CS Team

CS Team is a group of accounting and HR staff, who read and respond to email.  CS Team members are Stephanie Morris Finance Manager, Michael Collier Senior Finance and Accounting Professional, Kelly O'Flannigan Senior Finance and Accounting Professional, Tammy Lane Finance and Accounting Professional, Brandon Geer, Human Resources and Payroll Coordinator and Chantel Lehl, Faculty HR Support Coordinator.  Procurement Coordinator Alec Lavender is also a part of our team but he doesn't read or respond to CS team email.

What information should be sent to CS Team? 

All Finance or HR related questions or requests. 

What information should not be sent to CS Team? 

  1. Receipts for completed travel and pcard PVs and receipts which you will send directly to Alec for processing, or you can submit them through Computer Science Finance Forms.
  2. Pre-award proposal budget requests, which you will send to Anselmo for processing,
  3. Key requests, parking, printing to the printers in the lounge, mail, copies, building maintenance issues, FCQs, buff onecard access, room reservations, general office supplies like pens/pencils/paper/markers/staplers/folders/binders/white board erasers/cleaner,which you should send to for processing which is read by the Front Office Business Assistant and Front Office Student Assistants.


Computer Science Finance Forms - web 

Purchase Verification Form (PV) - word document

Department Verification Form (DA) - word document


You can find a complete list of procurement rules at

Sensitive expenses

Violations you will want to avoid:

  1. Split purchases – the department has authority to procure items under $5000.  Items over $5000 requires a Purchase Order (PO) and POs over $10K must be approved by a Purchasing Agent before the order can be placed.  Any order, from a single vendor, that exceeds $5000 must go through the PO process.  You cannot split up the order into different quantities in order to avoid the PO process.  This is a significant violation.  However, you can order the items from different vendors to get below the $5000 single vendor threshold.
  2. After the fact purchases – this occurs when you either procure an item outside of the PO process or if you authorize a vendor to process an order before the PO is in place and is fully approved.This is a significant violation.
  3. Personal purchases of any kind – all purchases must be for CU related business only, and cannot be for personal use or consumption.
  4. Alcohol purchases are unallowable unless you have a gift fund designated by the donor as donor cultivation and entertainment.

Here’s a list of items in which CU designates cannot be purchased out of pocket so they are not eligible for reimbursement.  Exceptions are very rare so please be very careful to not purchase these out of pocket.

  1. Any type of service (like transcription services/services for repairs of computers or equipment etc.) 
  2. Donations
  3. Cash Awards
  4. Sponsorships
  5. Study subject payments
  6. Cell phones
  7. Wireless services
  8. Wireless devices
  9. IT Hardware includes items like laptops, desktop computers, ipads/tablets, servers, storage, network equipment, connected peripherals such as keyboards, mice, headset, monitors and docking stations.  All IT hardware must be purchased through the CU Marketplace.
  10. IT Software includes, but isn’t limited to, items like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Mechanical Turk, Slack, Dropbox, Digital Science Overleaf, PDF Expert, Evernote, Grammarly, WriteLatex Ltd, Calendly, any type of subscription.  All IT software must be purchased through the CU Marketplace.
  11. Furniture
  12. Office supplies
  13. Out of pocket airfare purchased by CU employees – this is only allowable if the policy is followed which is found here

Purchasing Thresholds:

  1. $5000 and under the department has the authority to procure.
  2. $5001 - $10,000 requires a Purchase Order (PO through the CU Marketplace)
  3. $10,001 and above requires a PO, advanced approval from a Purchasing Agent, and if applicable, a sole source justification proving there is only one vendor that sells the product or by filling out the Source Selection & Price Reasonableness form.  The item can also be put out for competitive bid.

How to Purchase:

1. Through CS Team: Submit a purchase verification form.  Upon submission the form be sent to

IMPORTANT: Please do not send purchase requests directly to Alec Lavender as we ask that they go through CS team as a first layer of review by our Accountants.  Once the review has taken place the request will be forwarded to Alec for processing.

2. Procurement Card (Pcard): The Pcard is a CU visa card that allows you to purchase items $5000 or less.  Charges are billed to the university and 'allocated' to the funding source through a process handled by CS Team.  There are some restrictions on the use of the card, for example, it's not to be used for travel expenses *except* for conference registration fees.  Seek guidance from CS team before using a pcard for IT hardware or software purchases.

Pcard documentation can be submitted online through the pcard submission form.  Upon submission, the information is sent to Alec Lavender for processing. 

