Paying in Cash

Can you pay in cash? 

Harvard faculty, staff and students should not pay local labor in cash, or pay cash for local procurement of supplies or equipment unless it is unavoidable and has been approved in advance by school level Finance and the Office of the Controller. Managing large sums of cash when abroad may present a personal security risk, and may violate sponsor, U.S. or local laws and regulations. (See FCPA details below). It is illegal, for example, to carry more than $10,000 in cash or cash equivalents (e.g., traveler’s checks) across U.S. borders without declaring the funds in a customs declaration.  Other countries’ limits may be lower. 

In general, for purchases and payments that must be made by Harvard rather than by subcontractors, a long-term operating account may be established with a local bank, and each school’s financial administration is familiar with this process and can help in establishing an account and a mechanism for a reliable flow of funds into the account.