Financial Review and Control

These policies provide guidelines for the monthly review of detail transactions in MIT's Departments, Labs, and Centers (DLCs). The approach described is risk based.

What is the Internal Control Environment?

MIT's internal control structure consists of all controls employed by MIT to achieve its objectives (including physical barriers, organizational design, policies & procedures, and electronic systems). Internal controls can be central or local, preventive or detective. For more on the concept of internal controls, see Appendix A.

Centrally maintained controls over financial transactions apply to all of MIT. These central control structures are described by transaction type in this Financial Review & Control Procedures Quick card.

Internal control systems local to DLCs also play an important role in helping to achieve MIT's objectives (including the objective that financial transactions be accurate, timely, complete, and properly documented).

These guidelines recommend that the administrative officers look at their local internal control systems and procedures periodically, to ensure that they are well designed and working properly.

An Internal Control Questionnaire (ICQ) is detailed in Appendix B. The questionnaire is designed to assist DLCs in performing a self-review of controls over financial systems and activities.

MIT's Audit Division is an additional resource available to assist DLCs in this process.

What is Financial Review and Control?

Financial Review and Control (FRC) is a collection of policies and procedures for performing DLC monthly financial review, and represents one aspect of the internal control environment.

FRC guidelines aim to take advantage of existing central controls, including electronic controls provided by SAP, MIT's integrated purchasing and accounting system. Controls are employed to manage risk. The cost of implementing controls, whether measured in terms of cash outlay or staff time and effort, should not exceed the expected benefits.

The approach to monthly review aims to use MIT staff time most effectively, by allowing lower risk transactions to be monitored by SAP electronic controls and MIT central offices (thereby eliminating some duplication of effort) and by reducing the need to retain paper documentation.

Who performs the Review?

As part of its overall system of internal controls, MIT requires that a person familiar with activity on an MIT cost object review the monthly transactions on that cost object. The transaction review helps to ensure that cost object expenses and revenues are accurate, timely, complete, and properly documented.

Some DLCs are highly centralized, and reviews take place in a central group. Most DLCs are more decentralized, and reviews are done both in the headquarters area and by the administrative staff supporting a faculty member or a research group. In either case, numerous individuals may participate in the monthly review.

When should the Review take place?

The review should be completed within 30 days of the end of the month under review. Federal regulations limit the time allowed for transfers from one cost object to another, and errors caught promptly are generally much easier to correct. Timely reviews are strongly recommended.

Monthly Review Basics

The approach to monthly review is risk based. Matching to independent supporting documentation is advisable in some cases, but not needed in others. Some examples of when (and when not) to match are described below.

For more detailed guidelines by transaction type, including an assessment of level of risk, transaction types in this Financial Review & Control Procedures Quick card.

The guidelines recommend for some transaction types, that transactions be matched to supporting documentation "on a test basis". This means that reviewers perform the most detailed review where the risk of error or loss is greatest, and a reduced level of review when the risk of error or loss is less.

The monthly review procedures require retention of electronic and paper backup, encourage the use of electronic tools, and describe the sign-off form.

Some examples of when (and when not) to "match" to supporting documentation

In some cases, the best way to verify that a transaction is correct is to review the supporting documentation for the transaction. Supporting documentation should be reviewed in the following situations:

  • When the reviewer has questions about a transaction
  • When more information is needed to determine that the charge is accurate and correctly coded
  • Whenever the charge, on its surface, appears unusual or inappropriate in any way.

In many cases, however, matching to supporting documentation is not a necessary part of the month-end review process. Matching is not required in the following four cases:

  1. When the "matching" of transactions has already been done before the monthly statement and DTR are completed, and there are system controls in place to minimize amount and cost object/G/L account distribution errors. Examples include regular payroll transactions and non-blanket POs over $3,000.
  2. When full documentation is available as part of the transaction itself (as in the case of a journal voucher) and may be reviewed on-line or in the printed statement.
  3. When the transaction is small in dollars and processed in a well-controlled manner, for example, bar coded mail.
  4. When the transaction results from a well-controlled system, such as the SAP Purchasing system, and the charge appears reasonable and recognizable.

What is "on a Test Basis?"

When the controls are strong, and the reviewer's experience shows that vendor billings are accurate and packing slips are consistently maintained and filed, these guidelines recommend that matching to supporting documentation be done "on a test basis". The reviewer should consider a number of factors in deciding how many transactions to test.

