The University of ArizonaThe University of Arizona
Financial Policies & ProceduresFinancial Policies & Procedures
 

6.10 Account Management

Policy Information

Policy Number: 6.10Effective Date: 09/05/2012
Responsible Unit: FSO-Financial ManagementLast Revised Date: 03/30/2017
Email: fin-mgmt@fso.arizona.eduPhone: 520.621.3220

Purpose and Summary

The purpose of this policy is to identify account roles and responsibilities and provide general guidelines for establishing, modifying, monitoring, and closing UAccess Financials accounts. 

Source

Arizona Board of Regents Policy, including but not limited to: 3-410, and 6-711

Governmental Accounting Standards Board, including but not limited to Statement 54

National Association of College and University Business Officers, Financial Accounting and Reporting Manual for Higher Education (FARM), including but not limited to ¶300

Scope

This policy applies University-wide, including Main Campus, the Arizona Health Sciences Campus, the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, and University of Arizona-South.

Definitions

  1. Account Roles: These are found within the Account Responsibility section of an account inquiry. These roles include Fiscal Officer, Account Supervisor and Account Manager. See Account Roles.
  2. Fiscal Officer: The Fiscal Officer will be designated by the Account Manager and is responsible for the fiscal management of the account. The Fiscal Officer ensures sufficient budget, spending is in accordance with account purpose, and reviews and reconciles accounts monthly. Fiscal Officers are the business managers of the department.
  3. Account Supervisor: The Account Supervisor ensures that funds are spent and managed according to the goals, objectives and mission of the organization, to ensure that the funds are being spent according to a budgeted plan and that the allocation of expenditures is appropriate to the function identified for the account. The Account Supervisor cannot be in any other role. It is assumed that the Account Supervisor will be the leader of the organization in which the account resides. Account Supervisors are the Deans, VP’s, Directors, Department Heads and Principal Investigators of the department/account.
  4. Account Manager: The manager oversees the management of the account at a higher-level than the Fiscal Officer, but rarely receives any direct requests for action from UAccess Financials. The Account Manager will ensure that the Fiscal Officer has the education and training required to perform their assigned functions. As new Fiscal Officers are appointed, the Account Manager should insert themselves into the routing via organization review to ensure the Fiscal Officer understands their responsibilities. Account Managers are the Assistant Deans of Finance, Deans, VP’s, Directors and Department Heads.
  5. Account Delegate: A person authorized to approve on behalf of the Fiscal Officer. Delegations are approved by the Fiscal Officer and can be primary or secondary. Delegates assume the same responsibilities as the Fiscal Officer for approving transactions. Delegation is tracked by the Account Delegate eDoc.
  6. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA): Sets ethical standards for the accounting profession and U.S auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments.
  7. Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB): The independent, private sector organization that establishes accounting and financial reporting standards for U.S. state and local governments that follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  8. National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO): A membership organization that represents chief business and finance officers through advocacy efforts, community service and professional development activities. The association’s mission is to advance the economic viability, business practices and support for higher education institutions in fulfillment of their missions.

