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Numerous SMU faculty members are receiving patents for their inventions and discoveries. Among them is Engineering Professor Choon Sae Lee, who has developed a new form of antenna.

 

Accounts Payable

Frequently Asked Questions


What is required for an invoice to be paid?

Will copies of  backup documentation for payment suffice?

Can I request payment of invoices billed to a third-party?

What is required for reimbursement of Meal and Entertainment expenses?

Can I get reimbursed for purchases I make on behalf of the University? What is the dollar limit?

Where can I find out more about the University's Travel policy?  For example, what kind of Travel expenses does the University reimburse?

Can I be reimbursed for same day travel meals?

Our department is having a Christmas party.  Will the University reimburse expenses associated with it?

What is the school policy regarding gifts to friends of the University?

Can University funds be used for staff morale-building events such as retreats and staff gatherings?

Can University funds be used to purchase flowers and cards for celebration of birthdays, holidays, etc. or as expression of sympathy?

Can University funds be used for donations to charitable organizations or not-for-profits?

What is required for faculty and staff awards/recognition?

What is a procurement card and how do I use it?

What tax considerations should we be aware of?

What is the Independent Contractor Determination Form and what do I do with it?

Can an SMU employee/student pay someone for services out of their own pocket?

What if a student provided the service to SMU?

How do I request entertainment expense reimbursement particularly if I lost the receipt?

What is required for memberships?

Why is a W-8 required on foreign entities?

How to send a Wire Transfer?


Accounts Payable FAQ

What is required for an invoice to be paid?

 

All invoices must have a completed payment request and original backup documentation confirming the invoice is a legal liability of the University.  

Will copies of  backup documentation for payment suffice?

No.  Only original documentation will be accepted as backup for payment.  Accounts Payable management must approve any exception.

Can I request payment of invoices billed to a third-party?

No.  Invoices are to be billed to Southern Methodist University.  Third-party invoices will not be paid with university funds.

What is required for reimbursement of Meal and Entertainment expenses? (Learn More!)

All Meals/Entertainment expenses must be properly documented to be reimbursed.  Documentation for external expenses includes:

  • Original vendor receipt or credit card charge.

  • Business purpose and names of individuals involved.

  • Location and Date of event.

  • Appropriate approvals.

Can I get reimbursed for purchases I make on behalf of the University? What is the dollar limit?

Single full payments for locally purchased goods and materials not exceeding $5000 can be reimbursed by payment request. Procurements in excess of $5000 must be substantiated by a purchase order in advance of the financial commitment by the University.

The Procurement Card (VISA charge card) gives selected employees the ability to charge small dollar purchases eliminating requisitions, check requests and petty cash reimbursements. This gives each department greater convenience, control and flexibility in purchasing.  Click here to learn more about procurement cards.

Where can I find out more about the University's Travel policy? For example, what kind of Travel expenses does the University reimburse?

It is the policy of the University to pay for reasonable and necessary costs for authorized local, non-local domestic and international University business travel for employees and students. Travel reimbursements for all areas and employees are subject to requirements and may be subject to further limitations imposed by the applicable departmental or budgetary authority. Please see the full policy 3.7.

Can I be reimbursed for same day travel meals?

Actual meals purchased while on business travel requiring an overnight stay may be reimbursed; if adequate supporting documentation is provided. The cost of meals must be appropriate for an individual representing a not-for-profit institution. Meals purchased on same day travel which does not require an overnight stay will not be reimbursed unless the time away (from both home and office) is longer than 12 hours. Meals for same day travel exceeding 12 hours may be reimbursed if the traveler(s) are away from home/office on business during the entire meal time but must be reported to Payroll Department to be added as a taxable income to the traveler. The financial officer for the traveler is responsible for reporting the reimbursement to the University's Tax Department for appropriate treatment..

Our department is having a Christmas party.  Will the University reimburse expenses associated with it?

Awards banquets and holiday and social celebrations may be paid from University funds if the celebration is primarily for students or is for the entire University community and is approved by the authorized parties. Office social events and celebrations for select groups of faculty and staff may not be paid from University funds unless an exception to policy is authorized by the President or vice-president.

What is the school policy regarding gifts to friends of the University? (Learn More!)

Gifts to friends of the University are permitted when a legitimate business reason for the gift exists (e.g., custom, appreciation) and the transaction is approved by the President, a vice president, athletic director or a dean. Gifts may be reportable and must be reviewed by Vice President for Business and Finance staff prior to being made to ensure appropriate tax treatment.

Can University funds be used for staff morale-building events such as retreats and staff gatherings?

Employee cultivation events such as retreats, staff gatherings (i.e., meals, outings, etc.) or other events to build morale, build group development, or show appreciation may be paid from University funds only if approved by the President, vice-president, athletic director or dean.

Can University funds be used to purchase flowers and cards for celebration of birthdays, holidays, etc. or as expression of sympathy?

Use of University funds to pay for decorations, floral arrangements and greeting cards for holiday occasions, sympathy, and celebration of birthdays, births, graduation and other accomplishments is not permitted except as described in University Policy 13.5

Can University funds be used for donations to charitable organizations or not-for-profits?

University Policy precludes the use of University funds, regardless of their source, for donations of any kind, including donations to non-profit or charitable organizations or to other causes.  However, the President may permit exceptions to this policy if it's determined that participation in an event will promote the relationship between the University and the community.  Occasionally there are business reasons for expenses that may incidentally involve making charitable contributions. For instance, some portion of the cost of tables or seats at community sponsored events that University representatives attend for fundraising or community involvement may be considered a contribution. These tables and other nominal charitable contributions to other institutions may be made if there is a business reason for the expense and the exception is approved by the President or a vice president of the University. 

