Policy Steward: 
Fiscal Policy Officer
Format Updated: 
University Policy & Standards Converted: 
Revision Date: 
Wednesday, February 2, 2022

This information replaces FIS 004 Frequently Asked Questions and is a collection of FAQs previously maintained on the OSU Shared Services and Business Affairs websites.  These FAQs are being consolidated into a single resource on this site.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to the Fiscal Policy Manual or general accounting practices


Fiscal Policy Guidelines

Fiscal Policy Program

Are departments or Business Affairs responsible for the fiscal policy education of departmental personnel?

Departments are responsible for training and educating their staff to insure adherence to policy and procedures. Periodic training and various resources related to fiscal policy are also available on the Fiscal Policy Program website.


General Revenue & Receivables

External Revenue

What types of revenue are considered “external”?

External revenue includes student income (including tuition and fees, fines, housing fees, loan repayments and outside/non-OSU scholarships), non-student income (proceeds from any activity sponsored by OSU), other revenue (auxiliary sales and services) and e-commerce (including all business transactions accomplished using an electronic medium). External funds arrive at OSU via check, cash and/or direct deposit (ACH – Automated Clearing House).

What qualifies as adequate segregation of duties for cash receipts?

Mail should be opened and receipts listed by a person having no access to cash receipts records. Deposits should not be prepared by the person who recorded cash receipts. List of receipts and authenticated deposit slip should be compared to cash receipts records by someone other than the person receiving cash, making deposit and recording cash.

Can I charge a fee for a service or product that’s new and not listed in the Fee Book yet?

Fees should not be charged unless they are listed in the Fee Book, and the amount charged must be the same as the amount listed in the Fee Book.  You can review Fee Book training on how to submit a proposal for a new fee.

Internal Revenue

What types of revenue are considered “internal”?

Internal revenue includes any income earned by OSU from other units, faculty or staff, endowments or internal bank interest. Internal transactions post to an OSU index via a journal voucher (JV) and do not require an exchange of physical cash.

How is the distribution of internal charges processed?

Internal charges are distributed through manual or automated journal entries. The journal entry should post the charges as revenue or an internal service credit not a receivable. (See FIS 1107).

Check Cashing services

Can I cash my payroll check at the Cashiers Office?

Yes, up to $500.

Can I cash a personal check?



Student revenue

General Information

What if I have a question about a student account not answered in these FAQs?

Check out the Student Finance website for information or contact us by emailing or For questions regarding Perkins Loans please email

How do I change my address?

Address changes are made by the student through OSU Student Online Services.

I believe that my residency status is incorrect, what should I do?

For questions regarding residency status please contact the Office of Admissions.

Charges to Student Accounts

What are the tuition and fee rates?

Please see the Tuition Information page.

What are all the different types of mandatory fees?

All degree seeking students pay the Building, Incidental, Technology, Student Health Services and Counseling fees each term. Descriptions of these fees are as follows:

  • Building Fee – A Fee assessed each term to all students attending Oregon University System colleges and universities. The funds are pooled on a statewide basis from which building projects are funded for non-instructional buildings. These projects include recreational and student union types of buildings.

  • Incidental Fee – A fee assessed each term to all OSU students. Rates vary by institution and are established at OSU by a committee with student representation. The committee responds to requests for allocation of funds from student groups, athletics and the operation of the student union. Committee appropriations are approved by the President.

  • Technology Fee – A fee assessed each term to all students designated for technology-oriented projects providing services to students. Funding has made possible the expansion of student computer labs on campus and providing access to the computer center, web and email to all labs and residence halls.

  • Counseling/Health Service Fees – Fees assessed to all students each term. Rates are established on each campus and vary, depending upon such factors as enrollment, level of service offered to students and operation costs of the facilities. The fee entitles the student to avail himself or herself of the health care and counseling services offered. It is required as a prerequisite to purchasing student health insurance. The fee is not health insurance .

I have my own health insurance must I pay the Student Health Service Fee?

Yes, the Student Health Service fee is mandatory for all degree seeking students.

What are resource fees?

Certain departments on campus have elected to assess resource fees each term to each of their students. A list of the departments requiring these fees can be found at our Student Fees page.

What are course fees?

Certain courses require an additional fee to cover specific, tangible goods or services received in conjunction with taking a specific class. Any course with a specific course fee will list the additional fee in the Schedule of Classes.

What is an Undergraduate Matriculation fee?

New undergraduates are charged a one-time fee at the start of their first term at OSU. This fee provides access to a variety of OSU programs and services at no additional charge. Programs and services included in the fee include, but are not limited to, open house programs, START, CONNECT, Odyssey, pre-enrollment advising, course drop/add/withdrawal and official transcripts.

What mandatory fees are Cascades Campus students required to pay?

Cascades campus students pay all of the mandatory fees with the exception of the Student Health Service and Counseling Service fees.

I am a Non-Degree Seeking Student taking 8 credits or less. What fees am I required to pay?

Non-degree seeking students taking 8 credits or less are required to pay all mandatory fees except the Student Health Service and Counseling Service Fees.

How do I dispute a charge on my account?

To dispute a charge, you must contact the charging entity, as they have the detailed information regarding the origination of the charge (i.e. Pharmacy charges, contact Student Health Department; Meal plan charge, contact Housing and Dining Services; Grade change or late registration fee, contact the Office of the Registrar; Late or lost book fees, contact Valley Library). The charging department will contact Student Finance when a dispute has been resolved and process a correction if required. Students disputing a charge should inform the charging department within 60 days of the date of the billing. This ensures that the account is kept up-to-date. It is best to submit your dispute in writing and follow-up on the status of the dispute within 30 days.

I have a charge on my account that says "Refund Tuition/Scholarship". What does this mean?

A line item with a description reading "Refund Tuition/Scholarship" indicates that a refund check or direct deposit is in process for your account.

Why does my financial aid refund look like a charge on my account?

A refund check is issued because there has been an overpayment on an account. Refund checks appear as a charge to offset the overpayment.

Billing Statements

When is my bill due?

Billing statements are available around the 5th of each month and are due upon receipt.

When is interest assessed?

Interest is assessed monthly on unpaid balances after the 1st of each month. Our interest rate is 12% APR which works out to be 1% per month.

Where is my statement being mailed?

Current students receive their billing statements electronically through eBill. Paper statements are not sent out to currently enrolled students. When an eBill is issued, the student receives an email to their ONID email address letting them know that their statement is ready to view. The student can then log on to the eBill website at tto view, print or even pay online via eCheck. More information about eBill as well as frequently asked questions can be found on the eBill website. Students that are not currently enrolled and do not have an active ONID email address will receive paper billing statements by mail. These statements are generally sent to the student's current mailing address on file unless the student provides an alternate billing address.

Can my parent or another person also receive a copy of my eBill?

Students can set up a parent or other third party as an authorized user in eBill. Authorized users are emailed their own username and password so that they can go in and view, print or make payments online using eCheck. Authorized users also receive email notification just like the student when billing statements are available to view. To set up an authorized user in eBill the student would log onto the eBill site at, click on the authorized users tab and follow the instructions. Once the student has completed this step an email is sent to the authorized user with the authorized user's user name and password. Students can have as many authorized users as they wish.


I have a charge on my account that says "Refund Tuition/Scholarship". What does this mean?

A line item with a description reading "Refund Tuition/Scholarship" indicates that a refund check or direct deposit is in process for your account.

Why does my financial aid refund look like a charge on my account?

A refund check is issued because there has been an overpayment on an account. Refund checks appear as a charge to offset the overpayment.

How do I get my refund check or direct deposit?

For information regarding refund checks please see our Refund Policy.

How do I set up direct deposit?

Students can sign up for direct deposit through their account atStudent Online Services. The direct deposit form can be found by logging onto Student Online Services, selecting "Personal Information" and then "View or Update Direct Deposit Authorization." Students wishing to set up direct deposit for refund checks should fill out the section labeled "Student Accounts/ Employee Payables". It takes approximately one week to set up direct deposit for refunds. If a refund is issued during the one-week processing time it will be issued as a check.

When is financial aid money available?

Fall, Winter and Spring Terms – The first day of classes each term, for those students whose financial aid we fully processed by the Wednesday prior to the start of the term. For the full schedule, please see our Refund Policy.

Can you send me my Alternative Loan check?

Yes. However, OSU cannot be responsible for checks lost in the mail – you will need to contact your lender.

I lost my Financial Aid refund check, how do I get a replacement?

You must complete a Lost Check Affidavit form (available at Window 13 in Kerr Admin Building). We are required to wait 10 business days before issuing a replacement check

How do I contact the Office of Financial Aid?

The Office of Financial Aid can be reached by telephone at (541) 737-2241, by email at or via their website

Making Payments

What am I expected to pay?

OSU requests payment in full each month.

Where can I pay my bill?
  • Online: through OSU eBill system or OSU Student Online Services
  • Drop box: in the lobby of the Kerr Admin Building
  • Mail to: OSU Cashiers, PO BOX 1086, Corvallis or 97331
  • In person: At the cashier windows in the Kerr Admin Building.
How can I pay?

OSU currently accepts eChecks, paper checks, cash and Visa/MasterCard as methods of payment.

  • eCheck payments can be made online through eBill at
  • Checks can be mailed, dropped off in our drop box either in the Kerr Admin Building or brought directly to the Cashiers Office.
  • Cash payments can be made at the Cashiers Office in Kerr.
  • Students can use Student Online Services as a convenience option for making credit card payments.
How do I pay by eCheck?

To pay by eCheck the student or authorized user would need to log into the eBill site at and click on the pay icon. The system will then guide you through the process of making a payment. You will need to have your bank routing and account number available. Checking account information can be saved so that it does not need to be reentered each time you wish to make a payment. If you have authorized other people to use eBill and eCheck, the authorized users will not be able to view your bank account information, nor will you be able to view theirs.

Please see the eBill website for more frequently asked questions about eBill/eCheck.

How do I pay with a credit card online?

OSU offers Student Online Services as a convenience option for making credit card payments, students can opt out of this option by utilizing one of our other payment methods. Once you have logged on to Student Online Services, then:

  • Select Account Information
  • Select Credit Card Payment
  • Enter Credit Card Information and Submit

Past Due Accounts

What happens when I don't (or can't) make payments?

University services will be withheld, including, but not limited to, registration, grades, transcripts and diplomas until the debt is paid in full. All debts not paid in a timely manner may be referred to a Collection Agency. If it is deemed necessary to refer the account to an agency, the debtor (student/account holder) will be responsible for all collection costs and legal fees.

What happens once an account is placed in collections?

Once an account is placed in collections, the account is assessed a one-time, $50.00 non-refundable fee, then a collection (BC) hold is placed on the account. If the account belongs to a student or former student at OSU, university services will be withheld, including registration and transcripts requests. Revenue Agents will begin to contact account holders by telephone or in writing at the phone numbers and addresses given to the university by the student or account holder. If contact has been unsuccessful or payment has not been received and due diligence has been completed the account will be reviewed, assessed collection fees and placed with an outside collection service.

Can I get a deferment on my Student account balance?

Your student account is a revolving charge agreement with OSU. This account is not a loan, thus not eligible for deferment.

My account is past due because my parents haven't been getting the bills. What should I do?

Statements are sent to the student's current mailing address. Students are required to maintain the address to which they want their billing statement to be mailed.


Why is there a hold on my account and how can I get the hold removed?

The Collection Department places holds on accounts for several reasons. The hold codes are BR, BB, BP and BC.

  • BR is a hold blocking registration. The hold is placed on a current student’s account if their student account current billed balance is over $2,200.00 at the time registration begins for a term. The BR registration hold is removed when the students current billed account balance is paid down to $2,200.00. Students will need to have a balance of $2,200.00 or less to be able to register and their outstanding balance will need to be only from the two most recent terms. For more information, please see Important Information Regarding Registration.
  • BB is a hold blocking registration and transcripts placed on a Cascade Campus student who has a current billed balance at the start of registration for a term. The BB or Cascades Campus hold is removed when the student’s current billed balance is paid in full.
  • BP is a hold blocking the release of transcripts when a currently enrolled student has a prior term billed balance owing on their student account. The BP hold will be removed when the student has paid the prior term billed balance owing on their student account.
  • BC is a collection hold. The BC hold means the student must pay their student account balance in full for registration or transcripts. This may also mean that OSU has placed the student account with an outside collection agency, which requires the OSU balance plus any additional collections to be paid before the hold can be removed. The student must contact the Collection Department to confirm the balance owing at 541-737-3002 or 1-800-858-1061. The BC hold may also pertain to a student owing a Federal Perkins Loan. The loan must be in good standing and may need to be discussed with the Collection Department before the hold will be removed. Call 541-737-3002 or 1-800-432-6318 for help with a Perkins Loan hold.
Why do I have an insurance hold?

