Accounts Payable

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Contact Information

The Accounts Payable Office is responsible for invoice processing and payment, travel management, and purchasing card reconciliation and management.

The accounts payable department is responsible for processing disbursements and issuing payment to all suppliers for services and supplies provided to Commonwealth University, as well as travel reimbursements to all employees. Payments are made in accordance with established Spending Guidelines for Public Funds as well as Travel Policies and Purchasing Card policies where applicable. Payments are processed every Tuesday and Thursday, except during holidays.

Accounts Payable

Contacts: Tina Campbell, Denise Hopkins, Jamie Tingley, Michelle Wenker, and Lori Olshefski

All monies received by a PASSHE university or the Office of the Chancellor are public funds, including, but not limited to state appropriations; tuition, room, board and other student fees; restricted and unrestricted gifts; restricted and unrestricted grants; ticket sales from athletic, cultural, and other events; revenue from athletic camps and conferences; corporate sponsorships; and investment income. 

The spending of public funds must clearly and directly benefit the University in support of its mission. Expenditures of public funds may not inure to the private benefit of one or more individuals unless such expenditure is authorized by law. All expenditures of public funds must be prudent and economical.

PASSHE has released Expenditures of Public Funds Guidelines, Standards, and Limits which applies to all PASSHE universities, all branch campuses, and the Office of the Chancellor. The effective date of this guidance is September 1, 2010.

Faculty and Staff Travel

BOG:  Policy 1986-07-A: Travel Expense Regulations

This policy refers to travel expense regulations which are applicable to management and all non-coalition bargaining unit employees of Commonwealth University. In cases where specific travel matters are addressed in the collective bargaining agreements of employees covered by this policy, the collective bargaining agreements shall take precedence over this policy. An employee not covered by this policy should refer to the appropriate provisions of the collective bargaining agreement covering the employee’s classification.

Proper approvals must be obtained prior to any business related travel. The A/P department audits all travel approval and expense reports for adherence to PASSHE and University policies before issuing payment. The traveler will be contacted if a problem exists. Under normal circumstances, payment will be issued within ten days of receipt in A/P. Employees will have their reimbursement directly deposited into their bank account.

Note: In order to comply with IRS Publication 463, under the accountable plan your expenses must have a business connection and you must adequately account for these expenses within a reasonable period of time. A reasonable period of time as defined by IRS publication 463 is 60 days after your expenses were paid or incurred. 

If reimbursements are made outside of the 60 day time frame, the reimbursements are considered income and must be included in the employee’s wages on the W-2 form. Please be mindful of this IRS ruling, any expense reports submitted after the 60 day period require a written explanation for the delay be attached and approved by the Vice President, Finance and Administration.

The State System and a third party (e.g., professional organizations, governmental agencies) may share in the payment of travel costs as long as an employee is not reimbursed twice for the same costs. If an employee receives payment by a third party, the employee must reduce the amount of reimbursement requested from the State System by the payment received, or refund that amount to the State System.

Supervisors are responsible for reviewing and approving travel expense report submitted by employees. Employees are responsible for ensuring that expenses claimed on their travel reimbursement vouchers are proper and accurate. Careless, fraudulent, or negligent preparation of a travel expense report  will require financial restitution and may result in disciplinary action. A traveler who knowingly presents a false, fraudulent, or fictitious claim may be subject to penalties under criminal statutes.

Overview

The location is the faculty/staff red parking lot #4 adjacent to and north of the Waller Building, and adjacent to and west of the Andruss Building. When entering the lot, the first two spaces on the immediate right will be signed for rental car parking, and the key drop box is next to the first parking space. All rental car keys for pick up will be delivered to the University Police. The police staff will verify that the correct person is receiving the car keys and contract by checking the person’s picture identification card against the contract name.

A Travel Approval Request form must be completed and approved in advance of travel and prior to vehicle rental.

Following are the various vehicle options for university travel:

  • Enterprise Rental Vehicle
  • Personal Vehicle
  • University Owned Vehicles:
    • 7 Passenger Minivan
    • 15 Passenger Van
    • Bus

When using the University owned vehicle or Enterprise rental vehicle option for university travel, a Vehicle Reservation Request Form must be completed.  The traveler must decide which vehicle (7 passenger minivan, 15 passenger van, bus or Enterprise rental vehicle) is appropriate for their travel.

The Vehicle Reservation Request Form does not need to be completed when a personal vehicle is being used.  However, the traveler must be in receipt of an approved Travel Approval Request Form prior to completing the Vehicle Reservation Request Form.

