Payment Policies and Procedures
Departments should submit payment requests and supporting documentation to Accounts Payable within 3-5 business days after receiving an invoice or reimbursement request to ensure timely payments to vendors/contractors. Once the payment request and supporting documentation are submitted to Accounts Payable, it can take between 6-8 days to produce either a check or an ACH payment.
The following issues extend the amount of time that it takes for Accounts Payable to produce a payment:
- Payment requests using grant funds;
- Payment requests missing signatures;
- Payment requests with missing or inadequate supporting documentation.
- Check or ACH Requests
Campus departments must initiate payment for purchases that are not greater than $5,000 by submitting invoices to Accounts Payable with a completed Check/ACH Request. Check/ACH Requests must be signed by the appropriate Fund Approver for the account string to be charged.
For payments greater than $5,000, a purchase request must be initiated. Orders to the vendor/contractor cannot be placed until a Purchase Order is generated and approved. For payments to vendor/contractors that do not exceed $5,000, departments should pay the invoice via UNC Visa card (PCard).
Depending on the type of payment being requested, supporting documentation includes:
- Purchase Order number when total amount of purchase is greater than $5,000;
- IRS Form W-9 and Direct Deposit Form for payees who have not been assigned a Bear Number in the financial system;
- Official Function Forms to document payments or reimbursements for food purchases and other purchases related to an approved University function or event;
- Individual Data Change Request Form if payee’s name has changed since the last time they were paid by UNC;
- Gift Card Purchase Waiver that has been approved by UNC’s Controller;
- Gifts, Prizes or Awards Recipient Information Form to document recipients of gift cards.
- Reimbursement Requests
Reimbursements not related to travel may be requested when an individual is directed by the University to use personal funds to purchase approved goods or services for amounts not greater than $5,000.
- Obtain approval from your department’s Fund Approver prior to making purchases for the University using personal funds;
- Be aware that reimbursement requests submitted more than 60 days after an expense is incurred will be considered taxable income.
- Travel Reimbursement Requests do not require a Fund Approver signature if a completed, approved Travel Authorization signed by the Fund Approver is submitted with the Travel Reimbursement Request form.
- If the UNC VISA credit card (PCard) provided by the University is not used by University employees to pay for travel expenses, the travel reimbursement may be held by Accounts Payable for up to thirty (30) days before disbursing the payment.
- Be aware that reimbursement requests submitted more than 60 days after an expense is incurred must be reported as taxable income.
The following expenses will not be reimbursed:
- Seat upgrades;
- Priority boarding;
- Parking expenses exceeding $15 per day;
- Bag fees for two or more checked bags (one checked bag is allowed);
- Mileage expenses that exceed the cost of airfare to the travel destination and home;
- Flight change fees;
- Meals for one-day travel;
- Travel insurance for domestic travel (travel insurance for international travel may be purchased if pre-approved by the Fund Approver);
- Rental car insurance except for a policy for Loss of Use;
- Alcoholic beverages;
- Entertainment expenses;
- Any personal expenses in excess of the incidental expense allowed by Per Diem rate.
- Independent Contracts
An independent contractor is an individual who contracts with the University to provide specified goods or services to the University in a self-determining manner. Generally speaking, independent contractors retain control over their schedule and number of hours worked, jobs accepted, and performance of their job. An individual cannot be considered an independent contractor if they are deemed to be an employee of the University. For more information about paying independent contractors, please see UNC Policies and Procedures for Hiring Independent Contractors.
- Moving Expense Reimbursement
Costs associated with relocating a new UNC employee will be funded from a centralized budget monitored by the Human Resources Department. Any amounts anticipated to exceed $2,500 will require pre-approval by the appropriate vice president. All moving expense reimbursements shall be clearly stated in the employment letter. For information about submitting moving expense reimbursements, please see Instructions for Moving Expense Reimbursement.
- Special Check Request
There are rare occasions when a department may need a check immediately to pay a vendor/contractor. A special check is done when a check is needed immediately and it is not possible to wait for the regular check printing process. There is a $25 charge to your department for each special check request that is processed.
- Complete a Special Check Request Form.
- Complete a Check/ACH Request Form.
- Submit both completed forms with supporting documentation to the Accounts Payable department before 3pm on the day you require the special check.
- Wire Transfers
Requests to do a bank wire payment will be accepted by Accounts Payable after a department confirms with the vendor/contractor that no options exist for making payment via PCard, ACH or check. If a department can confirm that no other payment option is available, the department can contact Accounts Payable to obtain a Wire Request Form. Once Accounts Payable has been contacted, the Accounts Payable staff will work with the department to obtain all the necessary information (including tax forms and vendor/contractor set-up information) and approvals for the transfer of funds. Wire transfers are complex and can be time-consuming, so departments should plan to spend a significant amount of time working with Accounts Payable prior to the processing of a wire transfer. There is a $30 charge to your department for each wire transfer that is processed.
- Helpful Links
Fund Approver: The person or persons that have authority to approve an expenditure of UNC funds from a specified account string.
Official Function: Promotion and development activities and/or events that foster economic and civic responsibilities to students, employees, financial supporters and communities (municipal, educational, professional and international).