Check with OSU Student Health Services. The Business Affairs Office does not administer that particular hold.

Why do I have an admissions hold?

Check with OSU Office of Admissions. The Business Affairs Office does not administer that particular hold.

I have financial aid coming for next term; can I use those funds to remove my hold now?

By federal law, federal aid can only be used for the term in which the funds are being disbursed and cannot automatically be used to pay for prior term debt. OSU does not recognize the availability of future term aid until you meet eligibility to register.

I am a current student, so why can't I register?

You may have a "hold" on your account, which requires you to do something to remove it. A registration hold generally exists because your student account exceeds $2,200 limit. OSU policy requires that you pay your account down to at least $2,200 before you can register for the next term. Students will need to have a balance of $2,200.00 or less to be able to register and their outstanding balance will need to be only from the two most recent terms. For more information, please see Important Information Regarding Registration.

As a former student, how much do I have to pay to have my registration hold removed?

Former students (those not enrolled in the most recent term, with the exception of summer) must pay their accounts in full before they are eligible to register.

After I resolve my hold, when can I expect the hold to be removed?

The process is automated, and the hold should be removed in a matter of minutes. However, you can verify that the hold is removed by contacting the Collections or Student Account Services.

Why is there a transcript hold on my account; official and/or unofficial?

The OSU policy regarding release of transcripts states that the student must have his/her account balance paid in full in order to receive their transcripts. This means any balance relating to a term for which grades have been posted to your transcripts, must be paid in full before any transcripts will be released.

I need my transcripts to be sent to another school, but I have a hold. What do I do?

The OSU policy regarding release of transcripts states that the student must have his/her account balance paid in full in order to receive their transcripts. This means any balance relating to a term for which grades have been posted to your transcript, must be paid in full before any transcript will be released.

I need my transcripts for a job application or to get my "XXXX Certification?

The OSU policy regarding release of transcripts states that the student must have his/her account balance paid in full in order to receive their transcripts. This means any balance relating to a term for which grades have been posted to your transcript, must be paid in full before any transcript will be released.

What does it cost to obtain a copy of my official transcript?

OSU does not charge a fee to obtain official or unofficial transcripts. If your request requires "rush" delivery, please contact the Office of the Registrar for costs.

How long does it take to get a copy of my official transcript?

Requests are usually processed within 3 business days. For more information about transcript turnaround times, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Student Loans

What does the OSU Business Affairs/Student Account Services office do?

We administer the Federal Perkins Loan program, the OSU Institutional Loan program and the OSU Pharmacy Professional Loan program.

What is a Federal Perkins Loan?

Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. OSU administers the Federal Perkins Loan program in compliance with regulations established and monitored by the U.S. Department of Education. This program depends upon payments made by former OSU students to provide most of the money it lends to current students. Federal Perkins Loans have a fixed interest rate of 5%, which begins to accrue 9 months after the borrower ceases to be at least a half-time student. These loans carry various deferment and cancellation provisions.

Where do I sign my Federal Perkins Loan promissory note?

All promissory notes are completed online. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will send an email to your ONID account with a link to ECSI and instructions on how to complete the process.

Why hasn't my Federal Perkins Loan gone in to my student account?

There are many reasons why a loan has not been disbursed to a student's account, but the most common reasons are:

  • The student has not signed the promissory note
  • The student is not enrolled full time
  • Financial Aid has placed a hold on the student's financial aid
What do I do when I leave OSU?

During your last term at OSU, please stop by the Kerr Admin Building, Window 16. You will be given information about completing your Exit Interview online. The Exit Interview provides you with all the important information for repaying your loan and keeping your account in good standing. We will also answer any questions you may have about your Perkins Loan rights and responsibilities.

It is also your responsibility to notify the OSU Student Loan Office when you change your address. The contact information is:

OSU Student Loan Office

P.O. Box 1086

Corvallis or 97339-1086

(541) 737-3778

When do I begin repaying my Federal Perkins Loan?

Repayment on your loan will begin nine months after you cease to be enrolled in at least a half-time course of study. During this "grace period" payments need not be made and interest will not accrue. When the grace period expires, principal and interest will begin to accrue and your first payment will be due the next month. Our billing service will send you a notice when your grace period has expired.

How much will my loan payments be?

Repayment of your Federal Perkins Loan is based upon the total amount you borrowed. The minimum payment is $40.00/month. There is a maximum 10-year repayment period; therefore, your monthly payments may be higher depending upon the total amount of your loan. For your payment amount, refer to your Student Loan Repayment Schedule. Please note that this schedule may be invalidated by submission of forms requesting deferment or cancellation or by making late payments. You may prepay all or any part of your loan at any time without a penalty. Any overpayment or prepayment is applied to principal only, unless you request otherwise. Any payment made during your grace period or while eligible for a deferment will save you money as no interest is charged.

How will I be billed for repayment of my loan?

Payments are due on the 15th of every month. A bill will be mailed approximately 15 days before each due date. Returning the bottom portion of your bill is recommended. If that is not possible, please put your Student ID number or the last four of your social security number, on your check to ensure proper application to your account.

OSU partners with a billing service named ECSI (Educational Computer Systems, Inc.). Below is their contact information:

Oregon State University                                             OSU's School Code: 80


181 Montour Run Rd

Coraopolis PA 15108-9408

(888) 549-3274

If you are interested in having your payment automatically deducted from your checking or savings account, please contact ECSI.

What if I have a Federal Perkins Loan from another school?

If you have a Federal Perkins Loan at another institution, you may request to have your minimum payment divided proportionately between the two loans. The loans are still separate and separate payments must be made. For example, if you have a $1,000 loan at OSU and a $1,000 loan at another institution, your payment to OSU can be adjusted to $20.00 and your payment to the other institution to $20.00 (based on $40.00/month minimum payment). Before this adjustment can be made, documentation of the other loan must be sent to both schools.

What if I can't make my loan payments?

If you are unable to make your payment by the date due, it is very important that you contact the Student Loan Office immediately. We will cooperate with you in every way possible. If you should become ill or have a financial emergency, you may be allowed to make reduced payments--or in cases of extreme financial hardship--defer your payments temporarily. Interest will continue to accrue during this period. The longer you wait to contact us regarding any problem you have, the larger that problem will become.

What happens if I do not make my loan payments and do not contact the OSU Business Affairs/Student Loan office?

A late charge is assessed when a payment is more than 10 days past due. A late charge may also be assessed when deferment or cancellation documentation is submitted late. A hold will be placed on your academic transcript and additional financial aid until the past-due portion of your loan is cleared. Your State of Oregon Income Tax refund may be intercepted and applied to your past-due account. If you do not respond to our internal collection efforts, your account will be referred to an outside collection agency. If this happens, your loan is accelerated. This means the entire unpaid balance of your loan becomes due and payable, together with all accrued interest, late charges, collection costs and legal fees. Once your account has been referred to an outside collection agency, you must deal directly with them rather than OSU.

What can I do if I default on my Federal Perkins Loan?

If you default on your Federal Perkins Loan, you may rehabilitate your defaulted loan by requesting the rehabilitation and by making an on-time, monthly payment, as determined by OSU, each month for nine consecutive months. If you successfully rehabilitate your Federal Perkins Loan, you will again be subject to the terms and conditions and qualify for the benefits and privileges of your original promissory note and the default will be removed from your credit history. You can rehabilitate a defaulted Federal Perkins Loan only once.

What if I dispute my Federal Perkins Loan?

If you dispute the terms of your Federal Perkins Loan in writing and OSU is unable to resolve the dispute, you may seek the assistance of the Department of Education's Student Loan Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will review and attempt to informally resolve your dispute and may be reached at 1-877-557-2575.

Can I consolidate all of my student loans?

Some financial institutions offer a student loan consolidation program. Consolidation may be available to you if your eligible student loans total more than $7,500. This service permits borrowers to reduce monthly payments and pay only one lender for all their student loans. Consolidation lowers monthly payments but increases the total loan repayment amount because of a longer repayment period.

Contact the Student Loan Office if you are considering consolidation or have any questions about the consolidation of your Perkins Loan. We will inform you of any cancellation benefits that would be lost if your loan is consolidated.

What if I am an Armed Forces Reservist and I'm called to active duty?

Your initial nine-month grace period excludes any period during which you are a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces named in section 10101 of Title 10, United States Code and you are called or ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 days. Any single period excluded from your grace period may not exceed three years and includes the time necessary for you to resume enrollment at the next available, regular enrollment period. You must notify OSU of the beginning and ending dates of your service.

You may also defer your loan if you are a regular member of the Armed Forces and are assigned to a duty station at a location other than the duty station at which you are normally assigned, in connection with a war, military operation or national emergency (Loans received July 1, 2001 and after).

In addition, the Department of Defense administers a program whereby certain branches of the Armed Forces will repay a designated portion of a student loan when a borrower enlists or re-enlists. Repayment will be made after each complete year of satisfactory service.

How do I defer payments on my Federal Perkins Loan?

Principal payments are not required, and interest will not accrue during a period when our office is officially notified of a qualifying event. Please see Perkins Loan Program Deferments.

How can I cancel my Federal Perkins Loan?

The National Defense Education Act and subsequent amendments provide for full or partial cancellation of loans under the certain circumstances. Please see Perkins Loan Program Cancellations.

How do I get an emergency loan?

An emergency loan application can be picked up at Student Finance (window 13), the Cashier window or in the lobby of the Kerr Admin Building. Complete application and remit to the Cashier window for determination of eligibility. If eligibility is denied you may submit original application and a letter of appeal to Student Finance (window 13). Appeal requests will be reviewed for exception within 2 business days. Petitions for students with outstanding emergency loans may not be considered.

Student Privacy (FERPA)

What is FERPA?

FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Release of student records at Oregon State University is bound by federal law (FERPA), the Oregon Revised Statutes and by the Oregon Administrative Rules. FERPA restricts the type of information the university can share with students, individuals (including parents) and entities outside Oregon State University; unless specifically authorized, in writing, by the student. Authorization forms are available at the Student Account windows in the Kerr Admin Building.

I would like someone other than myself (the student) to be able to get information on my account, what do I need to do?

A Release of Confidential Student Records Form must be on file with Student Account Services before student account information can be released to anyone other than the student. Release forms for academic year can be signed at the Student Account windows in the Kerr Admin Building.

Being an authorized user in eBill is not a substitute for having a valid FERPA release form on file. Even if student has set up an authorized user in eBill with Student Account Services would still need a valid release form on file to discuss specific account information. Release forms signed at the Student Account windows only apply to student account information. Students seeking to release other student information should contact the department involved to determine that department's requirements for release of information.

I'm in a Study Abroad program, how do I set up Power of Attorney so that someone can help with my finances while I'm overseas?

The Cashiers Office has a packet of information you can pick up at the Kerr Admin Bldg.

What is a Notary Public?

Someone that has been licensed to provide official validation for authenticity of a signature for an official document. You must sign the document in the presences of the Notary Public and have valid photo ID.


Non-Student Revenue

Non-Student Accounts

What information should my unit be collecting from a “customer” when payment is not received “on the spot” for services provided?

the unit must track amounts due and subsequent payments.  In order to collect potentially overdue accounts, units should obtain adequate information from the customer, including the following:

  • Contact Information (legal name, physical and/or mailing address, phone number, email address, etc.)

  • Tax Identification Number (TIN or social security number)

What is the university’s accounting system of record?

OSU currently uses Banner as our accounting system of record.

How should accounts receivable (AR) be tracked?

