UB Financial Guidelines and Policies

Guidelines and policies are the framework of our financial transactions.


E-Payment is the University at Buffalo’s method for departments to accept credit card (MasterCard, Visa and Discover) and ACH (electronic check) payments for state financial transactions via the Web.  
The university has replaced the former Food and Beverage Reimbursement Guidelines with the Allowable Use of Funds Policy, effective March 1, 2018. To review rules governing food and beverage related expenses associated with official university business please visit the Allowable Use of Funds Policy.
Learn how to use reserve accounts to effectively plan for the future.
These guidelines will assist clubs and organizations who are not required to follow SUNY guidelines for funds generated by the Student Activity Fee with best practices for being fiscally responsible.


The State University of New York (University) use agency accounts to receive, hold and disburse funds on behalf of students, faculty, staff members or appropriately recognized organizations. Agency accounts exist because there is a relationship between the University and the activity from which the funds are derived. These non-state agency accounts are funded from activities such as conferences, child-care centers, student activity fees, orientation fees and a number of other activities. Agency accounts are not to be used to receive, hold or disburse state funds.
Funds provided by an organization external to the university in support of research, training, evaluative testing, or public service projects (sponsored projects) directed by UB faculty or staff as part of their university work must be deposited with, and administered by, either the Research Foundation or UB Foundation Services, Inc.
Cost transfers are appropriate when their purpose is to correct posting or bookkeeping errors in the original charges, to appropriately reallocate expenditures between accounts, or to transfer pre-award costs from an institutional account to a sponsored project account.
Credit/debit card payments must be processed in an efficient, consistent, secure and controlled manner in compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard.
Guidelines for the financial management of service centers ensure accurate cost allocation. Consistent billing practices that document costs, charges, and billing rates, and where applicable, compliance with federal government cost principles.
The Principal Investigator is responsible for the financial management of a sponsored project. The College or School to which credit is assigned for a sponsored project is responsible, in proportion to credit assigned to it, for all costs charged to that sponsored project.
A General University Service Fee (GUSF) is charged on revenue deposited in state IFR, UBF, RF and CDS accounts.
Graduate students may be employed as Research Project Assistants to perform necessary work on research projects. Compensation for Research Project Assistants must include salary and tuition remission.
Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs are charged to externally sponsored awards, unless specifically prohibited by the funding agency. A percentage of F&A Costs recovered from sponsored projects is distributed to university entities based upon the affiliation and relative contributions of key personnel to project objectives.
Institutional Base Salary (IBS) is the annual salary paid to an individual for performance of all professional obligations required by the individual’s primary UB appointment.
This policy provides guidance and a framework for decision-making regarding mobile communication devices and related services.
Departmental funds may be used to reimburse certain expenses incurred by new appointees when transporting themselves, their families, and household goods and personal effects to their new place of residence. This policy applies to State, RF, and UBF appointments.
Requirements of the Federal Trade Commission’s Red Flags Rule must be followed when extending credit to individuals for services provided by the university.
The University at Buffalo (UB, University) encourages innovation by its faculty, staff, and students. When those innovations are licensed and generate royalty income for the University, that royalty income is shared with those who made the innovation.
Reimbursement checks, payroll checks and direct deposit advices that cannot be delivered because a department cannot locate the employee must be returned to the appropriate business office within the required time period.

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