A selection of one in ten transactions is a reasonable place to start. If there are ten or fewer of a particular transaction type, one or two should still be selected for review. If problems are found, more transactions should be selected for testing. If no problems are found, fewer transactions can be selected.

If the reviewer is aware of problems with a particular vendor, or a particular area of the organization, or if the reviewer does not have experience with the spending on the cost object, more transactions should be matched to supporting documentation.

Reviewers will often focus on large dollar amount transactions, as errors in these will have the greatest impact on the cost object, however, some small dollar transactions should also be selected.

What Documents to Retain?

The DLC is the "office of record" for certain documents and must retain them. Original documents that DLCs should retain include packing slips, credit card receipts, signed DACCAs, and original signed time cards (as needed to meet legacy system verification plus copies of any eDACCAs that support certification by proxy in SAP).

The time frames for document retention depend on whether or not documents are stored electronically or as paper. For the VPF policy on DLC record retention (e.g., packing slips, credit card receipts, signed DACCAs), see Record Retention policy.

For other documents, an MIT central office is the "office of record". In that case, the DLC is not required to retain document copies, although it can if it is useful to do so.

Pending Folders

Some DLCs elect to keep a "pending folder", to hold copies of invoices, travel vouchers, and RFPs submitted to the VPF for payment. This folder may also include other non-SAP documents, such as packing slips. The purpose of keeping a pending folder should be to verify that a transaction has been processed (at the authorized amount and to the correct cost object and G/L account).

The FRC guidelines do not require the use of a pending folder. DLCs that elect to use one should review items in the pending folder monthly and file or dispose of documentation on posted items according to DLC business practice.

Monthly Review Signoff Form

When the monthly review is complete, the reviewer should sign off on the review process. The form of documentation can vary but must include, at a minimum, a list of the cost objects reviewed, the transaction types (if not all were reviewed by the same person), the month being reviewed, and the date completed.

The purpose is to document that a monthly review was performed in accordance with the guidelines.

The sign-off form should be signed and retained on paper or in electronic format. The form should be kept for the current fiscal year plus the four additional fiscal years.

Unresolved Problems

Documentation of unresolved problems should be kept on or with the sign-off form. Contacts for resolving problems for each transaction type can be found in Financial Review & Control Procedures Quick card.

Reporting Significant Problems and Issues

The risk-based guidelines are based on the effectiveness of internal controls provided by MIT central offices and electronic systems (in particular SAP). Significant or recurring problems or issues should be documented and communicated to the appropriate office.

For information on whom to contact by transaction type, Financial Review & Control Procedures Quick card. Other systemic problems and errors relating to central areas should be reported to the Office of the Controller.

Responsibility for Review

The Administrative Officer, in association with the head of the DLC, is ultimately responsible for making sure that all active cost objects are reviewed in accordance with these guidelines.

Different transactions require different types of review. The reviewer who is already familiar with MIT transaction types and central MIT controls may wish to go directly to the Financial Review & Control Procedures Quick card, which presents DLC documentation retention requirements and ongoing and monthly review tasks in a table format.

General Description:

These are charges for purchases of goods or services from an outside supplier initiated by a paper requisition, a regular or blanket requisition on Atlas or through eCat. A website to determine the appropriate purchase method, as well as a list of MIT's participating partner suppliers, can be found here.

SAP Document Types:

CI (Coupa Invoices), RN (PO invoices), KN (non-PO invoices), EI (EDI invoices), PF (non-PO EDI invoices), and SD (DHL feed)

Central MIT Controls:

  • Only authorized users (in the Roles Database) can create and approve requisitions
  • Non-partner requisitions are reviewed by Procurement for reasonableness before being made into a PO
  • SAP has percentage and dollar amount tolerances on invoiced amounts on non-partner purchase orders
  • Invoices that exceed the prices or quantities stated in the PO by more than a certain amount will not be paid without specific department approval
  • For a regular (non-blanket) order, SAP has controls to assure that the originally designated cost object and cost element is charged
  • For Partner transactions, suppliers were chosen based on their willingness and ability to provide MIT with a high level of service, which includes accurate billing and shipping
  • For Partner transactions, invoices are sent electronically and paid based on presumed receipt. To be paid, the amounts must match the amounts on the original requisition

Level of Risk: Low/Medium

Unless these invoices are paid on a blanket purchase order, there are strong controls to ensure that the billed amount is appropriate, and the correct cost object/G/L account combination is charged.

