410: Expenditure Types

410-27 Gift Cards or Certificates

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 11/6/2013

Throughout this policy the term “gift cards” shall include gift certificates unless otherwise specifically stated.

All gift cards purchased by Oregon State University must be preauthorized and exhibit appropriate use of University funds.  A check will be issued directly to the vendor from whom the gift card will be purchased using the accounts payable process.  Personal reimbursements to OSU employees and payments to auto pay vendors, (including the OSU Bookstore) for gift card purchases are not permitted. 

OSU Units must submit a Vendor Payment Request form to purchase gift cards or certificates.   Send the form to the appropriate Business Center to review and process a check payable to the vendor for hand delivery to the department.  The department can then take the check to the vendor to purchase the gift card(s) or certificate(s).

Each purchase of gift cards should not exceed the number of cards expected to be distributed at a specific event. Gift cards should be maintained in dual custody, with one individual assigned the responsibility for dispensing and tracking the gift cards purchased. If there are any undistributed cards, they should be returned to the vendor for credit when permitted. If the vendor will not refund the value of the gift cards, they should be secured and held in dual custody. A description of their planned future use including anticipated disbursement dates must be approved by the department head and included as part of the required supporting documentation.

Supporting documentation should include receipts or a log that record the following information:

  • A listing of recipients
  • Employee ID numbers, if applicable
  • Amount distributed to each recipient
  • Date(s) of distribution
  • Serial numbers of the gift cards, and
  • Recipient’s signature acknowledging receipt

This information should be included in FOATEXT or returned to the Business Center for inclusion in supporting documentation in Nolij.  Note: in the case of a confidential listing of recipients, the list or log should be maintained in a secure location within the department and a comment should be added to FOATEXT.

The value of the receipts or log and any undistributed gift cards must be reconciled to the authorized amount expended so that all cards are accounted for. 

Gift cards to employees (faculty, staff, or student) are considered a cash equivalent and must be accounted for and sufficiently documented since the value of the gift card is reported as taxable in the Payroll system. Use Account Code 20168 for gift card purchases which will be given to employees.  See FIS 410-08 Employee Recognition for information on approved funding sources and processing requirements for these awards.

FIS 410-23 Testing Incentives will provide additional information for this particular type of expenditure.

Note: OSU Foundation will not process requests for direct payment or reimbursement (personal or direct reimbursements) for gift card purchases or other cash equivalent gifts or awards.  Gift card or certificate expenses paid by the University are reimbursable through the FS Index Reimbursement System using unrestricted funds.

Account codes for Gift Cards or Certificates:
20168 Awards – employees                                         20169 Awards – non-employees
20190 Testing Group Incentives – volunteers    25140 Research Subjects – volunteers

410-28 Greeting Cards

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/02/2008

Payment of holiday cards is allowed with University funds ONLY if account code 28613, Public Relations is used.  This assumes that holiday cards are sent to donors and alumni.  Do not use the 246xx printing account codes.  The preference is to use "M2" gift indexes or "FS" OSU Foundation indexes.  If a general fund index is used, use an index with development" in the title.

Respect the diversity of the University, and when processing the payment, do not refer to these cards as Christmas cards in the Banner Description.

It is not appropriate to pay for any other greeting cards with University funds.

410-29 Meals on One Day Trip (no overnight stay)

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/30/2014

Employee overtime meal allowance  

When an employee travels departing and returning the same day, the IRS considers breakfast and dinner allowances, figured on the basis of hours worked, to be taxable to the employee.  If such breakfast and dinner allowances are paid, use account code 28502 – Overtime Meal Allowance (W-2 Reportable). Payment is made using the current in-state meal per diem rate.

  1. Breakfast allowance can be paid when an employee leaves their official station two or more hours before their regular work shift.
  2. Dinner allowance can be paid when an employee returns to their official station two or more hours after their regular work shift

Classified employees may be similarly compensated when required to work at their station two (2) or more hours beyond the end of his/her regular work shift when such additional work causes the employee to miss his/her regular meal.  Current in-state per diem rate for the meal is used for the allowance.

Employee meals when officially representing the University

These meals are away from the work location, but the employee is not in travel status.  The meal can only be reimbursed when all three of the following are met:

  1. The claimant is attending a conference, seminar, convention, board meeting, or committee meeting as a representative of Oregon State University where non-OSU employees are present.
  2. The meeting is not a social or fundraising function.
  3. The menu and cost is arranged by the event organizers and beyond the control of the claimant.  
    These meals are considered an employee working meal and are not taxable to the employee.  Reimbursement is paid as account code 28611 - Refreshments and Food-Departmental.   Proof of payment and a copy of the meeting announcement which shows a clear business purpose and the meal as partof the agendaare required.  Alcoholic beverages cannot be reimbursed.

See FIS 410-07 Meals and Refreshments at Departmental Functions for other information on payment of employee meal or refreshment costs.

Athletic team or student group meals

When athletic teams or special student groups are on day trips and meals are provided, use account code 20300 Student Meals. The actual cost of the meal is reimbursed with receipts, not travel per diem. University funds cannot pay for meals or refreshments at for-credit classes unless the activity is part of a self-support instructional program where the participant is charged a fee to cover the cost.

For meal costs when athletic teams or student groups are in-travel status, use 39119 Group Travel-Domestic, or 39646 Foreign Group Travel as appropriate.

For additional information see:

FIS 410-05 Hosting Groups and Official Guests

410-30 Communications: Internet Services and Other Mobile Devices

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/30/2014


In general, Oregon State University (OSU) shall not provide wireless communication devices or internet services to its employees. However, for OSU faculty and classified employees with at least 0.5 FTE whose supervisors have documented, and whose Dean or Director has reviewed and approved, that they have employment responsibilities which require the use of cellular phone service, “smart phone,” other mobile communication devices, or an internet service not provided through University Information Services, OSU offers the options described below under “Need for Business Use of Communication Device(s) on a Regular Basis."  Graduate assistant employees, student employees, temporary employees, or emeritus/courtesy faculty are not eligible.

Note: Direct charge of communication device costs to grants, contracts or state-wide public service funds is very limited. Per OMB Uniform Guidance, communication access costs are considered part of the indirect cost and are not an allowable direct cost on grants and contracts; this includes federal and match state-wide funds. Therefore, any charges to research projects (sponsored, AES-funded, or FRL-funded) or other sponsored activities (sponsored or Extension-funded) must be approved in advance. A request for an unlike circumstance, such as remote location (field study), or emergency access must be made to and approved in writing by the Assistant Director of Business Affairs, Office of Post Award Administration (OPAA). The Communication Allowance is not one of the options available as a direct charge.

Need for Business Use of Communications Device(s) on a Regular Basis:

Monthly Communication Allowance.   In cases where the supervisor has determined and documented that an employee’s job duties require they have a communication device, and their Dean or Director has reviewed and agreed with the determination, the preferred option is for the employee to utilize the monthly Communication Allowance. The Communication Allowance is for use of his/her personal cellular or “smart” phone and/or internet service for the estimated percentage of monthly business-related expenses. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to review the request, documentation, and analysis of percent of business use; to obtain the Dean or Director’s approval of such; and then to forward the Communication Allowance Agreement either to the appropriate Business Center or directly (depending upon the department’s agreement with their Business Center) to OSU Central Payroll for implementation. Central Payroll should only be sent the approved & signed agreement – no supporting documentation.

