Components of Internal Control

The control environment sets the tone of the college, influencing the control consciousness of the faculty and staff. This environment is the foundation for all other components of internal control providing discipline and structure. The elements of the college's control environment are as follows:

Integrity and Ethical Values

Santa Fe College is committed to an environment emphasizing ethical values and integrity of its staff. These values are communicated through various policies that include:

  • Faculty ethics statement
  • Criminal background checks on all employees
  • Conflict of interest and acceptance of outside employment statements
  • Drug-free workplace
  • Mandatory sexual harassment prevention training
  • Fraud Policy
  • Procedures for handling complaints involving students, faculty and staff on various subjects including:
    • Sexual harassment
    • Discrimination
    • EA/EO policy
    • Protocol in cases of sexual assault/other crimes
    • Student records right to privacy

Commitment to Competence

The college’s commitment to competence is detailed in its Mission Statement and goals and is evident in various factors such as:

  • Recruitment and placement of competent staff through use of screening committees and pre-employment screenings
  • Annual employee evaluations
  • New employee orientations
  • Individual exit interviews for terminating employees
  • Performance based budgeting
  • College Resource and Planning Council
  • Participation in program and accreditation reviews

Board of Directors and/or Audit Committee Participation

The District Board of Trustees of Santa Fe College governs the college. The Board is the policy making body of the college and generally meets monthly. The Board shall exercise all powers and perform all duties according to the provisions of Florida Statues and State Board of Education rules. External audit results and reports are reviewed and discussed with College Management and the Board of Trustees with appropriate corrective action taken on all audit comments.

Management Philosophy and Operating Style

The College President has responsibility for the operation of the college and for implementing Board rules. The President and Vice Presidents exercise the highest oversight of the college. Transactions and activities are generally authorized at the budget signatory level, which includes Associate Vice Presidents, Assistant Vice Presidents, Department Chairs, Directors, and Coordinators. To achieve efficiency and provide a certain segregation of duties, processing of transactions and maintenance of major data sets is quite centralized and subject to state rules and regulations as well as the District Board of Trustee rules.

Organizational Structure

The Administrative Organization chart, where the accountability for every activity has a clearly established office and administrator in charge, affects and reflects management’s philosophy and operating style.

Assignment of Authority and Responsibility

Within the college’s organization structure, department chairs and directors are empowered to make decisions in their areas of responsibility and establish the necessary structure to communicate unit goals, objectives, and expectations which coincide with the college’s mission and goals. Authority may be further delegated to other supervisory levels under certain circumstances. For example, all out-of-district travel must be authorized by a member of the President’s Staff, whereas approval for departmental purchases may be delegated from the Budget Signature Authority level to a supervisory level. The college strives to ensure sound business practices by preparing and maintaining manuals and materials. Various departments around the campus further offer various training courses to communicate proper procedures to follow. The college’s Rules Manual is available on the college’s website. Applicable departments also are provided with information as to where the State Accounting manual for Florida’s Public Community Colleges is published.

Human Resources Policies and Practices

As stated in the Statement of Philosophy, Santa Fe College values cultural diversity and is here to serve all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, marital status, age, or disability. The college aspires to transmit these values to students and staff with policies outlined in the Rules Manual established by the Board of Trustees as well as in The Faculty Handbook and Career Service Handbook.

Employees are encouraged to improve their job skills through various professional development activities. The college further offers tuition fee waivers to full time employees of the college at Santa Fe College and the University of Florida.

The college also utilizes a Professional Development Fund to assist employees seeking advanced degrees. A Professional Development Committee reviews applicants to this fund.

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment is the identification, analysis and management of relevant risk in financial reporting and in the achievement of objectives. Identification and analysis of relevant risk is done at many levels in the college. Various statewide committees, which this college is represented in, develop risk assessment policies. These committees include the Council of Business Affairs, the President’s Council, and the Council of Instructional Affairs. Additionally, the State Auditor General’s Office, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Florida Department of Education, and the College’s legal council affect the operations of the college.

The college is continually evaluating and assessing the elements of risk in the development of Board of Trustees rules and college policy and procedures. Many levels of management are involved in this process through various internal committees, the President’s Cabinet, the Coordinating Council, the Career Service Council, and the College Senate Council. College Staff with specialized expertise provides input into campus-wide training of procedures to minimize relevant compliance risks.

Control Activities

Control activities are the policies and procedures that help ensure necessary actions are taken to address the risks inherent in the achievement of the college’s objectives. The college adheres to control activities in performance reviews, information processing, physical controls, and segregation of duties as set forth in the State Accounting Manual for Florida’s Public Community Colleges as well as in State Board of Education (SBE) and District Board of Trustees rules.

Information and Communication

The information contained in the college’s financial records follows the standards prescribed by the State Department of Education. Reviews of the records conducted by external auditors and monitors provide feedback and ensure the college’s financial reports are fairly presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Department ledgers detail are available real-time to Budget Signature authorities for their review through the college’s accounting system

Communication involves providing employees of the college an understanding of individual roles and responsibilities pertaining to internal controls over financial reporting. This communication is done primarily through policy and procedure manuals, accounting manuals, and systems manuals. Periodic training is offered to staff in the proper usage of the college’s online accounting system.


Monitoring is a process that accesses the quality of internal performance over time. For the college, this process is accomplished through the ongoing monitoring of financial activities by the departments through monthly department ledgers and by accessing budgetary information online. Other types of monitoring activities include external audits designed to monitor internal controls applicable to financial, operational, and compliance objectives, and internal reviews at various management levels that monitor and report on integrity of information, effectiveness of operations, safeguarding of assets, and compliance with various governance.

The college’s financial records follow the standards prescribed by State Department of Education. Annual financial statements are prepared in a manner consistent with the modified accrual method prescribed by the Industry Audit Guide for Colleges and Universities.

The integrity of the system and consistency are maintained by limited access to the accounts and by centralized account creation handled in the Finance Division. Additionally the Chief Financial Officer and the Comptroller manage access codes for individual budgetary accounts. Functions controlled in this area include access to approval code screens, vendor payment screens, property control screens, payroll maintenance screens.

In order to maximize the control over cash and cash equivalents, the college maintains a centralized cashiering system in the Office for Finance. Established internal controls ensure the secure and accurate handling and reporting of money and separate accountability of all staff that handle it. Maintaining a single bank account for all receipts and disbursements enhances security and efficiency.

In accordance with state statute, the college's investment policy requires that The Chief Financial Officer, management designee and/or appropriate staff shall annually complete 8 hours of continuing education in subjects or courses of study related to investment practices and products.