1. Advance Payment for Registration Fees/Travel-County Funds
  2. Credit/Credit Card Standards for Counties
  3. Guidelines for Audits, Financial Statements, and Attestation Engagements
  4. Guidelines for Managing Grants
  5. Guidelines for Receiving and Expending Extension Funds
  6. Financial Guidelines
  7. Handling Program Council Funds
  8. Petty Cash Guidelines
  9. Professional Improvement Funds
  10. Program Enhancement/Support Funds
  11. Reimbursement Guidelines for In-Service Offerings with Academic Credit Option
  12. Money Handling Procedures Powerpoint
  13. Credit Card Training Powerpoint
  14. Extension Business Forms (EBO Forms)

Advance Payment for Registration Fees/Travel–County Funds

Advanced payment for registration fees and travel on county funds applies to registration fees for in-service trainings, workshops, conferences, seminars, etc., and airfare for official travel.

  • Prior approval by the Area Extension Director must be granted in order for advanced payment to be received.
  • Staff should use the “comments” section of the travel authorization system to request pre-payment, and include the purpose for the travel, and the itemized amount of the funds requested.
  • A Copy of the approved travel request must be attached to the monthly expenses for the month in which the travel takes place, as well as the month it was disbursed.
  • Advanced-payment assumes the staff members’ intent to attend the meeting. The employee must seek a refund or credit if illness or personal emergency requires cancellation after fees have been paid. Excessive cancellations may result in the suspension of the privilege.


Credit/Credit Card Standards for Counties

The following standards have been developed for County Extension District Board decision making on County Extension Office credit/credit card expenditures:

  • Debit cards are not allowed! This is the same as writing a check and signing it.
  • Any action taken to establish a credit/credit card account by the Extension District Board should be reflected in the minutes before any credit/credit card accounts are established.
  • The Extension District Board has the option to not have credit/credit card accounts and may impose spending limits and/or approval for expenditure guidelines.
  • If a credit card account is established, the District Board may choose to have one major credit card or individual store credit cards and maintain the card(s) in the office for usage. (It may be necessary to have cards assigned individually because of vendor policies).
  • The credit card(s) should be issued in the name of the Extension District Board. Utilize the tax exemption form for any purchases to ensure that no tax is charged on purchases. Refer to the Office Procedure Manual for instructions on how to obtain a tax exempt number. County District Boards must have their own number and can not use the UK number.
  • The Extension District Board should make a list of allowable and non-allowable charges for county purchasing.
  • The credit card(s) should be kept in a locked location in the office and checked out by the Extension agent for purchases. After the purchase, the card is returned and a receipt is attached to a payment voucher which designates the account to be debited. (See samples for credit card check-out and request for reimbursement or payment.)
  • If purchases are made at the same time for two different accounts, the charges should be made as if making two separate purchases and obtain two separate detailed receipts. This simplifies the accounting for the funds (i.e. equipment account or supplies and services account, etc.).
  • Absolutely no personal purchases! To do so is misappropriation of public funds and a basis for termination of employment.
  • Absolutely no co-mingling of purchases, i.e. a situation where the agent expects to reimburse part of the receipt for personal purchases. Refer to the sentence above in regards to the consequences of misappropriation of public funds.
  • Extension District Board/CEC credit cards may not be used for subsistence.

*Refer to other sections in this manual for information on detailed receipts and expenditures.


Guidelines for Audits, Financial Statements, and Attestation Engagements

We are required by law KRS 65A.030 to perform audits, financial statements and attestation engagements as outlined. (KRS 65A.030)

Following the audit or attestation, a copy of the report must be sent to Department of Local Government (DLG) on their form and/or format and a copy sent to the appropriate Area Extension Director.

Results of the audit and attestation must be reviewed with the District Board and documentation in the minutes of the Board meeting. Any recommendations from the audit should be addressed by the District Board and minutes should be sent to the appropriate Area Extension Director.

The audit should also be presented to the County Extension Council.

  • Review the results of the audit and put into practice (and document in the district board minutes) accounting practices identified by the auditor.
  • Provide the Area Extension Director with a copy of the audit.
  • Review the audit with the County Extension Council.
  • It is recommended that a different firm handle the District Board audit, if already handling the bookkeeping.

It is a good business practice to have District Board and County Extension Council funds audited when there is a change in treasurers.


