Reconciliation of Banner indexes/orgs
Reconciliations of Banner organizations (indexes) are required to maintain the integrity of the University’s accounting records and protect the interests of the University. Reconciliations are essential for an effective internal control environment so that:
- The information transmitted to, contained in, and reported from the Banner financial system is accurate, complete and recorded in a timely manner
- The information can be relied upon for making financial and administrative decisions
- Irregularities are quickly detected and reported to the appropriate authorities
Reconciliations are a systematic review of Banner organizations against source documents to verify that all expenditures are accurate and appropriate and to identify expected expenditures that have not yet occurred. Departments are responsible for reconciling their organizations at least once a month for the previous month’s activity. A timely review of transactions and reconciliation of each Banner organization is critical to maintaining the integrity of the University’s accounting records and serves as the only way fraud, errors, and omissions may be detected for some transactions. Departments must maintain files that are sufficient to support the accuracy and completeness of data entered into the Banner financial module. This documentation must be retained by the department in accordance with guidelines specified by Records Management to satisfy University, state and federal audit requirements, as well as state and federal records retention requirements.
Carrying out the reconciliation process ensures that:
- The reported fiscal transactions are recorded in the most appropriate Banner org and account
- The reports reconcile to the responsible unit’s supporting documents
- The reported fiscal transactions represent appropriate use of University resources
- The reported fiscal transactions were processed in accordance with University policies and procedures and other applicable laws, regulations, rules, contracts, and grant and donor restrictions
- Available resources are sufficient to cover the reported fiscal transactions, considering all outstanding commitments (encumbrances)
- Appropriate investigation, reporting and remedial action is carried out such as transferring the cost to an appropriate alternative org or taking corrective action for any identified or anticipated deficits
The University system of record is the Banner Finance system and is used for reconciling departmental organizations. University departments are not permitted to establish or operate independent accounting systems without approval by the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Chief Audit Executive. For those departments that have an approved independent system, that system can be referenced for supplemental detail in support of departmental reconciliations.
Financial reconciliations involve two parties. One is the reviewer who actually reviews each transaction (expenditures, deposits, journal vouchers and encumbrances) posted to a Banner organization to ensure its accuracy, and to ensure that sufficient source documentation, paper or data residing in Banner, is available. The other is the department head or manager who acts as the approver and is responsible for verifying the legitimacy, appropriateness, and necessity of transactions posted to the Banner org.
Summary and transaction detail reports
The first thing you will need for your reconciliation is a summary and a transaction detail report from the Banner Finance System. Month-end reports for both can be printed or downloaded and imported into Excel from the ePrint server. Report FGRBDSC( Budget Status) is the summary report for Banner indexes/orgs. These reports will help you determine if the organization budget is sufficient for the current fiscal year. The Adjusted Budget shown on the report is your expenditure authority for the current year. These reports provide totals, by account, for current month activity, year to date activity, budget reservations (encumbrances) and the available balance (adjusted budget less activity, less encumbrances). When viewing these reports, keep in mind that organizations that do not earn revenues will show negative amounts in the Total Organization line. The default for Banner system reports is to calculate revenues less expenditures. For organizations supported by budget only, the total for the columns adjusted budget, current activity, year to date activity, etc., will show as a negative number. For reconciliation purposes, recalculate this number using the subtotals shown.
Report FGRODTA, also available in ePrint, is the transaction detail for each organization. The report includes all budget, transaction and encumbrance activity, by account, for each month (fiscal period). This report should be used to reconcile or compare each known transaction item initiated by the department.
Monthly Expense reports in the Finance Dashboard for departmental fiscal administrators and department heads (through the VCU Reporting Center) may be used in lieu of e~Print reports or Banner INB reports. The Finance Dashboard also contains an online certification tool.
Departments can also use the Banner Finance system (INB Banner) to run reports for summary and transaction information. Banner report FGRBDSC(Budget Status) is a standard Banner report. For transactions, go to form FGITRND, put in the index number, tab to the period and enter the fiscal period (month). October would be Period 04, for example. Click on the next block icon. The first line of the next block area will be shaded, prompting you to click on the Execute Query icon on the toolbar. Click on Execute Query. The results will be all the transactions that posted to that index or org for the month you specified. To export the transaction query to Excel, click on Help, then Extract Data No Key on the main toolbar. Open the file in your browser and save to your PC as an Excel File.
For grants, the Monthly Expense reports on the Research Dashboard (through the VCU Reporting Center) may be used in lieu of e~Print reports.
If your index earns revenues, these transactions should be compared with deposit receipt forms, Banner journal vouchers and/or other documentation to confirm the accuracy and proper classification (account) of each transaction. Revenues are posted in Banner accounts beginning with 4.
