The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago

Local Business Center, Division of the Physical Sciences

Non-Travel Reimbursements

Non-travel reimbursements for University business related purchases can be charged to internally funded accounts as well as grants and contracts. These expenses can be originally paid out-of-pocket by the employee or with a GEMS card (if available). Original receipts are required for any expenses over $75, but retention of all receipts is encouraged. However, each expense must be itemized regardeless of whether a receipt is required for it (see Supporting Documentation Policy). When submitting a duplicate copy of a receipt or alternate documentation, write this statement on the receipt and sign it: “This expense was incurred in connection with University business. I have not and will not be reimbursed from any other source.” All reimbursements for students and sourced from federal funds should be accompanied with a Student Certification for Business Related Reimbursement form
Note: Benefits eligble employees should use GEMS for reimbursements of out-of-pocket expenses, all others should use ePayment requests.

Purchases

Whenever possible, procurement of goods and services should be made through the BuySite purchasing system. However, there are occassions when that is not a viable option (e.g. the vendor for a on-time purchase is not in our purchasing system, materials for University business are needed immediately or on a time-sensitive basis). There are also some goods and services which are often not paid for via purchase orders such as:

  • Advertising
  • Article Reprints/Copyright fees
  • Books, Guides, Instructional Manuals
  • Business Luncheon & Dinner Meeting Expenses
  • Computer Software & Computer Online Services
  • Conference Registration Fees
  • Corporate Payments: Employment & Real Estate Taxes, Insurance Premiums,
  • Employee Professional Development
  • Freight Charges, excluding Federal Express
  • Gifts
  • Legal Fees, Benefit payments
  • License Fees Membership Fees & Dues
  • Membership Fees and Dues
  • Parking Fines related to University owned vehicles only
  • Penalties and Fines, other
  • Photocopy expenses
  • Postage
  • Real Estate Acquisitions
  • Reimbursements to Individuals for miscellaneous business related expenses
  • Subscriptions to Newspapers and Magazines
  • Unexpended Funds returned to sponsoring agency
  • University Sponsored Event expenses

For these kinds of purchases a personal reimbursement request should be filed through GEMS.

Non-travel related personal reimbursements paid out-of-pocket or with a GEMS card should be limited to $500 or less per reimbursement. GEMS card holders who are authorized to conduct procurement activities should keep any single purchase below $5,000.
Note: There is a $10,000 credit limit on the GEMS card during any given billing period.

Any goods or services for which the University pays a reimbursement becomes the sole property of the University.

Business Meals

Receipts for business meals are always required regardless of the amount. When paying with a credit card, the employee should retain an itemized bill as well as the signature reciept. When there 10 or fewer people attending the meal, the names of each attendee must be supplied.

Non-travel related business meals are allowed on internally funded accounts, but they are generally prohibited on federal grants and contracts unless explicitly allowed in the award documents. Alcohol is always prohibited on federal grants and contracts, but may be charged to internally funded accounts. Award documentation for non-federal awards should be consulted for any applicable restrictions.

Some departments and programs may have their own preferences and/or procedures for business meals.

Contracts

Employees cannot be reimbursed for entering into contracts that result in recurring charges, minimum frequency of use requirements, and term agreements (e.g. repair contracts, equipment leases, food service contracts, cleaning services, etc.). Any such contracts and agreements must be authorized by Central Procurement Services, see “Transactions.”

George Herbert Jones Laboratory

PSD LBC Main Office

Jones Laboratory: 5747 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

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Eckhart Hall

PSD LBC Satellite Office

Eckhart Hall: 5734 S. University Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

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Gordon Center for Integrative Science

Chemistry Business Center

Gordon Center for Integrative Science: 929 E 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

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