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Old Dominion University

University Policy

3001 Responsibility of Budget Unit Directors

Responsible Oversight Executive: Vice President for Administration and Finance
Date of Current Revision or Creation: October 29, 2021
  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to promote the proper and reasonable use of funds to ensure compliance with Federal, State and University policies.

  2. Authority

    Code of Virginia Section 23.1-1301, as amended, grants authority to the Board of Visitors to make rules and policies concerning the institution. Section 7.01(a)(6) of the Board of Visitors Bylaws grants authority to the President to implement the policies and procedures of the Board relating to university operations.

    Old Dominion University has executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Commonwealth Department of Accounts and Department of the Treasury relating to the decentralization of non-payroll disbursements. The MOU documents the agreement in accordance with the Appropriations Act to delegate the operation of non-payroll disbursements to Old Dominion University as part of a program to grant relief from rules, regulations, and reporting requirements in the areas of finance and accounting.

    Commonwealth Accounting Policies and Procedures (CAPP) Manual, Section 20310

  3. Definitions

    Banner - The University's centralized academic and administrative records system that allows users to view and work with university data.

    Budget Unit Director - The University employee on record with the Office of Finance Data Control as having signature authority and financial management responsibility for a specific budget code.

    Business Related Expenditure - An expenditure that is directly related to the operation of a functional area (i.e., school, department, administrative area, etc.) in the fulfillment of its stated mission or objective as part of the University' overall mission (i.e., instruction, research, public service, support services, operation and maintenance of plant, etc.).

    Capital Projects (Ledger 7) - Funding sources include State Appropriations, Revenue Bonds, Auxiliary Services, and University funds designated for the construction of facilities and capital improvements.

    Commonwealth Educational and General Funds (Ledger 1) - Funding sources include State general appropriation, tuition and educational and general fees, such as admissions fees, Children's Learning & Research Center fees, and transcript fees.

    Commonwealth Auxiliary Services Funds (Ledger 3) - Funding sources include student activity fees, self-generated revenues and sale of goods/services, such as room and board revenues, parking fees and fines, and Student Health Center fees.

    Discretionary and Gift Funds (Ledger 6) - Funding sources include gift income, interest earnings from endowments, bookstore and vending commissions.

    Grants and Contracts (Ledger 5) - Funding sources include State, Federal, and Private Grants, Contracts and other externally funded programs.

    Local Auxiliary Services Funds (Ledger 4) - Funding sources include student activity fees, self-generated revenue and sales of goods/services, such as tickets sales for intercollegiate athletic events, recreational and intramural program fees, and dues from student organizations.

    Reasonable Expense - An amount that a prudent businessperson would expend to obtain a particular good or service on behalf of a public agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Reconciliation - A systematic review of Banner account information against source documents to verify that all transactions are accurate and appropriate, and to identify charges that have not yet posted along with ensuring accounts are not overspent.

    Scholarships and Fellowships (Ledger 8) - Funding sources include Federal Student Loans and Aid, State Appropriations, Gifts/Endowments, and University funding designated for student financial assistance.

  4. Scope

    This policy applies to Budget Unit Directors or their designees with oversight or administrative responsibility for monitoring budget, revenue and/or expenditures through a fund or organization in the University's financial accounting system.

  5. Policy Statement

    Budget Unit Directors are responsible and accountable for all budgetary and fiscal matters pertaining to their respective department/college or unit. In instances when a fiscal transaction directly benefits the Budget Unit Director (e.g., travel expenses), the Budget Unit Director's immediate supervisor must approve such transactions.

    Budget Unit Directors are charged with being stewards of funds provided by the Commonwealth and the University, and ensuring they are expended to best serve the University and its mission. These responsibilities include:

    • adequate planning for use of funds and determining the availability of funds prior to initiating any expenditure action;
    • reviewing and ensuring all funds are expended in compliance with Commonwealth and/or University policies and that they are properly documented;
    • ensuring the funds are expended for the intended purpose and relate to the mission of the University;
    • monitoring expenditures to ensure they do not exceed budget authority; and
    • performing budget account reconciliations on a monthly basis.