There are many methods of tracking AR used on campus.  Some units use Excel spreadsheets, others use dedicated accounting programs such as QuickBooks.  Whatever method you use, the following information needs to be recorded, tracked and reviewed on a timely basis:

  • Invoice information including customer name, invoice number, invoice amount and date of invoice.

  • Aging of AR, which is a listing of how old your receivables are.  Common aging categories are current, 30 days past due, 60 days past due, 90 days past due and over 90 days past due.  Collection efforts should be started for all invoices more than 30 days past due and should escalate as invoices fall into the older aging categories.

  • Detailed records need to be kept documenting the collection efforts on past due accounts.

How do we determine when a debt is no longer collectible?

For debts under $100, when monthly collection calls do not generate payment of the debt. For debts between $101-$5,000, when monthly collection calls do not generate customer feedback or payment within six months. For debts $5,001 or greater, when monthly collection calls do not generate customer feedback or payment within one year.

The following criteria should be used as the measure of an uncollectible debt:

  • OSU is and will be for the foreseeable future unable to collect the debt from the debtor or from anyone owing the debtor money or holding assets of or from the debtor.
  • It is reasonably estimated that the cost of collecting the debt would be equal to or exceed the amount of the debt.
  • The debtor is deceased and there are no assets in the debtor’s estate from which OSU could collect the debt.
  • The debtor’s estate is subject to a pending bankruptcy proceeding in which it is reasonable to conclude that the debt will be discharged and that OSU will receive none or an insubstantial share of the assets of the bankruptcy estate.
  • The debtor does not and will not for the foreseeable future own or have the right to own assets from which OSU could collect the debt.
What type of internal control procedures should my department establish to ensure appropriate segregation of duties?

Restrict update access to the receivable records to receivable personnel, maintain strong cash handling policies, secure receipts appropriately and ensure separate employees perform each of the four major receivable duties:

(1) establishing the charges to the receivables accounts and invoicing

(2) recording cash receipts and preparing the deposits

(3) approval of any adjustments or write-offs

(4) monitoring aging accounts and reconciliations

When adequate segregation of duties is not possible, ensure that compensating controls, such as a detailed supervisory review of the activities, are in place and working.

What type of internal control procedures should my department establish to ensure adequate documentation?

Have sufficient documentation to support all receivable transactions.  Use of pre-numbered forms for invoices and receipts help ensure that all receivable transactions are recorded and accounted for.

What type of internal control procedures should my department establish to ensure prompt recordkeeping?

Issue invoices in a timely manner.  Process and record deposits promptly to secure cash receipts.  All charges, collections and adjustments to accounts receivable account should be recorded the university’s accounting system of record in the appropriate fiscal period.

What type of internal control procedures should my department establish to ensure reconciliation of accounts receivable?

Perform ongoing reconciliations of accounts receivable and related revenue accounts.  Reconcile any receivable subsidiary ledger to the university’s accounting system of record.  Frequent reconciliations are critical to detect out-of-balance conditions.  Differences should be investigated and resolved timely.

What type of internal control procedures should my department establish to ensure effective monitoring activities?

Review of past due accounts (receivables aging report) should be performed monthly with follow-up collection efforts performed.  Billing and collection transactions should be reviewed periodically to ensure compliance with established procedures.  Review of revenues received ensures that they are recognized in the proper fiscal period.  Review procedures should be established to provide a realistic reserve based on past collection experience and anticipated losses on the receivables.

Parking Fines & Permit Sales

Can a unit buy a parking space using E&G funds to sponsor an Employee of the Month program?

No. The university standard for Board’ Financial Powers prohibits a department from purchasing a permit to furnish a parking space to employees.


Payroll (& Personnel) Information


Can I extend a job posting to improve the candidate pool?

Yes. Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for assistance.

Do I have to conduct a search? I already know who I want to hire?

Generally, yes, you must conduct a search. In special circumstances, you can obtain a Waiver of Search. Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for guidance about search waivers.

More information about Competitive Search Requirements is also available. The Search Excellence guide provides valuable resources to assist your search process.

How long does it take to post a position?

Posting times vary depending on the status of the position you are filling. Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for details.

I am chairing/administering a search committee. What do I need to do?

The central Office of Human Resources provides Recruitment and Selection Resources to assist you in administering a search.

The Search Excellence guide includes specific information about the Search Committee Chair’s responsibilities in the hiring process.

Your Business Center Human Resources team is also an excellent resource..

I am recruiting for a new position. How long do I need to post it?

Federal requirements regarding employing veterans require us to post all positions.

We recommend the following suggested posting minimums to ensure a solid applicant pool:

  • Student positions: at least 3 business days
  • Temporary positions: at least 5 business days
  • Classified positions: at least 7 business days
  • Unclassified and Academic Wage positions: at least 14 calendar days

Your department or college may have established other guidelines related to internal hiring goals, so you should also consult with your manager.

What do I need to know before I hire an employee and they start work?

Please contact your Business Center Human Resources team for assistance.

What is a search advocate? Do I need one?

Search advocates serve as consultant-participants, advocating for best search-process practices and helping committees identify practices that minimize the effects of unconscious, unintentional biases. They are encouraged, but not required, for most searches.

All Provost’s Initiative and Tenured Faculty Diversity Initiative search committees must include a tenured search advocate, according to university policy.

More details and resources are available from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.

Hiring New Employees

Can I hire a student employee who is already working for another department using a different rate?

Yes, within established guidelines. Please refer to the Student Pay Rates Matrix for pay rate guidelines and the Student Employment Manual for limitations of hours the employee can work during the term.

Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for more information.

How do I hire a new student employee?

Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for details about how to post the position.

Refer to the Student Employment Program page on the Office of Human Resources website for more information.

How much can I pay a new employee?

Pay rates should fall within the range identified for the position by the Office of Human Resources Classification and Compensation program.

Contact your Business Center for specific information about your position.

How much does a Criminal History Check cost and who pays it?

The university hiring or service department is responsible for the cost of conducting the Criminal History Check. The direct cost for an in-state criminal history check is $10 and a national (fingerprint) criminal history check is $45. There is no additional processing, reviewing or reporting fee assessed.

I have a new employee who starts in a week? What resources can help them get ready?

Contact your Business Center Human Resources team for more details about the orientation they offer new employees. It includes general information about how to get started at OSU, what kinds of training their position requires and other details specific to the position.

Other New Employee Resources are available at the central administrative Office of Human Resources website, along with a monthly general orientation schedule. Also, refer to the Inside OSU website for links to detailed information.

I want to hire a graduate student. What is the process?

Please visit the Graduate School website for more information and contact your Business Center Human Resources department for guidance.

What do I need to do to hire a new employee?

Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for assistance.

Please refer to the Office of Human Resources Recruitment and Selection Resources and Hiring Philosophy and Principles for more information.

What is a "summer appointment"?

A “summer appointment” is a secondary position for employees whose current contract/position is a 9- or 10- month assignment. Summer appointment positions are most often located in an academic area or University Housing & Dining Services.

What is a dual-career hire?

The Office of Work-Life and GO HERC in the Office of Faculty Affairs offers assistance in finding employment opportunities for partners of newly hired employees. Services include assisting with identifying job leads within OSU and the surrounding area.

More information is available from the Provost’s Dual Career Hiring Initiative and at the Office of Human Resources Relocation page.

What is the process for submitting a criminal background check?

The candidate should complete a release authorization form, found at the Office of Human Resources Criminal History Check webpage. The hiring unit/department information section, including posting and position information, must be completed prior to submission to the Office of Human Resources or the form cannot be processed.

Candidates should submit their completed Release form, with a copy of their official photo ID, to:

Office of Human Resources
Oregon State University
122 Kerr Administration Building
Corvallis or  97331
fax: 541.737.7771

What is the process for summer appointment hiring?

If you are interested in creating a summer appointment position, please contact your Business Center’s Human Resources team as early as possible for more information about the process.

Where can my new employee park on campus?

Departments can provide new employees with a complimentary 5-day parking permit. Find information about parking and permits, including parking lot locations and how to obtain the complimentary parking pass, at the Transportation Services website. Transportation Options also offers information about alternatives to driving to campus and parking.

Why do you require a Criminal Background Check?

Criminal background checks may be required, depending on the duties of a particular position. Hiring departments should contact your Business Center human resources department for guidance.

Oregon State University is committed to protecting the security, safety and health of faculty, staff, students and the public, as well as safeguarding the assets and resources of the university. Positions that perform duties that are critical or security-sensitive require Criminal History Check (CHC). For detailed information regarding CHCs at OSU, please refer to OSU’s general administrative policy for Criminal History Checks and university standard for Criminal Background Checks.

For examples of duties that may fall within the OSU Standard Defined Categories, please see the Criminal History Check Crosswalk of Security-Sensitive Access.

Employment classifications

What is a Classified employee? What is a Professional faculty? What is an Academic faculty?

You can find definitions of employee types and academic ranks at the Office of Human Resources Search Excellence website.

  • Classified Position: A position represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 503 Oregon Public Employees Union (OPEU) and the Graphic Communication International Union (GCIU).
  • Professional Faculty: An employee working in an academic, student or other administrative support position with professional titles and without an assigned rank.
  • Academic Rank:  The category assigned to unclassified employees in the academic service, whether the service is teaching, research, extension, administration or other. Academic rank is distinguished from professional faculty without rank and includes Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor, Senior Instructor, Research Associate, Faculty Research Assistant, Senior Faculty Research Assistant and Lecturer.

Collective Bargaining

As a classified employee, am I a member of a union? Am I covered under the collective bargaining agreement?

All classified employees at OSU are represented by the SEIU/Oregon Public Employees Union (SEIU) and covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Although membership in the union is optional, the collective bargaining agreement requires the university to collect monthly dues or fair-share contributions from the paychecks of classified employees. You can find more information and details about classified employment in the Classified Employee Handbook.

Where can I find a copy of the SEIU Bargaining Agreement for classified employees?

The Office of Human Resources maintains the current Bargaining Contracts on its website.

Where can I find information about the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) Bargaining Contract?

The current CGE contract and other information is available at the Graduate Employee Bargaining Resources website.


What kind of benefits do I have as an employee?

OSU offers a wide range of benefits to both full time and part time employees. More details can be found at the Office of Human Resources Benefits page.

Details about medical, dental, life and disability insurance benefits for eligible employees can be found at the Office of Human Resources Employee Benefits page.

Am I eligible for sick and/or vacation leave? How do I accrue leave time?

You may be eligible depending on your employee type. Visit the links below for more information:

What happens to my sick leave and vacation accruals when I leave OSU?

It depends on the type of leave accrual and your employee status. Refer to the Leave Administration Policies, Procedures and Guidelines for details and contact your Business Center Human Resources department for assistance.

What if I need to take medical leave to care for myself or my family?

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), enacted by the Oregon Legislature in 1995, provide employees with leave from work for their own or their families’ medical needs, including time off to care for a new child, adoption or foster care placement of a child. More details can be found at the Office of Human Resources FMLA page.

How does the Affordable Care Act affect me? Who is eligible?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a federal law that was enacted with the goals of increasing the quality and affordability of health insurance. OSU provides medical insurance to its benefit-eligible employees – Classified and Unclassified employees in positions at .50 FTE or greater. Under the ACA, employees that may not have been in a benefit-eligible position in the past or fell below benefit eligibility may now qualify for medical insurance.

More information about the ACA and how it might affect you can be found at the Office of Human Resources Affordable Care Act page.

I am a 9-month employee. What happens to my benefits over the summer?

Please refer to the Office of Human Resources Benefits page for 9-month employees. Graduate Students should contact the Office of Human Resources for additional options. Contact your Business Center for more information.

Am I eligible for a tuition discount?

OSU employees appointed at half-time or more may register for up to 12 credit hours per term with special rates, provided they meet eligibility and approval requirements. Eligible employees may also transfer their staff fee privileges to one family member or domestic partner upon verification that the transferee is a qualified recipient of transferred staff fee privileges.

Details and forms can be found at the Office of Human Resources Staff Fee Privileges page.

What if I get hurt on the job?

Report on-the-job injuries or illnesses to your supervisor immediately, within 24 hours. Your supervisor will then complete a Public Incident Online Reporting Form. If you seek medical treatment, ask your medical provider complete the Employee Status Report Form and contact your Business Center or the Office of Human Resources for details on how to proceed.

