Refunding Control - Risky Business

Risk Car Crash

In a recent blog post, we covered compliance as it relates to refund management. Today, we are covering the cousin of compliance- the related but distinct topic of ‘control’. So, what’s the difference between the two?

Whereas compliance involves procedures and standards that are required to be performed by regulation, controls are procedures and standards that you should perform to meet the control and risk mitigations of your institution. It’s kind of like car insurance- you’re required to have car insurance to operate a car in most states- that’s the compliance part. However, the limits on the car insurance vary. In order to financially protect yourself from uninsured motorists, you should have specific levels of coverage (that’s the control part).

Compliance requirements are a necessary part of your control environment, however, they are often insufficient all by themselves to properly manage risk and optimize performance.

When moving thousands of dollars to students as refunds, your control standards should be quite high. Refund management represents a significant compliance, financial, fraud, and reputation risk to your institution. You should evaluate your processes on a regular basis to make sure your internal controls are sufficient to meet your specific objectives. In addition, you should test your controls periodically to make sure they are operating effectively. Tests can be performed by either an internal group or outside auditors. In either case, there should be documentary (hardcopy or electronic) evidence of the control.

Our new free eBook, the 5 Steps to Better Refund Processing (The 5Cs), can help serve as a guide to developing a comprehensive, student-friendly, refunding program in a compliant manner.

Free eBook - Five Critical Components You Need to Build a Better Refund Program

EbookThis document gives you an actionable template to guide you through a comprehensive review of your process that leverages the collective experience of TMS and its client schools. In it you will learn how to apply the 5 C’s to make your process student friendly and keep you from getting bitten! The following Best Practices (5C’s) are covered in detail:

1. Choice
2. Communication
3. Compliance
4. Controls
5. Cost




1 NACUBO Offers Debit Card Best Practices, January 2013

2U.S. PIRG, The Campus Debit Card Trap – May 2012

By: Craig Lockwood, Managing Director, Product Strategy

Craig Lockwood, President, TMS

Looking for more? Check out our library of resources.

Get Started