When paid on a blanket purchase order or keyed from a paper requisition, there is some additional risk of charging the wrong cost object/G/L account, or payment of an inappropriate amount.

Documentation to Retain: Packing Slips or other evidence of receipt (for current FY plus four additional FYs). See Record Retention Policy. Sponsored funds may have additional retention requirements. Please check with Coeus to identify the specific award requirements.

DLC Responsibilities:

Ongoing:

  1. Maintain and file packing slips or other evidence of receipt for all goods received.
  2. Review invoices above $3,000 and all blanket order invoices:
    • Verify that the quantities and items received match the receiving report
    • Make sure the goods were received in satisfactory condition
    • Code to the proper cost object and G/L account Send invoices to Accounts Payable after they have been signed and approved for payment by an authorized person
  3. Request that staff, faculty, and students inform administration of orders not received when expected and/or problems with order or vendor

Statement-related:

  1. Review all charges for these document types for reasonableness and correct allocation to the cost object, using the SAP DTR or applicable BrioQuery/Data Warehouse report.
  2. On a test basis, match invoices under $3,000 (which Accounts Payable pays on "Presumed Receipt") to packing slip or other evidence of receipt.
  3. If invoicing or coding errors are found, contact the supplier or Accounts Payable as appropriate.

Contact for questions: Send e-mail to procurement@mit.edu.

Authorized DLC users can make purchases using an MIT Procurement Credit Card (ProCard). Every two to three days, MIT receives a feed from the credit card processor. The feed is processed into SAP, charges for each credit card go into an "Inbox" for the credit card verifier for that particular credit card, and an e-mail message is generated to the verifier that there are charges to review.

The verifier is responsible for comparing the charge to receipts and other supporting documentation and providing the correct cost object and G/L account to allow the charge to post. Charges remain in the verifier's Inbox for 21 days. At that time they are swept to a default cost object and G/L account in the department.

SAP Document Types: SC (Credit Card Charges)

Central MIT Controls:

  1. Only individuals authorized by their DLC administrator can obtain an MIT Procurement Card.
  2. All cardholders are required to complete online training prior to receiving his/her card.
  3. The cards have many built-in controls including a dollar limit for individual purchases, a monthly dollar limit, and restrictions on the type of merchant accepted.
  4. The MIT credit card administrator reviews all MIT purchases daily for reasonableness.
  5. The credit card verifier is usually not the individual making the purchase, and has the responsibility to make sure receipts are obtained and kept.

Level of Risk: Low. All Procurement card transactions are considered low risk in this context (unless swept).

For charges not swept, a trained verifier is reviewing each charge against supporting documentation, and moving the charge to the correct cost object/G/L account.

Documentation to Retain:

Receipts or invoices, packing slips, or other evidence of receipt, if applicable (for current FY plus four additional FYs). See Record Retention Policy. Sponsored funds may have additional retention requirements. Please check with Coeus to identify the specific award requirements.

DLC Responsibilities:

Ongoing:

Credit Card verifier compares inbox charges to receipts, and codes for posting to SAP.

Statement-related:

  1. Review credit card charges for reasonableness.
  2. For charges to the default cost object/G/L account (swept charges), the reviewer responsible for this cost object should locate supporting receipts or other backup and transfer the charge to the appropriate cost object/G/L account. (A special Brio Query report has been created for "swept" transactions.)
  3. Swept charges must be reviewed periodically by the Administrative or Fiscal Officer and cleared.

Contact for questions: The supplier or MIT's credit card administrator at procard@mit.edu.

General Description:

Non-travel cash disbursements, usually reimbursements for goods and services already paid for by the individual submitting the request for payment. In most cases, there is no PO associated with these transactions.

SAP Document Types:

RP (Requests for Payment) KN (Non-PO invoices) and some SK (Cashier transactions).

Central MIT Controls:

  1. All RFPs must be approved by a person with invoice approval in Roles for the cost object. The approver must be someone other than the person being reimbursed.
  2. The eRFP system verifies that the approver is authorized through the Roles Database.
  3. Accounts Payable reviews all RFPs to see that they are reasonable and in accordance with Institute policy.