Forms and more information can be found at the Office of Human Resources Incident Reporting page.

Time Sheets & Work Time

What is the holiday schedule?

Check out the MyTime Frequently Asked Questions, ask your supervisor or contact your Business Center human resources department.

I am an essential employee, required to work during inclement weather. What is my pay rate during inclement weather/emergencies?

Contact your supervisor to determine whether you are considered an essential employee. The Inclement Weather Employee Matrix describes how employees are paid during closures. Refer to the Time Reporting for Inclement Weather Closures page for details on how to record your work time during closures.

Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for more detailed information.

What happens during inclement weather?

It depends on whether the university is delayed in opening or fully closed. The university will make every effort to announce the closure or curtailment decision before the start of the work day. Please use caution if the weather prevents you from arriving to work safely and communicate with your supervisor concerning your leave approval and your allocation of leave time.

More details can be found in the Office of Human Resources policy for Closure or Curtailment of Operations. Information is available about how employee may take leave during interruptions of university operations. Details about how to record your timesheet in various situations can be found at the MyTime inclement weather page.

What is the difference between an Administrative Stipend and an Overload Compensation? When do I use each type?

Administrative stipends and overloads are types of supplemental payroll used for specific circumstances. Contact your Business Center human resources department for assistance in handling stipends and overload compensation.

  • Administrative Stipends are used when a faculty member is asked to perform administrative duties on a temporary basis that are substantially outside the scope or reasonable potential scope of the faculty member’s position. In such instances, the faculty member may be eligible to receive an administrative stipend.
  • Overload Compensation is used for full-time (1.0) faculty who are requested to perform service in excess of full-time effort for institutional-funded activities. Such activities are considered overload and may include instruction, education and outreach programming and consulting.
Where do I go for timesheet questions?

Check out the MyTime Frequently Asked Questions, ask your supervisor or contact your Business Center human resources department.


How are employee evaluations handled?

OSU uses EvalS, an electronically-driven performance evaluation system designed to assist supervisors and employees to complete their annual goal-setting and appraisal tasks for classified and professional faculty employees. Your supervisor will guide you through the process. Managers should contact your Business Center for more information.

I’m being harassed or experiencing other types of conflict at work. Where can I get help?

If possible, talk to your supervisor for help resolving the issue. Additionally, there are a number of resources at OSU to assist you in handling difficulties you may be experiencing at work:

  • The University Ombuds Office promotes a civil and inclusive campus community by providing informal, impartial and confidential conflict management services to all members of the university community.
  • The Office of Equity Opportunity and Access works to ensure that all university community members uphold federal and state civil rights laws and regulations, as well as university equal opportunity policies.
  • The Center for HR Solutions interprets bargaining contract language, employment law and university policy and procedures; manages reclassification process and oversees compensation and leave programs.
I’m leaving OSU; what do I need to do?

If you are retiring, visit the Office of Human Resources Retirement Resources page for information and forms that you will need.

If you are terminating your employment for any reason, contact your Business Center Human Resources department for assistance.

Refer to the Employee Exit Checklist as a guide to assist you in the exit process.


Compensation Payments


How do I opt out of a paper earnings statement?

Direct Deposit participants can opt to view electronic earnings statements online instead of receiving a paper statement. You can conveniently opt out of paper statements online via MyOSU:

  • Log in with your ONID and Password
  • Select the Employee Tab
  • Click on the “Direct Deposit” in the “My Employment Details” block
  • Follow the directions on the site

Once established, electronic earnings statements can be viewed by following the instructions above.

For further assistance, contact the Central Payroll Office at (541) 737-3232 or visit them in the Kerr Admin Building (first floor).

How do I sign up for Direct Deposit of my paycheck?

Direct Deposit saves you time. Your money will be automatically deposited into your bank account around midnight of payday. You can conveniently set up Direct Deposit online via MyOSU:

  • Log in with your ONID and Password
  • Select the Employee Tab
  • Click on the “Direct Deposit” in the “My Employment Details” block
  • Follow the directions on the site

For further assistance, contact the Central Payroll Office at (541) 737-3232 or visit them in the Kerr Admin Building (first floor).

I am having trouble with my timesheet. What do I do?

Contact your supervisor for assistance or go to OSU’s My Time website and review the User Guide that corresponds to your job type under the Policy Profile/Role Training heading.

If you still need assistance, please contact your Business Center directly or by using the My Time Contact link. Please include your OSU ID and a detailed message.

I lost my paycheck. Now what do I do?

Please review the payroll policy for Lost, Stolen or Destroyed Check. Contact the Central Payroll Office at (541) 737-0575 or visit them in the Kerr Admin Building (Window 17) to fill out a Lost Check Affidavit form.

What if I need extra money before payday? How do I get a draw?

If you have an unusual and unforeseen event or condition that requires immediate financial attention, you can request a payroll draw. No more than three draws are allowed within a 12-month period.

To request a draw, fill out a Request for Emergency Payroll Draw form, have it signed by your department supervisor and return it to your Business Center payroll department. Please follow the full instructions that are attached to the “Request for Emergency Payroll Draw” form.

When is payday?

Payday is the last working day of the month, excluding weekends and holidays.

Where do I pick up my paycheck or earnings statement (Direct Deposit)?

Check with your supervisor or your Business Center payroll department. To change where your paycheck is delivered, please contact your Business Center.

Why did I get a manual (paper) check?

Manual/paper checks are processed to issue payment to employees when paperwork was received too late to be included in the regular monthly payroll processing. Manual/paper checks might also be processed when changes are made to the job record or when a termination (or final) pay is processed. Only payments processed during the regular monthly payroll can be direct-deposited.

If you are a new employee who signed up for Direct Deposit or an employee who changed his/her Direct Deposit, your first check may be a manual/paper check. Depending on when the direct deposit is set up, Central Payroll may need the additional time for the banking information to be verified prior to any funds being transferred via Direct Deposit.

Contact your Business Center for further assistance.

Why didn’t my overtime or my leave taken show up on my check?

If you are a salaried classified or unclassified (professional/academic) employee, your leave time and overtime are reflected on the check following the month it was taken or earned. This is due to the timing of the submission of the EmpCenter timesheets.

If you are an hourly employee contact your supervisor or your Business Center payroll department and they can research why the overtime was not reflected on your paycheck.

You can also check the results tab of your EmpCenter timesheet to see if overtime was actually earned. Overtime is earned for work in excess of 40 hours for the week (starting on Sunday and ending on Saturday).

Effort Reporting and PAR Forms

How do I record faculty committee work on a PAR form?

According to OMB Circular A-21, "salaries and fringe benefits attributable to the administrative work (including bid and proposal preparation) of faculty (including department heads) and other professional personnel conducting research and/or instruction, shall be allowed at a rate of 3.6 percent of modified total direct costs." The allowance is added to the computation of the F&A cost rate and OSU is not required to provide documentation to support the allowance. OSU considers faculty committee work covered within this 3.6% allowance.  Keep in mind that OSU's policy on Personnel Activity Reporting stipulates that PAR forms and labor distribution must be corrected when "substantial changes" are made in the employee's effort. Substantial change is defined as "in excess of plus/minus 5 percent". The policy and associated procedure is found at the following website:

Who gets a PAR form at OSU?

Any faculty and staff (including Graduate Research Assistants and Graduate Teaching Assistants) that performed any paid or cost-shared effort on grants, contracts or state-wide public service projects during a term will receive a PAR form. The PAR form is used to verify and certify professional effort on sponsored programs and is done on a quarterly basis. Student effort on sponsored programs is verified and certified on monthly timesheets and is maintained at the department level.


Payroll Corrections & Adjustments


There is a mistake on my paycheck. Who do I contact about correcting it?

If you think your gross pay (the amount before deductions) is incorrect, contact your Business Center payroll or human resources department to verify the hours and rate used for the pay period in question.

If you believe the net pay (amount after deductions) is incorrect, compare your deductions to those from the previous month. Check for any differences. If this does not resolve your concerns, please contact the Central Payroll Office at 541-737-3232 or email


Payroll Deductions & Additions


How do I change my W-4 Tax Withholding?

You can change your W‐4 tax withholding yourself online via MyOSU:

  • Log in with your ONID and Password
  • Select the Employee Tab
  • Click on the “W4” link in the “My Employment Details” block
  • Click on the Update link at the bottom of the page. Make and certify the changes

Note: The following situations require a paper W4 form to be completed and turned in to your Business Center or to the Central Payroll Office in the Kerr Admin Building (first floor).

  • You want to file “Exempt” (meaning you are requesting no income taxes be withheld). This must be done annually by February 15th. A reminder will be noted on your December pay stub.
  • You want additional amounts withheld for State taxes or to make changes to a pre-existing amount.
  • You are a Non-Resident Alien (due to the various taxation differences for NRAs).
What are the amounts being withheld from my check?

You can review the Sample Earnings Statement, which explains the various deductions. Or, contact your supervisor, your Business Center payroll department or the Central Payroll Office.

The insurance premiums being deducted from my check are incorrect. What should I do?

Contact the Employee Benefits Department at (541) 737-2805 or by e-mail at

Relocation & moving

Can new employees be reimbursed for moving expenses?
Are postdoctoral scholars eligible for relocation allowance?




Can I set up department charge accounts directly with vendors, like Bi-Mart or Fred Meyer?

Yes, though different vendors may have different requirements. Please contact your Business Center for assistance.

Visit the Procurement and Contract Services Buy Orange page to find vendors with existing billing relationships with OSU.

Do I need to do anything different to purchase something in excess of $5,000?

Yes. Purchases over $5,000 must be coordinated with your Business Center. More complex and/or more expensive purchases may require additional review and bidding requirements as well, so please contact the Business Center as far in advance as possible.

Purchases for goods that include facility maintenance/improvement or any kind of onsite installation or assembly may be subject to Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI) Prevailing Wage Rates. These types of purchases have no departmental delegation and must be managed by Procurement and Contract Services. Please refer to the PaCS policy for BOLI Procurements for more details.

Review the Procurement FAQ webpage for more information and a current list of OSU’s price agreements.

What kinds of purchasing agreements can I sign?

As binding legal documents, purchase agreements may only be signed by people with designated authority to do so and generally must be reviewed by a procurement analyst before being approved. Please work with your Business Center to determine how to process all contracts and agreements for approval.

Where do I find more information related to requisitions, purchase orders, invoices, approval requirements, restrictions, payment methods, solicitations, existing contracts or other purchasing processes?

Please refer to the policies located in the PACs policy manual or additional information located on the PCMM website. If you have additional questions, please contact PCMM directly at 541-737-3102 or email Procurement & Contracts.

Procurement and Contract Services

Where do I find information related to policies & processes for procurement and contracting services?

Please refer to the policies located in the PACs policy manual or additional information located on the PCMM website. If you have additional questions, please contact PCMM directly at 541-737-3102 or email Procurement & Contracts, Campus Recycling or Surplus Property.


Invoice Processing

General Information

How do I know what the proper index is for an expense?

The function of an expense should dictate where the cost is recorded. For example, if a travel expense is made for the purpose of reporting the results of a sponsored project, it gets charged to the sponsored project index. If the travel expense is made for the purpose of learning new ways for administering sponsored projects, it gets charged to a departmental administration index. If the travel expense is made for the purpose of learning new ways to teach physics, it gets charged to an instruction index.

Where do I charge alumni activity costs?

There are four options for charging alumni activity costs: (1) using E&G funds that have an Org xxx640 are designated as Development Support; (2) using FS indexes that end in a "V" (e.g., FSxxxV); (3) using gift indexes that end in a "V" (MxxxxV); (4) sending bills directly to the Foundation.

What are E&G funds?

E&G funds are those received by the university directly from the legislature and from student tuition. The funds are subject to expenditure limitations and are allocated to colleges and departments through the budget process. Please refer to the fiscal policy for Education & General (E&G) and Statewide Public Service (SWPS Budgeted Operations for more details.

Other fund sources include grants and Foundation funds and each fund type has different rules and policies associated with them.

How can I find out what the status of an invoice is?

Contact your Business Center for verification as to whether an invoice has been paid or is pending in the system.

