Financial Data Integrity
Financial management decisions affect every aspect of UC, but such decisions can only be as good as the data on which they are based. Consequently, each unit must establish and implement a system to ensure data integrity. This system must provide reasonable assurance that transactions are in accordance with the appropriate authorization and are recorded in UC records in an accurate and timely manner.
Administrative officials are responsible for developing a system that adheres to the following principles and responsibilities.
- An adequate data control system, including independent checks and balances, must exist within and between operating units.
- All employees engaged in financial management activities are responsible for ensuring that adequate data controls are being employed. If they are not, all employees must take an active role in developing and implementing appropriate corrective actions.
- Each unit must ensure that recorded assets match actual existing assets. A mechanism must be in place to spot discrepancies and to ensure that corrective actions are taken.
- Each unit must ensure that all financial transactions are recorded correctly. Correct transactions must:
- Reflect the actual values involved
- Contain sufficient detail for proper identification and classification
- Be posted on a timely basis in the proper accounting period
- Be stored securely
- Be readily retrievable for inquiry or reporting
- Be safeguarded against improper alteration
- All systems that affect, or are used to report, financial data must be secure, reliable, responsive, and accessible. These systems must be designed, documented, and maintained according to accepted development and implementation standards. They should be built upon sound data models and employ technology that allows data to be shared appropriately.
- All financial systems should meet the users’ needs. In addition, all interfaces affecting any financial system must contain controls to ensure the data is synchronized and reconciled.
- All networks, including electronic mail, through which unit users access UC financial data must be reliable, stable, and secure.
A system of data integrity includes:
- Allowing no one individual complete control over all key processing functions for any financial transactions such as:
- Recording and authorizing transactions into the electronic financial system directly or through an interfacing system
- Receiving and disbursing funds
- Reconciling and approving financial system transactions
- Recording and approving corrections or adjustments
- Assigning a second person to review work for accuracy, timeliness, and honesty if personnel constraints within the unit require that one person perform all of these functions.
- Ensuring that all employees who prepare financial transactions provide adequate descriptions, explanations, and backup documentation sufficient to support post-authorization review and any internal or external audit.
- Keeping “Office of Record” documents (both forms and new paperless transactions) physically secure and readily retrievable; these documents must be retained for the periods specified in the UC Records Retention Schedule.
- Ensuring that staff reconcile transactions appearing on the operating ledger at the end of each accounting period; a representative sample of transactions must be verified for:
- Account classification
- Proper accounting period
- Responsibility of data integrity also falls to each UC campus with UC ANR Colleges within ANR operations and also to the UCOP Data Processing Center which is responsible for data validity and translation of the campus General Ledger data from each UC campus to the Corporate Financial System (CFS) and Corporate Financial Reporting (CFR) system; as well as the internal controls established by the UC campus with ANR Colleges.