Level of Risk: Low

RFPs must be approved by an authorized person. These are generally for goods or services already purchased, and documentation for the purchase is attached to the RFP.

Documentation to Retain:

Digital copies of receipts are submitted via the eRFP system. The Department should keep original receipts for the current fiscal year plus one fiscal year. Packing slips or other evidence of receipt, if applicable, should also be retained by the DLC. See Record Retention Policy. Sponsored funds may have additional retention requirements. Please check with Coeus to identify the specific award requirements.

DLC Responsibilities:

Ongoing:

None required. Those submitting the RFP are encouraged to put detailed information into the "Information to be inserted on Check Stub" field. This field is keyed by Accounts Payable and appears on the DTR. Detailed information will make it easier to recognize the charge at month end.

Statement-related:

Review for reasonableness and to see that the correct cost object/GL account was charged.

Contact for questions: Send e-mail to erfp@mit.edu.

General Description:

An internal provider is an MIT entity that provides goods or services to other MIT departments, labs or centers. Internal Providers include Facilities, MIT Food Services, Mail Services, Audiovisual, Copy Tech, and Cryogenics.

Purchasing from these internal providers can be done with a regular SAP requisition or through SAPweb. The requisition is the final order -- no Purchase Order is created. Internal Providers bill MIT customers using the SI (internal provider journal voucher) transaction.

SAP Document Types: SI (Internal Provider Billing)

Central MIT Controls:

  1. The supplier is an MIT entity. No obligations to external suppliers are created, and no cash payments are made to entities outside MIT.
  2. If a purchase is made with an SAP requisition, then only authorized users can create and approve requisitions in the system.
  3. If a purchase is made with a paper requisition, the internal provider is required to look up the authorizations in the Roles Database.
  4. For Mail Services, risk is reduced when mail is processed using a bar coded "swipe" card, minimizing the risk of keying errors in the Mail Services area.

Level of Risk: Medium

Although keying errors can occur and amount billed is not controlled by a PO, funds do not leave MIT when billed by an internal provider.

Documentation to Retain:

Packing slips or other evidence of receipt, if applicable (current FY plus 4 additional FYs). See Record Retention Policy. Sponsored funds may have additional retention requirements. Please check with Coeus to identify the specific award requirements.

DLC Responsibilities:

Ongoing:

  1. Retain and file packing slips or other evidence of receipt.
  2. Ask that staff, faculty, and students inform reviewers of orders not received or problems with an order or the provider.
  3. Encourage the use of the bar coded "swipe" card for processing mail. Make sure the mail, packaged with the "swipe" card, is stored in a secure area.

Statement-related: Review charges from internal provider, paying careful attention to the amounts billed, as internal providers can bill more than the original requisition amount.

Contact for Questions: Contact the internal provider with questions or concerns.

Payroll Charges

General Description:

MIT currently processes two types of payroll transactions -- a staff payroll and a weekly payroll. The staff payroll, which is paid monthly includes faculty and other academic staff, sponsored research, and administrative staff, and graduate student research assistants and teaching assistants. The weekly payroll includes support staff, service staff, and MIT student employees.

SAP Document Types:

SM (Staff Payroll), SW (weekly payroll), and some SA (standard SAP journal vouchers) and PA (Payroll CDU system-generated re-distribution journal vouchers)

Central MIT Controls:

A strong system of required approvals for hiring and changes to compensation is in place. Charges posted to suspense are researched and cleared by DLC staff or, if beyond 180 days after the end of the quarter, by Payroll.

Level of Risk: Low.

Controls over authorizing additions or changes to MIT's staff and their compensation are strong.

