Accounts Payable Policies Summary

Account Payable Documentation

One of the most important underlying principles for allowable and appropriate expenditures is ensuring transactions are adequately documented. Adequate documentation includes an invoice or receipt that identifies:

  1. Who purchased it,
  2. What was purchased,
  3. When it was purchased,
  4. Where it was purchased, and
  5. Why it was purchased.  

When exceptions are requested they must be properly justified with additional documentation. 

Prompt Pay

State agencies are required to acquire goods and services, or conduct business through contractual agreements with nongovernmental and privately - owned businesses, to pay by the "required" payment due date for delivered goods and services.

  • All payments to non-governmental and privately owned businesses for the purchase of goods and services must be due dated. Departments should assign a payment due date of 30 calendar days after the receipt of the goods, services, or invoice whichever is later; or the due date specified in the vendor's contract.
  • Disputed Invoices- Disputed invoices must be documented in writing by the agency.  The vendor must be contacted within 15 calendar days after the receipt of the vendors invoice.  Payments are due 30 days from the resolution date of the dispute.
Comptroller's Debt Setoff (CDS)

The Comptroller’s Debt Setoff (CDS) Program intercepts vendor payments to offset debts owed by vendors to State agencies. The State provides agencies with the tax-id number for vendors with debts to the Commonwealth.  The Department of Taxation will be handling the processing of the vendor payment(s) against the outstanding debt. If only partial payment is taken, the vendor will receive the remaining balance and the check stub will indicate the amount taken for the debt owed and a written explanation will follow. If full payment is taken, nothing will be sent to the vendor until the debt is satisfied.

New Vendors in Banner

The Accounts Payables Office is responsible for establishing and maintaining vendor profiles in Banner. A permanent vendor setup is required before a purchase order or payment can be issued.

Vendors that are not found in the system through querying a vendor must be added in the system as new vendors.  It is the responsibility of campus departments to look-up vendor identification numbers in Banner.

A W-9 must be on file for all companies and individuals being paid by William and Mary.  The Commonwealth of Virginia Substitute W-9 Form is now the only version of a W-9 that is accepted.

W&M identifies vendors as two types:  Procurement and Fiscal Vendors.  Procurement vendors are defined as any individual, public body or business that sells good or services to the Commonwealth.  Fiscal vendors are defined as Vendors who need to be paid for a non-procurement related event (eVA exempt).

When requesting a new vendor create:

  • Procurement Vendors – Send your request along with the COV Substitute W-9 to
  • Fiscal Vendors – Send your request along with the COV Substitute W-9 to
Vendor Invoices

Vendor transactions are initiated at the campus department level.  The vendor must send the original detailed invoice to the ordering department.  The department must immediately stamped the invoice with the received date.  The department should then prepare the Vendor Payment Form, obtain all approval signatures, attach original invoice, enclosed the Purchase Order number and send to the Accounts Payable Office for processing. The expectation is that the department forwards the Vendor Payment Form and necessary backup documentation to Accounts Payable within 15 days to allow enough time for the invoice to be paid in accordance with the Prompt Pay Act.

Direct Pays
A direct pay occurs when an item or service is purchased outside the Procurement system (eVA) and an invoice is presented to Accounts Payable for payment. 

Allowable direct pays are: Advertisements, Conference fees, catering from on-campus dining services vendor, Honoraria, Moving and relocation expenses. Professional organization membership dues, Scholarships and Fellowships, Supply Room (excludes furniture), university-owned vehicle & boat licenses/tags/decals, Purchase of any other type of good or service as a direct pay is not allowed.

Reimbursements (Faculty, Staff and Students Reimbursements)
Personal reimbursement can be issued to faculty, staff, and students who have used their own funds to obtain small items not available through Procurement and Contracts. There are a limited number of circumstances where reimbursement is the appropriate method to conduct the university’s business: Express services when out of town, Business meals including catering, Moving and relocation expenses, printing if less than $50, Travel, Continuing Education course tuition, university-owned vehicle & boat licenses/tags/decals, Emergencies only with written justification.

An individual requesting an ineligible reimbursement will be given one warning.  Subsequent requests will not be reimbursed


Small Purchase Credit Card (SPCC)
The SPCC program is designed to streamline the procurement and payment of small dollar goods and services.  The SPCC should be used for all allowable business transactions under $5,000 where a credit card is accepted.  If a vendor does not accept credit cards or charges a fee to process credit card transactions; the vendor may receive a bank check.  It is the responsibility of the department on campus to provide the Accounts Payable office with this information. 

Payments to Individual for Services
William & Mary may obtain the services of an independent contractor. The definition of independent contractor is one who is responsible for payment of his/her self-employment taxes; who is not subject to the control of another as to the means and methods for accomplishing the work, but only as to the results; who engages in the pursuit of independent practice to the public; who pays their own expenses.

Payment to individuals for services performed must be made through the Accounts Payable department.  Request for payment must be submitted to Accounts Payable on a Vendor Payment Form. Request for payment to independent contractors (as defined by IRS) must be accompanied by a valid contract signed by all authorized parties on an Independent Contractor Form.  In addition, all contracts must be entered into eVA to ensure compliance with Procurement processes. 

Awards and Prizes
Payments to individuals for appreciation, recognition, prizes, and awards are considered taxable income to the recipient.  Awards and prizes to non-employees must be for a valid business reason, which may include a contest, door prize, etc. without the purchase of a chance or ticket.  Awards and prizes to non-employees are processed using the Vendor Payment Form. Please include the following information as attachments: (1) Award Letter (2) Description of Program or Competition (3) List of Recipients (4) Announcement (e.g. flyer) of the Competition (if available).  This additional information is mandatory.

An honorarium is a one-time payment granted in recognition of a special service or distinguished achievement for which propriety forbids any fixed business price to be set and is manifested by an activity such as a special lecture, participation in a workshop or panel discussion, or similar activities. The payment of an honorarium may not be made to a person employed by the university.  The payment of an honorarium may not be used in lieu of a consulting agreement or independent contract as a means of paying compensation for professional services.  A request for payment of an honorarium must be submitted to Accounts Payable on a Vendor Payment Form and must be accompanied by the Honorarium Understanding Form.  Honorarium payments must be charged to an honorarium expenditure account.