Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable is responsible for accurate and timely payment of all invoices for the University. This includes all payments on purchase orders, blanket purchase orders, check requests, travel advances and travel expense vouchers, petty cash, freight bills, and fellowship payments.

[Accounts Payable Policy Statement]

Payment Policies and Procedures

The following policies and procedures are guidelines for processing all expenditure documents through Accounts Payable. These guidelines apply to both purchase-order and non-purchase-order items and pertain to all University employees and departments, regardless of the index to be charged; the responsibility to observe them is that of both the employee and the department dean/director/chair who approves such expenditures.

If you cannot find information that relates to your situation or if you need interpretative assistance, contact the General/Auxiliary Accounting area or the Director's office, as appropriate.

Bank Drafts in Foreign Currency

Accounts Payable processes foreign currency bank drafts when vendors require payment in foreign currency. 

Procedure

  1. The department initiates a purchase order or check request and supporting documentation (e.g., invoice and registration forms) indicating payment in foreign currency. Note: Requests for foreign drafts should be submitted a week prior to the date the check is needed to allow adequate processing time. 
  2. Accounts payable requests the foreign draft from the bank. There may be a small charge to the index referenced on the purchase order/check request for this service.

Business Meal Reimbursements

All business meal and banquet claims are to be filed within two weeks of the event on a Business Meals and Banquet Report form with original receipts attached. Events held at University facilities are interaccount billed by the facility.

Campus Store Purchase Orders

The Campus Bookstore and University Images issue purchase orders directly to vendors due to the nature of their business; this method is practical and efficient, since the items being ordered are for retail sales. Invoices are entered into the point-of-sale system and the information is transferred to Accounts Payable to make payments.

Change Fund

Change funds are used for the operation of cash registers and drawers throughout campus, providing change when needed.

Exemption from Sales/Use Tax

Policy 2.7.3—Michigan Technological University, as an institution of the State of Michigan, is exempt from the payment of sales and use taxes on purchases of tangible property and applicable rentals. However, the University is liable for the collection and payment of the tax on sales and rental transactions to non-exempt individuals and organizations.

Use of the University's sales and use tax number for personal use is prohibited. 

Generally payment or reimbursement of Michigan sales and use tax will not be made. The University is also exempt from the payment of sales tax in Wisconsin and Florida.

Fellowship Payments

Fellowship checks are distributed monthly by Accounts Payable and available at the beginning of each month.

Procedure
  • Departments enter student fellowship information into the Banner system by the 11th of each month. The registration status, index and any withholding requirements are verified by Financial Services and Operations.
    • The University is required by federal law to withhold taxes on fellowships payments to some nonresident alien students depending on their visa status and tax treaties. The withholding requirements are determined by the University tax accountant.
  • Accounts Payable distributes the fellowship checks to the departments. They are normally available on the 24th of the month. Check requests may also be processed for fellowship payments.

Library Purchase Order Payments

The Van Pelt and Opie Library issues purchase orders directly to vendors due to the unique nature of the items being purchased, e.g., books, journals, subscriptions, periodicals. Accounts Payable receives the invoices from the library and processes them for payment.

Payment of Freight Invoices

Accounts Payable receives and pays freight invoices.

Procedure

When items are being returned, it is essential for the department to instruct the carrier to include a University index, purchase order number, or employee name on the freight bill. If a freight bill does not include an index or purchase order number, it is extremely difficult to process the invoice for payment. 

If prepayment is required, a check request must be received in Accounts Payable at a minimum of five business days prior to the check being needed.

Payment of Moving Expenses

The University may reimburse allowable house-hunting and moving expenses to new, regular, full-time faculty and staff with a maximum amount of up to one month’s salary. Current employees who are assigned to a remote work area on behalf of the University may also be reimbursed for allowable moving expenses up to $6,000.

To be reimbursed, follow the procedures for house hunting and moving.

Payment of Non-Purchase-Order Expenses

Certain types of items can be purchased without a university purchase order. Listed below are items that are normally paid on a check request. 

  1. Conference/seminar registration fees 
  2. Fellowships 
  3. Honorariums 
  4. Inter-library loan 
  5. Lodging deposits 
  6. Lodging expenses for non-employees 
  7. Memberships 
  8. Postage 
  9. Refunds/overpayments 
  10. Royalty payments 
  11. Agency fund expenditures (student organizations/payroll deductions) 
  12. Petty cash replenishment requests
Procedure
  1. The department completes a check request with the following information:
    • Name of individual/company/organization to whom the check is payable
    • Payments to individuals must include a social security number or federal ID number.
    • Complete mailing address—checks can be sent to University departments but a mailing address is still required
    • Indicate special mailing instructions such as "Hold for Pickup" or "Send to Department."
    • An explanation/purpose of the payment
    • Index and account code to be charged
    • Authorized signature
  2. Supporting documentation (i.e., registration forms, order forms, remittance advice, receipts, and invoices) must be securely fastened to the check request. Any reimbursement must include proof of payment, such as a paid invoice or credit card statement, or receipt.
  3. Indicate if enclosures must be sent with the check.

