This section outlines the fundamental responsibilities of employees in SAS who function as stewards of the University resources. It is intended to introduce these responsibilities to managers who are new to the University or their roles, and to guide longer-term managers.

All departments and units that are involved with business transactions within the University have a fiduciary responsibility to safeguard the assets of the University and ensure the integrity of its accounting records.


University Office/ Department Responsibility

Controller's Office

  • Establish clear guidelines, policies and procedures for use in transaction processing and review
  • Provide assistance and recommendations to departments
  • Refer to University Policy 40.2.1

Transaction Processing Centers (e.g. purchasing, payroll)

  • Assure adherence to university policies when issuing payments to vendors and employees

Department Business Managers/Administrators

  • Maintain appropriate use and control of the funds entrusted to them
  • Ensure that transactions originating in the department are reasonable, appropriate and necessary and in agreement with University policies and procedures
  • Establish separation of duties to the extent possible; obtain secondary approvals or review when required
  • Ensure all required transaction documentation is on file and retrievable if needed
  • Conduct monthly review of accounts to assure accuracy, validity and completeness; Note: in larger departments, business managers may delegate some review tasks. However, overall responsibility for complete review resides with the individual who has stewardship over the departmental accounts.
  • Safeguard physical and intellectual assets and records against theft, fire, water damage, etc.
  • Monitor movement of equipment
  • Ensure physical inventory of assets by a person who does not have custody of assets.

Department Transaction Initiators (Business Managers, Business Specialist, Administrator)

  • Initiate and submit transactions that are reasonable, appropriate and necessary

Department Account Owners

  • Review monthly financial summary reports; follow up on any issues with department business staff
  • Account owners are identified as: department chair, director or principal investigator, etc.

University Internal Audit

  • Serve as an independent unit responsible for monitoring University departments to assure compliance with established policies and procedures
  • Assist University departments in establishing strong internal controls, as requested by individual departments
  • Refer to Internal Audit Department website