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Department Financial Reviews

Effective: 05/04/11 Approved By: Sr. Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs and Deputy CFO
Revised: 10/15/20
For Assistance Contact: Accounting Services

Purpose/Scope

To assist  Department Managers  and Reconcilers with reconciliation of monthly financial activity.

Authority

UTS142.01

University Guidelines

Table of Contents
  1. Overview
  2. Responsibilities
  3. Reconciliation and Reviews
    1. Timeframes
    2. Reconciliation Process
    3. Inclusion of All Department Cost Centers/Project IDs
  4. Additional Resources

A. Overview

Departments must review actual revenues and expenditures against budget on a regular basis to help ensure fiscal accountability and solvency. These reconciliations help management:

  1. Identify errors and inconsistencies
  2. Determine availability of funds
  3. Identify internal control deficiencies

For more information on reconciliations see fmog.0104.utsa.

Because of the importance of reconciliations in effective internal control, completion of the monthly reconciliation and timely correction of errors and omissions are factors in UTSA Quality Assurance Reviews (QARs) performed by the UTSA Institutional Compliance & Risk Services department. These reviews are intended to provide management with an objective evaluation of internal controls in their area and to alert them of potential risks.

For more information on QARs see Financial Guideline  — Monitoring Plan for Segregation of Duties and Review of Financial Activity, and the UTSA Institutional Compliance & Risk Services website.

B. Responsibilities

Responsibilities related to monthly reconciliations include, but are not limited to, the following:

Department Managers

  • Stewardship of UTSA's assets including preventing overspending of departmental budgets
  • Ensuring that Cost Centers/Project IDs are reconciled (per Reconciliations and Reviews) and reconciliations are reviewed each month
  • Ensuring the correction of all errors has been completed or requested
  • Ensuring all financial transactions are accurate, allowable and appropriate.

 Reconcilers

  • Completing monthly reconciliations for all relevant Cost Centers/Project IDs, per section C. Reconciliations and Reviews
  • Promptly notifying the appropriate department of errors and omissions, coordinating corrections to UTSA accounting records as appropriate, and following up to confirm that corrections were completed. For more detail on corrections of accounting records, see Additional Resources
  • Ensuring accurate accounting records are maintained.

C. Reconciliation and Reviews

Department Managers are required to review actual revenues and expenditures compared to budget on a monthly basis.

Before the Department Manager reviews the monthly financial activity, a different employee in the department reconciles each cost center and project under the department’s oversight. This department reconciler completes the reconciliation of transactions in SAHARA, an automated reconciliation tool contained within UTShare/PeopleSoft. SAHARA shows all detailed transactions for all Cost Centers/Project IDs within the Department Manager’s responsibility.

  1. Timeframes

    The department reconciler should complete reconciliations by the end of the month following the month being reconciled. The Department Manager should ensure the reconciliation is completed and approved by six weeks after month-end. The QAR process will include review of the timeliness of reconciliations and approvals.

  2. Reconciliation Process

    The monthly reconciliation process must minimally include the following steps:

    • Review of revenue, expense and budget transactions in SAHARA for the following:
      • Do all of the transactions for the month belong in that cost center?
      • Was there any revenue received in that month that was not included in the cost center? (Note that revenue received for a future fiscal year is moved to that future year through month-end accounting journal entries by Accounting Services.)
      • Were there items purchased or expenses that are not included in the cost center?
    • Submit correction requests for expenses or revenues that need to be moved to another cost center or project. Payroll expenses can only be moved through eForms. Sponsored project expenses can only be moved through the cost transfer process. Other corrections should be submitted through the Easy Correct process in SAHARA.
    • Review of amount available to spend to ensure an adequate budget balance remains for any pending transactions. Negative balances that are correct must be fixed immediately through a correction or a budget transfer from another allowable set of funds.
    • PeopleSoft records commitments the department has made for purchases or travel as encumbrances. The reconciler must review these encumbrances monthly for accuracy.
    • Departments should maintain a listing of any purchase requisitions over $15,000 until they generate a completed purchase order, because funds are not set aside for purchases until a Purchase Order is created. Consider these purchase requisition amounts when reviewing the available expense budget, because PeopleSoft does not include them in that total. Departments can use the optional Large Purchase Requisition Template to track these requisitions.
    • The reconciler must monthly reconcile actual salary expense to the annual budget by position for non-hourly employees. The reconciler must be able to demonstrate how this detailed review is performed as requested during a QAR. Reviewing the salary by employee will help the department check for adequate budgeting and ensure that employee actions, such as hires, terminations and salary changes are processed correctly. Financial Affairs has provided an optional sample salary reconciliation template that can be used.

    A separate ledger or listing of all transactions is not required; however, the reconciler should be aware of departmental activity so that he/she will notice if something significant is missing. The University relies on system controls to ensure that completed transactions are posted to the designated projects and cost centers. Financial Affairs has provided an optional Reconciliation Checklist that can be used but is not required. This checklist provides more detail to support the requirements shown above.

  3. Inclusion of All Department Cost Centers/Project IDs

    Reconciliation and Department Manager review must be completed in SAHARA each month. The Department Manager can establish a risk-based approach for the monthly review process; however, all cost centers and project IDs must be marked as reconciled and approved each month under the scope of the department's process. An approach that does not involve the detailed review of every cost center and project ID must be documented and that specific process must be followed every month by the department.

D. Additional Resources

  1. Recommended training:
  2. For assistance with corrections:
    • If an encumbrance seems incorrect - contact bdgt@email
    • Salary expense corrections - process the appropriate eForm in PeopleSoft
    • Capital project and capital account code corrections - email Accounting.Office@utsa.edu
    • Sponsored Project ID Expense Corrections - submit a cost transfer form as directed here
    • All other expense and revenue corrections - use the Easy Correct feature in SAHARA to submit a correction to Accounting Services.

Related Forms

  1. Large Purchase Requisition Template
  2. Reconciliation Checklist
  3. Salary Reconciliation Template

Revision History

Date Description
10/15/20 Significant updates throughout guideline to reflect the use of SAHARA. Guideline renamed from “Monthly Financial Report Reconciliation Process” to “Department Financial Reviews”.
11/12/19 Updated processes to provide an electronic Certification Statement signature option (section C). Editorial and linked-page updates.