General Reimbursement Policies and Procedures | UVA Student Council

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Once the Student Council Appropriations Committee has emailed the group its final allocation, getting reimbursed for approved expenditures is a group’s final step in the Appropriations process.

VPSAO-Finance serves the vital role of reimbursing CIOs’ approved expenditures with the SAF funds that have been allocated to them. In addition to handling the accounting for all money associated with the Student Activities Fee, ODOS Business Services is also a valuable resource for all CIOS that receive SAF Appropriations.

The office offers financial advisements and services in the area of budgeting, payment processing, account reconciliation, and account tracking.VPSAO-Finance is located in the VPSA Cottage on Poe Alley near the Lawn. Office Hours are Monday-Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM (excluding holidays). Below are all important processes, policies, and procedures that each CIO must keep in mind when requesting reimbursements fromVPSAO-Finance:

Self-Generated Funds vs. SAF Appropriations

At the onset, the distinction should be made between money allocated to the organization from the Student Activities Fund and money that the organization earns or collects on its own.VPSAO-Finance manages the money associated with the Student Activities Fee allocations. The use of Student Activities Fee allocations is restricted to specifically approved purposes. The self-generated funds that the organization collects (i.e.: membership dues) are held by the organization and may be deposited in a bank account in the name of the organization. These funds are unrestricted and may be spent as the group sees fit. If the CIO makes expenditure against SAF funds, the organization may request reimbursement and/or direct payment to the vendor from its Student Activities allocation [as long as the expense is approved in the budget]. Allocations must be spent in accordance with the organization’s budget as approved by the Appropriations Committee. [Special Note: Any unbudgeted expenditure must be approved by the Student Council Vice President for Organizations.] It is expected that all budgeted items are necessary and vital to the purpose of the organization. Organizations are encouraged to check with ODOS Business Services before purchasing any items that may be out of the ordinary or of a questionable nature.

General Policies & Procedures

The first step that an organization must take each academic year in order to gain access to allocated funds is to seek CIO status from Student Council. This step verifies the existence and functioning of the organization. Secondly, the organization must verify that the president and treasurer’s name and contact information are recorded within the @UVA system ( The individual referenced as treasurer will be the only person authorized to sign expenditure vouchers.
Important: Funds/Allocations not spent within the 60-day allocation timeline will automatically revert back to the SAF and are consequently forfeited by the organization. Student Activities Fees are paid by regular full-time students during the nine-month academic session; therefore, accounts are closed during the summer months. No summer expenditures can be paid out of activities fees, but some limited expenditures made in preparation for the fall semester may be honored if approved by the Student Council Appropriations Committee. Spring semester officially ends with the last day of undergraduate exams. Expenditures made after the last day of undergraduate classes (for each semester) will not be honored. All expenditures must be appropriate and justified with supporting and original documentation. The treasurer must read the SAF Guidelines and sign the signature authorization form located in ODOS Business Services.

Timetable for Submitting Reimbursements/Payments

Rolling Rounds: Groups have 60 days from the date of the email notification of their allocation to request payment reimbursement from VPSAO-Finance. If a Rolling Round has less than 60 days, the payment/reimbursement requests must be submitted by the established deadline for that particular Rolling Round.
Semi-Annual Rounds: Groups have 60 days from the date of the invoice/cash receipt to turn in requests for payment and/or reimbursement toVPSAO-Finance. Purchase requests for Semi-annual reimbursement must be submitted by the last day of classes in the semester to VPSAO-Finance.
CIOs may not be reimbursed for expenditures incurred prior to the date of the email notification. (DO NOT SPEND MONEY BEFORE YOU HAVE RECEIVED YOUR EMAIL ALLOCATION NOTIFICATION!)

The Purchase Request form

Only the organization’s treasurer, or the individual designated by the organization to act as treasurer, should submit expenditure requests against the Student Activities allocation. The procedure for requesting payments from the allocation is as follows:

(1) The treasurer completes a Purchase Request form. The Purchase Request form can be found on atUVA under the organization’s finance tab. Financial officers should complete the form, print it, sign it, and submit it on atUVA. The signed and printed form along with original supporting documentation (receipts, bills, invoices, etc. from the vendor) is submitted to VPSAO-Finance for payment. Please note that expenditure vouchers and supporting documentation will not be returned to the CIO. It is the responsibility of the CIO to make copies of the completed forms for its own records.

Each expenditure must be supported by objective, verifiable documentation that the goods and/or services were received by the organization as stated on the Expenditure Voucher Form. VPSAO-Finance can only accept original documentation. Requests for payment and/or reimbursement (including appropriate supporting documentation) must be submitted within 60 days of the e-mail notification of your allocation for the rolling rounds. For semi-annual rounds, requests for payment and/or reimbursement must be submitted within 60 days of the invoice/cash receipt date. For expenses paid at the time the product is purchased (over-the-counter, i.e. hotel, supplies, etc), the receipt date will serve as the “invoice date.” Funds will not be released to any organization that does not provide sufficient documentation of expense. State regulations prohibit photocopies where state (or public) funds are involved. The Expenditure Voucher is incomplete without such documentation. Please reference the Travel section for policies and procedures related to Travel Expenditures.

Student organizations and/or individual members of organizations SHOULD NOT pay for service-related expenditures (ie: advertising, printing, telephone, speakers, entertainers, etc). Please see Vendor section for additional information.

