1-D. Financial Services Division

Central Accounting Units

Photo: UNM BuildingsThe University Controller has custodianship of the financial reporting system.  The central accounting offices are primarily responsible for the administration and review of the data that is recorded in the Banner system.  There are four central accounting offices: 

Contract and Grant Accounting – Health Sciences Center is responsible for the administration of current restricted funds for the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. 

Contract and Grant Accounting – Main Campus is responsible for the administration of current restricted funds for the Main University of New Mexico Campus and the Branch Campuses.

Unrestricted Accounting – Health Sciences Center is responsible for the administration of current unrestricted funds for the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and HSC agency funds. 

Unrestricted Accounting – Main is responsible for the administration of current unrestricted funds for the Main University of New Mexico Campus, the Branch Campuses, endowment funds and Main/Branch Campus agency funds.

These four offices act as a liaison between users at the departmental level and the accounting system.  They provide accounting approval on financial documents, information regarding a department’s accounts or financial transactions, and general assistance in matters relating to financial activity.

Other Accounting Offices

Other central accounting offices that have varying degrees of responsibility for the data residing in Banner include:

Bursar’s Office is responsible for the administration of student-related accounts and loan funds and the entry of cash receipt transactions into Banner.

Credit, Collections and Merchant Services is responsible for supporting banking transactions and providing oversight of the University Banking and Treasury functions. Special bank transactions are reviewed and entered into UNM Accounting Systems per research in conjunction with both Central and Departmental Accounting offices 

Finance System Management (FSM) is responsible for maintaining the University Chart of Accounts.  FSM supports core accounting offices and departmental operations with employee access to the Banner systems and reporting components; electronic approval queues and batch journal voucher transaction loads. 

Main Campus- Budget Office (Office of Planning Budget & Analysis) Aids in the Planning and analysis of budgets for Main Campus departments. 

HSC Budget Office provides detailed financial and statistical data to state government and elected officials regarding the financial outlook of the HSC. 

Payroll is responsible for payroll disbursement to employees and students, and the financial administration of employee benefits. 

Purchasing/Accounts Payable is responsible for disbursements to vendors and other individuals, including student and employees.  The division is also responsible for the control of procurement of all tangible personal property, services and construction for the University. Among the areas Purchasing oversees are the training, issuance and oversight of the PCard Program; development and implementation of all procurement policies, procedures and processes.  They also maintain the records that support all procurement.

University Services is responsible for several important service functions across the       UNM campuses including UNM Mailing Systems, UNM Copy Center, Inventory   Control, Surplus Property, Records Management, and Shipping and Receiving.

Department Management and Reporting. UNM establishes each organization as if it were an individual business. There is a great deal of flexibility within the organizational hierarchy at UNM. 

A financial manager is assigned to each organization beginning at the college level. The financial manager is responsible for the lower level departments within that organizational structure.  The financial manager supervises budget preparation for the indices within their organization. 

Although departments may review their ongoing index activity in Banner and print the ledgers at any time, a formal reconciliation of the accounting records must be performed on a monthly basis as soon as possible after the month closes. Best practices suggest that all indices should be reconciled within two weeks of the month end close.  The monthly index reconciliation is submitted to the dean, director or department head for review and approval.  A reconciliation of the ledger consists of the following process:

  • Compare departmental records with the current month's transactions (encumbrances, charges, and deposits) listed on the department's ledgers. Ensure that the correct  index/account code, amount, etc., were charged.
  • Verify the sponsor award amount and budget for sponsored projects. Also note the end date and ensure that charges occurred within the project period.
  • Ensure that all transactions appearing on the ledgers which are not supported by the department's records are accurate and authorized.'
  • Provide the reconciled ledgers for the index to the department head each month.

Note: The financial manager may designate an exempt or non-exempt employee to perform the reconciliation. The dean, director or department head may delegate monthly reconciliation ledger review but must ensure that proper segregation of duties is maintained when delegating this task.

Segregation of duties is a basic, key internal control. It is used to ensure that errors or irregularities are prevented or detected on a timely basis by employees in the normal course of business. Segregation of duties provides two benefits: 1) a deliberate fraud is more difficult because it requires collusion of two or more persons, and 2) it is much more likely that innocent errors will be found.  At the most basic level, it means that no single individual should have control over two or more phases of a transaction or operation. Management should assign responsibilities to ensure a crosscheck of duties.

There are four general categories of duties or responsibilities which are examined when segregation of duties is discussed: authorization, custody, record keeping and reconciliation. In an ideal system, different employees would perform each of these four major functions.

What are some risks if the ledgers are not reconciled each month?

Data entry errors are possible; therefore, the department is responsible for ensuring that all transactions initiated from the department were recorded in Banner as intended. Deposits and several types of charges are posted without direct departmental review and/or approval and may not be known to the department until they are identified during reconciliation. The department is responsible for determining that such transactions are appropriate.