A recent internal audit of the Forest CE budget revealed certain weaknesses in some of our internal accounting procedures which I wish to call to your attention. The particular practices involved are Petty Cash Reimbursements, Travel Authorizations and Per Diem Reimbursements and Procard procedures.
We have been approving petty cash reimbursements where the PI or authorized signer for a budget approves his or her own petty cash request. This is not an acceptable practice. Appropriate oversight of funds requires that someone at a higher level than the requester approve the request. Those at the chair, associate dean or director level requesting reimbursement on budgets under their control should seek approval at the dean's level. Alice Meyer and Geetha Sukumaran are authorized to sign on behalf of the dean.
Travel Authorization Requests
To date, these forms have not included information on the estimated cost of travel. Approval of travel includes both the permission to travel on UW business AND the approval of the estimated amount of reimbursement that will be requested. Please include the estimated cost of your travel on all future Travel Authorization Requests or they will not be approved.
Per Diem Reimbursements
Per Diem cannot be reimbursed for expenses covered by other payers. A particular error is requesting meal reimbursement when a meal is provided by an event sponsor at no cost or covered in the conference/registration fee. Please guard against this.
Rules for Procard use require that two people (a reconciler and a reviewer/approver) with access to the purchase request and receipt paperwork perform the review and approval process for each transaction prior to the monthly cut-off date. The College currently does not have in place a process for ensuring that this happens on a timely basis for all users. A new management procedure will be developed shortly which will be presented along with a refresher training in record keeping requirements for all CFR card holders.
Thank you for your attention to these requirements for greater fiscal accountability. If you have questions or suggestions for improving internal fiscal controls within the College please contact Alice.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean