• CS Team
  • Forms
  • Purchasing
  • Travel
  • Hiring GRA’s, Post-Doc’s, Bi-Weekly student employees
  • Faculty summer pay
  • Gift in Kind - Donations 
  • Grant and Non-Grant Account Management/Accounting Rules
  • Faculty Absences
  • Dedicated Desktop Computer Support and Set up Instructions to Printers in CS Lounge
  • Q and A

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, Bobbie Atkinson Research Grant Administrator, Michael Collier Finance and Accounting Professional and Brandon Geer, Payroll and Personnel Coordinator.  Purchasing Specialist Tammy Lane is also a part of our team but she 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 Tammy for processing,
  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 Chantel Lehl for processing,


Purchase Verification Form (PV)

Department Verification Form (DA)


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. Sponsorships
  4. Study subject payments
  5. Cell phones
  6. Wireless services
  7. Wireless devices
  8. Computers (including iPads)
  9. Furniture
  10. Office supplies
  11. 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 PO 
  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.If it’s not a sole source situation the item is put out for competitive bid.

How to Purchase:


We can purchase items for you at any time through CS Team by sending a completed purchase verification form to


2. Personal funds: 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, wireless services, wireless devices, computers, 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.

For all other out of pocket purchases, fill out a 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).


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

3. Procurement Card (Pcard): let Stephanie know if you're interested in applying for a pcard.   We don’t allow students to have pcards.The Pcard is a CU visa card that allows you to purchase items under $5000.  The charges are automatically billed to the university and 'allocated' to the correct 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.

A quick note on furniture:
CU has a contract with Colorado Correctional Industries CCi as well as the CU distribution center 303-492-6525.  So all faculty and staff furniture selections must be made from either of these vendors.  Send your selections via a completed purchase verification form to CS Team and we will place the order for you.

If you can't find what you’re looking for through CCi or the distribution center and you would like to purchase from another vendor you can request a furniture waiver form, instructions listed at  Submit the completed form through CS team.  If you would like to upgrade your existing furniture in your office or lab you can use your startup to fund these expenses.

For office chairs, CCI will allow us to try before we buy and can bring out up to 5 chairs at a time.  If you’d like to try some chairs let us know the make and model and we’ll have them delivered to you so that you can choose.

A quick note on tips:

  • PRIOR to December 1, 2019 When tipping for meals using a pcard – tip cannot exceed 20% of the subtotal, excluding tax
  • PRIOR to December 1, 2016 When tipping for meals using personal funds – tip cannot exceed 20% of the overall total, including tax (we can reimburse tax when reimbursing an out of pocket expense)
  • EFFECTIVE December 1, 2019 When tipping for meals using a pcard or personal funds – tip cannot exceed 20% of the overall total, including tax (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.


PSC Procedural Statement:

Travel overview

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We require receipts for all expenses except meals, we’re slightly stricter than the PSC whose policy is receipts are only required for expenses over $75.

Obtaining a Department Travel Authorization (DA) number:

Before you travel on university business, you need to request a DA number.  To request a DA number, fill out the DA request form and send it to CS Team. Tammy will then send you a DA number via email along with further instructions on booking your trip. Once you have this number you can contact our CU approved travel agency, Christopherson Business Travel, to purchase the airline ticket.  Effective January 2020 you can also book domestic and international flights online through the Concur system.  These instructions also apply to student and visitor travel; however these individuals aren’t allowed to book their flights through concur they must go through Christopherson and when they submit their DA form for processing they must copy you on the email which serves as your approval or you can submit the completed form for them.


The travel agency will bill the university directly for the airfare via the speedtype that you provide on the DA request form so there are no out of pocket expenses involved.  International travel requests require preapproval through Concur in addition to departmental approval through the DA form.

For business combined with personal travel:

You’ll want to start this process at least a month in advance of the trip so that we can allow time for approval and time for you to gather the appropriate quotes.