The allowance amount for the summation of all devices and/or services covered can range from $20 to a maximum of $120 per month/per employee. Because of the availability for personal use, 100 percent coverage cannot be requested. The maximum amount allowed is 85% of the employee cost. Costs in a family plan that are not for the employee must not be considered in the request. The Communication Allowance is not an entitlement of any employee, does not increase the employee’s base salary, and is taxable income to the employee.  The Communication Allowance must be renewed each calendar year to continue.

University-provided pager. A unit, at their discretion, may opt to provide another communications device, such as a pager, to an employee , if it is determined that the services provided by a smart phone are not required to make contact with the employee, a smart phone is not cost effective based on need, or the employee does not qualify for the split-liability program.

Need for Short-term Business use of Communication Device(s):

While OSU generally will not provide wireless communication devices to employees, there are rare instances where this may be approved by Business Affairs and Telecommunications. Examples of these situations are: 1) requirement to conduct research projects in remote locations and the expense is pre-approved to be charged to a grant budget, 2) use for short-term off-site projects or travel when the employee does not have, and cannot obtain, their own personal cellular phone, or 3) used for emergency or disaster recovery purposes,

Employee use of OSU-provided devices is limited to official OSU business only. It is the responsibility of the unit to review the necessity for a cellular phone and also to review the charges monthly of any OSU-provided communication device to ensure no personal use has occurred. When there are violations of this restriction, in addition to disciplinary activities that will occur, the employee must reimburse OSU for that use subject to the following conditions:

  1. The reimbursement rate shall be $0.20 per minute for personal use, or the actual cost to the unit, whichever is greater.
  2. The reimbursement shall occur within thirty (30) days after the unit received its communication bill. The reimbursement will be deposited at the OSU Cashiers office using the same account code as the original cost.
  3. The reimbursement must be noted on the communication bill by the individual who receives the reimbursement. The following should be documented:
    • Itemization of calls being reimbursed
    • The amount received
    • Initials of the person receiving the reimbursement
    • The date of the reimbursement.

Internet Services

Employees requiring the internet for business-related purposes away from OSU business premises may apply for a Communication Allowance to cover these costs.  The University will not process direct payments to internet service providers (ISP) for home internet connections. Because of the availability for personal use, 100 percent coverage cannot be requested. The maximum amount allowed is 85% of the ISP invoice. If a special internet connection AT AN OSU LOCATION is required over and above that provided by OSU Information Services, the ISP vendor can be paid by OSU with justification.  Generally, this would be for service connected with transmitting data from remote instruments or internet connections at off-campus research project sites.

NOTE:  OSU Telecommunications is the only organization in the University which can authorize PaCS to extend existing cellular contracts or establish any new contracts with cellular companies or internet service providers (ISP). AES Experiment Stations, county extension offices, and remote OSU locations may require individual contracts to provide adequate business communication coverage.  Telecommunications must review and approve these and PaCS must manage the appropriate procurement method and review and sign any cellular or ISP contracts.  An approval must be on file in the appropriate Business Center to process a unit paid communications invoice.  


OSU employees who will be telecommuting should review the Telecommuting Agreement.


Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Title 26, Section 274 (d) Disallowance of certain entertainment, etc., expenses – Substantiation required

Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance 200.413 Direct Costs  and Appendix III Costs Identification and Assignment

410-31 Utilities for Short Term Field Crew Housing

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/02/2008

There are times when housing is rented for students or faculty to enable projects to be conducted away from OSU-owned facilities.  This housing may be a travel trailer, mobile home, cabin, bunkhouse, tent, or other facility.  When utilities are paid separately from the rent, it is important to distinguish these utility costs from those connected with university-owned property.  Use Account Code 23099 “Miscellaneous Utilities” for this purpose.  Costs could include electricity, water/sewer, natural gas, propane, garbage.  Do not use any other 23xxx account codes for this purpose.

Continue to use Account Code 24151 “Building Rental” for the housing rental itself.

410-32 Participant Support Costs

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 03/14/2016

Participant support costs are those costs made to (or on behalf of) an individual who is engaged in training and/or research in a specific field or program. Generally, these costs are funded by grants and/or contracts.  

Participants may include students, visiting scholars, scientists, workshop attendees, or teachers (K-12). OSU employees cannot be paid as participants.

The 551XX series of account codes are designated for paying or reimbursing OSU registered students, including research fellows. The 28620 and 2863X account codes are for payment of expenditures related to individuals who are not OSU registered students (including post-docs).

Non-resident alien participants must be identified so their associated costs are recorded correctly for 1042S IRS reporting. All costs must be processed by Office of Sponsored Research and Award Administration (OSRAA).

A stipend payment is a predetermined amount allocated to the participant regardless of actual incurred expenses. The stipend amount is usually specified in the sponsored agreement. Stipends are not to be confused with per diem. Stipend payments are posted as follows:

  • 55102    stipend for OSU registered students
  • 28636    stipend for non-OSU participant (1099 reportable)
  • 28632    stipend for non-OSU participant, non-resident alien (1042S reportable)

Participant support payments for OSU and non-OSU registered students are coordinated with OSRAA.  Tuition and fee payments, account code 55104, can only be applied to the student’s account by OSRAA.

The following non-OSU participant support payments must be documented by receipts:

  • 28630    tuition and registration fees
  • 28633    book allowance
  • 28634    room and board
  • 28635    travel
  • 28631    other (miscellaneous)

Expenses connected with a conference: room rental, meals, refreshments, travel, and/or equipment rental should not be paid using the 2863x account codes. Conference expense account codes (28602-28606) should be used for organized conferences and workshops sponsored by OSU when there are persons from outside OSU in attendance.

Expenses connected with hosting a group of participants: refreshments or meals should not be paid using the 2863x account codes. Account code 28612 Hosting Groups and Guests is appropriate for expenditures of refreshments or meals provided to participants which are not included in a room and board package or are not part of an organized conference/workshop.

When supplies are purchased in connection with participants and the supplies do not remain with the participants, the expense should be coded 20102 General Operating Supplies.

Examples of costs which should not be recorded as 2863x participant support:



Example of Participant(s)

Account Code

Room rental fee for workshop


K-12 teachers


Refreshments/meals for workshop or conference (OSU sponsored)


Visiting scholars or scientists


Refreshments/meals for workshop or conference (non-OSU sponsored)

Community College

Workshop attendees


Refreshments for math/science club

Oregon high or elementary school

K-12 students/teachers


Homestay Stipend to host non-resident alien

Private community home

Community member


Air travel

From international location to Corvallis

Visiting professor


Meals outside of workshop or conference


Conference or workshop attendees


For assistance in determining the correct account code, please review the flowchart, examples shown above, and the account code definitions within FIS Ex003-02 Account Codes.


Participant Support Flowchart or Decision Tree

Decision Tree.


410-33: Communications Allowance

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 02/01/1982
Revised: 02/21/2017


The Communication Allowance option is provided to faculty and classified staff working at least 0.5 FTE who are required to conduct legitimate OSU business using their own personal cellular telephone or other communication device [see FIS 410-30 Communications: Internet Services and Other Mobile Devices]. This allowance is not an entitlement related to the employee’s position, does not increase the employee’s base salary, is a non-taxable benefit to the employee, and does not require substantiation of each individual call or internet usage. Graduate assistant employees, student employees, temporary employees, and emeritus/courtesy faculty are not eligible for this allowance.

