CHAPTER 5A: ACCOUNTS PAYABLE
Checks are generated Monday through Friday and are distributed each work day.
Except as indicated below, all checks are required to be mailed directly to the payee. In situations when it may be necessary for a department to directly receive a check the following guidelines will be followed:
- Release of checks to departmental personnel may be permitted for:
- Employee travel reimbursements or advances
- Payments required to be released directly to the payee (specific legal disbursements, game official fees, etc.)
The departmental representative will be required to present a picture I.D. to pick up the check in Accounts Payable.
- Requests for one-time exceptions may be permitted if a Check Release form, has been submitted and approved in advance. The request may be denied in order to ensure sound internal control procedures.
- The following checks are exempt from the above procedures:
- Financial aid awards
- Agency Fund purchases
- Stop Payment Requests
- Stale Check reissue
Stop Payment Requests
To request a stop payment for checks already issued, please use a copy of the Stop Payment form. The form is to be submitted to Treasury Services.
Copy of Check
To request a copy of a check, please use Check Copy form. The form is to be submitted to Treasury Services.
Vendors may elect to have funds directly deposited via ACH. To request direct deposit, use Vendor Direct Deposit Authorization form, and submit to Purchasing and Material Management.
Student employees have the option to update direct deposit information on myNMSU (Self Service) portal, https://my.nmsu.edu/web/mycampus/home.
Direct Pay forms authorize payments for items which are not required to be requisitioned into the Purchasing (Banner) System. The following types of purchases/services should be processed on a Direct Pay form.
- Agency Fund purchases
- Art Department Models
- Athletics compliance payments to students
- Conference registration fees related to travel
- Consignment sales
- Entertainment contracts
- Freight not associated with a PO (i.e. UPS)
- Gasoline credit card purchases
- Insurance (international programs)
- Library purchases for books and periodicals
- Medical care (athletics, CSBF)
- NMSU Foundation (transfer funds)
- Non-Employee Travel Reimbursements
- Officials / Judges
- Participant cash
- Reimbursement of petty cash for remote areas
- Postage (including overnight deliveries)
- Refunds of NMSU tuition and fees related to student accounts
- Stipends / Training allowance
- Utilities (electricity, gas, water, telephone, excludes sanitation)
- Travel reimbursement for students, unless expenses are contingent on enrollment and courses and credit hours
All student awards should be processed through the University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services, http://fa.nmsu.edu/.
All cash awards given to employees related to employment are treated by the Internal Revenue Service as wages and must be processed through Payroll Services, Chapter 5B.15.10, One-Time Payment Request (OTPR).
All other awards may be processed on a Direct Pay form.
The Wright Express fuel card is NMSU’s approved gas card and is administered by Transportation & Parking Services. The gas credit card may be used to purchase fuel for NMSU and rental vehicles. A Direct Pay form is used to pay Wright Express invoices. The NMSU vehicle license number should be indicated next to each charge on the invoice and include the site summary and receipts. Departments are responsible for reconciling and attaching all receipts.
An honorarium is a one-time payment made to a non-employee with the intent of showing appreciation for participation in University activities (such as speaker, reviewer, etc). If the payment is negotiated and agreed upon it would be considered a contractual agreement and should be processed as a payment for professional services and not an honorarium.
The payee signature on the Direct Pay form, or an invoice with original signature is sufficient documentation to process the payment.
Specific processing procedures for disbursement of funds for stipends, trainee allowances, and participant fees are based on the payee classification and type of grant program.
NMSU Student Payments
The payment must be processed through University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services, http://fa.nmsu.edu/. Educational assistance awards, which require services to be rendered, must be processed through the NMSU hiring system in EPAF, at myNMSU (Self Service), https://my.nmsu.edu/web/mycampus/home/.
NMSU Employee Payments
The One-Time Payment Request form should be used to process non-work effort compensation payments to employees.
For student related programs, participant payments should be processed on a Direct Pay form. The payee signature on the Direct Pay form is sufficient documentation to process the payment. Non-participant payments, such as mentors, teachers, trainers, etc. must be processed through the Purchasing (Banner) System.
For non-student programs, all payments must be processed through the Purchasing (Banner) System.
In the course of doing their research university employees will sometimes offer a cash incentive as allowed in their grant to encourage people to participate in their research projects. A request for participant cash will be made on a direct pay request.
When issuing a check to an employee for cash incentives a letter outlining the additional documentation required will be sent with the check. An additional copy will be sent to the department and the fiscal monitor.
