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  1. University Policies: Accounts Payable Policies
  2. Banner Training - Receiving
  3. Contracting and Procurement webpage - Procurement at a Glance
  4. Accounting Services website
  5. IRS: U.S. Tax Withholding on Payments to Foreign Persons
  6. IRS: Withholding Certificate Forms Under IRC Sections 1441-1464


  1. General Requirements:
    1. The University requires proper approval and consistent application of procedures for payment transactions to control the disbursement of funds. This policy promotes fiscal control, timely and accurate disbursement of funds for external purchases, payments, reimbursements, and compliance with state and federal regulation. Payments are not made in cash.
    2. The Accounts Payable Department is the only department of the University authorized to disburse funds for payments. Separate bank accounts have been established for disbursing funds for the operation of these areas and for the disbursement of general operating funds. A separate payroll account is maintained for the University payroll process.
    3. The Accounts Payable Department is responsible for overseeing the payment process for the University, including oversight of appropriate payment methods, the approval process for travel encumbrances, direct payments and disbursement controls. Certain specific responsibilities for payment of expenses, as described in this policy, are delegated to all who have responsibility for any aspect of the University’s payment functions.
      1. The University disburses funds for payment of goods and services only when the following conditions have been met:
        1. Expenses must be for a valid business purpose.
        2. Goods or services must have been procured in accordance with University procurement policies.
        3. Transactions must have been properly approved by an individual with decision-making authority and accountability for the funds being disbursed.
        4. Goods and/or services must have been received, performed or prepayment properly authorized.
        5. Transactions must include complete and accurate supporting documentation.
        6. Transactions must bear proper account codes, in accordance with established accounting policies.
        7. Transactions / reimbursements must follow the allowable business expenses criteria and be substantiated before processing.
      2. Payments for goods and services are made payable only to the provider of those goods or services (or to a contractually named agent), and not to secondary parties such as, other non-profit organizations, mutual funds, religious organizations, etc.
    4. Allowable Business Expenses
      1. Allowable business expenses are necessary, reasonable, appropriate, and allowable non-compensation expenses incurred for a valid business purpose to fulfill the mission of the University. Allowable business expenses may be reimbursed if an individual paid the expense from personal funds. However, the University prefers that business expenses are paid directly by using other appropriate University buying and paying methods of procurement.
      2. Criteria for Determining an Allowable Expense
        1. In order to be paid directly by the University or in order for an individual to be reimbursed, a business expense must be:
          1. Necessary to perform a valid business purpose fulfilling the mission of the University.
          2. Reasonable in that the expense is not extreme or excessive, and reflects a prudent decision to incur the expense.
          3. Appropriate in that the expense is suitable and fitting in the context of the valid business purpose.
          4. Allowable according to the terms of any State and Federal regulation or University policy.
    5. Substantiation and Original Receipts
      While such allowable expenses may be eligible for payment by University funds, other funding sources may have more restrictions. In order for a business expense to be approved and reimbursed, it must be properly substantiated. Original receipts for all expenditures are required. This policy also lists substantiation and original receipt elements required to pay allowable business expenses. In general, this policy ensures appropriate use of University funds in support of the mission, follows GAAP and complies with Federal and State regulations.
  2. Five Payment methods:
    1. Goods and/or services performed are paid in the following ways, within guidelines established by this policy:
      1. Payments via an authorized purchase order
      2. Non-PO Payment Request
      3. Payments via an encumbrance number -Travel related
      4. Payments to Individuals, Independent Contractor, Domestic and Foreign
      5. Petty Cash Fund
    2. Payment via an Authorized Purchase Order
      The University requests that vendors send invoices referencing a valid purchase order directly to Accounts Payable via the dedicated inbox When the department receives an invoice directly from the vendor, it is the responsibility of the department to submit that invoice to Accounts Payable as quickly as possible, and to expedite any other steps necessary to process the invoice for payment. Invoices are processed in accordance with the procedures accompanying this policy, and all relevant financial, legal, and contractual requirements are observed. For payment purposes, vendor statement and fax or copies of invoices are not considered appropriate supporting documentation for purchases, and the University will not pay from such statements or copies.
      1. Receiving Acknowledgment
        1. It is expected that the end-user of goods and services will always perform a receiving function, confirming that the goods and/or services ordered were received in accordance with the order.
      2. Three-way match
        1. Banner Purchasing Module provides for a three-way match of the purchase order, receiving, and vendor invoice. When this match is complete, the payment is scheduled for payment processing through the check matching process.
