid
    2. employee postgraduate research grants, awards

      and

    3. any other compensation, excluding employee reimbursements, to ASU faculty, staff, and students from an ASU agency/org and not from the ASU Foundation or other financially related organization.

    If the funding for these transactions is from funds located at the ASU Foundation or other financially related organization, then a transfer of the funds to ASU needs to be made so that these payments can be made from an ASU agency/org.

  1. Make all payments to nonresident aliens through an ASU agency/org and not from the ASU Foundation or other financially related organization.
  2. Obtain a fingerprint check on the finalist for each new position hire that will handle financial transactions as a job responsibility on an ongoing basis. These responsibilities include but are not limited to:

    1. the collection or handling of cash or checks
    2. writing or approving checks
    3. having access to a direct money stream
    4. being an authorized user of a P-Card

      or

    5. being a fiduciary to ASU.

    Persons who only have accounting system data entry and/or scanning authority do not need the fingerprint check. Faculty or staff who are principle investigators on sponsored projects are normally the org managers on the sponsored project accounts and may be set up with either scanning authority only or full approval authority. If scanning authority only is selected, a fingerprint check is not required.

  3. Avoid transacting business with or making payments to any organization or person or through a bank included on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control. A link to this list is located on the Accounts Payable Web site. Any civil penalties imposed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, on ASU for violation of this federal law is the responsibility of the department initiating the payment.
  4. All federal funds are to be deposited with Sponsored Projects except for federal financial aid funds, which are to be deposited with ASU’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Services. Federal funds may not be deposited directly by any department to any of their nonsponsored agency/orgs.

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Additional Information

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The ASU Foreign Visitor Tax Guide, issued by Financial Services, is available as a useful reference. A copy of this guide may be obtained by calling Financial Services at 480/965–8479 or 480/965–0108.

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Cross-References

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For information on vice presidential and college area responsibilities regarding agency/org deficits, see FIN 215, “Vice Presidential and College Area Responsibilities.”

For information on tax reporting for nonresident aliens, see the policies in FIN 425, “Payments to Nonresident Aliens,” especially

  1. FIN 425–04, “Nonresident Alien Independent Contractors and Other Foreign Entities”
  2. FIN 425–05, “Student Financial Support Payments to Nonresident Aliens”

    and

  3. FIN 425–06, “Payments to Postdoctoral Nonresident Aliens.”

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