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Delegation of Financial Signing Authority Policy

I.    Purpose

Toronto Metropolitan University (the “University”) is committed to effective and efficient management of the University’s finances. The purpose of this policy is to:

·         establish the principles that govern the delegation of financial authority;

·         support accountability in financial transactions;

·         support open, fair and transparent management of University financial activities.

II.    Introduction

Ensuring only those University employees with appropriate approval and accountability are authorized to approve financial transactions is an important part of the University’s commitment to the responsible stewardship of University resources.

A delegation of financial signing authority:

·         assigns the authority and responsibility to approve financial transactions;

·         facilitates efficient decision-making and ensures that actions and decisions are taken by appropriate approval levels;

·         ensures that transactions are executed as intended and in accordance with applicable law, regulations and University policy;

·         maintains fiscal integrity and creates a sound internal control environment.

III.    Scope

·         This Policy applies to all employees who wish to delegate their financial signing authority to another employee.

·         This Policy does not apply to or include financial signing authority for Human Resources activities (e.g. hiring and compensation).

IV.    Definitions

The “Board”: The Board of Governors of the University

“University”: Toronto Metropolitan University

“Financial Services”: The University’s Financial Services department

“To delegate”: To assign someone the power to act, to make decisions, or to allocate resources on one’s behalf

“Delegator”: The person who is delegating their financial authority

“Delegated Individual”: A University employee with delegated authority in accordance with this policy

“Director”: Pertains to the university’s Approval Authority Schedule (AAS). To be interpreted as individuals with the title of “Director”, reporting directly to a Vice President, and with a maximum approval limit of $100,000.

 "Employee": An individual employed by the University and paid via the University’s payroll, including all faculty (including researchers) and staff.

“Peer”: An individual who shares similar title, grade and/or responsibilities. This can include another faculty member in a department. For Chairs/Directors, this can include a Chair/Director in another school within the same faculty.

“Down 1 Level”: A position that reports directly to the delegator.

“Up any number of levels”: A position to which the delegator or their manager reports.

“Appointed Approver Approach”: The process whereby an employee reporting to an approver accesses the financial system under his or her own ID and password, and approves specific transactions as authorized by the approver.

V.    Policy

1.  Delegation of Financial Signing Authority Documents

All permanent delegations of financial signing authority will be in writing. See Procedure for delegation form.

All temporary delegations of financial signing authority will be done online. See Procedure for options.

2.  Allowable Delegations of Financial Signing Authority

(a)   Authority, Accountability and Responsibility is conferred upon employees by the Toronto Metropolitan University Act and Bylaws, a resolution of the Board, or as a result of the budget process.

Authority and Responsibility can be delegated, but Accountability cannot. The accountability for the results and manner in which responsibilities and authority are discharged remains with the individual to whom the responsibility and authority was originally conferred.

(b)   All individuals delegated financial signing authority must be an employee of the University. Non-university personnel such as consultants, visiting professors, etc. cannot be assigned ANY approval authority.

(c)   Financial signing authority resides with a “position”, not the individual, and unless otherwise specified, extends to any person acting in that position.

(d)   A delegation of financial authority to an individual also confers authority on that individual’s supervisor.

(e)   Financial signing authority can be delegated to a “peer”, “down 1 level” or up any number of levels” and can only be exercised for the cost centres/accounts and within the dollar limits for which the delegator has responsibility.

(f)    Approvers who do not personally electronically approve transactions can elect to utilize an “appointed approver approach”, permitting an employee reporting to the approver to access the financial system under his or her own ID and password to approve specific transactions based on the granted approval. The “Appointed Approver” must retain the transaction approval files (with the Approver’s signature) for a period of 7 years.

(g)   The use of signature stamps or pre-signed forms is not acceptable.

3.    Types of Delegation

There are two (2) types of financial signing authority delegation:

(a)    Temporary:

Delegation of authority is permitted during the temporary absence (vacation or leave) of an employee with permanent authority. The delegated individual receives all of the authority and limits of the delegator. The approval of the delegator’s immediate manager is not required.

Note: Temporary delegation of financial signing authority should not be assigned for a period greater than three (3) months.

(b)    Permanent:

Employees may delegate some or all of their financial signing authority to another employee for an indeterminate period of time. The approval of the delegator’s immediate manager is required.

4.    Personal Benefit

(a)     Individuals with financial signing authority (including those delegated) cannot approve a transaction that personally benefits them, including their own reimbursement expense claim or the reimbursement expense claim of an individual to whom they report.

(b)     Financial signing authority cannot be delegated to an individual if, in doing so, the delegated individual will personally benefit or if it otherwise creates a conflict of interest.

5.    Changing or Revoking Delegation

Any person with accountability over a specific area or activity has the right to revoke or change previously delegated financial signing authorities and limits at any time.

6.     Precedence of External Agencies Delegation Policies

When funding is received from external agencies and their regulations for the delegation of signing authority are different than the University’s, their regulations take precedence.

VI.    Roles and Responsibilities

 Individuals are responsible for ensuring that:

·         They do not share their System IDs and password with any other individual.

·         Delegation of Financial Authority forms are properly completed and authorized.

·         Where an Appointed Approver Approach is elected, the Appointed Approver must ensure the transaction approval files are retained and accessible for audit for a period of 7 years.

Financial Services is responsible for ensuring that:

·         Forms containing the authorization of the Delegation of Financial Authority are maintained.

·         All Delegations of Financial Responsibility are recorded in the University’s financial systems.

VII.    Jurisdiction

This policy falls under the jurisdiction of the Vice President, Administration and Finance. The interpretation and application of this policy is the responsibility of the Chief Financial Officer.

VIII.    Next Review Date

This policy is subject to review every three (3) years.