Fiscal Officer Overview

Analytical Ledger Review (ALR)

The Analytical Ledger Review (ALR - DS report 403) is one component of the official UC Davis ledger review process. The ALR was designed to give fiscal officers an analytical review of the ledger and help highlight certain areas for review purposes. The ALR also gives the fiscal officer the ability to review ledger details (without running another DS report), review activity by consolidation and review budget to actuals.

One of the biggest changes between the old General Ledger Review System (GLRS) and the ALR is there is no longer a transaction by transaction review. Therefore, it is essential that fiscal officers/delegates perform their due dilegence when reviewing and approving transactions.

Please note that the Time Benefits Roster Ledger Review must be completed separately.  The ALR does not provide these details.

For more information on the new ledger review visit the Ledger Review Process website.

Reviewing the ALR

Before you begin reviewing the ledgers make sure you understand the purpose and restrictions on the account.  Always make sure the charges posted to your account are allowable, reasonable and follow UC Davis policies and procedures, UCOP Policies, federal and state regulations.  For more information on accounts and funds visit the Understanding Your Accounts and Funds page.  When reviewing the ALR you should do the following:

Review any fluctuations in month to month charges in all areas.

  • Revenue - Review to ensure all expected income/recharges have posted and there are no noteable discrepancies.  If you have cash operations, drill down to the details to ensure your cash transactions have not been greater than or less than was expected.  In general, there should be no revenue posted to a general fund account.

  • Salaries & Benefits - Review payroll transactions to ensure appropriate individuals are being charged to the account, no individual has been overpaid or unauthorized overtime has been charged.  Bi-weekly employees will have 3 pay periods every 6 months, so make sure you budget accordingly.  

  • Supplies & Expenses - This is broken into 3 sections to help in your review.

    • Recharge Activity including Feeds - Review recharges and follow up with the billing department if you have any questions or if the charges were not expected.  Make sure you have adequate documentation and approvals for recharges that have been fed but not reviewed by your department before posting to the ledger.

    • High Risk Transactions -The transactions that are listed under high risk are those transactions that have a higher potential for misuse if not reviewed appropriately.  If there is an unexpected fluctuation in these costs make sure you understand why and are able to explain it.  Transactions listed under services should be reviewed to ensure there is no conflict of interest with any sole source provider.  

    • Other Supplies & Expenses - These are all other expenses not listed in the above categories of supplies and expenses. Review this section and ensure the amounts are reasonable.  You also want to pay closer attention to items that use the generic object code 8000.  Some of these items may have more appropriate object codes that should be used.

  • Travel - Review travel expenses to verify they are allowable on your account.  This is critical for School of Medicine departments where fiscal officers may not be the deparment approver. 

    • CTS Airfare transactions - All CTS transaction should be approved prior to the traveler making any reservations in AggieTravel or directly through BCD travel.  You must pay close attention to these charges as they do not route to anyone for approval before the charges post to your account.  If you currently do not have a separate process to review the CTS unreconciled transaction report (DS FIS421) you must review the details of the CTS transactions in the ALR.  Review transactions carefully to verify all travelers are within your unit or department.  Review multiple transactions within a month or two month period to ensure the travel has been approved for a valid business purpose.  No personal travel should be charged to CTS.

    • CTS Local Hotel transactions - As with the airfare these charges are directly charged to the ledger without further approval.  These transactions are also charged to state travel object code 2000.  Review the transaction to ensure they are appropriate in the account used and the charges are valid business expense.  As with CTS airfare please review the unreconciled transaction report (DS FIS421) to ensure transactions are reconciled in a timely manner.

    • Catering charges - Currently all recharge activity from catering is posting to the object code 2000.  Please review these transactions to ensure the catering charges are all valid business expenses and they are reconciled timely.  Once transactions have been reconciled they will appear in an entertainment object code.

  • Account Summary - The account summary gives the fiscal officer an overall view of the account by category.  Just like all the sections above the account summary provides the month to month comparison and balance to date amounts.  Review all balances to ensure you will not be exceeding your budget.