Alternately, you can fill out a digital version of the purchase verification form and send it with your receipt/s to Alec Lavender at

Do not use the online Purchase Verification (PV) form found on the CS Finance Forms online platform to submit pcard transactions as this feature is only for reimbursements or for purchases which you’re asking us to complete on your behalf.  

4. CU Marketplace:

All IT hardware and Software should be purchased through the CU Martketplace (CUMP).  

5. Personal funds: Note - Reimbursements should not be the usual way that the department obtains goods.  In some cases, for purchases under $5000, you can use personal funds and request reimbursement with the exception of any type of service (like transcription services/services for repairs of computers or equipment etc.)  donation, sponsorships, study subject payments, cell phones, cash awards, wireless services, wireless devices, IT Hardware,  IT software furniture and office supplies - we aren't able to reimburse you for these items so please do not purchase them out of pocket.  There are special procedures in place for these types of purchases.  If you are ever in need of these goods/services, ask before buying them.  The use of personal funds is not recommended for students as some students may incur a tax liablity, if purchasing items out of pocket.  The best option for student purchases is through CS team.

For out of pocket purchases, fill out the online purchase verification form in which all documents will be directed to upons submission or fill out the digital purchase verification form and email the itemized receipt showing the amount paid and method of payment (check, credit card, cash) to for processing –   You must submit the paperwork within 90 days of the date of purchase (after 90 days the reimbursement is taxable as income).

IMPORTANT: Please do not send purchase requests directly to Alec Lavender as we ask that they go through CS team as a first layer of review by our Accountants.  Once the review has taken place the request will be forwarded to Alec for processing.

When the reimbursement is ready for you to review, CS Team will send you an email notification with instructions on how to review it in the online Concur system (the concur system is only accessible by employees).  Once you submit the report and it’s fully approved, it will be directly deposited into your bank account.  You will always have a role of submitting your report for payment once we enter it into the system, and again, we will notify you with instructions on how to do this each time. 

ACTION ITEM: Add all CS Team members as delegates for you so that we can create your reports

Additional information regarding furniture:
The University has several contracted furniture suppliers as well as the CU distribution center 303-492-6525.  All faculty and staff furniture selections must be made from of one of these vendors.  Complete a purchase verification form CS team will place the order for you.  Furniture cannot be procured with a procurement card or with personal funds.

Additional information regarding software:

CU policy requires software to be installed on a CU owned machine.  If it’s installed on a personal machine, we’re not allowed to provide reimbursement or to pay with a procurement card or any other method of payment.

In addition, software typically requires an extra layer of review before purchasing.  Please connect with CS team before purchasing software so that we can assist you with the transaction.

Additional information regarding tips:

  • When tipping for meals using a pcard or personal funds – the maximum allowable amount is 20% of the final bill (including tax), if the final bill does not already include a tip. If the final bill includes a set amount (of any percentage) for gratuity, then no additional tip may be provided (we can reimburse tax when reimbursing an out of pocket expense).
  • When tipping in cash, the tip is only reimbursable if it’s added as a tip line on a receipt.


Informational links:

PSC Procedural Statement:

Travel overview  

Christopherson Business Travel:

Personal Combined with Business Travel: 

Internet Airfare: 

Booking Travel: 

Sign up for mobile apps 

Obtaining Pre-Approval to travel through the Department Travel Authorization (DA) Form:

Before you travel on university business, you must seek pre-approval to travel by following these step by steps.  Once your request is reviewed and approved by CS team, you will receive an email authorizing your trip along with instructions on booking your trip. Once you have this approval, you can contact our CUs approved travel agency, Christopherson Business Travel, to purchase the airline ticket or you can book the flight online through the Concur system.  These instructions also apply to student and visitor travel.

Christopherson Business Travel will bill the university directly for the airfare via the speedtype that you provide on the department authorization request form so there are no out of pocket expenses involved. 

For business combined with personal travel:

When traveling for the University, it is allowable to combine your business trip with personal travel. The University will only pay for the business portion of your trip, and expenses for the personal portion must be excluded on your expense report. You must first obtain approval from your department and then follow the purchasing and documentation guidelines 

Complete the online deparment travel authorization form and attach the required quotes.

Internet Airfare:

It’s important that you follow the PSC Policy on internet airfare to ensure you will be reimbursed for your purchase.

Travel Card (let Stephanie know, via CS Team, if you’re interested in obtaining a travel card):

The travel card is a visa credit card that is linked directly to CU.  While in travel status, all travel expenses (aside from airfare) can be billed to the card and are allocated directly to a speedtype avoiding out of pocket expenses.  The card also provides insurance when renting vehicles during travel.  We don’t allow students to have travel cards.

