Policies & Procedures

(Revised March 2011)


It is the policy of Florida Atlantic University to process all payments in accordance with state and university rules. All payments made from GTAIDS, Grant, and Auxiliary funds are made in accordance with the State Expenditure guidelines. A copy of the expenditures guidelines can be found at

http://www.fldfs.com/aadir/reference%5Fguide/reference_guide.pdf .

Duties of employees involved with the A/P functions are structured so that no individual has the ability to control the entire sequence of a transaction without detection. (i.e. create fictitious vendors and make unauthorized payments without detection by established monitoring procedures.)

Specific sponsored project/contract awards may authorize payments that would otherwise not be allowed, such as payments to research participants or for food. If fees are collected, certain items such as food may be allowed on auxiliary accounts. Payments made from Athletics and Local Unrestricted funds may be allowable if they are incurred to benefit the student.

  1. Responsibilities

    1. Verifies and pays all vendor invoices

    2.  Updates current vendor files. The Controller's Office does not create new vendor files unless the payment is unencumbered. Original vendor files are created by the Purchasing Department when a purchase order is issued. The Controller's Office  will review and update this information prior to each payment.

  2.  Invoice Processing Procedure

      1.  Invoices for supplies, materials, or equipment must agree with the purchase order.

      2. The A/P unit maintains an up-to-date manual of policies and procedures to effectively guide current employees in fulfilling their duties and train new employees.

      3.  Invoices must have a departmental approval under the following circumstances:

        1.  If the purchase order says "SIGNINV" in the "JOB NO." block, except as explained in section B (4) “Negative Assurance” below.

        2. If the purchase order says "INVOICE or PREPAID" and there is a dollar or quantity discrepancy between the purchase order, and the vendor invoice; unless the dollar amount is within the greater of 10% or $100, of the original purchase order amount.

        3. If travel is included on the Purchase Order, then receipts must be provided with the invoice.
      4. Negative assurance: the Controller’s Office is processing invoices based on a negative assurance. Invoices that are marked as “SIGNINV” in the “JOB NO” will be sent out to the approver, but will be paid unless the department notifies us in writing within five business days that the invoice should not be paid. The following payments are not made with a negative assurance: payments for blanket purchase orders, payments to Publix, Lowes, Home Depot and J. C. White .Invoices payable to those vendors will not be paid unless specific approval has been received to pay them.

      5.  When the vendor name on an invoice is different from the name on the purchase order, the approver must request a signed W-9 from the vendor. This information is reviewed by the vendor maintenance desk to make sure the proper FEID number is applied. The using department is also required to submit a request for a change order to correct the vendor name.

      6. A complete description of items purchased and each item's cost extended to a total column must appear on vendor invoices to process the order for payment.

      7. Accounts Payable applies credit memoranda as expeditiously as possible. Credits received for which there are no open invoices to be processed will be returned to the vendor with a request for check settlement.

      8. Management uses monitoring controls such as reconciliations and exception reports to determine the possibility of anomalies in the timely and proper processing of payables.

      9. All invoices should be mailed directly to the Controller's Office at the following address: Controller's Office, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431 or emailed to accountspayable@fau.edu

      10.  Departments should notify the University Controller's Office, in writing, to stop a payment. This notice must be signed by an authorized person and must explain why the payment should be withheld. Additional written notification to release payment is also required.

      11.  Freight carrier charges are normally paid as encumbered transactions against the PO for the item that freight is charged for. If the freight charges exceed the purchase order amount by more than the greater of 10%, or $100, the using department will be required to request a change order.

      12. Accounts Payable researches the vendor statement files to determine the status of items which have not been processed within forty days. Requests are sent to the vendors to identify such charges and to return copies of the obligation authority related to the charges.

      13. Transactions in excess of pre-determined limits are approved by management employees who were not involved with the initial approval or processing of the payable.