The Communication Allowance is paid as a  check or direct deposit.  The required OSU business need for the employee’s individual wireless access (cellular phones or internet connections away from OSU premises) must be clearly stated in the employee’s position description.

The Communication Allowance is paid monthly from the time of authorization until December 31st of the current calendar year unless a change in employment status occurs or an early termination request is provided by the department. The allowance is effective upon receipt of a completed, approved Communication Allowance Agreement form from Business Affairs.  There is no retro-active pay for this allowance. If the agreement is received by the 10th of the month, the allowance will be effective in the month received. If the form is received after the 10th of the month, the allowance will be effective the next calendar month.

The total allowance amount to any one person for all communication devices shall not be less than $20 per month or greater than $120 per month, unless there is special signature approval by the VP Finance & Administration or designee. Amounts are rounded to the nearest $1. Because of the availability for personal use, 100 percent coverage cannot be requested. The maximum amount allowed is 85% of the employee’s cost. Costs in a family plan that are not directly applicable to the employee should be excluded from the request. A copy of the employee’s service provider invoice must be included when the agreement is reviewed by the supervisor AND retained with the departmental copy of the agreement. For cellular phones, the agreement form must include the employee’s cell phone number.

The agreement, with a copy of the service provider invoice as documentation of cost, must be approved by the Dean or Director as budget authority. Send the approved Communication Allowance Agreement directly to Business Affairs. Employees receiving a Communication Allowance may not also be reimbursed for business calls within the United States. An employee cannot receive a Communication Allowance for a cell phone and also have a department provided OSU cell phone.

The Communication Allowance must be paid with departmental funds. These include Education & General, gift, endowment, Agricultural Research Foundation (ARF) gift funds, [excludes FAxxxx research grant funds] or reimbursable by OSU Foundation (OSUF) (FSxxxx, FExxxx, 438xxx) funds.  Employee Communication Allowance cannot be paid directly by OSUF or ARF.

The Communication Allowance is not an allowable payment as a direct cost on a grant or contract, ARF research project, AES research project, FRL research projects, or Extension public service project.  Any request for communications expenses as an “unlike circumstance”, such as remote location (field study) or emergency access, must be made to and approved in writing by the Office of Sponsored Research and Award Administration (OSRAA).  In these situations, OSU-provided cell phones must be used in lieu of a personal communication device paid through the communication allowance so that substantiation of use is documented for audit purposes.

For additional information on completing an allowance agreement see the training materials located on the Business Affairs website.


  • If an employee goes on sabbatical, the allowance will be terminated.  If there is a need to maintain the Communication Allowance when on sabbatical, the employee will need to re-apply with a new business purpose justification due to the change of duties.
  • When an employee goes on leave, the allowance is also “put on leave” or stopped.
  • Employees on a nine(9) month appointment will have the allowance stopped for the summer.
    • If employees want to continue their allowance during the summer, they need to submit a new form with updated information specific to their summer appointment.
  • A new form must be completed if:
    • Allowance amount needs change (increased or decreased)
    • Position Changes
    • Index/Activity Changes


Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance 200.413 Direct Costs and Appendix III Costs Identification and Assignment

Communication Allowance Procedure

Determining Actual Cost of Service

410-01 Alcoholic Beverages

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 08/15/2013

Institutional funds cannot be expended for alcoholic beverages. 

When the full cost of alcoholic beverages is recovered through charges to the participants or sponsoring group, alcoholic beverages may be served at banquets or other special group activities conducted as part of a workshop or conference. Income and costs are to be accounted for in Designated Operating Funds (05xxxx), Auxiliary Enterprise Funds (1xxxxx), or Agency Funds (9xxxxx) only. 

If alcoholic beverages are purchased in the course of entertainment or recruitment activities, the cost must be separated from the meal charges that are to be paid for by OSU.  The separate bill for the alcoholic beverages should be sent to the OSU Foundation for payment.

410-02 Cell Phone Charges

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 11/18/2010

Monthly base charges for cell phones are a non-reimbursable expense.  Reimbursement for calling to another cell phone with the charge of a long distance call to the caller is not allowed unless the staff member is able to establish that there was no alternative form of communication available.

Any expenses for personal reimbursement must be identified as only business-related.

410-03 Donations, Contributions, and Sponsorships

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/08/2017


The terms “donation,” “contribution,” and “sponsorship” can each have different meanings depending on their usage.

Institutional funds cannot be used for donations and contributions wherein the essence of the transaction is charity.  These include donations to the OSU Scholarship Fund.

In addition, institutional funds cannot be used to provide sponsorships wherein the essence of the transaction is to provide support for an event or operations of an external entity.  In some cases, a transaction that is called a sponsorship includes goods, services, or access that represents an exchange of value and the primary benefit helps fulfill the University’s mission and purpose.  In those cases, the amount of the transaction that is reasonably representative of the value of the exchange may be made from institutional funds. It is the responsibility of the authorized OSU budget authority to substantiate how and why the benefits of the exchange are commensurate with the amount of the sponsorship. The portion of the sponsorship that is over-and-above the value of the exchange cannot be made from institutional funds. In these cases, recognition and the display of the university’s logo by the recipient is NOT sufficient to be deemed an exchange and would not justify an expenditure from institutional funds.

When transactions are confusing and/or ambiguous, contact your Business Center and/or Business Affairs prior to the event to help plan the most appropriate way to fund the transaction.

410-04 Flower Purchases

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 7/15/2014

Only some flower purchases are considered acceptable expenses with OSU Funds.  Flowers may be purchased to:

  • Use in classes such as botany or biology
  • Use at commencements (University or college-level)
  • Present as a prize for competition; however, account code 2016x Awards should be used for the purchase
  • Use by OSU Catering for event banquets or receptions
  • Use in a Student Activities sponsored function, such as a drama production (cost is charged to a student activity fund). 
  • Use for landscaping beautification projects on University property by an authorized central or auxiliary shop  

Any other purchase of flowers for other occasions should be submitted to OSU Foundation (OSUF) for payment.

410-05 Hosting Groups and Official Guests

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 03/11/2016


This policy only includes hosting of non-employees. See FIS 410-07 Refreshments or Meals at Unit Functions for employee-only functions.  See FIS 410-29 Meals on One Day Trip for employee and student group meals when not in over-night travel status.


The University or an employee, in the normal conduct of a program/activity, may serve as host for official guests of the institution by paying for their meals, refreshments, transportation or other expenses with university funds.  An official guest is a person who has been invited to an OSU facility or function for a specific purpose that benefits the university’s mission.  Official guests include, but are not limited to, candidates to fill positions [with possible accompanying family member(s)], prospective students, visiting scientists/ scholars/artists, dignitaries, guest/seminar speakers, advisory board members, prospective student athletes within appropriate athletic association guidelines, and other guests whose visit provides a clear benefit to the institution.  A clear benefit to OSU must be documented when requesting payment of invited guest expenses and approval by appropriate program personnel or budget authority should be received prior to extending an invitation.

If a meal of an invited guest is not hosted, the guest can be reimbursed as a non-employee under the same travel policy as employees of the University. Employee family member(s) meals are not normally reimbursable; however, sometimes a job candidate or official guest is accompanied by a family member(s). Only in these cases is an employee family member(s) meal an allowable cost. Employee requests for reimbursement of accompanying family member expenses should be evaluated for their reasonableness and necessity prior to being approved.


