Financial Management Policies

VI Financial Management Policies      

Accounting Procedures
Budget Preparation
Competitive Bids
Mail Services
Work Orders 
Campus Facilities
Use of College Equipment
Emergency Response Plan


Each institution shall operate within available resources and shall maintain adequate operational balances as defined by the Chancellor and reported to the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees to ensure the financial stability of the institution.


The Financial Management Procedures Manual for the Alabama Community College System shall be used by all institutions. The Chancellor shall revise and maintain the manual as needed to comply with generally accepted accounting procedures, good business practices, Board policy, and applicable laws.


The fiscal operation of the College is conducted on the basis of an annual budget for the fiscal year October 1 through September 30.  Each annual budget is based on the annual budget appropriations approved by the Alabama Legislature.  The President is responsible for the approval of the annual budgets, as prepared and presented by the chief financial officer.  All college employees have an opportunity to assist in the preparation of the annual budget through implementation of the following process.

  1. Each employee is to complete the budget request forms which are distributed annually, arrange requests by priority, and justify them.  Submit this information to the appropriate department chairperson or supervisor by the specified date.
  2. Department chairpersons and supervisors, after receiving budget requests, are to prepare divisional/departmental budget requests and submit them to the appropriate dean by the specified time.  All capital requests must be specified and justified.
  3. The deans then compile and submit the requests to the Vice President of Fiscal and Administrative Services who will develop a draft budget and submit to the President.
  4. Budgets will be returned to the deans for necessary revisions.
  5. The President approves the final budget and sends to the Alabama Community College System Office for approval.
  6. The approved budget is disseminated to the appropriate college employees.


Exhibit B-1 shows a flow chart for budget preparation.





Department chairs, directors, and deans authorize the acquisition of instructional supplies and equipment.  Request forms are available electronically through the Employee Web Portal link on the College website and must be approved by the appropriate director, chairperson, or dean.  Requisitions for amounts less than $15,000 should be prepared in the following manner:

  1. The budget center/department should be specified.
  2. Campus and address should be specified.
  3. A vendor should be specified.
  4. Description should be spelled out in sufficient detail and should indicate the type of items or services being purchased.
  5. Account number in the budget center/department should be selected.
  6. Departmental budget accounts should be checked to determine if balances are sufficient to cover the request.
  7. A price should be entered in all cases and that price should be sufficient to cover the cost.  A purchase order can be paid for a lower amount but the price cannot be increased.
  8. Requisitions when submitted will be electronically routed to the appropriate dean(s) or director(s) for approval.  Major purchases will be approved by the President.
  9. Once a requisition is fully approved, it will be automatically assigned a purchase order number and that number will be emailed to the requestor.


For requisitions exceeding $15,000, competitive bids must be invited.  The following information should be provided to the Assistant Accountant for Purchasing who prepares and submits bids.

  1. Specifications
  2. At least three prospective vendors
  3. Delivery date required.

Competitive bids will be invited from parties specified and any other vendors who have asked to be placed in the college bid file or any other known responsible bidder.


In-state Travel

Approval for in-state travel must be secured prior to travel.  Travel request forms for in-state travel must be submitted to the appropriate supervisor for approval before final certification by the Business Office that funds are available.

Out-of-state Travel

Requests for out-of-state travel must include total estimated cost of trip, source of funds, and purpose of travel.  Out-of-state travel must be submitted to the President 15 calendar days before departure.

Pre-payment of travel payments may be made directly to a vendor, i.e., commercial transportation and conference registration.

Travel for Professional Development

Approval of out-of-state travel for professional development activities for groups of three or more persons from a single college or ten or more persons from various colleges must be approved by the ACCS Board of Trustees.

Southern Union State Community College supports its employees’ participation in local, regional, and national professional meetings.

Travel Between Work Sites

Definition of Base.   The base is defined as the location at which the majority of one’s workload is assigned.  If one’s work is evenly divided between two locations, the President will determine the employee’s base.  A base is defined by an Attorney General’s opinion (88-00039) to include the city limits of the location of one’s base.  Thus, per diem is reimbursable only when traveling outside base limits.  

Personnel are assigned a base upon employment.  Position changes may require a change in base assignment.  Instructors are assigned a base for each term as determined by their teaching assignment and other duties.

First and Second Trip Travel.   First trip travel is defined as the first travel of the working day to any work location.  Personnel making first trip travel to a regularly, routinely scheduled non-base work location must travel from their assigned base in order to be reimbursed for mileage.  Travel is not paid to the first work assignment of the day unless traveling from a base location.  In order to be reimbursed for travel to a non-routinely scheduled, non-base work site, personnel must travel from the base or a prior approved base.  Use of the state vehicle is required when available.  Car pooling is required as assigned by the appropriate dean.

Second trip travel is defined as the second trip of any work day from any work site to any other non-base work site for the purpose of routinely scheduled work.  Second trip travel is reimbursed from base to non-base and return; from base to non-base and return home (if closer than base); from home (if closer than base) to non-base and return home; from non-base to non-base and return; from non-base to non-base and return home (if closer than point of origin of travel).  Car pooling is required as assigned by the appropriate dean.

Meal Allowance.  Attorney General Opinion No. 2015-022 applies to two-year college employees and states that employees are not entitled to a meal allowance if a meal is provided to the employee free of charge. 


