Financial approvers play a key role in the financial ecosystem at Stanford. In addition to playing one of the most significant roles in managing financial risk, approvers are responsible for ensuring proper financial stewardship and documentation of expenses. They do this by enforcing compliance of financial policies and procedures and by guiding their teams in proper expenditure management. 

To that end, Stanford Financial Management Services recently launched an approver toolkit with an updated certification program which includes an update course, FIN-PROG-0103: Approving Financial Transactions, which reinforces the key expectations, concepts and resources that surround financial approval. Specifically, the course covers roles and responsibilities and key concepts for reviewing and approving transactions in Oracle Financials, such as travel and business expenses, PCard verifications, purchase requisitions, iJournals and labor distribution adjustments.

What's changing?

Previously, the course was required for new approvers with requisition and expense journal privileges. When the certification program was relaunched in spring 2022, it was added as a requirement for labor distribution approvers. Beginning October 2022, the program is required for all existing requisition, expense journal, and labor distribution approvers, as noted in the table below. 

Authority Manager Approval Privilege Financial System and Transaction Types
  • Expense Requests (expense reports, Travel Card, advances, digital payments, non-PO payments, petty cash) 
  • iProcurement (Amazon Business, SmartMart, non-catalog orders)
  • Purchasing Card (PCard verifications) 
Expense Journal iJournal (Expenditure Type transfers) 
Labor Distribution Labor Distribution Adjustments

The updated program now includes an ongoing recertification requirement, which helps foster a shared understanding of the key foundational concepts to our stewardship of university resources. This means that a refresher will need to be re-taken every two years to maintain the corresponding approval authorities. 

What action is required?

All current requisition, expense journal, and labor distribution approvers must complete FIN-PROG-0103: Approving Financial Transactions by Jan. 31, 2023. The course takes approximately 25 minutes to complete, with an optional 20 minutes for those who would like to review a system demo.

All applicable approvers who have not yet completed the course were be pre-enrolled on Oct. 4. This makes the course available from the STARS All Learning page.  During the fall and winter of 2022, those who have not yet completed the course were sent reminders leading up to the January deadline. Afterward, reminders to recertify (complete the course again) will be sent automatically to the applicable approvers every two years. 

What happens after January 31?

Financial and reporting system access will be suspended for anyone who does not complete the program by midnight on January 31, 2023. The Authority Manager system will indicate that authority privileges are pending completion of the course. Authority privileges will be suspended, not revoked. After enrolling and completing the course, system access will be restored within two hours.

Related resources

Stanford Financial Management Services is committed to supporting and promoting excellence in financial stewardship at the university. Financial approvers are encouraged to review the following information.

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