Functional Areas

Functional Areas

  1. Financial Reporting
  2. General Accounting
  3. Document Management
  4. Property Accounting


Financial Reporting:

The Financial Reporting area of the Controller’s Office is primarily responsible for external and internal financial reporting.  Some of those accountabilities encompass the Consolidated Audited Financial Statements, Employee Retirement Plan Audit, Assistance with the Preparation of Tax Returns, and Bank Reconciliations.

Included in our area are the following responsibilities:

  • Ensuring timely and accurate consolidated financial reporting;
  • Preparation of the annual financial audit of the University’s financial statements and Employee Retirement Plan;
  • Preparation and/or assistance in completion of the Form 990, 990T, and 5500 tax returns;
  • Responsible for applying accounting principles and procedures to analyze financial information;
  • Reconciliation of the University’s external debt, pledge/contributions receivables, outside trusts, and annuities;
  • Preparation and/or assistance in completion of certain financial data surveys;
  • Preparation of bank reconciliations – See Bank Reconciliation Policy (B028)

Cash Receipts and Disbursements journal blanks are found in the Controller’s Office Forms section. See our Financial Reporting FAQ section on tips for preparing and submitting Cash Journals.

Listing of Unidentified Deposits older than three months and greater than $1,000.


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General Accounting:


The General Accounting area of the Controller’s Office has as its primary responsibilities the daily operations of the University’s accounting system (Financial Records System “FRS”), including:

  • Control the flow of transactions to the general ledger system (FRS) (see FRS web page) from subsystems and online journals including correction of system errors and various account control analyses
  • Creation and system maintenance (including changes to account Responsible Person) of all University non-sponsored accounts, department numbers (see FORMS on the right side bar)
  • Coordination of the month/year end FRS closings and FRS reports distribution
  • Security Access Control - FRS, Departmental Management Accounting System (DMAS) (see DMAS web page)
  • Security Access Control - Report Distribution System (RDS) (see RDS web page)
  • Serving as liaison between the Gift system and FRS, reconciling the two systems.
  • Placing of Stop Payments and issuing of replacement checks (see FORMS and FAQ’s pages)
  • Tax Reporting: Annual Federal 1099 reporting (see Frequently Asked Questions page), State of Florida reporting including Sales tax, Medical Parking Surcharge and Abandoned or Unclaimed Property.

General Accounting Procedures

Accounts & Departments

The Controller’s Office is responsible for approving requests for new accounts, assigning account numbers, deleting old and changing account titles in the accounting system.  In addition, we add departments, change department names and delete departments when requested.  For information, please see the procedures to follow under the headings below:

- ACCOUNTS: Click here for procedures to: a) create an account, b) initiate changes to accounts, or c) delete an existing account.

               Click on the following link to review important changes regarding account creation.

               Change to FRS account create forms and process - Effective 9/25/2014

                Important News Effective September 25, 2014:
Any e-mail request submitted to the Controller’s Office for changes to existing accounts
must include the Workday Cost Center Name and Cost Center Number for each account.

- DEPARTMENTS: Click here for procedures to: a) change an official department name, b) create a new department, or c) delete an existing department.
If a department is to be inactivated or combined with another department, click on Request to Move Account Numbers or Delete Accounts and then complete and submit the form per the instructions given.

General Ledger Account Definitions

Accounting System Transaction Codes

The University’s Accounting systems (FRS and DMAS) use transaction codes.  Transaction codes identify to the system what type of entry or entries the system will be recording.  Transaction codes are three digits in length. 

