Internal controls and reporting procedures protect and maximize a Head Start program's federal award.
This General Accounting Office (GAO) executive guide describes the scope of erroneous payments in the federal government and identifies effective practices that federal agencies can implement to reduce improper payments. Head Start program staff and federal staff can review case illustrations based on the experiences of outside organizations to compare to their own practices. GAO identifies five components of effective internal control: control environment, risk assessment, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring. The executive guide suggests several key elements for successful monitoring of improper payments, including the need to tailor an agency's actions to its specific needs.
This tool gives audit committees basic information about internal control, effective use in the organization, and the requirements of management with respect to the system of internal control over financial reporting. The toolkit is useful for not-for-profit grantees to understand the basics of internal control. The primary responsibility of the audit committee with respect to internal control is the system of internal control over financial reporting.
The objectives of internal controls for cash disbursements are to ensure that cash is disbursed only upon proper authorization of management, for valid business purposes, and that all disbursements are properly recorded. Grantees will find this resource useful when maintaining internal control for cash disbursements.