When meals or refreshments are arranged in advance for an entire group of persons, these are hosted groups.  Examples of university activities involving hosted groups are conferences, departmental retreats, commencement events, community or public relations events, and student activities.  Refreshments may also be provided at a focus group working session or when hosting an appreciation event for students or volunteers in recognition of specific accomplishment.  See FIS 410-08 Employee Recognition policy, FIS 410-09 Graduation Event Expenses and FIS 410-21 for Conference Expenses for further information.

Requesting payment:

  • Employee reimbursements – complete a Personal Reimbursement (form) with required attachments and submit to the appropriate Business Center.
  • Vendor invoice payment (caterer or restaurant) - submit to the appropriate Business Center with required attachments


1. 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why) -

  1. Who:    Names of the individuals hosted and the individuals doing the hosting. Also, describe the title/relationship to the University for each attendee to help understand the business purpose.
  2. What:   What was the nature of the hosted event? Was it lunch, dinner, breakfast, entertainment, or something else?
  3. When: The dates and times of hosted events.
  4. Where: Location or locations that the hosting took place.
  5. Why:    Purpose and reason for hosting. Must describe what the benefit gained to OSU was from conducting the hosting.

Note: Names are not required when hosting large informal group gatherings; however, the announcement or agenda of the group gathering indicating the University purpose is to be attached to the reimbursement or invoice payment request.

2. Receipts - meals, gratuities, alcoholic beverages and any charges for room use are to be separately itemized. A "tear tag" showing only the total charge is inadequate for reimbursement. The employee should insist on an original itemized receipt. Credit card charge slips provide proof of payment, but may not provide necessary itemization. In the case where a receipt has been lost, contact the appropriate Business Center.

3. Average Amount - the calculated average cost per person for refreshments or meals must be included on the first line of TEXT of the Banner invoice or journal voucher. The average is determined by dividing the total cost (meal/refreshments including tip and delivery charge) by the number of attendees.

Allowable costs:

1. Meal and refreshment costs should be reasonable for the occasion. Approved OSU travel per diem rates will be used to check for the reasonableness standard. The 15% allowable gratuity is included in the per diem rate. Meal expenses significantly exceeding the OSU per-diem rates require documentation explaining the reason for the excess and the approval of the department head. The following is considered a best practice for determining what rates may be appropriate when Business Center personnel identify a departmental pattern of significant departure from per diem rates:

  • Business Center management should consult with the department head, administrative head, or Dean to come to an agreement in determining reasonable meal reimbursement rates based on the unique circumstances of a specific or recurring situation.
  • The agreement should be documented and should include an explanation that supports why per diem rates are not sufficient and higher rates are justified.
  • A copy of the agreement should be submitted to Business Affairs.

2.      Gratuities/tips - reimbursement for a tip of up to 15% of the charge is allowable when hosting groups or guests.  The 15% limit does not apply when the establishment adds a service charge for larger groups in lieu of gratuity. In this case, the amount of the service charge is not within the control of the customer.  Tips or fees for alcoholic beverage service are not reimbursable.  These costs need to be separated and included with alcoholic beverage purchase.

3.      Alcoholic beverages -reimbursement of alcoholic beverages is not allowed on institutional funds.  When an alcoholic beverage is served at banquets or group activities conducted as part of a workshop or conference where the full cost of such beverages is recovered through charges to the participants or sponsoring group, the income and costs must be accounted for in the appropriate fund (only allowed on 1xxxxx Auxiliary or 05xxxx Designated Operating funds).  The institution is responsible for compliance with all laws and Oregon Liquor Control Commission regulations, including obtaining a one-day license for serving beer and wine. Expenses for alcoholic beverages must be separately identified and billed directly to OSUF.

4.      Room use charges - establishments may charge a room use fee when there is a large gathering requiring a separate room.  Process payments using account code 28606 Conference Facilities or 24151 Building Rental as appropriate for the occasion.

Official guests hosted at an employee’s home:

The employee can request reimbursement for food and supplies purchased for the function.  The Personal Reimbursement form must include an itemized sales slip of the items purchased, a list of attendees, and a clear statement of the business purpose.  Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable from E&G funds. When requesting reimbursement through OSUF, additional documentation/justification must be included to demonstrate the appropriateness of the request.

Account Codes:

Account code 28611 Refreshments and Food – Departmental is for costs associated with business, instructional, or informational departmental meetings where attendees are OSU employees, the business purpose is appropriate, and justification for serving food has been approved.  See FIS 410-07 Refreshments or Meals at Unit Functions for policy.

Account code 28612 Hosting Groups and Guests is for costs of non-alcoholic beverages and food served at a function associated with group gatherings or official guest hosting for the purpose of instruction, information dissemination, or faculty/staff recruiting.  The business purpose stated with the reimbursement request needs to clearly distinguish the function from those activities listed for account code 28613 Public Relations. Note:  University funds should not be used to purchase food served as refreshments during a for-credit class.

Account code 28613 Public Relations is for authorized expenditures made in connection with public relations activities.  These include graduation activities; recognition events for students, volunteers, dignitaries, or donors; recruiting of students; student group meetings; or other functions where there is no instruction or information formally presented.  It is recommended that costs be submitted directly to OSU Foundation whenever possible.  It is not required for these expenses to be recorded at OSU. 

Account code 28603 Conference Meals is for meals that are catered or served as part of an OSU-hosted conference or workshop.  Use account code 28604 Conference Refreshments for food, drinks and supplies for refreshment breaks.   Note: Use of conference expense account codes (28602 - 28606) is limited to organized conferences, workshops, and meetings sponsored by OSU, and when persons from outside OSU are in attendance.  This could be a conference held at OSU-owned facilities or at other locations where a program agenda and information is disseminated.  Generally, these account codes are used on Designated Operating workshop funds (05xxxx) where the participant has paid a registration fee.  Conference account codes are not to be used for departmental retreats.  See FIS 410-21: Conference Expenses for further information.

Account code 20300 Student Meals should be used for athletic training meals where the cost is allowed per appropriate athletic association guidelines and special student group meals while at normal campus locations. When these students are in travel mode the 39xxx account code series should be used. Note: special student group activities are part of a self-support instructional program and the participant is charged a fee to cover the cost.

410-06 Memberships and Dues

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/31/2014

Membership fees or dues for governmental and professional organizations must be approved by authorized institution personnel.  Memberships that include the cost of receiving publications/subscriptions as part of the cost of the membership are still coded as memberships.

Consider the following when approving payment of membership fees or dues:

  1. No payment of membership fees or dues may be authorized for organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, age or handicap.
  2. Library invoices for minor membership fees or dues primarily for the costs of association publications are allowable.
  3. Whenever possible, memberships should be institutional rather than individual and no more than one full institutional membership should be purchased per association.  When the association charges the full rate for an initial membership and lower rates for associate memberships, duplicate memberships may be paid from institution funds.  Institutional memberships should not remain with a staff member after termination.
  4. Professional memberships associated with the job duties of an OSU employee are subject to the supervisor’s approval and budgetary limitations but may be paid from University funds.
  5. Membership in an organization made up of public officials and administrators is generally institution-related and a benefit to the institution.
  6. Membership in an organization engaged in activities closely related to the individual’s employment and made up of interested persons from government, private and commercial fields may be a benefit to the institution because of knowledge gained or publications received.
  7. Institutional membership in the local chamber of commerce is specifically authorized, but payments for memberships in civic organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions are usually not allowable.
  8. Personal memberships in social and sports clubs for the purpose of public relations are a taxable perquisite of the member.  Payment can be made using gift funds with account code 28613 Public Relations, and the amount must be reported to Payroll for a tax deduction.  Examples include Arlington Club and Country Club.

