Back to Top
Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

9.1.1 Unit Head Responsibilities for Internal Controls

Policy Statement

Unit heads must develop and implement internal control systems to provide reasonable assurance that:

  • Information is reliable, accurate, and timely.
  • Policies, plans, procedures, laws, regulations, and contracts are followed.
  • Assets (including people) are safeguarded.
  • Resources are used in an economical/efficient manner.
  • Established objectives and goals are met.

Reason for the Policy

Internal controls are intended to prevent errors or irregularities, identify problems, and ensure that corrective action is taken.

Applicability of the Policy

Employees designated as the head of an established system unit.


Unit heads should identify and analyze risks that could impact the achievement of system, university, and unit objectives to ensure that appropriate internal control policies and procedures are in place. Acquaint yourself with the general guidelines of the Fiscal Control and Internal Auditing Act (FCIAA).

Develop and implement an internal control system that conforms to these standards:

  • Responsibilities are divided among different employees to ensure segregation of duties throughout the business process, especially those tasks related to authorization, record keeping, and asset custody, with consideration given to business system role combinations.
  • Authorization and record-keeping procedures provide reasonable accounting control over assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, and other changes in the balance of funds.
  • Office practices and routines comply with approved authorization and record-keeping procedures, including, proper storage, access control, and disposal of private and confidential data.
  • Employees have the knowledge and skills needed to execute their assigned responsibilities.

Review your internal control system on a regular basis to determine whether:

  • System and university-specific policies are being interpreted properly and are being followed.
  • Procedures that are cumbersome or inadequate because of changes in operating conditions have been updated.
  • The cost of protection outweighs potential losses, or a method would cause gross inefficiency. In this case, a given control may not be feasible and other alternatives may be more advisable.
  • Corrective measures are taken promptly when an internal control system fails.
  • The annual Fiscal Control and Internal Auditing Act (FCIAA) Questionnaire has been completed.

Unit heads may also request that an internal audit be performed. An audit provides an independent appraisal of the effectiveness and efficiency of your unit's administration. An internal audit can help you attain the missions and goals of your unit, inform you of best practices in fiscal and administrative management of your unit, and provide you with suggestions to streamline your operations, reduce costs, or increase revenues. Your unit may find it helpful to request an audit when it:

  • Has installed new business or financial software.
  • Needs to evaluate its internal controls.
  • Needs to confirm it is complying with regulations.
  • Suspects fraudulent activity has occurred.

If you have questions about your internal control procedures or need information about available resources, contact the Office of University Audits or consult their Internal Control Tools.

1 Fiscal Environment - Reporting Fraud or Misconduct, Whistleblower Protection, and Investigations

Fiscal Control and Internal Auditing Act (FCIAA)
Internal Control Tools
Office of University Audits

Last Updated: May 21, 2020 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: December 2014

Give us feedback about this page Submit Feedback