Responsibilities of the Controller and Assistant Treasurer
The Controller is responsible for compliance with the following regulations:
The Super Circular streamlines the Federal government’s guidance on Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal awards, and consolidates OMB Circulars A–21, A–110, and A–133. The Associate Vice President for Finance and Assistant Treasurer is responsible for compliance with the following requirements from the Super Circular:
Administrative Requirements (formerly from OMB Circular A-110): Recipients' financial management systems shall provide for the following:
Accurate and complete disclosure of financial results of each federally-sponsored project (includes an annual SF-269 financial status report, a quarterly SF-272 for any advances given, and a final report after project completion)
Identification of the source and application of funds in financial records
Accountability and control over all funds, property and assets
Comparison of outlays with budget amounts for each award
Written procedures to minimize time elapsing between transfer of funds from the U.S. Treasury and issuance or redemption of payments
Written procedures for determining the reasonableness, allocability and allowability of costs, and
Accounting records that are supported by source documentation
Cost Principles (formerly from OMB Circular A-21):
Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs. F&A costs (those incurred for common/joint objectives and which cannot be identified with a particular sponsored project) cannot be directly charged to a sponsored award except in exceptional circumstances and with up-front approval. Proposals are submitted to the DHHS-Division of Cost Allocation as a basis for negotiating indirect rates for the next cycle.
Cost Principles generally. The University must be consistent in estimating, accumulating and reporting costs, and in allocating costs incurred for the same purpose. All costs incurred for the same purpose, in like circumstances, shall be treated the same (i.e. as either direct or F&A costs), and cost accounting practices for reporting actual costs on a sponsored agreement must be consistent with the practices used in estimating the costs for the related project.
DS-2 Filing. Institutions that received aggregate sponsored agreements totaling $25,000,000 or more and are subject to OMB A-21 during their most recently completed fiscal year shall disclose their cost accounting practices by filing a Disclosure Statement (DS-2). The DS-2 shall be submitted to the cognizant agency with a copy to the institution's audit cognizant office. Institutions must file amendments to the DS-2 when disclosed practices are changed to comply with a new or modified standard, or when practices are changed for other reasons. If the change is expected to have a material impact on the educational institution's negotiated F&A cost rates, the revision shall be approved by the cognizant agency before it is implemented.
Audit Requirements (formerly from OMB Circular A-133): An independent audit of federal funds must be undertaken annually. The audit report must be submitted within earlier of 30 days after receipt from auditor or 9 months after end of audit period. Recipients of federal awards also must:
Identify in its accounts all federal awards received and expended and the federal programs under which they were received
Maintain internal controls that provide reasonable assurance the auditee is managing awards in compliance with laws and the provisions of grant/contract agreements
Prepare appropriate financial statements
Ensure that required audits are properly performed and submitted, and
Follow up and take corrective action on audit findings.
Individuals who are in a position to exercise substantial influence over the affairs of a non-profit corporation (“Disqualified Persons”) are subject to excise taxes (“Intermediate Sanctions”) if the economic benefits they receive exceed the value of the consideration received by the non-profit entity (termed an “excess benefit transaction”). The penalty is 25% of disqualified person’s excess compensation. If not paid back, the IRS can impose an additional tax of 200% of the excess compensation.
Cash or cash equivalent prizes and awards to employees are reportable from the first dollar, and are reportable for non-cash gifts or prizes if the $100 reporting threshold is met. Gifts to non-employees greater than $600 are also reportable. Prizes and gifts must be reported on Form 1099 MISC.
The value of meals and lodging furnished to an employee, spouse or dependents is not includable in the employee's gross income if the meals are furnished on the employer's business premises, and in the case of lodging the employee is required to accept the lodging as a condition of employment. Faculty housing is excludable from the employee's gross income where an adequate rental is charged, which figure is based upon a formula set forth in the Internal Revenue Code. Per the Clergy Housing Allowance Clarification Act of 2002 the housing allowance exclusion of the tax code was amended to clarify that the parsonage allowance is limited to the fair rental value of the clergy member's home. The housing allowance exclusion is limited to the least of:
The allowance declared by the clergyperson's church for the year in question
The actual expenses of the clergyperson to provide a home in the year in question, or
The fair rental value of the clergyperson's home, including furnishings and appurtenances (such as a garage), plus the cost of utilities for the year in question
Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 - Taxability of Employer-owned Cell Phones, Personal Data Assistants (PDAs) and Laptops
The Small Business Jobs Act removes cell phones, PDAs and laptops from the definition of "listed property" under 26 USC §280F(d)(4), thereby removing the requirement under 26 USC §162(a) to tax the personal use of such devices when provided by the employer for business use. Further, IRS Notice 2011-72 provides that both the business and personal use of employer-provided cell phones for non-compensatory business purposes (to facilitate work outside the office and office hours) are non-taxable and no substantiation will be required. Per the Internal Revenue Service, the foregoing applies to "similar telecommunications equipment" such as iPads and tablets.
Per the Money Laundering Control Act it is illegal to engage in a financial transaction knowing that the property is derived from specified unlawful activity, or to conduct or attempt to conduct a financial transaction with the intent to disguise the illegal or criminal nature, location, source, or ownership, or control of the property. A financial transaction does not have to involve a financial institution, and there is no minimum threshold amount for the activity to be considered money laundering.
The Bank Secrecy Act requires U.S. financial institutions to assist the government in investigating crimes, protecting against terrorism, and detecting and preventing money laundering by keeping records and filing reports regarding certain financial transactions. Additional requirements for recordkeeping and reporting are as follows:
Recordkeeping. Records must be kept of transactions with or relations maintained with any person with a foreign financial agency. Records must include the identity and address of the transaction participants, their legal capacity, the identity of real parties in interest, and a description of the transaction.
Reporting. Reports must be filed if the institution transports monetary instruments of more than $10,000 at one time from a place in the U.S. to or through a place outside the U.S., to a place in the U.S. from or through a place outside the U.S., or if the institution receives monetary instruments of more than $10,000 at one time transported into the U.S. from or through a place outside the U.S. “Monetary instruments” includes U.S. currency, foreign currency where specifically designated, travelers’ checks, bearer negotiable instruments or securities, stock in which title is passed on delivery, and checks, drafts, notes, money orders, and other similar instruments drawn on or by a foreign financial institution that are not in bearer form.