Departmental Hand Checks

Revised:    August 29, 2013


Departmental Hand Checks can be signed and used only by those who are authorized to expend funds from the account or accounts being charged. These checks are available for the convenience of authorized employees and have a limited use. However, the preferred method of expending funds is the use of a Purchasing Card. If the need exists, departments or operating units should go to the Accounting Office to request a check. The Accounting Office may withdraw the use of checks if the procedures and controls are not maintained or if the need changes.


  1. Departmental Hand Checks can be used for up to $500 for (1) incidental expenses, (2) seminar fees and motel reservations before traveling, and (3) gate fees for groups.
  2. Departmental Hand Checks SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR:
    • Any purchase exceeding $500, nor for chaining which is using two or more checks under $500 each to total more than the $500 limit.
    • Any services performed by an individual, partnership, or sole proprietorship which may be reportable to the IRS; i.e., entertainment, royalties, honorariums, stipends, consultations, applied music lessons, contract services, moving expenses, etc. A Check Request should be used for these and similar items. If there are questions, call Payroll in the Accounting Office (Ext. 1992).
    • For payment or reimbursement of travel expenses, except for advanced conference registration fees and hotel/motel deposits which are mailed or paid before the travel begins. However, the JPMorgan Travel Credit Card should be used whenever possible.
    • Payment of items on a Purchase Order or interdepartmental transactions. Use a CPO.
    • Any capital equipment purchases (unit cost of $5,000 or more), computer equipment, or operating equipment (between $500 and $5,000).
    • For reimbursements of expenses paid by an individual.  Instead, a check request should be used.
  3. Departmental Hand Checks should not be used when a Purchasing Credit Card (for purchases) and JPMorgan Travel Card (for travel) can be used.
  4. Single checks for use in departments are available in the Accounting Office. Only authorized individuals, or their designee in writing, can pick up checks. Checks will not be given out by the Accounting Office if there are outstanding checks which have not been accounted for or the number of outstanding checks does not warrant the issuing of more checks.
  5. Checks must be kept in a secured and locked place in the department. Only authorized individuals can sign the checks. A signature stamp must not be used, and an individual must not sign someone else's name. Checks should not be signed in advanced and then sent with someone to make purchases.
  6. The department address (building and room number) should be entered on all checks in the upper left hand corner. This is especially important for goods being delivered to BYU-Idaho so that Stores & Receiving can forward items received to the indicated address.
  7. The supervisor of the individual who signs the check should review and sign the yellow copy of the check to indicate he has approved this expenditure.
  8. The yellow copies of written checks and all copies of voided checks should be in the Accounting Office by Thursday of each week and by noon of the first working day of each month. Appropriate invoices, receipts, or other documents must be attached and/or a full explanation given on the check stub.
  9. Voided checks must be stamped or marked void with the date and reason for the void. All copies of voided checks should be sent weekly to Accounting.