Guidelines for Managing Grants 

  • Grant proposals should be for a program that is consistent with the purposes and goals of the Cooperative Extension Service.
    • Grants should be used to extend and expand existing or new Extension programs.
    • Grants should be written with a purpose and not for the reason of just getting more money.
  • If the amount of the grant is $5,000 or more, approval of the Area Extension Director is required to determine appropriate amount of agent-time commitment.
  • Grants which result in the hiring of a UK employee must be approved by the Dean and Director of Cooperative Extension Service PRIOR to submission and will be handled through the College’s normal grant process, which includes development of a contract between UK’s Office of Sponsored Project Administration (OSPA) and the granting agency. 
    • Agents are not authorized to sign as the fiscal agent for the University for grants submitted through the UK Office of Sponsored Project Administration.
  • If the grant requires an agency match, the Area Extension Director and appropriate Assistant Director must be involved.
    • Agents do not have the authority to commit the value of their own time or other agency resources as match. Furthermore, a person’s time may be committed for match on another grant.
  • Inform and secure the support of the other staff in the office.
    • Be specific about the commitments that need to be made by the local office and at the University level.  Including the following:
      • New personnel to be hired to implement the program.
      • Amount of office space, operating costs, and materials, etc. needed.
  • Secure approval and support of the County Extension Council, Program Council and District Board.
  • Develop a budget based on realistic costs.
    • Include personnel costs, office operating expenses, program materials, etc.
    • Many times the budget does not include the total costs of operating a program. Only identified extra out-of-pocket expenses are considered. As a result, Extension pays most of the cost of conducting the program, but the grantor receives most of the credit.
  • A separate fund or account should be established in order to track the grant funds.
    • Grant funds may be handled by the District Board, County Extension Council or Program Council.
  • Implementation of the grant must stay within the approved budget.
  • The District Board Treasurer or Program Council Treasurer pays all bills.
    • An accounting of the grant funds is prepared on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, annually) according to the agreement with the grantor.
  • Funds to pay personnel costs are to be transferred to UK.
  • Any equipment that is allowed to be purchased under the grant will be inventoried and maintained by the county Extension office according to the agreement with the grantor.
  • An agreement on how to give credit to Extension and the grantor needs to be made in advance. 
  • At the end of the grant period, a final report of program accomplishments and a financial accounting is prepared and submitted to the grantor.  


Guidelines for Receiving and Expending Extension Funds

County Extension District Boards who are fiscally responsible for receiving and disbursing funds should adopt operating policies adhering to sound accounting principles.

Options for general bookkeeping and/or accounting of funds could include:

  • Outsourcing of accounting and check writing to bonded professionals. (i.e. Accountants, bonded bank personnel, county treasurer)
  • The office secretary may do the bookkeeping for the District Board. The secretary would work under the supervision of the County Fiscal Coordinator. If the secretary does the bookkeeping, the treasurer should reconcile the books.  (See Reconciliation of Books Below.)


Financial Guidelines

Receiving funds

  • It is preferable that all funds are to be deposited by the appropriate treasurer. Direct deposit provisions may be made by sheriff, fiscal court or other approved agency.
  • Detailed receipts for all monies (checks and cash) received should be provided.
  • All accounts, funds within accounts and/or budgeted items should be clearly identified for bookkeeping purposes.
  • Accounts may have more than one fund and each of those funds must be clearly identified. Funds within accounts may require separate budgets.
  • Deposit cash daily when receipt totals exceed $500.00. More than one deposit per day is not required.
  • Deposit all cash on the last day of the week regardless of the amount.
  • Deposit all cash on the last day of the month regardless of the amount.
  • Keep all cash in amounts less than $5,000 in a locked safe overnight.
  • Do not permit cash to be left in an office overnight, weekend, or month-end without being secured.
  • Do not allow blank signed checks to be on hand in the Extension Office.


  • Bills should not be paid by Treasurer without a Request for Reimbursement Voucher and a detailed receipt. Employees must use Request for Reimbursement/Payment form or TRIP with detailed receipts attached. Following all related policies and procedures.
  • All requests for reimbursement must be submitted to the appropriate Treasurer or through TRIP with 30 days after expense in incurred.
  • Agents, assistants, office secretaries or other Extension employees should not sign checks or be authorized to sign checks. This is very serious and could result in termination of employment.
  • Provide detailed receipts for all monies received within a county.
  • Endorse checks immediately with the appropriate name of fund and mark for "Deposit Only".
  • Remember that cash includes not only U.S. coins and currency but also cash equivalents such as checks, money orders, traveler's checks, credit card detailed receipts, ACH and wire electronic transactions, foreign funds, and stamps.
  • Allow only bonded employees or the appropriate treasurer to transport and deposit funds. Direct Deposits may be made by the sheriff, fiscal court, or other approved agency.
  • Provide extra security when handling and or transporting extra large sums of cash (have two individuals transport to bank or obtain security guards.)
  • Do not permit unauthorized person in areas where cash is handled.
  • Never count cash in the view of the public.
  • Do not leave cash drawers and cash boxes containing cash unattended.
  • Do not leave cash unattended on desk tops or counters.

