Quiz: How does your department rate?

Answer the following questions yes or no to determine how your department rates.


  • Are expenditures and commitments of funds tracked and compared to budgets on a timely basis?
  • Are budget status reports prepared and provided to the department head or principal investigator on a regular and timely basis?
  • Is the department's "shadow system" reconciled to the General Ledger?
  • Do federally unallowable charges have proper account codes in order to exclude them from the campus overhead rate calculation?
  • Are cost transfers involving federal funds properly explained, approved and processed on a timely basis?

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Cash receipts

  • Is separation of duties in place for cash receipts? i.e. different employees are responsible for (1) receiving and recording cash collections, (2) balancing daily cash receipts to related cash recordings, (3) verifying that the deposit amounts reflected in the General Ledger are in agreement with departmental records.
  • Are cash receipts from revenue generating activities or gifts promptly endorsed, recorded, safeguarded, deposited and reconciled?
  • Are cash receipts deposited?
  • Are cash receipts not used to fund petty cash type purchases?

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  • on of duties for purchasing related duties? i.e. different individuals are responsible for (1) approving the purchasing requisitions and orders, (2) receiving ordered materials, (3) approving invoices for payment, and (4) reviewing and reconciling the monthly General Ledger.
  • Are vendor invoices approved prior to payment, including express voucher system invoices?
  • Are purchases of materials or services from University employees submitted in advance to the campus Materiel Manager for conflict of interest screening?

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  • Is there separation of duties for inventories? i.e. employees assigned to perform physical inventories to confirm that materials and equipment listed on inventory sheets are not responsible for maintaining custody of the items. Equipment Inventory Modification Request (EIMR) forms are approved by someone not directly responsible for custody of disposal or equipment.
  • Are equipment records maintained?
  • Is your equipment tagged with UC property numbers?
  • Do you take equipment inventory counts at lease every two years and document them?
  • Is equipment location and or status in the Campus Equipment Management CICS online system?
  • Can all your equipment items be located?

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  • Are your recharge billings for on-campus services reviewed for validity and correctness?

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  • Is there separation of duties for payroll activities? i.e. are different employees are responsible for (1) updating the on-line Payroll/Personnel System (PPS), (2) reviewing PPS transactions (PAN notices), (3) reviewing the monthly Distribution of Payroll Expense (DOPE) reports, and (4) distributing payroll checks and SurePay statements.
  • Are your staff employee overtime hours properly authorized, recorded and compensated?
  • Are your staff employee time-worked records reviewed and approved by the supervisor?
  • Are staff performance evaluations prepared on a timely basis?
  • Are administrative staff cross- trained to provide coverage during extended absences?

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  • Does your department rely excessively on one individual for computer programming and network support?
  • Is access to campus and departmental computer resources limited to authorized employees for proper control?
  • Are computer databases and data files backed up on a regular basis?
  • Is electronic backup media stored in a secure location remote from the original data?
  • Are computer applications developed with adequate technical or user documentation?

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  • Are administrative policies, procedures and practices documented?
  • Are signature authorizations current?

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The above questions were derived from common audit findings. If you answered no to any of the above questions, your department may be lacking necessary internal controls. If you need help or would like suggestions in implementing these controls, please feel free to contact us.