Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 30: Finance

Tracking Departmental Expenditures

BPPM 30.06

For more information contact:
   Controller’s Office

1.0  Responsibility

University departmental personnel are responsible for closely monitoring departmental accounts to ensure that:

  • Departmental expenditures are appropriate and stay within approved departmental budgets.
  • Each departmental expenditure is properly authorized.

1.1  Reasonable and Within Budget Allocation

To ensure that departmental expenditures are appropriate and stay within budget allocation, departmental personnel are to:

  • Review the actual expenses in Workday.
    • Recommended reports include:
      • CR FIN Sources and Uses Summary
      • CR FIN Plan to Actuals Summary
      • CR FIN Trans Detail Report
    • Reviews should be conducted on a regular interval, consistent with the program, grant period, fiscal year, fund type, and unique needs of the unit or department.
  • Investigate variances, and unexpected or unusual transactions. Take actions to ensure that expenses are accounted for properly, are appropriate, and that the cost center, program, gift, or grant is within budget.
    Actions may include:
    • A journal entry to transfer the expense to a cost center, program, or gift with sufficient funding; or
    • A budget amendment to transfer available funds to the cost center, program, project, or gift.
    • A contact with Sponsored Program Services regarding specific questions about remedying over expenditure on grants.
  • Determine the free balance.
    • Calculate total pending expenditures or commitments not yet reflected in Workday.
    • Adjust for revenue or budget allocations not received.
    • Subtract these outstanding Workday amounts from the listed actuals report to determine uncommitted free balance by expenditure ledger, spend category, fund, and cost center, program, gift, or grant.
  • Alert appropriate department or area leadership to budget concerns immediately and ensure that appropriate actions are taken to eliminate overspending.

1.2  Properly Authorized

The business process controls in Workday fulfill and evidence that each expenditure is authorized. Each transaction is initiated by an authorized employee holding an initiator security role. The initiator may attach supporting documentation to the transaction to support the validity and appropriateness of the transaction.

A separate individual is authorized to hold an approver role. By design, Workday does not permit the initiator to also approve a financial transaction, thereby ensuring appropriate separation of duties for financial transactions. The approver is responsible for ensuring that each expenditure is valid and appropriate prior to approving the transaction to post to a cost center, program, gift, or grant. Expenditure transactions do not post to a cost center, program, gift, or grant without authorized approval in system. Common fiscal approval roles in Workday include cost center manager, program manager, gift manager, or grant manager.

There are scenarios when charges or entries may post to a cost center, program, gift or grant from a central unit without cost center manager, program manager, gift manager, or grant manager approval. Some of these charges or entries may include the following:

  • Internal Service Delivery charges, such as maintenance or custodial
  • Year-end adjustments by journal entry
  • University Financial Reporting System adjustments

Central units are responsible for providing the necessary back up documentation detailing the information on the transactions included in these entries.

Employees holding an approval role are responsible for the following actions:

  • The approver verifies that the proposed transaction is:
    • Reasonable, appropriate, and valid for the cost center, program, gift, project, or grant;
    • Posted to the appropriate fund type; and
    • Posted to the correct expense ledger or spend category.
  • If the transaction is not valid, the approver sends it back to the initiator with a request for modification, or deny the request in Workday.
  • If the approver finds the transaction to be valid, reasonable, and appropriate, then the approver approves the transaction in Workday.

Workday retains electronic record of the date and time of the authorized approval for future reference, along with any supporting documentation attached to the transaction by the initiator. This in-system approval serves as the approver’s confirmation that the transaction is valid and appropriate.

Revisions:  May 2023 (Rev. 611); May 2018 (Rev. 513); Sept. 2003 (Rev. 234); Feb. 1991 – new policy (Rev. 85).