410-07 Non-Travel Meals and Refreshments

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 10/22/2016


Refreshments, meals, or affiliated supplies (ie paper plates, cups, etc) at unit functions can be paid with University funds when the activity meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Training or workshop lasting at least two hours
  2. Unit staff retreat held away from the normal work location with a written agenda and in a private room
  3. Employee working meal with required attendance where business is conducted during the meal period (as documented in meeting agenda) and location is not at a restaurant (unless in a private room)
  4. Employee meal provided at worksite during an overtime period that is two or more hours beyond the end of employee’s work shift and when duties prevent the employee from taking a meal break (must be clearly documented)
  5. Refreshments or meals for a Department Student Organization and/or Recognized Student Organization when engaged in an educational activity.

University funds cannot be used to pay for employee meals or refreshments for regularly scheduled unit meetings.

Use of the employee working meal option by a unit should be infrequent.

The request for payment on non-travel meals or refreshments must:

  • Document the purpose of the function, agenda, names of the attendees, and why that time of day requirement (if a meal).
  • Include the average per person cost on the first line of TEXT in the Banner document and  may not exceed the current OSU per diem.  The cost includes the price of the meal, delivery, and tip.
  • Use account code 28611 Refreshments and Food – Departmental to process invoice payments or reimbursements.
  • Use account code 28502 Overtime Meal Allowance to process invoice payments or reimbursements for employee meals provided during an overtime period.

NOTE: Meals and refreshment costs cannot be paid with Petty Cash funds or a departmental purchasing card.

For additional information see:
FIS 410-05 Hosting Groups and Official Guests
FIS 410-29 Meals on One Day Trip
Fiscal Policy 56.100 Non-travel Meals, Refreshments and Hospitality Expenses

410-08 Employee Recognition

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/30/2014


Oregon State University (OSU) policies and applicable State of Oregon regulations must be followed when providing any recognition to eligible OSU Faculty, Staff, or Student employees.  

Employee recognition awards fall within two types: Performance Awards and Service Awards. Follow the guidelines below for the specific type of award.

1. Performance awards recognize extraordinary employee and/or team achievements. These may be given to faculty, academic/administrative unclassified, classified, or student employees.

Payment of these awards is not limited to a specific dollar amount. However, ONLY $50 in a calendar year, per individual, may be from Education and General (E&G) (0xxxxx) funds, State-Wide Public Service (SWPS) 03xxxx, or Designated Operations 05xxxx funds.  Note: use of state-wide public service (SWPS) funds is limited to indexes with ‘administrative’ program codes and Designated Operation funds can only be utilized when the award is directly related to the specific Designated Operation fund activity.

The total award, or any amount over the $50 limit noted in the paragraph above, may be from M2xxxx gift, FSxxxx gift, FExxxx, 438xxx, or 1xxxxx auxiliary funds. These awards cannot be paid with grant and contract funds, cost share funds, or SWPS project indexes.

Cash awards will be approved by the Office of Human Resources (OHR) or the Business Center HR Manager (HRM), processed through Central Payroll, and taxed as income.  Performance awards cannot be paid through the accounts payable process. Cash equivalents, such as gift cards or certificates, are purchased through the accounts payable payment process but must be reported as taxable income to the recipient through Central Payroll.  See FIS 410-27 Gift Cards or Certificates. Other non-cash awards (cameras, pictures, etc.) with a cost of $400 or less per employee, per calendar year are non-taxable to the employee. Reporting is done through the Financial Accounting & Analysis (FA&A) unit in Business Affairs.

2. Service awards are in honor of length of service or retirement.

Service awards may be provided only from non-institutional funding such as M2xxxx gift, FSxxxx gift, FExxxx, 438xxx, or 1xxxxx auxiliary funds. The payment amount is not limited.

E & G (0xxxxx) funds, SWPS (03xxxx) funds, grant/contract funds, or cost share funds cannot be used to pay service awards.

Cash awards will be approved by OHR or HRM, processed through Central Payroll, and taxed as income.  These awards cannot be paid through the accounts payable process. Cash equivalents, such as gift cards or certificates, are purchased through the accounts payable payment process and must be reported as taxable income to the recipient through Central Payroll.  See FIS 410-27 Gift Cards or Certificates. Reporting is done through FA&A in Business Affairs.

Other non-cash awards (cameras, pictures, etc.) with a cost less than $400 or less per employee per calendar year are non-taxable income to the employee. 

3. Account codes:

Cash awards (processed through Payroll)

  • 10207 Unclassified/Academic employees
  • 10417 Classified employees
  • 10507 Student employees

Non-cash awards (processed through accounts payable)–

  • 20168 Awards (all employees)

Note: Cash equivalent and non-cash awards handled through accounts payable must be coded appropriately, include the employee’s first name, last name, and the OSU ID number. 

4. Retirement/service reception expenses are not an allowable use of institutional funds.  Departments wishing to honor employees for outstanding achievements, length-of-service, and retirement must use external funding sources for this purpose. This may be a direct payment by the OSU Foundation (OSUF) or individual donations (See FIS 102-09 Attendee – Paid Funds for Recognition Event).  With the exception of specific agency funds, costs for these activities must not be entered on the OSU Financial Information System (FIS)/Banner.  FSxxxx funds cannot be used for this purpose. 

5. OSU Foundation (OSUF) will process, as a direct payment or reimbursement, non-cash awards with a value/cost of less than $400.  Submission is required within 45 days of the date the expense is incurred.  To ensure accurate tax reporting, all non-cash awards with a value/cost of $400 or greater and all gift cards or certificates must be processed through OSU.


IRS Publications 15-B, 535

410-09 Graduation Event Expenses

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 07/06/2017

Departmental graduation event expenses cannot be paid from E&G funds and are most appropriately paid directly by the OSU Foundation (OSUF). Send invoices to OSUF for direct payment without entering into the OSU Banner system.

If catering is provided by OSU Catering, these costs should be submitted through OSUF's Direct Pay system.

Cap and gown rental is an appropriate charge to the general fund, if the faculty or staff member is required to attend the graduation ceremony as part of his/her official duties. The appropriate account code is 28613 - Public Relations.

Note: Purchase of either a cap, gown, an academic stole, an honor cord, or any item considered personal in nature would be an unallowable expense on any institutional funding source.

410-10 Royalties

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/02/2008


Oregon State University has one of the most liberal royalty distribution policies in the nation.  Following the recouping of patent expenses, royalty revenue is shared based on the following schedule:





1st $50,000




2nd $50,000




$100,000 +




410-11 Fellowships, Scholarships, and Student Payments

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 03/16/2017


OSU Students and post-doctoral fellows can receive financial support in several ways. The type of support is determined by (1) employment relationship at OSU and (2) funding source restrictions.


Fellowships awarded to students and post-doctoral faculty are typically paid as stipend payments (not salary via payroll) and are awarded either to the institution or to an individual student or post-doc by a sponsoring agency. Most fellowship stipend payments are processed by the Office of Sponsored Research and Award Administration (OSRAA). Fellowship stipends are considered a financial resource by the OSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, and thus may impact the student’s financial aid.

