407: Personal Reimbursements

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 5/17/2013

Use of a Departmental Procurement Card (see FIS 408-01 Procurement Cards) or OSU’s Auto Pay Vendors (see FIS 801-04 Auto Pays) are the preferred methods for OSU business related purchases. 

On the occasion when logistical reasons or extenuating circumstances occur that preclude the use of normal OSU purchasing processes or protocols and the unit does not have a petty cash fund (see FIS 1402-10 Petty Cash), employees may (with approval from their manager) make small purchases (normally less than $100) with personal funds and then subsequently be reimbursed by OSU. Also, see FIS 1106-04 Payment when Check Disbursed to Other than Vendor.  

A personal reimbursement transfers the ownership of an item or service from the OSU employee to OSU versus OSU paying the vendor directly. The practice of personally paying for services and equipment directly by employees is strongly discouraged. Convenience and/or a lack of proper planning are not legitimate reasons to circumvent regular OSU purchasing channels.  In addition, using a personal credit card to make purchases with the intent of earning rewards program points and/or benefits is strictly prohibited. 

All reimbursements must be submitted for payment within 60 days of incurring the cost or within 60 days after the conclusion of the travel/field-work during which the expenditure was made and in the appropriate fiscal year for the expense so that the costs will be recorded appropriately for financial statement purposes. The fiscal year ends June 30th.

Accordingly if an employee does not submit a reimbursement request within 60 days of the purchase date, the business center may offer a one-time educational session, depending upon the circumstances, before they issue a Memorandum of Understanding (memo or MOU) that is signed by the employee to document their awareness and understanding of the policy and inform them that the university will not reimburse their late reimbursements in the upcoming two year period. The option to offer an educational interaction instead of immediately issuing a MOU for an infraction of this policy should only be for those rare cases where it is very clear that the employee would reasonably not have known about this policy (i.e. new employee). A second violation for this same individual would result in issuance of the memo. Purchases that have been made with personal funds will be reimbursed by OSU when the following documentation is provided.

1. Documentation showing purchase and payment by the employee;

2. Statement of University business purpose, including intended use and physical location of the goods (where the goods will be used – campus office, in the field, etc.);

3. Signature of employee claiming request; and

4. Signature of authorized Budget Authority other than requestor also confirming #2. 

The unit or Business Center prepares the personal reimbursement request documentation as noted above. If completed by the unit, this form is then sent to the appropriate Business Center for final review and processing.

Note: when using the Reimbursement Request form it is preferable to hold individual small receipts and submit as a larger amount as long as the submission is within 60 days of the earliest expense receipt.

Students and OSU volunteers should follow FIS 407-01 Cash Out for policy and procedures for reimbursement of expenses up to $100.

407-01 Cash Out

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 12/01/1998
Revised: 04/15/2013

The Cash Out process may be used to facilitate timely reimbursement to students and volunteers for expenses up to $100.00.  A Cash-Out form with attached receipts is completed, signed at the unit by the Budget Authority, and brought to the Cashiers' window at Kerr Administration Building where cash is disbursed. This method of reimbursement is available only to volunteers and students who are already set up in the Banner system.

Procedure

1. Contact the Business Center to determine if the student or volunteer has an active vendor record in FIS Banner.

2.  Complete the Cash-Out form (pdf format) accessible through OSCAR.

3. Attach original itemized receipts and clearly mark the item being reimbursed. Ensure receipts do not include personally identifiable information such as  the credit card number. If the charge card slip does not itemize the purchase, include a separate store (cash register) receipt. For  receipts that do not show itemizations of the purchases, clearly write detailed information of what was purchased on the receipt.

Avoid charging or submitting reimbursement requests for unallowable items. Regardless of method of payment, all expenses paid by the University are audited. Funds will be requested back from the individual for any unallowable cost already reimbursed.

Reimbursements not allowed by the Cash-out method include:

  • Any costs that cannot be documented with a clear, complete business purpose
  • Wages, stipends, and testing incentives
  • Expenses paid for an event that has not yet occurred.
  • Deposits, such as those paid for photocopy cards or key deposits/key refunds.
  • Petty cash replenishments.
  • Communications, including cellular and telephone long distance charges, internet connections and phone cards.
  • Gift Cards or Certificates. These require prior approval and cannot be reimbursed. See FIS 410-27 Gift Cards and Certificates.

