Granting Financial Authority (GFA) FAQ GFA

Why are we doing this? What is the purpose of GFA?

GFA is the system developed to manage approvals for many types of transactions as we transition to more online or paperless transactions. Capturing signatures and replacing the information on the signature cards is version 1 of this system. Future versions will assign role-based authority to individuals and allow delegations to be managed within GFA.

What kind of online or paperless transactions are planned?

The first large scale use of the authorization structure stored in GFA will be an online marketplace called UShop.

Why do you need my signature? Is this safe?

A reasonable facsimile of your signature is captured and it’s only used to verify a wet ink signature. As long as financial transactions use paper, we will need a way to verify wet ink signatures. We are not capturing a “digital signature”. This low resolution image is not used to sign anything, only to verify.

Who is required to capture a signature?

Anyone who approves expenditures must be in GFA. Account executives, PIs and organizational heads must capture their signatures. Account executives and PIs then can designate alternates who must also capture their signatures.

How do I capture my signature?

See this HowTo on capturing your signature.

Where can I get a stylus for capturing my signature on a tablet or smartphone?

You can request a stylus on the GFA – Stylus Request Form.

What if I absolutely cannot capture my signature using a tablet or smartphone?

Although this method is not preferred, you can use this form to capture your signature on paper. Print the form, sign and initial it, scan it and email it to the address at the bottom of the form.

I captured my signature, now what do I have to do?

If you are the only one who signs on your Projects and activities, then you are done. If there are others who sign for you, then you will have to designate them as alternates.

What is an alternate?

An alternate is someone designated by the account executive or PI as authorized to sign for expenditures against a specific Project or Activity.

How do I designate an alternate?

See this HowTo on designating an alternate.

How do I approve an alternate request?

Only an account executive or PI can approve an alternate request. If you are an AE or PI, see this HowTo on approving alternate requests.

I am an account executive. Why can’t I approve my designated alternate?

Most likely the alternate has not captured his or her signature. Capture the alternate signature and then you can approve the alternate.

Who can make alternate requests?

Anyone can make a request but only an account executive can approve an alternate. Note that when an account executive makes an alternate request, there is no need for an additional approval.

Can I see which account executives within our ORG have not captured a signature?

In the Financial Information Library there is a folder called GFA. There you will find a report called GFA Signatures by ORG which will show which AE/PI/OH Signatures have been captured by ORG.

Can I see what alternate requests are pending for an account executive?

In the Financial Information Library there is a folder called GFA. There you will find a report called GFA Pending Approvals by AE which will show which Alternates are pending approvals by AE.

I want as much information as I can find about signatures and alternates for my ORG. Can I get more information?

In the Financial Information Library there is a folder called GFA. There you will find a list of reports related to GFA which should address most questions.

What if the account executive is incorrect for a particular Activity?

This will have to be resolved by General Accounting. You can find your accounting contact listed at the bottom of your Management Reports or within a Chartfield Lookup.

What if the account executive (PI) is incorrect for a particular Project?

This will have to be resolved by Grants and Contracts Accounting. You can find your GCA contact listed at the bottom of your Management Reports or within Chartfield Lookup.

What if the ORG head is incorrect for a particular Project or Activity?

Complete this form and submit to Sandy Hughes in Budget and Analysis.

Do I need to make our ORG head an alternate?

No. The account executive and ORG heads are automatically approved. They do have to capture their signatures, however.

What if something doesn’t seem to be working correctly? Can I report a problem?

Ask UsAbsolutely. We have been working on the GFA application for some time now but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to fix whatever bugs are discovered. We are also open to general feedback about the way the system works for you.  Click here to ASK US.

GFA is part of our overall P2P Initiative to improve efficiencies and procurement savings across the University.