The researcher is responsible for obtaining signatures when the cash is distributed. When all signatures have been collected they are sent with a copy of the letter to Accounts Payable, http://accountspayable.nmsu.edu/, to be attached to the original Direct Pay form. If all the cash was not distributed the remaining funds are to be deposited into the original index and account number. A copy of the deposit slip is to be attached with the signatures.
Expenses incurred by or on behalf of spouses/domestic partners of University employees during the conduct of University business are eligible for payment from University funds. It is the responsibility of the Department Head, Dean, or Director to ensure that the spousal expense is incurred during the conduct of University business.
Payment of business meals, refreshments and other hospitality expenses with university funds include hosting official guests, training sessions, conferences, or other university sponsored events to conduct official New Mexico State University (NMSU) business. This procedure does not apply to athletic training table meals or reimbursement of an individual’s own meals while on travel. More restrictive procedures and limits may be imposed by colleges and divisions. Business meal expenses may be paid with a University Procurement Card (Pcard) for vendors on or off campus. The following procedures apply to all transactions regardless of payment method. Expenses are allowable when it is determined the costs meet all of the following conditions:
- There is a bona fide and substantial NMSU business purpose.
- Participants are actively engaged in NMSU business during the meal or immediately before or after.
- Appropriate and permissible funding sources are available.
- Purpose and amount of the expense demonstrate good judgment
- appropriate to the occasion, and
- reasonable in amount.
- The expense is properly documented.
- receipts are attached, and
- who, what, when, where, why is documented.
- The expense has been appropriately approved at the college/division level.
All payment methods must be supported by the following documentation and have appropriate approval. It is recommended the Meals, Refreshments, and Hospitality Expense Worksheet be used as a tool to ensure documentation is complete.
Documentation for transactions – Receipt(s) must separately itemize meals, gratuities, alcoholic beverages and any charges for room use. A “tear tag” or billing statement showing only the total charge is inadequate for reimbursement. Every effort should be made to provide an itemized receipt; however, if this is not possible, a non-itemized receipt may be accepted upon submission of a written statement specifying the expense details and signed by the employee.
Nature and purpose of expenses must be properly documented:
|Who||If fewer than 20 attendees, a list of names and titles must be presented. If greater than 20 attendees, then a description of the type of attendees must be given. Information establishing individuals’ business relationship with the individual incurring the expense must be provided. An announcement or agenda may be substituted for individual names when paying expenses of a large group gathering.|
|What||What type of event was held (meeting, conference, training, etc.)? What type of expense?|
|When||Date, time of the event and approximate duration of event.|
|Where||Location of the event (building, restaurant, room, city, state, etc.).|
|Why||Purpose of the event/meal.|
Employee may request payment for food and supplies when official guests are hosted at their home. The reimbursement request must include an itemized sales slip of the items purchased.
When noted, costs not properly documented (who, what, when, where, why and receipted) or appearing to be excessive will be referred to appropriate management for review. In all cases, University administration reserves the right to refuse payment and/or require repayment of a cost deemed excessive.
All requirements apply to meals catered by NMSU Dining Services, http://dining.nmsu.edu/. Delivery and set-up fees associated with meals catered by NMSU Dining Services are not considered part of the meal per person cost.
Restaurant meals can be direct billed to the University and paid on a Purchase Order (PO). The PO should be set up as a two-way match and to pay with terms of net 10. The PO should include the event, the number of attendees and list of attendees if 20 or under. If over 20 the type of attendees will suffice. Verification that alcohol was not provided is required. The cost per meal per person, including taxes and tip, may not exceed the rates mentioned on business meals section, Chapter 5A.10.05.
Purchasing and Materials Management outlines when an employee may purchase goods and/or services and be reimbursed. For additional information see Chapter 4.40.70.
Purchasing and Materials Management outlines purchases that may be considered unallowable on University funds, Chapter 4.00.85.
Uniforms and upkeep of uniforms, including laundering and cleaning, may be provided to NMSU employees through one of the following two options only:
A Reimbursement Voucher can be prepared to reimburse an employee for the cost of uniforms and maintenance of uniforms. Submission of original and externally produced receipts is required.
Departments may create a Purchase Requisition for the purchase of uniforms and/or maintenance of uniforms. The department will be responsible for ordering and distributing the uniforms to employees. The maintenance of uniforms must be administered through the department.
NOTE: Departments will not be allowed to provide employees with an allowance or advance for the cost and upkeep of uniforms.
Tuition and fees for courses taken at the Las Cruces or any community campus of NMSU by University employees will receive the following treatment:
In general, credit courses should be paid for through the Tuition Waiver Program, http://benefits.nmsu.edu/other/employee-tuition/. Direct reimbursement of employees is allowed by submission of a Reimbursement Voucher only when the course is considered appropriate for employees in the conduct of their assignments and is over and above the minimum tuition waiver amount. Written justification documenting the employment-related requirements of the course should accompany all reimbursement or payment requests, for Dean/Director review and approval.