Note: Use the electronic Check Request form (instructions). To request access to the Check Request form, fill out an Request for Access form.

Stop Payment/Cancelled Check

Occasionally checks may be lost, stolen or incorrect which requires a stop payment and reissue of the check. Accounts Payable is responsible for issuing a replacement check. 

Procedure

Departments requiring a stop payment on an operating/accounts payable (non-payroll) check should contact the Manager of Auxiliary Funds and Banking Operations immediately upon realizing a check is lost or stolen. If a stop payment is required on a payroll check, Payroll Services must be contacted. 

Financial Services and Operations issues the stop payment with the bank. A replacement check will be issued. Generally, if a non-student check is reissued 30 days after the date of the check, there is no fee. However, if the reissue is prior to 30 days from the check date, there will be a fee. If a student refund check is reissued after 15 days from the date of the check, there is no fee. If the reissue is prior to 15 days from the date of the check, there will be a fee. 

Accounts Payable is also responsible for maintaining the check cancellation function. If a check must be canceled due to an inaccurate amount, an incorrect vendor name, or an incorrect address and a replacement is not needed, the check must be sent to Accounts Payable with a note indicating the check must be canceled.

Travel Advances and Reimbursements

Individuals traveling on University business may be reimbursed for necessary and reasonable expenses incurred. A cash advance may be requested by submitting a Request for Advance of Funds to Accounts Payable prior to traveling for those employees who do not have an American Express Corporate Card. A Travel Expense Voucher with original receipts must be sent to Financial Services and Operations to request reimbursement of incurred travel expenses. See University travel procedures.

Petty Cash Payments

A department may establish a petty cash fund to purchase minor supplies. A check request and original receipt must be sent to Accounts Payable for replenishment of petty cash funds.

Further information on the establishment, administration, and discontinuance of petty cash funds follows:

Petty Cash Funds

Purpose

This section prescribes the policies and procedures relating to the establishment, administration, and discontinuance of petty cash funds.

General Definitions

Petty Cash Custodian: The employee in a department who has been authorized to make payments from a petty cash fund and who is directly responsible for the administration of the fund.

Security of Petty Cash Funds

Policy

Department Chairs/Directors are responsible for the proper safeguarding of petty cash monies entrusted to their departments. Cash and receipts for unreimbursed expenditures must be kept in a locked container such as a fire-proof file cabinet, safe, or other suitable device to which unauthorized access is difficult.

The petty cash custodian is personally responsible for the cash which was specifically issued to him/her. Therefore, access to the fund must be limited to the custodian.

Establishing a Petty Cash Fund

Policy

A petty cash fund may be established in a department to improve the efficiency of departmental operations. These funds are available to purchase minor items when it would be otherwise impractical to purchase items through the usual purchasing methods.

These funds are subject to periodic audits. Recurring audit findings may result in the petty cash fund being revoked.

The custodian is responsible for ensuring the cash on hand and receipts equal the authorized amount of the fund at all times. Petty cash funds must be kept separate from change funds, cash drawers, personal funds, and any other collected revenue.

Procedure

The Department Chair/Director submits the following items to the Manager of Banking Operations and Auxiliary Accounting for approval:

  • A memorandum justifying the need for a petty cash fund and designating the fund custodian. This should include the identification number and an original signature of the custodian.
  • A check request payable to the designated fund custodian in the amount requested. The check request should include the department name and be signed by the Department Chair/Director.

The department custodian will receive a check payable to him/herself and the current petty cash procedures. Petty cash checks may be cashed at the Cashiers' Office.

Petty Cash Fund Purchases

Policy

Disbursements from petty cash funds must be properly documented and for a valid University business purpose.

The University does not reimburse Michigan sales tax. Therefore, to save time and confusion, it is wise to obtain the University's sales tax number from the petty cash custodian before making a purchase. Use of the University sales tax number when purchasing items for other than University purposes is prohibited and may result in disciplinary action.

