The Catholic University of America

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Payment Processing


General Lost Receipts
American Express Corporate Cardholders Moving Expense Reimbursement
Approval Guidance Personal Non-Business Related Expenses
Enclosures/Remittance Forms Photocopied/Faxed Documents
Foreign Currency Sales Tax
Grants and Contracts Vendors
IRS Form 1099-Misc Wires


How long does it take to process a disbursement?

Please allow one week minimum to process a disbursement. The situations listed below will delay processing time. Since AP does not control the timing for any of these items, please avoid these issues to aid the smooth processing of your disbursement:

  • Budgetary issues with your org
  • Incorrect or incomplete account coding
  • Incomplete or inappropriately approved supporting documentation
  • Paperwork that was not processed correctly (e.g. use of a direct pay form for items that should be purchased via a purchase requisition)
  • An incomplete or inaccurate purchase order
  • Receive the purchase order fo the amount of payment
  • Peak volume times (beginning of school year, Christmas, and fiscal year end closing in May)

Why are we being asked to provide such extensive documentation? I'm the budget administrator and I've authorized the payment.

We are not questioning your authority to spend your funds, but we do require adequate documentation along with proper 'business purpose" expanation for the expense. The IRS has "Accountable Plan" rules, which the university must follow to avoid unnecessary taxation.

Why would my department receive a call or email from Accounts Payable?

  • Insufficient documentation
  • Incorrect chartfield information
  • Insufficient expense approval
  • Budget issues
  • Purchase order not received

What kind of documentation do I need to provide for payment?

Original vendor invoices are always required for payment. We will not make a payment from a purchase order, vendor statement or contract. For personal reimbursements, travel expense forms and corporate American Express statements, along with original receipts taped or stapled to 8 1/2" by 11" paper, must be attached in a clear and organized manner.  We request this consistent format in order to speed processing and prevent receipts from getting lost.

I have made university-related expenditures out of pocket. How can I receive reimbursement?

You must document the business purpose for the expenditure on a Direct Payment Form and have a supervisor approve the expenditure. Accounts Payable will not reimburse sales tax, since we are a tax exempt organization.  See Accounts Payable's travel webpage for information regarding travel expenses.


What do I do if I made expenditures in a foreign currency during travel?

It is your responsibility to convert the expenditures into U.S. dollars as of the time of travel on your Travel Expense Report. Accounts Payable will do a reasonableness check of your calculation, but will return the form to you if it is not submitted in U.S. dollars.

The easiest way to obtain converted rates is to use a credit card for purchases and include a copy of the credit card statement with your Travel Expense Report. Out-of-pocket expenses must be converted based upon the rate as of the day of travel. For a longer trip, a rate as of travel mid-point can be used.

The Accounts Payable Web site includes links to easy-to-use currency conversion sites.


Are approval rules different for an expense on a grant or contract?

A direct supervisor must approve personal reimbursements and procurement charges, even if the expense is made by the Principal Investigator (“PI”). The PI must approve other expenses. All grant expenses are also reviewed by the Sponsored Accounting Office, which is checking adequate funding and cost allowability; however, the Sponsored Accounting Office does not serve as the expense approver.

IRS Form 1099-MISC

Who receives an IRS Form 1099-MISC (“1099”) from the university?

Anyone that we pay more than $599.99 for services, rents or other income payments. The following expenses are generally excluded:

  • Most payments to corporations
  • Payments for merchandise
  • Wages to employees (IRS Form W-2 is filed instead)
  • Business expense reimbursements to employees
  • Payments to a tax-exempt organization or federal, state or foreign governments

When will 1099s be mailed?

Forms will be mailed by January 31 of the year after the tax year being reported.

I have not received a 1099, but believe I am owed one. What do I do?

If you were not paid more than $599.99 in the tax year being reported, you will not receive a 1099. If you were paid $600 or more, contact the Accounts Payable Director to inquire into the status of your 1099.


Does Accounts Payable process moving expense reimbursements for new hires?

First, please make sure that you are following the university’s Relocation Assistance Policy.

