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Disbursement Funds

Disbursement Funds

Disbursement funds must be obtained to purchase gift cards that will be used to pay participants. Disbursement funds can be funded by grants or departmental Banner Finance funds. For projects funded by grants, the project must have funds available and approved Institutional Review Board protocols for human subjects.

Gift cards that are purchased with the disbursement funds must be safeguarded and accounted for the same as cash. The department should verify funds, gift cards and/or receipts on hand periodically. The total of the documented receipts plus cash and gift cards on hand must always equal the original disbursement fund amount. As funds or gift cards are disbursed to individuals, these individuals must sign and date proper receipt documents signifying receipt of funds. The custodian will use these receipts to request reimbursement through their department every 120 days or when the project is completed, whichever comes first.  If gift cards are mailed to participants, a log must be maintained under dual control documenting to whom the cards were mailed. An electronic notification will be sent to the custodian's VT email address to view the Accounts Receivable statement from the Office of the University Bursar 1-30 days after the due date of the petty cash fund or approximately 120 days of when the funds were initially requested. The funds must be reimbursed by the due date on the statement.

Once the project is complete and the checking account is no longer needed, the custodian must wait until the account balance is zero and then notify Liz Brown by email to close the account. If the project has finished but there are still outstanding uncashed checks, these checks are considered unclaimed property and must be reported as such.

If the project is ongoing and a participant check has not been cashed within 180 days, and the participant cannot be contacted for disposition, the funds must be reported as unclaimed. Contact for more information regarding the reporting of unclaimed funds.

Participant Payment Guidelines

If payments to an individual participant exceed $75, it is the department's responsibility to obtain a W-9 (must include the person's social security number) for US tax residents, W-8BEN form for non-US tax residents, Foreign National Data Form for all non-resident aliens. Please refer to the Controller's Office Procedure 23715c for additional information to ensure compliance with the IRS reporting requirements. If a participant is paid $100 or more, payment must be made to the participant by check.


Frequently Asked Questions

When the confidentiality of participants is required, the department must provide an internal control plan to account for and audit disbursement records. The plan must be approved by the Manager of Accounts Payable prior to use. Please refer to the Controller's Office Procedure 23715c for additional information. Contact the Controller's Office for guidance if questions arise related to making the payment or the eligibility of the subject to participant.

OUB reserves the right to deny requests based on the purpose/justification for the request, unauthorized department approval, the amount of the fund, the planned safeguarding of the fund, or any past due, outstanding petty cash balances owed in the fund custodians name, or any past due balances owed the University by the fund custodian. If a request is denied for any reason, a representative from the Office of the University Bursar will notify the individual requesting the fund. It is important to only request the amount of funds that you can use and reimburse in 120 days. If you do not reimburse the amount of petty cash owed back to the university prior to the 120 days, you can be denied additional funds for your project. OUB recommends that the department perform the reimbursement function every month once the checking account has been reconciled. This ensures there will always be money flowing in and out of your petty cash account. Should a petty cash due date need to be extended, the departmental person who has signature authority on the Banner fund or grant should send a written request to Liz Brown stating briefly the reason for the request and the anticipated new date for which the project will end.

For disbursement funds, if a request for petty cash is greater than $500 but less than $2,000, the custodian must store the cash in a departmental safe or open a checking account in the custodian's name by project. If the request for petty cash is $2,000 or more or the cumulative amount of the petty cash assigned to the fund custodian for a project is greater than $2,000, a checking account is required to be opened in the fund custodian's name for the specific project.