Search AdmiNET

Other Links

Text Size: A A A A


Financial Policy Manual


Note: Updates and additions to Financial Policies are made on a continuing basis. Please see the "Accounting Announcements" section of AdmiNET for the most recent changes.


This online Financial Policy Manual contains policies related to the financial operation of the University of Chicago. The Manual is published through the Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer which is responsible for the financial operation and fiscal control of the University. This Manual is not to be distributed without the prior approval of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

The policy statements contained herein have been assembled from several sources, as follows:

1) actions of the Trustees related to their financial authority; 2) policy statements incorporated from previously issued memorandums and 3) the codification of current practices.

The Manual is directed to those administrators who have responsibility for the financial operation of the University and is intended to serve as a reference guide. The policies contained herein delineate responsibility, authority and accountability. It is the responsibility of all financial administrators to familiarize themselves with these policies in order to provide proper guidance to all University employees. It is the responsibility of every University employee to follow stated policy.


The Financial Policy Manual is divided into 14 active subject areas, each of which contains (or will in the future contain) a group of related policies. For example, all policies related to procurement/disbursements can be found in section 1200.

Policy statements are sequenced by section and identified by a four digit numeric code. The first two digits identify the subject area, while the third and fourth digits indicate the specific policy within the subject area, e.g., policy number 1210 identifies the tenth policy of subject area 12, PROCUREMENT/DISBURSEMENTS.

Each policy statement is presented in a standardized format. The first section identifies the policy number and policy title. The next section of each page indicates the subject area, responsible office, the office or group having the authority to approve changes to the policy, issue date, and revision date. This is followed by the actual policy information.

The responsible office has the responsibility to develop, promulgate, monitor and revise the applicable policy. When additional guidance or interpretation of a specific policy is required, that office should be consulted. The Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer or Financial Services should be consulted when an issue arises which is not addressed by the Financial Policy Manual.

1001    General Accounting Policy: University Financial Activity
1002    General Accounting Policy: Financial Resources
1003   Accounting System Maintenance
1004   Land, Buildings, Equipment, and Books
  1004.1 Capitalization Policy: Land, Buildings, Equipment, and Books
  1004.2 Depreciation of Land Improvements, Buildings, Equipment, and Books
  1004.3 Disposal of University Owned Equipment
  1004.4 Building and Building Renovation Construction Costs
  1004.5 Equipment Property Management System
  1004.6 Physical Inventory of Equipment
  1004.7 Equipment Screening
  1004.8 Capitalization of Interest
1005   Recharge Operations
1006   Inventories of Materials and Supplies
1007   Long-Term Debt
1008   Interest Costs
1009   Leases
  1009.1 Accounting for Leases
  1009.2 Accounting for Leasehold Improvements
1010   Accounting for Compensated Absences
1011   Accounting for Retirement Benefit Plans
1012   Accounting for Gifts of Securities
1013   Unallowable Costs
1014   Accounting for Investments in Venture Capital Limited Partnerships
1015   Accounting for Investments
1016   Private Gifts and Grants for Buildings and Equipment
1017   Accounting for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations
1200 Procurement/Disbursements
1201   Authority and Responsibility for Procuring Goods and Services
1202 Travel Policies and Procedures
1203   Approval of Non-Payroll Expenditures
1204   Non-Audit Services by University Auditors
1205   Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, and Small Business Enterprises Procurement Policy
1206   Gifts to Other Not-for-Profit and Charitable Organizations
1207   Institutional Membership Fees and Dues
1208   Individual Professional, Business and Technical Organization Membership Fees and Dues
1209   Membership Fees and Dues for Social, Dining, Airline and Hotel Clubs
1210   Parking Fees
1211   Gifts Based on University/Employee Relationships
1212   Gifts to Non-Employees
1213 Authority to lease, Buy, and Sell Real Estate
1214   Non-Salary Cash Advances
1215   Retention of Outside Legal Counsel
1216   Authority for Settlement of Workers’ Compensation and Liability Claims
1217   Donor and Volunteer Gift Policy
1218   Payments of Human Subject Fees
1300 Capital Planning and Budget Process
1301   Proposals for Major Expansion or Renovation of Space
1400 Financial Reporting
1401   Annual Closings/Financial Statements
1402   Monthly Closings/Reporting
1403   Financial Reporting to Outside Agencies
1500 Cash
1501   Banking Relationships
1502   Cash Management Policy
1503   Facsimile Signature
1504   Signatory Authority for Checks of $250,000 or Greater
1505   Imprest Balance Accounts: Petty cash
1506   Imprest Balance Accounts: Separately Administered Bank Accounts
1507 Electronic Transfers for Cash Disbursements
1508   Cash Collection and Deposit
1509   Interest Income from Investment of University Cash
1510   Accepting and Processing Credit Cards for University Business
1600 Investments
1601   Investment Management
1602   Administration and Investment of Endowment Funds
1603   Investment Reporting
1604   Endowment Payout Formula
1700 Loans and Receivables 1800 Debt Financing
1801   Debt Management
1802   Debt Issue Costs
1803   Tax Exempt Bond Compliance
1805   Internal Loans: Equipment, Construction, and Major Renovation Projects
1900 Tuition, Fees, and Other Student Charges 2000 Sales and Services 2100 Sponsored Programs
2101 Principal Investigator Responsibilities for Financial Oversight of Grants and Contracts
2105   Sponsored Awards Financial Responsibility
2106   Accounting Authority and Responsibility
2107   Program Income
2108   Overdraft Write-off
2109   Approval of Direct Cost Expenditures
2110   Cost Sharing/Matching Contributions
2111   Cost Transfers
2112   Effort Reporting
2114   Facilities and Administration (F&A) and Benefit Rate Proposal Preparation
2116   Interim and Final Financial Reports
2117   Account Close-Out
2300 Gifts and Private Grants
2301   Acceptance of Gifts and Bequests
2303   Annuity Contracts and Other Life Income Agreements
2304   Management of Restricted Gifts
2305   Establishment and Liquidation of Funds Functioning as Endowment
2306   Unidentified Gifts to the University
2400 Payroll 2500 Student Financial Assistance 2700 Miscellaneous
2701   Financial Services Off-site Record Retention
2702   Operation of BSD Off-site Clinical Practices
2703   Reissuance of Forged Checks
2704   Use of University Facilities
2706   Conflict of Interest
2707   Whistleblower
2708   Managing University Records
2709   Electronic University Records Relevant to Pending or Anticipated Litigation
2710   Fines and Penalties for Violations of OSHA, EPA and Similar Regulations
2711   Formation and Oversight of Legal Entities
2712   No Trespass (Ban) Policy