CHAPTER 5A: Accounts Payable

5A.00 Issuance of Payments

5A.05 Direct Pay Requests

5A.05.05 Awards, Prizes and Gifts

5A.05.10 Gasoline Credit Card Purchases

5A.05.15 Honorarium

5A.05.16 Guest Payment

5A.05.20 Stipends, Trainee Allowance and Participant Payments

5A.10 Employee Spouse Reimbursement of Personal Expenses (Non-Travel)

5A.10.05 Meals, Refreshments and Hospitality Expenses

5A.10.10 Catered Meals

5A.10.15 Employee Reimbursement for Purchases of Goods

5A.10.20 Non-Allowable Purchases

5A.10.25 Employee Uniforms

5A.10.30 Refund of Employee Tuition Reimbursement

5A.20 Purchase Order Disbursements

5A.20.05 Purchase Order Processing Types

5A.20.10 Purchase Order Tolerance Rules

5A.30 Gift Cards and Gift Certificates

5A.40 Moving Expenses

5A.50 Retirement Receptions



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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Direct Deposit

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 are used for vendor payments that do not require a Purchase Order. Refer to the Payment Guidelines on the Aggie Service Center web page for guidance.

5A.05.05 Awards, Prizes and Gifts

Student Awards

NMSU students may receive cash prizes or awards, if the payment is not related to their education or employment at the University, by processing on a Payment Request form. All student awards related to education should be processed through the University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services, http://fa.nmsu.edu/.

Employment Related Awards

All cash awards given to employees, including student employees, related to employment are considered wages by the Internal Revenue Service and must be processed through the Payroll system, on a One-Time Payment Request (OTPR). Commemorative retirement gifts are allowable; see 5A.50 Retirement Receptions. 

Non-student and Non-employee Awards

Awards for non-students and non-employees are processed on a Payment Request form.

5A.05.10 Gasoline Credit Card Purchases

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.

5A.05.15 Honorarium

An honorarium is a one-time payment made to a non-employee with the intent of showing appreciation for participation in University activities. Honorariums should be processed on a Payment Request form. 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.

5A.05.16 Guest Payment

A Guest Payment is made to a non-employee by the University to participate in an activity such as guest speaker, panel member or peer/program reviewer. Guest Payments should be processed on a Payment Request form.

5A.05.20 Stipends, Trainee Allowances and Participant Payments

Participant Payments

In the course of doing their research university, PIs will sometimes offer a cash incentive as allowed in their grant to encourage people to participate in research projects. A request for participant cash will be made on a Payment Request form.

The sponsor is responsible for obtaining signatures when the cash is distributed. When all signatures have been collected, email to Accounts Payable at invoices@nmsu.edu with a copy of the letter which was provided to the Department confirming the transaction. Documents will be attached to the original Payment Request 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.

5A.10.05 – Meals, Refreshments and Hospitality Expenses

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
    • necessary,
    • 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.

5A.10.10 Catered Meals

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.

5A.10.15 Employee Reimbursement for Purchases of Goods

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.

5A.10.20 Non-Allowable Purchases

Purchasing and Materials Management outlines purchases that may be considered unallowable on University funds, Chapter 4.00.85.

5A.10.25 Employee Uniforms

Uniforms and upkeep of uniforms, including laundering and cleaning, may be provided to NMSU employees through one of the following two options only:

A Payment Request form can be prepared to reimburse an employee for the cost of uniforms and maintenance of uniforms. Submission of 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.

5A.10.30 Refund of Employee Tuition Reimbursement

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 Payment Request form 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 Payment Request form.


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, email invoices@nmsu.edu (preferred) or MSC 3AP. 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, invoices@nmsu.edu (preferred) or MSC 3AP.

Receiving information

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 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 Aggie Service Center asc@nmsu.edu.

5A.20.05 Purchase Order Processing Types

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.

5A.20.10 Purchase Order Tolerance Rules

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. Use of a PCard for purchase is considered an exception and requires prior approval through submission of an Aggie Service Desk request. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. The individual making the gift card purchase is accountable for the safekeeping and appropriate documentation of the cards, including the distribution to the recipients.
  3. Gift card purchases are restricted to the purchasing card single transaction limit in amounts of $25.00 or less per individual gift card.
  4. Unused gift cards will be accounted for.
  5. 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 an approved purchase in the grant. 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, invoices@nmsu.edu, once all cards are distributed.


In accordance with IRS regulations, effective January 1, 2018, all employee moving expenses are considered taxable. Reimbursements for moving expenses made to employees or paid directly to third parties are included in wages and subject to federal income tax withholding, state income tax withholding, and FICA. Moving expenses may not exceed the amount approved in the new employee’s Offer Letter.

The hiring department can elect to pay a commercial moving company for the shipping of household goods through a Purchase Order. Direct payment to a moving company through a Purchase Order is considered taxable moving expense and a copy of the Offer Letter will be required to pay the invoice.

All other moving expenses should be processed after the employee’s hire date by submitting an Payment Request form. Receipts are required as supporting documentation for all expenses, except 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 reimbursements will be paid in the employee’s standard payroll cycle.

Reimbursable moving expenses may include the following:

  • Commercial moving company or 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
  • Short term storage of household items (not to exceed 30 days)
  • Costs of meals at any point in the relocation process (receipts required)
  • House or apartment hunting expenses
  • Travel and lodging costs incurred for trips from the former residence to the new residence.
  • Mileage paid at the Federal relocation mileage rate

Non-Reimbursable Expenses

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
  • Alcohol
  • Furniture and other household or personal items expense
  • Meals and travel costs incurred by laborers
  • Non-disposable packing/shipping supplies
  • Cost related to immigration
  • Real Estate Expenses
  • Postage costs for realty and mortgage documents
  • Personal telephone calls, tips, movies or other entertainment
  • Bank fees for cashier checks
  • 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 Payment Request forms, 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.