Documentation to Retain:

  • Time sheets for hourly personnel: Approvals must be by an individual with reasonable and fair knowledge of attendances and absences of the employee or student. If time sheets are approved electronically, there is no requirement to retain paper backup in the department. If time sheet approval is via paper time sheet form, paper records must be retained for as long as the employee might want to check or challenge payment, at most the current FY and one additional FY.
  • Certified Quarterly eDACCA (the payroll form for certifying salary distribution on all Institute cost objects): Certification of the Quarterly eDACCA must be performed by an individual with direct knowledge of the work performed and recorded in the payroll eDACCA system, either by the eDACCA certifier or a proxy on their behalf. If electronic certification is via a proxy (eDACCA Administrator), the supporting paper documentation must be retained in the department/laboratory/center and available for audit for the current fiscal year plus four additional fiscal years. If electronic certification is by the eDACCA certifier, no supporting documentation is required. DLCs do not need to retain monthly paper DACCAs, if used by the DLC in their monthly FRC process; the quarterly DACCAs are the final record of payroll charges distributed to cost objects for that quarter.
  • See Record Retention Policy. Sponsored funds may have additional retention requirements. Please check with Coeus to identify the specific award requirements.

 

DLC Responsibilities:

Ongoing:

  1. Review time submission for hourly personnel, an electronic process in SAP Payroll. Approval of time submission must be by a responsible person with reasonable and fair knowledge of attendances and absences of the employee or student
  2. Review monthly eDACCA (lists all payroll activity for month and is available electronically in SAP and the Data Warehouse) and enter any required changes via the eSDS (electronic Salary Distribution System). Each department has a payroll suspense cost object as a temporary holding place for salary expenses that encounter an exception condition during payroll processing, e.g., a terminated cost object. The monthly eDACCAs (and centrally-printed DACCAs) include the department’s suspense cost object. Monthly eDACCA review includes review of salary charges posted to suspense and timely transfer to the appropriate cost object.
  3. DLCs must certify salaries via the Quarterly eDACCA within 90 days following the end of the quarter.

Note on timing: DLCs have 90 days after the close of each quarter (Sep, Dec, Mar, Jun) to submit retroactive changes (via eSDS) to salaries for the quarter just ended without written justification, except for sponsored projects closing within a quarter. Retroactive changes for sponsored projects must be submitted within 30 days of the month the project closes. For detailed information, see Salary Certification Policy.

Retroactive changes to salary beyond 90 days after a quarter must be properly documented in writing, with an explanation why this change is being made and why the change is late. Such requests must be submitted via a “Request for Late Salary Distribution Change” form to the Institute Controller and the Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs. For more information, see Salary Certification Policy.

Statement-related:

  1. Review SM and SW transactions via the eDACCA (described under "Ongoing" DLC Tasks).
  2. At month end, review any other document types related to payroll, but not processed through the payroll system (SA or PA journal voucher transactions), to ensure they are accurate. A Data Warehouse report, "Payroll Exception", has been developed to identify any non-SW or SM transactions to a payroll GL account.
  3. Check to see that any changes requested in prior months or quarter have been made.

Contact for questions:

Contact HR/Payroll at payroll@mit.edu or 253-3337.

General Description:

Travel charges and travel reimbursements are processed in Concur and recorded in SAP.

SAP Document Types: KT (Travel), TR (Travel Auto Posting), and TS (Travel Manual Posting).

Central MIT Controls:

All requests for travel reimbursements must be reviewed and signed/approved by an authorized individual in the DLC. The traveler cannot be the approver. The Concur system identifies the approver based on the cost object. Approvers review expenses for reasonableness and compliance with MIT policies and sponsored agreement restrictions. Travel audits all high-risk transactions including those involving sponsored accounts.

Level of Risk: Low.

Documentation to Retain:

Receipts or invoices, packing slips, or other evidence of receipt, if applicable for charges above $75 except local travel and meetings, hotels, airfare, rental cars, and rail (for current FY plus one additional FY). See Record Retention Policy. Sponsored funds may have additional retention requirements. Please check with Coeus to identify the specific award requirements.

DLC Responsibilities:

Ongoing:

  1. DLC staff should check to make sure that travel is allowed on research agreements before approving an expense report.
  2. Each traveler should file a travel report within 30 days of the completion of a trip.
  3. For MIT's complete travel guidelines, including information about how to deal with "code sharing" situations, see Travel Planning and Expensing Policies. Some sponsor regulations relating to foreign travel are complex, and the practice of airline "code sharing", where one airline can issue tickets for a block of seats on another airline's plane, makes it more difficult to show that the travel is allowable.

Statement-related:

Review travel charges for reasonableness and to ensure that charges are coded properly to this cost object. A BrioQuery/Data Warehouse report, "Travel Charges Review", has been developed to allow for easy focus on travel charges.

