Responsibilities of the accounting officers in an organisation are to ensure that the organisation has effective and efficient internal controls relating to finances and risks, an internal audit system controlled by the audit committee, a system for appropriate procurement and provision, and also an evaluation system to make final decisions on major projects.
Accounting officers are also responsible for the effective, efficient, and economical use of the organisation’s assets, and they have collect the money, and prevent unauthorized expenditure and financial losses by safeguarding and maintaining assets for the organisation. They also pay all accounts due to other parties by the due date, and when money is transferred, the accounting officers have to comply with the Division of Revenue Act, and make sure that the receiving party has given a written assurance to the organisation saying that they have implemented internal controls, or if no assurance has been received, the accounting officers have to notify the receiving party that internal controls have to be implemented, and they may transfer the money, subject to the organisation’s conditions.
In other words, they are responsible for the organisation’s actions, conduct and performance. Their primary objectives are to give relevant, reliable, and credible financial and operational information, make effective and efficient use of the organisation’s resources, safeguard the organisation’s assets, comply with laws, regulations, ethical and business norms, and contracts, and lastly they have to identify risk exposures and create effective strategies to control risks.
Accounting officers must report, in writing, all unauthorized expenditure and financial losses to the relevant board or committee. They are also responsible for disciplinary hearings towards employees who fail to comply with legislation, or who do not comply with company policies, or are guilty of misconduct or causes financial losses by permitting unauthorised transactions. Accounting officers have to obligate all clients to comply with the organisation’s terms and conditions, and also make sure that the organisation complies with the Public Financial Management Act.
Accounting officers are responsible for budget control, by making sure that assets and finances are used by the department as voted, that the department’s voted budget doesn’t get overspent, and making sure that financial losses are prevented by use of controls, and if losses occur, or the budget falls short, or if there was an overspending of the department’s vote, they have to give a written report to the executive authority.
The reporting responsibilities that lie with the accounting officers include keeping financial documents of the organisation, as well as plan financial statements for every financial year, and submit the new financial statements to the Auditor-General and the relevant treasury, and then lastly an annual audit on the organisation and the financial statements have to be audited, and the Audit-General has to give a report on the financial statements, which has to be sent, if the organisation is a constitutional institution, to Parliament, and it is the accounting officer’s duty to submit all relevant documents to Parliament.
The financial statements and annual reports must represent the truthful condition of the organisation, regarding goals reached, disciplinary actions taken against perpetrators that caused losses through misconduct, and the amount of losses, the losses that were recovered or written off, and any other important issues.
The annual financial targets that the accounting officers have to plan have to consist of month-by-month target, respectively, regarding income and expenses, and afterwards the real figures have to be given through, 15 days after the end of the month to the relevant treasury and executive authority, for each month to compare targets opposed to what was accomplished, and reasons for the difference in numbers, keeping in mind the rest of the financial year’s targets, and monthly budgets. If the accounting officer is not capable of submitting the statements, he/she must send the reasons in a written report to the relevant treasury and executive authority.
Accounting officers are obligated to send the relevant documents to the relevant treasury and Auditor-General as they request or require certain documents.
When assets are moved from the department or organisation, internally or externally, the accounting officer has to create a list of all the assets, and all other relevant files, and a copy of the documents have to be sent to the receiving accounting officer, and both sets of documents must be signed by both accounting officers, and copies of the files must be sent to the relevant treasury and Auditor-General, within 14 days of the relocation of the assets.
The accounting officer has the right to start a voting to save money for the department or organisation, except if the main division voted on a specific amount, or if the assets are going to be transferred in the future, or it regards money that is supposed to pay of other expenses, or the relevant treasury disagrees with the proposal. A report describing the savings proposal must be submitted by the accounting officer to the relevant treasury.
An accounting officer may, delegate his/her responsibilities or authority to a college, but the college will be have limited responsibilities and authority as compelled by the accounting officer or relevant treasury, but the college will not take away the responsibilities or authority of the accounting officer, and the accounting officer still has the last say in what actions need to be taken, not the college.
All other officials in the organisation are also responsible for the organisation’s actions, conduct and performance. Their primary objectives are to give relevant, reliable, and credible financial and operational information, make effective and efficient use of the organisation’s resources, safeguard the organisation’s assets, comply with laws, regulations, ethical and business norms, and contracts, and lastly they have to identify risk exposures and create effective strategies to control risks.