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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

1.3.3 What Approving or Signing a Document Means

No employee has the authority to sign any document that binds or financially obligates the University unless such signature authority has been specifically delegated. That includes contracts and other agreements such as a Letter of Agreement (LOA), Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

Who can sign or approve business and financial documents is determined by the General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure (General Rules).

Sponsored projects and federal appropriated funds often require additional approvals to charge these types of funds. Requisitions, vouchers, and other business documents must have these additional approvals before submitting them for processing and payment.

When you sign or approve a paper or electronic document, in addition to the stated provisions (explicit representations), you are attesting to certain unstated provisions (implicit representations):

  • Although your unit head is ultimately responsible for the unit budget, you are responsible for ensuring that funds are available for the transaction.
  • The transaction is within the scope and limit of your signature authority as delegated by your unit head.
  • The transaction is for official University business, is reasonable and necessary, and complies with University, state, or federal regulations or agreements.
  • The amount of the transaction is, to the best of your knowledge, correct and complies with all University, state, or federal regulations.
  • You are not signing for your own payroll/benefits, travel, reimbursement, or other payment.
  • For payroll transactions:
    • You have first-hand knowledge or other documentation (for example, daily time reports approved by the supervisor) of the hours worked/benefits used.
    • The benefits used do not exceed the benefits to which the employee is entitled.

Signing for the receipt of a cash advance implies that the amount of the advance is reasonable and necessary for the conduct of University business and within the requirements for obtaining such advances, and that the advance will be cleared within 60 days of completion of the travel or event.

Last Updated: September 1, 2015 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: September 1, 2015

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