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Delegation of Authority and Signature Authorization

Department heads have authority over and accountability for the funds in their department budgets. Department heads must follow specific guidelines to delegate this authority to other employees.

Who can authorize expenditure of department funds?

  • Department heads can authorize the spending of department funds.
  • Department heads can also delegate signature authority for departmental funds to other employees. These employees must:
    • Be directly involved in the transaction
    • Have a working knowledge of UCSD's budget process
    • Understand UCSD's electronic processes and forms related to expenditures
    • Have the authority to prohibit expenditures if necessary

Note: Employees who have been delegated authority to approve expenditures cannot approve payments to themselves, nor can they delegate their authority to other employees.

How can department heads delegate spending authority to other employees?

Which transactions can be completed by employees with delegated authority?

After a formal signature authorization has been documented, an employee with delegated authority can complete these transactions:

Note: Employees who have been delegated authority to approve expenditures cannot approve payments to themselves, nor can they delegate their authority to other employees.

How are alternate approvers assigned?

An alternate authorization establishes a secondary method of approval so:

  • Financial transactions can be processed at times when the primary signature authority is unavailable
  • Employees with signature authority don't authorize their own reimbursements, entertainment, or travel expenses.
  • Employees don't authorize entertainment expenses for a direct superior
To establish alternates in the BUMT, department heads should assign multiple approvers for each business unit. To establish alternates in MyTravel, department heads should assign multiple approvers following the IFIS approval hierarchy for travel authorization. Multiple IFIS approval templates may be created as needed.

Note: Employees selected as alternates to authorize financial transactions should be academic vice-chairs, staff members in the professional series, or staff holding other comparable positions.

What happens when delegation of authority changes?

A departmental delegation of authority may change when employees:
  • Change positions entirely
  • Increase or decrease their responsibilities
  • Terminate their employment with UCSD

Department heads must notify their BUMT Administrator when changes in delegation of authority occur, so the approver can be removed and replaced.

Notice: Accounting Manual D22-4-17: Delegation of Authority and Signature Authorization is the source for this policy.

Note: this page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/approval