FIN-046: Use of the Payment Voucher

Date: 07/18/2014 Status: Final
Last Revised: 07/12/2018
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President for Finance
Applies To:

Academic Division and the College at Wise.

Reason for Policy:

The Virginia Public Procurement Act and subsequent Management Agreements require that specific types of purchases be handled in certain ways to ensure the integrity of the procurement process. The main factors determining how a procurement is handled are the anticipated dollar amount of the purchase, the type of good or service being sought, and the time frame in which a particular item or service must be obtained. To assist the University in procuring goods and services in an open, fair and impartial manner, requirements have been established for the use of Payment Vouchers.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Local Funds:

    Restricted and unrestricted resources composed of gifts, endowments, and endowment income. Some exceptions to State and Sponsored Program limits can be processed using these funds.

  • Payment Voucher:

    Form used in the Integrated System for preparing demand payments.

    • Demand Payment:

      Method for processing transactions when a purchase order or a requisition is not required.

  • Splitting:

    Separating transactions in order to circumvent established procurement and expenditure guidelines. 

  • Sponsored Program:

    Any externally funded research, public service, or scholarly activity (including hosting or attending conferences) at the University that has a defined scope of work often including a set of specific programmatic objectives and/or deliverables, and line-item-based budget, providing the basis for sponsor expectations and awardee accountability (i.e., a reciprocal transfer of something of value). Sponsored programs are funded through agreements that usually include terms and conditions for the disposition of tangible properties and outcomes (e.g., equipment, records, specified technical reports, theses, or dissertations) or intangible properties and outcomes (e.g., rights in data, copyrights, and inventions). Note: The terms sponsored program, sponsored project, and/or sponsored activity are often used interchangeably.

  • State Funds:

    Restricted and unrestricted resources generated from tuition and fee revenues, Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost recoveries, state tax dollars, sales and services activities, grants and contracts, and auxiliary activities.

  • University Purchasing Card:

    A credit card issued to an authorized individual to make official purchases of small dollar goods and services (that do not require competitive bidding) quickly and directly. (Also referred to as the “P-Card,” the “Procurement Card.”)

Policy Statement:

A payment voucher may be used to pay for goods and services that do not require a purchase order, requisition, or payment by University P-Card. However, the payment voucher has very specific applications and should not be used to circumvent normal procurement procedures. The payment voucher should be used for:

  • Payments to vendors for some types of commodities where competition is not practical (e.g., memberships to professional organizations). The types of commodities permitted, along with the allowable dollar value, are specified in the Goods & Services Procurement Guide.
  • Reimbursements to individuals for small-dollar transactions.

Note: The payment voucher may not be used to process payments which require that the University execute a contract. Vendor-supplied contracts must be processed through the Integrated System on a Requisition or Buyer Assist form and submitted to Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services.

  1. Additional Payment Voucher Information:
    Departments should be aware that:
    • All high-risk payments are pre-audited by Accounts Payable.
    • An individual's failure to adhere to these policies and procedures may result in their being held personally liable for any unauthorized expenditures made.
    • An individual who knowingly “splits” purchases or otherwise circumvents procurement procedures is violating University policy.
    • Most of the state limits apply to payments and reimbursements made from Sponsored Program sources. Exceptions are noted in the text of this policy or may be included in the terms of the Sponsored Program.
    • If payments are not consistent with the expenditure guidelines and limitations applicable to State, Sponsored Program, and local funds, and if there is no University policy authorizing local funds exceptions, the payment voucher must include a complete description of the nature of the expenditure and the justification for the exception. For local funds exceptions, the dean's or vice president's approval of the transaction must be obtained prior to the submission of the payment voucher to Accounts Payable.
    • The dean's or vice president's approval is also required for: (1) the purchase of alcohol; (2) exceptions to local funds expenditure policies, (3) gifts and flowers that exceed limits as shown on the Goods & Services Procurement Guide; (4) holiday parties and related purchases if the combined meal cost for all participants exceeds $400; or (5) any transactions of an unusual nature.
  2. Documentation Required for Payment Vouchers:
    Departments must compile complete original paper documentation (e.g., receipts and forms requiring signatures) for all payment vouchers. Both electronic submission in the Integrated System and the retention of paper documentation are required for payment vouchers.

    For some types of payments, the original paper documents with all appropriate signatures must be forwarded to Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services. In these cases, departments should retain copies of the documents sent in order to provide a complete audit trail, and for use in performing monthly expenditure reviews.

    In other cases, the paper documents must be retained in departmental files as specified in policy IRM-017: Records Management.

    Departments are responsible for getting the appropriate signatures and maintaining a file of all documentation. These files must be made available when requested by Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services for internal review or external audits. See the Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services website for payment voucher procedures in general, and for specific procedures relating to various types of expenditures paid on payment vouchers.

  3. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to Financial Reporting and Operations.

Related Information:

FIN-038: Receiving Goods and Services and Timely Disbursements of University Funds
IRM-017: Records Management
Payment Voucher Guidance
Job Aids and Q&As
Accounts Payable Training Guide (see Working with Payment Vouchers)

Major Category: Finance and Business Operations
Next Scheduled Review: 07/12/2021
Approved by, Date: Policy Review Committee, 07/18/2014
Revision History: Added Compliance Section 7/12/18; Updated 6/15/18.
Supersedes (previous policy):
VI.F.4: Use of the Payment Voucher and Demand Payments.