Policy

  1. Compliance: Proper accounting information will be maintained to comply with the accounting and reporting requirements of Federal law, State Statute, Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) policies and as required under the terms of specific agreements with external entities and administrative policies of the University.
  2. Establishment, Modification and Closure: Departments are responsible for initiating and maintaining accounts to record accurate, timely, and complete information on the financial transactions of the University. Accounts will be established as required by budgetary and accounting purposes for proper management of the University and closed when no longer required. Accounts will not be established, modified, or closed if the account request violates existing standards.
  3. Fund Organization: Accounts will be organized into fund groups according to NACUBO, GASB, and AICPA standards. Sub-Funds are created for further subdivisions of fund groups for administrative purposes. See Fund-SubFund Table for a detailed listing.
  4. Appropriate Purpose: All activities must be consistent with the fund group to which the account belongs. Accounts are used to record individual sources of funds, for example state appropriations are recorded separately from grants and contracts. Accounts are coded to identify the functional purpose of the account and transactions recorded in the account must reflect the account’s purpose. Accounts are coded using NACUBO functional purpose categories such as Instruction, Research, Public Service, Academic Support, Student Services, Institutional Support, Operation and Maintenance of Plant, and Scholarships and Fellowships. As an example, research related expenses are not to be recorded in an account that is coded for instructional purposes. Refer to the Higher Education Function Codes for detailed definitions.
  5. Separate Purpose: Each account within an organizational unit should have a separate purpose. It is encouraged that departments establish sub-accounts if there is a need to further separate activity that is from the same source and for the same purpose.
  6. Review by Departments: Accounts must be reviewed by departments any time there is a change in departmental personnel. More frequent review is encouraged. Items to be reviewed by departments include:
    1. Fiscal Officer
    2. Account Manager
    3. Account Supervisor
    4. Account Address
    5. Account Delegates
    6. Continuation Account
    7. Account Expense Guideline Text Box
    8. Account Income Guideline Text Box
    9. Account Purpose Text Box.
  7. Review by Central Administration: Accounts will be reviewed by the UAccess Financials Chart Manager, Financial Services, or by the Budget Office for budgetary and reporting purposes. The Financial Services Office or Sponsored Projects Services will review all account E-documents in accordance with account policies and contact the requesting department if additional information or clarifications are needed. In addition, existing accounts may be reviewed annually to determine which accounts will continue, be closed or modified. Departments will be contacted to discuss proposed changes or account closures.
  8. Authority: The Financial Services Office has final review of the creation, modification, and closure of all accounts within UAccess Financials. Sponsored Projects Services (SPS) has been delegated limited authority to establish, maintain and close certain accounts, for example, grant and contract accounts, indirect cost accounts, and patent royalty accounts. SPS adheres to guidelines specific to their accounts as well as the standards and practices of the Financial Services Office. They will coordinate and provide information as required for all reporting requirements of the Financial Services Office and those required by the contracting or granting agency.
  9. Each account in UAccess Financials is assigned to a Fiscal Officer. This person assumes the following responsibilities for that account:
    1. Ensure that all disbursements from the account are:
      1. Properly classified to the appropriate object code,
      2. Authorized in accordance with University policies, State and Federal laws and regulations, and specific sponsor or donor requirements or restrictions, and
      3. Within the available funding for the account, or supported by an approved backstop account with sufficient funding for the disbursement.
    2. Ensure that all receipts for the account are:
      1. Properly classified to the appropriate object code, and
      2. Deposited on a timely basis in accordance with University policies.
    3. Reconcile the account activity within 30 days of the accounting month-end close.
    4. Take immediate action to resolve errors or discrepancies noted during the report reconciliation or otherwise, and to follow up to ensure that errors are corrected.
    5. Keep accounts updated for changes in authorized approvers and other account information.
    6. Maintain copies of supporting documentation for all activity processed for the account for at least the minimum time periods specified in the Records Retention Policy.
    7. If the primary source of revenue for this account is the sale of goods or services to other University departments, then the account may need to comply with policy 18.00 Service Centers within the Financial Services Manual.
  10. The University has the right to audit or review all records. Requests for an audit or review may come from Internal Audit, the Financial Services Office, the Vice President for Research, or the Vice President, dean, director, or department head through which the unit reports. Accounts may also be subject to external audit; see policy 6.11 Audit Management.

Procedures

Opening a New Account

  1. To open a new account use the UAccess Financials Account E-Doc. Refer to Opening a New Account Quick Reference for detailed information or view Creating an Account - Tutorial.
  2. Information on opening accounts can be requested as follows, based on the type of account:
    1. Grant and Contract Accounts: Contact Sponsored Projects Services.
    2. Gifts: Prepare a Gift Report and forward to the Development Office. Gifts are usually restricted to support specific activities such as scholarships, financial aid, endowments or research.
    3. Allocated Administrative Service Charge, Indirect Cost, Retained Fee, Differential Tuition, or Program Fee Accounts: Contact the Budget Office
    4. Student Loan Accounts: Contact Financial Management Financial Aid Accounting
    5. Endowment Accounts: Contact Financial Management Endowment Accounting
    6. State, Designated, Auxiliary or Agency Accounts: Contact the Financial Management Fund Accountant assigned to your department.
  3. If checks are received before an account is established, complete a Cash Receipt (CR) and use the General Clearing account with Miscellaneous Clearing Object Code, 2894000-9540. Take the CR and check to the Bursar's Office. Process gifts in accordance with policy 8.12 Gifts in the Financial Services Manual.
  4. When completing the new account E-Doc, make sure to include information on the purpose of the account, how it will be funded and any expenditure guidelines. Providing detailed information on the Account E-Doc will expedite the review and approval process.
  5. Document initiators will be notified if their E-Doc was disapproved and why.

