General Payment Policy

This website provides guidance governing all disbursements of University funds, except those for salaries and wages, and the appropriate usage of various payment methods. Accounts Payable is responsible for auditing and processing accurate and timely payments to vendors and individuals. Checks are written and mailed once weekly. Accounts Payable staff works directly with departments and vendors to ensure proper policies and procedures are followed. The payment process involves application of credit memos, reviewing vendor statements, resolving discrepancies and providing customer service. Accounts Payable maintains records of all checks and backup documentation.

IMPORTANT:This policy is not all-inclusive, nor does it address every situation that may arise. It is intended to help prevent some of the more common mistakes. In order to prevent reimbursement problems, questions about specific situations not addressed in this policy should be directed to the Accounts Payable office at 266-4131 to determine if it is within University guidelines.

 

 

New Vendors
Procurement Services require new vendors to complete a Vendor ID Request and a W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.

A W9 is required for all individuals (including undergraduate and graduate students) for services. Payments will NOT be made until the forms have been returned to Procurement Services for processing.

Also refer to the Vendor Maintenance Procedures for New and Existing Vendor EPLS verification A permanent address must be provided for mailing a 1099 to the individual.

New Vendor - Vendor ID Request Form from Purchasing

W-9 Form - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf

W-9 Instructions - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw9.pdf

New International Vendors
The department is responsible for getting all the relevant information needed to set up an International Vendor.

The Foreign Corporation Information Form should be e-mailed to the vendor before any services are performed or goods are purchased. The department should then forward the completed document to Vendor Maintenance in the Procurement office. They will in turn forward it to the Tax Compliance office who will notify the department of additional IRS forms needed before the vendor can be set up in our system.

Form needed:Foreign Corporation Information Form

Form needed:Form W-8BEN (Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner)

Account Codes

For a list of proper account codes go to http://www.usm.edu/controllersoffice/designatedfunds.html

Check Processing and Issuance
Checks are mailed each week on Friday morning unless there is a holiday or weather related University closure.

Entering of invoices is always stopped one day prior to mailing checks to allow time for the payments to be processed, printed, sealed, and sorted.

If the Department has indicated IN ADVANCE on the PO or the Remittance Voucher that the check needs to be picked up, they will be contacted by A/P when the check is ready on Friday before noon.

Vendors are NOT allowed to pick up checks in Procurement Services.

Reimbursement checks for Employees cannot be picked up without prior approval. All reimbursement checks to employees will be mailed to their department.

Important Reminder: Entering invoices always stops 1 day prior to mailing checks. If a holiday falls on Friday, checks are mailed on Thursday mornings so entry work is stopped Wednesday mornings to allow time to complete the process.

Invoices resulting from a purchase order
State law requires that the University receive an original invoice from the vendor and that payment of the invoice is processed within 45 days of receipt (Miss Code 31-7-305).

The invoice should be on the vendor’s letterhead and/or include an original vendor representative signature.

Should the department receive the invoice, please reference the Purchase Order number (if not provided) and forward to Accounts Payable, 118 College Dr., #5104.

All invoices not paid within 45 days could result in a one and one-half percent (1-1/2 %) monthly late fee.

Once invoices are in the A/P office, they are date stamped and separated. All invoices are divided between two Accounts Payable payers; once the payers receive the invoices, they are audited thoroughly for obvious errors and problems such as original invoices, reference to purchase orders, goods received, departmental approval, etc. When an invoice has met all the requirements, it will be processed for payment.

Allow a minimum of two weeks for processing.

In order to minimize the risk of making duplicate payments, original invoices are required for all types of payments (Miss Code 7-7-27).

If a Purchase Order has been issued to pay a deposit or an initial payment with subsequent payments to follow, the same Purchase Order cannot be used to pay the additional payments due the vendor UNLESS the additional payment requirements are included on the Purchase Order. When a Purchase Order has been issued that has incremental payment requirements, we request the department’s assistance in monitoring a timely release of payments. Again, we request that the department forward any notices prompting a payment release or invoices for an installment payment that is due to Accounts Payable, #5104.

Verification of Goods Received or Services Rendered
The department must verify receipt of items purchased on a PO. Accounts Payable CANNOT process payment until verification of goods received have been reflected on the PO.
» Departments have the ability to receive items from purchase orders in SOARFIN. From the LEC website, under SOARFIN 8.8 Training Documentation, look for the RECEIVING link for instructions on marking items as received.
Remittance Vouchers
Payments that do not require a Purchase Order and can be processed on a Remittance Voucher Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) must approve all Remittance Vouchers being paid from a contract or grant before being processed in Accounts Payable. The signatory officer responsible for the funds must approve the Remittance Voucher. In order to minimize the risk of making duplicate payments, an original itemized invoice is required for all types of payments.

Documentation required for reimbursement may include the following:

-Original itemized receipts AND

-Copies of canceled check (front & back) or bank statements that provide details of paid checks OR credit card slips or statements.

