Accounting Home | Webster University
Accounting Home | Webster University

Welcome to the Accounting Department

The University Accounting Office, part of the Finance and Administration Division, is responsible for the integrity of the University's financial records and systems and for assuring that the transactions entered into the University's general ledger are recorded in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and the accounting policies of the University. This includes managing internal controls to mitigate risk; ensuring that the official accounting records of the University are up-to-date and accurate; safeguarding the assets of the University to minimize the risk of financial loss; and providing financial information that supports the University's strategic management initiatives.

University's Accounting Cycle

The University's fiscal year begins on June 1 and ends on May 31. The Accounting Office divides the year into monthly accounting periods and generates reports for each accounting period.

General Accounting Overview

  • Establish the University's accounting calendar and facilitate the monthly closing schedules for the domestic and international campuses
  • Daily monitoring and verifying of the accuracy of the Accounting System to protect the integrity of financial records
  • Processing journal vouchers submitted by departments, reconcile all University MasterCard/Visa and Discover accounts, reconcile all University cash accounts, record incoming and out-going wires, and record and process returned checks
  • Prepare work papers, reports, and analysis related to the University's domestic and consolidated operations for internal and external audits
  • Develop reconciliation processes and procedures that ensure effective integration of financial transactions
  • Oversee the accounting and substantiation requirements of the University's purchasing card system
  • Coordinate scheduling, processing, and other activities related to the year-end closeout process in preparation for the new fiscal year
  • Establish accounts for new users of the Accounting System by determining appropriate access
  • Provide technical assistance to users of the Accounting System by answering questions regarding accounting activities, transaction processing and report generation
  • Document internal controls

Financial Reporting Overview

  • Prepare University financial reports, including monthly Board reports; internal responsibility reports; external local, state, and federal grant reports; and the external audit report as prepared in accordance with FASB 116 and 117
  • Prepare various other reports to donors and outside agencies
  • Research and resolve accounting and reporting financial issues, and analyzing the effect of new accounting guidance on the University
  • Provide a high level monitoring control of all University financial activity through the preparation and analysis of University and division level reporting and analysis
  • Prepare income and expense projections and compare projections with actual results

Endowment and Grant Funds Accounting Overview

  • Establish new funds; endowments, student loans, expendable gifts, and building funds
  • Calculate and distribute investment gains and losses to individual endowment fund accounts to provide account managers with accurate data, as well as, to satisfy donor stipulations
  • Approve all purchase documents for grant programs and assure items purchased are permitted by grant regulations, that an authorized person has requested them, and that accounting codes are correct
  • Provide financial reports and data in order to prepare surveys and other external/internal reporting requirements
  • Research and prepare financial historical analysis of endowment and restricted funds
  • Process donated security gifts
  • Formulate the indirect cost rate proposal submitted to the appropriate federal agency to recover the University's indirect costs in relation to government gifts and contracts
  • Facilitate federal award reconciliations and program cash management

Gift Accounting Overview

  • Manage the accounting process of trust assets, analyze gift agreements, wills, trusts documents and related information to prepare contribution, trusts & annuity entries to general ledger accounts
  • Monitor, perform analysis, and make accounting entries to record outstanding pledges, discounts and allowances, as well as, any payments on prior year pledges in accordance with GAAP guidelines
  • Work in conjunction with the Development Office to monitor the accounting for all gifts

Plant & Property Accounting Overview

  • Perform accounting, analysis, and monitoring related to capital project accounts and the University's external debt
  • Establish guidance for capital management, facilities, and University departments on capital and debt accounting issues
  • Manage property accounting transactions for all the University's fixed assets and the fixed asset sub-ledgers, to and including physical inventory tagging, depreciation, and capitalization in accordance with the University's policy
  • Manage debt service obligations and prepare debt service indenture reports and provide the external auditors with the schedules related to the Plant Fund

Tax Accounting Overview

  • Prepare the annual return of the University's federal form 990 and 990T reporting, as well as, the related state tax reporting
  • Act as a resource to the University community for tax issues and advise on University policy and procedure development with respect to tax issues
  • Analyze tuition remission for taxable vs. non-taxable benefits