Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to process payment requests for reimbursements, travel expenses or vendor invoices?

Allow five business days from the time the reimbursement requisition, travel expense report or invoice arrives at the Controller’s Office for processing. However, if there are errors or the documentation is not well organized, the payment may be delayed. Allow extra time for processing foreign travel as these are more complicated than other reimbursements.

How often are checks printed and direct deposits processed?

Checks are printed three times a week and direct deposits are run twice per week. The schedule is as follows:

Day

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Type

Checks

Direct Deposits

Checks

Direct Deposits

Checks

 

When do reimbursement expenses and travel expenses need to be turned in?

Reimbursement expenses and travel expenses must be submitted to the Controller’s Office within 60 days of when the expense was incurred or within 60 days after the travel ended. If turned in after 60 days, Accounts Payable reserves the right not to reimburse the expenses. The exception to the 60 day rule is when an expense occurs between May 15th and June 30th. In this situation, expenses must be submitted before July 15th. To further illustrate this timeline, see the following expenses:

Example 1 - A business dinner is held on August 1st. The receipt must be turned into AP for reimbursement on or before September 30th.

Example 2 - A business trip is taken from July 20th until August 1st. All expenses incurred on the trip must be turned into AP on or before September 30th.

Example 3 - A business dinner is held on June 29th. The receipt must be turned into AP for reimbursement on or before July 15th.

This policy allows the University to recognize the expense in the appropriate fiscal year in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.  Additionally, timely reporting of expenses for reimbursements provides efficiencies for the Accounts Payable department as well as the University budget managers.

How is a travel advance different from the travel expense?

A travel advance is used to provide an employee with funds to pay for estimated future travel expenses that the traveler has not paid. A travel advance must also be reconciled to the actual expense incurred on the trip within 10 business days of returning. On the other hand, travel expenses are expenses the individual has already paid for and now needs to be reimbursed.

Do all payment requests require approvals and who must approve the requests?

All payment requests require an approval.  The approver certifies that the request had a valid business purpose. The approver will also be responsible for discrepancies if picked for audit by external agencies. The approver must appear on the Expenditure Authorization list for the budget being charged. Both the printed name and signature must appear on the requisition form.

If my business trip takes place between two fiscal years (i.e. traveling over 6/30), which fiscal year will be charged for this trip?

For travel that takes place over two fiscal years, Accounts Payable will charge the entire amount where the majority of the travel takes place. If the trip is a perfect 50/50 split between fiscal years, the total cost will be split evenly in each fiscal year.

How is international travel handled?

Employees should follow the same guidance as for domestic travel. When converting between a foreign currency and US dollars, there are a couple ways that are acceptable. For short travel, it is best to convert expenses to US dollars on a daily basis. For longer travel, it is acceptable to take the exchange rate at the start of travel and at the end of travel and take the average of the two rates.

Will I be reimbursed for tipping at a restaurant?

A gratuity is reimbursable; however, the maximum allowable tip is 20%. Anything more will be subtracted from the submitted reimbursement. Gratuity and service fees added by a restaurant are counted toward the tip.

When I am on a business trip, will I be reimbursed for incidental expenses?

Incidental expenses are miscellaneous expenses incurred while traveling for University business. Examples of incidental expenses include laundry, metered parking, local bus fare and reasonable tips for housekeeping. The University will reimburse the employee for the actual reasonable incidental expenses if receipts are provided or will reimburse the individual $3.00 per day without receipts. 

How can I make purchases from the University’s OfficeMax account?

The University has an account with OfficeMax and each department can order anything they can find on its website. Shipping usually takes one to two business days and arrives directly at your office. To order, contact your area’s budget manager or the person who approves your reimbursement requisitions. They should be able to order the items for you or they will know the person who can. More information can be found on the Procurement Office website.

Are cell phone and tablet expenses reimbursable?

Some cell phone and tablet expenses may be reimbursable.  Information about cell phones and tablets can be found here.

What is the University procurement card and how can I apply for it? 

The University procurement card or procard is a credit card that University employees can apply for to make University purchases.  After the purchases, the University directly pays the credit card bill.  For information on procurement cards, visit the procard website.

How do I submit a request for payment of a donation?

The backup requirement for a donation is a letter explaining the reason for the donation, which should be written by the person most familiar with it. An extra copy of this letter should be included when it is submitted for payment so Accounts Payable may send it with the check.

How do I request that a copy of an invoice be sent with payment to the vendor?

If a copy of the invoice is required to accompany the check, make a copy of the invoice and paper clip it to the original invoice. This is Accounts Payable’s way of understanding a copy of the invoice is required when mailing the payment.  Do not staple the extra copy or it may be missed when the checks are assembled.