Finance and Accounting


Several options listed below exist for purchasing supplies for OSU. Please contact the School Accountant or Grant Accountant to help you get started.

Autopay Vendors

OSU has store accounts at various local businesses where OSU faculty and staff may charge business expenses. The monthly statement of all invoices from the vendor is processed by central Accounts Payable rather than by individual departments or schools.

Obtain Index and Activity codes from School Accountant before using a store account. Vendors will require OSU ID when making a purchase. Upon making a purchase, obtain an itemized receipt and forward to School Accountant.

OSU Internal Services/Supplies

Below are OSU departments who provide supplies or services to other OSU departments and bill the receiving department. Check with your School Accountant before you purchase or make reservations for:

Direct Bill

Vendors send individual invoices to OSU departments for supplies or services purchased by authorized personnel for operations.

  • Check with vendors to ensure they will bill OSU before ordering.
  • Check with School Accountant for purchasing procedures.
  • Make purchase and submit receipts/packing slips to School Accountant.
  • School Accountant will process individual invoices for payment as they are received. 

Personal Reimbursements

Use of a Departmental Procurement Card 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, employees may (with approval from their manager) make small purchases (normally less than $100) with personal funds and then subsequently be reimbursed by OSU.

  • Only purchases related to OSU business purpose will be reimbursed.
  • Get itemized receipts, a personal credit card charge slip alone is NOT valid.
  • Submit reimbursement request and backup documents to School Accountant for processing.
  • 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


  • NOT for purchase of gift certificates
  • NOT for test incentive payments
  • NOT for incentive payments to Institutional Review Board (IRB) human subjects
  • NOT for equipment rental

 Purchases that have been made with personal funds will be reimbursed by OSU when the following documentation is provided:

  • Documentation showing purchase and payment by the employee,
  • Statement of University business purpose, including intended use.


Conference Registration

Conference registration can be prepaid using the departmental procurement card. See your School Accountant for instructions. If registration is processed on a personal card, you will be able to claim reimbursement only AFTER completion of the trip.

Foreign Travel

International travel on grant funding: This travel should be authorized through OPAA (Office for Post Award Administration). Submit a Foreign Travel Authorization form to your School Accountant prior to making travel plans.

Restrictions apply to airfare, check with department accountant, and see Fly America Act.

Air Travel

The University recommends that airfare for university-related travel is booked through one of the contracted travel agencies for direct billing to the university. Travel Agent contact information:

Mileage In Lieu of Airfare

See your school accountant to verify whether specific trips are allowable using mileage in lieu of airfare. A quote for the airfare that would be purchased for the business trip is required. OSU will reimburse mileage up to the amount of the airfare and associated expenses that would have been paid for air travel.

Ground Transportation

  • Vehicle rental: Cars can be rented through the University Motor Pool or billed through Enterprise. See your School accountant for billing instructions. Rental should be for economy or compact rate whenever possible.
  • Personal vehicle: Private vehicle mileage is reimbursed at the current published Business Affairs rate. As of 1/1/2017, the current rate is $0.535/mile.
  • Parking: Employees are expected to utilize cost effective parking while in travel status. Parking at Portland airport is authorized up to the Economy Lot rate ($10/day).

Per Diem

Meals while in overnight travel status can be reimbursed at current per diem rates. Meal per diem varies by locality. Current rate by city and state can be viewed here.

On one day trips with no overnight stay, breakfast and/or dinner are reimbursable to the employee as a taxable benefit when their itinerary supports departure/return time as 2 hours prior to/after their regular work shift. Per diem rates may be used. Lunch is not reimbursed on a one day trip unless it is a part of the meeting and the menu and cost are arranged by event organizers.


Itemized receipts are required for lodging. Reimbursement can be approved up to the maximum per diem lodging amount. An exception for higher rates can be made for conference lodging with documentation showing conference lodging rate. Current rate by city and state can be viewed here.

Travel Reimbursements

Travel reimbursements are completed used the Travel Reimbursement Entry System (TRES). A quick training can be found here. For assistance or questions, please contact the School’s Accountant or Finance Coordinator.

Reimbursement of allowable expenses must be submitted within 60 days of conclusion of travel. These expenses include, but are not limited to, lodging, meal per diem, mileage, car rental, parking, and commercial ground transportation. For receipt requirements or more information, contact the school accountant or finance coordinator.