Finance

Controller

Cashier's Hours / check pickup / expense transfers / Cash receipts vouchers / month-end closing process / YE Closing Process / Accounting charge back system / fy15 monthly charge back deadlines / Processing of expense and interdepartmental transfer forms / Business mileage rate

The Controller's Office develops systems, policies and procedures for the management of the College’s financial resources and ensures compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

It provides information and analysis to assist departments in achieving objectives that support the College’s goals. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to, policy and procedure review, transaction processing, investment, endowment, fixed asset accounting, and financial reporting – including the preparation of the College’s audited financial statements and tax returns.

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Cashier Hours

Beginning on Wednesday August 17, 2016, The Cashier’s Office is located in the ECPD offices of the Little Building at 80 Boylston Street.

Cashier hours are as follows:

Wednesdays: from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Fridays: from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Please contact Jonathan Pearsall via e-mail at Jonathan_Pearsall@emerson.edu or at 617-824-8426  with any questions regarding these hours.

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Check Pickup

When picking up a reimbursement check, all employees and students must show a picture ID. Only the payee of the check can pick up the check.

Under no circumstances may a student pick up a check of another student or the checks for a department.

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Expense Transfers

After reviewing monthly account status reports in Banner, department managers and/or administrators may need to transfer posted charges to a different activity or object code. We request that all charges be transferred, via the Expense Transfer/Journal Entry Form, to the object code that best describes the transaction (i.e. office supplies should be posted to the Office Supplies/Equipment object code, postage should be charged to the Mail/Postage Object Code, etc.). Please note that all applicable areas of the form must be completed and appropriate signatures must be noted for the form to be processed. Adequate supporting documentation should accompany the form sent to our department for processing. In addition, the reclassification of an expense or transfer of funds for an expense may only be made after an item is paid for and not based upon an open purchase order.

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Cash Receipts Vouchers

Cash receipts, along with a completed Cash Receipts Voucher, should be brought to the Cashier for deposit in the bank and recording in the College’s general ledger. Departments should verify that all information on the voucher is correct and that amounts noted on the form agree to cash, checks and credit card information accompanying the voucher. As a general rule, cash and checks should not be held over a weekend by any department and foreign currency should not be accepted.

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Month-End Closing Process

Finance conducts a two-step monthly closing process. Within the first 5 business days of the subsequent month, all charge backs are submitted, edited, and posted to the general ledger. At the same time, standard monthly journal entries, adjusting entries, and expense transfer requests received from department managers are reviewed and posted. On the 6th business day, the financial records of the closing month are archived, meaning that the information is available for departmental review. The month remains open for the next 5 business days. During this time, the accounting staff continues preparing account reconciliations. If adjusting or reconciling items are necessary to complete the reconciliation, these will be posted during this time. After the 10th day of the subsequent month, the month end close is complete and no further general ledger adjustments can be made.

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Year-End Closing Process

Emerson’s fiscal year end is June 30th. Year-end procedures are generally the same as monthly closing procedures; however, there are a few key differences. An in-depth memorandum will be sent to all faculty and staff explaining the specifics for the year-end close sometime in mid-to-late April.

Useful Definitions:

Prepaid Expense—A prepaid expense is an advance payment of a good or service to be received in the future. These advance payments are considered assets, rather than expenses, until the goods or services are received. A common example of this is a rent payment made at the end of one month for the following month’s rent. For example, if Department A pays for services in May which will be delivered in July, a prepaid expense exists as of June 30th. Additionally, a prepaid expense can represent only a portion of an amount paid. For example, if Department B pays in March for services to be rendered from April 1st through September 30th, then as of June 30th, half of the amount paid in March representing the July-September portion would be considered a prepaid expense as the services for that period have not been rendered as of June 30th.

Accrued Expense—An accrued expense results from the receipt of a good or service where an invoice has not yet been received. The accrued expense is considered a liability as a benefit has been received and the entity is aware that a future payment will need to be made. For example, if Department A purchases food for a catered event on June 29th and does not receive a bill until July 3rd, the amount should be recorded as an accrued expense as of June 30th as the economic benefit of the purchase has been received by that date. Similar to prepaid expenses, accrued expenses can also represent only a portion of a service received. For example, Department B receives services from April 1st through September 30thfor which it will be invoiced at the conclusion of the services. As of June 30th, half of the services representing the April-June portion would be considered an accrued expense as the services for that period have been rendered as of June 30th.

Departments are encouraged to monitor their prepaid and accrued expenses. Prepaid and accrued expense balances as of June 30th need to be communicated to the Controller’s Office as part of year-end closing procedures. Refer to the year-end closing process memorandum for further details.

Budget monitoring is performed throughout the year by the Controller's Office. The following procedures ensure proper budget monitoring.

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Accounting Charge Back System

To complete the month-end close, the Controller receives a variety of standard departmental charge backs from various service departments within ten (10) business days. The purpose of these charge backs is to reallocate expenses incurred by the servicing department to the individual departments that requested the service or items.

The following is a list of the various service departments that generate these charge backs on a monthly basis:

  • Facility Management
  • Information Technology
  • Purchasing (Typewriter/Fax)
  • Mailroom
  • Telecommunications
  • Print and Copy Center

The monthly charge back activity is recorded as a lump sum; if a department wishes to obtain detail of these expenses they may contact the Department which initiated the charge back.

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FY16 Monthly Charge Back Deadlines

Month Ending Due Date
October 2015 November 5, 2015
November 2015 December 4, 2015
December 2015 January 7, 2016
January 2016 February 4, 2016
February 2016 March 4, 2016
March 2016 April 6, 2016
April 2016 May 5, 2016
May 2016 June 6, 2016
June 2016 TBD

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Processing of Expense and Interdepartmental Transfer Forms

Expense Transfer Forms are used by departments after review of the monthly expense activity and the recognition of classification issues, problems and/or inconsistencies. Expense Transfer Forms are used to reclassify expenses inappropriately recorded within a specific department.

A department may wish to either transfer funds or reclassify expenses to another department for which an Interdepartmental Transfer Form should be used. These transfers should be done within 30 days of the initial posting. The approval of the Department Head to which the expenses are being transferred is required.

The following are procedures that must be followed in relation to the preparation of these forms:

  • All applicable areas of the form should be completed with detailed information including supporting documentation for the transfer.
  • The reclassification of expenses can only be completed after an item has been paid and cannot be based upon Purchase Order encumbrance classifications.
  • All Transfer forms are processed monthly by the Controller's Office.

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Business Mileage Rate

The business mileage rate for 2016 is 54 cents a mile.

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USEFUL LINKS:

Interdepartmental Transfer/Deposit Form
COA / FOAPAL
Cashier's Hours
Charge Back Deadlines
ilm Project Preparation and Paperwork
Certificates of Insurance

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