Accounting & Financial Reporting

Fiscal Close Certification - Definitions

"To the best of my knowledge"

The use of the term, "to the best of my knowledge and belief", recognizes it is impossible for any person to legitimately provide any absolute assurances or guarantees. An individual can only make assertions on what they know or may have knowledge of, not to what they don’t know. So this terminology is intended to provide a reasonable and rational framework for providing the required fiscal closing certifications to the Campus Controller and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor of Finance and Resource Management (FRM) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Administrators manage their departments in many different ways and can have varying tolerances for levels of detail and day-to-day involvement. This terminology respects those differences and is not attempting to change the manner in which different administrators may carry out their responsibilities, or to require a level of managerial involvement that is inconsistent with their typical managerial style.

It is certainly appropriate for an administrator to acknowledge the general administrative responsibilities that come with the position they hold as they relate to financial management. They can also affirm they aren’t aware of inappropriately recorded or unrecorded transactions, communications from regulatory agencies regarding noncompliance, fraud that hasn’t been reported to the appropriate authorities, funds that are being used in a noncompliant manner, etc. However, if a dean or department head is aware of any situations in these particular areas that the Campus Controller or Sr AVC of FRM and CFO should be aware of, he/she has a responsibility to let them know as soon as possible so they can then evaluate that information within the context of their responsibilities for accurate financial reporting and the management representations they must make to the external auditors.

Accruals

Income is reported to the extent it is earned, regardless of when the cash is received. This may require either an accrual or deferral. Similarly, expenses are reported to the extent they are incurred during the year, regardless of when invoiced or paid. This also may require an accrual or deferral of expenses. The Campus Controller provides guidance through fiscal closing instructions to departments specifying the procedures to be followed on each campus to ensure transactions are reported on an accrual basis as of June 30.

Disclosures

Disclosure must be made in writing to the Campus Controller or Sr AVC of FRM and CFO.

The Campus Controller and the Sr AVC of FRM and CFO must be able to evaluate any exceptions that are brought to their attention in conjunction with the fiscal closing certification letter process. This is a form of due diligence they are performing to evaluate the integrity of the fiscal closing process, the accuracy of the reported financial information contained in the general ledger and the adequacy of disclosures associated with the preparation of the University’s financial statements. This due diligence must be performed to support the assertions contained in the overall campus Management Representation Letter signed by the Chancellors, Executive Vice Chancellors, Vice Chancellors-Administration and Controllers and provided to the external auditors.

Supplemental content

Accounting & Financial Reporting Menu