      3. Electronic Invoices
        1. Electronic invoices are the preferred method and should be encouraged whenever feasible. The electronic invoices are processed into Banner and indexed into the scanning software for easier visibility and storage efficiencies.
      4. Invoices
        1. It is the responsibility of the department to provide an original invoice and ensure duplicate copies are not submitted to Accounts Payable. Packing slips and statements should not be submitted for payment. Please avoid writing on the remittance portion of the invoice.
    3. Non-PO Payment Request
      Non-PO Payment Request may be submitted for direct payment to employees, students, non-trade vendors and other miscellaneous administrative disbursements as authorized by this policy. These reimbursements are usually paid to an individual who incurs expenses on behalf of their departmental business operations due to an emergency. These expenses must be a minimum purchase in order to achieve a valid business objective. The purpose of the reimbursement must coincide with the criteria established for allowable business expenses. In addition, justification must be submitted to certify the expenses incurred were to accomplish official University business and there are no other expenses claimed as reimbursable which relate to personal or unallowable expenses. An allowable expense is appropriate when incurred for the primary benefit of the University, not the individual being reimbursed. Therefore, all items purchased and reimbursed become the University’s property.
      1. A Non-PO Payment Request may not be used in lieu of the requisition process or to pay vendors for goods and/or services received and/or rendered or pay any type of wages for services rendered. Purchases that bypass the Office of Contracting & Procurement may expose the University and the requesting unit to unnecessary legal repercussions. Additionally, only the Office of Contracting & Procurement has the authority to obligate the University for the purchase of goods and services.Any purchases made outside this policy will not be reimbursed and become the sole liability of the individual making the purchase.
      2. Non-PO Payment Request
        1. Reimbursements are processed within five (5) business days of date received in Accounts Payable and will be direct deposited into the same bank account employees set up with Payroll, unless otherwise specified.
      3. Non-PO Payment Request may be used to pay:
        1. Refunds on student accounts to students, parents, lending institutions, etc.
        2. Memberships, registrations, subscriptions, medical and professional license renewals.
        3. Creation/Re-establishment of a Petty Cash Fund.
        4. General accounting payments for bonds, debt services, grants, etc.
        5. Payment of payroll taxes and other payroll withholdings.
        6. Student Government Payments.
        7. Rowan University Foundation Payments.
        8. S.J. Technology Park at Rowan University Payments.
        9. Miscellaneous Administrative payments as approved by the Senior Vice President of Finance or appropriate designee.
        10. Tuition Reimbursements
      4. Expense Authorization
        A full, legible signature of the individual authorizing payment is required. Initials will not be accepted. Only those individuals having budget responsibility may approve expenditures. When a business purpose is not evident for any item purchased, a brief description should be added.  Expenses must be coded with the correct fund, organization and account number.
      5. Non-PO Payment Requests that are for any other category will be returned to the preparer for submission through the requisition process. For a complete list of categories please see the Non-PO Category list. Exceptions to this policy may be approved by the President, Senior Vice President of Finance, or designee.
    4. Payment via a Travel Encumbrance Number

      Encumbrance is a tool used to reflect commitments in the Banner system and attempts to prevent overspending. At Rowan University, an encumbrance number is issued to employees and students traveling overnight on official University business upon approval of the travel request.

      1. Rowan employees are expected to use the Concur Travel and Expense software. Students and non-employees are expected to use the paper-based travel request form. For more information on travel procedures and requirements please see the Rowan University Travel Policy.
      2. Concur is Rowan University’s preferred method of processing all requests, bookings and expenses. Concur is a comprehensive web-based service that provides employees, faculty and staff with all the tools needed to create a travel request, book travel and submit expense reports. Concur will provide an integrated and centralized approach that will replace the use of paper forms and create a seamless experience in a single system to streamline the travel process.
      3. For Requests, Travel Bookings, Day Travel Expenses, Expense Reports, Submissions, Approvals and Deadlines, please see the Rowan University Travel Policy.
    5. Payments to Individuals – Foreign and Domestic
      1. Tax Implications
        It is extremely important that any payment for work done by a student or employee of the University be processed through Payroll rather than Accounts Payable. Payments in excess of $600 made to individuals through Accounts Payable are reported annually to the IRS on Form 1099NEC. If you are unsure as to the proper handling of payments to be made to an individual, please review the Independent Contractor Policy.