Contact for Questions: travelsupport@mit.edu

 

General Description:

Journal Vouchers are documents to move charges from one cost object or GL account to another. Any SAP user with reporting authorization can prepare and post a Journal Voucher to any cost object in the Institute.

SAP Document Types:

SA (during the fiscal year) and FY (during the fiscal year closing periods 13, 14, 15, and 16.)

Central MIT Controls:

Certain journal entries are routed to central offices for further review (based on the G/L accounts/cost objects used). Some G/L account/cost object combinations are not allowed. System driven validations require postings to an open cost object (has not been terminated).

All JVs on a WBS element have to be reviewed by the Sponsored Accounting area in the VPF to see if they are allowable to the WBS element.

Level of Risk: Medium/High.

Although JVs cannot result in any expenditure of funds outside MIT, JVs can be entered by any properly authorized SAP user against any cost object/G/L account at MIT. An inappropriate JV, not corrected, could result in under billing a sponsor, a cost overrun, or inaccurate financial information.

Documentation to Retain:

Any additional documentation needed to explain the reason for the Journal Voucher. (JVs have extensive provision for text explanations. Use of these text fields is strongly encouraged to reduce the need to save, and find, paper documentation centrally or locally).

DLC Responsibilities:

Ongoing:

Follow departmental procedures (if any) for review of JVs proposed.

Statement-related:

  1. Review all journal entries for reasonableness, using your DTR or the Data Warehouse report "Journal Document Review". Make sure you understand the purpose of the entry. Use the JV "long text" field to see who made the entry.
  2. If you have questions, contact the person originating the JV.

Contact for questions: If additional information is needed, please contact journal-vouchers@mit.edu.

General description:

Charges generated by SAP (through the mechanism of the SAP costing sheet) to assess research projects, operating cost centers, and fund internal orders and WBS elements with employee benefits (EB), allocations, and facilities and administration (F&A) charges.

Document Type:

These allocation charges are internal to SAP's CO (controlling) module and have no "FI" document type. In SAP, the "document type" field is blank. In the Data Warehouse, the document type is "N/A" (not applicable)".

Central MIT Controls:

SAP costing sheets use certain fields in the master data of a cost object to drive the calculation of EB, Allocation, or F&A charge for the cost object. The VPF regularly tests the amounts posted, in aggregate by costing sheet and key, to see that the costing sheets are working properly.

The fields used for calculated costs are the costing sheet assignment, the Allocation key, the EB key, and the F&A key. These fields are set by the central departments that create cost objects. Sponsored cost objects are set by an automatic feed from Coeus.

Supervisors and Addressees receive a printed report called an "001" when a new cost object is set up, showing the information entered into these fields. They also receive an "001" form when the master data on a cost object is changed.

Level of Risk: Low.

If allocations, EB, or F&A charges are incorrect, MIT's recovery from its sponsors could be too great or too small. While errors are generally corrected at close-out, at the time of close-out if the project is over-expended this must be covered with unrestricted funds. If under expended, by the time of close out and excess funds generally cannot be spent and must be returned to the sponsor.

Documentation to retain

The record copy of the sponsored agreement is held in the Office for Sponsored Programs. Most Departments also retain a copy and refer to it when questions arise. This practice is recommended.

DLC Responsibilities:

Ongoing:

  1. Review the "001" form when a new cost object is created or when the master data on a cost object is changed.
  2. Ensure that the costing sheet assignment, allocation key, EB key, and F&A key are correct and consistent with grant or contract documentation from the sponsor.

Statement-related:

  1. Review EB, OH, and Allocation charges to see if they appear reasonable.
  2. Recalculate the charges to the project periodically (particularly when the F&A, Allocation or EB rates change).

Contact for questions:

Your Department's OSP representative or VPF Sponsored Accounting at Billing-issues@mit.edu.

General description:

Each MIT Summary Statement and DTR is divided into three sections: Principal (relating to additions and changes to MIT's endowed funds), Revenue, and Expense. This section deals with transactions most commonly found on the "Principal" and "Revenue" sections of the Summary Statement and DTR.

Most general operating cost centers do not have revenue. Auxiliary cost centers do have revenue transactions, as do many "fund" internal orders. Sponsored WBS elements generally reflect only bills to the project sponsor. In some WBS element project families, billing is reflected only at the "parent" level for a project.

