1.01 Guide to the Manual

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The Financial Services Manual (FSM) contains Unit Policies and procedures related to the financial operation of the University of Arizona. The FSM is published by Financial Services, a unit of Business Affairs under the Senior Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer who is responsible for the financial operation and fiscal control of the University.

The FSM is directed to administrators and business office personnel who have responsibility for the financial operation of the University and is intended to serve as a reference guide. The policies and procedures contained herein delineate responsibility, authority and accountability. It is the responsibility of all financial administrators to familiarize themselves with these policies in order to provide proper guidance to all University employees. It is the responsibility of every University employee to follow stated policy.

Financial Services has the responsibility to develop, promulgate, monitor and revise the applicable policies and procedures. When additional guidance or interpretation of a specific policy or procedure is required, the responsible unit within Financial Services should be consulted. Financial Services should also be consulted when an issue arises which is not addressed by the Financial Services Manual.


The University of Arizona is an enterprise fund of the State of Arizona that has a separate governing board. Therefore, the University must follow all Arizona Revised Statutes and Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) policies. In the absence of a specific policy, the University will seek guidance from the State of Arizona Accounting Manual and the Arizona General Accounting Office. 

Although Unit Policies are excluded from the Procedure for Creating and Revising University Policies, Financial Services works closely with the Office of the General Counsel to ensure compliance with other policies, laws, and regulations, and strives to provide ample time for feedback and comments regarding policy revisions while seeking input from relevant stakeholders where possible. Many updates are a result of changes made by the state and/or federal government and are, as such, not subject to review. In the event of an inconsistency or conflict, applicable law and ABOR policies supersede University policies and University policies supersede college, department or lower unit, policies, or guidelines.


The policies and procedures in the FSM apply to all University departments. However, Sponsored Projects Services (SPS) may specify different procedures if required by a grant or contract, or if more appropriate.

Organization of the Manual

The Financial Services Manual is divided by subject area, each of which contains (or will in the future contain) a group of related policies. For example, all policies related to travel can be found in section 14.00.

Each policy and/or procedure is (or will in the future be) presented in a standardized format. The first section identifies general information such as the policy number, effective date, revision date, responsible unit, and contact information. The next sections provide the purpose and summary, source, scope, and definitions. This is followed by the actual policy statements and/or procedures. As applicable, sections for frequently asked questions and related information may also be included.