The University of Chicago

Financial Services


Supporting Documentation Standards

Each disbursement transaction must be supported by adequate documentation. This requirement is primarily driven by federal regulations, but even more basic than that-it is just good business practice. If the University is making the payment, it should know precisely what it is paying for. This document describes the various supporting documentation requirements of the University.

Rule 1: Receipts are required for all expenses of $75 or more.
The two exceptions to this rule are business meals and hotel/lodging expenses which must have receipts regardless of dollar amounts.

Rule 2: All receipts must sufficiently detail the item(s) that were purchased.
Credit card statements, vendor statements, quotes, acknowledgements and copies of cancelled personal checks submitted without other supporting documentation are not considered adequate.

Rule 3: All expenses must be adequately documented whether or not a receipt is required. A description of the good or service purchased/business purpose, date of purchase, and amount of expense must accompany all requests for reimbursement or payment.

Rule 4: Proof of Payment is required. The individual should always furnish a paid bill or proof that the payment has been made. For example, the bill should show “Paid”, “0 balance due” or some similar language.

Rule 5: Lost receipts. If a person loses a receipt, he/she must provide a note acknowledging the receipt(s) was lost, confirm they will not be reimbursed from another source, include a description of the item(s) that were purchased, business purpose, date of occurrence, and amount of expense.