University of Kentucky Internal Audit
UKIA MISSION STATEMENT
To support UK in its pursuit of excellence by providing advisory and assurance guidance to champion reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of management objectives.
December Tip of the Month
The "Tip of the Month" is designed to share UK Internal Audit’s (UKIA) audit and advisory experiences with the UK community. The UKIA Tip of the Month for December 2015 iS utilization of Identifier Stamp with approving initals..This is not to be confused with Signature Stamps, which are stamps possessing a copy or facsimile of the approver's signature. Signature Stamps will be discussed in a subsequent Tip of the Month.
This Tip of the Month discusses the use of an identifier stamp as documented approval. UKIA was contacted by a UK unit regarding using an identifier stamp initialed by the respective employee as documented approval for certain documents. UKIA defines an Identifier Stamp as one that displays the employes name and title. This type of stamp requires an approval, such as a wet signature or initials. The University of Kentucky defines an approving signature as an electronic signature (per Administrative Regulation 10:5), or the standard wet signature.
The risk associated with using an Identifier Stamp would be a lack of communication regarding usage protocol. As a result, improper approvals may occur or authorization assumed without a signature or initials present. Stamp access and usage should also be controlled and monitored. If these risks are adequately mitigated, the use of the Identifier Stamp could be acceptable.
Proposed safeguards for Identifier Stamps:
- Communicate with entities that documents are only valid with the Identifier Stamp and signature and/or initialed by authorized individual.
- Develop access and usage protocols that are evaluated and executed by management.
- Document an internal policy to appropriately control and monitor stamp access.
Any entities possessing Identifier Stamps should notify UKIA for guidance on appropriate usage. UKIA is compiling all university Identifier Stamps into a database repository. Please feel free to contact UKIA at (859) 257-3126 should you have additional questions regarding this matter.