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Levels of authority for approving bills of outside counsel

At a major bank, Vice Presidents have authority to approve vendor bills up to $10,000. The law department, however, with all its lawyers at the VP level or higher, gained a special dispensation increasing the approval level to $50,000. As a consequence, no invoice during the past year required more than one approval signature because of the amount of the bill, i.e., all invoices were less than $50,000.

Raising the approval limits can ease one piece of administrivia. (The same bank saw about 15% of its bills requiring multiple lawyer review because the invoices covered a range of assistance and more than one lawyer had to sign off. (See my post of August 21, 2005 regarding e-billing and routing bills for approval.)

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