Financial Management

Financial management is the oversight of the budgets and financial transactions for departments and divisions. It includes any Miami employee with assigned tasks related to these activities.

Roles and Responsibilities

We define the following roles based on which financial management responsibilities an employee has.

Accounting Contacts

An accounting contact serves as the primary liaison between a department and the Accounting office. Accounting contacts assist with:

  • Processing, recording, and reviewing departmental and/or divisional financial transactions
  • Addressing questions about institutional accounting procedures and business practices and how transactions show on reports or display in the University accounting system
  • Recording, correcting errors on, and reclassifying misplaced transactions for interdepartmental revenues and expenses (through the submission of Journal Entries)
  • Using (and testing upgrades for) Banner Finance to effectively to meet the departmental business needs

Budget Contacts

Budget contacts serve as primary liaisons between a department and the Budget office, and their financial management responsibilities relate to the development and maintenance of annual operating budgets for departments. This includes:

  • Evaluating long-term funding needs
  • Addressing questions about the availability and flexibility of budget dollars
  • Review of the budget carryforward process
  • Transferring budget dollars between funds, between budget line items, or across budget categories within a fund (all through the submission of Journal Entries)

Colleges, Divisions, and Departments

Colleges, divisions, and departments must follow University policies and procedures for all financial transactions, both expenditures and revenue-generation. They are accountable for reflecting all approved plans and initiatives in their financial budgets and projections.

Any expenditures charged to a college, divisional, or departmental account must be reasonable, necessary, and applicable to Miami’s strategic mission and goals. This includes maintaining consistency with any specific sponsor or donor terms, conditions, and restrictions.

Any revenue generated must fit within Miami’s tax-exempt purpose and follow consistent and University-established pricing structures to ensure:

  • Direct and indirect costs recovery (we must authorize any exceptions)
  • University action or delivery can discharge or complete it

Ultimately, deans, vice presidents, and department heads are accountable for balancing expenditures against revenues (both University-allocated and those generated from external sources) so that their college, division, or department incurs no unfavorable operating results (i.e., deficits) as a whole.

Financial Managers and Alternate Financial Managers

Financial managers (including alternate financial managers) oversee one or more fund and/or organization index. This includes:

  • Approving charges and reviewing financial activity for accuracy and conformance with budget constraints
  • Ensuring financial transactions comply with University guidelines and any external restrictions (e.g., grant limitations, federal regulations)
  • Granting permission to others to view activity in their assigned funds and/or organizations
  • Providing regular financial reports (i.e., actual results, budget, projections, variance analysis, and any expected or incurred) to the dean, vice president, department head, faculty (where applicable), principal investigators, and the university Budget Office

Financial managers must monitor overall expenditures, comparing them to budgets and revenues. They notify deans, vice presidents, or department heads when they expect and/or incur unfavorable variances. They also pursue explanations (and documentation) for these variances, and may identify alternate funding sources within a college, division, or department to cover such variances. They are not accountable for balancing of the college, division, or department's funding as a whole (see Colleges, Divisions, and Departments).

Principal Investigators

Principal investigators are responsible for the technical and financial management of their projects, including:

  • Understanding the financial status of their projects
  • Confirming financial transactions are consistent with sponsor and donor terms, conditions, and restrictions
  • Ensuring appropriateness of all direct contract charges
  • Informing deans and/or department heads, in advance, should potential funding issues arise

Please note: Principal Investigators may not delegate their financial management responsibility.

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