Disbursement Vouchers

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General Use

The Disbursement Voucher (DV) is used to reimburse IU employees, non-employees, and other vendors for expenses incurred while conducting university business, performing a service, or providing material goods for the university.

Because the disbursement of University funds is involved in the processing of every Disbursement Voucher, the document's use is subject to certain policies and the restrictions listed on this page.

The DV is not designed to replace standard university procurement procedures nor is it intended to alter the procurement policies mandated by The Trustees of Indiana University. It is not a substitute for sanctioned procurement channels.

A number of authorized procurement processes exist that provide efficiency and timeliness to the department in their buying efforts including:

  • KFS Standard Purchase Order (PO)
  • Electronic Purchase Order (EPO) (department level @ >$1,000)
  • Procurment Card

With the advent of the procurement card, there is now a different avenue available for the procurement of goods and services, which, for many purchases and payments, is more suitable than the use of the disbursement voucher.

The specific issue relevant to the use of the DV is that of Purchasing Authority. The authority to commit the university to a contractual agreement rests with only certain people in the organization such as the Treasurer and Purchasing Contract Managers.

If the DV can be used to pay consulting fees, for example, there is no control in place to ensure that the consulting contract has been approved and signed by the appropriate and authorized staff. Additionally, under the concept of "apparent authority", consistent use of the DV to pay vendors can prevent IU, in the case of fraud, from using the defense that the purchase was not authorized.

Because of the concerns presented above, the following changes in the administration of the DV process to restrict direct payments to vendors for goods and services, particularly contractual services was implemented in October 2001. Payments that will no longer be allowed on the DV should be made via the procurement card (subject to the restrictions itemized in the P-Card guidelines or they should be made through the traditional purchasing process utilizing electronic requisitions.

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Restricted Circumstances

Reimbursement to an IU employee for personal services
With the exception of “Payment to Research Participant,” IU employees must be paid for services through the regular payroll process.
Payment to University departments
Instead, use a Transfer of Funds, Budget Adjustment, or Internal Billing document.
Purchases of capital equipment
Contact the Purchasing Department for this type of payment.
Payments for software including upgrades
All software purchases, including cloud storage, should be initiated through the SSSP process: https://kb.iu.edu/d/aoyl.
Payments for websites and web domains
Contact the Purchasing Department if more information is required.
Installment payments
A DV can only be used for a one-time payment. Installment transactions should be done on a Purchase Order.
FIS Users
FIS users may not initiate DVs where they are the payee.
Compensation for Services over $1,000
Payment for services over $1,000 requires a Purchase Order. Payments for services over $5,000 require an agreement signed by Purchasing and a Purchase Order. Please contact Purchasing for information on preparing an agreement.

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Restricted Goods and Services

Note: the following items should be purchased on a Requisition/Purchase Order.

Prizes and Awards
Trophies, plaques, and other prizes
Compensation for services or Payments for Contractual Agreement
  • Advertising
  • Consulting fees
  • Credit and collection services
  • Exhibits
  • Hospitality
  • Legal services
  • Online subscriptions and/or data sets
  • Magazine and newspaper ads
  • Photographs
  • Photographers and Videographers
  • Printing
  • Sponsorships
  • Temporary services
  • Workshops
Utilities, Postage, and Freight
Telecommunication charges

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Restricted Items

Note: Unallowable DV purchases and reimbursements; the following items, regardless of dollar amount, may not be purchased on a DV, nor are they reimbursable from out of pocket funds. Please contact the Purchasing Department if you have questions on purchases of this nature.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Automobiles
  • Animals
  • Controlled substances
  • Donations or contributions
  • Firearms, ammunition
  • Furniture
  • Items considered personal in nature
  • Purchases representing a conflict of interest
  • Radioactive chemicals and substances
  • Retirement gifts or parties

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As with any university policy or procedure, every contingency cannot be articulated. It is the responsibility of the IU employee involved with expending University funds to do so in a prudent, ethical, and authorized manner. If uncertainty exists about the suitability of a particular transaction, it is incumbent upon the employee to seek clarification of the appropriateness of the transaction before proceeding.

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