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Frequently Asked Questions


Invoice Processing

Purchasing Card


Journal Vouchers

Vendor Maintenance

See OPAA FAQs for vendor maintenace information.


Q 1.1 Can the office pay for a cake to celebrate the birth of a co-worker's baby?
A No. that is considered personal.

Q 1.2 Our co-worker is retiring. Can we pay for a cake?
A No, a recent change in policy prohibited this type of expenditures.

Q 1.3 Our Dean wants to send Holiday cards for all of the alumni and donors, can our department reimburse the expense?
A Not through the University. When the main purpose would be to solicit donations, the expense must be directly paid by the foundation. It cannot be paid on a pass-through index.

Q 1.4 Our department wants to order pizza for a staff meeting? Can the department pay for it?
A These types of expenses are looked at very closely and each invoice is reviewed carefully. Full text including Who (attendees), What (business purpose/benefit to OSU), When (timeframe), Where (location of meeting), and Why (justification for providing the lunch). All of this information needs to be included in the text and any documentation attached to the invoice.

Q 1.5 Our department took a job candidate to dinner. Why was only a portion of the meal allowed?
A There are limits for hosting.

Effective 11/1/05 Before 11/1/05
Breakfast $12.00 $10.00
Lunch $18.00 $15.00
Dinner $30.00 $25.00

Gratuities are allowed, up to 15%.

Invoice Processing

Q 2.1 What is the status of invoice I1234567?
A In Banner, go to FOIDOCH. This takes you to a screen that will show the status of invoices, checks, and purchase orders. Use INV for doc type for invoices.

  • For an invoice, C = complete, waiting to be approved
  • A = approved, waiting to be paid
  • P = paid or
  • X = cancelled
    • Blank = the document is incomplete and cannot be approved until it has been completed. A blank field may also indicate it has been disapproved with changes requested. Be sure to check your disapproval messages daily.
    • When the check is posted in Banner, the check number will print in the check status box.
    • F = the vendor has deposited the check and it has been "reconciled" on the Controller's bank reconciliation statement.
  • X = the check has been cancelled
  • Blank = the check is still in the mail or in the hands of the vendor.

Q 2.2 I input this invoice today. How soon will the check be mailed?
A Depending on the due date input in Banner, the date invoice is received in Payables Office, and the approval date. If invoice is approved by Payables by the due date, payment will be made on the Monday, Wednesday or Friday after that date.

Q 2.3 I input this invoice on the 10th and set the payment due date for the 11th. Today is the 12th. Why hasn't the check been printed?
A The date you set in Banner controls when the check will print after all the approvals are completed for that document.

  • Check FOIDOCH to determine if your document is marked "C" for complete, or "A" when all approvals are done in all the approval queues.
  • If you are in the approval screen, FOAUAPP, you can request Approval History in options column to see who has already approved the document and who still needs to approve it.

Q 2.4 Does my document have to be disapproved to add text?
A No. Text can be added at anytime from the main menu by typing the form name FOATEXT.

Q 2.5 How can I tell if my document has been disapproved?
A Disapproval messages will be found in the General Message form, GUAMESG. This screen can be checked at any time.

Q 2.6 What do I do if I need to send copies with the check?
A Use "CTA" in the invoice field and change the Document indicators from "M" to "1". The original invoice will remain in Payables. Send a copy of the document you want to go with the check with the invoice.

Q 2.7 What information is included on the check?
A Vendor name, address, date, payment amount and vendor number. The stub will show information from the vendor invoice # field, the date, Banner document # and payment amount.

Q 2.8 How can I tell if a check has been cashed?
A Go to FOIDOCH screen in Banner. Use CHK for document type. "F" after check number = final payment. Reconciliation is complete and the check has been cashed.