Listed below are the transaction codes the system accepts grouped by Budget transactions, Actual transactions, Encumbrance transactions and Bank Transfers:

Budget transactions (used in all transactions affecting budget).  The range is from 020 to 029. Specific transaction codes used are:

  • 020 Original Fiscal Year Budget
  • 021 Revised Budget

Actual transactions (used for cash receipts, cash disbursements, journal entries, interdepartmental requisitions).  The range is as follows:

  • 030 to 039 Cash Receipts
  • 040 to 049 Cash Disbursements
  • 060 to 069 Journal Entries and Interdepartmental Requisitions

Encumbrance transactions (used to record commitments for salaries and fringe benefits, purchase orders, telephone services, restricted funds in sponsored accounts such as F & A (Overhead code 8101) and other types listed in “Expense Object Code Explanations” - code 3758). The range is as follows:

  • 050 to 059 Encumbrances

Bank Transfer transactions (used to transfer transactions from one accounting system bank account to another - use restricted to Bursar and Controller’s Office). The range is as follows:

  • 090 to 097 Bank Transfers

Beginning balance (use restricted to Controller’s Office only).

  • 098 Beginning Balance

FRS Batch Reference Listing

Batch references are used in the University’s accounting system (FRS and DMAS) and are associated with the originator of an accounting transaction.  The originator may be an individual or a subsystem.  The list provided, organized by batch reference initials, gives the information about the name of the individual or the subsystem who originated a transaction and a telephone number to call if there are questions about the transaction.

Click here to download the Batch Reference List.

To request a new batch reference, or to make changes to an existing batch reference, click on Batch ID Request to Create, Change or Inactivate and then complete and submit the form per the instructions given.

Note: that when an employee with a Batch Reference ID leaves the department or the University, the Controller’s Office should be notified using this form. An ID cannot be deleted if there were transactions made while the employee was in the department. ID’s will be deleted by the Controller’s Office only after they have not been used for 10 years.

Unclaimed Property:

Is a term used for outstanding checks, including checks issued by the University that have not been cashed by the payee, e.g. payroll checks, checks issued to vendors, payments to human subjects, reimbursement checks, etc. Policy  -  E106 Student Accounts Receivable Unclaimed Refunds


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Document Management:

The Document Management and Imaging area of the Controller’s Office was responsible for collecting, imaging, maintaining files, and storage and retrieval of original financial documents. As result of the transition to Workday, the operations of the Document Management area are no longer necessary.

However, Document Management has been integrated with On Base, the new document management system that allows instant retrieval of documents.  For more information, please follow this link.

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Property Accounting:

 The University of Miami follows standardized policies with respect to the acquisition, capitalization, management and disposition of equipment for financial statement purposes, compliance with government/sponsor requirements, and to support indirect cost recovery.

Definition for Capitalization of Movable Equipment

  1. The unit cost of each item is $2,500 or more
  2. It has a useful life of more than one year - Policy B040 – Equipment Capitalization

Non-Capital Expenditures

  1. Expenditures for repairs, maintenance or replacement of component parts which do not extend the unit’s original life or significantly enhance its net value
  2.  Expenditures incurred in demolishing or dismantling equipment including those expenditures related to the replacement of units or systems

Duties and Responsibilities of Property Accounting

  1. Maintain University of Miami’s official capitalized equipment records to reflect addition of new equipment, modifications to equipment, changes in location, custodianship, and disposal
  2. Administer and assist equipment management activities of custodial departments, including recording and reviewing for correctness the results of periodic physical inventories, modifying equipment records, and assisting in deleting and retiring equipment as directed by custodial departments
  3. Provide guidance to departments to facilitate maintenance of equipment inventory
  4. Conduct reviews and/or audits of the capital equipment inventory as considered necessary
  5. Oversee procedures for recycling or disposing of movable assets to insure that adequate supporting records are kept to document a sale, trade-in or other disposition
Custodial Department’s Responsibilities
Each department is directly responsible for the control, use and security of movable equipment in its possession.  In accordance with this responsibility, each department is to have a Property Administrator to facilitate processes and communication.  The Department’s Property Administrator or designee and others who are directly involved in equipment purchasing and inventories should be familiar with University policies and procedures.

