General Ledger Verification (SAS115)

General Ledger (GL) verification is a key control of UCSF and is a requirement per Campus Administrative Policies.  It is the responsibility of each department to ensure that financial transactions recorded in the general ledger are in accordance with all relevant policies, regulations, and sponsor or donor terms and conditions.  This is accomplished through the combination of following campus-wide policies and procedures for financial transactions (preventative controls) and GL verification (a detective control).  

The GL verification process must be completed in a timely manner: within 30 days of the previous month-end close.  For example, the verification process for transactions recorded during the month of August must be complete by October 5 (30 days after the month of August was closed in the GL).

Online Tool Procedure (available beginning May 10, 2018 for April data)

The new General Ledger (GL) Verification online tool, designed to streamline the GLV process, will launch on May 10, 2018.  Campus departments should start transitioning from their current paper-based GLV process to the new online tool beginning in May with April data.  Campus departments do not need to maintain their paper logs for months when GLV activities are conducted using the online tool.  All campus departments should conduct GLV activities in the GL Verification online tool when verification monitoring of GLV activities in the new online tool begins sometime in Fiscal Year 2018-19.  

The online tool streamlines the GLV process with the goal of ensuring overall reasonableness of department financials.  The tool uses a risk and sampling approach rather than a full reconciliation.  

Process Overview

  • GL Verification Tool systematically identifies transaction lines to be verified and monthly trend information for review
  • Verifiers (job aid) conduct review of identified transaction lines and trends. 
    • Transaction lines: May add comments or documentation as desired.  Changes status from "Not Verified" to "Complete" or "Pending" as appropriate.  
    • May conduct monthly trend analysis (job aid) depending on departmental practice: reviews Monthly Trend Report for unusual items or deviations from historical or plan/forecast.
  • Approvers (job aid) determine and acknowledge whether verification has been completed for their Dept IDs.
    • May conduct monthly trend analysis (job aid) depending on departmental practice: review Monthly Trend Report for unusual items or deviations from historical or plan/forecast.
    • Acknowledge verification: review dashboard to determine if verification has been completed for the department.  Acknowledge GL verification is complete by clicking the Approved button.
  • The GL Verification Dashboard displays the status of GLV activities for the selected Dept ID to support monitoring and compliance by tool users, department and school finance managers, and central units.

New GL Verification Tool users can review recordings and the slides of the GL Verification Tool go-live training:

Part 1: General Ledger Verification Tool Overview

Part 2: General Ledger Verification Tool Demo

 

Part 3: Question & Answer Session

General Ledger Verification Guidelines for Sponsored Projects

  • Start with GL Verification Tool at a Dept ID level appropriate to capture information (i.e. Level 2) and filter for award(s) and/or Principal Investigator
  • Perform verification activities for transactions selected for verification by GL Verification Tool.  This includes the review of chartstring, appropriateness of transaction, adding comments, and uploading additional supporting documentation as appropriate
  • Federal unallowable expense transactions are flagged in the GL Verification Tool
  • Individuals will need to evaluate allowable expenses for specific funding sources and additional verification work may be needed for unique awards, i.e. EU grants.  This additional work can be documented in the GL Verification Tool, even if transaction was not flagged for verification.
  • Encourage GL Verification Verifiers to run either the Project Summary Report or Transaction Detail Report in MyReports and compare with the transactions flagged for verification by GL Verification Tool
    • If items in error are identified but were not caught by GL Verification tool, share this feedback with the Controller's Office
    • We plan to incorporate identified errors into the GL Verification Tool rules to the extent we can write a business rule to effectively capture these errors
  • Principal Investigators need to continue to acknowledge that financial transactions charged to their awards are accurate, timely and reliable, but this does not mean 100% review of all posted transactions 
    • This process currently varies greatly across UCSF but will be streamlined with the release of Contract and Grant Accounting's Award Verification Tool
    • In this interim period, Research Support Administrators should continue to prepare summary signoff package for their Principal Investigators using format and process already established within department
  • Effort reporting certification is still required; GL Verification does not replace effort reporting

Access

There are two department roles in the GL Verification Tool: Verifier and Approver.  The Verifier role is not limited to specific Dept IDs.  The Approver role is assigned at the Level of the Dept ID tree chosen by department/Control Point financial leadership. 

Access roles for the GL Verification Tool are requested through Access Management.  Contact your department Access Administrator to request access for new users, change user roles, or deactivate users from the GL Verification Tool.  

Authorized users can log in to the GL Verification Tool through MyAccess

Contact

If you have questions about General Ledger Verification or using the GL Verification Tool, contact [email protected]

Paper-based procedure (transition to new GL Verification online tool beginning May 2018)

GL verification consists of the following activities:

  • Verification: Examining detailed transactions in the GL to ensure transactions are expected to appear. Look for any suspicious transactions or abrupt changes from an established trend. Any errors that are identified, including transactions that contain incorrect or inappropriate chartfields must be corrected. Typically, this activity is conducted by the Department’s financial administrator.
  • Review: Examining management GL trend reports for perceived anomalies and errors of substance, based on the reviewer’s experience and knowledge of the Department’s operations. This activity is at a summarized level compared to the detailed transaction reconciliation discussed above. It is expected that someone familiar with the financial activities of the Department performs the ledger review, such as the Business Officer.
  • Acknowledgment: Attestation by the Reconciler and Reviewer that they reviewed the financial information, corrected errors, and can provide reasonable assurance of the validity of the information. GL Verification needs to be acknowledged by an MSO, Department Head or designee for non-sponsored funds and the Principal Investigator (PI) or designee for sponsored funds; if the Review has not been completed by one of these individuals, then a third acknowledgment on the checklist is needed.

Use the General Ledger Verification Checklist and Acknowledgement form to record the attestation by the department Reconciler and Reviewer, and refer to the Paper-Based General Ledger Verification Procedures for detailed step-by-step instructions on how to perform the paper-based verification.

Resources