Travel Reimbursement

In-State per diem.

  • Mileage rates paid to persons traveling in privately owned vehicles on official business for the college is 58 cents per mile effective January 1, 2019.
  • Per diem rates are $12.75 for travel from 6 to 12 hours
  • Per diem rates are $34 if the trip is over 12 hours but not overnight
  • Per diem rates are $85 per day for overnight trips ($170 for one overnight)
  • Per diem rates are $100.00 per day for overnight trips of two or more nights ($300 for two overnights)
  • Any miscellaneous expenses such as parking fees require a receipt for reimbursement


In-State actual.

  • Actual expenses will be paid where the employee attends a function where dues were paid by either the employee or the college.  The employee must provide documentation that they are a dues paying member of the organization if the membership was individual.  This form of travel reimbursement follows the same rules as out-of-state travel, so refer to the out-of-state section below.


  • Mileage rates paid to persons traveling in privately owned vehicles on official business for the college is 58 cents per mile effective January 1, 2019. 
  • Airline travel is actual rates and requires receipts.
  • Lodging rates are actual expenses and requires receipts. 
  • Incidentals are allowed at $5.00 per day and do not require receipts.
  • Any miscellaneous expenses such as parking fees require a receipt for reimbursement.
  • Meals are limited based on the city visited and DO NOT REQUIRE RECEIPTS.  The 2019 tier chart appears below.  Determine the appropriate city tier by using this link at the State Comptroller’s website


Forms for reimbursement of travel expenses are available on the College employee intranet.  Online map mileage should be provided as documentation of miles traveled.  Further explanation of the State and college rules and regulations regarding in-state and out-of-state travel may be obtained from the Business Office or college travel/leave coordinator(s).


Mail is distributed daily to faculty and administrative mailboxes in designated campus locations.  Official outgoing mail should be delivered to the Wadley Information Office prior to 2:30 p.m. or to the Opelika Campus Information Office prior to 3:30 p.m.  All official mail must be sent in envelopes printed with the College’s return address.  The use of the college postal meter for personal use is prohibited.


All requests for maintenance and repair, furniture and equipment requirements, and changes to facilities, as well as reports of deficiencies in buildings and equipment, should be reported through use of a work order obtainable electronically through the Faculty Intranet link on the College website. 


Faculty Offices 

Offices are assigned by the Instructional Deans in consultation with department chairs and affected faculty.  Faculty are expected to ensure that offices are maintained properly and to report any maintenance problems to the appropriate Instructional Dean.


Classrooms are assigned by the Instructional Deans on the basis of anticipated section size.  Should the classroom furnishings and equipment need to be rearranged, contact the appropriate dean who will coordinate approved requests with the Vice President of Financial and Administrative Services. Faculty are requested to leave the classroom in an orderly condition and, in an effort to conserve energy, turn off all lights when leaving.


Changing classrooms must be cleared through the appropriate dean.

Meeting Rooms

Use of facilities on each campus should be scheduled with the individual(s) listed below:

  1. Wadley Campus - Campus Information Office
  2. Opelika Campus  - Administrative Assistant to the President
  3. Valley Campus - Campus Coordinator


Food and Drinks

Food and drinks are permitted in designated areas on each campus.  They are not permitted in classrooms and/or labs.

Food Service

  1. Wadley 
    The Wadley Campus Dining Hall serves fifteen meals (Mon-Fri) or seventeen meals (Sun-Sat) weekly to resident students.  Meals are also available at minimal price to commuting students, faculty, and staff.  Students living in residence halls are required to purchase a meal ticket.  Meal tickets are non-transferable. It is required that meal tickets be presented at each meal.  Food or equipment is not to be taken from the  Dining Hall.
  2. Opelika
    The Opelika Campus Student Union is open Monday - Thursday providing breakfast snacks and a lunch meal.
  3. Valley 
    Vending services are available  in the student break room.

Use of college equipment

Each instructor is responsible for the department to which he/she is assigned, including all tools and equipment issued to that department.  No one shall use a department or its equipment without prior permission from the instructor who is responsible and/or the dean.  Using college equipment and/or supplies for private gain is prohibited.

All classroom, laboratory, and audio-visual equipment and materials are for the purpose of instruction at the College.  Occasionally, however, the use of college materials and equipment in the interest of serving the community may be worthwhile.  Requests for permission to do so should be submitted to the Director of the Learning Resource Center and/or the Vice President of Fiscal and Administrative Services, setting forth the purpose, need, and benefit to the community.  No college equipment or materials should be removed from the premises without expressed permission.

Equipment and furniture have been inventoried and assigned to a specific location.  If the need arises to relocate equipment, individuals are requested to contact the Director of Maintenance.  Requests for the purchase of furniture and equipment should be made in writing to the immediate supervisor and forwarded to the Business Office.  Problems related to damaged equipment should be reported to the immediate supervisor.

An inventory of all property is kept by the Business Office.  No equipment should be moved from one location to another until a work order approval is requested and secured.


Keys shall be issued to all personnel by the Maintenance Department.  No key may be duplicated.  Should a need for a duplicate key arise, the Director of Maintenance should be contacted.  All personnel are requested to secure doors when on the campus during non-business hours.


All staff members are required to use long distance exclusively for business calls and in no instance may employees use college long distance telephone services for personal use.


The college emergency response plan is available on the college website.