Disbursement Policy Updated March 2012
The Chief Financial Officer has delegated authority for the acquisition of goods and services and the expenditure of University monies to various University officers and officials (see Signature Delegation – Chief Financial Officer Policy) in accordance with the South Carolina Procurement Code. Pursuant to that policy, this Disbursement Policy gives further direction to establish a clear process for the authorization and approval for spending (buying and paying) University monies.
Given the numerous sources of funds and processes to spend University monies, this policy is not intended to give specific direction for every possible scenario, rather it will provide direction that can then be applied to different procurement actions (Purchase Orders, Contracts, Payment Request Form, Purchase Request Form and Procurement Cards, etc…) in accordance with those established processes.
When spending University monies, there are always two processes that must take place: buying and paying. These processes go hand-in-hand; you can’t have one without the other. As such, in this policy, the terms spend and disbursement refers to the whole buy/pay process.
Any disbursement of University monies requires one (1) authorized signature to commit funds and one (1) independent approval, accomplished by entering / approving the voucher, to approve payment of funds. Excessive signatures / approvals delay payments and add unnecessary work on multiple individuals. The following outlines the signature / approval process:
- Through delegated authority from the Division / College, department heads, or their designee, are the authorized approval authority for committing University funds. They are responsible for ensuring funds are available prior to commitment of funds, that the procurement has a business purpose necessary, and that the procurement is in compliance with established policies and procedures. Any designee of the department head will be documented in some manner detailing that designee’s authority. An example of a designee is each Procurement Card holder.
- The signature of an authorized individual is required for any disbursement. The authorization can be accomplished with a pre-approval form or a signature after goods are received. An example of a pre-approval is a requisition for a Purchase Order or a departmental specific form. Receiving must be completed in buyWays to acknowledge actual receipt of goods or services for all purchases made in buyWays. Using the "receipt" process in buyWays, users are required to enter only quantities or amounts that have actually been received and they are approving payment for. To complete the approval to pay process, an invoice for each purchase must also be entered in buyWays. For vendors submitting electronic invoices directly into buyWays, this step is automated. For certain circumstances, such as those in Sponsored Programs or other restricted funds, special approval authorization may be granted to individuals with specific controls, such as the Principal Investigator (PI) or fund administrator who are authorized to spend monies related to a specific project. In these instances, specific departmental or University policies and procedures serve as documentation for appointing these individuals as designees of the department head.
- Departments will also designate individuals for procurement roles in buyWays. Do not change chartfield strings nor approved monies when entering an invoice in buyWays where the approval has already been obtained.
- In instances where the approved signature authority is requesting a personal reimbursement for expenses (i.e. as in the case of a travel reimbursement), the signature of the employee's & supervisor or supervisor’s designee is also required.
Unauthorized Purchases — Only persons authorized in writing by individual departments may commit University funds to purchase/pay goods or services. If an unauthorized person attempts to commit University funds, Clemson may consider the acquisition effort null and void and decline to pay any invoice that might be issued. Clemson officers, including the Chief Business Officer, the Procurement Director, and others with delegated authority, may refuse to ratify such transactions. In such a case, the supplier may look to the individual placing the order for payment or reimbursement.