Purchasing Card

Q 3.1 I understand that I need to complete both a Departmental Agreement and a User Agreement, and the original Department Agreement must be sent to Business Affairs Payables. What if I need to add a user later?
A Copies of both agreements must be kept on file by the Custodian of the card, to add a user, have them complete the required OUS Pcard Knowledge Test and then read and sign the Department’s copy of the User Agreement.   A copy of this signature sheet should then be sent to Business Affairs Payables to be added as an addendum to the original.

Q 3.2 How can I check my balances and charges posted to my card?
A Call the customer service number at 1-800-344-5696 and enter your card number. The automated system will ask for your zip code. If you choose option 2, it will give you your account information.

Q 3.3 Do I need to wait until Payables issues payment to the bank for my balance to clear?
A No. The balance on your card automatically clears on the 25th of the month (or the first working day after) at midnight.

Q 3.4 Our department has a program truck, boat, tractor, etc. Can the department pay for maintenance (i.e. oil changes) and repairs?
A Yes, you may pay for program maintenance and repairs.  The Banner Vendor number must be used when the distribution is done as this will use a tax-reportable account code.

Q 3.5 I am paying for a conference registration with the Purchasing Card. The lodging for the conference is separate and payable to another entity. Can I pay this with the Purchasing Card?
A No. Conference lodging must be part of the conference registration to the same vendor in the same payment.

Q 3.6 Can I use the purchasing card to purchase a computer?
A Yes, as long as the purchase price does not exceed the capitalization threshold of $5,000 or a dollar value stipulated in a grant or contract that would be considered capital equipment).

Q 3.7 Can any travel-related expenses be charged to a purchasing card?
A Use of a purchasing card is prohibited for travel costs (39000 account codes) with the exception of a conference hotel.

Q 3.8 Can I charge internet or network services provided by a non-university vendor on my purchasing card?
A No, please see  - OSU FIS 1402-03: Communications: Internet Services and Other Mobile Devices  http://oregonstate.edu/dept/budgets/FISManual/FIS1402-03.htm

Q 3.9 Can I use my purchasing card for emergency repairs to a Transportation Services vehicle while traveling for the university?
A Yes. Those charges must be documented and verified by Transportation Services. Transportation Services will reimburse the department for the costs.

Q 3.10 What is considered a "personal item"?
A The following list are personal items that cannot be charged against State or Federal funds:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Business license fees
  • Candy, gums, mints, etc.
  • Cards: greeting, holiday, birthday, thank you, etc.
  • CDs, cassettes, books that are not text books or reference material, etc.
  • Coffee room supplies: coffee, tea, creamer, sugar, etc.
  • Dues, memberships, or professional certifications belonging to an individual
  • Flowers. See FIS 410-04
  • Gifts, gift certificates, gift wrap, gift wrap supplies. See OUS FASOM: 13.01 (F) (2) for exceptions.
  • Gratuities, tips, etc. See OUS FASOM: 13.01 (A) (2) for exceptions.
  • Personal accident insurance on rental vehicles rented in the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada.
  • Personal use items such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, cold or allergy medications, Kleenex, deodorant, shampoo, etc.
  • Prescription glasses or goggles
  • Reimbursement to individuals for deposits on refundable containers.
  • Replacement or retrieval expenses for lost keys.


Q 4.1 Why is it important to have the signature of the budget authority?
A The budget authority takes responsibility that payment is accurate, allowable and appropriate.

Q 4.2 Can I use a signature stamp of the budget authority and then add my initials?
A No. Only original signatures are accepted. No forgeries or stamps.

Q 4.3 What if either the claimant of the budget authority is out of town? Will a faxed copy be accepted?
A Yes. Follow up by sending the document with original signatures when claimant or budget authority return.

Journal Vouchers

Q 5.1 What is one of the reasons for entering a JV into Banner?
A To correct a prior transaction/liquidate an encumbrance or record service credits.

Q 5.2 Do I need to send a paper copy to AP for approval of a JV?
A No. Approvals are done in Banner only. No paper audit is needed. Make sure Document Text includes the purpose of the JV. A contact name and phone number is also required.