Signature Authority for Internal Transactions

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 10.2(4)
Reviewed and Updated: July 1, 2019
Contact: Controller's Department


This policy applies only to transactions conducted between a buying unit and a selling unit, both of which are within Iowa State University. This policy does not apply to contracts and other agreements with external entities or employees.

Committing university funds requires knowledge of and compliance with Board of Regents and university policies. Signature authority for authorizing and approving financial transactions, whether in written form or in electronic systems, should vest in persons possessing sound administrative judgment and knowledge of the transactions and the department.

Policy Statement

Transactions conducted within the university may be made only under the authority of a responsible administrator or the administrator's delegate.

Many department chairs and directors find it necessary to delegate approval authority to other individuals either during an absence or permanently. The individual to whom authority has been delegated must sign his or her own name or be an approved delegate in Workday Finance. 

If necessary for the receiver's understanding or acceptance, the signer may write "signer" for "delegator" (for example, "Jane Doe for Mary Smith"). In some cases, the receiver may wish to confirm that the dean/department chair/director has indeed delegated signature authority to the signer. It is not acceptable for the delegated signer to sign the name of the dean/department chair/director as if it were her/his own (for example, Jane Doe may not sign "Mary Smith" or "Mary Smith/JD"). When someone other than the dean/department chair/director has signed, it should be apparent that the dean/department chair/director was not the signer.

Workday Finance requires delegation of inbox transactions for the cost center manager role to be reviewed and approved by business unit manager role.  Likewise, delegation of inbox transactions for business unit manager roles must be approved by their supervisory manager role.  When emergency delegations are required and the individual requesting the delegation is not available, the system update must be requested from a Workday security administrative role.