Best Practices

Besides conducting internal audits, we also encourage the adoption of good management practices. The following areas of internal control are a good place to start:

Good Management Practices

  1. Segregation of duties: Separate related activities among different staff members. For example, PCard holders should not reconcile the PCard transaction reports.
  2. Reconciliations and reviews: Reconcile department financial reports to supporting documentation on a monthly basis to ensure that all expenditures were valid, university-approved, and charged to the correct departments.
  3. Audit trails: Document all reconciliations, verifications, and approvals to establish an audit trail of all transactions. Keep and review supporting documentation for any action you authorize, approve, or sign off on.
  4. Cash controls: Deposit any cash and checks received by the business unit on a daily basis with the Bursar’s Office. Reconcile cash receipts to supporting transaction documentation.
  5. Payroll controls: Review payroll records for any unusual payments pertaining to retroactive adjustments or overtime.
  6. Asset and inventory controls: Report new equipment assets valued over $5,000 and their location to the University Capital Asset Administrator 617-627-2008. Conduct scheduled physical counts of any officially recorded inventories that support university operations and reconcile the results with corresponding financial records or reports.
  7. Implement and review procedures and policies: Implement a departmental procedures and policies manual and update the manual on an annual basis. Avoid circumventing or overriding any established internal controls for department operations.
  8. Budget review: On a monthly basis, compare and analyze the actual revenue and expenditures for cost objects to the amount of budgeted revenue and expenditures for that month. Update budget projections quarterly with your assigned Budget Center analyst to identify inefficiencies and excess funds.
  9. General tips: Be vigilant, be alert to fraud risks and “red flags” for fraud occurring in your unit’s operations.   
    Improve efficiency by reviewing operational processes on a continuous basis for duplication of effort. Identify strengths and weaknesses within your employee pool and reorganize duties accordingly to develop a stronger team. In addition, encourage employees to participate in professional development activities.