financial puzzle
 

VCU Finance & Administration University Controller's Office

912 W. Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23284-3035 (804) 828-0388 VCUFinance@vcu.edu

 

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Roles & Responsibilities

Department Heads

University operations are organized into units that develop and execute strategic and tactical plans to carry out the University's mission and achieve its objectives. These units obtain and utilize resources, the financial impact of which is accumulated and summarized in the University's financial records. Financial records are an important management tool, used to both measure and monitor the acquisition and use of resources.

Department heads serve as the chief financial officers of their individual units. Their primary responsibility is ensuring that expenditures are made for the benefit of the University. This responsibility is best met by:

  • performing adequate planning for use of the funds allocated;
  • frequently reviewing the expenditure of funds in order to ensure that they are being made in the most efficient manner and that they are properly documented;
  • retaining flexibility in financial management to meet unexpected or unplanned needs;
  • exercising the closest personal supervision practical over the entire function, and;
  • adhering to University fiscal policies and procedures.

Depending on the size of the organizational unit (division, school, department or sub-department), department head duties will vary. Some smaller organizations require department heads to have a more "hands on" role in day-to-day financial transactions. Fiscal responsibilities among department heads, fiscal administrators and fiscal staff should be clearly defined and documented within your organization. The topics listed below in the Financial Matrix should be understood by all department heads whether they are delegated to others or not. Department Heads also ensure that fiscal administrators and staff have the education and training required to perform their assigned functions.

Fiscal Administrators

The duties and responsibilities of the Fiscal Administrator include providing daily oversight on how funds are spent and managed. Fiscal Administrators ensure that funds are spent and managed according to the goals, objectives and mission of their organization. This oversight includes ensuring funds are budgeted, that they are spent according to fiscal policy, that funds are spent in alignment with the organization purpose, that processes and controls are in place, that assets are safeguarded, that transactions are recorded and reported properly, that each Banner organization is reconciled on a monthly basis, and that expenditures are in conformity with the budget, or appropriate budget transactions have been made to reflect necessary budget changes..

Depending on the size of the organizational unit (division, school, department or sub-department), fiscal administrator duties will vary. Some smaller organizations require administrators to have a more "hands on" role in day-to-day financial transactions. Fiscal responsibilities among department heads, fiscal administrators and fiscal staff should be clearly defined and documented within your organization. The topics listed below in the Financial Matrix should be understood by all fiscal administrators whether they are delegated to others or not. Fiscal Administrators also ensure that fiscal staff have the education and training required to perform their assigned functions.

Grant Administrators

The duties and responsibilities of grant administrators are similar to that of fiscal administrators except the managed funds are sponsored program related. Grant administrators provide daily oversight on how funds are spent and managed on grants and other sponsored awards. This role requires additional knowledge concerning pre and post award grant administration, effort reporting, federal grant regulations and cost accounting standards. Grant administrators ensure that funds are spent and managed according to the specifications and regulations of the grantor. This oversight includes that processes and controls are in place, that assets are safeguarded, that transactions are recorded and reported properly and that each Banner organization is reconciled on a monthly basis.

Depending on the size of the organizational unit (division, school, department or sub-department), grant administrator duties will vary. Some smaller organizations require administrators to have a more "hands on" role in day-to-day financial transactions. Fiscal responsibilities among department heads, grant administrators and fiscal staff should be clearly defined and documented within your organization. The topics listed below in the Financial Matrix should be understood by all grant administrators whether they are delegated to others or not. Grant Administrators also ensure that fiscal staff have the education and training required to perform their assigned functions.

Fiscal Staff

Fiscal staff process day to day transactions in support of departmental fiscal administrators. Fiscal transactions include initiating purchases, receiving cash or other negotiables, entering or reviewing transactions in the University's Banner system, serving as the organization's fixed asset custodian, monitoring contractors, or verifying compliance.

 

Responsibility Matrix:

 

Financial Responsibility Matrix Department Heads Fiscal Administrators Grant Administrators Fiscal Staff
ARMICS (Agency Risk Management & Internal Control Standards) X X X X
Budget Administration X X X  
Code of Conduct for Business Practices X X X X
Code of Ethics X X X X
Contract Administration X X X  
Corporate Purchasing Card Policy X X X X
Corporate Travel Card Policies X X X X
Deposits and Cash Receipts Policy X X   X
Effort Reporting for Sponsored Programs (Principal Investigators) X X X  
Fixed Asset Policies X X X X
HEETF (Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund) X X   X

Overview of University Financial Structure

X X X X
Petty Cash or Change Funds X X X X
Position Budgeting X X X  
Purchasing Policies & Procedures X X X X
Reconciliation of Banner Organizations X X X  
Sponsored Programs Proposals and Awards X X X  
Sponsored Programs Post Award Financial Administration X X X  
Sponsored Programs-Roles & Responsibilities X X X  
Tax Compliance (University) X X X X
Travel & Reimbursements X X X X
University Ethics and Compliance Concerns X X X X
University Financial Policies X X X X


   
 
Page last updated 13 February, 2015
 

Virginia Commonwealth University
Finance & Administration
University Controller's Office
912 West Franklin Street
Box 843035
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3035
(804)828-0388