Roles, access and signature rights

Applicable à
General

This procedure is based on the definitions provided in the document Conditions Applicable to the use and opening of Third-Party Accounts.

Procédure

1. Roles and responsibilities

1.1 Head of Institution or authorised responsible Finance Officer

A request to open a Visiting Research Team account shall always be signed by the head of the Institution concerned or by the Head of Finance, authorised to make financial commitments on behalf of the Institution (see Registration of a third-party account). 

By appointing an Account Manager representing the Institution and present at CERN, the Finance Officer delegates full authority to the Account Manager for financial matters and for the responsibilities listed under section 1.2 below.

The Finance Officer can update the name of the Account Manager or the invoice e-mail address by filling out the Update form.

N.B. There is no need to nominate a Finance Officer for Collaboration accounts. By default, this is defined as the Resources Coordinator or Spokesperson of the collaboration.

1.2 Account Manager (TAM)

The Account Manager is responsible for the financial management of the third-party account, reporting to the funding agency/Institution and maintaining the information related to the third-party account in CERN’s database. The Account Manager is the main contact of the Third-party accounts service for all financial/budget issues.

There is only one Account Manager per third-party account.

1.2.1 TAM of a Visiting Research Team account

Visiting Research Team accounts are by definition linked to an external research Institution. Consequently, the Account Manager must have the status of associated member of the personnel and cannot be a CERN employed member of the personnel.

The Account Manager shall ensure that the use of the Visiting Research Team account is in line with its original purpose and CERN’s applicable rules on third-party accounts, and that any spending complies  with the applicable rules and regulations of the Institution. The Account Manager can delegate signature rights as described in paragraph 1.3 hereafter but remains accountable of the use of the Visiting Research Team account.

In particular, the Account Manager of a Visiting Research Team account is responsible for:

  • Liaising with the Third-party accounts service for financial matters related to the Visiting Research Team account;
  • Assigning signature rights for the approval of expenses on the Visiting Research Team account (maximum 5 persons, who must be associated members of the personnel and have a CERN computing account);
  • Communicating the annual spending budget to CERN;
  • Keeping records up to date (name of responsible Finance Officer, invoice address of the Institution, etc.);
  • Reporting any relevant information about the Visiting Research Team account to the Institution, in accordance with the rules and procedures set up between the Institution and the Account Manager.

The Account Manager is informed by e-mail when an invoice or invoice reminder has been issued and may be of precious help when invoices remain unpaid.

1.2.2 TAM of a Collaboration account

The financial responsibility of an approved or recognized Experiment lies with the Resources Coordinator nominated by the collaboration and can be employed or associated member of the personnel. If no Resources Coordinator has been nominated, this role is by default held by the Spokeperson.

The Resources Coordinator is by default the Account Manager of the Collaboration accounts opened for the Experiment bu can in agreement with the Collaboration delegate signature rights to other persons.

In particular, the Account Manager of a Collaboration account is responsible for:

  • Liaising with the Third-party accounts service for financial matters related to the Collaboration account;
  • Assigning signature rights for the approval of expenses on the Collaboration account (maximum 5 persons, who must be present at CERN);
  • Ensuring that the Collaboration account is used for the sole purpose of the Experiment, according to the rules and regulations applicable to third-party accounts;
  • Issuing invoices (RFF) towards funding agencies, and ensuring the follow-up of payments, in collaboration with the Accounts Receivable service;
  • Reporting financial information to the Collaboration and its funding agencies, upon request or according to the agreements in place within the Collaboration.

1.3 Signature Holders

Signature Holders have the right to approve expenditure on a third-party account up to a specified limit. They may be given access to CET for controlling the account. CET access can be provided if the Account Manager requests it by contacting the Third-party accounts service directly.

There can be a maximum of five signature holders on a third-party account. It is not necessary to have signature rights for an account to be able to create an EDH request (however, specific creation rights or training might be necessary depending on the type of EDH document).

Expenditure requests in the form of electronic EDH documents will go to the first person on the list if that person has sufficient signature rights for the amount of the request. If that person is not available, the request will be sent to the next person on the list in turn. If the creator of the document has sufficient signature rights, no other signature holder will receive the request unless the creator is the beneficiary of the claim.

It is important that the signature rights given are sufficiently high to cover all foreseeable expenditure requests. If an account with only one person authorised to sign for amounts of 1'000 CHF receives a purchase request for 1'300 CHF the request may be blocked in the system. Some specific EDH requests require signature rights higher than the amount that is actually debited (e.g. GSM requests and shipping requests).

It is therefore recommended to grant signature rights to at least two persons to avoid documents being blocked due to absences and to be able to approve payments where the beneficiary is the first signature holder (you cannot sign for yourself). The Account Manager can delegate the approval for smaller amounts by giving a higher priority to a lower-amount signature right. The Account Manager is invited to review regularly the signature rights granted to the third-party accounts and to take into consideration potential conflicts of interests.

