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

Compliance Judgment

X     In compliance     Partially compliant     Non-compliant


Francis Marion University relies on a system of centralized budgetary controls to manage its financial resources. Planning processes that impact financial resources encompass many levels of responsibility, but ultimately reside with the President and the Board of Trustees [1]. Proof of this control is seen through the university’s yearly audits, budgets submitted to the Board of Trustees, and data from both the Office of Business Affairs  and the Office of Human Resources.

Authority and Oversight of Fiscal Resources

The President and Board of Trustees have predominant control over financial resources. Disbursements are made through the Office of Accounting, and the budget is approved through the Board of Trustees. Department heads and assistants monitor departmental budgets, and Financial Services performs monthly budget reviews. The University has written policies to control financial spending, and it has no internal auditors.

The Office of Accounting, a division of the Office of Business Affairs, is the central point from which disbursements of University funds are made and through which revenues and appropriations are received. Control over these processes is detailed in the department’s policies and procedures manual [2]. The disbursement of funds is restricted to individuals who are authorized and approved by the President [3]. Authorization by the President is typically made annually when he is provided a copy of the approval listing by the Office of Accounting.

Budgetary Processes that Control Fiscal Resources

The annual budget is approved by the Board of Trustees and is monitored [4, 5] to ensure fiscal responsibility [6]. The university budget is developed as a sound, balanced plan for university resource and expenditure activity. The general funds budget is set up using National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) guidelines to classify departments into activity program areas for instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, facilities, and scholarships. The University has ongoing budgets in place for auxiliaries, restricted and designated activities, and capital projects.

Once the initial annual budgets for all departments are approved and implemented, budgets are closely monitored at all levels. Responsibility for budget adherence rests with department heads and their assistants. If a department or activity has insufficient funds, the accounting system has security features to notify the Office of Purchasing and the Office of Accounting to not process purchase requests or disburse funds until a resolution is found. The accounting system has a built in warning function to protect against this.

Monitoring of the Budget and Fiscal Resources

Department heads can access budget and expenditure data for all departments, auxiliaries, and restricted and unrestricted activities on the university’s AS400 system. Various Office of Business Affairs offices have online access to a variety of specialized data information and reports as well. At the end of each month, the Administrative Computing Service Office also sends an additional electronic copy of the budget, including expenses and budget balances for each department and the budget, revenue, and expense data associated with all other activities to senior administration, department heads, and primary investigators who have been assigned responsibility of accounts by senior administration or department heads. These general ledger reports are also available in the Office of Financial Services and on their private server [7].

During the fiscal year, the Office of Financial Services reviews all areas of the budget each month to provide assistance where needed and to identify portions of the budget that may need to be modified as seen in the attached Budget Transfer Form signed by the Director of Financial Services [8]. The Vice President addresses unfunded requirements that develop or budget resources that need to be reclassified upon approval for Business Affairs or by the President, as needed. The Office of Financial Services also monitors the inflow of revenue to general funds and to all specific auxiliaries, designated, and restricted accounts. A chronological account of the budgetary process is published publicly [9].

Fiscal Policies that Control Usage of Fiscal Resources

The University has written policies that encompass all financial activities of the University [10]. The primary internal control tool being the development and monitoring of the University’s compliance to its annual budget provides significant safeguarding of the use of cash, authorization of use of endowment funds, and approval of expenditures.

Annual Audits That Support Francis Marion’s Internal Control Structure to be Sufficient

The University interprets internal control finding to be a deficiency and or a material weakness in the university’s control structure. Internal control compliance audits are incorporated into our annual audited financial statements. There are no internal control weaknesses, deficiencies, or material misstatements marked in our recent audits [11, 12, 13] .

The institution has not had internal control weaknesses noted since 2006.

Key Fiscal Administration that Monitor Fiscal Control

The University has a well-qualified and experienced staff that oversees control of the institution’s finances. Table 1 identifies the names, titles, and years of service in the area of financial control for current employees who oversee the controls of the institution.

Employees Overseeing Control of the Institution
Position Title
Years of Service
John J. KispertVP for Business Affairs/ CFO
Charlene WagesVP for Administration/ HR
Eric GarrisAsst. VP for Purchasing and Contractual Services
Cathy SwartzAsst. VP for Accounting
Thomas WelchAsst. VP for Financial Services
Lauren RhoadsDirector of Accounting Services
Christal BazenDirector of Student Accounts
Shara MooreDirector of Financial Planning (Grants)

Table 1.  Employees Overseeing Controls of the Institution

All staff must submit resumes and meet the State Office of Human Resources position classification requirements to be hired. Resumes and detailed support of each member’s qualifications for their position are on file in university Office of Human Resources.


  1. Resolution for University Budget Approval
  2. Accounting Policies Manual
  3. Disbursement Approval 2015-2016
  4. Board of Trustees Quarterly Report March 2017
  5. Board of Trustees Monthly Report May 2017
  6. Resolution for University Budget Approval
  7. Sample General Ledger Review
  8. Budget Transfer Form
  9. Detailed Budgetary Process Flowchart
  10. FMU Website, Policies and Procedures Guide
  11. Financial Statements 2013-2014, Report on Internal Control, p. 41
  12. Financial Statements 2014-2015, Report on Internal Control, p. 47
  13. Financial Statements 2015-2016, Report on Internal Control, p. 48