Justifications are needed for just about any financial transaction. A perfectly legitimate expense can be fined in an audit if it's not properly justified in the documentation. A good justification requires WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY/HOW.
- Who: Who is involved in the the transaction? (Travelers, Stakeholders)
- What: What exactly is being paid for?
- When: For travel, when will the travel take place? For supplies/equipment, when will the items be used? For services, when will/were the services be provided?
- Where: For travel, where is the destination? For supplies/equipment, where will the items be stored or used? For services, where will the services be provided?
- How/Why: How does the purchase benefit the university? Why is the purchase necessary?
Other things to include
- For Charges to Sponsored Projects
- Sponsored charge justifications must idenitfy the project (project number, study title, etc.), principal investigator (PI), and a detailed explanation of how the expenses directly support the aims of the grant.
- For Subject Payments
- Because any identifying information should be removed and documents should be held in the lab in the case of an audit, include the statement "Documentation will be kept on file in the department, available for audit."
- Any Oddities
- Anything out of the norm should be included in the justification. Clarifications and extra details pertinent to the payment should be included.
Examples and further explainations can be found in our Writing Justifications Guide
Expense Reimbursements are used to reimburse University of Minnesota employees, mainly used for travel. As mentioned in purchasing reimbursements can be used, albiet very rarely and only in emergency situations, for supplies and equipment. Reimbursement for supplies and equiment is the least prefered method of purchasing.
- Staff and Faculty (non-students) Reimbursement Requests - Must be submitted through Chrome River
- Undergraduate and Graduate Student (includes RA's, TA's, and Fellowships) Reimbursement Requests - Must be submitted through the UM 1612 worksheet.
For more policy information:
Supply, Equipment and Service Purchasing
The preferred methods of purchasing are the University Credit Cards (PCard/TCard), UMarket and Purchase Orders (PO's). Supply and equipment purchases should be only be paid for in rare emergency situations. Original receipts are required and the justification must include the reason for reimbursement as opposed to a preferred method. For more help on deciding on a purchasing methode see Making the Most Common Purchases and University Purchasing Methods.
We encourage tipping as we want to make sure those doing us a service are properly compensated but when large catering orders come in, percentage tips can get expensive fast. Please check out or new departmental Tipping Guidelines for our limits.
See here for more information on the following:
- Contract Professional Services (CPS)
- Sales Tax on University Purchases
- Purchasing Computers
- Capital Equipment
There are 5 types of subject payments. Preferred methods of subject payment include Cash Advance, Survey Services (MTurk/Prolific), ClinCards and Gift Cards (Digital). For a breakdown of each and instructions on using each, see here.
Labs are responsible for keeping track of original subject payment files. The files should be kept in the department available for audit. When subject information needs to be given to accounting, make sure a copy is kept in the lab for records.
Before looking into payment types, ensure that you understand what is required to pay research subjects:
- Questions relating to payroll should be directed to your designated accountant or your supervisor's designated accountant.
- Contact the proper people BEFORE hiring employees. For more information, see the "Hiring and Appointments" tab.
- For individuals on sponsored accounts, it is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to approve appointments.
- It is the employee’s responsibility to complete any I-9 requirements before beginning work. Failure to do so before start date will result in nonpayment. See I-9 rules, regulations, and guides.
- See Here for instructions on setting up Direct Deposit
See here for more information on the following:
- Hiring and Appointments
- Terminating your Employee
- Payroll FAQ
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) awards a fixed dollar amount to undergrad students to work with one of the department's faculty to further their goals and field of study by purchasing lab equipment or paying subject payments.
When applying for a UROP award, you will need to know your department ID (Psychology | 10986) and the department accounting person (Kamran Motevaze | email@example.com).
The department will designate the chartfield string (chartstring): 1000(Fund) - 10986(DeptID) - 20083(Program) - Student's Student ID(Empl ID)
This chartstring will be used to charge expenses up to the award limit.
- Anytime the award is expensed, a copy of the award letter should be included to document that the student did received this award and they are allowed to expense it.
- The award timeline is key to make sure funding has been spent and is on time with their award. If more time is needed student needs to contact UROP office and keep Psychology accounting informed of the extension.
- To request an extension, email Vicky Munro | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Department faculty may use his/her p-card to purchase supplies or request a cash advance in their name in case student doesn't have a University job to request a cash advance in his/her behalf.
- Cash advance must be closed once study is completed (see Subject Payments)
- Faculty using p-card for supplies/subject payment will use UROP student's assigned account string for his/her p-card reconciliation
- Accounting will keep a record of the awards and a spreadsheet of all the expenses spend during a given fiscal year for future reference. Student should not exceed total award given to him/her as department will collect overage spent from student by fiscal year end a report is made by Psych accounting to get reimbursed for expenses spent by students during given fiscal year.
For more information on they types of awards, see the CLA Psychology website.
For questions not addressed or more information, please contact Donnie Wood or Kamran Motevaze.