Enterprise logo

In order to assist with budgetary decisions, when comparing the cost benefit of a personal vehicle versus enterprise rental vehicle, the Enterprise site provides:

  • a mileage calculator
  • other Enterprise rental information, such as the Enterprise Vehicle Guidelines
  • Rental Rates and Surcharges, and delivery and pick up information

Enterprise Site

The location the Enterprise vehicles will be delivered to campus is the faculty/staff red parking lot #4 adjacent to and north of the Waller Building, and adjacent to and west of the Andruss Building. When entering the lot, the first two spaces on the immediate right will be signed for rental car parking, and the key drop box is next to the first parking space. All rental car keys for pick up will be delivered to the University Police. The police staff will verify that the correct person is receiving the car keys and contract by checking the person’s picture identification card against the contract name.

Finance and Business Services personnel strongly encourage anyone who will be doing work-related travel to obtain a travel card. The travel card is a charge card issued to an individual used exclusively for all official business travel on behalf of Bloomsburg University. The card may not be used to purchase goods or services for personal purposes (except as noted in the Travel Card Policy Sections C6, C7, and C8).

Travel Card Advantages

The travel card provides employees the convenience of making hotel, airline and seminar registrations by telephone, mail, fax or through the Internet. The card can also be used for meals while in business travel. Employees are able to make travel arrangements quickly and can reduce the amount of cash needed on a business trip. Also, the credit card company does not report the activity on your corporate card to any credit bureau. In addition, the card is marked “Tax Exempt” so that Pennsylvania state sales tax will not be charged.

Responsibility

All charges made on the card are the employee’s responsibility. The University will not be liable. Travelers must file an accurate travel expense voucher, with all required documentation and approvals attached, in a timely fashion. Reimbursement for reasonable, ordinary and necessary business expenses that fall with in travel guidelines and are submitted in a timely fashion, will always be paid to the employee prior to the credit card bill due date. The employee is responsible to pay the balance in full BEFORE the due date, regardless of reimbursement. The travel card should not be used for non-business expenses.

Resources

Overview

Off Campus Student Field Trip Guidelines establish travel guidelines associated with reimbursement of travel, subsistence and related expenses for student off-campus/field trip expenses. These guidelines are in accordance with PASSHE Board of Governors Policy 1986-07-A Travel Expense Regulations.

A Student Off-Campus/Field Trip is defined as any trip away from the campus taken by a student(s) sponsored by a faculty/staff member and approved by the appropriate VP/Dean. For liability purposes, individuals not employed by the University or enrolled as a student are not allowed to participate in these trips (i.e. spouses, friends, etc.).

Planning is essential! Please review the guidelines, as well as a procedural flow chart, prior to organizing your event so all paperwork and approval forms are completed properly. All events require the Student Off-Campus Field Trip form to be completed prior to the event. This will ensure timely payment of pre-trip expenses and post-trip reimbursements.

Export control regulations are federal laws that prohibit the unlicensed export of certain commodities or information for reasons of national security or protections of trade.

In general, the majority of international exchanges among faculty and students can go forward without the requirement of an export license, provided they do not concern detailed information regarding controlled items or technologies. When an individual is traveling outside of the United States, taking encrypted software and/or research equipment, or even a laptop computer, smartphone, or data storage device, s/he might require an export license, or certification and documentation of a license exception. A laptop computer taken abroad to a controlled country might contain strong encrypted software that is regulated under export control laws. The University is required to document the export (even a temporary export) of licensed items, or exceptions if the items are owned by the University. Any individual intending to travel with or transmit/ship controlled items outside the U.S. (or to foreign nationals) should first consult with the appropriate University office to determine if there are any export control issues or requirements.

Export Control News - Spring

Why Do You Care?

Jail sentences have been mandated for faculty members who break compliance rules in spending grant dollars and who transgress export controls. For example, a jury convicted a Tennessee professor of illegally exporting information to foreign countries via his graduate students and his trip to a foreign country and sentenced him in July 2009 to four years in federal prison.

Best Practices

BEFORE each foreign trip, it is important to consider:

  • What you are taking;
  • Where are you going;
  • Who you are working with;
  • Why are the end-users collaborating with you (what is the desired end result?).

FBI Informational Brochures

It is important to consider all of the above before each international trip as federal regulations change frequently.

International Travel Documentation

Please complete documents 2-3 months prior to your international travel and send them to dpeters@bloomu.edu . Keep a copy of the completed documents for five years past the last date of travel activity.

International Travel Questionnaire

This form is used to document travel outside of the U.S. it is important to plan ahead and think about what is being exported (laptop, equipment, information, technical data, biologicals), where you are going, who you are visiting, who you will be meeting with, etc.

Remember - If you don't need it - don't take it with you!

Temporary Export Certification

If a laptop is required for travel and a "clean laptop" is not an option, then before each foreign trip, a temporary export certification is completed, signed, a copy is kept on campus, as well as a copy to take with on travel;

  • Acknowledgement by the Dean of the traveler or a senior administrator on the permanent file copy is recommended to document the temporary travel exception;
  • Federal regulations require export related documentation is kept for five years past the last date of activity on the project.

General Ledger Accounting

Contacts: Deb NewmanDianna Burger

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Michele Wenker

  • Fiscal Technician, Accounts Payable Office
  • Lock Haven