Payables (Accounts Payable)

A Business Process Managed by Accounting Services

Accounts Payable

These business processes involve making non-payroll payments to suppliers and employees, vendor maintenance for non-payroll payments, travel advances, emergency checks and foreign payments, payments for withholding to the State, 1099 Miscellaneous Income reporting and payments to the IRS, data entry of payment and financial transactions, and payment corrections.

Facts, Figures, and Recommendations

Ever wonder how much it costs to process an invoice, how long it takes for vendors to cash checks, or how many duplicate payments are erroneously made?

Disbursement Services has compiled some interesting facts and figures about the University’s Accounts Payable operations, including a number of helpful and important recommendations. A factsheet from February 2011 is available (despite the age of this data, it's still fairly accurate/representative).

Travel Advances

For information about travel advances, visit the U Travel website. A UofM login is required to access this site.

Vendor Information

In general, any supplier (vendor) who works with the University should have an ID set up in the financial system to expedite requisitions/purchase orders and payments, and to ensure we comply with any state/federal tax reporting guidelines or laws. More information about vendor setup is available here and on the policy website.

Policies and Procedures

The following can be found at the UWide Policy Library:

Accounts Payable: Paying Non-Payroll Expenses

Cell Phone and Data Plan business expenses is now part of the Business Expenses policy.

Paying Human Subjects and Maintaining Confidentiality and 1099 Reporting

Frequently Asked Questions

Tax Management Office Guideline #8 entitled Payments to Students (pdf) is helpful in determining what type of payment is being made and which is the correct process to use. Payments to students are complex. It is possible to pay a student through three different systems/processes: financial aid, accounts payable, and payroll. It is critical that the payment is done in the proper system, using the correct process. The University must comply with reporting requirements to the individual or Internal Revenue Service, such as 1098T reporting (financial aid), 1099 reporting (accounts payable), or W-2 reporting (payroll).

Payments to students is a complex area and not every situation has been covered in TMOG 8. The Tax Management Office is available to help analyze situations that are unclear or not addressed in the examples. Contact them for help determining the type of payment being made at taxhelp@umn.edu or 612-624-1053.

See the Policy Library page on processing Single Payment Vendor Payments.

The Office of the Human Research Protection Program has expressed some concern to Disbursement Services regarding the extent to which the full name of human subjects is used when generating the document numbers on the Check Request Form. In response to this concern, the Check Request Form numbering routine has been modified to limit the use of the human subject's name to a few characters.

When completing the form online and using expense Account numbers 810101 (Research Subject Payments) or 810102 (Research Subject Reimbursements), the document number generated will consist of:

  • the first three letters of the last name,
  • the first two letters of the first name, and
  • first two characters of the address and the date (MM/DD/YY).

The Check Request document numbers for all other payments to individuals will consist of:

  • the first ten characters of the last name, and
  • the first four of the first name and the date (MM/DD/YY).

Please note, when completing the form, the initial document number that will appear on the form will be "010000". That number will be replaced, as indicated above, once the form is completed. The updated form can be found in the Forms Library.

Please contact the University Financial Helpline with any questions.

The student organization must be set up as a vendor in the financial system. Enter the transaction to pay the student organization just as you would an external vendor. Ensure you have back-up documentation for imaging, just as you would for any other vendor (an invoice, statement, or whatever other documentation is needed).

Go to Accounts Payable > Vouchers > Add/Update > Regular Entry and search for the voucher number. Click on the payments tab and look at the section called scheduled payment. The Payment Date field is the check date, and the Reference field is the check number.

There is no blanket answer for stipends, since it appears to be a term that is used to refer to payments for many different things. These payments actually may fall into payment types for which there are a number of procedures defined.

If the payment is to a student, consult the Tax Management Office's TMOG #8 (pdf) or contact the Academic Support Resources (612-625-2803) as any payments made to students may impact their financial aid package.

If the payment is for expenses for non-staff or for travel-related expenses for non-staff, then refer to the Non PO Related List. Travel and expenses for non-staff are covered there.

If a stipend is paid for services, then a CPS requisition must be used.

If you cannot find what seems to be the appropriate process, contact the University Financial Helpline.

An issue has been identified with Match Overrides. The problem occurs when some but not all lines are overridden. The result is a PeopleCode error and the remaining match exceptions are not viewable. To avoid this error, either:

  1. Override match exceptions at the header level, or
  2. Make sure that you view all lines and override all lines. If all lines are not resolved, wait to override until all lines are resolved.

Vouchers may be closed if they are in a posted, unpaid status. To determine if a voucher can be closed navigate to the voucher's Summary page to research its post status. Then on the voucher's Payment page see if there is a date in the Payment Date box. If there is no date, the voucher has not been paid.

Once it has been determined that a voucher can be closed enter a note in the Payment Note box on the voucher's Payment page. In the note include the reason the voucher is being closed, the name of the person closing the voucher, and the date. After entering the note navigate to the Close Voucher screen and mark the voucher for closure. If the voucher is PO related, determine if the encumbrance should be restored or released.

If the voucher is re-entered and a duplicate invoice error appears, do not alter the invoice number. Contact Disbursement Services at disbsvcs@umn.edu for instructions.

There have been additional steps* identified to populate the match workbench so that all match exceptions are located.

Navigate to:
Accounts Payable > Review Accounts Payable Info > Vouchers > Match Workbench
Select the <Advanced Search> link
* Select the <Personalize Search> link
* Deselect the Item ID, Item SetID, PO Business Unit, PO Number, Receiving Business Unit, and Receipt Numberboxes
* Click the <Apply> button
Populate the search as follows:

  • Business Unit equal to UMN01
  • Match Status equal to Match Exceptions Exist
  • Origin equal to (your cluster's origin code)
  • Optional Search Criteria: Match Rule ID equal to (desired match rule exception ID)

Click the <Search> button.

The search results will display match exceptions for your cluster. To resolve match exceptions, use the Match Exceptions Matrix, which can be found in either the Vendor Payments or Procurement Specialist reference manuals.

The search criteria can be saved by selecting the <Save Search Criteria> link. Name your search and then click <Save>.

To used the saved search criteria, select it from the Used Saved Search drop down menu at the top of the page.