Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 06/08/2016



Please see current Fiscal Policy Manual for current policies

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

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

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

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

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

1. Documentation showing purchase and payment by the employee;

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

3. Signature of employee claiming request; and

4. Signature of authorized Budget Authority other than requestor also confirming #2. Budget Authority cannot be subordinate to employee claiming request.

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

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

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