Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

3.10.3 Control of Finances

The institution exercises appropriate control over all its financial resources. (Control of finances)

Judgment check box Compliance

Narrative

Fiduciary Responsibility

The Board of Trustees’ primary functions include responsibility for sound resource management of the University.  Article I.6 specifically identifies key areas of responsibility for resource management, such as: [1]

  • Oversight and approval of the University budget
  • Establishment of policy guidelines for the endowment, investments, and major fundraising
  • Authorization of the purchase, management or sale of land, buildings, or equipment
  • Authorization for the construction of new buildings or major renovations
  • Authorization to incur debt or pledges of real or personal property
  • Authorization of changes in tuition and fees

The Finance and Administration department (F&A) is principally responsible for the management of and controls over financial resources of Reinhardt University (RU). The division is under the leadership of the CFO, who is a licensed CPA with a Master’s degree in Accounting, and has over 20 years of experience in higher education. Leadership positions reporting to the CFO include: the Controller, Director of Physical Plant, Director of Human Resources, the Bookstore Manager, and General Manager for Dining Services.  This leadership team is responsible for establishing internal control and procedures within their departments to minimize risk to the financial resources.  [2]

Title Name Credentials Resume
Chief Financial Officer Stephanie Owens CPA, MAcc, BSA [3]
Controller Scott Watson MBA, BSA [4]
Director for Human Resources Teresa McPherson BA, BSBA

PHR, SHRM-CP

[5]
Director for Physical Plant Missy Dayoub BSBA, MBA enrolled [6]

The Office of Business and Finance has an accounting policy and procedures manual.  When a position turns over, the new hire updates the procedures as they learn the position.  Key information is also posted on the campus intranet in the sections for forms, policies and procedures.  All business and finance policies and procedures are available to RU employees on the EagleWeb, the institution’s internal web site.  [7], [8]

The Campus-wide ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) system is Jenzabar.  Permissions in the system are controlled by the IT (Information Technology) department so access to confidential information is limited.

Budget Preparation and Reporting

RU prepares a collaborative annual budget for presentation to the President, Finance Committee, and Board of Trustees. The process includes setting a budget calendar, distribution of templates campus wide, and concludes with discussion and acceptance at cabinet level.  Once the budgets are compiled, the proposed budget is submitted to the Finance Committee.  Budgets are approved by the Finance Committee at the June and December quarterly meetings.  Budget reports are regularly presented to the Finance Committee and Board at the scheduled meetings. [9], [10]

Throughout the year, the Provost and the vice presidents of the major divisions of the University interact with department chairs, directors, deans, and faculty to discuss budget issues based on strategic goals and emerging opportunities. Budget revisions are allowed at any time throughout the year to reallocate funds from one department to another. Prior to the beginning of each budget cycle, the President's Cabinet, the Provost’s Council (formerly the Deans' Council), the Faculty Senate, and other governance groups including Student Government interact with the President, Provost, and other administrators to discuss budget and resource issues pertaining to their various constituencies, activities, and operations. After consultation with the Provost and other vice presidents, the President determines budget allocations based on the strategic plan and mission of the University.

Budget reports are presented to the Finance Committee and Board at each of the quarterly meetings. [11]

Management of and Distribution from the University’s Endowment

The RU Endowment functions to advance the mission of the University.  Management of the endowment is outsourced to an investing firm.  The Investment Committee reviews the Investment policy and spending objectives. They meet quarterly with the investing firm to review endowment performance and asset allocation. The University has a spending policy designed to balance the University’s current operating needs with the long-term growth of the endowment. The 5% established spending objective policy for the endowment pool is calculated on quarterly market values based on a three-year moving average. [12]

All gifts and solicitations are recorded by the Advancement Department, in accordance with University policies. The Vice President for Advancement reports directly to the President and oversees the advancement and fundraising activities.  [13]

External Audits

Reinhardt University retains an auditing firm annually to conduct a financial statement audit, a single audit for financial aid, and a 403(b) audit for its retirement plan. The University’s financial report, including its financial statements, is reviewed to determine if financial records were prepared in accordance with accounting principles and if any material misstatements exist. In addition, payables, purchasing, auxiliary enterprises, and property controls are evaluated during the audit. No audit findings were identified during the fiscal years 2015-2017. [14], [15]

The auditing firm meets with the Board prior to the audit and after to present the audit and management letter.  In FY17, the University received an unmodified opinion and there were no significant findings or materials weaknesses reported.  There were no new or repeat findings reported.

 

Supporting Documents

[1] Bylaws

[2] Organizational Chart

[3] Resume – CFO

[4] Resume – Controller

[5] Resume – Director of Human Resources

[6] Resume – Director of Physical Plant

[7] Eagleweb Intranet - Policies and Procedures

[8] Accounting Policies and Procedures

[9] Budget Rollout Process and Training

[10] Finance Committee Minutes 061317

[11] Finance Committee Packet 04.06.17

[12] Investment Policy

[13] Fundraising Policies and Procedures

[14] Financial Statement Audit FY17

[15] Management Letter FY17