SAP Document type:

SR, RV, S1 (sponsored billing related); SG (from the gift system); SK (a deposit made through the Cashier).

Central MIT Controls:

MIT has strong central controls over sponsored billings, the proper accounting for endowment and investment income, and gift revenues. Most auxiliary enterprises have procedures developed that are specific to the business they are in, to ensure the proper billing of customers and the collection of amounts billed.

Level of Risk: Low.

Central controls over the recording of sponsored billings, gift activity, and Cashier deposits are strong. The primary risk is that fee or gift deposits could be posted to the wrong cost object, or that gifts or receipts from a sponsor or other customer could be posted directly to a cost object and not through the proper subsidiary system.

For example, if a payment received from a sponsor was not posted through the Sponsored Receivables system, there is a risk the revenue would be posted twice -- once as an accounts receivable, and once when actually received. Furthermore, the sponsor would continue to receive bills after payment has been made.

A similar problem occurs if a payment is made outside of the gift system. Even if not in payment for a pledge, if a gift is not posted through the gift system, the donor will not get the appropriate tax receipt information, or the proper MIT acknowledgment of the gift.

Documentation to Retain:

  • Copies of deposit slips may be retained for convenience. (After the Department has ascertained that a deposit was properly recorded in SAP, it is not necessary to retain the deposit receipt. VPF's Cashier's Office is the office of record for this information.)
  • The record copy of the sponsored agreement is held in the Office for Sponsored Programs. Most departments also retain a copy and refer to it when questions arise. This practice is recommended. Sponsored agreements may contain billing schedules, a useful reference in monitoring billings.
  • Any correspondence or documentation relating to a gift, or other cash receipt, which was not submitted to the VPF with the deposit slip, should be retained in the department.

DLC Responsibilities:

Ongoing:

  1. Make deposits in a timely manner.
  2. For departments with a large volume of cash receipts, checks should be restrictively endorsed immediately upon receipt.

Statement-related:

  1. Review any transactions under these document types to see that they appear reasonable and appropriate on the cost object and G/L account.
  2. Make sure that all deposits expected to be posted to the cost object have been, through review of the detail, through comparison of actual revenue to the amount budgeted, or through comparison to the previous year's volume.
  3. For sponsored billing amounts to federal sponsors, review the transactions to ensure they are reasonable in relation to the expenditures on the project.
  4. For corporate sponsors, check to ensure that billings are consistent with the agreed upon billing schedule.

Note: The DTR shows sponsored billings revenue when amount due is recorded in the system as an accounts receivable. VPF Sponsored Accounting is generally responsible for ensuring that amounts billed to sponsors are paid, and it is not necessary for the department to monitor payment - only billings.

In cases where the responsibility for monitoring sponsor payments is shared with the department, VPF Sponsored Accounting will provide additional information about how to monitor payment activity.

Contact for questions:

Authorized DLC users can make travel purchases using an MIT Travel Credit Card. These charges include local travel and meetings. Every day, Bank of America sends a feed to the Concur travel expense reporting system. The charges are processed, audited, and approved in expense vouchers, then fed into SAP.

The submitter is responsible for comparing the charge to receipts and other supporting documentation and providing the correct cost object and expense type to allow the charge to post. The system automatically routes to the Concur Travel Approver as defined in Roles who then reviews these charges for reasonableness and compliance with MIT travel policies.

SAP Document Types: TR (Travel Auto Posting) and TS (Travel Manual Posting).

Central MIT Controls:

  1. Only individuals authorized by their DLC administrator can obtain a Travel Credit Card.
  2. The cards have a controlled monthly dollar limit.
  3. The Concur Travel Approvers review all MIT travel transactions for reasonableness. The Concur system automatically routes expense reports to the appropriate approvers based on cost object. Approvers are defined in the Roles database.
  4. The approver is never the individual making the purchase, and has the responsibility to make sure that original receipts are obtained and kept.

Level of Risk: Low.

An approver is reviewing charges against supporting documentation, and allocating the charges to the correct expense types and cost objects in Concur which map to the correct cost objects/G/L accounts in SAP.

Documentation to Retain:

Receipts or invoices, packing slips, or other evidence of receipt, if applicable for charges above $75 except local travel and meetings, hotels, airfare, rental cars, and rail (for current FY plus one additional FY). See Record Retention Policy. Sponsored funds may have additional retention requirements. Please check with Coeus to identify the specific award requirements.

