Purchases and Payments FAQ

Q: Will the College reimburse Pennsylvania sales tax on out-of-pocket purchases for College business?  
The College does not reimburse PA sales tax to employees. The cost of the taxable item will be reimbursed if it is an allowable expense under College guidelines. (top of page)

Q: How can I avoid paying Pennsylvania sales tax on purchases for College business?
Making purchases through E-Market assures that PA sales tax will not be assessed on tax-exempt purchases. If E-Market cannot be utilized, vendors can be provided with a tax exempt certificate. State Sales Tax Exemptions are available for several states. Contact Purchasing for assistance with this process. (top of page)

Q: If I have direct deposit of my paycheck, will Accounts Payable direct deposit other payments to me? If I have direct deposit, do I need my address on the payment request form?
Payroll direct deposit information will be used for payments from accounts payable. Completing the mailing address on the payment request form avoids processing delays and assures delivery of the deposit notice to the correct address. (top of page)

Q: Can I request a payment by check or electronic funds transfer outside the payment schedule dates?
Since payments are processed every week throughout the year, an off-cycle paper check will be approved only in an emergency situation. (top of page)

Q: I have a vendor statement with one or more invoices listed as unpaid or a prior balance due. Can I submit the statement for payment or request the prior balance be paid?
No, payment requests must be accompanied by a detailed invoice. Similarly, since the prior balance does not show detail of the charges it cannot be paid. If the original cannot be found, please contact the vendor to request an invoice copy or the statement copy when the prior charges were current. (top of page)

Q: If a current vendor or outside contractor wants to be paid by direct deposit what should I do?
Inform the vendor to request a blank Direct Deposit Authorization form by emailing accountspayable@brynmawr.edu. The vendor should not include any Bryn Mawr staff on the emailed request. After the vendor provides the completed form, Accounts Payable will contact them via email to verify and finalize the ACH process. (top of page)

Q: I received a refund check from a vendor. How do I deposit it?
If the refund is for an expense charged in the current fiscal year, complete a Cash/Check Deposit form and credit the account number used to pay the original invoice. If the refund is for an expense in a prior fiscal year, please contact the Controller’s office for further instruction. (top of page)

Q: Can I change the account number on a payment that has already been processed?
Yes, as long as the expense occurred in the current fiscal year. Please follow the Correct Account Number on Processed Payments instructions. (top of page)

Q: How do I know who is authorized to sign for a particular department, account or project?
Budget managers update signature authorizations each September for Accounts Payable. Please check with your department’s budget manager to determine the current status of authorizations. (top of page)

Q: What type of receipt is acceptable as documentation for out-of-pocket expense reimbursements?
A detailed receipt and proof of payment are required. A detailed receipt shows the vendor name, date of purchase, and itemization of cost.  Proof of payment is often printed on the detailed receipt, but, if not, a separate proof of payment such as the credit card statement or copy of the canceled check (front and back) must be submitted in addition to the detailed receipt. (top of page)

Q: How should I pay for conference registration fees? How can I be reimbursed for fees paid out-of-pocket?
Registration fees can be paid directly to the conference as a non-PO invoice in E-Market or by using a College credit card. Reimbursement of registration fees paid out-of-pocket is requested on the Payment Request (Non E-Market) form. (top of page)

Q: How do I complete a payment request for an amount less than the attached receipt(s)?
On the form, please insert “only” next to the total amount to make it clear that there was no miscalculation of the amount to be paid. (top of page)

Q: How do I process a payment for services performed by an outside contractor (someone who is not current BMC faculty, staff, or student)?
If no purchase order was obtained in advance through E-Market, payments to outside contractors for services can be paid as a non-PO invoice in E-Market. Payment for services is taxable income to the payee. A signed and dated Form W-9 must be on file for the payee. Out-of-pocket payments for services are not allowed and will not be reimbursed. (top of page)

Q: What do I need to know about travel advances?
Travel advances are available only for current Bryn Mawr faculty, staff, and students and must have departmental approval. Travel advances to students will only be provided under special circumstances with prior approval from the Controller’s Office. Advances from the faculty travel pool are approved by the Provost’s Office. Submit the approved request on the Payment Request (Non E-Market) form to the Controller’s Office. Advances will be distributed on the Monday before departure. Under no circumstances is an employee allowed to approve his or her own travel advance request, expense report or reimbursement request. Within 10 days of the completion of the trip, another Payment Request (Non E-Market) form with all supporting documentation must be submitted to the Controller’s Office with any unused travel funds. (top of page)

Q: Where can I find the Per Diem rates by location?
The College uses the rates published on the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA) website to reimburse for meals and incidentals. Rates are effective from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Follow the link www.gsa.gov. (top of page)

Q: What IRS mileage rate should be used for travel prior to January 1?
The mileage rate for reimbursement must coincide with the allowable IRS mileage rate for the date the expense was incurred while traveling. Current and prior year mileage rates are available on the Standard Mileage Rate page. (top of page)

Q: For travel reimbursements, will the electronic ticket suffice or is the boarding pass needed as well?
The electronic ticket will suffice as long as it shows the details regarding the travel and proof of payment. (top of page)

Q: How do I request an honorarium or travel expense payment for a guest?
A request to pay an honorarium and/or reimburse travel expenses is submitted on a Payment Request (Non E-Market) form. For an honorarium payment to a U.S. citizen or resident alien, a Form W-9 must be attached or on file. For an honorarium payment to a non-U.S. citizen there are additional regulatory requirements and procedures, which can be found on the Provost’s website. Travel expense reimbursements for guests, both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens, have the same documentation requirements as for BMC faculty and staff. (top of page)

Q: How do I process student travel expenses?
If a student travels for the benefit of their studies, then the travel is considered fellowship and should be submitted using the appropriate Fellowship Payment Request. If the student travels for BMC business, then the travel should be submitted on the Payment Request (Non E-Market) form. (top of page)

Q: What are the fellowship paperwork due dates and payment dates?
The fellowship deadline and payment schedule is available here. (top of page)

Q: Are fellowship payments required to be reported by the College to the Internal Revenue Service? Are fellowship payments taxable?
The College is not required to report fellowship payments for current students to the IRS for U.S. citizens and resident aliens. Please be aware U.S. citizens and resident aliens may have reporting requirements on the tax returns they file with the IRS.

The College is required to report fellowship payments for graduated or withdrawn students to the IRS for U.S. citizens and resident aliens on Form 1099. 

The College is required to report fellowship payments to the IRS for non-resident aliens on Form 1042-S. Please refer to IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education as well as the College’s Fellowships Policy and Payment Procedures. (top of page

Q: What is a prepaid expense and how are they processed?
A prepaid expense occurs when payment is made in one fiscal year (before May 31st) for expenses that are not incurred until a subsequent fiscal year (after May 31st). They are processed by using a specific 16-digit account code. Please see detailed information about prepaid expenses on the Glossary and Terminology page to help you determine if an expense should be processed using the prepaid account code. (top of page)