Signature Authority

Chapter 2

Section: 2:210

Signature Authority

Adopted:  05/2005
Revised:  08/17/2016

Responsible Office
Division of Finance


Only authorized individuals may commit the University to purchase, sell, lease, or other arrangements with external parties. Any employee who makes such a commitment without proper authorization may be personally liable for the transaction.

Expanded definition and information for this policy is available under Resources below.


The following procedures assist with ensuring compliance with the above policy:

Contracting Authority

  • For the Columbia campus, only the following offices have signature authority related to contracting a purchase, sale lease, or other contractual arrangements:
    • Office of the Chief Procurement Officer
    • Office of the Vice Chancellor Finance
    • Office of Sponsored Programs
  • Requisitions through the PeopleSoft purchasing system are approved by individuals who have been granted the security to do so.
  • Purchasing card transactions are approved by the designated approving officials for each card.

Other Transactions

For other transactions, such as non-PO vouchers, feeder systems, and Web Journal Entries, PS Web Authorizations identifies individuals having approval authority, as designated by the division business & finance officer.

Expenditures Benefiting an Employee

Expenditures that directly benefit an employee require the approval of the employee’s administrative superior. Types of expenditures requiring administrative superior approval include, but are not limited to:

  • Travel
  • Food or meals that are not part of travel
  • Registration fees, such as for a conference.
  • Membership dues in professional societies or associations or in social service, or civic clubs
  • Professional certification and licensure

Administrative Superior

The administrative superior must be either a supervisor of the employee or an appropriate administrative official. An appropriate administrative official must report to the administrative superior and cannot report to the employee. For example, a division business & finance officer who reports to a dean may be designated by the dean to provide administrative superior approvals. In no case may an employee approve his or her own expenses.


Cross References