Best Practices – Selected Areas of CSN Operations
Consistency, Efficiency & Effectiveness
Do It Right the First Time and You Won’t Have to Do It Again!
Consistency means producing the desired result every time. Finished work by consistent employees means auditors do not find contradictions from standards when they test finished work and standards. Incorporating quality into consistency gives auditors little to take exception to.
Efficient procedures help make your work easier because they eliminate duplicate efforts, reduce waste, and usually mean jobs are done earlier. Auditors are prone to measure the ratio of input to output to identify waste.
Effective employees produce desired results. Effectiveness means getting the right things done. It means employees are accurate and that they complete their tasks. Auditors test operations routinely for work that is not accurate and/or not complete.
Best practice is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive, or reward which conventional wisdom regards as more effective, more efficient, and more consistent at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc., when applied to a particular condition or circumstance.
Best practices can also be defined as the most efficient and effective way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people.
Auditors frequently research other institutions for how they accomplish tasks and requirements and compare their operations to yours. You can do the same thing any time you have questions as to how your job might be made better and certainly, well in advance of an audit.
Misuse of CSN Resources and Safeguarding Assets
Best practices are usually stated as “how to” do something but in some cases “how not to” is more easily defined. That may be the case for ensuring CSN resources (time, property and equipment) are used for CSN benefit. Essentially, employees may not use CSN resources to benefit their personal or financial interest. However, restricted conditions exist whereby limited use of CSN resources is allowed if the use does not interfere with the performance of an employee’s duties, the cost and value related to the use is nominal, and the use does not create the appearance of impropriety or of NSHE endorsement. Personal use shall not interfere with official institutional use. Personal use of NSHE time, property, equipment, or other facility must be approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor. If the institution or unit incurs a cost as a result of a use that is authorized pursuant to this policy or would ordinarily charge a member of the public for the use, the employee shall promptly reimburse the cost or pay the charge. An employee who intentionally or negligently damages NSHE property, equipment, or other facility shall be held responsible for the resultant expense.
Some employees have been known to read the above paragraph and conclude that supervisory permission for use of a CSN resource overrides all other requirements, but that is not the case. In other words, even with supervisory approval, the use must still be limited, the cost and value related to the use must be nominal, the use cannot create the appearance of impropriety or of NSHE endorsement, and personal use shall not interfere with official institutional use of the resource.
If you have questions about using CSN resources for something that may be perceived as person or financial interest, please take of a copy of the section from the Board of Regents Handbook, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 25 to your supervisor and discuss the issue. If questions or doubts still exist, please refer your question up the chain of command to your director, department head, dean, or VP. If you are not comfortable using that chain of command or have reasons to suspect someone in that chain of being involved with or associated with someone who is misusing CSN resources, please contact CSN internal audit.
Cash handling is always interesting to auditors. Here are a few of the requirements for handling cash at CSN:
1. Safeguarding revenue and receipts prior to official deposit is the responsibility of the department.
2. In every department a minimum two individuals divide the responsibilities of the management of receipting, depositing and handling of all cash in every department.
3. At no time should a student worker be used for primary cash accountability responsibilities.
4. Student workers may collect payments under the supervision and accountability of a full time permanent staff member.
5. Student workers may make departmental deposits if someone other than the student verified and filled out the deposit form to take to a Cashier’s Office. The student worker should ensure the amounts indicated on the departmental deposit are balanced against actual deposit items.
6. The function of handling or collecting cash should always be separated from the recording of cash in any type of official receipting performed by the department.
7. All deposits must be counted once by a departmental Cash Custodian and once by another individual to ensure the accuracy of the deposit before it is hand delivered to the Cashier’s Office for deposit.
8. Only authorized personnel are permitted to handle cash and must have attended mandatory cash handling training.
9. Each department head or Cash Custodian must maintain a listing of all employees (including students) who are performing cash handling duties.
10. All checks and money orders will be restrictively endorsed immediately upon receipt to the Board of Regents, College of Southern Nevada including CSN’s account number and bank name among other information.
11. CSN’s internal auditors can audit any department’s cash handling without advance notice.
12. For further guidance on cash handling, see the Cash and Payment Handling Operations Policies and Procedures document available at http://www.csn.edu/pages/1722.asp.
Be familiar with all of the policies, procedures, laws and regulations governing your job at CSN. These may include the following:
- State of Nevada Administrative Code.
- The Nevada System of Higher Education Handbook.
- CSN’s Policies and Procedures.
- Your Department’s Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Operating Practices.
Ask your supervisor, manager, director, chair, dean and others if you have questions.