All signature holders must have an active CERN computing account and be members of the personnel. Only associated members of the personnel are allowed on Visiting Research Team accounts, while associated and employed members of the personnel are allowed on Collaboration accounts.

Persons not registered as being present at CERN, for instance those classed as External PART (External participant in a CERN experience), cannot be given signature rights. 

In the event of access problems, the computer account status can be checked using the webpage: https://account.cern.ch.

1.4 Accounts Payable service of the Institution

The CERN administration will send periodic invoices to the e-mail address indicated in the Application and update form for a Visiting Research Team account.

To modify the e-mail address, the Finance Officer shall fill out the Update form or inform CERN at third.party.accounting@cern.ch.

Account Managers are regularly reminded to ensure that the information is still valid. CERN reserves the right to suspend or close a third-party account for which the information would be missing or outdated.

1.5 Team Leader

The Team Leader is responsible for making sure that all the members of their team are aware of CERN's regulations and requirements and of their duty to comply with them throughout their stay at CERN. The Team Leader shall not be confused with the Account Manager, who is responsible for the financial management of a third-party account.

See more information on the Teams procedure.

2. Access rights

A CERN computing account is needed to be able to access CERN-specific applications and resources. For Account Managers and signature holders, this is handled by the Service Desk.

CERN’s computer security rules require each person to follow an online IT security course and sign the CERN Computing Rules within five days to validate the account.

All persons with a CERN computing account may receive an e-mail message from CERN informing them that their computer access will shortly expire and providing instructions how to extend the access rights. This may be due to an expired password that needs to be renewed, failure to pass the computer security course, failure to sign the CERN Computing Rules or the end of the CERN registration period.

It is necessary to react promptly to such e-mails and to follow the instructions given in the e-mail.
In the event of access problems, the computer account status can be checked using the webpage: https://account.cern.ch. This webpage also allow to reset the password, follow the computer security course, sign the Computing Rules and modify your e-mail address.

3. Account Managers help and guidelines

Account Managers can find information on how to facilitate the administration of a third-party account in the following Sharepoint website (only available to members of the personnel with the Account Manager "TAM" role.

Révisions
No revision Modifications Approved
1 Updated procedure 28.06.2017
2 Complete revision 17.01.2018
3 Procedure revised following the restructuration of FAP department. 04.04.2022
4 Procedure revised by the service concerned. 17.06.2022

General

This procedure is based on the definitions provided in the document Conditions Applicable to the use and opening of Third-Party Accounts.

Procedure

1. Roles and responsibilities

1.1 Head of Institution or authorised responsible Finance Officer

A request to open a Visiting Research Team account shall always be signed by the head of the Institution concerned or by the Head of Finance, authorised to make financial commitments on behalf of the Institution (see Registration of a third-party account). 

By appointing an Account Manager representing the Institution and present at CERN, the Finance Officer delegates full authority to the Account Manager for financial matters and for the responsibilities listed under section 1.2 below.

The Finance Officer can update the name of the Account Manager or the invoice e-mail address by filling out the Update form.

N.B. There is no need to nominate a Finance Officer for Collaboration accounts. By default, this is defined as the Resources Coordinator or Spokesperson of the collaboration.

1.2 Account Manager (TAM)

The Account Manager is responsible for the financial management of the third-party account, reporting to the funding agency/Institution and maintaining the information related to the third-party account in CERN’s database. The Account Manager is the main contact of the Third-party accounts service for all financial/budget issues.

There is only one Account Manager per third-party account.

1.2.1 TAM of a Visiting Research Team account

Visiting Research Team accounts are by definition linked to an external research Institution. Consequently, the Account Manager must have the status of associated member of the personnel and cannot be a CERN employed member of the personnel.

The Account Manager shall ensure that the use of the Visiting Research Team account is in line with its original purpose and CERN’s applicable rules on third-party accounts, and that any spending complies  with the applicable rules and regulations of the Institution. The Account Manager can delegate signature rights as described in paragraph 1.3 hereafter but remains accountable of the use of the Visiting Research Team account.

In particular, the Account Manager of a Visiting Research Team account is responsible for:

  • Liaising with the Third-party accounts service for financial matters related to the Visiting Research Team account;
  • Assigning signature rights for the approval of expenses on the Visiting Research Team account (maximum 5 persons, who must be associated members of the personnel and have a CERN computing account);
  • Communicating the annual spending budget to CERN;
  • Keeping records up to date (name of responsible Finance Officer, invoice address of the Institution, etc.);
  • Reporting any relevant information about the Visiting Research Team account to the Institution, in accordance with the rules and procedures set up between the Institution and the Account Manager.

The Account Manager is informed by e-mail when an invoice or invoice reminder has been issued and may be of precious help when invoices remain unpaid.