      14. Departmental records are retained in accordance with the University's official records retention schedule.

      15. All invoices over $500,000 will need written approval by the Assistant Vice President and University Controller or her designees before granting approval for payment.
  3. Departmental Expenditures
    Encumbered Payments

    1. Banner Requisitions are used by the Purchasing Department to initiate purchasing procedures and do not generally represent a request for payment. Accounts Payable may process payment directly from this form if deemed expedient by the Purchasing Department and if the following requirements are met:

      1.  Payments must be in accordance with expenditure guidelines and approved by an authorized signer.

      2. The requisition does not include the cost of meals, lodging, or other travel expenses.

      3. The Requisition must be properly completed.

      4. The Requisitions for conference registrations must be accompanied by a completed registration form showing vendor name, conference name, the name of person attending, conference dates, and a breakdown/description of charges.

      5. When applicable the Requisition must contain a statement of benefit to the State.

    2. Purchase Orders are issued by the Purchasing Department for procurement of goods and services in compliance with state regulations and do not represent a payment request until evidenced by an invoice and authorized signature approval when required.In order to make payments via purchase orders in compliance with the Florida Statutes, departments must ensure that:

      1. All invoices are sent directly to the University Controller's Office.

      2. Invoices related to Purchase Orders sent to departments for approval must be responded to within five days.

    3. Payment to Vendors

      1. Each employee who is involved in approval or processing of vendors invoices or distribution of checks to vendors is required to sign a statement each year before July 1 that he has received a copy of the rules promulgated by the University Controller. The statement also acknowledges that the employee understands the approval and processing time limitations and the provision for interest penalty payments.

      2. All invoices have to be paid within forty days of receipt of the invoice, receipt of goods or services, and completion of inspection and approval of the goods or services. If a dispute arises, the forty-day rule is waived until the dispute is resolved. Upon resolution of the dispute, a written explanation must be attached to the approval to explain why the approval was delayed.

      3. If a check to the vendor is not printed within forty days after receipt of the invoice, receipt of the goods or services, and completion of inspection and approval of the goods or services, the University will pay the vendor, in addition to the amount of the invoice, interest at a rate of one percent per month or portion thereof on the unpaid balance from the expiration of the forty-day period until the time that the payment is sent to the vendor.

      4. In the case of error on the part of a vendor, the forty-day period will begin upon receipt of a corrected and approved invoice by the agency.

      5. Interest will be paid to the vendor, unless the University Controller's Office has been advised in writing of disputed charge.

      6. The university has established a Vendor Ombudsman. The duties of this individual include acting as an advocate for vendors who may be experiencing problems in obtaining timely payment. The University Ombudsman may be contacted at 561-297-3693.

    4. Unencumbered Payment - Following is a list of allowable unencumbered disbursements (these are not subject to the $5,000 limit) that can be submitted via Check Request:

      1. Petty cash reimbursements

      2. Research participants

      3. Clinical trial expenditures

      4. Freight

      5. Postage

      6. Cellular charges

      7. Memberships/Subscriptions

      8. Employee reimbursements

      9. Direct travel payments (car rental, conference registrations & hotel payments)

      10. Fellowships/Tuition/Scholarships/Stipends (non-payroll)

      11. Notary charges

      12. Student and Housing 

      13. Lifelong Learning Society refunds processed to each registered student seperately, no exceptions.

      14. Self-Moves - When a department only allows a small amount toward moving expenses and the new faculty/staff member elects to move their own household goods.

      15. Proctoring Services (non FAU employees)

      16. Licenses

      17. Insurance

      18. Royalty payments

    5. The Payment Request Form is also used to effect payment of miscellaneous purchases of services not covered by a purchase order, and are also used by student club accounts to make withdrawals of funds.  Accounts Payable verifies these for completeness and accuracy before processing.

      1. This form may not be used as a substitute for a purchase order or for interdepartmental transactions

      2. Services must be an acceptable state expense.

      3. This form may be used to reimburse employees and other persons for out-of-pocket costs upon submittal of an original paid receipt.

      4. Purchase must be an acceptable expense

        1. Such purchases should be for small amounts, miscellaneous, and/or urgent. They are subject to university purchasing regulations and policies. The individual making the expenditure assumes the responsibility for compliance with regulations.

        2. One or more expenditures may be listed on the form. Each item purchased must be backed-up by an attached original receipt. As the name implies, this form cannot be used for reimbursement of any travel expense, nor can it be used to pay an individual for performed tasks

        3. Purchase must be evidenced by receipts

      5. Form must show authorized signature approval, and must show the following information:

        1. Payee's full name and Z#

        2.  Index and account to be charged

        3. Description of item(s) purchased

        4. Purpose of expenditure

        5. The address of the payee.

        6. Name and extension number of person filing the form and an authorized signature(s) of person(s) approving the disbursement.

