2007 Reaffirmation Teams
3.10.4 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams
The institution exercises appropriate control over all its financial and physical resources.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) exercises appropriate control over all of its financial resources. The vice president for business affairs (VPBA)  is the chief financial officer and has primary responsibility for control over the university’s financial resources. The VPBA is responsible for establishing policies and communicating policies and procedures that ensure appropriate levels of control over financial resources. Departments reporting to the VPBA and sharing in the responsibility of monitoring controls include: Finance (Accounting, Bursar, Contracts, and Grants Accounting) , Budget , Procurement Management (Purchasing, Accounts Payable, Receiving, Travel, Property, Mail Services, Auxiliaries, and Printing) , and Human Resources Management (Human Resources and Payroll) .
These departments all safeguard the financial resources of the university. To ensure that qualified financial professionals staff these positions, the Office for Business Affairs uses a credentialing process that verifies that these individuals have the skills, training, and education necessary to perform their jobs. As part of this process, resumes and transcripts are compared with written job descriptions. The credentialing documents for all Business Affairs personnel in supervisory positions have been collected and can be viewed in UT Dallas’ Staff Credentialing Navigator . All critical financial personnel have been found to have the requisite credentials to perform their jobs.
The office of Audit and Compliance  reports directly to the president to ensure independence in carrying out its responsibility of promoting and supporting a culture of compliance and control consciousness. UT Dallas complies with UT System Policy UTS129 Internal Audit Activities . Regular audits are conducted of key operating and financial areas, information technology, university operations, compliance, and other areas requested by management. Audit reports and related findings and recommendations are presented to the Audit Committee quarterly. Follow-up regarding findings are reported to the Audit Committee regularly until all recommendations are implemented. More information regarding internal audits is included in the response to Principle 2.11.1 . The university, under the guidance of the Office of Audit and Compliance and as a part of the university’s Institutional Compliance Program  , conducts periodic risk assessments to determine areas of high risk or potential exposure. Examples of high risk areas are cash handling, account reconciliations, and purchasing cards. Employees with signature authority over expenditures receive annual compliance training regarding effectively controlling risks .Financial Controls
Cash Handling: By its very nature, cash handling is considered high risk. Personnel who handle cash or who are petty cash custodians receive annual specialized web-based training  . This training familiarizes staff with UT Dallas policies and procedures related to cash handling  and petty cash  . Monitoring takes place via spot audits of petty cash funds and a review of cash handling procedures by the Office of Finance as well as internal audits by the Office of Audit and Compliance during departmental audits.
Monitoring Expenditures: Controls over expenditures take various forms. The budget policy  is updated and distributed annually. UT Dallas follows Series 20501 of the Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations regarding budget guidelines . Various Business Affairs offices monitor financial transactions to ensure compliance with policies and procedures. Offices processing financial transactions check the Signature Authority List  to ensure the person authorizing the transaction has the authority to do so. Monthly financial reports from the institution’s financial system are distributed to all account managers . Monthly account reconciliations are required to ensure expenditures and revenues are recorded correctly and that expenditures are appropriate. Segregation of duties exists in that two persons must sign the monthly reconciliations. Training on the financial system is available on the web  and via periodic classroom training conducted by the Office of Finance . At year end, all account managers must sign a Letter of Representation  certifying that their accounts have been reconciled and that all expenditures are appropriate. In addition, UT Dallas follows the rules and procedures outlined in UT System Policy UTS142 Accounting Policies .
Purchasing: Departmental purchasers are trained in purchasing policies and procedures    via web-based training , and via classroom training conducted by Procurement Management . The university complies with UT System Policy UTS156 Purchaser Training and Certification . Additional training and monitoring takes place to ensure appropriate controls over the university’s purchasing card program. Purchasing cardholders and their supervisors must take specialized training annually  . Purchasing card transactions are reconciled by the cardholder, reviewed by the supervisor, and spot-checked by the purchasing card coordinator and the assistant vice president for procurement management.
Contracts: Only the president and his designees-the assistant vice president for procurement management, the VPBA, and the associate VPBA-may sign contracts for the university. In accordance with UT System Policy UTS134 Code of Ethics for Financial Officers and Employees , financial disclosure forms must be completed by all persons with the authority to execute contracts as well as by the associate vice president for finance, lead purchasing staff, and all vice presidents. Completed forms are reviewed by the VPBA and forwarded to UT System. All employees receive annual web-based compliance training regarding fraud, outside employment, and financial interests .
Financial Stability: In fiscal year 2006-07, a formal Budget and Finance Committee was established  to monitor the financial status of the university and to make policy decisions as needed as they pertain to the financial health of the university  . Prior to fiscal year 2006-07, financial matters were handled on an as-needed basis based on recommendations from the VPBA to the president’s cabinet. More information is available on the financial stability of UT Dallas in the responses to Principle 2.11.1  and Principle 3.10.2 .
Endowments and Investments: With regards to investments, UT Dallas follows policies and procedures set forth in Series 70201 and Series 70401 of Regents’ Rules  . UT Dallas’ Endowment Compliance Plan  ensures that endowments are utilized in accordance with the terms of the endowment as defined in the agreement with the donor. Expenditures are monitored by the endowment compliance officer, and endowment accounts are monitored to ensure that income does not accumulate beyond a reasonable level without either being reinvested in the corpus or a plan of use being developed by the account manager    . Reports of use are distributed to the donors annually . The endowment compliance team  meets quarterly to review the status of endowments and related policies and procedures . The annual endowment report to UT System details the status of endowments and the progress made in the endowment compliance program .