08 - 001 Introduction to Business Expenditures

A. Summary

The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) was established by the N. H. Legislature in RSA 187-A:1 to "provide a well coordinated system of public higher education...to benefit the state and its people." Its mission is one of teaching, research, and public service. This business expenditure policy has been developed to provide guidelines for deciding whether expenditures are in furtherance of this mission and to ensure that fair, consistent, and equitable financial practices are carried on throughout the University System of New Hampshire.

B. Philosophy

USNH is committed to the highest level of accountability and stewardship with regard to USNH funds. Each person responsible for making decisions concerning its expenditures should consider whether the expense represents a worthy use of USNH funds. The University System's goal is the optimal use of USNH resources in fulfillment of its mission.

C. Scope

This policy applies to all expenditures, regardless of funding source. Specific restrictive terms of donors and sponsors take precedence over relevant, less restrictive USNH policy. Campuses or departments may also elect to impose stricter controls over expenditures than those required by this policy. In all cases, where the terms imposed by a donor, sponsor, campus, or department are more lenient than those of USNH, USNH policy applies.

D. Exceptions

While this policy is applicable to the majority of USNH transactions, it is recognized that unique circumstances may justify exceptions. Exception requests should be sent to the Vice Chancellor for Financial Affairs/Treasurer or USNH Controller for review and appropriate referral.

E. General Rule

All expenditures shall be consistent with applicable federal and state laws and regulations; with any restrictions, rules or regulations placed on the use of funds by donors and granting or contracting agencies; and with prudent management practices. Persons authorized to expend USNH funds are responsible to exercise discretion and good judgment in the use of USNH funds, regardless of their source. All expenditures must be reasonable and necessary for carrying out the programs and activities of USNH within the approved budget allocations. All expenditures must be documented in a way that clearly substantiates such reasonableness and necessity. All expenditures must be charged to the proper Fund, Area, and Org.

F. Requirements for Receipts

KSC requires receipts for all business expenditures except tips. For all other divisions of USNH, business expenditures of $25 or less per item (e.g., per fare) do not require receipts unless 1) the expense is paid for with a PCard, convenience check or petty cash/imprest checking; or 2) the actual expense method of meal reimbursement method is allowed; in these cases all receipts are required. Receipts are required for reimbursement of all business expenditures that total more than $25 per item.


Per IRS requirements, reimbursement requests received later than 60 calendar days after the expense was incurred must be treated as taxable to the individual submitting the reimbursement request. Expense reimbursement requests are treated as taking place within a reasonable period if the request for reimbursement is adequately supported and is submitted within 60 calendar days of the expense being incurred, or before the end date of the grant if the expense is being charged to a Sponsored Program, whichever is sooner. A request is considered submitted on time when the date the requestor signed the form is within 60 calendar days of the expense being incurred, and the total cost is fully substantiated. With the exception of the 60 calendar day tax rule, the campus CFO or designee may authorize individual exceptions to this policy upon written justification showing cause for noncompliance. For information regarding processing the earnings related to late submission of reimbursement requests, please see How to Process Taxable Expense Reimbursements located on the USNH Sharepoint site (log in required; see instructions on the Employees section of the USNH website).

The official version of this information will only be maintained in an on-line web format. Any and all printed copies of this material are dated as of the print date. Please make certain to review the material on-line prior to placing reliance on a dated printed version. 

This page last updated Wednesday, January 22, 2020. For information on the adoption and effective dates of policies please see explanation on the OLPM Main Menu.