1.2.2 TAM of a Collaboration account

The financial responsibility of an approved or recognized Experiment lies with the Resources Coordinator nominated by the collaboration and can be employed or associated member of the personnel. If no Resources Coordinator has been nominated, this role is by default held by the Spokeperson.

The Resources Coordinator is by default the Account Manager of the Collaboration accounts opened for the Experiment bu can in agreement with the Collaboration delegate signature rights to other persons.

In particular, the Account Manager of a Collaboration account is responsible for:

  • Liaising with the Third-party accounts service for financial matters related to the Collaboration account;
  • Assigning signature rights for the approval of expenses on the Collaboration account (maximum 5 persons, who must be present at CERN);
  • Ensuring that the Collaboration account is used for the sole purpose of the Experiment, according to the rules and regulations applicable to third-party accounts;
  • Issuing invoices (RFF) towards funding agencies, and ensuring the follow-up of payments, in collaboration with the Accounts Receivable service;
  • Reporting financial information to the Collaboration and its funding agencies, upon request or according to the agreements in place within the Collaboration.

1.3 Signature Holders

Signature Holders have the right to approve expenditure on a third-party account up to a specified limit. They may be given access to CET for controlling the account. CET access can be provided if the Account Manager requests it by contacting the Third-party accounts service directly.

There can be a maximum of five signature holders on a third-party account. It is not necessary to have signature rights for an account to be able to create an EDH request (however, specific creation rights or training might be necessary depending on the type of EDH document).

Expenditure requests in the form of electronic EDH documents will go to the first person on the list if that person has sufficient signature rights for the amount of the request. If that person is not available, the request will be sent to the next person on the list in turn. If the creator of the document has sufficient signature rights, no other signature holder will receive the request unless the creator is the beneficiary of the claim.

It is important that the signature rights given are sufficiently high to cover all foreseeable expenditure requests. If an account with only one person authorised to sign for amounts of 1'000 CHF receives a purchase request for 1'300 CHF the request may be blocked in the system. Some specific EDH requests require signature rights higher than the amount that is actually debited (e.g. GSM requests and shipping requests).

It is therefore recommended to grant signature rights to at least two persons to avoid documents being blocked due to absences and to be able to approve payments where the beneficiary is the first signature holder (you cannot sign for yourself). The Account Manager can delegate the approval for smaller amounts by giving a higher priority to a lower-amount signature right. The Account Manager is invited to review regularly the signature rights granted to the third-party accounts and to take into consideration potential conflicts of interests.

All signature holders must have an active CERN computing account and be members of the personnel. Only associated members of the personnel are allowed on Visiting Research Team accounts, while associated and employed members of the personnel are allowed on Collaboration accounts.

Persons not registered as being present at CERN, for instance those classed as External PART (External participant in a CERN experience), cannot be given signature rights. 

In the event of access problems, the computer account status can be checked using the webpage: https://account.cern.ch.

1.4 Accounts Payable service of the Institution

The CERN administration will send periodic invoices to the e-mail address indicated in the Application and update form for a Visiting Research Team account.

To modify the e-mail address, the Finance Officer shall fill out the Update form or inform CERN at third.party.accounting@cern.ch.

Account Managers are regularly reminded to ensure that the information is still valid. CERN reserves the right to suspend or close a third-party account for which the information would be missing or outdated.

1.5 Team Leader

The Team Leader is responsible for making sure that all the members of their team are aware of CERN's regulations and requirements and of their duty to comply with them throughout their stay at CERN. The Team Leader shall not be confused with the Account Manager, who is responsible for the financial management of a third-party account.

See more information on the Teams procedure.

2. Access rights

A CERN computing account is needed to be able to access CERN-specific applications and resources. For Account Managers and signature holders, this is handled by the Service Desk.

CERN’s computer security rules require each person to follow an online IT security course and sign the CERN Computing Rules within five days to validate the account.

All persons with a CERN computing account may receive an e-mail message from CERN informing them that their computer access will shortly expire and providing instructions how to extend the access rights. This may be due to an expired password that needs to be renewed, failure to pass the computer security course, failure to sign the CERN Computing Rules or the end of the CERN registration period.

It is necessary to react promptly to such e-mails and to follow the instructions given in the e-mail.
In the event of access problems, the computer account status can be checked using the webpage: https://account.cern.ch. This webpage also allow to reset the password, follow the computer security course, sign the Computing Rules and modify your e-mail address.

3. Account Managers help and guidelines

Account Managers can find information on how to facilitate the administration of a third-party account in the following Sharepoint website (only available to members of the personnel with the Account Manager "TAM" role.

Revisions

No revision Modifications Approved
1 Updated procedure 28.06.2017
2 Complete revision 17.01.2018
3 Procedure revised following the restructuration of FAP department. 04.04.2022
4 Procedure revised by the service concerned. 17.06.2022