Depending on your access level, you may be able to look up whether an invoice has been paid:

  • Go to Online Services and sign in.
  • Select the Finance Tab at the top.
  • Then select the Transaction & Document Lookup hyperlink.
  • Then search using the index and/or activity code to search to see if an invoice has been paid.

Or in Banner, go to FOIDOCH. This takes you to a screen that will show the status of invoices, checks and purchase orders. Use INV for doc type for invoices.

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

An invoice from a vendor must include the following information before OSU can pay it: vendor’s name, vendor’s mailing address and a bill-to address at Oregon State University. Purchasers should verify that the invoice matches the goods or services which OSU received.

Following the procedures outlined by your Business Center, determine the billing index and/or activity code that is being charged for the expense, provide information about “who, what, when, where and why” the purchase was made and obtain the budget authority’s approval.

Note that if the invoice is addressed to an individual employee at a non-OSU address, payment cannot be made directly to the vendor. In this case, the individual should pay for the product or service themselves and then request reimbursement from OSU (if it is a qualified business expense). This request for personal reimbursement is made using a Reimbursement Request Form with proof of payment attached.

Contact your Business Center with specific questions and for assistance with paying invoices.

Note: When scanning the invoice to the Business Center, the original documentation must be retained in your department for one year from the date it was scanned. Refer to the fiscal policy for Records Retention for more details.

I input this invoice today. How soon will the check be mailed?

This depend on the due date input in Banner, the date invoice is received by Accounts Payable Office and the approval date. If invoice is approved by Payables by the due date, payment will be made on the Monday, Wednesday or Friday after that date.

I input this invoice on the 10th and set the payment due date for the 11th. Today is the 12th. Why hasn't the check been printed?

The date you set in Banner controls when the check will print after all the approvals are completed for that document.

  • Check FOIDOCH to determine if your document is marked "C" for complete or "A" when all approvals are done in all the approval queues.

  • If you are in the approval screen, FOAUAPP, you can request Approval History in options column to see who has already approved the document and who still needs to approve it.

Does my document have to be disapproved to add text?

No. Text can be added at any time from the main menu by typing the form name FOATEXT.

How can I tell if my document has been disapproved?

Disapproval messages will be found in the General Message form, GUAMESG. This screen can be checked at any time.

What do I do if I need to send documents with the check?

Please indicate on the invoice or payment request that you would like documentation sent with the check and please be specific about what documentation.

Use "CTA" in the invoice field and change the Document indicators from "M" to "1". The original invoice will remain in Payables. Send a copy of the document you want to go with the check with the invoice.

What information is included on the check?

Vendor name, address, date, payment amount and vendor number. The stub will show information from the vendor invoice # field, the date, Banner document # and payment amount.

How can I tell if a check has been cashed?

Go to FOIDOCH screen in Banner. Use CHK for document type. "F" after check number = final payment. Reconciliation is complete and the check has been cashed.

How do I find out what’s been spent so far on my grant or other index and what’s still available to spend?

Index (fund) balances only reflect those invoices and expenses which have been processed in Banner (OSU’s financial and accounting system) through the previous business day.

The OSU Office of Budget and Resource Planning provides web-based tools to help you track your funds and expenditures which have been completed and approved in Banner. Please refer to the Budget Office Online Systems webpage to access these tools. You may also contact your Business Center for assistance.


Why is it important to have the signature of the budget authority?

The budget authority takes responsibility that payment is accurate, allowable and appropriate.

Can I use a signature stamp of the budget authority and then add my initials?

No. Only original signatures are accepted. No forgeries or stamps.

What if either the claimant or the budget authority is out of town? Will a faxed copy be accepted?

Yes. Follow up by sending the document with original signatures when claimant or budget authority return.

Vendor Maintenance

I need a new vendor set up in Banner and I am filling out the form. I know the vendor only has 3-4 employees. Should I mark the business as a small business?

No. Small business status is determined by more than the number of employees (gross sales, type of service/product, etc.). A business should know if they qualify for the small business category. Please do not guess. It can affect the funding the university receives.

What is the easiest way to search for a vendor?

Searching by Tax I.D.# is probably the easiest. (FWITXID).

Is there a way to search for an address on a particular vendor?

Search for an address on the FTMVEND screen. It will search only on whatever address line is entered in the query. You can search on a city or perhaps the street numbers. Remember to use the % wildcard.

What does VP code mean?

Vendor payment - the only address option for paying vendors.

Does it matter to outside funding sources (including the federal government) how much money we spend on certain types of businesses, such as minority-owned, small businesses, etc.?

Yes. Our funding from various sources depends on accurate reporting of this information.


Payment Processing

General Information

What are the rules and guidelines for personal reimbursements?

Please refer to the fiscal policy for Personal Reimbursements.

How do I initiate a wire transfer of funds?

Please contact your Business Center for assistance.

Can I set up department charge accounts directly with vendors, like Bi-Mart or Fred Meyer?

Yes, though different vendors may have different requirements. Please contact your Business Center for assistance.

Visit the Procurement and Contract Services Buy Orange page to find vendors with existing billing relationships with OSU.

Procurement Cards

I understand that I need to complete both a Departmental Agreement and a User Agreement and the original Departmental Agreement must be sent to Business Affairs Payables. What if I need to add a user later?

Copies of both agreements must be kept on file by the Custodian of the card. To add a user, have them complete the required P-Card Knowledge Test and then read and sign the Department’s copy of the User Agreement. A copy of this signature sheet should then be sent to Business Affairs Payables to be added as an addendum to the original.

How can I check the balance and charges posted to my department’s P-Card?

Call the customer service number at 1-800-344-5696 and enter your card number. The automated system will ask for your zip code. If you choose option 2, it will give you your account information.

Do I need to wait until Payables issues payment to the bank for my balance to clear?

No. The balance on your purchasing card automatically clears on the 25th of the month (or the first working day after) at midnight.

What can and cannot be purchased with my department’s purchasing card?

Please refer to the Business Affairs list of unallowable P-Card expenses.

Our department has a program truck, boat, tractor, etc. Can the department pay for maintenance (e.g. oil changes) and repairs using our P-Card?

Yes, you may pay for program maintenance and repairs. The Banner Vendor number must be used when the distribution is done as this will use a tax-reportable account code.

I am paying for a conference registration with a P-Card. The lodging for the conference is separate and payable to another entity. Can I pay this with the P-Card also?

No. Conference lodging must be part of the conference registration to the same vendor in the same payment.

Can I use a P-Card to purchase a computer?

Yes, as long as the purchase price does not exceed the capitalization threshold of $5,000 or a dollar value stipulated in a grant or contract that would be considered capital equipment.

Can any travel-related expenses be charged to a P-Card?

Use of a purchasing card is prohibited for travel costs (39000 account codes) with the exception of a conference hotel.

Can I charge internet or network services provided by a non-university vendor to a P-Card?

No. Please see fiscal policy for Communication Services.

Can I use a P-Card for emergency repairs to a Transportation Services vehicle while traveling for the university?

Yes. Those charges must be documented and verified by Transportation Services. Transportation Services will reimburse the department for the costs.

How often should distributed charges for P-Cards be monitored?

Charges to a purchasing card should be reviewed within 60 days. Charges cannot be disputed after 90 days.


Non-Resident Alien Payments

No questions at this time



Pre-Travel & General Information

Do I need pre-approval for my travel?

Some departments, colleges and Business Centers require pre-travel authorization for certain types of travel.  Contact your Business Center for details.  In addition to approval from your department, pre-travel authorization from the Office for Sponsored Research and Award Administration (OSRAA) is required for foreign travel on a grant.

Can I get a travel advance? If so, what is the process?

When traveling on official university business, OSU employees (faculty and classified staff employed at least 0.5 FTE), Graduate assistants (appointed at .3 FTE), students and official volunteers may be eligible for limited travel advances.  Please refer to fiscal policy 03-140-208 Travel Advances for details and contact your Business Center for more assistance.

Can a procurement card (Pcard) be used to prepay travel expenses?

Yes.  The Pcard can be used to prepay conference registration, airport shuttle and with advance planning, lodging.  To use the Pcard as the final payment method for lodging, in most cases you will need to make advance arrangements with the hotel.

I need to fly business class due to a medical condition, what is the process for requesting an accommodation for my specific travel needs?

Any required accommodation due to disability, medical condition or other special need must be approved in advance by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (employees) or Disability Access Services (students) and noted on applicable travel form.

Why are travelers encouraged to utilitze OSU contracted travel agencies?

There are several advantages to using the contracted travel agencies:

  • Contracted services are billed directly to the university
  • Provide access to airfare contracts that may represent a significant savings to units
  • Allow flexibility to change or revise travel plans
Where can I find OSU’s per diem rates and other travel resources?

On the OSU Travel webpage.

Air Transportation

If I have to change my flight, can I be reimbursed for the airfare change fees?

No.  The traveler (not OSU) will be personally responsible for fees unless they are necessary for OSU’s business needs or are outside the control of the traveler.


Can I be reimbursed for commercial lodging near the airport the night before or when arriving back from a flight when traveling for business?

Yes.  If it’s not possible for you to travel to the airport on the day of the flight within your normal work hours and allowing for reasonable delays.  When traveling from Corvallis to PDX, this could include any flight departing prior to noon.  When traveling from PDX to Corvallis, this could include any flight arriving after 5pm.

Is there a limit for lodging expenses?

Travelers are expected to use economical and reasonable lodging.  Lodging, including taxes, will be reimbursed at actual cost.  Please check with your manager, Budget Authority or whoever is authorizing your travel for clarification.  OSU’s per diem rates may be used as a starting guideline.

My trip occurred in September prior to the new Travel Policy changes, should I use actual cost or a lodging per-diem on my travel reimbursement form?

All travel reimbursements created after 11/1/20 will be subject to the new travel policy even if the trip occurred prior to 11/1/20.  Lodging will be reimbursed at actual cost.

Ground Transportation

How do I book a shuttle to the airport?

Check the OSU Travel Reference Guide on the Travel Webpage for a list of vendors providing airport shuttle service.

How can I book a Motor Pool Car?

Contact the OSU Motor Pool at (541) 737-4141 or use their online reservation system.  First-time motor pool customers will need to fill out a Driver Authorization Form prior to reserving a vehicle.

How can I book a rental car?

A rental car may be direct-billed to OSU through our contracted agency, Enterprise Rent-A-Car/National Rental Car.  Please refer to the Rental Car Contract Summary for booking details.  Contact your department’s travel administrator or your Business Center  for assistance when booking a rental car as a direct bill.

What information do I need to provide when requesting reimbursement or payment for a specialty class vehicle rental?

Specialty class of rental vehicles must be justified with a business purpose (e.g. group travel, equipment transportation, etc.).

When renting a vehicle, what insurance costs are reimbursable?
  • Collision damage waiver (CDW), also known as loss damage waiver
  • Liability insurance supplement, also known as supplemental liability insurance
  • Note:  Personal accident insurance (PAI) should be declined and is not reimbursable
Can I use a procurement card for emergency repairs to a Transportation Services vehicle while traveling for the university?

Yes.  Those charges must be documented and verified by Transportation Services. Transportation Services will reimburse the department for the costs.

What documentation do I need for mileage reimbursement?

You can use the Oregon Mileage Chart, Google Maps, Mapquest or actual odometer readings for the calculation.

How do I calculate personal vehicle mileage if I am traveling from my home to a temporary work location, like a meeting in Salem?

OSU will reimburse the mileage between the employee work station and the destination or the mileage between the employee's home and the destination, whichever is less.

I am temporarily working from home and drive to my office location for various job duties.  Is the mileage from my home to regular office location reimbursable?

No.  These miles are considered personal commuting expenses.

I am temporarily working from home and my duties require me to drive to post office or printing and mailing with regular frequency.   Should I claim mileage from their home or regular office location?

These miles are eligible for reimbursement.  Mileage should start from whichever location results in the shorter distance in accordance with IRS guidelines.

I am an off-campus employee and paid cash for a one-day parking permit at a pay station when I was on campus attending a workshop.  Can I be reimbursed for this cost along with my mileage on a travel reimbursement?

Yes, in most cases.  Please refer to fiscal policy 03-110-206 Parking Fines and Permit Sales for more information on when university funds may not be used for parking permits.  Receipts are not required for expenses under $75.00.


