How to Spend Money

Based on how and what you are buying, there are different options:

1) You may request to use Student Organization Business Office (SOBO)’s credit card (for most routine purchases under $5,000) by completing our Credit Card Request form, and all expenses incurred will be charged to your student organization’s account. The form must be completed, signed, and turned in to SOBO 24 hours prior to picking up a credit card. Note: there are many purchasing restrictions.

  • Includes hotel payments and non-UI vehicle rentals.
  • Special considerations when purchasing apparel or anything with a design.

2) You may request a reimbursement or refund to a student organization member that made organization purchases with personal funds for non-travel related purchases. Itemized receipts are required and all purchasing restrictions still apply. Keep in mind that student government funds may not be used to reimburse sales tax.

3) Pay or transfer money to another UI department or student organization by completing, signing, and turning in an interdepartmental (blue) requisition form.

  • This includes IMU Event Services, Catering, Marketing and Design, University of Iowa Fleet Services, Iowa House Hotel, and more.
  • This is the only acceptable payment method for printing and copying. All printing-related work, including photocopying, must be done by the University Printing Department or UI Copy Centers. Personal funds spent for printing cannot be reimbursed if an outside vendor is used.

4) You may pay a vendor with a check (when a vendor doesn’t accept credit cards or the total purchase is over $5,000). To pay by check, first complete, sign, and turn in a check voucher. Checks are printed by the University’s Accounts Payable department and may either be picked up by a member of your organization or the University can mail it to the vendor. Checks take approximately 2 weeks to process, so plan ahead.

  • The University keeps a database of vendor information for check payments. If the check request is for a vendor not yet in this database, that vendor needs to submit a Vendor Application Form (VAF). This will  increase the processing time.

5) Pay an individual for services (a speaker, performer, D.J., etc.) by completing an appropriate contract (available upon request from SOBO) and an individual service voucher. Payment will not be processed without completing both appropriate contract and individual services voucher. Payment processing may take up to 2 weeks, so plan ahead.

  • If the check request is for an individual not yet in the University database, that individual needs to submit a W9 form due to Internal Revenue policies. This will increase the processing time.

6) Award payments (monetary prizes) to a student must include an official award letter and meeting minutes or an event flyer/advertisement specifying the award program from the student organization. These payments are processed by SOBO through the University’s financial aid system.

  • Federal financial aid regulations require that the University account for all aid, including grants, awards, scholarships, and/or prizes (including gift cards) provided to students, if the student is a recipient of need-based financial aid. If the recipient of your grant, award, scholarship, and/or prize is receiving financial aid from the UI Office of Student Financial Aid, this action may impact the amount of financial aid they receive. In addition, monetary awards processed through the University will be applied to the recipients U-Bill balance before any cash disbursement is made.

7) Reimbursement for travel related expenses requires a completed and signed Travel Expense Voucher form and all itemized receipts. Keep in mind that student government funds may not be used to reimburse sales tax (with the exception of hotel and plane ticket purchases). An online approval process may be required if the traveler is a current University employee. Payment processing may take up to 2 weeks, so plan ahead. Travel reimbursement requests should be submitted to SOBO within 90 days after the travel dates.

For more information on how to spend money, contact Student Organization Business Office (132 IMU) at (319) 335-3065 or

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