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The Biomedical Researchers in Training Experience (BRITE) program, sponsored by SMU and UT-Southwestern’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, allows undergraduate students to study and perform research at both schools.


Accounts Payable
Policies and Procedures






Guidelines for auditing incoming requests for payment.


Department Address: Expressway Tower 
6116 North Central Expressway, Suite 205B
Dallas, TX 75206

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  • Each invoice is to have a completed payment request.

  • Only original documentation will be accepted as back up for payment.  Accounts Payable management must approve any exception.

  • Invoices are to be billed to Southern Methodist University; third party invoices will not be paid with University funds.

  • Check requests are to have original signed signatures.

  • Financial Officers are responsible for providing of individuals with a list of names authorized to sign payment requests.

  • Signatures must be legible to be processed. Some schools and departments use a stamp that prints the individual's name, department and phone number for better identification.  If your school or department uses a stamp, it must be accompanied by the individuals signature or initials in order to be processed.

  • Payment requests must have original back up documentation that confirms the requested payment is a legal liability of the University.

  • Please include a contact phone number on all payment requests so that the A/P department personnel can contact someone in case of a problem. Some signatures are difficult to read, and there are a lot of names that are not listed in the phone directory.

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  • All contracts must be approved by legal, and signed by an officer of the University.

  • The President must approve all donations to other non-profits.

  • Gifts to friends of the University must be approved by the President, a vice president, dean or athletic director and reviewed by the Vice President for Business and Finance staff to ensure appropriate tax treatment.

  • All capital acquisitions and charges to account number 82XX must be approved by Asset Management.

  • All charges to a "G" project number must have Grants and Contracts approval before payment can be made.

  • The Payroll Department must approve all payments for relocation.

  • The President, a vice president, dean, or athletic director must approve floral arrangements and sympathy cards.

  • Payments or reimbursement of memberships and dues must be approved by the President, a vice president, dean, or athletic director.

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  • 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.

  • All entertainment expense including business meals must have documentation that lists the date, names of persons attending, and states the business purpose of the entertainment.

  • 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 Payment Request form is used only when an invoice is not available.  This includes registration fees, order forms, and student stipends. Proper documentation must be attached.

  • The Payroll/Tax Department is responsible for all payments to international persons and foreign entities, ensuring the University is in compliance with tax requirements. For additional information on payments to foreign entities, refer to the Payments to Foreign Entities Flowchart and Frequently Asked Questions.

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

  • 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.

  • Payment of awards to students does not require an IRS W-9 form. However, include the Social Security Number and home address on the Check Request.

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

  • The Risk Management Department must approve the use of all transportation companies prior to use and payment.

  • Payments will not be made from statements that list past due invoices; invoices are required.

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A cash advance is an authorized payment of money (check or direct deposit) by the university, directly to an individual or third party in support of anticipated travel expenses for university business.
Travel advances are considered a loan which is repaid by completing a Travel Report upon return. Any unused portions must be returned to the university via personal check returned by the financial officer of the department. Cash advances will not be issued to individuals who have an outstanding balance.
Requests for such advances are to be made on the Travel Report form and approved by the Financial Officer. Employees may not approve a Travel Advance for themselves. A copy of this written approval must be attached to the Request for Advance of Funds.
A travel advance, to (or on behalf of) a non-university individual, will only be issued upon the specific written pre-approval of the appropriate Provost/Vice President, which is to be attached to the Travel Advance form.

The employee who is to travel or who is responsible for obtaining an advance for a non-employee, when authorized, does the following:
1. Completes a Travel Advance form. Send the completed yellow copy to Accounts Payable (make sure it is readable for processing) and retain the white and pink copies for later use. The following items are necessary for processing. Any deviation will delay the payment process.
    o Traveller's name, vendor ID and SMU ID
    o Amount requested
    o Dates of departure and return
    o University account, fund, org and subclass (1280 10 XXXXXX XXXXX) that will cover the travel expenses.
    o Indicate whether the cash advance should be a check or direct deposit. If a check, indicate if it should be held for pickup in Accounting Payable or sent to the department.
    o Signature of traveller
2. Confirms signature of the department supervisor or department chair—or any special approvals
3. Grant Accounting must also pre-approve if the expenses are to be reimbursed from grants and contract projects (i.e. externally funded accounts).
4. Attach an explanation if the travel advance requested is over the allowed amount.
Advances are considered to be loans to persons to/for whom issued, regardless of form (check, cash, airline ticket, prepayment fee, etc.); disposition of advances must be accounted for within 30 days of completed travel via the submission of a Travel Report, and the prompt return of any unused monies.