        7. The Payment Request Form used by student clubs must include invoice(s) showing vendor(s) name(s) attached. Invoices paid directly to vendor must not include sales tax.

        8. The Payment Request Form  may only be submitted when the total payment is less than $5,000. Payments exceeding $5,000 require a PO.

    6. The University Controller's Office does not supply Income Tax information to payees. Although they are issued 1099 tax forms at year-end, the University Controller's Office does not accept responsibility for the independent record keeping.

    7. Tax Treatment of Scholarships and Fellowships.

    8. The University Controller's Office cannot process payments for persons assigned university identification numbers 900 00 0000 and greater.

  4. Distribution of Payments

    1. Invoice payments to external vendors will be sent directly to the vendor via direct deposit. In the event a vendor is not capable of accepting payment via ACH, a check will be sent to the address displayed on the invoice.

    2. The Payment Requests will be sent to the vendor via direct deposit. Payment requests must be accompanied by a complete ACH form and show a valid vendor address.

      1. Payments of invoices will be sent directly to the vendor via direct deposit.

      2. 1099 Tax Forms will be mailed to the vendors at year end. Tax is not withheld from these payments.

      3. A W-9 form is required for all payments.

      4. A W-8 BEN is required for Non-Resident Aliens.
      5. It is the responsibility of the department requesting the payment to assure that a W-9 has been submitted.

      6. An adequate description of charges (including dates, times, calculations, etc.) to allow proper audit by the University Controller's Office is required.

  5. Guidelines for Contractual Provisions for Construction Contracts

The following provisions shall be included in all construction contracts in order to promote timely payments to subcontractors for work satisfactorily completed:

    Subcontractors, forty-five (45) days after satisfactory completion of their work on the Contractor's project, can invoice the Contractor for the remainder of unpaid work, including the full value of the retainage related to their work, less the value of any item contested in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Construction Contract. The subcontractor shall include a conditional release of lien and all appropriate warranties and closeout documentation with this final payment invoice to the Contractor. The Contractor must include this Subcontractor payment request in the next Application for Payment in the pay application cycle to the Architect following the receipt of the Subcontractor payment request, if deemed to be complete and in compliance with this section. The owner shall process the payment request within 20 days of receipt of the Certificate for Payment from the Architect, and shall include payment of the retainage, less the value of any contested item, in its next payment to the Contractor. When a Contractor receives payment from the Owner for labor, services, or materials furnished by subcontractors and suppliers hired by the Contractor, the Contractor shall remit payment due to those subcontractors and suppliers, less the value of any item contested in accordance with the terms and conditions of the construction Contract, within ten (10) days after the Contractor's receipt of payment.

    The above paragraph shall in no way be interpreted to require Owner to use monies being reasonably withheld as project retainage necessary to insure final completion of the building or to require Owner to use monies assessed against Contractor as liquidated damages.

    The contractor is required to include the following provision in all construction contracts to promote timely payments to subcontractors for services properly completed to the Owner:

    When the Contractor receives payment from the Owner for labor, services, or materials furnished by subcontractors and suppliers hired by the Contractor for the project, the Contractor shall remit payment due to those subcontractors and suppliers, less the value of any item contested in accordance with the Contract, within 10 days after the Contractor's receipt of payment from the Owner. When the payment due the subcontractor is for final payment, including retainage, the subcontractor must include with the invoice for final payment a conditional release of lien and all appropriate warranties and closeout documentation. When the subcontractor receives payment from the Contractor for labor, services, or materials furnished by subcontractors and suppliers hired by the subcontractor, the subcontractor shall remit payment due to those subcontractors and suppliers, less the value of any item contested in accordance with the Contract, within ten (10) days after the subcontractor's receipt of payment.

    This provision shall not be construed to create a contractual relationship of any kind (1) between the Architect and Contractor, (2) between the Owner and a Subcontractor or Sub-subcontractor (et al.), (3) between the Owner and Architect or (4) between any persons or entities other than the Owner and Contractor.

Send comments or questions to Stacey Semmel, Assistant Vice President for Financial Affairs and University Controller.

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