-Consult A/P for questions on other forms of documentation that may be approved

Once Remittance Vouchers are received, they are audited thoroughly for obvious errors and problems such as chartfield strings, signature approvals, original invoices, etc. Once a Remittance Voucher has been audited and is deemed an allowable expense, it is processed. One payer processes all the Remittance Vouchers and Employee Reimbursement Vouchers; allow at least two weeks for processing of a Remittance Voucher. Should there be extenuating circumstances that require the check to be issued sooner, reference the date needed in special instructions and hand deliver to the Accounts Payable Manager, Shelia Sims.

Form Needed:Remittance Voucher as located on the A/P Forms page.

Reimbursement: Non-employee

Reimbursements for Independent Contractors, Honorariums, Stipends, Athletic Umpires, Internationals individuals:

» All original documentation is required. When documentation is required for reimbursement it may include the following items:

• Airline ticket documentation must be one of the following:

» The original passenger receipt that accompanies the hard copy of an E-Ticket or a ticket issued by a travel agency

» An e-mail or computer print out that reference the amount of the ticket, form of payment and that it is a non-refundable ticket - It will usually be called the Passenger Receipt and Itinerary page

» Copy of credit card statement reflecting payment

• Original itemized receipts

• Copies of canceled check (front and back) or bank statements that provide details of paid checks

• Credit card slips or statements

• Consult A/P for questions on other forms of documentation that may be approved Form Needed:Remittance Voucher as located on the A/P Forms page.

Reimbursements for Employee Recruitment and Interviews

» All original documentation is required. When documentation is required for reimbursement it may include the following items:

• Airline ticket documentation must be one of the following:

» The original passenger receipt that accompanies the hard copy of an E-Ticket or a ticket issued by a travel agency

» An e-mail or computer print out that reference the amount of the ticket, form of payment and that it is a non-refundable ticket - It will usually be called the Passenger Receipt and Itinerary page

» Copy of credit card statement reflecting payment

• Original itemized receipts

• Copies of canceled check (front and back) or bank statements that provide details of paid checks

• Credit card slips or statements

• Consult A/P for questions on other forms of documentation that may be approved Form Needed:Remittance Voucher as located on the A/P Forms page.

Reimbursement: Employee Reimbursement Voucher
All Purchases should be made on a Purchase Order or Procurement Card. If the Vendor will not accept a PO or Procurement Card as a payment option and the Employee must use personal funds, an Employee Reimbursement Voucher with the original itemized receipts must be submitted for reimbursement.

Please keep in mind that purchases for equipment, services, and state contract items must be paid from a purchase order. The Employee Reimbursement Voucher will be returned to the employee. Any items purchased by an employee that should have been processed on a PO will be returned to the department. A Purchase Requisition will need to be submitted with the employee as the vendor for reimbursement. Once an Employee Reimbursement Voucher has been received, they are audited thoroughly for obvious errors and problems such as chartfield strings, signature approvals, original invoices, etc. Once an Employee Reimbursement Voucher has been audited and is deemed an allowable expense, it is processed. One payer processes all the Remittance Vouchers and Employee Reimbursement Vouchers; allow at least two weeks for processing of Remittance Voucher. Should there be extenuating circumstances that require the check to be issued sooner, reference the date needed in special instructions and hand deliver to the Accounts Payable Manager.

Employees CANNOT approve their own reimbursements. Approval must be acquired from their immediate supervisor.

Form Needed:Employee Reimbursement Voucher as located on the A/P Forms page.

Reimbursement: Employee Moving Expense
New Employee Moving Policy= Please click this link to read the policy in full.

Submit reimbursements on an Employee Reimbursement Voucher for Moving Expenses with all original receipts. Attach a copy of the offer letter referencing the approved moving expense amount.

Approved Employee relocation expenses account 605865

Form Needed:New Employee Moving Reimbursement Form

Important information about cellular phones
Any types of reimbursement for expenses of wireless communication devices are not allowed.

During the 2006 regular session the Mississippi Legislature enacted amendments to laws that will impact the usage of all personal wireless communication devices for business use by state employees. Under the law a wireless communication device is a “cellular telephone, pager or a personal digital assistant device having wireless communication capability.” (Senate Bill 2398 to amend Mississippi Code of 1972, Section 9-3)

Effective August 1, 2007, The University of Southern Mississippi will be precluded from providing an allowance or reimbursement, full or partial, for the usage of personal wireless communication devices. The University is also precluded from the purchase of such devices.

Business related expense
The business of the university requires that some on-campus entertainment expenses be incurred. These expenses should be for university business only.

All transactions involving entertainment expenses must have the following documentation:

• a statement of purpose for the expense, as well as the benefit to the university provided. (General phrases such as Entertainment Expense and Business Lunch are not adequate explanations and will be returned, thereby delaying processing.)