These stipends are paid to students engaged in training or a sponsored program and the student/fellow is expected to participate in the training program or research project. This payment is not a salary. It is made primarily to defray general living expenses. Individuals paid on stipends are not required to complete time/effort documentation (unless required by a sponsoring agency) and do not have an employer-employee relationship with the University. Since no employer-employee relationship exists, fellowship recipients do not qualify for benefits associated with graduate appointments. Recipients of sponsored awards; however, may receive benefits as specified in the award terms. Individuals paid on stipends do not receive liability insurance or workmen’s compensation coverage provided by the University.

Students on fellowship awards are required to maintain minimum enrollment levels (twelve undergraduate or nine graduate credit hours during the academic year and one undergraduate or three graduate credit hours during the summer) to receive their stipends. These enrollment requirements apply not only to current OSU students but may also apply to students from other institutions who come to OSU to participate in training opportunities (read exception criteria listed below). Delayed enrollment may result in a stipend being issued later than the pre-determined schedule. Fellowships awarded to visiting faculty, such as post-doctoral research trainees or assistants, do not require enrollment as a criteria for receiving stipend payments. For further information on fellowship awards on sponsored funds, see OSRAA's fellowships page.

Exceptions to the enrollment requirement may be made in limited cases in which the requirement may cause an undue financial burden to the student or in which the student’s physical location makes it difficult to undertake course work. Any exceptions that are granted will be limited to the following:

  • Students from non-OSU institutions (thus not degree-seeking students at OSU) who are on campus during the summer to participate in research or training programs
  • Students whose research or training program requires them to be in distant and/or remote locations, thereby making class attendance difficult or impossible and meaning they are not on campus using University resources
  • Students whose financial support from the fellowship or employment would be significantly offset by the cost of attendance for the required enrollment (including tuition, mandatory fees, and any additional costs related to admission or to specific programs or distance education)

Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Director of Financial Aid before student support payments will be disbursed.

Post-Doctoral support awards that provide for an institutional educational allowance and allow for an administration fee for the management of the award will be assessed a $300 fixed fee at the beginning of each year.  This fee will be applied to the administrative costs for managing the Post-Doctoral program and will be charged at the beginning of each award year.

Per Oregon Revised Statute 351.070 there are only a few instances in which student support (including stipends, tuition, and other educational expenses) can be paid from education and general (E&G) funds.  (This ORS restriction does not apply to payroll positions which are allowable on E&G funds.  See payroll section below for further information).  Only specific projects/programs, with prior approval from the president or provost’s office, allow for stipends to be paid from E&G funds.  Currently at OSU, only the Water/Watersheds Initiative project, the Promise Internship program, and URISC (Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship & Creativity) programs have been designated as approved exceptions and qualify to use E&G funds for student support.  Any exceptions to this must be approved by the Assistant Vice President and Controller, Office of Business Affairs.

Gift funds can be used to fund student fellowship support without approval by the Assistant Vice President and Controller in Business Affairs; however, there must be a documented fair and equitable selection process which explains the specific criteria used to choose the recipients of these funds.  This selection criterion must be forwarded to Financial Aid to document the basis of the support. 


Student support may also come in the form of scholarships, which are typically based on merit or need and are awarded to offset educational costs.  Such awards do not require any specific services to be performed by the student but, like student fellowships, generally do require minimum enrollment levels.  There is no employee-employer relationship.  Scholarship funds are posted as a credit directly on the student’s University account to cover tuition and other expenses.  Scholarships are offered through a variety of sources and have varied eligibility criteria.  OSU scholarships are available from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, through the application for admission through the graduate school, and from academic departments.   

Both OSU and OSUF receive donations and gifts specifically designated for student scholarships.  Payment of scholarships with these funds is recorded as an expenditure of the University in the 5xxxx account series on M2xxxx or FSxxxx funds, at the same time that the student’s account is credited for the scholarship award.  (See FIS 302-03: Posting of Financial Aid).  This includes athletic grants-in-aid scholarships.  OSU scholarships are available from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, through the application for admission, from the Graduate School, and from academic departments.  Most University awards are based on academic merit and financial need.

For more information regarding scholarship administration at OSU, please see the OSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship website.

Graduate Assistantships (Payroll)

Students can receive financial support from the University as an OSU employee.  Graduate students may be placed in academic appointment positions.  These Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) or Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) appointments range from .10 FTE to .49 FTE.  The compensation for the work completed is in the form of salary and benefits, as well as, tuition remission.  Salary is paid through payroll and tuition remissions are posted directly to the student’s OSU account.  The tuition remission offsets only the tuition portion of enrollment costs.  Other fees related to enrollment are not remitted and are the responsibility of the student.  (See section 302-01 of the Payroll Policies and Procedures Manual for tuition remission requirements)  If in a qualifying appointment, graduate assistants are represented by the Coalition of Graduate Employees and earn health insurance benefits.  To be eligible for a Graduate Assistantship appointment, students must meet specific eligibility requirements established by the Graduate School and monitored by the Office of Human Resources.  See OSU Graduate Assistantships on the Graduate School website for additional information.

Graduate students on assistantship positions are required to maintain an enrollment of at least 12 credits each term (during the academic year) and to be making satisfactory progress toward an advanced degree.  Per the continuous enrollment policy established by the OSU Graduate School, a minimum enrollment of three (3) credits during the summer is required for all graduate students using any institutional resources during that time.  For more information about this policy, see the OSU Graduate School website.

Graduate students may also work as student employees during summer session and the academic year in addition to their graduate assistantship.  If a graduate assistant on less than .49 FTE takes on extra duties, the total compensation from any location within OSU shall not exceed the total equivalent of .49 FTE for any term.  The University does provide liability insurance and workmen’s compensation on the students’ behalf.

Student wages (Payroll)

Students may work as hourly employees.  Hours worked must be documented to receive pay and are paid monthly.

Students (graduate and undergraduate) who are employed as hourly wage employees do not receive health insurance benefits or tuition remission.   Student employees can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and are required to complete and submit time cards to verify hours worked.  During officially recognized breaks, students may work up to 40 hours per week.  The University does provide liability insurance and workmen’s compensation on the students’ behalf.  See OSU’s Student Employment Manual for further information.


FELLOWSHIPS:  When student recipients are selected for institutional fellowships from sponsoring agencies, departments should complete a Fellowship Stipend Checklist and forward it to the Fellowships Coordinator in OSRAA.

The checklist should include information on any tuition and fees to be paid on behalf of the fellowship recipient.  The student is assessed tuition and fees as normal.  If the sponsoring award allows for coverage of tuition for student fellows, a payment will be applied to the student account by OSRAA.  Such payments are reported to the OSU Office of Financial and Scholarships monthly for consideration in the student’s financial aid.   Should a tuition payment be in excess of institutional charges, resulting in a credit balance on the student’s account, a refund check will be issued according to the standard processing of student accounts.  Some training grants and external fellowships provide a cost of education allowance in addition to a competitive stipend.  When the cost of education allowances fall short of meeting the tuition needs of fellows or trainees, the Graduate School may provide tuition support to cover the shortfall in instructional fees.  For complete details, see http://gradschool.oregonstate.edu/finance/tuition-remission/training-gra...

In some cases, fellowships may contain support beyond a stipend and tuition/fee support.  In these cases, items such as research supplies, research-related travel, and books are allowable when budgeted on a sponsored award.  These are typically charged to the award as reimbursements to the student(s).  Department personnel can process these in Banner as an invoice and use a personal reimbursement request for backup and signatures (see GCG 208-02 Reimbursement for Participants for further information).

