Suggestions for Expenditure Approval and Reconciliation

  • The department should establish policies for approval of expenditures. For instance, in some departments the chair or director will approve all purchase requisitions and invoice vouchers. In others, two levels of approval may be established; i.e., the assistant director can approve expenditures up to a certain amount but the director must approve anything over that amount.
  • The person who approves expenditures must have the authority to do so and the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions.
  • The department should establish a segregation of duties, so that the same person who is authorized to approve expenditures is not also responsible for reconciling the department's accounts unless a second person reviews the reconciliation.
  • Detailed supporting documentation for all expenditures should be kept by the department and used to reconcile the expenditures recorded in the accounts.
  • The reconciliations of the accounts should be reviewed by the person who is responsible and accountable for the account (usually the department head).
  • Reconciliations should be performed within two weeks from the month-end closing date so that any errors can be more easily investigated and corrected.
  • Timecards should be signed by the employee, approved and signed by the immediate supervisor.
  • Employee reimbursement forms must be approved by someone who is administratively senior to the employee.
  • Specific guidelines for the use and record keeping associated with departmental procurement cards are available from Credit Card Services.
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