Overview: About Financial Authority @ Stanford

Financial authority is used to limit what information an employee can access, what systems they can use, and what they can approve in Stanford's Financial Systems.

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Stanford's Authority Management System

Stanford developed a web-based system called Authority Manager to grant authority across many financial systems used on campus including Oracle Financials, Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI) Reporting, PeopleSoft HR, and Axess Timecard time and leave reporting system. Authority Manager allows employees to:

To grant authority to another employee, grantors need to specify the grantee's organization(s), role or responsibility, and limits (i.e., access to specific projects, project-task combinations, or awards, and dollar amount limits). To grant authority to others, grantors must have an equal or greater authority level themselves and have the "can grant" condition associated with their authority assignment. A grant-only feature in Authority Manager provides the flexibility to identify an employee who can have the responsibility for granting authority to others to complete tasks, even though he or she may not have individual access to do the tasks.

For more information on how to use Authority Manager, take the Authority Manager Online Tutorial.

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Types of Authority Privileges

In some cases, authority and access is granted to all Stanford employees with a SUNet ID. In other cases, authority is granted to specific individuals by a central administrative business unit (e.g., University Budget Office, Financial Management Services) or authorized school / department resources using Authority Manager. Authority Manager uses privileges to define a specific task or set of tasks that can be granted to an employee. In many cases, prerequisites must be satisfied before access is enabled (e.g., financial confidentiality acknowledgement, training).

There are three primary types of financial authority privileges granted to employees who:

  1. Originate financial transactions
    • Financial transaction systems include iBudgets, iJournals, Expense Requests, iProcurement, Gift Transmittals, PTA Manager, and more.
    • To learn the purpose of each of these systems, how privileges are granted, and specific requirements prior to receiving access, see Overview: Authority to Originate Financial Transactions.
  2. Approve financial transactions
    • Approval authority is based on the types of financial transactions a user will be required to review and approve.
    • To learn about the different types of approval authority, how they are granted and specific requirements prior to receiving access, see Overview: Authority to Approve Financial Transactions.
  3. Access financial data via reports or inquiry tools
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Managing Authority Privileges

It is critical that staff responsible for granting authority to others, update those authority privileges when employee's responsibilities change. Authority Manager automatically revokes an individual's assigned authorities upon termination or when an individual transfers to a new budget unit (i.e., level 2 orgs in the hierarchy). Other changes (e.g. organization or department changes, position changes, status of "on leave," etc.) required manual revocation and re-granting of authority, as necessary.

To understand how transfer revocation works, see Bulletin: Improvement to Managing Financial Authority Assignments (Posted October 26, 2015).

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