Your journal has two budgets—your discretionary budget used for purchasing food (no alcohol unless it’s provided for through Restaurant Associates) for events, community building activities, T-shirts for journal members, and general organizational needs—and your gift fund, used for conferences and symposiums and other purchases. Sheena will give you a ledger for both of your accounts at the beginning of each academic year, where you should keep track of all expenditures in both of the accounts. One of the editors, acting as the financial officer, can keep track of the ledger and accounting, or you can elect or appoint a member of the journal to this position. At mid-year, your financial officer will meet with Sheena to compare notes on the ledger, and to check in on how your finances are doing.
General guidelines for using your budget are:
33 digit billing code
All student journals are assigned a unique 33 digit billing code. Student journal treasurers are responsible for knowing their code and should regulate internally who has access to this code to ensure proper use. Many services at the law school, including restaurant associates (HLS food services), UIS (phone bills), media services (audio/visual), Harvard printing and Publications services (photocopying), etc. And all Harvard university departments use this coding system for billing. Treasurers should track these internal charges to ensure that the organization does not overspend its budget. If you have questions about any of these charges, please contact Sheena at your earliest convenience.
Reimbursement for authorized expenses
The university’s reimbursement system is used for any organization related expense that cannot be handled internally. Only expenses that fall within the university’s guidelines can be reimbursed. Allowable expenses include any reasonable expense associated with the mission of the organization. Please visit http://vpf-web.harvard.edu/ for the university’s complete list of unallowable expenses. If you are not sure whether an expense is allowed, please contact the Sheena before making a purchase. Reimbursements should be submitted promptly to ensure expedited payment.
To be reimbursed for expenses, you must submit:
- the original receipt
- a completed Universal Expense Form (reimbursement form) including:
- the name of the person receiving the reimbursement. This must be the individual that incurred the expense;
- the local address and phone number of the person receiving the reimbursement;
- the legal address of the person receiving the reimbursement (the address put on tax forms);
- the Harvard I.D. number, if applicable, of the person receiving the reimbursement;
- the social security number (or federal tax ID) of the person receiving the reimbursement;
- the date(s) and description of expense;
- the signature of the person receiving the reimbursement
- the signature of the organization’s financial officer or EIC.
- Travel related reimbursements (particularly airfare, lodging, car rentals) have very specific requirements in terms of the receipts required. These reimbursements will also require a signed missing receipt affidavit and a copy of a credit card statement showing the travel related charge.
The Harvard University financial system requires original receipts for reimbursement. If a receipt is lost or missing, the person who incurred the expense will need to complete a Missing Receipt Affidavit to be submitted with the reimbursement form. In no case should another receipt of a similar amount be substituted for a lost receipt. Students who knowingly submit false or altered receipts may be subject to disciplinary action.
- Reimbursing speakers
If the student organization has sufficient funding to cover expenses for a speaker, the speaker may be reimbursed directly. As with all reimbursements, the speaker must submit original receipts and a completed reimbursement form. It is beneficial to complete this form while the speaker is on campus. The treasurer should complete as much of the form as possible and get any additional information, including a signature, while the speaker is on campus. The speaker can then send original receipts after the trip is complete. The treasurer may also want to have the speaker sign a Missing Receipt Affidavit in the event that a receipt is lost. If you have questions regarding reimbursing a speaker, please contact the Sheena before the event.
If your organization has a bill that needs to be paid directly, please submit the original bill to the Dean of Students Office. If you wish to have a bill sent directly to the Journals Office for payment, you should notify Sheena in advance. The bill should include the name of the student organization.
- Service Providers (DJs, Caterers, Referees, Coaches, etc.)
You should not pay service providers directly. Ask the provider to submit an invoice to the journal and bring the invoice to the Dean of Students Office for direct payment. To pay a disc jockey, referee, or other service provider, the invoice must include the following information:
- her/his social security number (or federal tax ID number if an incorporated company)
- her/his legal address and contact information
- her/his signature
*All vendors will also need to sign a contract with the University. Please contact Sheena Prosper in the Dean of Students Office for more information. This should be done well in advance of the event.
Feel free to bookmark our list of frequently used financial forms.