What lodging location determines the daily M&IE per diem?

The traveler's overnight lodging location.  For the day the traveler returns from the trip, the last location where the traveler stayed overnight is used to determine the per diem rate.

Can meals be reimbursed over the per diem rate?

No.  The per diem rates provided for Meal & Incidental Expenses (M&IE) are the maximum amounts allowed.

Can I be reimbursed for meals on one-day trips?

Yes.  Meals can be reimbursed as taxable income when an employee is away from their official work location for at least six hours, but not in travel status.

Why am I not allowed to claim more than 75% of the daily M&IE per diem for the first and last day of travel?

IRS Publication 463 requires that the standard meal allowance must be prorated for both the day you depart for and the day you return from a business trip, and OSU has chosen this recommended method to ensure consistent practices.  This is the standard used by the federal government and aligns with the majority of granting agencies that OSU receives funds from.

Am I allowed to claim less than 75% of the daily M&IE per diem for the first and last day of travel?

Yes.  If an employee does not feel that they should be reimbursed for more than one meal, they can choose to claim less on their travel reimbursements for either or both the first and last day of travel.  For example, if an employee has an evening departure flight, they may choose to claim only 50% for dinner.

Conference Expenses

No questions at this time

Business Travel Combined with Personal Travel

Can personal and business travel be combined?

Yes.  Travelers may combine business travel with personal travel as long as no added expense is incurred by the university.  The personal days must be clearly stated when submitting a reimbursement request.

  • Airfare – Only the business portion of the airfare can be direct billed.  The personal portion must be paid with personal funds.  A quote showing the business only portion will be needed for comparison.
  • Private vehicle – If a traveler chooses to drive for personal reasons instead of flying, OSU will reimburse the lesser of either the mileage rate amount or the potential cost for airfare.
  • Please refer to section 3.6 Business Travel Combined with Personal Travel in fiscal policy 03-140-401 Travel for more details.
What documentation is required for reimbursement of travel expenses when combining business travel with personal travel?

A comparison quote showing how much it would have cost without personal travel should be submitted with the travel reimbursement request.  The quote should be obtained within 24 hours of actual booking(s) and for the most economical, reasonable, direct route or practical accommodations available for the business being conducted.

International Travel

If I travel overseas on OSU business, will I be insured?

In order to be insured for foreign travel you must contact OSU Risk Management prior to your trip and register with them.

Travel on Grants

No questions at this time

Travel Reimbursements

I just returned from a business trip; what do I need to do to get reimbursed for my travel expenses?

Depending on the procedures for your work unit, either fill out a Travel Reimbursement Entry System (TRES) document or give the original receipts to your department’s travel coordinator and ask them to initiate a reimbursement request for you.

  • Direct access to the TRES system requires previous training; please refer to the TRES System Training webpage.

Print out the TRES reimbursement request, sign it and have it approved by your department’s budget authority.

The traveler or travel coordinator (depending on procedures for your work unit) sends the original signed form and original receipts to your Business Center and submit the electronic TRES document.

Please be aware that you must submit your travel reimbursement within 60 days of the end of your university-related travel in order to be reimbursed. Review fiscal policy 03-140-401 Travel for more details.

Note:  Direct deposit is a convenient option for travel reimbursements. Here are the instructions to sign up for Direct Deposit.

When do I need to submit my travel expenses for reimbursement?

All reimbursements must be submitted via the Travel Reimbursement Entry System (TRES) 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.  The reimbursement request must also be made within the same fiscal year as the expenses were incurred (OSU’s fiscal year ends June 30th).  Please review fiscal policy 03-140-401 Travel for more details.

You must contact your Business Center for direction, if your reimbursement request occurs beyond the 60-day time limit.

As an employee of OSU, what happens if I do not submit a reimbursement request within 60 days of the completion of my business travel?

Your reimbursement will be subject to withholding tax and reported on your W-2.  Repeated late requests will be evaluated and may be denied.

As a student employee of OSU, what happens if I do not submit a reimbursement request within 60 days of the completion of my business travel?

Your reimbursement will be subject to withholding tax and reported on your W-2.  Repeated late requests will be evaluated and may be denied.

As a non-employee (student, official volunteer or guest) traveling on behalf of OSU, what do I need to know before traveling on behalf of OSU?

YYou should be informed of related OSU policies, including fiscal-rule #03-140-401 Travel which provides travel requirements and guidelines for allowable expenses.  As indicated in this policy, reimbursement of such travel expenses must be substantiated with detailed documentation that reflects the business purpose and reimbursement requests must be submitted within 60 days of the completion of travel.

If you are a hosted guest, please see fiscal policy-rule #03-140-505 Meals, Refreshments and Events.  When an official guest hosted by OSU receives compensation, all expenses (including travel and meals) are included in the Personal Services Contract (PSC).  A hosted guest who is not compensated may be reimbursed for travel and non-hosted meals, subject to fiscal policy-rule #003-140-401 Travel.

As a non-employee (student, official volunteer or guest) traveling on behalf of OSU, what happens if I do not submit a reimbursement request within 60 days of the completion of my business travel?

Your reimbursement may be reported to the IRS and could have tax implications for you.  The best practice would be that the department hosting/inviting the guest educate the traveler prior to travel on the requirements to submit reimbursement requests in a timely manner.

Do I need to include receipts in order to get reimbursed?

Purchases that have been made with personal funds will be reimbursed by OSU when proper documentation of the purchase is provided, including itemized receipts.  Receipts are not required for meals that are being claimed under the per diem rate.

Please refer to section 3.9 Reimbursements in fiscal policy 03-140-401 Travel for more detail.  Contact your Business Center for assistance with handling lost receipts and other questions.

What travel expenses require receipts for reimbursement?
  • Any expense based on actual cost such as lodging, group meals, fuel for rental vehicle;
  • Airfare, rental vehicle and conference registration if purchased by traveler;
  • Mileage for private vehicle, hosting expenses; and
  • Any other travel expense over $75
Is the $75 receipt requirement per expense or cumulative for the day or trip?

Each transaction is considered an independent expense, in the same manner that you would require a receipt for other independent expenses.  For example, a $50 baggage fee on the first day of travel is a separate expense from a $50 baggage fee on the last day of travel, so receipts would not be required for either of these expenses.  In contrast, a receipt would be required if multiple bags were checked at one time and incurred fees over $75 for that single transaction.

Can I submit multiple trips on one travel reimbursement form?

Yes, if one of the following conditions is met:

  • The reimbursement requested for each trip is for mileage only. The reimbursement must be requested within 60 days of the earliest date of travel.
  • The trips are back-to-back.  If the traveler returns home before leaving on the next trip, this is not considered a back-to-back trip and separate forms must be created.
My colleague and I traveled together. What is the best way to claim reimbursement?

When employees travel together it may be expedient for one employee to pay and claim reimbursement for certain expenses of other employees.  Reimbursement for multiple employees is only allowed when actual expenses are being reimbursed and supported by itemized receipts.  Other members of the group may not claim reimbursements.

Following are guidelines to determine reasonableness of individual costs:

  • Lodging – Calculated as total lodging costs divided by total number of travelers.
  • Meals – Cost per person should not exceed M&IE per diem.
How do I claim reimbursement of travel expenses that I’ve paid on behalf of other OSU travelers?

When an OSU employee, such as a coach, athletic director or group leader, pays for the travel expenses of the team or group members, follow the steps below when preparing the travel reimbursement request.

  • Keep non-employee travel expenses separate from those of employees.
  • Include an attachment that provides a detailed itemization of each employee's expenses.
  • Include an itemized vendor receipt for meals provided to team or group members. If no receipt is available, such as when individuals are provided cash to purchase their own meals, a list of the individual's names, their signatures and the amounts disbursed is required.
Can I be reimbursed for travel expenses paid on behalf of non-OSU travelers from another institution?

No.  Itemized receipts supporting expenses must be submitted by the non-employee traveler, as required by policy.  If the traveler is hosting non-employees while traveling, reference the Hosting Groups and Official Guests section of fiscal policy 03-140-505 Meals, Refreshments and Events.

Are tips reimbursable?

No.  Gratuity and tax are included in the M&IE per diem, except group travel (15-20%) when supported by an itemized receipt.

Can I claim for alcohol while traveling?

No.  Alcohol is not reimbursable with state funds.

I purchased some field supplies while on a trip, can I include those on my travel reimbursement request?

Yes.  Any expenses claimed for non-travel business-related purchases (such as supplies, 20xxx account code) must be accompanied by a receipt regardless of the dollar amount.

Which travel insurances are allowable & which are not?

Allowable Insurance Expense:

  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), required when you rent a vehicle through a non-contracted vendor
  • Liability Insurance Supplement (supplemental liability insurance), required when you rent a vehicle through a non-contracted vendor
  • Foreign Car Insurance
  • Travel or trip insurance, when deemed necessary for OSU business needs

Non-Reimbursable Insurance Expense:

  • Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)
  • Any additional insurance when you rent a vehicle through one of the contracted car rental agencies.
  • Any personal insurance
If receive a travel reimbursement from an outside source, are there any requirements or restrictions I should know about?

Any reimbursement or payment an employee receives from an outside source could be considered a gift and may not be in compliance with state ethics laws.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you are complying with such laws, and the university ethics advisor should be consulted.

A payment is not normally considered a gift if it is for reasonable expenses that would normally be paid by OSU for attendance at a convention, fact-finding trip, conference or other meeting where you are representing OSU as defined in ORS 174.111.

If you are paid directly by an outside entity and OSU pays the actual travel expenses, you must return the funds to OSU for those expenses.


Miscellaneous Expenditures

General Information

What is de minimis?

Per IRS. . . In determining whether a benefit is de minimis, you should always consider its frequency and its value. An essential element of a de minimis benefit is that it is occasional or unusual in frequency. It also must not be a form of disguised compensation.

Whether an item or service is de minimis depends on all the facts and circumstances. In addition, if a benefit is too large to be considered de minimis, the entire value of the benefit is taxable to the employee, not just the excess over a designated de minimis amount. The IRS has ruled previously in a particular case that items with a value exceeding $100 could not be considered de minimis, even under unusual circumstances.

What kinds of expenses are not allowed to be purchased with E&G funds?

The following expenses are generally not allowed to be purchased with E&G funds. If your department has access to Foundation funds, you may be able to use those indexes instead through a direct payment request, with approval from your budget authority.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Meals and refreshments at regularly scheduled unit meetings
  • Unit/staff luncheons (with some exceptions—please refer to Can I host a group)
  • Holiday parties and other staff celebrations
  • Retirement party expenses
  • Personal Items
What types of purchases can be made with professional development funds?

The funds should be used to keep the recipient current in their professional skills and improve upon their abilities to serve Oregon State University, the students of the university and the colleagues of the recipient.

Examples include:

  • Lab Supplies
  • Conference/Workshop/Training registration and related travel expenses
  • Purchase of books, journals and subscriptions for development of research
  • Memberships of professional organizations for research or teaching


How do I calculate personal car mileage if I am traveling from my home to a temporary work location, like a meeting in Salem?

OSU will reimburse the mileage between the employee work station and the destination or the mileage between the employee's home and the destination, whichever is less.

If I normally work Monday to Friday, but need to work on Saturday, can I be reimbursed for commuting on my normal day off?

No, commuting expenses are not deductible regardless of your work schedule.

I am temporarily working from home and drive to my office location for various job duties.  Is the mileage from my home to regular office location reimbursable?

No.  These miles are considered personal commuting expenses and are not eligible for reimbursement.

As part of my job duties, I am required to drive to post office or printing and mailing with regular frequency.   Should the mileage requests start from my home or regular office location?

These miles are eligible for reimbursement.  Mileage should start from whichever location results in the shorter distance in accordance with IRS guidelines.

communication services

No questions at this time

licenses and occupational fees

No questions at this time

membership dues and subscriptions

No questions at this time

donations, contributions and sponsorships

No questions at this time

Meals, Refreshments aND EVENTS

Can I be reimbursed for unit luncheons?

