The Monthly Ledger
A publication by the USM Foundation's Business Office
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USM Foundation Training, 9am-12pm. 

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If you will be incurring an expense that requires a vendor agreement or an independent contractor agreement, you must provide us a copy of the agreement for review and sign off prior to incurring the expense and submitting the disbursement request for the expense. We have recently had a number of unsigned agreements sent in with disbursement requests for expenses already incurred.

November 19, 2014
What's New!

2014 Annual Report


Hot off the presses is our Fiscal Year 2014 annual report.  Both the Prezi version and a downloadable PDF version can be found here. The art contest for this year's report was spurred by a Nelson Mandela quote: "Vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, and vision with action can change the world." We believe this quote sets the tone for the many accomplishments achieved by the USM and our Foundation, especially during this 25th anniversary year for the USM. Please take the time to browse through our 2014 Annual Report and see how our art contest winners chose to interpret the quote.

Business Purpose, Explained

We have noticed a trend lately where individual disbursement request forms provide inadequate business purposes. As this seems to be more prevalent, we thought we would take the opportunity to clarify what should be included in your business purpose statements. The business purpose should answer the five "W" questions: Who, what, where, when, and why:

  • Who incurred the expense
  • What was the expense
  • Where was the expense incurred
  • When was the expense incurred
  • And most importantly, why was the expense incurred

 A poor business purpose would be: "Business dinner." A good business purpose would be: "Dr. Smith had dinner with Dr. Jones at Ruth Chris Steakhouse on October 15th as part of Dr. Jones recruitment visit to campus."

 Other examples of poor and good business purposes:


Poor Business Purpose
Good Business Purpose
Department expense reimbursement
Varied expenses, as shown on attached report, incurred by Psychology Department between July 1, 2014 and Sept. 30, 2014, for general department operations
Expenses for student and faculty luncheon
Expenses for pizza luncheon on Sept. 5th to welcome new accounting students to campus and meet Accounting department faculty and staff
Roundtrip airline ticket - DC/San Francisco
Airfare for Dr. Smith for travel to San Francisco from 11/10-11/15 to meet with Google representatives to discuss funding for Google Glass research project
Meals while traveling
Dinner at Five Guys for grad student Jim Roberts while traveling to Penn State to attend the XYZ conference on May 13th. 
Conference Registration
Registration for Jack Johnson to attend CASE conference in Chicago on June 13-15 for professional development and networking
Annual subscription for professional publication XYZ to be used by marketing department faculty and staff for continuing education purposes

Be thorough and err on the side of more explanation vs. less. As an old saying goes, we want "the why and the wherefore" - not just a reason, but a whole reason and all the reasons.