The Travel Report
Within two weeks of completion of University-related travel, the employee (or employee on behalf of a non-University individual) does the following:
1. Complete and print a Travel Report.
    o Any expenses which have been charged to the purchasing card should be reported in the appropriate section, i.e. airline tickets, registration fees, lodging deposits.
    o Expenses that are reimbursable should be reported under the day incurred and in the appropriate line item, e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner, taxis, tolls, etc.
    o If a cash advance has been obtained, it must be reported on the Travel Report.
2. Neatly and professionally, attach copies of receipts for expenses.
3. Obtain the authorized signature of the financial officer. All Travel Reports must also be approved by the department chair/director or next level of authority.
4. Forward the completed and approved Travel Report, with all supporting documentation and receipts attached to Accounting Payable.

When a spouse accompanies an employee on a business trip, expenses attributable to the spouse’s travel will not be reimbursed unless the travel has been approved by the President or the President’s designee. A Request for Approval for Spousal Travel form should be prepared and submitted for approval. The Spousal Travel form for the President should be reviewed by Legal Affairs.

Spousal travel expenses approved for reimbursement are taxable to the employee unless the spouse’s presence on the trip has a bona fide business purpose. A spouse’s presence primarily for social purposes is not considered to establish a bona fide business purpose.

Documentation submitted for travel in which spousal expenses are reimbursed must include the approved Request for Approval for Spousal Travel form before any reimbursement will be processed. The Tax Department will review the information provided on the form to determine if there is a reportable benefit for the spousal travel expenses. If there is a taxable amount, the amount will be included as taxable income on the employee’s next paycheck, subject to FICA and federal withholding taxes. The employee will be notified by email prior to reporting the taxable income.
For reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses associated with travel, such as airfare, lodging, meals and other expenses, please refer to the SMU policy guide.
For information on per diem rates for cities and counties, please visit www.gsa.gov.

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This section outlines the policies and procedures relating to the reimbursement of moving expenses of a newly hired employee or active employee who is moving on behalf of the university. The material in this section pertains to all employees and departments of the University, regardless of the account to be charged.

Active Employee - A person currently on the university payroll who is being transferred to a new job site for the convenience of the university.
New Employee - A person who has been tendered a formal offer of employment by an authorized university official and who has accepted the offer but has not yet been placed on payroll.

The University provides payment or reimbursement of moving expenses to certain employees as approved by the President or Vice President of the University. Employees must provide evidence of all moving expenses in order to document payment or receive reimbursement. Evidence includes original receipts, proof of payment, and invoices.

Reimbursements made under an accountable plan for qualified moving expenses are considered nontaxable and excluded from gross income. To be considered as qualified moving expenses the deduction is only allowed if the employee’s workplace at the University is at least 50 miles farther from his former residence than was his former principal place of work or if he had no former principal place of work and is at least 50 miles from his former residence.

Reimbursement for or payments for qualified moving expenses paid through Accounts Payable directly to a third party are not reported on employee’s W-2 forms.

Reimbursements or payments for non-qualified moving expenses are included in the employees’ gross income.

Employees will be reimbursed for moving expenses and payments will be mailed to third parties based on the proper supporting documentation and approvals. To request payment or reimbursement, a completed Moving Expense Reimbursement Request form along with supporting documentation should be sent to the Tax Department for approval. Upon approval, the Tax Department will forward all information to Accounts Payable for payment.

Any excess reimbursement that is not returned or reimbursement that is not supported by documentary evidence presented within 120 days after the expenses are paid or incurred will be treated as income and reported on the employees’ W-2 as wages.

Any reimbursement for nonqualified moving expenses will be reported as taxable income as wages. The Tax Department will notify the employee of all reportable income.

Qualified moving expenses (except those paid to a third party) are not taxable but are reported on employees’ W-2 forms.

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