      2. Independent Contractor Payment Request Form
        The Independent Contractor Request for Payment form is as a way of documenting a service rendered where there is no formal contract previously in place and invoices are not available as a normal course of business. This form may not be used by TEMPORARY PART-TIME employees or ANY OTHER Rowan University employee. All payments to employees for services must be processed on a Special Assignment Contract in accordance with Human Resource regulations.
      3. Payments for services rendered by employees are not to be made in any manner other than through the Human Resources office, to facilitate the appropriate tax withholdings. This includes payments to employees for services performed beyond their normal job duties or outside of the department in which they are regularly employed.
        1. This also includes student employees regardless of whether or not they are performing services beyond their normal job duties or outside of the department in which they are regularly employed. This is necessary to ensure compliance with Internal Revenue Service rules and regulations, and to ensure that appropriate internal controls are followed with regard to payments for services. For more information please visit the Independent Contractor Policy.
      4. Foreign Nationals and International Parties as Independent Contractors
        To ensure compliance with IRS regulations, prior to engaging a foreign national for services, the University must analyze the foreign party’s eligibility to work in the U.S. as well as their residency status for tax purposes. We encourage you to review the IRS website to help plan the engagements. Payment to Independent Contractors/Vendors must be made through the Accounts Payable Office. Payments to Foreign Independent Contractors/Vendors require special handling for tax purposes.
        1. As a rule, 30% must be withheld from their payment unless the country has a tax treaty with the United States. A Foreign National Information Form must be completed before the services are performed. If a person is claiming a tax treaty exemption, an 8233 Internal Revenue Service form must be completed and submitted prior to payment being released. For further information on payment options contact the Director of Accounts Payable or review the Independent Contractor Policy.
    6. Petty Cash Fund
      A Petty Cash Fund is a method of payment made in convenience when immediate payment is required to secure goods or services. Petty Cash should be used to pay bills only when immediate payment is required to secure the product or service. All other normal payments should be submitted through normal University Contract and Procurement procedures.
      1. When a Petty Cash Fund is established, the amount of the fund is transferred from the regular University cash account. When disbursements from the fund are made, the appropriate receipts must be retained in order to reimburse the fund. Petty Cash Funds are a combination of cash-on-hand, plus supporting receipts that should always equal your approved Petty Cash amount.
      2. Petty Cash Reconcilement
        It is the responsibility of the Department Head to oversee their Petty Cash Fund and to ensure that the Petty Cash Fund reconciles to the approved amount at all times. Periodically, Accounting Services will perform an audit of the Petty Cash accounts and issue a letter to the appropriate responsible party confirming their audit findings.
      3. Petty Cash Closing
        Unnecessary Petty Cash funds should be closed as soon as possible. All remaining cash should be returned to the Bursar’s office with a deposit transmittal receipt, crediting the Petty Cash account to the Bursar's office. All remaining receipts should be entered on a Non-PO Payment Request. This Non-PO Payment Request should be marked "Final" and "Petty Cash Reimbursement" and submitted to the Accounting Services department for preparation of a journal entry to clear the remaining petty cash balance.
  3. Payment Terms:
    1. The University payment terms are net 30 days unless otherwise stated on the contract. Departments are not authorized to negotiate different terms or to make special arrangements concerning payment terms. Interest will not be included under the bill for late payments on construction contracts, for goods or services or for defective items. The required payment date will be 30 calendar days from the receipt of a properly executed invoice by the Accounts Payable department or 30 calendar days from the receipt of goods and services, whichever is later. Variances from this policy can only be approved by the Senior Vice President of Finance and CFO.
    2. Accounts Payable will make every effort to process invoices in a timely manner to take advantage of discount terms. Keep in mind that not all discounts offered by suppliers are beneficial to the University. A discount period shall commence on the day the University receives a properly executed Contractor’s Invoice for products and services that have been duly accepted by the University in accordance with the terms, conditions and specifications of the Contract/Purchase Order. To ensure that all discounts and invoices are processed by due dates, it is critical that invoices be forwarded to Accounts Payable as quickly as possible.
      1. Cash Discount
        A Cash Discount, or otherwise known as purchase discount or sales discount, is a discount allowed by the vendor at the time of making the payment for the goods and services. The vendor authorizes a reduction on the invoice price of the goods and services to encourage prompt payment. The cash discount is accomplished by a two-part transaction that requires the first item to be a percentage discount and the second item the number of days in which payment can be made to receive the discount. Thus, terms of "1/10" mean that a discount of 1% can be taken if payment is made within 10 days. Prompt payment discounts revert to the University General Fund.