Modifying an Existing Account

To modify an individual existing account use the UAccess Financials Account E-Doc. To modify the same attributes on multiple accounts use the UAccess Financials Account Global E-Doc.

  1. Very few attributes can be changed on an existing account. In most cases, the account initiator will be requested to create a new account and transfer remaining funding to the new account.
  2. Attributes that can be changed:
    1. Account Roles:
      1. Fiscal Officer
      2. Account Manager
      3. Account Supervisor
    2. Account Address
    3. Expiration Date (cannot be backdated)
    4. Continuation Account
    5. Account Expense Guideline Text Box (with Fund Accountant approval)
    6. Account Income Guideline Text Box (with Fund Accountant approval)
  3. Any other changes must be discussed with your fund accountant.
  4. Document initiators will be notified if their E-Doc was disapproved and why.

Closing an Account

  1. To close an account use the UAccess Financials Account E-Doc. Refer to Closing an Account - Instructions for detailed instructions.
  2. Close an account when the original purpose for the account no longer exists and all reporting and administrative requirements are fulfilled. Examples include a discontinued program or completed grants.
  3. Accounts must have no assets, liabilities, or fund balance.
  4. Accounts must have no outstanding encumbrances.
  5. Budgeted accounts must have all temporary and permanent budget removed.
  6. UAccess Financials will not allow an account to close if the balance requirements have not been met.
  7. After June 30th, accounts cannot be closed until beginning balances have rolled into the new fiscal year.
  8. Document initiators will be notified if their E-Doc was disapproved and why.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What needs to occur if errors are identified during the reconciliation process?

    Salary Expense Transfers (ST) and General Error Corrections (GEC) should be completed within 90 days following the accounting month-end close in which the expenditure posted. Specific fiscal year-end deadlines will supersede the 90 day requirement and must be met to properly report expenditures in the correct fiscal year. Salary Expense Transfers and General Error Corrections completed beyond 90 days may be subject to additional review, approvals, and documentation.

    Please note that transfers of costs to federal and sub federal sponsored projects correcting clerical or bookkeeping errors must be made promptly after the errors are discovered and within 30 days of posting to the UAccess Financials account. Transfers made after the 30 day limit are considered "late cost transfers." Federal regulations require that late cost transfers be documented by a "Correction of Error Certification," which certifies that the expenditures were incurred for the goals, objectives and benefit of the account to which the costs are being transferred. Federal regulations require that the error certification contain a full description of the cost being transferred and how the cost benefited the project, how the error occurred, why the error correction is late, and the steps being taken to ensure that the error will not happen again.
     
  2. Can DCCs (Designated Campus Colleague) act as Fiscal Officers, Supervisors or Managers?

    DCCs cannot be a Fiscal Officer, but can act as Account Supervisors or Managers.
     
  3. What employees can be a Fiscal Officer, Account Supervisor or Account Manager?

    Please see the resource material located at Account Roles.

Related Information

For additional requirements associated with sponsored projects accounts, please see Managing Projects Fiscal Responsibilities.

For Fiscal Officer training, please refer to course UA-1248-2 on UA Learning.

Useful Information:
Account Roles
Closing an Account - Instructions
Creating an Account - Tutorial
Fund Accountants
Fund-SubFund Table 
Higher Education Function Codes
Opening a New Account Quick Reference
Policy 6.11 Audit Management
Policy 8.12 Gifts
Policy 18.00 Service Centers
Records Retention Policy