Accountability Procedures

  • Establish means to report checks written and account fund balances periodically throughout year to agents, District Board and/or County Extension Council.
  • Reconciliation of books – options are:
    • Outsourcing of bookkeeping responsibilities to an accounting professional who is bonded according to KRS.
    • Bookkeeping may be done by the County Extension Secretary and the checks signed by the district treasurer (bonded according to KRS).
    • Cancelled checks should be mailed directly from the bank to a 3rd party (non-Extension employee) and that party reconciles the checkbook.
    • It is often recommended that each check have 2 signatures. However, some accountants would question this procedure on the basis that if 2 people sign the check it is easy for each to assume that the other has adequately determined the validity of the expenditure. If only one person signs the check he or she bears all the responsibility and, therefore, will usually exercise more caution.
  • An auditable bookkeeping system should be adopted. Many good computerized software options are on the market which may be adopted.
  • Detailed receipts and/or documentation in the form of Memorandums of Agreement, Vouchers, and District Board minutes must be on file to justify all detailed receipts and expenditures.
  • Accurate and detailed minutes of District Board meetings are essential for complete audits. For example: if, in the budget, money is set aside in an emergency fund and it becomes necessary to use a part of this money, the board minutes should indicate a vote and for what purpose this change in expenditure was authorized.
  • Audits should be performed following KRS 65.065 and/or 65a statues. Copies of audits must be sent to the Area Extension Director. If deficiencies were noted in the audit, they must be addressed and so noted in District Board minutes.
  • All volunteer-led groups who have chosen to derive tax exempt status through the District Board will report budgets, financial statements and audits to the District Board yearly. (See Financial Guidelines for All CES Volunteer Groups)


Handling Program Council Funds

Agents, secretaries and assistants should only be handling funds on a limited basis; it is necessary for the Extension Office to receive funds from a variety of sources. These funds may be from soil tests, sales of 4-H fundraisers, Extension Homemaker fund raisers or cookbooks, Petty Cash, etc. There must be a "paper trail" for all funds received and spent. The purpose of this paper trail is to insure accountability, honesty, and perceived honesty.

Two basic steps that should be taken by all Extension staff are: 1). having detailed receipts for money changing hands and 2). witnesses to all transactions.

  1. Receiving funds at the office: i.e. soil tests, 4-H camp, registration fees, etc.
    1. Receipt and carbon all funds received. One copy is for the office and one copy for the person delivering the funds.
    2. Keep a dated log or transmittal sheet for each category of funds, i.e.: 4-H camp, registration. Detailed receipts and log should match.
    3. When funds are picked up the program council treasurer for deposit there are two essential steps:
      1. The Extension staff and the treasurer jointly count the money.
      2. Detailed receipts are signed by both parties and must equal the log or transmittal sheet.
  2. Funds received outside the Extension Office: i.e. concession stands, plant sales, meals at field days, cook book sales, etc.
    1. When possible these funds need to be counted and deposited by the appropriate program council treasurer. There are occasions when the treasurer is not present at the end of the day and other arrangements must be made.
    2. Counting the money at the end of the day should be done by two people and both sign a receipt and a copy of that receipt put with the money.
    3. There are occasions when the money must be kept at the Extension Office before the program council treasurer picks it up. Before money leaves the office the Extension employees and the treasurer should jointly count the money and both sign a receipt. This transaction should be entered in the log and dated.
  3. In summary:
    1. All checks should be made payable to the appropriate fund. It should never be made 
      payable to Extension staff.
    2. Extension staff should never be authorized to sign checks for any Extension program council or tax funds.
    3. Periodically cash and checks are kept in the Extension Office overnight. Be sure to have the funds in a locked area such as a safe or locked file cabinet.
    4. No signed blank checks should be kept in an Extension Office.


Petty Cash Guidelines

Following are guidelines for counties that have a Petty Cash Fund.

  • The amount is established by either the County Extension Council or the Extension District Board. The amount is usually no more than $100.
  • One person in the office should be assigned the responsibility for Petty Cash.
  • Detailed receipts and cash must always equal the amount established for the fund.
  • Do not mix personal and business expenses from Petty Cash. Extension staff should not put IOU's in Petty Cash.
  • Checks written to replenish the Petty Cash fund must equal the amount of the detailed receipts of expenditures.
  • Record detailed receipts in a log maintained by the office secretary.


