Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms Business Policies and Procedures Manual

Revised 10-09

For more information contact:
   Controller’s Office


Expenditure Authority


Expenditure Authority Delegation (also available in FileMaker format)


A department chair (or equivalent administrator) is responsible for supervision of departmental funds. This responsibility is subject to the approval of the college dean or other appropriate executive or principal administrative officer. (See the Faculty Manual for responsibilities of academic department chairs.)


Departments are responsible for notifying the Controller’s Office when a new individual occupies a department chair position.

Use the Expenditure Authority Delegation form for notification (Figure 1 shows an example). Provide the names of both past and present administrators.

Expenditure Authority Delegation Example
Figure 1


Expenditure authority includes the responsibility for approving (or not approving) various expenditure documents which obligate departmental funds, e.g., IRI, Departmental Requisition, purchasing card transaction, Departmental Order, State of Washington Invoice Voucher.

The scope of this authority does not include the following:

  • Appointment authority (authorization of personnel actions); see BPPM 60.10.
  • Travel (see BPPM 95.01).
  • Contracts between the University and outside entities (see BPPM 10.10).

Monitoring Authorized Signatures

Vendor departments, Purchasing, and the Controller’s Office do not accept expenditure documents unless the signature name is an authorized employee.

It is not acceptable to sign another’s name on an expenditure document and initial the signature.

Signatures are to include a written-out last name.
Acceptable examples: J.D. Abbott, James D. Abbott

Master Account Table

The Controller’s Office adds the names of administrators and designated employees who are currently authorized to sign expenditure documents to the online Master Account Table (MAT) which is available through the Account Balances/Detail Application. See BPPM 85.33 for authorization procedures to access Account Balances.

Executive and Principal Administrative Officers

An executive or principal administrative officer automatically has expenditure authority for any budget under his or her jurisdiction.


A department chair (or equivalent administrator) may delegate expenditure authority to other departmental personnel such as a departmental secretary, administrative assistant, or a principal investigator.

Only the administrator may delegate expenditure authority. A designated employee may not delegate authority to another employee.


An administrator may limit the authority by dollar amount and expenditure type. This type of control is implemented by agreement between the administrator and the employee. Since the list of authorized personnel only includes names, vendor departments and the Purchasing Office cannot monitor these types of limits.

17A Accounts

See BPPM 70.33 for special requirements for delegating 17A expenditure authority for discretionary accounts. (Use the Expenditure Authority Delegation form described in this section to delegate 17A expenditure authority.)


Remove expenditure authority when it is no longer required, e.g., when an employee changes positions, moves to a new department, or leaves the University. See also BPPM 60.74.

Delegation Form

Complete an Expenditure Authority Delegation form to delegate or remove expenditure authority. Refer to Figure 1.

Route the completed form to the Controller’s Office; mail code 1025.