If the reimbursement is in accordance with that policy, the reimbursements are processed through payroll unless the university pays the moving company directly. When the university pays the moving company directly, Accounts Payable makes the payment and provides a copy of the payment to Payroll. Relocation expense reimbursements are not always taxable to the employee; however, IRS rules require that the amount of the reimbursement be included in the employee's tax-reported income in their annual Form W-2. Contact the Payroll Office if you have questions about your W-2.


Can I submit a photocopy or faxed invoice/other document for payment?

In order to avoid a duplicate payment, Accounts Payable requires an original receipt. If the original receipt is lost or not obtainable, a photocopy or faxed copy can be submitted with a signed statement by the preparer or approver that payment was not already requested.


What can I purchase with my American Express card?

Contact the Procurement Department for allowable uses of the American Express Card.

Who can approve my corporate American Express card statement for payment?

A direct supervisor must approve your statement. Requesting that a member of your support staff approve your charges could put them in an uncomfortable position and does not constitute an appropriate supervisory review. Vice Presidential expenses can be approved by the Vice President for Finance, another Vice President, or the President.

What documentation do I need to submit with my corporate American Express card statement to pay the bill?

Personal reimbursements and University American Express charges must be submitted to Accounts Payable with a documented business purpose and original dated receipts. Receipts should be taped or stapled to 8 1/2" by 11" paper.  We request this consistent format in order to speed processing and prevent receipts from getting lost.  For travel charges, please make sure you have submitted charges in accordance with the university's travel policy.

Can I make personal charges on my corporate American Express card and reimburse the university? I don’t have another credit card.

Both the corporate American Express card and the university’s procurement card are only for business-related purposes. Any personal charges may result in termination of card privileges and other disciplinary action.


I need to be reimbursed for a business-related out-of-pocket expense. Who must approve this reimbursement?

Personal reimbursements, including corporate American Express and procurement card charges, must be approved by a supervisor, not by a direct report. Vice Presidential charges can be approved by the Vice President for Finance and Administration, another Vice President or the President.

Who needs to approve a vendor payment?

Expenses must be approved by the employee with budgetary responsibility for the org that is charged.

My expenses are being charged to a grant. Are the approval rules different?

The rules above apply to grant expenditures as well. Those expenses will also be checked by the Grants and Contracts Office who is checking adequate funding and cost allowability; however, the Grants Office does not serve as the expense approver. An immediate supervisor must still approve personal reimbursements and the Principal Investigator must approval other expenses.


How do I make sure the proper remittance form is included with the check for payments such as subscriptions and dues?

Our checks are printed in a self-sealing mailer so we do not enclose a remittance unless it is specifically requested. To request an enclosure, please fill out and include the Special Handling Form at the front of your payment request.


What do I do if I have lost my receipts?

If the original receipt is lost or not attainable, a photocopy or faxed copy can be submitted with a signed statement by the preparer or approver that payment was not already requested. If even a copy of the receipt is not obtainable, please contact the Accounts Payable Director. If the Accounts Payable Director gives approval, we will accept a memo from the expense approver explaining the details of the purchase, the business purpose and explanation of the situation.


If an invoice/bill includes both personal and business-related charges, how should I process the payment request?

The university cannot reimburse personal expenditures, as noted in our prohibited transaction policy. Please clearly identify items that were not business-related and do not include the cost of those items in your total payment request.


Should we be charged for sales tax on a purchase?

We are a tax-exempt institution. Please tell vendors that we do not accept sales tax charges for purchases of good or services. If a vendor invoice is submitted with sales tax, Accounts Payable will not pay the tax amount. Accounts Payable will not reimburse employees for sales tax on expenses to be reimbursed.


What do I need to complete if the vendor is a new vendor to the university?

You need to complete a Vendor Application so the university has the required tax information and can send the check to the appropriate location. If you complete the basic contact information, Accounts Payable can request the rest of the information from the vendor directly.


 Can the university make wire or ACH payments to a vendor? What is that process?  

The University will not wire domestic payments; ACH payments are available.

Wire transfer can be used for International payments. Send International Wire Form ( to Accounts Payable (not Treasury Services). Current Vendor Form must be on file in Accounts Payable for payments to be processed. Contract Policy must be followed, as applicable. Payment voucher will need to clear system budget checking process. Allow 2 – 4 days for wire processing.