Professional Improvement Funds

Professional improvement funds are intended to be used for expenses for professional association meetings on local, state, and national levels. The funds may also be used for travel and expenses incurred for workshops, meetings and other non credit training opportunities which enhance the employee’s job skills.

  • All items must be paid by the employee and reimbursed by the dispersing party (county or state). An exception would be airline tickets and meeting registrations, which can be paid in advance by County Extension District Boards or County Extension Councils with the approval of the Area Extension Director. Another exception would be counties in which the Extension District Board or County Extension Council has a credit card for agent use. In this case, lodging, gas for county owned vehicles (not personal), and parking expenses may be paid with EDB/CEC credit card. Detailed receipts showing exact amounts spent will be turned in to the EDB/CEC and debited out of the appropriate line in the budget. EDB/CEC credit cards may not be used for subsistence.
  • Professional improvement funds:  There is a $3000 limit for professional improvement funds. These funds are intended to be used for travel, subsistence, and registration fees for involvement in approved professional meetings and activities. Professional Improvement Funds cannot be used to pay for credit course tuition. Agents' Association dues, Epsilon Sigma Phi dues, and Gamma Sigma Delta dues may be paid from professional improvement funds. Rotary, Kiwanis, or other professional, civic or association dues are not to be paid using professional improvement funds. Counties may allocate up to $1000 additional Professional Improvement Funds to be used for participation in state and/or national Epsilon Sigma Phi professional meeting.  Professional Improvement Funds can only be budgeted when all other obligations are met (travel, support staff salary, agent salary, base program support, etc.)
  • Staff Support Funds:  As more opportunities become available for support staff to develop professionally (Chi Epsilon Sigma, District Secretary Training, Staff Appreciation Day, computer, and reporting training, etc.) all counties need to include funds for staff training and development.  We suggest $1500 per year as a guide with all support staff budgeted at the same figure.
  • Funding of one trip on professional improvement funds can be prorated over two fiscal years as long as the amount does not exceed $2,000 per year. Prepayment of registration and airfare may be made one fiscal year, with other expenses occurring in another fiscal year.
  • Unused professional improvement funds can not be carried over from one year to the next. Any transfer of funds from another account in the county budget during the same fiscal year must have Area Extension Director and Extension District Board approval.
  • Employees can not be reimbursed without an actual detailed receipt. Employees are responsible for keeping track of the balance of their funds and not over spending. In the case of overpayment, the employee will reimburse the District Board or County Extension Council.
  • Claims for using professional improvement funds for travel and expenses must be approved by the Area Extension Director and follow University Travel Regulations.
  • Dues to professional organizations cannot be paid using Professional Development funds.  These are the responsibility of the agent and are viewed as personal benefits.  Chamber of Commerce dues for an office/business membership may be paid from District Board funds.
  • Professional improvement funds can not be used for fees, books, travel, or other expenses incurred while seeking a degree without permission from the Area Extension Director.


Program Enhancement/Support Funds

  • Program support funds should be equally appropriated for each agent.
  • Program support funds may be appropriated for program assistants.
  • Agents should develop a budget for use of program support funds and present it to the County Extension Council during the formation of the county budget and to the Area Extension Director.
  • Itemized expenditure of funds must be submitted to the Extension District Board or County Extension Council, whichever is the funding body, with detailed receipts for all expenses kept on file.
  • Program support funds may be used for program expansion such as supplies for demonstrations and equipment used to expand a program. Examples might include purchase of “packaged” programs for use in the county, visuals, digital cameras, videos, reference books, curricula,etc.
  • Program support funds should not be used to replace funds needed by program councils (i.e. 4-H, Extension Homemakers, Agriculture Advancement Council). Program Councils should have an annual budget and internal audit of funds.
  • Program support funds should not be used for expenses which benefit an individual such as a camp scholarship, but can be used for leader training materials and leader workshop expenses. If an individual leader receives funds for training, it would be expected that the leader repay with volunteer time spent in the county program, or refund any expenses received.
  • Program support funds should not be used for salaries, payments, bonuses, or gifts to individuals, whether an employee, volunteer, or client.


Reimbursement Guidelines for In-Service Offerings with Academic Credit Option

Reimbursement on regular county travel funds will be allowed for academic credit classes which are also offered as in-service training opportunities. Costs associated with an academic credit class will be treated in the same manner as reimbursement for expenses for the in-service training.