Authorizations Needed

Internal Controls - University Funds (April 25, 1996)

William & Mary has completed a review of the internal controls and procedures in place to ensure university funds are disbursed consistent with their intended use and the institution's mission. As a result of this review, the following controls regarding the separation of responsibilities for disbursement of funds are established, effective immediately.

  • Effective internal controls assume clear separation between the procurement authorization, ordering and receipt of goods or services, and approval of disbursement vouchers. Therefore, the department chair/head is required to authorize all department procurements and, subsequently, review and approve each disbursement voucher. A second individual would be responsible for ordering and receiving the goods or services.
  • Recognizing the significant number of small dollar departmental purchases during the year, the department chair/head may delegate procurement authorization and voucher approval authority for purchases below $100 so long as the fundamental separation of authority remains in place. This delegation assumes an active, and on-going, monitoring of departmental budgets and disbursements by the department chair/head.
  • These controls are applicable to all funds disbursed by the College.

The intent of this action is to establish sufficient separation of responsibilities so that one individual does not have complete authority over all aspects of the procurement, receipt, and payment for goods and services. The result will be to more fully protect the assets of the university and its departments.

Please contact [[mtodell, Melanie O'Dell]], Assistant Vice President, Financial Operations, if you have any questions regarding this guidance. Thank you for your support of the university and its efforts to protect its financial assets.