Petty cash funds may NOT be used for the following:

  • Items/receipts in excess of $200.00.
  • Payment of sales or excise taxes on any purchases within Michigan since Michigan Technological University is a tax exempt organization and does not reimburse Michigan sales tax. The University is also tax exempt in Wisconsin and Florida.
  • Cashing of personal checks or providing personal loans.
  • Purchases which are required to be reported in a specific manner such as, but not limited to, personnel services, travel expenses, payroll advances, and business meals.
  • Purchase of items which are prohibited under petty cash procedures:
    • advertising
    • alcoholic beverages and tobacco
    • animals (laboratory)
    • automotive repairs (accident related)
    • chemicals
    • clothing
    • controlled substances
    • cylinder gases and liquid nitrogen
    • donations
    • flowers
    • hazardous materials
    • hospitality expenses greater than $5, such as meals or entertainment
    • leases and rentals
    • maintenance agreements
    • Michigan sales tax
    • personal items
    • any items that are intended to be used or consumed by University Employees on or off campus for other than University use.
    • professional services
    • renovations or remodeling (on campus)
    • seminars and memberships
    • telephones and cell phones
    • university letterhead, business cards, and envelopes
    • weapons and ammunition

Financial Services and Operations has the authority to make exceptions to the above list when special or unusual circumstances apply. Approval for exceptions must be received prior to purchasing items listed above.

Procedure

An employee purchasing items using petty cash funds does the following:

  1. Obtains prior approval from the Department Chair/Director, supervisor, or fund custodian.
  2. Obtains, when necessary, the University sales tax number from the petty cash custodian since Michigan sales tax is not reimbursable.
  3. Obtains, when necessary, a petty cash advance from the fund custodian. The advance is provided to the employee only to purchase legitimate petty cash items. Each time an advance is given, the custodian must maintain the following information:
    • the amount of the advance
    • the date
    • the purpose
    • the recipient
    • the recipient's signature
  4. Makes the purchase, paying for the item with personal monies or with the petty cash advance and obtains an itemized receipt or cash register sales slip.
  5. Presents the original sales receipt or cash register sales slip to the petty cash custodian. The receipt(s) must include:
    • description of the item(s)
    • date of purchase
    • place of purchase
    • itemized amounts
    • purpose
    • signature of purchaser
  6. Receives reimbursement for the purchase from the petty cash custodian when personal monies are used or returns any unused portion of the petty cash advance to the petty cash custodian immediately after the purchase is made.

Replenishment of Petty Cash Fund

Policy

Replenishment of the petty cash fund should be done on a timely basis but will vary by department. All petty cash funds must be reimbursed at least once every 30 days during the fiscal year, regardless of the dollar amount to be reimbursed. In addition, all funds should be replenished at the fiscal year end so there are no outstanding receipts as of June 30.

Procedure

The petty cash reimbursement request for the amount to be reimbursed must be completed and faxed to Accounts Payable (7-2119) along with a copy of the original receipts. Keep original receipts for seven days in case the faxed copy is not readable.

The reimbursement request should include the following:

  • Name, Department, and identification number of the fund custodian
  • Date of each receipt
  • Banner index and account code to be charged
  • Amount

Each receipt should be listed individually with the index, account code, and amount included. The fund custodian's signature and department must also be completed.

A reconciliation of the petty cash fund must be done on a regular basis. Complete the Petty Cash/Change Fund Reconciliation Form to insure the receipts plus cash on hand is equal to the amount of the authorized petty cash fund.

If receipts plus cash on hand are less than the authorized amount, this is an overage and must be deposited in the Cashier's office crediting the original index with an account code of E909, cash over/short.

If the receipts plus cash on hand are less than the authorized amount, this is a shortage. If the amount is significant, it should be report to Public Safety immediately for investigation. If the amount is less than $25, report this on your petty cash reimbursement request, charging the original index with an account code of E909, cash over/short.

Transferring Petty Cash Fund Custodianship

Policy

The Department Chair/Director is responsible for reporting any changes in petty cash custodians to Financial Services and Operations.

Procedure
  1. When a new custodian is to take charge of a petty cash fund, the former custodian replenishes the fund so that the fund has the established amount of cash on hand.
  2. The Department Chair/Director sends a memo to the Manager of Banking Operations and Auxiliary Accounting which indicates:
    • removal of the former custodian from the fund
    • the new fund custodian's name and identification number
    • signature of the new custodian

This memo must be sent to Financial Services and Operations prior to any petty cash replenishments to the new custodian.

Accounts Payable will not reimburse a petty cash custodian unless the name is on file as the current custodian.

Increasing/Decreasing/Closing Petty Cash Funds

Procedure

Increasing a petty cash fund: When additional petty cash funds are needed, the Department Chair/Director sends a memorandum to the Manager of Banking Operations and Auxiliary Accounting justifying the increase. Submit a check request payable to the fund custodian in the amount of the requested increase.

Decreasing a petty cash fund: A petty cash fund should be reduced if the amount of the fund exceeds the actual needs of the department. The amount which is no longer needed should be deposited at the Cashiers' Office, crediting the original index with an account code of A001, along with a memo indicating the fund is being decreased.

Closing a petty cash fund: When a petty cash fund is no longer needed, the fund custodian should replenish the fund to the authorized amount. This amount must then be returned to the Cashiers' Office, crediting the original index with an account code of A001, indicating the fund is being closed.

Petty cash funds must NEVER be deposited into a revenue account code.