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Annual Financial Statement Certification Policy


Effective Date:  
June 10, 2009

Last Updated:   June 1, 2014

Responsible University Officer:
  • Vice President for Business and Finance

Policy Owner:
  • Associate Vice President for Accounting and Business Services

Policy Contact:
Policy Contents

   Policy Statement
   Reason for Policy
   Who Should Read this Policy
   Policy Text
   Procedures
   Related Information
   Definitions
   Additional Contacts
   Forms
   Responsibilities
   FAQ
   Revision History
   Appendices

POLICY STATEMENT

Certain members of the Leadership Team, other senior employees, and their Business Managers are required to complete and sign the Annual Financial Statement Certification at the end of each fiscal year. The certification process is an essential internal control activity intended to ensure the integrity of the University’s financial statements. Completion of the annual certification also provides an opportunity for departments to review their financial activity for the year and to confirm that all transactions have been properly recorded in the University’s accounting system. 


REASON FOR POLICY

This Policy includes the procedures for the completion of the Annual Financial Statement Certification by those employees subject to the certification requirement.

WHO SHOULD READ THIS POLICY

Any employee who is responsible for completing the Annual Financial Statement Certification; the members of the Leadership Team, other senior employees, and their Business Managers, as well as managers who supervise an employee with such responsibilities.


POLICY TEXT

The University’s financial statements are prepared annually by the Office of Accounting and Business Services (ABS), in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The financial statements represent the financial position of the University as of the end of the fiscal year and encompass not only activity affecting budgeted or operating funds but also include activities associated with non-operating or restricted funds. The financial statements are an important indicator of the University’s financial performances, which helps external stakeholders determine how well the University has managed its resources. Such stakeholders include donors, banks, lenders, regulatory agencies, governmental entities, and others.

In order to ensure that the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the University, the statements are audited each year by the University’s external auditors. The Annual Financial Statement Certification process is a critical element in documenting the University’s compliance with the audit standards and a best practice intended to ensure the accurate and fair presentation of the financial statements.

Employees Subject to Certification Requirement

Because the duties and responsibilities of Leadership Team members, other senior employees, and their Business Managers have a significant impact on the financial activities of the University, they are required to complete and sign the Annual Financial Statement Certification. As part of the certification process, these individuals have a fiduciary duty to communicate any information to ABS that may have a material impact on the financial statements, both when completing the certification and throughout the year as transactions are processed.

The specific position titles subject to the Annual Financial Statement Certification requirement are listed in Appendix A.


PROCEDURES


RELATED INFORMATION

Type

Name

USF  Conflict of Interest Policy
USF Department Cash Handling Policy
USF Department Payroll Controls Policy - under construction

DEFINITIONS

Term

Definition

Banner System The enterprise information system used to record the business activities of the University. The core system suite is made up of the Advancement, Finance, Financial Aid, Human Resources, and Student modules, and includes additional functionality in document management, job scheduling, reporting, and workflow.
Business Manager A University employee, designated by the President, Vice President, Vice Provost, or Dean who is the budget manager for the University account(s) being used for the expense. This may include the President, Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, or Deans.
Concur Reporting System The University’s on-line system for payment requests, expense reimbursements, cash advance requests, and reporting.
FOAPAL The acronym representing each element of the University’s Charts of Accounts, i.e., Fund, Organization, Account, Program, Activity, and Location.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

Subject

Contact

Phone

Email/URL

Accounting and Business Services      Frank Wasilewski   415.422.6732  fmwasilewski@usfca.edu
Accounting  Jennifer Chan  415.422.2772  chanjn@usfca.edu

FORMS

Form

Use

Location

Annual Financial Statement Certification Used by employees subject to this Policy to certify the accuracy of their financial transactions.  Accounting and Business Services

RESPONSIBILITIES

Employees Subject to Certification Requirement
  • Responsible for the continuous monitoring of financial activities to ensure they are conducted in a timely, complete, and accurate manner.
  • Promptly reports information to ABS that may have a material impact on the financial statements.
  • Completes Annual Financial Statement Certification in accordance with the schedule published by ABS.

Accounting and Business Services
  • Responsible for administering the Annual Financial Statement Certification process.
  • Establishes the schedule for completion of the annual certifications.
  • Promptly makes corrections to the University’s accounting records as needed.
  • Reviews and approves, if appropriate, requests for an exception to this Policy.

President, Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, and Deans
  • Ensures that employees within his or her division are in compliance with this Policy.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


REVISION HISTORY

  • 06/01/2014 - Revised to update terms and definitions used in the Policy.
  • 06/10/2009 - Effective date of Policy.

APPENDICES

Appendix A - Employees Subject to Annual Financial Statement Certification Requirement