The following items are generally considered personal and should not be processed through OSU:

  • Candy and/or Gum
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Desk items, such as Kleenex
  • Greeting cards
  • Flowers as gifts
  • Key deposits
  • Aspirin, cold medications, etc.
  • Clothing
  • CD's/cassettes
  • Meal tips >15%
  • Coffee room supplies for faculty & staff use
  • Meal cost over the OUS authorized per diem

4. Obtain approval by the person in the unit with budget authority prior to submission at Cashiers.

5. The claimant does not sign the original form until requested to do so by the Cashier.

6. The claimant takes the approved Cash-Out form, with the original receipts attached, to the Cashier's window in Kerr Administration Building. The claimant signs the form when receiving funds.

NOTE: The claimant has 30 days from the date on the approved Cash-Out form to present the Cash-Out request to Cashiers. After 30 days, the form will need to be re-approved (dated and initialed) by the unit.

The unit should keep a copy of each Cash-Out. These payments will be entered into FIS Banner via a JV by Cashier’s Business Affairs to the Index and Account code indicated by the unit. The description lines will begin with a "CO", identify the person paid, and the purpose. This information will show on the FGRODIN report, and in the data warehouse transaction detail. It will also appear on the individual's accounts receivable record.

  • Any disapproved expenses are to be paid by check payable to Oregon State University within 30 days after notification by Business Affairs. The check is to be submitted to the Cashier’s Office in Business Affairs where a cash receipt is prepared and the check deposited. A copy of the receipt is sent to the unit for the claimant's records.

407-02: Petty Cash

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 07/01/2000
Revised: 04/15/2013

 

To pay for small office type supplies, making small volume purchases when a procurement card is not available use a Petty Cash fund. Do not use this fund for the payment of refreshments, meals, entertainment, travel, registrations, or membership fees. Do not use the Petty Cash fund for making change.

Petty Cash purchases have the same documentation requirements and fall under the same restrictions as other OSU purchases. Petty Cash funds should be kept as small as possible. The cash must be kept in a locked secured area. The receipts for items that have been purchased, but not yet reimbursed should be kept in a separate place from the cash.

Note: Use of petty cash is discouraged. Wherever possible, units are encouraged to use a procurement card to handle small volume purchases.

Procedure

 Contact Cashiers in Business Affairs to set up a Petty Cash Fund. The fund is established under an individual’s name, and that person will be responsible for the fund as the petty cash custodian. The department head is responsible for informing Business Affairs when there is a change in the designated custodian. Business Affairs must approve and process any changes to the custodian information.

Custodian Responsibilities:

  • Ensure that appropriate receipts are obtained to support any disbursement.
  • Ensure that the expenditure is appropriate in nature.
  • Ensure that the petty cash fund is reconciled at all times. THE PAID RECEIPTS OR INVOICES PLUS THE CASH SHOULD ALWAYS EQUAL THE FUND BALANCE.
  • Ensure that the funds are kept in a secure location, such as a locked cash box or desk drawer. The Custodian should maintain possession of the key. Funds should never be left unlocked or unattended and should be concealed from general view when not in use.
  • Petty cash funds and associated documents should not be combined or commingled with any other departmental funds.

Receipts must be provided for authorized purchases. No money should be disbursed from the petty cash fund to reimburse a person unless a paid receipt or invoice is presented. If receipts are not issued for a type of expense incurred, (e.g. parking meters, pay phone calls, etc.) then a written note describing the expense is required. The person who made the expenditure must sign the note.

If cash is advanced to make an authorized purchase, a petty cash advance slip should be signed showing the amount of money the individual received. When the unspent money and a paid receipt are returned, the advance slip should be destroyed.

Reimburse the petty cash fund no less often than quarterly.

A payment request form including itemized receipts should be submitted to the appropriate Business Center to reimburse the petty cash fund.  Petty cash reimbursements redistributing the purchases to the appropriate index and account code are entered into FIS Banner by the appropriate Business Center. The check is made payable in care of the petty cash custodian.

At fiscal year-end Business Affairs will send a Petty Cash Reconciliation Report to the custodian for completion. The completed report is returned to Business Affairs as part of the year-end closing process.  The size and activity level of the petty cash fund should be reviewed on an annual basis to determine if the amount is appropriate and if the fund is still needed.

Additional Information

See the listing of restricted uses of the OSU Purchasing card on the Business Affairs website.

OUS Treasury Management Operations 105.100

407-03 Vacant

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 03/01/1999
Revised: 1/01/2012

 

407-04 Corporate Travel and Entertainment Card

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/11/2008

The Oregon University System has an agreement with a banking institution to provide corporate VISA cards to employees of OSU.  This Visa card is to be used only for authorized OSU reimbursable expenses.  Misuse of the card may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.  OSU assumes no liability for this card, the cardholder is totally liable for all charges made against this account and for any other obligations arising from use of this card.

