University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Financial Competencies and Assessments

Reliable financial information is essential to effectively manage the business of the University and protect its assets. One of the most significant components for improving operational efficiencies and reducing risk is producing competent employees. Financial competence is defined as having the skill, knowledge, and ability to perform activities with a financial impact in compliance with relevant University and external requirements while maintaining fiscal integrity. All employees need to understand that their actions may have a financial impact on the University, and that they have a duty to perform those actions in a competent manner.

The goals of the Financial Competencies program are:

  • Communicate the University’s goals, principles, policies, and procedures to help employees identify how their work contributes meaningfully to the organization.
  • Address the responsibilities that employees have for managing the finances and reputation of the University.
  • Partner with business process owners (BPOs) to identify, develop, and apply employees' competencies as they relate to their job roles, responsibilities, and future career enhancement.
  • Continually analyze curriculum and delivery methods to ensure that learning and its application are effective and efficient.

Training Services partners with business process owners (BPOs) to identify, develop, and assess employees' competencies as they relate to job roles and responsibilities. There are six financial roles that every end user of the financial system fits into: Initiator/Requester, Preparer, Approver, Fiscal Monitor, Principal Investigator/Project Manager, Academic/Administrative Head.

Competencies have been identified for 14 high-risk financial activities: contracts for professional services, debt, cash receipts, vendor payments, accounts receivable, employee reimbursements, investments, sponsored billing and accounts receivable, employment, student finance, purchasing, accruals, regulatory cost accounting, and sponsored projects. High-risk financial activities have the potential to adversely impact the University’s reputation, are considered financially material at the University level, and involve extensive and complex compliance requirements.

For more information, review the University of Minnesota Code of Conduct.