STUDENT AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS:  Any student award not paid from an outside sponsor, including those paid through the OSU Foundation, should be processed for payment via the Financial Aid Office system.  These scholarships are posted to the student’s OSU billing account, per University policy. Scholarships for full-time enrolled students are disbursed based on donor authorization or, if not specified, on a pro-rata basis for the academic year. It is important to reconcile scholarship funds with the Financial Aid Office and OSUF.

Additional Items to Consider

  • When paying stipends to non-resident alien participants, be aware that these payments may be subject to tax withholdings by the IRS.  All stipends paid to non-resident aliens should be processed by OSRAA for determination of tax withholding requirements.  When applicable, OSRAA will make the withholdings and forward the necessary information for payment to the federal government.  Non-resident alien employees may also be subject to tax withholdings, as determined by payroll.

    When paying international fellows, check with the Office of International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS) to determine if the visa category that the fellow holds requires him/her to maintain an employee-employer relationship (i.e., H-1B visa category).
  • Similarly, support for educational expenses (including tuition and fees) that exceeds the student’s actual cost of attendance may be subject to tax withholdings for students who are non-resident aliens, per IRS regulations.  In cases in which tax withholdings are required, all forms of compensation and other educational support payments in excess of a student’s cost of education will be reported to the IRS on form 1042-S.
  • When determining how to pay a student participant or trainee (i.e., stipend vs. hourly pay), one of the determining factors should be the student’s role in the project and what requirement he/she is expected to meet in reporting time and/or progress.  Key control factors include who determines what is worked on and how the work is done.  If OSU controls that, the person is an employee and should be paid through payroll.  If the individual has this control, they likely are not an employee.  The impact of the pay method on students’ financial aid, is not appropriate criteria for determining which method to use.
  • If a visiting scholar or researcher is to be paid while at OSU assisting with a research project, be sure to clearly specify the intent of the compensation.  If the intent is to only offset his/her travel costs, paying this as a reimbursement or per diem may be most appropriate.  This may or may not impact withholding requirements.  The tax treaty with that specific country, if applicable, is the determining factor in whether or not tax withholdings are required.  If, however, the visitor is to also be compensated for personal services, paying them on a stipend basis or on payroll will be necessary. It is important to remember that international visitors who are non-resident aliens may need to have taxes withheld from this compensation and will need to have the necessary VISA documentation (see International Programs website for additional information about applying for a VISA and for VISA types.  Refer to IRS publications 901 and 515 for further information about tax withholdings and tax treaties for non-resident aliens.
  • Individuals (including employees) who host English Language Institute participants in the Homestay Program may be compensated.  These payments are initiated by International Programs.  This is an allowable cost as these are paid with designated operations funds.
  • Any student payments paid from University funding sources as support for a sponsored award need to be paid from a designated cost share index set up by OSRAA.
  • Per FIS policy 410-32 Participant Support Costs, participants may include students, visiting scholars, scientists, workshop attendees, or teachers (K-12). OSU employees cannot be paid as participants.
  • When paying support for participants, the flowchart in FIS policy 410-32 may be a helpful resource for determining the correct account code, tax implications, and receipt/documentation requirements for various circumstances. 

410-12 Student Travel Recruitment Costs

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 02/10/2011


Account code 28613 should be used for this expense.  These are public relations costs, not non-employee travel.  “Student” in this instance refers to any person who will be registered to take classes towards a degree, and therefore, includes those persons being considered for graduate appointments as well as undergraduates.

410-13 Student Award Payments

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/02/2008

The OSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships administers payment of university student awards.  Payment is made through the student’s revolving account according to University procedures.  Funding for the awards may come from OSU Foundation or University funds.   These expenses need to be reported to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for coordination with other possible sources of financial aid.  See the Business Affairs web page for information on procedures and forms.  See also FIS 507-02: Awards or Gifts to Students.

410-14 Subscriptions

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/02/2008

Multi-year renewals are allowable when there are substantial savings, except on grant funds with termination dates prior to the subscription expiration.  Do not renew more than 90 days in advance at fiscal year-end for annual subscription renewals so that the renewal charge will be expensed in the appropriate fiscal year.

410-15 Vacant

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 2/19/2013


410-16 Thesis Copying and Binding

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/02/2008

Graduate students are required to submit two copies of their thesis to the Graduate School for submission to the Valley Library for binding and archiving and (for doctoral dissertations) for transmittal to Bell and Howell University Microfilm, Inc. 

Graduate students may wish to make additional copies of their thesis for their own use, and the department or major professor may require a copy.  All copies of the document are the financial responsibility of the student, unless it is standard written policy that the department retains copies.  In that case, binding of up to 3 copies is allowed with general funds.  This cost is not allowed on research grants unless the thesis serves as the final technical report, and the student releases the thesis for this purpose. 

410-17 Thesis Microfilming

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 03/14/2016


Microfilming Agreement (doctoral students only): All major U.S. colleges and universities have entered into an agreement with Bell and Howell Information and Learning for archiving doctoral dissertations.  Under this agreement, all doctoral dissertations at Oregon State University must be archived. Abstracts may not be more than 350 words or 35 lines of type, according to the specifications of the archiving agreement, which is obtainable at the Graduate School Office.  The student must pay for archiving at the Office of Business Affairs.  The completed archiving agreement and two copies of the receipt confirming payment to the Graduate School must be submitted within 6 weeks after the student’s final oral exam.  For more information, contact the Graduate School.  The students are charged for the service and the Office of Sponsored Research and Award Administration (OSRAA) pays the bill from the outside vendor and reconciles against the student charges.  This cost cannot be charged to University funds.  It is the responsibility of the student.  Exception: Students who have fellowship grants in their name may pay this fee from their research supply allowance.

410-18 Apprenticeship Program for Science and Engineering

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/02/2008

Invoices are received from the Oregon Joint Graduate School (OJGSC) in the form of inter-institutional journal vouchers.  The costs are charged to the 55110 expense code.

410-19 Other Apprenticeship Costs

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 03/14/2016

Other apprenticeship costs for OSU students are charged to account code 55110.  Costs for Non-OSU students (high school) are charged to account code 28631.  

410-20 Payment of Fines

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/30/2014

Departments in the University sometimes receive fines for such things as safety violations.  These are paid on a regular invoice using account code 28910 Fines and Penalties - Costs resulting from violations of – or failure to comply with – federal, state, local or foreign laws and regulations.

Parking fines and book fines may not be paid from institutional funds.  This includes parking fines assigned to state vehicles.  Parking fines are the responsibility of the person renting the vehicle.  If the University owns the vehicle and the person does not pay the fine, OSU could pay the fine (to an outside entity only) and charge the individual.  The payment of the fine would be put on FIS as an A3140 receivable account code, with Transportation Service’s 9xxxxx fund.  Personal fines are not an expense of the University.

410-21 Conference Expenses

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/02/2008

Use of conference expense account codes (28602-28606) is limited to organized conferences, workshops, and meetings sponsored by OSU and there are persons from outside OSU in attendance.  This could be conferences held at OSU-owned facilities or at other locations.  There is a program agenda and information is disseminated.  Generally, these account codes are used on designated workshop funds.  Conference account codes are not to be used for departmental retreats.  Use building rental and/or employee travel for these activities.