What is required for faculty and staff awards/recognition?

All faculty and staff awards and/or recognition must be approved by the President or vice-president and reviewed by the Office of the Vice President for Business and Finance or designee prior to making the award to ensure appropriate tax treatment. Student awards in addition to financial aid must be approved by the manager fiscally responsible for the budget account to which the expense will be charged and reviewed by the Vice President for Business and Finance or designee for proper tax treatment.

What is a procurement card and how do I use it?

Click here for information on procurement cards.

What tax considerations should we be aware of?

  • Southern Methodist University is a Non-Profit Educational Institution and exempt from Texas Sales and Use Tax for supply purchases pursuant to the exempt purpose of the University.

  • Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificates should be completed and submitted for in-state hotel accommodations.

  • First time invoices for services: payable to individuals, doctors, dentists, lawyers or other professional organizations must have an IRS form number W-9 attached.

  • The Payroll Department is responsible for all payments to international persons, ensuring the University is in compliance with tax requirements.

  • Payments to individuals are to be made payable to the legal name, (as shown on the social security card), not to a nickname or alias.

  • Stipend payments are considered financial aid to currently enrolled SMU students, there is no work requirement.

  • Payments for services to an individual, LLC, DBA and LLP must have an approved Independent Contractor Determination Form (ICD) attached to the payment request before payment can be made.

  • Extra compensation to employees is to be paid by the Payroll Department.

What is the Independent Contractor Determination Form and what do I do with it?

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR FORM

Payments may sometimes require extra documentation effectuated by the Independent Contractor form henceforth referred to as the ICD. Make note that the general rule in determining the status of using the ICD is that an individual is an independent contractor (IC) if the company for the services are performed has a right to control (or direct) the result of the work and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result. Existing SMU employees may be ICs; however, they must be paid through Payroll, not through Accounts Payable.

Guidelines for Determining an ICD

No, I do NOT need an ICD if:

  • The suffixal “INC” or “Inc” is used.

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) usually starts with the number “75”.

  • Research study participants

  • Fellowships/Stipends—monies for tuition only. Absolutely no services can be tied to it. This means no teaching, no grading papers and no research.

  • Royalties

  • Products—examples like rentals of tables, purchase of merchandise and printing of brochure/event programs.

Yes, I need an ICD if:

  • Any individual, company or consultant performing services (or work) for SMU.

  • W-9 Classifications—if any of the following boxes are checked on the W-9: Individual/Sole Proprietor, LLC, DBA, or LLP.

  • Reimbursement of services—faculty or staff asking to be reimbursed for paying of a service (e.g. transcription service). Faculty/Staff must complete the checklist and W-9.

  • Some common examples: Presenters, Honorariums, Musicians, Graders, Designing or creating sculptures, brochures, websites or writing. Also included is engraving, polishing, repairing, general contractor, and massaging consultant.

If you receive a credit memo from your vendor for over 90 days, please request a check refund.

Can an SMU employee/student pay someone for services out of their own pocket?

The Department of Human Resources and Office of Tax Compliance agree than an employee/student should not pay for services. The request for reimbursement will result in taxable income to the faculty/student member. The faculty/student member will need to submit an Independent Contractor Determination Form (ICD) and W-9. For further questions please contact the Department of Human Resources.

What if a student provided the service to SMU?

The ICD procedure would apply to the student. If the student is an employee as well, then this would become extra compensation and would need to be processed through Payroll. Same process would apply to a regular faculty/staff member.

How do I request entertainment expense reimbursement particularly if I lost the receipt?

Answer: When requesting an entertainment expense reimbursement, attach the receipts to the Request for Entertainment Expense Reimbursement form found on the AP website under forms. The elements to be proved with respect to expenditure for entertainment are:

A. Time. Date of entertainment.

B. Place. Name, if any, address or location, and designation of type of entertainment, such as dinner or theater, if such information is not apparent from the designation or activity.

C. Amount. Amount of each separate expenditure for entertainment.

D. Business purpose. Business reason for the entertainment or nature of business benefit derived or expected to be derived as a result of the entertainment. E. Business relationship. Occupation or other information relating to the person or persons entertained, including name, title, or other designation, sufficient to establish business relationship to SMU.

If you are missing a receipt you must fill out the Missing Receipt form (also found on the Accounts Payable website) for those expenses less than $75. You will need to obtain the missing receipt or evidence of the expense as the IRS does not allow reimbursement for expenses greater than $75 with a missing receipt form.

What is required for memberships?

To add a new organization to the approved membership list, complete the membership approval form and forward to the designated approver for memberships for your area (Dean, VP, AD, or President). Only complete the form if the organization is not listed on the approved memberships list.

Why is a W-8 required on foreign entities?

Reporting requirements differ from U.S. entities. The Form W-8 is required to establish that the vendor is a non-US entity and to allow SMU to assess its withholding requirements.

How to send a Wire Transfer?

To send a wire transfer, you will need to include the following before submitting to Accounts Payable : 1. Wire transfer form 2. Payment request form 3. Invoice 4. W-8 or W-9 5. Any other supporting documents, ex. Foreign National Information Form, Visa etc.

Questions?  Contact Accounts Payable