Budget reallocation entries should be reviewed and compared with departmental source documents. You can identify these transactions by a Banner document number beginning with B.
Personnel Expenditures in Banner INB will appear as a total transaction amount per pay period per employee type. Personnel expenses are posted in Banner accounts beginning with 5. Monthly expense reports in the Finance Dashboard do identify the personnel being paid. The employees paid on each organization need to be verified, however. Detail reports for payroll transactions are available through the VCU Reporting Center. Fiscal administrators (FAs) who are not also personnel administrators (PAs) may need to get a copy of the report from their departmental PA. The report is located in the Labor Distribution folder of the Reporting Center and is called Monthly Payroll to Finance Reconciliation. When salary expenses need to be moved to another index(org), departmental PAs and designated Labor Distributors can key labor distribution changes (PHAREDS) in the Banner HR system.
Corporate credit card purchases can be found listed in Banner in various accounts depending on the purchased item. You can identify them by a Banner document number beginning with PCO. Corporate card purchases are reconciled monthly to the Transaction Report available in Works (the vendor's online card program). Please see Corporate Purchasing Card Procedures. Fiscal staff reconciling each organization should compare this reconciliation to the charges shown on the Banner organization transaction report. Another helpful report for reconcilers is the Purchase Card Monitoring Report available through the VCU Reporting Center. This report lists all corporate card activity by organization code, department or major budget unit. Any corporate card expenditures that you have not allocated in Works to another account and have posted to account 620002 (Undistributed Charge Card) should be reclassed to other more specific Banner accounts using Banner form FGAJVCM. Please see VCU Procurement's Purchasing Card Procedures page for full information on reconciling corporate card purchases.
Internal Service charges appear on the monthly transaction report from internal areas such as VCU Mail Services, VITA (Virginia Information Technology Agency), VCU Telecommunications, VCU Parking. Event Services and VCU Physical Plant. VCU Telephone bills are available through the VCU Telecommunications Departmental Portal. Physical Plant charges should be compared with any current work order requests. If you made the work order requests, you can view the activity through Customer Service Quick FM. VITA charges are handled through VCU Telecommunications. Any VCU Parking charges should be compared with current permit or parking passes requested through the office. Charges for event space should be compared with estimates provided through Event and Conference Services.
All other expenditures should be reviewed and verified with the corresponding purchase orders or journal voucher documentation. Any unfamiliar transactions should be researched using INB Banner's FOIDOCH or FGIDOCR forms. Review your organization's encumbrances on Banner form FGIOENC. You can learn how to use these forms on the Banner Job Aids web page.
Here's a sample checklist to help with your reconciliation process:
- Has appropriate documentation been retained (deposit receipt form, purchase documentation) and does it match to the posted entries?
- Has all documentation been filed (in case of audit)?
- Do all transactions show on the reports?
- Have salaries been charged appropriately? If not, have corrections been initiated through labor distribution?
- Have charges from internal service providers been recorded properly? If not, have corrections been initiated?
- Do you see any unexpected transactions? If so, has follow up action been taken?
- Are there expected transactions which are NOT on the reports? If so, has follow up action been taken?
- Have all transactions been coded to the correct Banner index/organization? If not, has follow up action been taken?
- Have all transactions been coded to the correct Banner account? If not, has follow up action been taken?
- Is the index/organization headed for a deficit condition? If so, are there actions you need to take?
Once your reconciliation is complete, a separate individual (the Approver) needs to review and certify that the reports are accurate and that the transactions are reasonable and necessary. Normally the Approver would be a department head or manager who has authority and responsibility for the funds. Certification must be in the form of an original signature, no signature stamps are allowed. Please refer to the Signatures on Expenditure Documents Policy.
The Approver should be able to answer "yes" to the following questions.
Are the transactions reported:
- For official University business?
- n the best interests of the University?
- In compliance with applicable policies, laws, regulations, rules, contracts, grants, and donor restrictions?
- Within the available resources of the department?
- Directly beneficial to the unit (department) being charged?
- Reasonable? Meaning that the quantity and quality of goods or services being purchased is sufficient to meet the University's need without exceeding it.
- Free of actual or perceived conflict of interest?
After the approval process, the report(s)and supporting documentation should be assembled an filed in a manner that all material relating to a particular transaction, or accounting period, can be readily retrieved and presented when requested for audit review. These records should be maintained in accordance with the University's record retention policy. Files may be retained electronically.
Note: If you do your reconciliation using the Finance Dashboard, your certification is recorded within the Dashboard on the Certification Status tab.