      2. Trade discount
        Also known as product discount or volume (bulk) discount, is an incentive given to the University by the vendor at the time of purchasing the goods and/or services. This discount is accomplished as a deduction in the list price of the quantity sold. The vendor grants this discount with the aim of increasing the sales of buying in bulk and by providing a reduced price for each good or group of goods. This type of discount is recorded back to the department’s FOAPAL.
    3. Processing Time
      Properly authorized and coded paperwork will be processed within five (5) business days of receipt or by the due date. Accounts Payable will process only those transactions bearing appropriate approval established within the guidelines of this policy.
    4. Expense Authorization
      A full, legible signature of the individual authorizing payment is required.  Initials will not be accepted.  Only those individuals having budget responsibility may approve expenditures and ensure expenses are coded with the correct fund, org and account number.
    5. W-9 Form Required
      A completed W-9 Form must be on file in the Office of Contracting and Procurement in order for each vendor to be paid.
    6. Frequency of Check Runs
      Checks are issued three (3) times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  If checks must be printed outside of the normal processing schedule, the department requiring the additional check must have approval from the Accounts Payable Director or Senior Vice President of Finance. All checks will be mailed unless prior approval is authorized.
    7. Tax Exemption
      The University is only tax exempt for purchases made in New Jersey and Florida. Buyers are required to inform suppliers of our tax status to ensure that we are not charged for sales tax.  The exemption is not applicable to taxable services such as out of State travel. Please reference the Office of Contracting and Procurement website for the University's Tax Exemption Form.
    8. Void Checks
      Voided checks are not to be destroyed.  If a check is no longer needed, send the check(s) to the Accounts Payable Office for tracking purposes with a Void Check Request Form.  If a check needs to be reissued, please contact the Accounts Payable Supervisor to submit your request. Check discrepancies are also addressed by the Supervisor of Accounts Payable via email. Please complete the Void Check Request form and forward to AP with explanation. Allow five (5) business days for processing. 
  4. Submission Deadlines:
    1. Employee Reimbursement
      To be reimbursable, business expenses must be properly substantiated and submitted within certain time frames. In order for expenses to be recorded on a timely basis, the University requires that reimbursable business expenses be substantiated within 45 days after the expense is incurred. This includes mileage reimbursement, day travel, entertainment, Non-PO Payment Request and all transactions classified as reimbursement. 
  5. Forms of Payment:
    The University prides itself in helping the environment “go green” by providing several electronic forms of payments. Suppliers will have the option to select one of the following accelerated payment methods:
    1. Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT)
      Electronic funds transfers include payments made via wire transfer which may be initiated by the submission of a Wire Transfer Request Form. Payment by wire transfer is appropriate under specific conditions, such as payment of a foreign vendor, tax remittances, and when no other source of payment is accepted. Wire transfers may only be initiated with an appropriately authorized invoice as supporting documentation. Please use a currency converter report when submitting paperwork for foreign payments. It is recommended to use for currency conversion. All wire transfer requests are handled by the Director of Accounts Payable and Accounting Services. Refer to attachments for detailed procedures.
    2. Automatic Clearing House (ACH)
      Accounts Payable is responsible for approving, releasing and funding ACH payments on behalf of the University and for the movement of funds from University bank accounts. ACH transfers represent the electronic exchange of funds between accounts held at U.S. financial institutions. The process allows recurring payments to be paid electronically through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. Regarding the management of activities and procedures of the Automated Clearing House (ACH), this document is subject to revision in conjunction with the current NACHA Operating rules and Guidelines, also referred to as ACH Rules. This policy applies to all Rowan University employees and any organization or individual with a contractual relationship with the University. This is the preferred method of payment for vendors, employees and others authorized to do business with Rowan University. Automatic deposit of Rowan University vendor payments are processed by the Accounts Payable department.
    3. Paper Checks
      All checks are issued by the Accounts Payable Department. Disbursements of the University may be “facsimile”—signed by an authorized officer of the University utilizing a laser printer. Accounts Payable monitors paper issued checks and constantly sends out reminders to vendors encouraging direct deposit. A review and second signature is required for checks greater than $15,000. See check cycle responsibility and disbursement in the attachments for a list of authorized signers. Check discrepancies are addressed by the Supervisor of Accounts Payable via email.