Integrated CSU Administrative Manual




Section 3000 Policies

Policy Number:  3103.01

Policy Title: Disbursements - General

Policy Effective Date: January 1, 2012

Last Revision Date: October 6, 2011
(see revision history)


It is the policy of the California State University (CSU) that funds disbursed in settlement of official university commitments and activities are properly authorized, supported by a documented business purpose, substantiated by applicable receipts, correctly processed for payment, and in compliance with all applicable regulations. Campuses must prepare written procedures that implement this policy.


The term disbursement covers the payment process for advances, purchases, reimbursements, refunds, and other expenditures to vendors, employees, and students.

The campus President is delegated authority and responsibility for effective oversight of all state funds held by the campus and all funds held in a fiduciary capacity.

The campus Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or his/her delegate is responsible for implementing this policy at the campus on behalf of the President. The campus CFO may delegate in writing to additional staff members, in part or in whole and with appropriate limitations, authority to disburse or expense from campus authorized funds.

The campus CFO must:

  • Establish procedures that prescribe the manner and extent in which funds are disbursed, and the documentation requirements for disbursement.
  • Establish appropriate separation of duties so that no one person can disburse funds unilaterally.
  • Ensure that all business expenses are in accordance with appropriate federal, state, CSU, or campus policy and, when applicable, conditions specified by external sources.
  • Outline the treatment of and explicitly authorize all exceptions to the policy.

The following sections delineate responsibilities of persons associated with incurring business expenses and disbursing funds in settlement. The Budget Approver and the Initiator may at times be the same individual.

Budget Approver

  • Before initiating a transaction on behalf of the university, this individual must assess whether the proposed transaction/business expense is in support of the university's missions.
  • The approver must have written delegation providing him or her with the authority to expense against a given fund, and have adequate funds available to meet the commitment.
  • The approver shall comply with all established policies and procedures respecting the expenditure of University funds.


This individual must ensure that:

  • Appropriate authority and approval has been acquired to initiate the expenditure.
  • Appropriate documentation has been obtained, i.e., original receipt, item number, written quote, etc. Documentation must include the name of the vendor, location, date, dollar amount of the expense that was paid or incurred by the initiator, and a description of goods or services ordered and received.
  • The expenditure is a CSU allowable business expense.
  • The expenditure is ordinary and reasonable.
  • The expenditure is within campus budgetary constraints.
  • The expenditure is in compliance with any funding designations and/or guidelines.
  • The expenditure is in compliance with appropriate university policies and procedures.
  • The expenditure is in compliance with operating unit guidelines.

Verifier (usually an Accounts Payable processor or supervisor)

  • This individual must ensure that:
  • All processing and review steps, as stated above, have been followed.     
  • Tax issues have been properly addressed, especially for payments to individuals (i.e., honoraria, contractors, travel or moving reimbursements to employees, etc.).
  • There is no apparent conflict of interest on the part of the Approver, Initiator or any other individual involved in the transaction.
  • The transaction is in compliance with applicable policies and procedures.

Check Signer

  • Check signers must have specific written delegation from the campus CFO
  • Check signers have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that check payments they authorize comply with University Policies and Procedures and that the payment methods support the University’s mission in a cost effective manner.

Benjamin F. Quillian
Executive Vice-Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer

Approved: October 31, 2011







Useful Guidelines:

EO-731, Designation of Chief Financial Officer
EO-761, Hospitality, Payment or Reimbursement of Expenses
ICSUAM 3601.01 CSU Travel Policy, G001 Travel Procedures and Regulations
ICSUAM Policy 3103.02 Outgoing Payments


Related Principles:


Sound Business Practices:


Laws, State Codes, Regulations and Mandates:

IRS Publication 463: Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses

IRS Publication 535: Business Expenses



CO Manager:

Mr. Robert Eaton
Senior Director, Financing and Treasury
CSU Office of the Chancellor

Oliver Ravela
Banking Services Analyst
Chancellorís Office

Subject Expert:

Cathleen Austin
Manager, Accounts Payable
San Diego

Lorlie Leetham
Director, Fiscal Services
San Luis Obispo

Lauri Reilly
Manager, Accounts Payable
Chancellorís Office

Monica Shackelton
Manager, Accounts Payables and Recievables

Cora Wong
Director, Student Financial Operations
San Francisco

Affinity Group:

FOA, Student Administration, Accounts Payable Managers


Content Contact
Michael P. Redmond
(562) 951-4345

Technical Contact