Information about the Travel card is listed here.

IMPORTANT: Fly America Act (Only applicable when travel is funded by sponsored projects)
The Fly America Act requires that US Flag carriers or EU Flag carriers be used for foreign air travel funded with federal dollars.  This includes any travel done on a federal award or a federal flow through award.  Keep this in mind when buying airlines tickets.  Departments and/or the Principal Investigator become personally responsible for any airline ticket that does not comply with the Fly America Act.  Additional information about this Act can be found on the Web site of the United States Department of Commerce Office of General Counsel at

Paying for Conference Registration Fees:
You can pay for registration fees with a pcard, travel card or with personal funds to be reimbursed upon completion of the trip.  Alternately, you can list on the DA form that you would like our team to pay for the registration for you with our pcard.

Rental Car:
Christopherson Business Travel can reserve a rental car for you at the state rate, or you can reserve this on your own through an approved rental car agency or through the online concur system, but make sure they are charging you the state contracted rate and that you are going through a preferred rental agency. The rental car fee is not automatically billed to the university unless you pay with a travel card, so once you’re in travel status, you should always pay with this method as using the card provides full value collision and loss damage insurance.  Fuel for the rental car is reimbursable as well and should be paid for with the travel card or out of pocket. The state contracted rental agencies are listed here

You can pay for your hotel fees and any hotel deposits with the travel card or with personal funds.  If you stay with friends or family instead of booking a hotel we can reimburse you up to $25 per day for lodging, you will need to specify this on your DA so that we can include it in your reimbursement (No receipt required.)

We can reimburse you by using

a. the state MI&E per diem rate (note: on the actual travel days, ie when you're flying or driving to your destination we can only reimburse up to 75% of the MI&E)

b. any amount less than the per diem, without the need for receipts

 Meals for single day trips, if travel is wholly within a single day, meals are an allowable expense as long as the trip lasts 12 hours or more. Reimbursement cannot exceed 75% of the daily M&I per diem rate.  Proof of trip duration is required, which can be provided through documentation like a conference agenda or a parking validation.

Meal reimbursement is not allowed if adequate meals are included with lodging, as part of conference/registration fees, or otherwise provided to traveler at no cost.


  1. Personal Vehicle We can reimburse you for mileage from CU to DIA and from DIA to CU, as applicable.  For reimbursable miles driven beginning January 1, 2023, the standard reimbursement rate is $0.59/mile. If the nature of the trip and road conditions require the use of a four-wheel-drive vehicle, the 4WD rate is $0.62/mile.
  2. Mileage vs. Airfare–Required Vehicle Usage Traveler will be reimbursed for actual mileage if vehicle travel is required due to nature of trip, items which must be transported during trip, or because multiple travelers make vehicle travel the lowest cost.
  3. Mileage vs. Airfare–Traveler’s Option Requires department approval. Requires comparison quote printed from Concur Travel. Traveler will be reimbursed for actual mileage up to actual total flight cost (transportation to/from DIA, airfare, and destination ground transportation).

When commuting to sites other than the primary work location, reimbursable mileage is calculated by totaling the number of miles driven that day and subtracting the total number of miles the employee would need to normally commute between home/primary work location/home.

See the PSC Procedural Statement, under mileage.

Parking at DIA:

Discounts on parking near Denver International Airport offered to all University of Colorado employees. Vendors provide baggage assistance and shuttle service from their lot to the airport. All operate 24/7, 365 days a year. Parking availability is guaranteed; advance reservations are available but not required.

Documentation/filing for reimbursement:
Always save all original *itemized* receipts for out of pocket travel card expenses. The receipts must show the amount paid and method of payment.  The only exception to this is for meals.

It’s helpful to attach a form listing a breakdown of what you would like reimbursed. After the trip is completed, submit in receipts to Alec Lavender within 90 days of the completion of the trip for reimbursement.  After 90 days the reimbursement becomes taxable as income.

Alec will complete the online expense report through Concur (for convenience we will create reports for you and your students in concur).  After CS Team has reviewed and approved the report we will send you email with instructions on how to submit it for payment. Once the reimbursement is filed it takes approx 3-7 days to be directly deposited into your bank account.

A note regarding non-employee non-US citizen visitors/CU or non CU student travel:

Please always check with CS Team before committing to pay for travel and before booking travel for these individuals.  There are often extra documents we need to collect ahead of time to make sure that we’re able to reimburse the cost of the trip.  We also need to establish ahead of time if there are any tax implications for the traveler.  Send email to CS Team with the person’s name, affiliation and what type of visa they hold so that we can work with you and the traveler or complete a department travel authorization (DA) form and we will advise from there.