Generally, no. Employees should personally contribute to the cost of the meal rather than using university (E&G) funds. University funds cannot be used to pay for employee meals or refreshments for regularly scheduled unit meetings or departmental social activities. Refer to the fiscal policy for Meals, Refreshments and Events (Non Travel) for more information and contact your Business Center for assistance.

Meals, refreshments and/or affiliated supplies (i.e. paper plates, cups, etc.) at unit functions can be paid with university funds when there is a clear business purpose and adequate documentation showing that the activity meets one of the following criteria:

  • Employee meal provided at worksite during an overtime period (two or more hours beyond the end of employee’s work shift) or when duties prevent the employee from taking a meal break.
  • Employee working meal provided on university premises with required attendance and business conducted during the meal period.
  • Unit staff retreat or employee working meal provided away from the normal work location must be infrequent and have little value.
My department has a team-building meeting twice a year.  Can the department pay for it?

As long as there is a clear business purpose for the meeting and the cost per attendee is de minimis, this would usually meet the IRS frequency requirements and is allowed.

Our department wants to order pizza for a staff meeting. Can the department pay for it?

No. Regularly scheduled unit meetings generally do not meet the frequency requirement established by IRS guidelines, therefore meals and refreshments at these types of meetings are not allowed. Full text should include Who (attendees), What (business purpose/benefit to OSU), When (timeframe), Where (location of meeting) and Why (justification for providing the lunch). All of this information needs to be included in the text and any documentation attached to the invoice. See Can I be reimbursed for unit luncheons for more details.

Can the office pay for a cake to celebrate the birth of a co-worker's baby?

No. that is considered personal and does not further the mission of the university.

Can the office pay for a cake when a co-worker is retiring?

No, that is considered personal and does not further the mission of the university.

How do I pay for retirement parties and gifts?

Expenses for retirement parties must be paid or directly reimbursed by the OSU Foundation. You will need prior approval from your unit’s budget authority to access Foundation Funds. Please refer to the OSU Foundation Distribution Policy (Article 9: Employee Awards) for details about how Foundation funds may be spent.

Send invoices and receipts to your Business Center for processing.

Can we pay for food for student clubs or other groups?

Yes, under certain conditions. Food can be direct-billed or personally reimbursed for student clubs and other groups. See Can I host a group for more details.

Can my department pay for graduation cords or stoles for students?

Yes, if the purpose is to recognize student achievement. Departmental expenses for commencement events may be paid from non-restricted university funds or authorized gift funds when the primary purpose is to recognize student achievement with authorized Budget Authority approval.

Our department is scheduling a virtual event.  Can we purchase meals for attendees working from home?

Yes. Food purchases for unit functions can be paid with university funds when there is a clear business purpose.


Can I host an official guest?

Yes, when there is a clear benefit to OSU and authorization by appropriate program personnel or budget authority (provide documentation of these requirements when requesting payment of related expenses). Official guests include candidates for open position, prospective students and other individuals invited to OSU for a specific purpose.

Please refer to the fiscal policy for Meals, Refreshments and Events (Non Travel) for more details and contact your Business Center with questions.

Can I host a group?

Yes, within policy guidelines. “Hosted groups” are when meals or refreshments are arranged in advance for an entire group of persons, for university activities involving conferences, departmental retreats, commencement events, community or public relations events and student activities.

Please refer to the fiscal policy for Meals, Refreshments and Events (Non Travel) for more details and contact your Business Center with questions.

What are the allowable expenses when hosting guests?

Please refer to fiscal policy for Meals, Refreshments and Events (Non Travel) for allowable expenses when hosting an official guest.

Our department took a job candidate to dinner. Why was only a portion of the meal allowed?

Approved OSU travel per diem rates, will be used as a guideline to ensure that authorized meal and refreshment costs, including gratuity and tax, are reasonable for the occasion.

I’m hosting a guest speaker or other official guest. What forms do I need to fill out? How do I reimburse the speaker for expenses or get reimbursed myself?

Travel expenses only:

  • Request a vendor set up from your Business Center. You can then fill out a TRES reimbursement request on behalf of the guest. The speaker’s expense reimbursement is processed like any other travel reimbursement and the standard employee reimbursement policies apply. (For details, see the Travel and Reimbursements FAQs)

Paid Honorarium (speaker fee):

  • If you will be paying an honorarium, be sure to start this process well in advance of the speaker’s arrival, as it may take some time to get everything set up. If travel expenses will be paid along with an honorarium, these expenses should be included with the honorarium and not reimbursed separately. Direct billing is allowed for airfare, lodging and meals for speakers. Also, be aware that if the speaker has a contract that they require OSU to sign, then this will have to be routed through Contract Services. Contact your Business Center for assistance.
  • Paid Honorarium, less than $5,000:
    • Fill out a Vendor Payment Request. The guest speaker and department budget authority must sign the form and then submit it to the Business Center for processing.
  • Paid Honorarium, more than $5,000
    • Personal Services Contract (PSC) is required.
    • Contact your Business Center with the details. They will assist you in working with Contract Services, which will issue a contract to be signed by speaker, the departmental approver and an OSU Contracts Officer.
    • The PSC must be completed and signed prior to the speaker’s arrival.
    • To be reimbursed for expenses you incur when hosting a speaker, complete a Personal Reimbursement Request and forward to your Business Center.
What is a “reasonable cost” for group meals?

Meal and refreshment costs should be appropriate for the occasion. Approved OSU travel per diem rates will be used to check for the reasonableness standard (the allowable gratuity is included in the per diem rate).

  • Some units set specific thresholds for reimbursement, so check with your Business Center if you are unsure of your unit’s rules.
  • Meal expenses significantly exceeding the OSU per diem rates require documentation explaining the reason for the excess and the approval of the department head.
How much gratuity can I be reimbursed for when hosting group meals?

Reimbursement for a reasonable gratuity/tip (e.g. 15-20%) is allowable when hosting groups or guests.

Tips or fees for alcoholic beverage service are not reimbursable from E&G funds. These costs need to be separated and included with the alcoholic beverage purchase. (See Getting Reimbursed for Alcoholic Beverages for more information)

What Corvallis-area restaurants are available for direct billing when hosting an OSU-related event?

OSU does not have a policy allowing restaurants to send the university invoices for meals. Some restaurants have informal relationships with OSU units and departments where they are willing to send that department a bill. Because these arrangements are informal, please contact the restaurant directly about this possibility.

Note that, if the restaurant is willing to send a bill, you should request separate invoices for food and any alcohol. (Alcohol cannot be purchased with E&G funds. See Getting Reimbursed for Alcoholic Beverages for more information)

How do I get reimbursed for a hosted group event that was not direct-billed to a restaurant or caterer?

If you pay the vendor directly, please complete a Personal Reimbursement Request form and work with your Business Center to process it within 60 days of the event. Include the following details about the hosted event:

  • 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.
  • What:  What was the nature of the hosted event? Was it lunch, dinner, breakfast, entertainment or something else?
  • When: The dates and times of hosted events.
  • Where: Location or locations that the hosting took place.
  • 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.

Required Receipts:

  • Itemized to show meals, gratuities, any charges for room use and alcoholic beverages (which must be separated out and sent as direct pay requests to OSUF). A "tear tag" showing only the total charge is inadequate for reimbursement.

Average Amount:

  • The calculated average cost per person for refreshments or meals must be included with the reimbursement request. The average is determined by dividing the total cost (meal/refreshments including tip and delivery charge) by the number of attendees.
How do I get reimbursed for alcoholic beverages consumed during a hosted group meal?

Expenses for alcoholic beverages must be separately identified and billed directly to the OSU Foundation, if the hosting unit has access to Foundation funds. (Refer to the OSU Foundation Distribution Policy for more information.) It is best to ask the restaurant or caterer to provide separate bills for food and alcohol.

Contact your Business Center for assistance when alcoholic beverages are served at banquets or group activities that you are hosting as part of a workshop or conference, where the full cost of such beverages is recovered through charges to the participants or sponsoring group.

Note that the hosting 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.

Employee recognition

My department would like to give wine as a gift to an employee.  Are there any restrictions or special requirements for how this should be processed?

Yes, there are specific requirements for purchasing wine as well as how gifts to employees must be processed.  First, alcoholic beverages cannot be purchased with university funds and can only be processed through OSU Foundation (OSUF).  And any payment, gift or award that is taxable to the employee must be processed through the university payroll system.

In addition, any “gift” to an employee must qualify as either a performance or service award and must comply with fiscal policy-rule #03-140-507.  This policy stipulates that only length of service and safety awards with a value less than $400 per employee, per calendar year are non-taxable to the employee.  As such non-taxable awards with a value less than $100 may be processed through OSUF.

Therefore, since all alcohol purchases must be processed by OSUF and must qualify as non-taxable if given to an employee, awards of alcohol can only be given for service and safety awards (not performance or any other type of award) and cannot exceed $99.99.

What are “other non-cash awards"?

Non-cash awards are tangible items often given in recognition of an employee’s performance or service.  Length of service and safety awards with a value of $400 or more are taxable to the employee.  Awards that are not specifically related to safety or length of service are considered “other non-cash awards”, which are taxable to the employee if value is $100 or greater (less than $100 is considered de minimis). 

fellowships, scholarships and student payments

No questions at this time

participant support

No questions at this time


No questions at this time

Personal Use of OSU Property

Can I purchase work-related item (equipment, furniture, supplies) for working from home?

Possibly, please check with your supervisor and/or budget authority.  You may be authorized to purchase some items necessary to perform your job duties when you are required to work remotely or allowed to “borrow” some items from your permanent workstation or department.

Gift Cards or Certificates

Can I purchase gift cards?

Yes, with some restrictions. In general, gift cards cannot be purchased by an individual for reimbursement, directly by the OSU Foundation, via direct-bill or with a P-Card (purchasing credit card). However, a gift card with an individual value of $50 or less that will be given as a prize or award may be purchased with a P-Card. Please review the fiscal policy for Procurement Cards for information about the exemption for gift cards purchased with a P-Card.

Gift cards should be purchased with a check from OSU to the vendor:

  • Complete a Vendor Payment Request form and send it to your Business Center. Include a clear business purpose for the gift card. If the card will be given to an individual, please include their full name and OSU ID number.
  • The requestor will be notified when the check is generated and it can be picked up at the Cashier window at Kerr Admin Building.

miscellaneous expenses

What is considered a "personal item"?

Following are some examples of personal items that CANNOT be purchased with university funds when intended primarily for individual benefit and do not have a clear and substantive business purpose:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Individual dues, memberships, professional certifications or business license fees, unless a requirement of the position
  • Clothing and other personal apparel that an individual wears to work, unless a requirement of the position (e.g. uniforms, promotional clothing for events, safety apparel or equipment)
  • Resources such as CDs, DVDs or books, unless a requirement of the position (e.g. textbooks or specific reference material)
  • Coffee room supplies such as coffee, tea, creamer, sugar, paper products, etc.
  • Candy, gum, mints, pain relievers, cold/allergy medications, sun screens, bug sprays, facial tissue, deodorant, etc.
  • Personal accident insurance on vehicles rented in the United States, U.S. territories or Canada
  • Damage to personal vehicles driven while conducting OSU business
My department buys coffee and related supplies for our building lobby, where guests wait to be helped.  Can we pay for those items using university funds?

Yes.  These costs can be charged to a university funding source because there is a clear business purpose that can be documented with the purchase.

My unit buys coffee and related supplies for our conference room that has frequent business meeting.  Can we pay for those items using university funds?

Yes.  These costs can be charged to a university funding source because there is a clear business purpose that can be documented with the purchase.

Our Dean wants to send Holiday cards for all of the alumni and donors, can our department reimburse the expense?

Yes.  Holiday wishes or general recognition may be purchased with university funds only when used for outreach to donors or alumni, and charged to account code 28613 Public Relations.  Index "M2" Gift or "FS" OSU Foundation should be used, or a general fund index with “development" in the title.


General Accounting

F&A Rate

What is OSU's base year?

Fiscal Year 2021 is the base year for OSU's next F&A rate proposal.

How does the annual space survey fit into the F&A rate proposal process?

Information from the space survey is used for many purposes--classroom planning and scheduling, master planning for OSU, State and City of Corvallis and the F&A rate proposal process. Space codes are used to determine how the Building Depreciation, Equipment Depreciation and Operations and Maintenances indirect cost pools are allocated to the four functions of organized research, other sponsored activities, instruction and other institutional activities. OSU's space survey is conducted annually and the entire campus is surveyed.

