Disallowed Expenses

Due to the diverse areas within higher education, it is difficult to compile an all-inclusive list of disallowed items. Generally, an item is allowed if it supports the mission of the institution and can be justified as an official business expense. However, the Commonwealth of Virginia provides a specific list of items that are not allowed. For example, alcoholic beverages are not allowed even if the event where it is served might directly relate to the UMW mission. In addition, some goods or services would NOT be allowed by UMW even though the good or service is NOT on the list.

For example, even though “hair styling” is not listed on the Commonwealth’s list, UMW would not allow the expense. An exception could exist if the theatre department needed a special hair style for a performance. Other examples include entrance fees to an art museum or a zoo. An art professor may claim entrance fees into an art museum, and a biology professor may claim an expense for entrance fees into a zoo; however, it would be difficult to provide an official business justification for a biology professor to claim an expense to an art museum.

If the legitimacy of a purchase is ever in question, contact Accounts Payable for guidance PRIOR to incurring the expense.

Specific List of Unallowable Miscellaneous Expenses Using State Funds:

  • Insurance such as trip cancellation, personal health, or life insurance
  • The use of State funds to accommodate personal comfort, convenience, or taste
  • Lost or stolen articles
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Damage to personal vehicle, clothing or other items
  • Movies charged to hotel bills
  • Any and all expenses related to personal negligence, such as fines for parking or services used to gain entry to a locked vehicle, missing a flight, etc.
  • Entertainment expenses, including parties such as retirement, birthday, etc. that do not directly support the mission of UMW
  • Towing charges for personal vehicle or state vehicle or rental vehicle
  • Contributions
  • Donations (unless the donation is the means whereby an item is purchased and the item that is purchased remains the property of the Commonwealth)
  • Charges for spouse, children and companions
  • Personal needs such as medication, refrigeration (even for medication), hotel safe or other conveniences
  • Flowers
  • Greeting cards of any type (birthday, sympathy, holiday, etc.)
  • Gifts (EXCEPT under conditions found at Gift Giving)
  • Legal Services UNLESS written authorization from the Office of the Attorney General was provided PRIOR to the service being provided
  • Retail Memberships (Examples: Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Amazon, etc.)
  • Apps or software for download on personal devices

Please note that the above list is not all-inclusive. Remember that accounts are open to the public and must be able to sustain the test of public review (think about how it would look in the newspaper).

It is the responsibility of the Accounts Payable department to ensure the expenditure is allowable and reasonable. If the expense is not deemed reasonable by Accounts Payable, you will

  • Not be reimbursed, if seeking reimbursement.
  • Payback UMW if the good/service was purchased using a UMW purchasing tool.

All state procurement regulations must be followed, including the use of the Small Purchase Credit Card (SPCC) or UMW Finance Card, mandatory state contracts, eVA and SWAM vendors. All employees are expected to follow appropriate University procurement guidelines regardless of dollar amount. Please see Procurement Services for details.

In the event of an emergency where an employee may have had to pay out of pocket for an appropriate business expense, the employee may seek reimbursement for out of pocket expenses using Reimbursements for guidance.