• a list of all persons in attendance, including their relationship to the program to be benefited and any other relevant details

• the date, time and place of the entertainment

• approval of the appropriate signature authority

NOTE: Accounts Payable reserves the right to request itemized receipts at any time, under any circumstance or when deemed necessary.

Submit expenses on a Business Related Expense Form and attach it to an Employee Reimbursement Voucher along with receipts reflecting payment.

Total meal tips should not exceed 20% of the reimbursable amount of the meal (excluding the price of any alcohol purchased).

Expenses code:

Food for People - 606440

Forms Needed:Employee Reimbursement Voucher AND Business Related Expense Form as located on the A/P Forms page. 

Gift Card Purchases
Payments to individuals
All payments must be processed through Human Resources. All Travel must be processed through the Travel Department.
Payments to a retired state employee
Any payments made to a Retired State Employee must be approved by PERS before payment can be made. A Personal Service Agreement must be completed.
Payments to state employees that are non-USM employees
All payments must be processed through Human Resources. All Travel must be processed through the Travel Department.
Independent Contractors and Personal Service Agreements
A Personal Service Agreement must be completed when hiring an independent contractor.

The form can be downloaded from Tax Compliance's website

It will need to be completed and sent to the Tax Compliance Officer before it is sent to Purchasing prior to work commencing. If you have any questions, please call Cheri Waldrup at 601-266-4102.

The Procedures for the routing of a PSA can be found here

If the individual renders a service in exchange for payment, then the individual should be classified as an employee and paid through the payroll system OR as an Independent Contractor and paid off of a Personal Service Agreement.

Refer to the policies regarding Independent Contractors and PSA's:

Honorariums

Honorariums are gratuitous payments given to professional persons for services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required and no invoice is presented for payment. Essentially, an honorarium is a form of gratitude shown toward an individual (non-USM employee) in return for that individual’s willingness to visit the University and participate in a University event of short duration.

 

The recipient understands that the honorarium does not represent compensation equal to the actual service provided, nor should the intent be to cover all the costs associated with the individual’s participation in the University event.

A description of the reason for the honorarium, the name of the event including the date and location must be referenced on the Remittance Voucher, as well as supporting documentation. An honorarium that exceeds $600.00 must be reviewed and approved by the Director of Procurement. It is important for campus departments thinking of offering an honorarium to check with Procurement or the Tax Compliance Office PRIOR to making such a promise in order to avoid having to rescind such an offer in the event an honorarium is found inappropriate for the given situation.

Honorariums should not be charged to restricted funds. Contact the Office of Research Administration should you have any questions.

• A signed original W-9 must be on file in Accounts Payable before payment is made.

• 1099-MISC is issued on all dollar amounts of $600 or more. A permanent address must be provided for mailing of the 1099-MISC Form.

• Original Documentation required for all expenses being reimbursed, see Reimbursement to non-employees for travel expenses.

• See the Tax Compliance website for more guidance and for issues dealing with nonresident aliens.

Forms Needed: Remittance Voucher and W9 (if not already on file) as located on the A/P Forms page.

Stipends and Awards
See the Tax Compliance website.

 

Scholarships
Scholarships should be awarded through Financial Aid.

• Contact Sponsored Programs Administration for any payments involving restricted funds.

• Non-university students or individuals should be paid on a Remittance Voucher with a description for the reason for payment.

Fellowships
Fellowships may be paid through HR or through Financial Aid depending on the requirements and services rendered.

• Contact Sponsored Programs Administration for any payments involving restricted funds.

• Non-university students or individuals should be paid on a Remittance Voucher with a description for the reason for payment.

Additional Information
Payment to Individuals - Office of the Controller Documentation and Processing Check List for paying Non-Employee Expenses http://www.usm.edu/controllersoffice/non_employee_exp.doc

http://www.usm.edu/controller/frequently-misused-payment-types

USM Employees: Additional pay for services rendered
USM employees CANNOT be paid from a Personal Service Contract for any additional work they may be doing for a department. Contact Human Resources for guidance on how to pay additional funds to an employee.
Tax Exemption
The University of Southern Mississippi is exempt from paying Sales Tax in the State of Mississippi and has been waived from paying sales taxes in several other states. Sales Tax Exemption Certificates are located at Tax Compliance - State Exemption Certificates. If you have questions, please contact the University Tax Compliance Officer, Cheri Waldrup, at 601-266-4102.

See the Tax Compliance website for other sales tax information

1099 Misc Forms
Payments of $600 or more made to independent contractors or other persons who render services to the University must be reported on a Form 1099-Misc. Any payments for services and reimbursement of expenses made to someone other than a corporation are responsible for reporting to the Internal Revenue Services. Accounts Payable produces the 1099-Misc form sending one copy to the vender and one copy to the IRS.
Who should I contact if I have wireless issues?
Students experiencing wireless issues should contact iTech at 601.266.4357.
Miscellaneous Tax Information
Petty Cash Policy and Procedures
Please click here for Petty Cash Policy and Procedures.