  1. Send a completed DA form to that clearly lists which portion of the trip is personal and which portion of the trip is business. 
  2. Along with the DA, send these quotes which are required as part of the university policy
  3. A comparison quote from Concur (domestic) or CBT (international) to document the cost of the business-only fare.
  4. A quote from Concur (domestic) or CBT (international) to document the cost of the business-personal fare, this should be the exact flight in which you intend to purchase.
  5. If quote b is less expensive then quote a then we will issue the DA and give you permission to purchase the ticket, direct bill with a speedtype, which corresponds to quote b.
  6. If quote b is more expensive then quote a then we will issue the DA and give you permission to purchase the ticket, direct bill with a speedtype, which corresponds to quote b; however, since the personal portion of the trip added extra cost to the University, we will make note that the difference in cost will be deducted from your out of pocket reimbursement request which you submit at the end of the trip.  If your estimated out of pocket expenses aren’t enough to cover the difference we will accept a check payment from you to repay the University for the difference.
  7. Airfare for a combined business/personal trip should be purchased through the Concur Travel & Expense System (Concur) or Christopherson Business Travel (CBT) via a direct bill speedtype, instead of purchasing out of pocket.

Purchasing airfare out of pocket without personal travel included:

  1. You must list on the DA when you intend to purchase your flight out of pocket
  2. Obtain a comparison quote from Concur (domestic)/CBT (international) prior to the internet purchase;
  3. Comparison quote must be for the same dates, routes, and general timeframes (within approximately one hour) as the purchased airfare;
  4. Total cost of the internet purchase must be less than the Concur/CBT quote; and,
  5. Purchase must be made using a personal credit card and reimbursement requested after the trip concludes (copy of comparison quote must be attached to the trip expense report).

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.
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 us to pay for the registration for you) to register for you and pay with their pcards.

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 allowable miles driven beginning January 1, 2019, the standard reimbursement rate is $0.52/mile. (If the nature of the trip and road conditions require the use of a four-wheel-drive vehicle, the 4WD rate is $0.55/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).

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 also helpful if you attach a form listing a breakdown of what you would like reimbursed. After the trip is completed, turn in receipts to Tammy Lane within 90 days of the completion of the trip for reimbursement.  After 90 days the reimbursement becomes taxable as income.

She will complete the online expense report through Concur (we don’t allow you or your students to create reports on your own).  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 on non-employee non-US citizen visitors who are traveling on a visa:

You must always check with CS Team before committing to pay for travel and before booking travel for these individuals since they are traveling on a visa.  There are often extra documents we need to collect a head of time to make sure that we’re able to cover 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.

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 study subjects:

Before conducing your user study, send a completed PV form to CS Team so we can approve in advance.

The choices for compensation are through an amazon gift card or check.  We cannot issue gift cards to international individuals.  If you have international individuals in your study you'll want to select the check option.

You must get approval in advance to purchase gift cards by filling out the gift card authorization form and submitting it to CS Team,

If you choose to issue check payments, here are the instructions on what to send to CS Team, also include a completed purchase verification form.  If you choose to issue gift cards to international individuals then for those we will also need what is listed under 'for international non US citizens'.

For Domestic US citizens

1. A completed W9 form, (the address that they list on the W9 form is the address in which the check and any tax documentation from the IRS, as applicable, will be mailed)

2. Dates of participation in the study for each individual

3. Amount of money to disperse to each individual

For International Non US citizens

1. A completed W‐8BEN form,

a. Note ‐ they must list their permanent address on line 3 and their local mailing address on line 4 ‐‐ please ensure that this procedure is followed so that we don't have to spend time asking for revised forms.

2. Dates of participation in the study for each individual

3. Amount of money to disperse to each individual

a. IMPORTANT ‐ all international study subject payments are subject to 30% tax so for example if you request a payment of $40 the person will only receive $28. Or you can gross up and pay the tax for them which means that you pay the tax.  For example, on a $40 payment, your expense would be $57.14. Let CS Team know what we should do for any international study subjects. Your choices which are 1) they pay the tax OR 2) you pay the tax.

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