The person responsible for an account is the person authorized to approve expenditures against that account. For example department heads automatically have signing authority against departmental accounts as do principal investigators against their research accounts.
Persons responsible for accounts can authorize other university personnel to sign on their behalf. A person to whom such authority has been delegated can not delegate it to someone else.
Any payment to an individual or any accounting for an advance to an individual cannot be approved solely by that individual but must be countersigned by a person at a higher level in the organization than the individual being paid (i.e. a department head, director, associate dean, etc.) who has had signing authority delegated to them.
Specimen signatures of persons with signing authority are held within Financial Services.Generally, documents received for processing that are not properly authorized will be returned to the originator, though in some circumstances verbal authorization may be sought.
Some internal charges for services provided (postal, telephone, computing, etc.) are made directly to University accounts. These charges may not have been properly authorized but are processed on the basis that any errors will be reversed.