A note on tips:

  • Travelers can be reimbursed for reasonable tips (up to a maximum of 20% of service charge) given to ground transportation (e.g., taxi, shuttle) personnel.
  • Meal service tips are included in the Meal Per Diem amount and cannot be claimed separately. Maid, porter, and bellhop tips are included in the Incidental Expense Per Diem amount and cannot be claimed separately.
  • When tipping in cash, the tip is only reimbursable if it’s added as a tip line on a receipt. 



Student Hires (Graduate Research Assistants and Hourlies):

We only hire one term at a time, fall, spring, and summer.

Before the beginning of each semester CS Team will send out an email asking for you to fill out a google form to tell us which students you want to hire.  Fill out the google form before the deadine.  Don’t allow your students to begin working until they have either an offer letter or until you’re received email confirmation that they are set up in the payroll system.  We can only hire current students, not someone who has graduated or is not enrolled at CU boulder although there may be limited exceptions.

GRA Appointments – monthly pay

Fall = Mid-August – December 31, can only work up to 50% time, eligible for tuition waiver – tuition follows salary

Spring = January 1 – Mid-May, can only work up to 50% time, eligible for tuition waiver – tuition follows salary

Summer = Mid-May thru Mid-Aug, can work up to 100% time, if the student enrolls in courses over the summer you will be responsible for paying for their tuition – tuition follows salary

GRAs are can only work up to 50% time during the AY, although exceptions may be made by the graduate school for domestic students to work an additional 5hr per week in an hourly student position.  Email CS Team for the form to petition the graduate school.

International students cannot work over 50% time during the AY for any reason since it would violate their visa status, no exceptions.

Hourly Appointments – bi-weekly pay

Fall = second half of August through first half of December

Spring = second half of December through first half of May

Summer = second half of May through first half of August

Hourly students can only work up to 25hr per week in all combined jobs on campus.

When you hire student hourlies you have the responsibility every two weeks to approve your student’s timesheets, otherwise they will not be paid and you will create an enormous administrative burden for both you and us.  We will send you reminders before each due date.  You will also be sent an email whenever a student has submitted a timesheet for your approval.

If you hire either GRA or hourly students from sponsored projects they will be asked to submit an ePER at the end of each semester.  The ePER requires them to certify that they have worked on the awards in which you’re paying them.  You must be very careful that this is accurate and not allow them to work on other projects or do work for you outside of the scope of the projects from which they’re paid.

Post Docs and Professional Research Assistants:

Bobbie Atkinson is our expert on these types of hires.  You will need to meet with her in person or email her at CS Team at least 2 months ahead of time so that she can assist with this process.

Faculty Summer Pay

You’re restricted to earning 3/9ths of your salary during the summer months.

Pay is distributed mid-May through mid-August so if you’re taking summer salary for these months you will receive a larger pay check in May since summer and AY pay will be included in one pay check , and you’ll receive a smaller portion of pay in August.

May and August make up one summer month

June is one month

July is one month

Campus has a strict policy that you cannot be paid from sponsored projects while on vacation and that pay earned over the summer is appropriate based on effort actually spent working on the project.

A Faculty Summer Funding Worksheet is required (signed by you and by the department chair) before we're allowed to pay you from any sponsored project during the summer.

We recommend that if you will work on multiple projects throughout the summer, that you charge a portion of your salary to each project throughout the full summer, versus charging 100% of your time to grant A in June, 100% to grant B in July and 100% of grant C in May/Aug.  Instead you will want to charge 1/3 or whatever your actual effort will be to projects A, B and C throughout the full summer.  This should avoid most audit risks as long as you’re very accurate in allocating your correct effort to each project.

If you have elected to be paid 9/12 you can still earn up to 3m of summer salary.

Summer salary cannot be charged to your general startup.  Only to the startup designated for summer support, which is capped at 4m total.

Whenever you pay yourself from sponsored projects you must certify your effort at the end of the term through the epar process.

The basic guideline when paying salary from a federal grant is that if one month of summer salary is charged to a grant, the effort expended to earn that month's salary must be equivalent to the effort expended during one month in the academic year.  The Federal guidelines for summer salary are currently expressed in terms of effort and so the reporting needs to be effort based. If requested, faculty must be able to produce work products to support compensation charges (annual reports, publications, presentations, etc.)

