Fiscal Roles and Responsibilities
RESPONSIBLE OFFICE: Division of Finance
Fiscal Roles and Responsibilities
It is every employee’s responsibility to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to the University and to make decisions and take actions in good faith which serve the best interests of the University. Certain individuals/positions have additional responsibilities as further described below.
Primary fiscal responsibility rests at the level where the expenditures are made, with those who initiate programs and make decisions on how to implement plans and programs. Planning is an interactive process that ultimately results in approval at the upper levels (board of Curators, president, chancellor, vice chancellor, and provost) of board policy statements and plans.
The actual details are decided at the operating level (deans, directors, and department chairs) within the constraints of University policies. Ultimate responsibility for ensuring that fiscal transactions are in accordance with approved plans, programs, and policies rests at the Dean/Director/Department Chair level.
Benefits to The University
Steward of Funds – The University receives its funding from diverse sources, ranging from taxpayers to students to benefactors. Regardless of the source, the University has an obligation to demonstrate that it has been a wise steward of funds entrusted to it.
Accountability – The process of accountability begins with the planning for receipt and expenditure of funds, and carries through to retaining documentation of what transpired. Additionally, documentation of transactions should ensure that how funds were used can be determined well after the fact, even if the principals are no longer available. Thus, each transaction must stand on its own, with sufficient information to demonstrate the benefit to the University.
Role of Chancellor, Provost, and Vice Chancellors:
- Establish campus plans and approve college/division plans ensuring priorities align with the vision, mission, and goals of the University.
- Responsible for compliance of all University of Missouri fiscal matters with applicable policies, laws, and regulations.
- Maintain strategic oversight for all campus programs and responsible for the fiscal integrity and ethical behavior of financial matters.
- To act prudently to safeguard and use campus assets and resources consistent with the best interests of the University, appropriately limiting liabilities and reducing and managing potential risks.
Role of Deans and Directors:
- Establish college/division strategic priorities consistent with campus vision, mission, and goals, and approve department plans.
- Responsible for the fiscal integrity and ethical behavior of the college/division activities.
- Ensure appropriate policies and procedures are maintained to support internal fiscal compliance.
- Responsible for the financial health of the college/division. Regularly monitor, review and approve overall financial activity including actuals, budgets, and forecasts.
- To act prudently to safeguard and use college/division assets and resources consistent with the best interests of the University, appropriately limiting liabilities and reducing and managing potential risks.
Role of Department Managers, Chairs, and Principal Investigators:
- Establish department strategic priorities and plans consistent with college/division vision, mission, and goals.
- Responsible for the fiscal integrity and ethical behavior of the department and/or sponsored activities.
- Implement and follow appropriate policies and procedures to maintain internal fiscal compliance.
- Responsible for the financial health of the department and/or sponsored activities. Regularly monitor, review and maintain accountability for the overall financial status including actuals, budgets, and forecasts.
- Responsible for ensuring funds received and expended are appropriate and consistent with budgeted plans.
- To act prudently to safeguard and use department/sponsored activities, assets, and resources consistent with the best interests of the University, appropriately limiting liabilities and reducing and managing potential risks.
Role of Division Business & Finance Officers:
- Strategic partner providing financial leadership, advice, and potential solutions for competing demands and priorities with limited resources.
- Provide oversight on how funds are spent and managed including ensuring funds are budgeted and spent according to fiscal policies and procedures.
- Ensure internal controls are sufficient to minimize internal and external risk.
- Ensure that assets are safeguarded.
- Ensure that transactions are properly documented.
- Responsible for ensuring individuals with fiscal responsibilities in the college/division are properly trained, supported, and provided guidance to be effective.
- Actively engage with campus division of finance and office of sponsored programs. Disseminate information to and receive feedback from individuals with fiscal responsibilities in a timely and effective manner.
Role of Others with Fiscal Responsibility:
- Responsible for ensuring transactions are processed timely, accurately, and in accordance with policies and procedures.
- Ensure appropriate documentation is maintained to support the purpose of the transactions.
- Obtain required approvals.
- Seek advice for non-routine transactions.
Role of Campus Division of Finance:
- Assist with establishing appropriate college/division/departmental fiscal policies and procedures.
- Make information on interpreting and implementing policies and procedures easily accessible.
- Responsible for ensuring division business & finance officers are properly trained, supported, and provided guidance to be effective.
- Recommend changes in campus fiscal policies and procedures.
- Review transactions on a systematic basis to test whether they include proper documentation and comply with University policies.