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Payment Processing Procedures

Purpose

To outline the policy for requesting a check via Accounts Payable.

Policy

An Accounts Payable Voucher is used to request a check.  Checks are cut once a week on Thursdays with a Friday check date.  All requests for payment must be accompanied with a Voucher to provide the information necessary for processing, accounting and authorizing a transaction. The following resources may also be used as accounts payable references:

A.  Authorized Signatures

  • Accounts payable vouchers greater than $500 must have two signatures which certify to the following:
  • Validity of the expense-the product was received or work performed as expected
  • Accounting-the account number is appropriate with available budget
  • Compliance-the expenditure is compliant with applicable policies and regulations (e.g., payments to non US citizens, restricted accounts and grant awards)
  • One signature is acceptable only if the total invoice amount is less than $500 and department policy is not more restrictive. Invoices greater than or equal to $500 must be signed by two people.  Generally, the two signatures would be that of the purchaser and the supervisor, department head or fiscal manager.

Note: Payments to individuals require two signatures in an upward fashion regardless of dollar amount.  See separate policy at Payments to individuals.

Vouchers may never be approved by students.  The signature of the authorized signer(s) may not be a stamp or delegated. 

If the account number to be charged is a grant account, the signed voucher must be submitted to the Grants office.  The Grants office will submit the voucher to Accounts Payable upon approval.  If the payment is related to a contract, the contract must be signed by the Vice President for Finance and Administration, Associate Vice President for Finance, or Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and attached to the voucher.

B.  Supporting Documentation

The University must keep adequate records of its expenses to ensure proper financial reporting and compliance with audit and tax requirements.  Each year a financial audit is conducted by an auditing firm who

reviews supporting documentation to ensure validity, as well as that the expense is recorded in the year in which the item was received or service performed.

Proper supporting documentation includes, but is not limited to:

  • Original invoice received from the merchant which includes the following information:
  • Name and address of vendor
  • Remittance address
  • Invoice date
  • Detailed description of purchase or service performed
  •  Invoices submitted by email, fax and .pdf are acceptable if that is the standard mode of delivery for the vendor and no other original exists.  It is helpful if the vendor can include a statement on the invoice to indicate this mode of delivery (e.g., “original submitted via fax”).

The following examples are not acceptable supporting documentation:

  • Faxes or photocopies of an original invoice (except as noted above)
  • Packing slips
  • Absence of beneficiary name, logo, address information etc.
  • Account statements
  • Credit card statements

In the absence of an original invoice, it is important to notify the vendor of the potential for duplicate payment.  To mitigate this risk, please use one of the following procedures:

  • Contact the vendor and request a reprint of the original invoice
  • If the vendor cannot reprint the original, a photocopy is acceptable if it is signed by the vendor with their indication that this is a duplicate copy.  Accounts Payable reserves the right to contact the vendor directly to ensure the accuracy of the transaction.