The Department’s Property Administrator should be a business manager or staff assistant who reports directly to the department head. Responsibilities of the Department’s Property Administrator include:

  1. Complete annual certification of capital equipment inventory - Policy B053 – Annual Equipment Verification and Approval Submission Equipment Web System Instructions
  2. Reinforce University policies and procedures within the department
  3. Assist Property Accounting in locating and tagging of new equipment
  4. Throughout the year, record the movement and disposal of equipment in UMAPPS and complete disposal on the forms provided by Property Accounting, and advise Property Accounting regarding such changes Policy B043 – Permanent Changes of Equipment Within the University - Policy B047 – Sale, Disposition of Equipment

All sales of equipment need to be coordinated through Property Surplus. Policy B049 – Deletion of Equipment from University Assets


Property Accounting - Explanation of Policies

B040 EQUIPMENT CAPITALIZATION – Capital equipment is equipment that has a cost which equals or exceeds $2,500 and with a useful life of greater than one year. The cost for repair or replacement parts, general maintenance, and warranty are not capitalized.

B041 EQUIPMENT FABRICATED BY DEPT. WITHIN UM – Is equipment assembled from various individual parts (Purchase Orders) that when completed operate as an individual unit.

B043 PERMANENT CHANGES EQUIP LOCATION WITHIN THE UNIVERSITY – It is required by OMB Circular A-110, to maintain accurate equipment information in the property system.

B044 CHANGE IN USE/DISPOSITION OF EQUIP PURCHASED WITH FEDERAL FUNDS – As per OMB Circular A-110, approval from the awarding agency is required for active awards. 
Contact the Office of Research Administration to obtain approval.

B045 OFF CAMPUS USE OF UNIVERSITY-OWNED EQUIPMENT - Use of university owned equipment off-campus is subject to the approval of the appropriate chairman, dean or vice president.

B046 REDISTRIBUTION OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT TO OTHER UM DEPARTMENTS - Departments should communicate any transfers of equipment to other departments.

B047 SALE, DISPOSITION OF EQUIPMENT – All sales of equipment must be negotiated, coordinated and approved by Property Surplus

B048 EQUIPMENT DONATIONS & TRANSFERS TO OTHER INSTITUTIONS – Grants and contracts are awarded to the University and not to individual investigators, therefore all equipment purchased with sponsor funds, unless otherwise specified by the grant or contract, is the property of the University.
When an investigator leaves the University, it is expected that equipment which has been purchased will continue to be needed in the ongoing research and/or educational activities of the specific department concerned, and will therefore remain at the University.
When an investigator requests that certain specialized equipment be made available for transfer to the new institution, such requests may require approval from Sponsor Programs and the department chair or dean.

B049 EQUIPMENT DELETION FROM UNIVERSITY ASSETS – This policy is used to record equipment disposals resulting from trade-ins, casualty loss, not found, beyond economical repair and/or robbery.

A trade-in occurs when a piece of equipment is returned to a vendor for value in order to obtain an updated piece of equipment or new equipment. All trade-ins of equipment purchased with sponsored funds should be verified through the Sponsor Programs Office if prior approval from the sponsor is required. Once approved the Property Administrator should be notified to delete the equipment from the inventory and advise Property Accounting to update and reflect the gain or loss on the transaction.  The PO with the new equipment must specify the trade-in amount in a separate line.  It is recommended to coordinate with surplus Office regarding trade-in value.

B050 EQUIPMENT TRANSFERS FROM OTHER INSTITUTIONS – It is the responsibility of the department to notify Property Accounting of any capital equipment transferred to the University.

B051 ACCOUNTING FOR GOVERNMENT OWNED EQUIPMENT – It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to maintain accurate records of all equipment acquired with federal funds.

B052 ACQUIRING FEDERAL EXCESS OR SURPLUS PROPERTY - All requests to acquire federal surplus or excess property must be submitted to the Property Accounting Office which will authorize the transaction.

B053 INVENTORY CERTIFICATION – In order to comply with federal regulations, OMB Circular A-110, it is University policy for departments to conduct an annual physical inventory and certification. 
Equipment Web System Instructions.

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