Delegates (Appointed by FFM/PI)

Definition

Fund Financial Managers (FFMs) and Principal Investigators (PIs) can delegate their approval authority for financial transactions.

A Delegate is an administrative or support staff member involved in the ongoing financial management of their fund(s) with the skill and knowledge necessary for the effective exercise of the authority.

For Tri-Agency grants (NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC, CRC), please note the following:

  • Delegates may not be implemented for “administrative convenience”.
  • Delegates must not be administrative staff.
  • PIs may delegate approval authority on expenses when necessary to a co-investigator or a member of their research staff, such as a lab manager or research associate.
  • Administrative staff should not be delegates, as they are not sufficiently familiar and/or involved in the research to authorize expenses on the grant holder’s behalf.

Roles & Responsibilities

Delegates are considered Approvers and are therefore responsible for ensuring that all financial transactions:

  • Meet the objectives of the fund/grant(s) charged.
  • Are legitimate, reasonable and an appropriate use of funds/grants.
  • Adhere to regulations, policies and guidelines.
  • Comply with any restrictions imposed by external funding sources.

How to Assign a Delegate

Fund Financial Managers and Principal Investigators can assign Delegates accordingly:

Financial Transaction Minerva Menu Form: Naming a Delegate in an Acting Capacity as a Unit Head
Purchase Requisitions

Delegate Approvals of Purchase Requisitions, Change Orders and PCard Transactions Minerva Menu [under Procurement Administration Menu]

N/A
Change Orders Delegate Approvals of Purchase Requisitions, Change Orders and PCard Transactions Minerva Menu option [under Procurement Administration Menu] N/A
PCard Transactions Delegate Approvals of Purchase Requisitions, Change Orders and PCard Transactions Minerva Menu option [under Procurement Administration Menu] N/A
Advances Delegate Temporary Signing Authority Minerva Menu option Only to be used by Vice-Principals, Deans, Directors or Chairs
Expense Reports Delegate Temporary Signing Authority Minerva Menu option Only to be used by Vice-Principals, Deans, Directors or Chairs
Payment request Delegate Temporary Signing Authority Minerva Menu option Only to be used by Vice-Principals, Deans, Directors or Chairs
POPS Timesheets Delegate Temporary Signing Authority Minerva Menu option Only to be used by Vice-Principals, Deans, Directors or Chairs
Positive approval on Invoices greater than $10,000 CDN N/A

Only to be used by Vice-Principals, Deans, Directors or Chairs

Airfare FOAPAL Form – Vision Travel N/A

Only to be used by Vice-Principals, Deans, Directors or Chairs

Frequently Asked Questions - Delegate Approvals of Purchase Requisitions, Change Orders and PCard Transactions Minerva menu 

Question Answer
I do not want to delegate approvals to the same person for purchase requisitions, change orders and reconciled PCard transactions. Is it possible to set up my delegation records in this way? NO. Delegates named in this menu option will always have access to approve purchase requisitions, change orders and reconciled PCard transactions. You, as the FFM/PI, will need to stipulate to your delegates which types of transactions they should be approving on your behalf. The system notifications for transactions awaiting approval will clearly state whether it is for purchase requisitions, change order or reconciled PCard transactions.
I am set up as a delegate to approve all purchase requisitions up to $5000. Can the FFM/PI approve these orders (below $5000) if I am away? NO. If you are the sole delegate, the requisition will be"stuck" in the level 10 (delegate approval) queue until it is approved/disapproved by a delegate. In these cases, the best thing to do is for the FFM/PI to add themselves as a delegate on their own funds. They will be inserted into the level 10 approval queue for all transactions pending approval and will therefore have access to approve the transaction in your absence. This means that there will be two delegates on the funds - yourself and the FFM/PI. You will both receive the notification emails to approve orders, but, only one of you will need to approve the order.
I have tried to create a delegation record but when I click apply, nothing happens. How do I know if a record has been created? (If preparing record on behalf of FFM/PI). Once a record has been created, no confirmation message appears on the screen. You will need to look at the bottom half of the screen to see records "Awaiting Confirmation". To refresh the listing of funds and delegate records, re-enter the McGill ID of the FFM in the FFM ID field and hit TAB.

I know that my delegation record was revoked, but I still received two purchase requisitions to approve. What should I do and why did this happen?

You need to verify the date when the purchase requisitions were created. If the delegation record was revoked after the purchase requisitions were submitted, you were still considered a delegate. Contact the Requestor of the purchase requisition to disapprove and re-submit the order in the McGill MarketPlace (MMP). This time, since you are not considered to be a delegate, it will be routed to the FFM or the appropriate delegate.