410-22 Licenses and Occupational Fees

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 07/01/2001
Revised: 09/10/2013

The state, county or city requires licenses, certificates or permits for some occupations. Examples include the plumber’s certificate of competency, journeyman electrician’s license, and apprentice electrician’s permit. Such instruments are issued to individuals to confirm their qualification and authorization to work in their craft.

Unless agreed to as part of the initial hiring process or a requirement that becomes pertinent after an individual is already in the position, OSU employees are personally responsible for obtaining required occupational licenses, certificates or permits. University funds are not used to pay for an employee obtaining the required credentials (including associated preparatory courses or materials) or to reimburse the employee for obtaining them. The Vice President for Finance and Administration must approve any exceptions to this policy.

University funds may be used for renewals of permits, licenses or certifications for current OSU employees, if associated with an individuals’ job scope and/or position description and approved by department head or their supervisor.

In addition, many certificates required for employees in the maintenance trades are not occupational licenses in the same vein as those for electricians and plumbers. These include site licenses for OSU as an electrical contractor, an elevator contractor, restricted energy and HVAC electrical. They are for the work at hand, and do not belong to the employee. Other licenses include:

  1. Certified Arborist Licenses
  2. Limited Maintenance Electrical Licenses
  3. Asbestos Abatement and Supervisor Licenses
  4. Confined space entry / supervisor certification
  5. Back flow protection device testing certification
  6. Pool operator’s certification
  7. Universal certification of refrigeration mechanics
  8. Notary Public license, if the license is critical to the operation of the unit

If the department pays the fees for the licenses or certifications listed above, the license or certification will be in the University’s name, University’s address, and will expire when the employee leaves employment of the University.

410-23 Testing Incentives

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/01/2010

Units who perform testing of products often advertise that they will give anyone who takes the test an incentive, for example $5.00.  The unit will pay out the testing incentives and document how much was given, and to whom.  A Departmental Advance is required to receive the funds to distribute.  The advance will be “cleared” by the appropriate Business Center through the process identified in FIS 407-07 Departmental Advances (Non-Travel).

Account codes to be used –

  • 20190 Testing Group Incentives - Expenditures for items to be given as incentives for volunteers who serve on a test panel or survey group. Includes gift certificates and other non-cash items.
  • 25140 Research Subjects - This code concerns payment to persons who contribute to research projects, but are not required to perform personal services. This includes: (1) those who contribute blood or other human specimens, (2) those who contribute time to be a subject of research projects and (3) the costs of gift certificates.

If you are unsure whether an Institutional Review Board (IRB) application is necessary for your research project, please check with the Office of Research Integrity within the Research Office.

410-24 Use of University Property / Facilities for Personal Use

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 12/02/2008

The Oregon Government Standards and Practices Commission and the Assistant Attorney General issued an advisory opinion in July 1998 regarding the use of agency equipment by an employee.  ORS 244.040(1)(a) specifically prohibits all public officials in the State of Oregon from using their official position to obtain financial benefit because of holding the position.  This provision applies equally to elected persona, compensated public employees, and uncompensated persons who volunteer their time to a public entity.

Agency equipment is interpreted to include all publicly owned property or other resources of a government body such as photocopiers, fax machines, and document scanners.

A public agency’s telephones are intended to be used only for official business of the agency.  However, there are occasions when public officials may use their employing agency’s telephones for personal purposes without such usage being at odds with the law.  It is normal practice by both public and private employers to permit employees to use business telephones to talk to family members, make medical appointments, schedule service technicians, confer with children’s schools, and take care of any variety of matters which can only be accomplished during working hours.  Personal long distance calls, even if the employee intends to reimburse the public agency for the cost of such calls, should not be charged to an OSU index.  Employees should use personal calling cards for such calls. If any costs for personal usage are charged to OSU, they must be reimbursed.

The statutory considerations relating to the use of cellular telephones is essentially the same as that which applies to regular telephones.  Public agency’s cellular phones are not for the convenience or personal use of employees.  If public employees desire to have the convenience of a cellular telephone while on duty to make the types of routine personal calls cited in the section relating to telephones above, the employees must acquire and pay for their own personal cellular service.

The statutory considerations for computers are essentially the same as for both telephones and cellular phones cited above.

For further information see the complete Oregon Government Standards and Practices Commission Advisory Opinion No.98A-1003.

410-25 Payments for Services

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 11/11/2010

Companies and individuals are hired and paid for their services using one of the following documents:

  • Formal contract generated as a result of an RFP or Invitation to Bid initiated by Procurement and Contract Services.
  • Personal/Professional Services Contract (PSC) approved by Procurement and Contract Services.
  • Personal Services Invoice (PSI) for all personal or professional services that are $5,000 or less are prepared at the unit level.  A Personal Services Invoice is not to be used for architectural or engineering services.
  • Purchase order prepared by PaCS or at the Unit level.
  • Informal purchase order (PO) for local retail businesses.  See AutoPay Vendor List on Business Affairs website.

Account Codes Used For Payments:

  • Incorporated companies with federal tax ID numbers should be paid using the appropriate account code for the services they have provided (review account codes 245xx through 24616).
  • University-wide, long-term contracts with employment agencies such as St. Vincent dePaul should be paid using account code 24530 – Contract Personnel Services.
  • Bands and music groups giving a public performance should be paid using account code 24505 – Performance Fees.  Account code 24599 should be used when paying an instructional related activity, such as an accompanist for a music class.
  • “Consultants”, seminar speakers, athletic officials, and others doing “Other Professional Services” should be paid on account code 24599 – Other Professional Services.   However, “consultants” does not apply to professional services for architectural or engineering services.  Those contracts are handled separately through Business Services and Procurement & Construction Contracting.
  • Payment for services (245xx-24999 account codes) using a non-incorporated entity should have either a PSC or PSI attached.  Most common services in this area are editing, publishing and web design.

Except for speakers, direct unit billing is not allowed for airfare, lodging, or meals.  The PSC/PSI should include any travel-related expenses, either as part of the hourly/daily rate or separately identified.  When processing a payment for separately identified travel, pay as a lump sum using the appropriate taxable account code.  DO NOT ATTACH RECEIPTS.  These payments are taxable income of the contractor and the contractor must keep their receipts.

Personal Services Invoices (PSI’s) can be processed for payment no earlier than 20 days prior to service, with the check pickup within one week of the services rendered for speakers, referees, and entertainers.  This is for one-time service agreements, where the person or group being employed is at the University location only for that event and is then departing.  This option is not allowable for Personal Services Contracts (PSC’s) under a long-term contract.

To process a payment, the Business Center must have the following:

  • Original vendor invoice with copy of the PSC, or the original PSC
  • Banner “I” document number with the appropriate index, account code, signatures, and unit approvals.

Personal Services Agreements with Foreign Nationals – See Government Publication 901 for a list of countries with whom the US has treaties.  The list of countries can be found on pages 35 through 47.  For persons from non-treaty countries, the university must take a 30% withholding.  For further information regarding the payment of foreign nationals, contact Business Affairs and see reference 413 Non-Resident Aliens (NRA).

See Procurement and Contract Services website for downloadable contracts and forms.

See PaCS 401: Employee v. Independent Contractor for the Guidelines on Determining if a Worker is an Employee or Independent Contractor.

See the General University Policy  for Employees Doing Business with Oregon State University.

410-26 Vacant

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 06/14/2017