Senior Vice President for Business Services & Assistant Treasurer Memoranda
June 16, 1967
To: Deans, Directors, and Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments, and Offices
Re: BUSINESS OFFICE MEMORANDUM NO. 124
Fiscal Responsibilities of Department Heads
The department head is the chief administrative officer in his area and, as such, is responsible to develop, operate, and maintain an organization which achieves maximum performance with the available resources at his disposal. As such, he is expected to exercise prudent and wise judgment in the expenditure of funds and in the utilization of services, and to make sure that all programs and actions conform with the appropriate University policies. As the manager of that part of the total University effort contained within his department, he should be familiar with all of the University's rules regulations, and policies, and should take such steps as are necessary to insure that these rules, regulations, and policies are followed.
To assist department heads in their operation, the financial policies and procedures of the University have been written and distributed in the Business Procedure Manual. Additional copies are available in the Assistant Business Manager's Office. Many Or the larger departments have a Business Office Representative to assist with the business related functions. However, it should be clearly understood that the Business Representative is not authorized to make academic decisions or to commit funds other than as agreed to by the department head. In the final analysis, the department head is at all times responsible for all aspects of the operation of his area.
Some of the more important fiscal responsibilities of the department head are detailed below:
Budget Requests: He is responsible to plan the needs in terms of personnel, services, supplies, and equipment. At budget time, he is responsible for requesting funds necessary for the operation of his area. In addition, he is responsible to make sure that restricted funds such as research grants carry their appropriate share of costs incurred.
Budget Control :
- After the budget has been established and approved by the Board of Trustees, the department head is responsible that the operation of his area are within the approved budgeted amounts. He is further responsible that all restricted fund budgets are adhered to.
- He is responsible for approving all expenditures under his jurisdiction. His signature or that of his designee indicates that the item of expenditure is appropriate and necessary and that funds are available within the account to be charged.
- Payroll and Staff Benefits
He is responsible to insure that each of his employees is paid in the correct amount, at the proper time, from the correct source of funds, in accordance with University payroll procedures. Specifically:
- He is responsible that attendance records are kept in the department for each employee on his payroll.
- In signing the payroll certification form, he certifies that to the best of his knowledge the data contained therein is correct.
- Payroll certification is a particularly important responsibility as under the laws of the State of Indiana anyone who knowingly makes a miscertification concerning the payroll is legally responsible and personally liable for any loss incurred.
He is responsible to insure that each of his employees receives the fringe benefits, such as vacation and sick leave, provided by the University. He is responsible that the personnel policies of the University are followed in his operation.
He is responsible to request the materials, services, and equipment necessary for his operation through the Purchasing Department. His signature or that of his designee on a requisition certifies that the item requested is needed for his operation and that it is an appropriate charge against the funds indicated on the requisition. His signature or that of his designee on an invoice voucher certifies that the goods ordered for which they are being billed have been received in satisfactory condition.
He is responsible that all entries appearing on the budget statement are correct. He must also maintain such temporary records as are necessary to provide information about financial transactions which are in process and are therefore not shown on the budget statements.
- Contract Administration
He is responsible to finance as much of the research activities room sponsored funds as possible. At the same time, he is responsible to control the use of these sponsored funds to conform to both University policies and the rules and regulations of the contracting or granting agencies. Although the carrying out of specific procedures of operations may be delegated to various staff members, the final responsibility for the total operation is vested with the department head.
D. F. Finn
Business Manager and