Comprehensive Standard 3.10.4

 

The institution exercises appropriate control over all its financial resources. (Control of Finances)

 

COMPLAINCE

 

Narrative:

 

The institution provides for proper control over all financial resources. Control begins annually with the preparation of the annual budget. A budget timetable can be viewed in the Vernon College Employee Handbook. The time table allows for preparation and input from all employees of the college as well as formal approval by the elected Board of Trustees in August of each year. Budget authority is listed in Section CC Legal and Section CC Local of the Vernon College Board Policy Manual.

 

A second indicator of control over financial resources is the formally approved purchasing system. The system allows each employee to request an item or service to be purchased followed by approval by the appropriate supervisors ending with presidential or divisional deanís approval. Upon presidential or divisional deanís approval the purchase requisition is sent to the business office where budget availability is reviewed. If budget is available and the expenditure is appropriate for the account number listed then a purchase order is prepared. The dean of administrative services or associate dean of administrative services signs the purchase order and the purchase order is placed in the mail. A copy of the purchase order is sent back to the originator for their files.  When the goods or services are provided the originator will sign and date the receiving copy of the purchase order and return it to the business office. When the invoice is received from a vendor then the receiving copy of the purchase order is matched to the invoice and a check is prepared for signature. Two signatures on the check are required from the associate dean of administrative services, dean of administrative services and/or the president. This procedure is listed the Vernon College Employee Handbook and also in Section CF Legal and Section CF Local sections of the Vernon College Board Policy Manual.

 

Another indicator is the approval process for official college travel; the procedures for college travel can be found in the Vernon College Employee Handbook.   Each employee has the ability to travel on behalf of the institution, but approval is required whether the travel is for routine purposes from one campus or center to another or for professional development. An employee prepares a Routine Travel Form when requesting to travel locally. The date, time, general ledger departmental account number and destination are required. A supervisorís signature is secured before the form is sent to the business office. Upon return from the trip the employee completes the mileage traveled and signs the form. The completed form is returned to the business office for posting. If an employee is requesting to travel over night or for professional development to a conference, a Travel Request form is prepared listing the days of travel, an estimate all travel costs, and the reason for the travel. A supervisor is required to sign the request form and then present it to the Business Office to check to see if budget is available. When approved a copy is sent to the requesting employee. Upon return from the trip a Travel Expense Voucher is prepared and presented for approval and payment. The employee is required to have their supervisor and divisional dean review and sign the expense voucher. The employee is required to present all receipts from the travel including hotel bills, meal receipts, taxi fare, miscellaneous business expenses and mileage used and/or air fare receipts. When verified by the Business Office a check is prepared and signed by the appropriate institutional officials. The signed check is sent to the employee.

 

Another indicator of control over financial resources is the cashiering function of the institution Ė the procedures are specified in The Vernon College Employee Handbook.  The cashiering function is centralized within the business office. There are two locations. One location is in the Osborne Administration Building on the Vernon Campus. The second is within the Century City location in Wichita Falls. All fund received are receipted on pre-numbered forms.  If a student registration is to be receipted it is generated directly from the administrative software system. If an official receipt is to be used for other than a student registration transaction, a pre-numbered receipt is written and one copy is given to the payee. Two other copies are held for business office processing. One copy is filed numerically and the second is utilized in preparing the daily deposit. Daily deposits are required for all receipts. The cashier prepares the deposits and the dean of administrative services or his designee takes the deposits to the bank. Each deposit is verified by a bank cashier and marked with the bankís stamp and initialed. All receipts are posted to the general ledger by an employee other than a cashier. A third employee reconciles the bank account thereby segregating the duties to a greater degree. These procedures follow generally accepted accounting principles and have proven to assist the institution in maintaining an effective system for managing and safeguarding all institutional funds.

 

The last noted indicator of control over financial resources is the independent audit conducted annually by an outside auditor selected by the institutionís Board of Trustees. The auditor as part of the scope of the engagement is required to take into consideration the system of internal controls as a basis for designing the audit procedures for the purposes of expressing their opinion on the financial statements. The Independent Auditors' Report in the annual audit for the year ended August 31, 2007 indicated that no deficiencies or material weakness were identified. 

 

Documentation

 

1.      Budget time table, Vernon College Employee Handbook

2.      Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Section CC Legal

3.      Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Section CC Local

4.      Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Section CF Legal

5.      Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Section CF Local

6.      Purchasing system, Vernon College Employee Handbook

7.      College travel procedures, Vernon College Employee Handbook

8.      Travel Request form

9.      Travel Expense Voucher

10.   Cashiering procedures, Vernon College Employee Handbook

11.   Independent Auditors' Report

12.  2007 Vernon College Annual Audit