The space survey is intended to capture data for an entire fiscal year's use. What if my project only uses a lab for 6 months of the year?

The space would be "annualized" for the fiscal year and therefore that project would only be using space 50% of the fiscal year. Space should be coded as 50% organized research and 50% for instruction/department research.

My research project doesn't allow F&A costs--do I still categorize my use of space for that project as organized research?


How do computer network expenses get captured in the F&A rate proposal process?

Costs such as the Community Network charges should be treated as a departmental administration expense. The function of an expense determines where it goes in the calculation process and the use of Community Network hook- ups cannot be easily identified between research, other sponsored activities, instruction, other institutional activities and department administration. Therefore, it is appropriate to treat these costs as F&A expenses. Look at the chart entitled "Identifying and Assigning an Individual Cost". There are some Colleges (e.g., Forestry) that have their computer network established as a service center. This is appropriate because they establish an annual rate and charge all users the same rate (e.g., a grant in the College of Forestry is charged the same for computer network usage as an accountant in the Dean's Office). This type of operation would be considered a service center in OSU' Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) Disclosure Statement and service center policies and procedures must be followed. In the F&A rate proposal, service centers are categorized as an Other Institutional Activity (OIA).

Does volunteer time (used as cost sharing or matching) get counted in the F&A rate calculation?

No. Only those costs that are recorded in BANNER are included in the calculation. The F&A rate calculation is based upon the audited financial statement of expenditures during OSU's base year. If an OSU expense is incurred during the base year, it gets counted in the calculation in some manner.

How do OSU's program codes relate to the major functions and F&A cost pools outlined in OMB Circular A-21?

The BANNER program codes are designed to fit within these categories. The Fiscal Operations Manual has a description of OSU's program codes. The website is: A visual representation of how the most commonly used program codes can be found on slide 13 of the staff training materials.

Cost Accounting Standards

What is a Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) Disclosure Statement?

The 1996 revision to OMB Circular A-21 included a requirement for submission of a cost accounting disclosure statement by all universities that receive $25M or more in Federally-sponsored agreements. This disclosure statement (called a DS- 2) is submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). OSU was one of the first universities to submit a DS-2 and receive approval. The DS-2 describes how OSU generally operates, how it treats certain costs and functions and how it meets the four cost accounting standards outlined in OMB Circular A-21.

What are the four Cost Accounting Standards?

The four cost accounting standards are: (1) consistency in estimating, accumulating and reporting costs; (2) consistency in allocating costs incurred for the same purpose; (3) accounting for unallowable costs; and (4) cost accounting period (note: OSU uses its fiscal year for its cost accounting period).

OMB Circular A-21

What are the four major functions of a university, as defined in A-21?

OMB Circular A-21 defines the major functions of an institution as instruction organized research, other sponsored activities and other institutional activities. The following definitions come directly from OMB Circular A-21: Instruction means the teaching and training activities of an institution. Except for research training as provided in subsection b, this term includes all teaching and training activities, whether they are offered for credits toward a degree or certificate or on a non-credit basis and whether they are offered through regular academic departments or separate divisions, such as a summer school division or an extension division. Also considered part of this major function are departmental research and, where agreed to, university research.

Sponsored instruction and training means specific instructional or training activity established by grant, contract or cooperative agreement. For purposes of the cost principles, this activity may be considered a major function even though an institution's accounting treatment may include it in the instruction function.

Departmental research means research, development and scholarly activities that are not organized research and, consequently, are not separately budgeted and accounted for. Departmental research, for purposes of this document, is not considered as a major function, but as a part of the instruction function of the institution.

Organized research means all research and development activities of an institution that are separately budgeted and accounted for. It includes:

  • Sponsored research means all research and development activities that are sponsored by Federal and non-Federal agencies and organizations. This term includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques (commonly called research training) where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function.
  • University research means all research and development activities that are separately budgeted and accounted for by the institution under an internal application of institutional funds. University research, for purposes of this document, shall be combined with sponsored research under the function of organized research.

Other sponsored activities means programs and projects financed by Federal and non-Federal agencies and organizations which involve the performance of work other than instruction and organized research. Examples of such programs and projects are health service projects and community service programs. However, when any of these activities are undertaken by the institution without outside support, they may be classified as other institutional activities. Other institutional activities means all activities of an institution except:

  • instruction, departmental research organized research and other sponsored activities, as defined above;
  • F&A cost activities identified in Section F; and
  • specialized service facilities described in Section J.47. Other institutional activities include operation of residence halls, dining halls, hospitals and clinics, student unions, intercollegiate athletics, bookstores, faculty housing, student apartments, guest houses, chapels, theaters, public museums and other similar auxiliary enterprises. This definition also includes any other categories of activities, costs of which are "unallowable" to sponsored agreements, unless otherwise indicated in the agreements.
What's the difference between organized research and departmental research?

OMB Circular A-21 defined organized research as "all research and development activities of an institution that are separately budgeted and accounted for." It includes sponsored research, which is all "research and development activities that are sponsored by Federal and non-Federal agencies and organizations" and university research, which is "all research and development activities that are separately budgeted and accounted for by the institution under an internal application of institutional funds." Examples of university research would be OSU's Centers and Institutes and all of the projects funded under the Hatch Act, the McIntire-Stennis Act and their matching components.

OMB Circular A-21 defines departmental research as "research, development and scholarly activities that are not organized research and, consequently, are not separately budgeted and accounted for." It goes on to say that departmental research, for purposes of the F&A rate calculation, is considered to be part of the instructional function. Examples of departmental research would be faculty start-up monies.

What are the nine (9) F&A cost pools?

The nine F&A cost pools are divided between Facilities and Administration. OMB Circular A-21 defines these as follows: "'Facilities' is defined as depreciation and use allowances, interest on debt associated with certain buildings, equipment and capital improvements, operation and maintenance expenses and library expenses. `Administration' is defined as general administration and general expenses, departmental administration, sponsored projects administration, student administration and services and all other types of expenditures not listed specifically under one of the subcategories of Facilities (including cross allocations from other pools)”.

Internal Controls

What are internal controls and who is responsible?

Internal control is a process to provide reasonable assurance of effective/efficient operations, reliable financial reporting and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The internal control system consists of a strong control environment, reliable risk assessment, effective control activities, relevant information & communication and monitoring practices that assess the quality of control activities. Each of us at every level of the university plays a role in ensuring that all transactions are valid, complete, accurate and compliant.

Journal Vouchers

What is one of the reasons for entering a JV into Banner?

To correct a prior transaction/liquidate an encumbrance or record service credits.

Do I need to send a paper copy to AP for approval of a JV?

No. Approvals are done in Banner only. No paper audit is needed. Make sure Document Text includes the purpose of the JV. A contact name and phone number is also required.


Fund Accounting

General Information

No questions at this time

agency funds

No questions at this time

e&G and swps budgeted operations

No questions at this time

designated operations

Why can’t designated operations funds purchase or own equipment?

Ownership per se means that capital assets are purchased AND capitalized in a specific fund.  Note that E&G funds can provide the funding and purchase capital equipment, but those capital assets cannot be recorded in the E&G fund making the purchase. Instead, they are recorded as capital assets in the university’s net investment in plant fund 890000.  At OSU, only auxiliary funds and service center funds can purchase and record their capital assets in the same fund.

What funding sources for capital equipment are available for designated operations?

Alternate funding sources for capital equipment include departmental E&G funds, Statewide Public Services (SWPS) funds, grant funds and foundation funds.

service center operations

No questions at this time

auxiliary enterprises

No questions at this time

payment of audit disallowance

No questions at this time

gift funds

No questions at this time

university student organizations

No questions at this time


Foundation Accounting

General Information

Is there a policy that requires fundraising and solicitation of funds for OSU has to be done through the Foundation?

Yes, Board policy “Standards for Recognition of a Foundation” (which is located at

This policy simply states that “Unless otherwise agreed by the President and the Foundation Chief Executive Officer, all private gifts for the benefit of the university are to be paid to the Foundation and managed in accordance with donor intent for the benefit of the university.”  The fiscal policy for Gift Funds and the property management (PRO) policy for Equipment Acquisition – Gift also provide some additional information.

Do gifts in kind require an acknowledgement letter?

Yes.  If the value of the gift exceeds $250 an acknowledgement letter is required.

Why are gift fees required?

The OSU Foundation has been established as the university’s fundraising arm and is specially equipped to perform that function on OSU’s behalf.  The foundation charges a 5% gift fee for administrative purposes.  If OSU did not match the fee requirement, it would create a built-in incentive for donors to avoid OSUF and donate directly to OSU.  To the extent possible, all donors should be directed to OSUF so they can do the job OSU pays them to do.  Only if a donor absolutely insists on donating to OSU after being directed to donate to OSUF will OSU accept the gift.


Closing the Books

No questions at this time


Asset Accounting

property Management Information

What does it mean when something is capitalized?

When an expenditure is capitalized, it is considered a depreciable item and useful life schedules are followed. Typical capitalized expenditures are those for buildings, major re-modeling projects and equipment.

What is the depreciation schedule (useful life) for equipment?

The depreciation schedule for equipment is shown in the Capital Inventory Asset Code table within the FIS manual. OSU's definition of equipment is found in our current F&A rate agreement--"tangible nonexpendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit”.

What equipment gets included for the depreciation calculation?

OSU accepts the responsibility of depreciation expense for all assets except those that belong to Proprietary Funds, e.g., auxiliary enterprises and service centers. These units include their equipment depreciation in the rates charges for their services.

Is there a depreciation schedule for computers?

If a computer does not have a unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or more, it is not considered equipment and is not subject to depreciation. These items are considered minor equipment. If a computer does have a unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or more, it is capitalized and the useful life is five (5) years.

Who is responsible for requesting reimbursement from the foundation when gift funds are part of a capital project and what is the process?

The department is responsible to assign someone as a requester in the FS Reimbursements System and provide this person with the Project ID’s to be used for the distributions. The requester should regularly monitor their ZARXXX index and submit reimbursement requests on a monthly basis, at a minimum.

What should my department do when a piece of equipment is traded back to the vendor to get a discount or credit upon purchasing a new capital asset?


equipment acquisition

What is the cost to register an OSU vehicle?

The average cost is $127.50, which includes $98 for the title, $5 for governmental registration and $24.50 for eplates

What is the cost to register a research vessel?

OSU only pays $75 for the registration fee on research vessels.

Why does a trailer need a license plate and registration?

The Oregon DMV requires that any type of motor-powered or alternative-powered conveyance must be registered for on-road use.  Trailers are specifically included in the DMV requirements, as they are considered “alternative-powered” being pulled by a motor-powered vehicle when used on the road.

Equipment Management

No questions at this time

Equipment Disposal

Will my department be charged for outstanding depreciation if we dispose of equipment before the end of its useful life?



No questions at this time

Construction and Plant Funds

What is the depreciation schedule for buildings?

The depreciation schedule for buildings is shown in the Capital Inventory Asset Code table within the FIS manual. There are 15 buildings that are depreciated based upon their componentized useful lives and capital value. All other buildings are depreciated based upon one useful life for the entire building.

Are major re-model projects capitalized and depreciated?

Major re-model projects are defined as those that cost greater than $100,000 and substantially improve the life of a building. An example would be a complete "re- do" of an office into laboratory space that costs $150,000. Again, OSU has established the depreciation schedule for these types of re-model projects and the useful life is 20 years.

What is the capitalization threshold for new buildings and what happens when a project is initially below the threshold then later goes over the threshold?

$100,000 is the capitalization threshold for new buildings. When a construction project initially begins as a non-capital project, items are expensed. When the project goes over the capitalization threshold, a plant fund is established (if it hasn’t been already) and the expenses are moved to capital account codes.

Who establishes the plant fund to record the capitalization costs of a new building or major building improvement?

Financial Services within University Facilities, Infrastructure and Operations (UFIO).

Sponsored Research and Federal Property

No questions at this time


Reserve Funds

No questions at this time



No questions at this time


Accounting & Banner FIS Guidelines

No questions at this time