407-05 Vacant

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised:

407-06 Vacant

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised:

407-07 Departmental Advances (Non-Travel)

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 03/15/2013

OSU employees (faculty and classified staff employed at least 0.5 FTE) who provide payments to participants for official OSU business may be eligible for a departmental advance. Regardless of the funding source, the approved use must benefit the university’s educational, research or public service mission to qualify as official university business.

Departmental advances have a preferred minimum of $250.00 and are only for the period of participant activity. Advances are intended to be used within 90 days of receipt. Advances beyond this period will be granted only in exceptional circumstances. If the approved use is cancelled or delayed, any advance that has been given is due and must be immediately returned.

Procedure - Complete the appropriate OSCAR task for the Departmental Advance and submit it to the Business Center at least five working days prior to the date the advance is needed. After the advance is prepared, the employee responsible for the advance is required to sign a statement acknowledging the receipt of the advance by either direct deposit or check and agreeing to the terms under which the advance is given.

It is important to settle any advance in a timely matter. The settlement due date is clearly written on the Departmental Advance form by the Business Center and a copy is given to the employee.  No other notice will be given.  As a reminder, the employee’s photo ID is required when picking up an advance check from a Business Center and checks will not be released more than seven days before the approved use date.

An advance should be settled by the 15th day of the month following the completion of the approved use.  A copy of the Departmental Advance form must be submitted to the Business Center with the Personal Reimbursement Request. The employee is reimbursed for the expenses less any amount advanced.  If the total of the Personal Reimbursement Request is less than the amount advanced, the responsible party will be notified of the exact difference.  This amount is due in full when the reimbursement request is submitted.

Settlements are audited and input into FIS Banner by the Business Center. Failure to comply with settlement procedures may result in disciplinary action against the employee. This might include turning the amount of the advance over to Payroll so it would be taxed as additional income to the responsible employee and/or limiting the employee’s ability to receive future advances.

407-08 Travel Advances

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 2/15/2013

When traveling on official university business, OSU employees (faculty and classified staff employed at least 0.5 FTE), Graduate assistants appointed at .49 FTE, students and official volunteers may be eligible for limited travel advances. The minimum $250 advance from the appropriate Business Center may be used for items that cannot be pre-paid or paid through other means such as a direct bill or by a Corporate Travel Card.

To be eligible for an advance, a traveler and/or their trip must meet the following criteria:

  • out-of-state or international travel is longer than five days, or
  • trip is longer than 15 days and the use of the Corporate Travel Card is not a viable alternative to an advance, or
  • traveler is not eligible for the Corporate Travel Card, and
  • any previous advances have been settled in full.

A cancelled Corporate Travel Card may be insufficient justification for obtaining a travel advance.  The Business Center has authority to grant exceptions to the above criteria on a case-by-case basis.

An advance may be given to a traveler (if otherwise ineligible) if a department head guarantees its repayment in writing against a specified general fund index.

Travelers who are not eligible for a travel advance may be given a travel departmental advance.  A travel departmental advance is issued in the name of an OSU employee on behalf of the traveler.  This employee is typically the traveler’s supervisor and must meet certain criteria.  This employee takes full responsibility to see that the advance is repaid. 

To submit an advance request, complete the appropriate OSCAR task for the Travel Advance or Travel Departmental Advance and submit it to the Business Center.  The completed OSCAR request form must be submitted to the Business Center at least five working days prior to the date the advance is needed. If a new employee is eligible for a Corporate Travel Card, application forms must be turned in with the request for an advance. 

The responsible employee for the advance is required to sign a statement acknowledging the receipt of the advance by either direct deposit or check and agreeing to the terms under which the advance is given. The employee’s photo ID is required when picking up the check from the Business Center. Checks will not be released more than seven days before the departure date.

The settlement due date is clearly written on the Travel or Travel Departmental Advance form by the Business Center and a copy of the form is given to the employee.  No other notice will be given.  Advances should be settled in full within 45 days of the completion of the trip.  A copy of the Travel or Travel Departmental Advance form must be submitted to the Business Center with the OSU Travel Reimbursement Request (TRES).  The traveler is reimbursed for the expenses less any amount advanced.  If the total of the Travel Reimbursement Request is less than the amount advanced, the responsible party will be notified of the exact difference.  This amount is due in full at that time. 

Settlements are audited and input into Banner by the Business Center.  Any past due balance will be turned over to Payroll and taxed as an additional income to the employee responsible for the advance. This may affect the person’s ability to receive future advances. 

If the trip is cancelled, any advance given is due and must be returned immediately.

Failure to comply with settlement procedures may result in disciplinary action against the employee.