(2) The approved Purchase Request form and supporting documentation are then either mailed or carried to VPSAO-Finance for processing. If the Purchase Request form and supporting documentation provide evidence that the expenditure is in accordance with the budget authorized by Student Council, and does not violate the aforementioned Board of Visitors’ restrictions, VPSAO-Finance will then process the reimbursement or payment request. If the payment is to be made directly to the vendor, a check will be mailed to the address supplied by the vendor unless a request to hold the check is made. If the request is for a CIO reimbursement, a direct deposit of the reimbursable amount is made into the organization’s registered checking account. If the organization is not registered for direct deposit, the treasurer or president of the organization will be contacted via email once the check is available for pickup at VPSAO-Finance. Checks to organizations cannot be sent via messenger mail or the U.S. Postal Service. If an organization chooses not to hand deliver their documents, it is their responsibility for ensuring it has been received by Business Services.

Prepayment: if there is a need to prepay a vendor for goods and/or services, the organization’s treasurer must contact VPSAO-Finance 30 days in advance to make the necessary accommodations.

Expenditure Vouchers denied for payment by VPSAO-Finance will be discussed with the organization’s treasurer or president. If an agreement cannot be reached, an appeal for payment may be made to Student Council with the right to final appeal to the Student Activities Committee. **Please allow 7-10 Business days for the processing of Expenditure Vouchers. Checks to vendors may take longer to process. [Please see Vendor Section for additional information]. In cases of emergencies, ODOS Business Services may be contacted for assistance.


Reimbursement and/or payment for travel-related expenditures follow the same process as outlined in the General Policies and Procedures Section of this manual with a few additional requirements. Please reference “Other Budgeting Guidelines” on page 8 for additional travel-related guidelines and cost caps. These requirements only apply to the following travel-related reimbursable expenditures: lodging, public transportation (airline, bus, and train), vehicle (personal and rental), taxi, tolls, parking, conference registration, etc. Additional policies associated with travel are as follows:

• Requests for payment and/or reimbursement must be submitted within 60 days of the travel and/or event date, whichever is the latest. Travel requests require one or more of the following items, which will be used to verify the occurrence of the actual event for which funding was approved: conference brochure, tournament results, coach or Advisor confirmation of event occurrence, etc.)
• Lodging: Original itemized lodging receipts are required for reimbursement requests. Receipts must show proof of payment, lodging date, room description, number of rooms, etc. Generally, the receipt provided at hotel checkout provides the itemized list of expenditures. **INTERNET CONFIRMATIONS ARE NOT RECEIPTS!**
• Public Transportation: Original boarding passes and itinerary must be submitted as supportive documentation when public transportation is utilized. **INTERNET CONFIRMATIONS ARE NOT RECEIPTS!**
• Vehicle – Personal Vehicle: A Mapquest or Google Maps printout is required for each mileage reimbursement request, except for travel to Richmond and Washington, DC. In addition, the Mileage Reimbursement Form must be completed and attached to the Expenditure Voucher as supporting documentation.
• Vehicle – Rental Vehicle- A reimbursement will only be made for the cost of rental and gasoline expenditures.

Guest Speakers: A guest speaker is defined as an individual who gives a lecture, presentation, or speech, on a particular subject matter to UVA staff, student, and community members. UVA faculty, UVA students, performers, dancers, musicians, artists, etc., are not considered as guest speakers. A guest speaker can be reimbursed for food, lodging and vehicle expenditures. Student Council must approve all travel expenditures prior to the incurrence of the expense. The allowances are as follows: $20 for meals per day (itemized receipt required); $100 for lodging per day (itemized receipt required); and $0.35 per mile (mileage reimbursement amount for personal vehicle). The guest speaker must complete the Mileage Reimbursement Form when travel is made by personal vehicle. No vehicle repairs or maintenance will be paid by SAF. Any additional travel of the guest speaker will not be honored by SAF. These expenditures are limited to the guest speaker only. Gifts or similar fees are prohibited.

Member Travel: CIO members can be reimbursed for lodging, public transportation and vehicle expenditures. Food expenditures are not reimbursable! All travel must be official business of the organization. Local travel is expected to be absorbed by the organization and cannot be reimbursed by SAF. The allowances are as follows: $100 for lodging per day (itemized receipt required); and $0.25 per mile (mileage reimbursement for personal vehicle). No vehicle repairs or maintenance will be paid by SAF.


A vendor is defined as an individual (ie: guest speaker), company, or firm that provides goods and/or services to your organization.

Student organizations and/or individual members of organizations SHOULD NOT pay for service-related expenditures (ie: advertising, printing, telephone, speakers, entertainers, etc). The IRS requires the University to annually report payments for services performed by vendors. A service is defined as “work done for others as an occupation or business.” An example of a service would be submitting a print job to Kinko’s for processing. However, printing the job (yourself) at Kinko’s is not considered a service. This type of expense should be paid directly from the organization’s appropriation. Feel free to contact VPSAO-Finance to determine how best to work with your choice of service vendor.

Before a direct payment can be made, the vendor must be registered in the University’s financial system. The registration process provides the necessary tax identification, address, vendor name, and contact information for reporting to the IRS. No payment can be made to a vendor without the completion of this important step. If you are interested in determining whether your preferred vendor is already registered in the financial system, you may contact VPSAO-Finance via email at or by phone at 924-0867.


Obligations incurred by student organizations are solely to the individual contractor; neither Student Council nor the University assumes liability. A clause to this effect is required in every contract entered into by a student group. This requirement serves to put merchants on notice that the University does not guarantee the contract.


Law School CIO’s can turn their purchase requests and supporting documentation in to the Student Affairs Office (SL 109). Student Affairs staff will then send this paperwork to the UVA Business Office so that the reimbursement can be processed.


Darden CIO’s can drop off their purchase requests – with supporting documentation firmly attached – in Appropriations Co-Chair Jess Lukacs’ student mailbox. Please keep a scan of your forms for your own records in case they are lost or misplaced.