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Fiscal Certification

Fiscal certification occurs annually after the fiscal year-end. It helps ensure that our financial statements are accurate and complete and that our internal controls are effective and sufficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose and intent, how is it designed, and who must participate?
In essence, the purpose and intent is to give you an opportunity to let your officer know of any concerns you may have as a result of your fiscal responsibilities.

The entire population of individuals who take part in the annual fiscal certification is comprised of two groups. The first is made up of the officers, and technically, this is the group that does the certifying part of the process. The second, larger, group is made up of designated fiscal principals, managers, and key employees who typically are more directly involved with the day-to-day management of university resources. The officers rely on these individuals to report any concerns regarding fiscal responsibility and financial management within their area so that the officers may certify as to the accuracy and completeness of the financial statements and the effectiveness and sufficiency of internal controls. Concerns from this second group are conveyed to officers by completing the Fiscal Assessment.

The Assessment itself is made up of two related parts. The instructive course component provides pertinent information to those with fiscal responsibilities. It focuses on areas that are often troublesome or problematic. The assessment component provides an opportunity to share any concerns with the respective officer because all comments are sent to your officer. This part is a key factor in the officer’s ability to certify. If you have no specific fiscal concerns and make no comments, your acknowledgment serves to reinforce your officer’s confidence in his or her fiscal certification.

I left that position this July 1st so shouldn’t the new person complete the assessment instead of me?
The certification/assessment covers the fiscal year that just passed. You held that position last year and that makes you the most qualified to complete the assessment. Next year, the new person will complete the assessment.

There is no way my projects had over $2 million in budget this year. Why do I need to do this?
The selection criteria identify PIs with actual expenses or budget of $2 million or more. Project budgets are based on the life of the project as identified by the start and end dates. In contrast, program budgets are based on fiscal year. A project’s budget is a cumulative total; it is not broken out for each fiscal year in isolation to the total budget amount. Using the total budget was an intentional decision made by the Controllers.

I am on sabbatical and won’t be back in time to complete this by the due date. Can I be exempted?
Contact your Dean or Vice Chancellor’s office. Depending on your return date, there still may be time for you to complete it. If not, and if your officer determines that he or she can confidently certify without your participation, the officer’s recommendation to exempt is sent to the campus Controller.

As a Director and part of the assessment group, can I have employees in my unit also participate?
Yes, they can complete a Voluntary Fiscal Assessment (Portal > CU Resources tab > Business Applications menu). Comments submitted via the voluntary assessment go to the University Controller. If the person unchecks the “Remain Anonymous” box, the comments will also be forwarded to the campus Controller which can aid in following up on issues or concerns that are raised. Bear in mind that this is voluntary and is up to the individual to complete it.

When I click on the certification/assessment link, I am redirected to a 404 error page (Pardon Our Dust).
This happens when using Internet Explorer 10 as your browser. The portal applications are not compatible with IE10. Either try an earlier version of IE or another browser.

When I click the assessment link, the button changes from "Start Assessment" to "Go to Assessment" but then nothing else appears.
The Fiscal Certification application uses browser windows that sometimes do not open due to pop-up blocker settings within your browser. If you find that you click the button to start certification or assessment, but then do not see the application open, you can often solve the problem by simply holding the CTRL key down at the same time you click the button to start certification/assessment. It may be necessary to keep holding the key down for a couple of seconds until the new window opens.

To permanently change your pop-up settings for this application, you can define www.cu.edu as a safe site in your browser settings. Here are methods for doing that in various internet browsers: 

  • Internet Explorer (v8), by default, will show you that it blocked a pop-up and will give you the option to “Temporarily Allow Pop-ups” (not recommended) or “Always Allow Pop-ups from This Site” (recommended). You can also use the menu Tools>Internet Options>Security>Trusted Sites. Then click the Sites button and add www.cu.edu (See question/answer above regarding Internet Explorer version 10.)
  • Firefox (v12.0), by default, will show you that it blocked a pop-up and will give you the option to “Allow pop-ups for siteurl” (recommended).
  • Google Chrome (v19.0.1084.56 m), by default, will show you that it blocked a pop-up and will give you the option to “Always allow pop-ups from siteurl” (recommended).
  • Safari (v5.1.5 for Windows), when pop-up blocking is enabled, does not inform you that a pop-up was blocked. There is no “safe” or “exceptions” list in Safari (there is a plugin available called “PithHelmet” that extends the site preferences and ad blocking of Safari, but it only works with pre-5.1 versions of Safari). The only option for Safari is to disable pop-up blocking. This can be done by pressing Ctrl+Shift+K (on Windows) or Command+K (on Apple) to toggle pop-up blocking on or off, or by clicking the “gear” icon, and disabling “Block Pop-up Windows” from the drop-down menu. This can also be done from Safari’s Preferences window, under Security, by unchecking “Block pop-up windows.”

If these steps do not resolve the problem, please try an alternate internet browser. If you continue to experience problems with the application opening, contact desktop support for your department. They may need to assist in updating your browser application.