Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Going forward, how do you anticipate providing appropriate information with there being a wide range of knowledge and experience of staff in financial positions on campus?

A. We are currently in the planning stage for delivering additional training to campus financial staff. We recognize that there may be a wide range of knowledge and experience given the diversity of our campus. We hope to utilize the professional resources and expertise on campus to identify various training methods and content that will be applicable and relevant to staff.


Q. The information provided during the forum seems to be more relevant to the central campus and division levels, how does this impact me at the department level?

A. The COSO Internal Controls Framework identifies the importance of having internal controls at the entity, division, operating unit and function levels. The specific impact on each level will be identified during the process improvement projects and will play an important role in achieving the goal of having strong financial controls.


Q. How will the status of the individual APR projects and the overall Internal Controls Initiative be communicated to campus?

A. The Internal Controls Initiative website will be updated regularly with the status and details surrounding the individual APR projects. In addition, periodic emails about important events and milestones will be disseminated. Please also feel free to email with any questions and/or feedback regarding these projects.


Q. How will recent budget cuts and financial concerns across campus impact the Internal Controls Initiative?

A. The Internal Controls Initiative is sponsored by the Chancellor, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. The implementation of financial internal controls and fiscal best practices will help the university become better financial stewards by operating more efficiently and effectively, which is a priority within the UW-Madison Strategic Framework. We trust that our leadership will provide the resources for this initiative to be successful.


Q. What are Internal Controls?

A. Internal controls are the processes and policies by which an organization ensures that its resources are protected, its information is accurate and that it is compliant with laws and regulations. Strong internal controls help an organization manage and minimize risk.


Q. Why are we going through a whole process to develop internal controls - I thought we were just using the COSO Framework?

A. The COSO Internal Controls Framework outlines the general concepts and elements for financial controls, and it is an excellent structure for guiding our work. In application, however, the components of the COSO Framework need to be further defined to match the requirements of our organization. The process we are following will allow us to understand and apply the principles of strong financial controls to the best support UW-Madison's mission.


Q. Will there be another Financial Forum?

A. A 2nd annual UW-Madison Financial Forum was held on Monday, April 27, 2015 at Union South - Varsity Hall from 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Please visit the 2015 Financial Forum website for more information.


Q. Who is leading this initiative?

A. This initiative is sponsored by the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, with execution under the authority of Business Services. Administrative Process Redesign (APR) also plays key roles in project management of the initiative and business performance consultation on the process improvement projects.


Q. What will be the end-point or outcome of this initiative?

A. The end-point and outcome is still under development. With an undertaking of this scope, success will be a cornucopia of guidelines, processes, tools, proficiencies and metrics. We are not embarking with a goal of “implementing a new software package that does X” or “creating a document that defines Y.” Rather, the vision points us to setting a higher standard for all financial processes across campus. Our methodical approach to uncovering opportunities and the right solutions will ultimately define where the journey will take us.