Maintaining an Effective Financial Accountability Structure

An effective structure for the delegation of accountability includes the following provisions:


Provision 1Only one person (normally the unit head or Chief Administrative Officer) should be responsible for managing the accountability structure of a unit. That person should clearly define all areas of accountability.
Provision 2

If that person chooses to delegate financial management tasks within the unit, the tasks must be clearly defined and assigned to qualified people. A qualified person is someone who:

  • Does not have conflicting duties.
  • Fully understands what is expected of them.
  • Has sufficient training to complete the tasks successfully.
  • Has the knowledge and experience to make sound judgments concerning each task.
  • Knows whom to contact or what action to take if problems arise (such as a person of higher authority attempting to override compliance with requirements).
Provision 3Ensure that there is a reasonable distribution of workload in accordance with the available resources.
Provision 4Inform involved individuals of their assigned roles and train them when necessary.
Provision 5

Designate a Department Security Administrator (DSA), who is responsible for keeping a secure, up-to-date record of accountability delegations.  This task includes:

  • Recording the initial delegation of tasks to people in the unit and subsequent changes to those delegations.
  • Updating the Distributed Administrative Computing Security System (DACSS) to grant access to the online financial systems to prepare, review or perform inquiries.
  • Ensuring that the record is secure from unauthorized changes.
Provision 6Review the official record of accountability delegations kept by the DSA on at least a quarterly basis to ensure that the record kept by the DSA is accurate, complete, current and secure.
Provision 7Monitor the effectiveness of the accountability structure on a regular basis through the use of exception, summary, reconciliation or other reports, and review selected transactions.

For further information, contact IT Services (see Related Information).