Skip to content
  • Print

Expenditure Authorization

Revised: July 1, 2010

Also refer to Signature Authority Policy

Table of Contents

Signature Authority Policy
Expenditure Authorization Policy
Types of Expenditures
Approving Signature Defined
Responsible Official Defined
Approver's Responsibilities
Limitations on Signature Authority
Prepaid Expenses
Related Policies
Additional Information



Signature Authority Policy

All expenditures are subject to the Signature Authorization Policy.

Expenditure authorization policy

Authorization for expenditures is specifically delegated to certain University personnel (i.e., president, vice presidents, deans, department chairs, directors, principal investigators, business managers etc.). Expenditures are authorized via an approving signature.

Note: If the expenditure is related to a grant, authorization must be routed through Office of Sponsored Programs (Post Award Manager).

Types of expenditures

Types of expenditures include, but are not limited to:

  • expenses charged to operating budgets through the procurement cycle (see Procurement Policy),
  • salary expenses (See Payroll Policy),
  • payments for services (independent contractors),
  • travel expenses (See Travel Policy), and
  • renovations to facilities (see Renovations to Facilities Policy).

Approving signature defined

Signature of responsible University official.

Note: Specimen signatures must be submitted annually to both Accounts Payable and the Payroll Departments on respective signature authorization forms available from each department.

Responsible official defined

The responsible official is the individual specifically delegated to authorize expenditures for a specific budget unit within the University in accordance with the Signature Authority Policy and related Business Policies and Procedures. Individuals may be delegated to authorize only certain types of expenditures (i.e., operating expenses but not salary expenses).

Approver's responsibilities

Approvers must ensure that there are no conflicts of interest and that expenditures are:

  • properly supported by original receipts and invoices,
  • reasonable and necessary,
  • correctly coded to the proper account(s),
  • consistent with established University policies, and
  • consistent with sponsor or donor restrictions (where applicable).

Limitations on signature authority

The following are limitations on signature authority:

  • No person may authorize (approve) his/her own expense reimbursement.
  • No person may authorize (approve) the expense reimbursement of an individual to whom he/she reports either directly or indirectly.
  • No person may authorize (approve) any payroll or personnel form that affects his/her salary.
  • No person may authorize (approve) any payroll or personnel form that affects the salary of an individual to whom he/she reports either directly or indirectly.

Prepaid expenses

Expenses > $20,000 that span multiple fiscal years will be prorated between fiscal years. The amounts benefiting subsequent fiscal year will be reported as prepaid expenses.

Exception: Athletic expenditures are not subject to the $20,000 threshold in order to comply with NCAA requirements.

Related policies

Signature Authority Policy, Entertainment Policy, Payroll Policy, Procurement Policy, Renovations to Facilities Policy, Travel Policy.

Additional information

Contact Accounts Payable for additional information.

Back to Top