Comptroller's Office
 Policies and Procedures Manual

Effective: 01/01/2000
Revised: 03/09/2012 

NAU Home Page CMP 401-03: Prohibited Transactions


To provide a listing of prohibited disbursement transactions


University policy


Certain disbursement transactions are prohibited. The listing below specifies prohibited transactions, although it is not necessarily fully inclusive. References to specific COM sections or policies are provided where applicable. Assistance to interpret specific situations is available from the Comptroller Office Staff. Please note that this policy applies to STUDENT ACTIVITIES as well as all other University activities. All funds that come into the university are considered public funds. This policy not only applies to state funds, but also to local funds.

Prohibited Transactions and Policy References

Food, and Related Expenses (CMP 420 02)

Use of sponsored project funds unless specifically authorized by the grant or contract.

Use of state funds.

Alcoholic Beverages

Use of university funds to pay for alcoholic expenditures, regardless of expenditure purpose.

Bottled Water.

Use of state funds unless the Manager of Facilities Services determines in writing that:

1. no drinking fountain is reasonably close


2. the cost of installing a drinking fountain is prohibitive.

A copy of the Manager of Facilities Service's assessment must be attached to all procurement documents for bottled water purchased.

Direct Vendor Billings

Payment of a vendor invoice of more than $5,000 billed directly to NAU when a purchase order should have been issued.

Charitable Contributions or Donations

Fines and Penalties (CMP 109)

Payments of fines and penalties are prohibited unless specifically authorized by the appropriate provost/vice president and forwarded directly to the comptroller for proper coding determination. Under no condition can parking, traffic, and library fines be paid with university funds.


All types, unless the items are needed in conjunction with an official university event. Authorized purchases for flowers must be paid from local funds.

Legal Fees

All types except those that have been reviewed and authorized by university the President's Office.

Personal Clothing

Clothing that is not considered a uniform necessary to perform official University business. (Examples of business necessary clothing are NAU Police and other safety uniforms, facility service personnel, athletic uniforms, health professionals, and shirts for identification of NAU event staff.)

Loans and Advances to NAU Employees, Students, and Organizations

All types except loans awarded to students by the Student Financial Aid Office.

Gifts and Gift Certificates and Awards

Gifts of any type - including gift certificates - for occasions such as condolences, congratulations, birthdays, boss's day, secretary's day, tokens of appreciation, etc.

Items that are NOT considered gifts include:

         Items which promote greater participation by students in campus activities that are sponsored by Student Life and paid from non-state, non-sponsored funds.

         Items which promote greater participation by employees, faculty or students in University sponsored events (campus activities, seminars, training etc.), and paid from non-state, non-sponsored funds.

         Items that are used for compensation to participants in research projects.

         Items that are small awards or prizes for campus competitions and are paid from non-state, non-sponsored funds.

The value of a single item may not exceed $25 and only one item may be given to an individual for each occurrence or participation.

Items that are purchased for the above purposes must be closely controlled.  If gift cards, etc are purchased, a log of those items must be maintained with the following information:

         Date purchased

         Gift card number / gift certificate number, etc if applicable

         Value of the card / certificate

         Date given away

         Name of the person to whom the card is given

         Name of the administrator / faculty who releases the card

         Signature of the recipient

Holiday celebrations

Expenditures for holiday receptions, departmental decorations, etc., are permitted only if charged to a gift or other discretionary local Dept/Unit and approved by the appropriate provost/vice provost/vice president.

Nonresident Alien Work Permits

Use of state or local Dept/Units for payments of work permits that nonresident aliens must obtain in order to hold a job in the U.S., unless stated in an offer letter of employment or similar contractual obligation.

Parking Fees/Decals for NAU Employees and Students

All types, except those purchased for NAU vehicles.

Parking, Traffic, and Library Fines (CMP 109)

Use of state or local Dept/Units for payment.

Note: Library fines include charges for lost books (replacement fees).

Petty Cash Funds (CMP 403-01)

1. The purchase cost of a particular item must not exceed $25.00.

2. The purchase cannot be for any of the following purchases:

    A) Compensation to individuals for services.

    B) Capital items.

    C) Food or entertainment.

    D) Travel

Phone Cards

Purchase of prepaid phone cards. Exceptions can be made in certain circumstances - e.g. researcher who is out-of-state who must call in field results every day and alternate method phone costs are prohibitive.

Purchases From NAU Individuals (PUR 102)

Purchases that are not competitively bid and do not have the proper approval.

State Operating Dept/Units - Funded Purchases (CMP 111)

Summer Sessions - Funded Purchases (CMP 201)

Dues for memberships in community service Organizations 

For example, Kiwanis, Rotary

Transfers (CMP 301 and 303)

Transfer of gifts to an off-campus bank account or to an organization financially related to NAU, such as the NAU Foundation.

Vendor Invoice Payments Older than Two Fiscal Years

Payment to external vendors where the invoice is more than two fiscal years old, unless approved by the Comptroller.

Child Care - Reimbursements to employees for child care while traveling on University businessApplies to new employees for costs incurred as part of moving expenses, including pre-moving house hunting trips (see CMP 420-03: Moving Expenses for allowable moving expenses)

Textbooks - In some cases, single copies of textbooks can be purchased for departmental reference and become property of Northern Arizona University. Textbooks for classroom coursework for use towards a degree etc are prohibited.


For more information on purchases, see the Purchasing Services Policies and Procedures Manual PUR 102, Conflict of Interest.

NAU Home Page | Comptroller's Office Home Page | Back to Table of Contents
Email Webmaster

Back to Top