    Reconciliations of each Banner account are important to maintaining the integrity of the University's records. Reconciliations are an essential part of an effective internal control environment ensuring that transactions recorded in Banner are legitimate, complete, supported by adequate documentation, and recorded timely.

    Budget Unit Directors may delegate signature authority. The delegation of signature authority does not relieve the Budget Unit Director's responsibility to ensure the appropriateness of the expenditure and compliance with Commonwealth and/or University policies.

    Failure of Budget Unit Directors to abide by these policies and procedures may result in revocation of fiscal authority, personal liability, and/or disciplinary action.

    Certain expenditures that are funded with Commonwealth Educational and General Funds, Commonwealth Auxiliary Service Funds, and Local Auxiliary Service Funds must comply with Commonwealth Accounting Policies and Procedures (CAPP). Other expenses that are funded with Local Discretionary, Gift Funds, and Grants must comply with university financial policies and procedures and, when applicable, in accordance with the specific criteria established by the donor, grantor, or other external entity. In all cases, expenditures should be reasonable and for the benefit of the University and its mission.

    Examples of allowable and disallowed business expenses and the appropriate funding source(s) follow:

    Allowable (Commonwealth E&G and Auxiliary Services: Ledger 1, 3, 4 and 6 Funds):

    • Essential and reasonable operating expenditures within Commonwealth guidelines that directly support the mission of the University;
    • Essential and reasonable travel expenditures within Commonwealth travel guidelines;
    • Reasonable food/beverage service for special meetings or events benefiting the University;
    • Purchase of equipment and supplies for office use;
    • Memberships in professional organizations when the membership will result in direct benefit to the institution;
    • Dedications and University-sponsored events with a clearly defined business purpose, specifically, fundraising, community engagement, or entertainment of guests of the University;
    • Purchase of items to be used for employee recognition programs approved by the Department of Human Resources or student recognition activities;
    • Office plants and artwork/wall decor when they aid in the professional appearance of the office or building and are located in common/public areas;
    • Subscriptions to news journals, periodicals and magazines where such subscriptions are necessary to fulfill one's professional responsibility. (Note: they should be mailed to an ODU office);
    • Funeral attendance travel expenses for one employee selected by the President or designee; and
    • Bottled water for outside workers or emergency provisions for employees if the water available in the building is hazardous to employees' health.

    Allowable (Local Discretionary/Gifts: Ledger 6 Funds Only):

    • Essential and reasonable travel expenditures in excess of Commonwealth travel guidelines;
    • Reasonable operating expenditures directly benefiting the University in excess of Commonwealth guidelines;
    • Memberships in social organizations when the business purpose has been clearly established and documented and the membership has been approved by the President;
    • Length of service celebrations (the cost associated with the function should be in proportion to the retiree's length of service and position within the institution);
    • Receptions, entertainment, alcoholic beverages, coffee, or office events with a clearly defined business purpose;
    • Gifts and flowers for funerals, hospitalizations or University-approved events; and
    • Tickets, gifts and flowers for cultivation initiatives for the purpose of fundraising and community engagement. These purchases require a statement identifying the occasion, the recipient, and the business purpose.

    Disallowed for All Funds:

    • Any expenditure that does not benefit the University;
    • Non-essential, unreasonable accommodations while traveling, such as "luxury" accommodations;
    • Excessive food/beverage service for special meetings or events;
    • Gift cards or gift certificates;
    • Interest on personal credit cards;
    • Flowers and gifts purchased for any other purpose than those listed in the sections above (e.g., Holiday, "Thank You," birthday, baby shower, Secretary's Day, Bosses' Day, etc.);
    • Purchase of goods or services for non-University or personal use or for use by an organization other than the University;
    • Cleaning of personal clothing worn on the job;
    • Memberships in organizations when membership will not result in any direct benefit to the institution. Examples would include memberships to health clubs or gymnasiums;
    • Donations or contributions to outside organizations (an exception is allowed for contributions up to $50 in lieu of flowers for a funeral and requires approval of the Vice President administratively responsible and the use of local discretionary or gift funds);
    • Picture framing for personal pictures that may hang in a University office but are not considered University property;
    • Portraits of individuals whether retained by the University or not, unless prior approval is obtained from the Dean or Vice President administratively responsible for the area;
    • The payment of any type of employee subsidy (i.e., rent, parking, insurance, etc.) unless prior approval has been obtained from the Vice President administratively responsible.
    • Motor vehicle moving violations and parking tickets;
    • External legal services, unless prior approval has been obtained from and documented by the Office of the University Counsel; and
    • Any expenditure that may constitute a violation of the University's Conflict of Interest Policy.
  6. Procedures

    The Office of Accounts Payable is responsible for ensuring that all payments for the University are processed in accordance with a multitude of policies and procedures, including Internal Revenue requirements, state coding requirements, and prompt payment. Budget Unit Directors must abide by these policies and procedures, which are available on the Office of Finance Accounts Payable website.

    Budget Unit Directors are responsible for formally reconciling their Banner account(s) once a month for the prior month's transactional and budget activity. The Budget Unit Director can delegate all or a portion of this monthly reconciliation to other qualified personnel; however, the Budget Unit Director is ultimately responsible for the performance of the monthly reconciliations for all funds assigned to their department or organization and for retaining documentary evidence.

    Reconciliations should:

    • Be performed no later than 30 days after the end of the month.
    • Include comparing Banner data with departmental records and supporting documentation for all transactions at the sub-object code level.
    • Document any discrepancies including charges or credits posted incorrectly or pending transactions that have not yet posted. Reconciling items should be promptly resolved within 30 days.
    • Verify that the budget account is within the established budget authority and is not overspent.
    • Be certified by the Budget Unit Director or designee (approver):
      • Both the preparer and the approver should certify by initialing and dating the reconciliation that all posted transactions are appropriate, necessary, and supported by documentation retained within the department.
      • The same individual cannot be both the preparer and the approver.

    Departmental procedures should be in place to ensure that transactions authorized for payment have been identified, any inappropriate or inaccurate expenditures have been identified, and revenues collected have been deposited. Reconciliation procedures should validate that transactions have been recorded for the correct amount in the proper account (fund, organizational and sub-object code).

    If during the monthly reconciliation, irregular or suspected fraudulent transactions are detected, appropriate actions should be taken in accordance with Policy 3003, Detection, Investigation and Reporting of Fraud, Waste and Abuse.

  7. Records Retention

    Applicable records must be retained and then destroyed in accordance with the Commonwealth's Records Retention Schedules.

  8. Responsible Officer

    Assistant Vice President for Finance/University Controller

  9. Related Information

    Internal Revenue Service Regulation on Gifts

    Virginia Department of Human Resource Management - Employee Recognition for Length of State Service

    University Policy 1060 - Institutional and Individual Memberships in Professional or Civic Organizations and Social Clubs

    University Policy 3003 - Detection, Investigation and Reporting of Fraud, Waste and Abuse

    University Policy 3400 - Fixed Asset Control

    Department of Procurement Services Policies and Procedures

Policy History

Policy Formulation Committee (PFC) & Responsible Officer Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Mary C. Deneen
Responsible Officer
September 28, 2021

Policy Review Committee (PRC) Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Donna W. Meeks
Chair, Policy Review Committee (PRC)
September 28, 2021

Executive Policy Review Committee (EPRC) Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Gregory E. DuBois
Responsible Oversight Executive
October 1, 2021

University Counsel Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Allen T. Wilson
University Counsel
October 7, 2021

Presidential Approval:

/s/ Brian O. Hemphill
October 29, 2021

Previous Revisions

December 1, 1988; August 22, 2003; May 4, 2012; February 14, 2018; October 29, 2021

Scheduled Review Date

October 29, 2026

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