Finance officer monthly checklist
Article

Finance officer monthly checklist

Authored by Kevin Watson, CPA, Manager

Fiscal officers often want clarity about their monthly responsibilities. Oversight of accounting and recordkeeping functions have many of the same month-end tasks. It is important to have a standard monthly review process in place to confirm there are no errors in the financial reports and to identify whether actions need to be taken to put the unit in a better financial position.

The following month-end checklist is intended to help fiscal officers establish policies and procedures that promote better operations, reliable reporting, and ensure compliance with internal and external governance requirements. It is intended as a starting point for developing a more detailed month-end checklist that reflects your entity’s policies and procedures.   

Month-end checklist

Reconcile cash and investment accounts to bank statements

It is hard to trust the data on the monthly financial reports if the accounting system does not reconcile to the bank statements. Doing this monthly allows time to investigate any discrepancies and prevents year-end surprises. The review process should include internal controls.

Gateway monthly engagement uploads

Upload bank reconciliations, board minutes and fund ledgers to Gateway no later than 45 days after the last day of the month.

Transaction analysis

  • All transactions: A thorough analysis of all detailed transactions for completeness, accuracy, reasonableness and consistency will benefit your government. For example, if 11 monthly utility bills are recorded to the utility expense line and one is recorded as a miscellaneous account, now is the time to process the correction.
  • Payroll: Review payrolls for accuracy and confirm the proper transactions are in the accounting system. This review should include employer liability and withholding payments, such as FICA, pension and state/county taxes.

Review monthly reports

  • Cash and fund balances: Confirm all balances are meeting their requirements and act to eliminate any negative fund balances. There are isolated situations where funds may go negative, but there should be enough projected revenue to replenish the negative fund by year-end. If not, act accordingly to address the shortfall.
  • Budget to actual expenditures: Compare budget to actual spending and investigate whether any appropriated balances are negative or will be by the end of the year. Fiscal officers can handle many budget adjustments on their own, while other budget adjustments will need a more formal approval. 

Prepare monthly financial reports for the board

Providing standard monthly reports helps to communicate the current financial status to the Board. When possible, use reports out the accounting system to streamline the process of generating monthly reports. 

This checklist is intended to help start the process of developing a more detailed month-end checklist that reflects your entity’s policies and procedures. Please refer to the State Board of Accounts website for further guidance on monthly fiscal officers’ duties.

If you have any questions or need assistance with the above, contact our team.

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