    • If you have concerns that you will be exceeding your budget, discuss with your MSO/Manager.

  • Monthly Feed Activity - The monthly feed activity provides a summary of all feeds that posted within your account whether it was a recharge or not.  This section provides a summary by feed type as well as object code.  Drill down to view the details for any charges that are unexpected or are significantly greater than the prior month's activity. 

  • High Value transactions - This sections lists all transactions that are greater than $5,000.  Review all transactions but pay special attention to those transactions that have been fed into the ledger.  CTS transactions are directly billed and do not have any system approvals prior to posting to the ledger and should be reviewed carefully.

  • Disbursement Vouchers (DV's) - Provides a summary of DV's paid by person and provides the details of each transaction. Review DV payments to ensure employees are not circumventing policies by purchasing their own goods/services and then asking for reimbursement.  For information on purchasing practices visit the Procurement & Contracting Services page.

  • Travel & Entertainment Details - Provides a summary of travel and entertainment transactions processed during the month.  These are transactions that have been reconciled through AggieTravel and do not include any CTS airfare, CTS local hotel, or catering service charges that posted in the month.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important for me to review my ledgers?

General Ledger Review is the process of analyzing your department's ledger transactions to provide reasonable assurance that the charges and credits are valid. In addition, the reviewer verifies that transactions are appropriate and that they are compliant with all applicable policies and regulations.  It is also a requirement of UCD PPM 330-11: Approval Authorization for Department Transactions.

It is our obligation to be good stewards of the university funds that have been entrusted to us.   As a recipient of funds from a variety of sources, the university must demonstrate to public and private organizations, taxpayers, donors, and anyone else who provides us with funding that we are using the money as intended. Ledger review impacts the university's annual financial schedules and provides accurate information for further financial analysis to occur at higher departmental, divisional, school, and college levels.

If you have questions or concerns about transactions that have posted to your accounts please contact one of the following:

Why do some of my accounts require the ALR to be reviewed and others don't?

The ALR is required for the following accounts:

  • Accounts that have financial activity during the fiscal period.

  • Accounts that are overdrawn, even if there is no financial activity in the month.

  • Expired accounts that have a budgetary entry.

Some accounts may not be required in the ALR for several months or all year due to the inactivity in the account.  If there has been activity in the account and the ALR is still not required, please contact the A&FS Help Desk at fishelp@ucdavis.edu.

Where can I find training on how to use the ALR?

Log in to the UC Learning Center and search on key terms ledger review to access and complete the 45-minute training.

What are the other components of the new ledger review system?

The other components of the ledger review system are the Management Ledger Review (MLR - DS report 404) and the Dean/VC Quarterly Ledger Review (QLR - DS report 405).

For more information about the ALR, MLR, and QLR visit the new Ledger Review Process pages.

Are there any best practices for the ALR?

As you get comfortable with reviewing the ALR you will create best practices for each individual account.  Here are a list of best practices to get you started:

  • Review the ALR on a monthly basis as it is a requirement of UCD PPM 330-11: Approval Authorization for Department Transactions..

  • Make any corrections or adjustments to budgets before the fiscal period closes.

  • Review all sections and pay closer attention to new recharges/expenses that have not been charged in the past.

  • Understand the fund source of the account you are reviewing and ensure there are no unallowable costs.

  • Make sure that the purchasing card transactions that are posting to your account are not left in the default object code PCRD and they are changed to something that describes the purchase.

  • Download the information to excel to create quarterly or yearly expenditure comparison reports.

  • Make sure all of your accounts have active delegates, and those delegates understand their responsibility.

  • Review the Administrator's Responsibility & Resources Handbook.

  • Question expenditures you do not feel have adequate explanations or back-up.

  • Report any suspicious activity that may be considered improper govermental activities to your supervisor or directly to the Chief Compliance Officer.  Visit Compliance and Policy for more information.


Supplemental content

Fiscal Officer Menu