All non-credit courses, such as non-traditional courses at the Dona Ana Community College, are not eligible for the waiver program and are not generally approved for reimbursement. Written justification documenting the employment-related requirements of the course should accompany all reimbursement or payment requests, for Dean/Director review and approval.
All training offered by University departments outside the course catalog structure, such as computer skills classes offered by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), should be billed directly to departments on Interdepartmental Vouchers. Employees should not be directly reimbursed for these classes.
Tuition and fee reimbursements for courses not provided by NMSU must be justified in writing by the Dean/Director and are subject to administrative approval. The course must be specifically necessary for performing job responsibilities. Employee must request reimbursement by Reimbursement Voucher.
Centrally Billed Invoices
Accounts Payable will make every attempt to process centrally billed invoices that have discount payment terms within the discount period. All other invoices are paid within 30 days of the invoice date (net 30), unless other payment terms have been agreed to by NMSU through Purchasing and Materials Management.
Delivery of Goods or Services
Upon delivery of goods or services, vendors will submit invoices to Accounts Payable, MSC 3AP, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Payments are initiated by Accounts Payable upon receipt of an invoice from the vendor. All vendor invoices must reference the Purchase Order number, not the requisition number. If the ordering department receives the invoice, the invoice must be forwarded to Accounts Payable, MSC 3AP.
For those Purchase Orders that require the department to enter receiving information (Chapter 4.35.15), receipt of goods is indicated by on-line entry by the ordering department. The entry of receiving information by the ordering department and/or Purchasing and Materials Management constitutes the authorization for payment.
NOTE: Ordering departments should not enter receiving information into the Purchasing (Banner) System if disputes with a vendor exist, quality of goods or services is not acceptable, or other circumstances prevent authorization of payment. It is the responsibility of the ordering department to notify Accounts Payable if this occurs, and work with Purchasing Buyer to assist with settling dispute. Payments are generated on the invoice due date, when the receiving and invoicing data agree to Purchase Order (PO) data.
For specific information regarding requisitioning, receiving, and payment processes, please contact the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) help desk, http://ict.nmsu.edu/.
Purchase Requisitions (PRs) are processed two different ways into Purchase Orders (POs):
Three-way match requires PO quantities, invoice quantities, and receiving quantities to agree before payments are processed. A three-way match is required on a Purchase Order for goods equal to or greater than $1,000. The ordering department is required to enter receiving on all POs greater than $1,000 except if goods are shipped to central receiving Warehouse.
Two-way match requires PO quantities and invoice quantities to agree before payments are processed. Receiving information is not required.
If the invoice is over the Purchase Order amount, regardless of the number of lines the following tolerance rules are used.
- $50 or less – Payment is automatically processed by Accounts Payable.
- $50.01 to $500 – Department approval is required.
- $500.01 and greater – Ordering department must process a change order in the Purchasing (Banner) System.
The purchase and use of negotiable items, such as gift cards or gift certificates, require strict accountability. They must be acquired through a Purchase Order and are to be used for prizes and awards only. Gift card or gift certificate reimbursements are not allowed. Gift card or gift certificate items are not to be awarded to employees or Nonresident Aliens and cannot be used for the payment of services or other tax reportable transactions. Examples of appropriate gift purchases include an incentive for students to complete a survey or sell the largest number of tickets to an event.
The IRS considers gift cards and gift certificates to be cash equivalents, therefore control measures must be in place by the issuance area to ensure proper use and departmental accountability. Issuing areas should review and ensure the following:
- Participants are not frequent gift card recipients, minimizing the risk of non-compliance with IRS tax reporting regulations. Multiple gift cards should not be given to the same individual during a calendar year.
- The individual making the gift card purchase is accountable for the safekeeping and appropriate documentation of the cards, including the distribution to the recipients.
- Gift card purchases are restricted to the purchasing card single transaction limit in amounts of $25.00 or less per individual gift card.
- Unused gift cards will be accounted for.
- Academic-based gift cards impact a student’s financial aid, therefore cards purchased are not to be distributed for academic gifts or awards.
Purchases on restricted funds must be pre-approved by Sponsored Projects Accounting, http://spa.nmsu.edu/ prior to submission to the Dean/VP/CC President’s Office for final approval. A recipient log must be used to document the card issued, dollar amount, name and contact information of each recipient. The recipient log is to be maintained at the department and submitted to Accounts Payable, http://accountspayable.nmsu.edu/, once all cards are distributed.