DLC Responsibilities:

Ongoing:

Traveler or delegate compares travel credit card charges to receipts, scans receipts, and routes to appropriate approvers by cost object for review and approval.

Statement-related:

Review travel charges for reasonableness and to ensure that charges are coded properly to this cost object.

Contact for questions: The vendor, or VPF Travel at travelsupport@mit.edu

Monthly transactions are reported to users in the form of monthly accounting statements, primarily the MIT Summary Statement and the MIT Detail Transaction Report. The financial information contained in these reports can be viewed on paper, in SAP, in BrioQuery, online through Cognos, or the FRC application.

These guidelines encourage the use of one of the available electronic tools since more detailed information is available when questions arise. However, any one of the choices described below is acceptable.

Paper

Users without access to SAP, or those who prefer a paper-based process, may continue to do the financial review using the paper statements mailed by the VPF.

(SAP, BrioQuery & Cognos reports can be printed, thus accommodating those who prefer to make notes or check marks on paper.)

SAP

Users who review a small number of cost objects, those who would like to review their transactions in real time, or those who use SAP's drill-down features extensively, may prefer to do the financial review using SAP on-line.

Detailed documentation on the SAP Summary Statement and Detail Transaction Report can be found at the SAP website.

BrioQuery

MIT's Data Warehouse is a relational database developed at MIT to support ad-hoc reporting on financial, personnel, space, employee, and student data. Data from a number of MIT administrative systems, including SAP, is extracted daily and loaded to the Data Warehouse.

A query tool, BrioQuery, is available to MIT users for reporting on Data Warehouse data of all types. Templates developed using BrioQuery can be saved and rerun with different variables, again and again.

A number of standard BrioQuery templates have been developed and are available from the Data Warehouse website.

The template Financial Review & Control Procedures Reporting was developed to support MIT’s FRC process and is particularly useful for users who would like to:

· Review more than one fiscal period at a time

· Review multiple cost objects

· Focus on certain transaction types or dollar amounts over (or under) a certain level

· Sort transactions in a nonstandard way (by posting date, PO number, or by vendor, for example).

Cognos

Cognos is a web-based reporting tool that accesses information stored in the Data Warehouse (similar to BrioQuery) and can be found at reports.mit.edu.

A number of standard Cognos reports are available to the community to assist in reviewing financial transactions.

The report titled “FRC Monthly Review Report” can be accessed by selecting Departmental Reports -> Financial DLC Reports -> Financial Review and Control. Users can select and filter data using different criteria such as Fiscal Period, Profit Center, Supervisor or Cost Object.

This report is designed to assist those who perform FRC duties for their DLC by highlighting a sampling of transactions that may be considered high risk.

FRC Monthly Review Application

MIT community members may carry out their monthly account reconciliations using a new Financial Review and Control online tool. Modeled on the FRC Monthly Review Report in Cognos, the tool is the result of collaboration between MIT community members, Information Systems & Technology (IS&T), and VPF.

The tool can be accessed online at http://frc.mit.edu or through Atlas by selecting Reports then FRC Monthly Review Application.

This tool is designed to assist those who perform Financial Review and Control duties for their DLC by highlighting high-risk transactions, providing web-based tracking of line items reviewed and issues to be resolved, and serving as an electronic record of FRC review for the DLC.

 

Certain analytical and review procedures should be carried out periodically by the Administrative or Fiscal Officer in each Department, Lab, or Center including (but not limited to):

  • Periodic comparisons of spending against budget or other available funds;
  • Periodic reviews of research or other sponsored projects where expenditures have exceeded revenues
  • Exception reporting, based on risk areas for that department, lab, or center. Such exception reporting might include:
    • review of any expenditure or revenue item over a certain amount
    • review of phone calls over a certain dollar amount, or to certain locations
    • review of "swept" credit card charges

The Administrative Officer should also ensure that new and continuing DLC staff administering these guidelines have sufficient training in the use of relevant MIT procedures and regulations, including the use of these guidelines.

Authorizations are a critical part of the system of internal control on which these guidelines are based. Periodically the Administrative Officer should review the authorizations in place for the DLC through the Roles Data Base.