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Susan Combs  •  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Miscellaneous Expenditures — Payments and Fees
Payment Voucher Approval and Certification

General requirements

A state agency may only expend appropriated funds through the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) System of the Comptroller’s office, or on a warrant drawn by the Comptroller's office.

The Comptroller’s office may make a payment on behalf of a state agency only when:

  • The agency properly submits a payment voucher to the Comptroller’s office requesting the payment,
  • The document has been approved according to the requirements, and
  • the Comptroller's office has audited and approved the document as required by law.

A state agency’s approval of a voucher automatically includes the agency’s approval of any interest that must be paid at the same time the principal amount is paid to a vendor under the prompt payment law.

Sources [+]

Texas Government Code Section 404.046, 2103.004; 34 TAC §5.61(b).

Payment voucher approval

Only an individual who has inherent authority — includes the presiding officer or head of an agency that is either an elected or appointed official as per 34 TAC §5.61(f)(2) — or designated authority — the elected or appointed agency head or the governing body of a state agency may designate one or more individuals as per 34 TAC §5.61(f)(4) — may approve a payment voucher.

Whether inherent or designated, voucher approval by an authorized individual may occur only after:

  • The Comptroller's office has received a signature card,
  • The authorized individual’s security profile has been established according to applicable procedures and requirements, and
  • In the case of someone who has designated authority, the Comptroller's office has received proper written notice of the designation.

When an individual approves a payment voucher, the individual automatically provides its certification. Upon certification of a voucher, the individual automatically approves it. An individual may not provide the certification for a voucher without also approving it.

Expenditure Approvals and Certification

Establishing Authority and Security to Approve Expenditures

Sources [+]

Texas Government Code Section 404.046, 2103.032, 2103.061-2103.062, 2155.322; 34 TAC §5.61 (a), (c), (f)–(j).

Who may not approve payment vouchers

An individual not employed by a state agency may not approve, and may not be designated to approve, a state agency’s payment vouchers.

An officer or employee may not approve, and may not be designated to approve, another agency’s vouchers.

If a state agency submits a voucher that requests payment out of the funds of a second state agency, no officer or employee of the agency that submits the voucher may approve it.

Source [+]

34 TAC §5.61(e).

Revocation of payment voucher approval authority

Revocation of approval authority can occur for the following reasons:

  • A state agency’s head of agency or its governing body may revoke someone’s authority to approve payment vouchers at anytime, regardless of who designated someone’s approval authority. The Comptroller's office must receive written notification of the revocation within ten days of when the revocation decision is made.
  • Revocation is mandatory when an individual terminates employment with a state agency. The date of termination is the effective date of revocation. The Comptroller's office must receive notification by email, fax, or a security profile change request within five days of the termination.
  • The Comptroller's office may revoke the designation of any individual to approve vouchers for any reason the Comptroller's office deems appropriate.

The Comptroller's office is responsible for changing the security profile, if the Comptroller's office revoked the designation. Otherwise, the security coordinator of the state agency that revoked the designation is responsible.

Procedures for Removing Authority and Security to Approve Expenditures

Sources [+]

Texas Government Code Section 2103.061–2103.062; 34 TAC §5.61(k) (1)–(5).

Payment control

To reduce risks to state funds, agencies should have controls over expenditure processing that segregate each accounting task to the greatest extent practical. Ideally, no individual should be able to enter or alter and then release payment vouchers without another person’s involvement.

USAS Accounting and Payment Control

Definitions:

Certification
A state agency’s declaration to the Comptroller’s office that:
  • The goods or services received by the agency comply with contract requirements, and
  • The invoice received by the agency for the goods or services is correct. (34 TAC §5.61(a)(2))
Governing body
The board, commission, committee, council or other group of individuals collectively authorized by law to administer a state agency. (34 TAC §5.61(a)(6))
Head of agency
The elected or appointed state official who is authorized by law to administer a state agency. (34 TAC §5.61(a)(7))
Prompt payment law
Chapter 2251, Government Code.
State agency
A department, board, commission, committee, council, agency, office or other entity in the executive, legislative or judicial branch of state government, the jurisdiction of which is not limited to a geographical portion of this state. The term includes an institution of higher education.
Voucher or payment voucher
The paper or electronic document a state agency submits to the Comptroller's office for requesting the Comptroller's office to make a payment on the agency’s behalf. The term includes a document that uses the appropriated or other funds of a state agency to make a payment to another state agency.

Sources [+]

Texas Government Code Sections 404.046, 404.069(a), Sections 2103.001–2103.0035, Section 2103.004, Section 2103.031, Section 2103.032, Section 2103.061–2103.062; Texas Government Code Section 2155.322; 34 Texas Administrative Code Section 5.61

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Susan Combs
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.state.tx.us
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