ConsignO Memo

As the University of Alberta begins its annual process of obtaining approvals from Research Project Holders for financial statements, we are letting you know of some changes we are making this year. 

Most of our research sponsors require the Project Holder’s signature on a financial statement certifying that, to the best of their knowledge, the statement is correct and that the expenditures shown were for the purpose for which the grant was made and disbursements conform to University policy and are in compliance with all terms and conditions imposed by the sponsoring agency. This year, the practice of obtaining signatures is being replaced by electronic signatures, for which the U of A uses ConsignO to obtain and authenticate electronic signatures. The main benefit of this approach is that it makes it much easier to approve documents. 

ConsignO is a user-friendly electronic signature cloud platform that enables recipients to sign documents from anywhere using desktops, smartphones and tablets. Signed documents are encrypted and hosted in Canada-located servers for a period of 90 days.  ConsignO provides a reliable audit of signature authenticity in accordance with industry standards. The use of either mobile number or secret question by U of A staff delivers a second level of authentication in addition to Gmail, which uses CCID-enabled authentication. The use of mobile numbers is a standard practice between the trusted document initiator and signor as an additional means of verification using SMS or text messaging.  Final signed documents will be uploaded by the document initiator to the University file server for document management and records retention purposes.

The preferred method to authenticate electronic signatures for approving research project financial statements is through the use of SMS or text messaging. Since this requires the use of a mobile phone, a Research Administrative Services staff member will be reaching out to you to ask for your mobile phone number, and some of you may have been contacted already. For anyone unable to use a mobile device, you will be provided with a security question and answer to authenticate the approval.  

If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact Michael Walesiak (