For further issues, contact the Finance Help Desk by fishelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca (email) or phone at 514-398-3463.
What happens when an approval delegate record expires?

The individual whose delegation expires is removed from the associated approval queues. If there are no other approval delegate records for that fund, the FFM/PI becomes the sole approver for all purchase requisitions.

Note: No system notification email will be sent about this change.
What happens when there is a change in FFM/PI?

All approval delegate records associated to the original FFM/PI will be terminated. The new FFM/PI will need to go in and create/confirm new approval delegate records. Until, this is done, the new FFM/PI will be the sole approver for all purchase requisitions and reconciled PCard transactions.

Note: No system notification email will be sent about this change.
What happens if an individual transfers Units/Depts. and their approval delegate records are left as is? The individual will continue to receive email alerts to approve purchase requisitions and reconciled PCard transactions. If the individual is the sole approver, the transaction is "stuck" in the approval queue until they disapprove it or until it is approved by another approver. In these cases, the best thing to do is for the Unit/Dept. to create a record for a new approval delegate or for the FFM/PI to add themselves as a delegate - the newly added individual will then have access to approve the transaction. Once approved, the old delegate record should be revoked - this avoids the need to re-submit a disapproved order in MMP/this avoids reconciled PCard transactions being posted to the default fund.
What must happen when an individual transfers Units/Depts.?

The FFM/PI must revoke the approval delegate records. If your records have not been revoked, contact your former Unit/Dept.

Note: Records are NOT automatically revoked when a Unit/Dept. decides to use the TNT process.

Frequently Asked Questions - Delegate Temporary Signing Authority Minerva menu 

Questions Answers
May I permanently delegate signing authority using this menu option?

No.

  • For advance requests, expense reports and payment requests, you may only delegate temporary signing authority during temporary absences.
  • However, for POPS timesheets, you may delegate signing authority to an individual for up to one year.
May I use this form for all fund types? Yes, the form may be used for all fund types where a delegate needs to be assigned.
For Tri-Agency funds (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC), are there any instances when a delegate's signature is not accepted?

Yes.

  • Expense reports charged to Tri-Agency funds, which are payable to students (including postdoctoral fellows (postdocs)) and visitors, cannot be delegated. The grant holder must approve these expense reports.
  • Expense reports payable to visitors must be countersigned by the Dean or Chair for Tri-Agency funds.

For all other grants, verify the grant agreement for restrictions (if any).

For Tri-Agency funds, what happens when a PI is away and is unable to sign expense reports for a student or visitor? An email based authorization by the PI of student/visiting research travel expenditures are acceptable when the PI is away from the university. Keep in mind that the PI will need access to the travel expenditure details (the claim details) in order to exercise the authorization. For further information, you may contact the Travel Desk by email at traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca.
The Chair of our department will be away next week and he signs requests where the "One-up" signature is required. Does this menu option cover the "One-up" situation? No. It is best to submit the form "Naming a Delegate in an Acting Capacity as Unit Head during Temporary Absences" found on the Financial Services website. This ensures that the delegate's signature will be accepted as the "One-up".
Who may prepare the temporary delegation records in Minerva? Records may be created by the Fund Financial Manager (FFM) or Principal Investigator (PI) OR by a FIS user or Employee, on behalf of the FFM/PI.
When a record is created on behalf of the FFM/PI, email alerts are sent out to the FFM/PI. Will email alerts also be sent to the temporary delegate and the person who prepared the record? No, only the Fund Financial Manager or Principal Investigator will receive the email alert.
Can anyone modify a temporary delegation record?
  • Fund Financial Managers (FFM) or Principal Investigators (PI) may edit and delete confirmed or unconfirmed temporary delegation records at any time.
  • The originator (the person who prepared the record) may edit or revoke temporary delegation records prior their confirmation by the FFM/PI.

To revoke a delegation record, use the List function to find the record and then click on the revoke icon.

I prepared a temporary delegation record and received the error message "There is already a delegation created for the same time frame". What does this mean?

The system verifies all temporary delegation records to ensure that no overlap records will be created. An overlap record is a record which references all or part of a time period for which a previous record has already been created.

In this case, you should go back and use the List function to review existing records. You may then decide if a record needs to be edited, revoked, or if a new record should be created.
Note: When using the option Add to Multiple Funds, by default, all document types are selected. Be sure to de-select any document types which do not apply - this ensures that no overlap records are created.

Can I delegate signing authority to more than one person? Yes, you may have multiple delegates.
Can the FFM/PI delegate signing authority to a staff member such as an Administrative Assistant if she/he so wishes?

For Tri-Agency grants, the delegate must not be administrative staff.

For all other funds, it is at the discretion of the Fund Holder.