Stanford's Reimbursement Process

Stanford uses a custom reimbursement system called iOU for processing and tracking reimbursements, developed specifically to meet the needs of the University.

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Responsibilities and Authority for Reimbursements


Faculty and/or their administrators are responsible for:


  • initiating reimbursement requests within 10 days of incurring the expense(s) or completing travel for Stanford business. If requests are not made within 60 days, the amount reimbursed is tax-reportable to the IRS as income to the individual.
  • providing the necessary documentation to support the request. All reimbursements require dated, original itemized receipts AND proof of payment. See also Policy Notes: Required Documentation for Travel Expense Reimbursement in the Staff section.

Requests are reviewed for authorization by designated "approvers," usually a department or other representative with authority to approve charges to the appropriate PTAE. Approvers must be someone other than the payee and other than the person initiating the request. Approvers can not be someone who reports to the payee or initiator (either directly or indirectly).

Once approved, reimbursement requests are routed to a processor in the Travel and Reimbursements (T & R) department. The T & R processor checks to see that the request and backup documentation comply with policy and government regulations, requests further action if required, and approves the request for payment.

See Resources & Job Aids: Avoiding Holds on Reimbursement Requests in the Staff section of this web site.

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Reimbursement Methods

Reimbursement requests for amounts over $150 are made via the iOU system. For detailed instructions on requesting reimbursement via iOU, see How To: Enter Expense Report / Reimbursement Request in iOU.

For reimbursements of business expenses less than $100, see How To: Get Reimbursed via Petty Cash.

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For complete information on Reimbursement at Stanford, including overviews, quick steps, policy, resources and job aids, forms, and related training, see:

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