University of Saskatchewan

Financial Services (FS)

The Tri-Agency Institutional Approver at the University of Saskatchewan

The institutional approver is a control function that will be put in place to ensure expenditures that are not eligible or compliant with Tri-Agency and university guidelines will be stopped before the charge is entered into the financial system.  The expenditure will have to be sent back to the researcher or preparer for rectification. In the majority of cases, this will involve the expenditure being charged to a different fund.

All transactions

Proper authorization

The institutional approver will be required to ensure that the expense has been authorized by the researcher or delegate.

Delegation of Signing Authority

The researcher can delegate this authorization task through the completion of the Grant Holder Declaration and Delegation of Signing Authority form located on the FSD website. 

If authorization is delegated, the institutional approver will ensure that a completed form is on file in the college/unit. If there is not a form in place, there are two options; send the expenditure back to the researcher or have the researcher complete the delegation form.

Sufficient Fund Balance

For each transaction, the institutional approver will log into FAST to ensure there is sufficient balance in the fund.  If the fund balance is not sufficient, the transactions will be declined and a different fund should be used.  There may be instances when it is appropriate for a Tri-Agency fund to be over-spent but this is definitely the exception.


For each transaction, the institutional approver will log into UniFi Plus to verify the start and end dates of the award.  If the transaction occurs outside this timeframe, the expense will have to be sent back to the research as a different fund will have to be used. Note: There are very few transactions that will be non-compliant with this.

Justification is Appropriate

For each transaction, the institutional approver will have to determine if there is adequate justification provided for the expenditure.  The institutional approver will use this information to assist in determining if the expense is eligible for the grant it is being charged.

Specific transaction Types

For all transaction types, the institutional approver will review the expenditure by following the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.


The institutional approver will review the travel claim to ensure that all of the following are checked for compliance:

  • One claim per trip
  • Authority to travel
  • Prospectus included for conference related travel
  • Receipts are original & complete
  • Affiliation of the traveler to the grant if required
  • Trip purpose is defined
  • Destination included
  • Per diems are correct
  • Hospitality is correct
  • Correct account code
  • Confirm eligibility to the award

With the implementation of the Concur travel system, there may be two types of transactions to review; one paper based and the other will require on-line access to the system.


The institutional approver will review the expenditure by following the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.  Each original receipt must include a justification statement as indicated above.

Payroll (Salary/Stipend/Scholarship payments)

The institutional approver will to log into AboutUS and review the electronic job submission (EJS) for compliance and eligibility to the grant.  The institutional approver will use the “letter of offer” that is attached to the EJS.  This document will contain the required information that the institutional approver will require to perform the task.

Procure to Pay Process

The institutional approver will log into UniFi to approve purchase requisitions being requested by a researcher using UniFi.  This allows the purchase requisition to continue on through the procurement to payment cycle. Approvals can only be processed in UniFi Plus.

If the good and/or service has been delivered and the invoice matches the purchase order, the vendor will be paid and no further action will be required.  However, if the invoice does not match the purchase order, Purchasing Services will contact the researcher for written approval and make the necessary changes in UniFi, using a change order.  This will then be routed electronically to the institutional approver for.

Direct Pay

The cheque requisition form must be signed by an institutional approver.  This is a manual process so the onus will be on the researcher to forward the requisition to the institutional approver.  Payment Services will act as the control point.  If the institutional approver signature is missing, the cheque requisition will be sent back to the institutional approver for approval.

Journal Vouchers

This is probably the most difficult review to perform.  Since journal vouchers are not really transactions, the institutional approver will look at the original transaction.  For example, if a travel expense was being moved to a different fund, the original travel claim would have to be reviewed to ensure compliance and eligibility to the grant.

Internal Sales

Business processes for entities such as the Campus Computer Store, the Bookstore and university ‘stores’ are currently under review, with an intent to develop a standard methodology for institutional approval.