There are three requirements that need to be satisfied for expenses to be considered relocation/moving expenses:
- The move is closely related to the start of work – this means that generally the moving expenses must be incurred within one year from the date the employee first reported to work at the new location.
- The distance test is met – the employee’s move will meet the distance test if the new main job location is at least 50 miles farther from the employee’s former home than the former main job location was from the employee’s former home.
- The time test is met – the employee must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after arriving in the general area of the new job location.
Moving expenses may be reimbursed up to the amount approved in the new employee’s Offer Letter. The new employee and their department can elect to pay a commercial moving company for the shipping of household goods through a Purchase Order. If a Purchase Order is used it will be considered as part of the funds allowed for moving expenses and Accounts Payable will need a copy of the Offer Letter before the invoice can be paid.
All other moving expenses should be processed following the employee’s hire date by submitting a Reimbursement Voucher. Receipts are required as supporting documentation for all expenses, except for any mileage claimed using the standard mileage rate for moving. A copy of the Offer Letter must be submitted with the employee’s reimbursement request. All moving reimbursements will be processed through Accounts Payable.
The newly enacted tax law eliminated tax-free reimbursement of employee moving expenses beginning January 1, 2018. The university is currently assessing this change and will update this procedure as soon as possible.
NMSU follows current IRS guidelines in determining whether claimed moving expenses are treated as qualified (no tax consequence) or non-qualified (subject to withholding of applicable income and employment taxes). All taxable expenses will be added to taxable wages through Payroll Services in accordance with IRS regulations.
Note: Brochures providing additional guidelines for Moving Expense reimbursement are available from the Travel website at http://travel.nmsu.edu//. The hiring department should advise employees receiving moving expense reimbursements to seek professional tax advice.
Reasonable qualified moving expenses may include the following:
- Commercial moving company
- Rental truck
- Shipment of cars, if not used in the move
- Connecting or disconnecting utilities
- Household pet shipping charges
- Charges for packing, crating, mailing and/or shipping household goods, and other miscellaneous supplies
- Storing household items for a single consecutive 30-day period. Additional storage beyond the 30 days is taxable.
- Travel and lodging for one trip (employee and family) from the former residence to the new residence.
Reasonable non-qualified expenses may include the following:
- Costs of meals at any point in the relocation process
- House or apartment hunting expenses
- Travel and lodging costs incurred during additional trips from the former residence to the new residence.
Expenses that will not be reimbursed by the university include:
- Side trips for recreation
- Expenses associated with buying/selling a home
- Loss of security deposits
- Per Diem – all lodging and meal expenses must be supported by receipts
- Expenses incurred by persons not considered to be dependents for tax purposes
- Any entertainment expense
- Extraordinary items requiring special handling, such as a boat
- Miscellaneous vehicle expenses such as depreciation, maintenance and repairs, tires, security devices, insurance and registration fees
- Furniture and other household or personal items expense
- Any type of moving expense not considered to be reasonable
In order to honor retiring employees and yet be fiscally responsible, New Mexico State University has established the following guidelines regarding retirement receptions for faculty and staff. Eligibility for retirement recognition receptions is limited to employees with a minimum of ten (10) years of service at NMSU. In addition, the reception must be open to the University community.
Upon approval of the retiree’s department head or director, departments may spend up to $500 for the purpose of a retirement reception and any associated costs. Included in the $500, a maximum of $100 may be used for a commemorative gift for the retiree. A commemorative gift is one that is reflective of their service to NMSU.
With advance written approval by the Chancellor or Provost, expenditures greater than $500 may be allowed. Written requests must be routed through the appropriate Dean/Vice President to the Chancellor or Provost and include justification for the total reception cost. Regardless of approved cost, a maximum of $100 may be used for a commemorative gift for the retiree. Under no circumstances can total retirement reception expenses on University funds exceed $1,500.
Allowable purchases include food items, beverages, a commemorative gift and rental expenditures related to the event. Celebratory cards, gift cards, decorations, flowers and alcohol are not allowed to be purchased on University funds.
A copy of the invitation and itemized list of total expenditures for the reception must be attached to all reimbursement vouchers, IDV’s or PCard receipts relating to the reception. Allowed reasonable expenses can be charged to departmental funds or gift funds, but are not allowable on sponsored funds. All expenses should be charged to a federally excluded account code. In the event more than one department participates in a reception for an individual, the approved total cost should not be exceeded. Amounts in excess of the approved total cost will become the responsibility of the retiree or his/her colleagues. Sponsors of retirement receptions may want to consider raising funds designated for the event.