Faculty may still do outside consulting (keeping to 1/6 guideline for any month in which salary is also paid out of grants).

All other paid activities from all campuses (such as teaching) count towards the 1/9, 3/9ths totals.

Any salary earned during the summer must be for work performed during the summer.  Therefore, itis inappropriate for faculty to “bank" time during the academic year and be paid for this time during the summer.

You cannot use summer salary support from a sponsored award to take a paid vacation or be paid sick leave.

Effort expended on projects that do not have adequate budget or funding for summer salary support cannot be charged to another sponsored project.

Faculty paid on grants during the summer may work additional unpaid hours on other activities (e.g., course preparation, service, and non-sponsored research and creative work), as long as they also meet the effort expectations for the grants on which they are paid (effort in the summer matches effort in the academic year).

Faculty members should note that the responsibility for understanding and complying with University and sponsor regulations concerning summer pay is theirs.

**Beginning in Summer 2013, any faculty member who receives research funding from any source will be required to submit a Summer Research Report on or before September 30. This includes funding from the general fund as well as sponsored projects.  Reports will be submitted using the Summer Research tab on the FRPA database**

A note about backstop funding:

One of the most challenging scenarios is when you’re waiting for an award to arrive.  In these cases the award has been promised but it may take several weeks or even months to arrive.  The department, upon occasion can offer backstop funding but it's very risky for us to do so as our cash reserves are often limited for this purpose.  Instead, we ask the faculty to provide the backstop with their avaialble non grant monies.  Essentially, if the grant money hasn't been deposited into a speedtype, we don't allow pre spending of the expected funds without having backstop funding from one of your availalble non grant accounts.  You can use your startup or any other appropriate non-grant speedtype to use to charge these expenses to until the award arrives and has been issued a speedtype.  Then we will transfer the expenses from the backstop funding source to the award.   The risk is, if the award doesn’t arrive or if the charges are not allowable due to lack of pre-spending authority or for any other reason, the charges will remain on the speedtype you provided to backstop.  The other option is to set up an at risk account through OCG.  In this case the expenses will be charged to the at risk account but will still be backed stopped by your avaialble non grant funding.  

A note about hiring independent contractor:

Independent contractors must be named in the budget if you will fund them from a sponsored project.  You can also use non-grant funds to pay for these individuals.

Independent contractors vs employees, it’s important for you to make the correct distinction when classifying independent contractors since their tax liability is different from employees.

BEFORE hiring independent contractors and BEFORE they are allowed to start working you’re required to fill out a scope of work (SOW) form and it needs to be fully approved before work can begin.  The SOW is a contract so the person can only work within the start and end dates and can only bill up to the amount listed on the form.  Send the completed form to CS Team for processing.

When a Scope of Work (SOW) is involved, do not use separate mechanisms to directly pay for non-employee travel expenses.  This means you do not cover their airfare, lodging, rental car, or other trip costs with a Travel Card, purchase order (PO), or Non-Employee Reimbursement form (NR). Instead, use the payment mechanism associated with the approved SOW. For small-dollar services, this will be a Payment Voucher form. For large-dollar services, this will be a PO/SPO invoice.

A note about compensation for user studies, participant activities or awards:

Connect with at least two weeks before conducing your user study or participant activity, to request guidance on how to compensate individuals.  Even more advanced notice would be appreciated for things like workshops, awards or any type of event you will host where you’d like to compensate individuals in any capacity.   Some situations may require advance approval or other things we'd like you to be aware of ahead of time.  In addition, as confirmed by the Campus Controller's office and the International Tax Office, we’re not allowed to provide gift cards to Non-US Persons (nonresident aliens for U.S. tax purposes).  There are other ways to compensate Non-US Persons (nonresident aliens for U.S. tax purposes) which CS team can guide you through.

Gift in Kind - Donations

A gift in kind is when the University is offered a non-monetary gift (e.g., art, books, manuscripts, antiques, collections, equipment, software, or intellectual property/patents) from a donor. 

How CU processes a gift-in-kind depends on several factors, including the value of the gift, how it will be used, if it’s an addition to an existing collection, and if it comes with a written contract or agreement.

Under certain circumstances, we must obtain campus controller approval first before accepting a gift in kind donation. 

Before accepting, please read through the policy found here,, and then work with Stephanie directly to obtain the appropriate level of approval before accepting the donation.

Faculty Absences 

Dedicated Desktop Support and Set up Instructions to Printers in CS Lounge

1. Dedicated desktop support

2. Instructions on how to set up Printers in CS lounge