University of Rochester

Administration & Finance

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Request for Payment

I. Date of Initiation/Revision

Revision effective October 1, 2009.

II. Policy Classification

Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and CFO – Controller’s Office (Finance Department)

III. Policy Statement

This policy promotes the proper stewardship of University funds by providing general guidelines for the appropriate and legal uses of University funds in support of the University’s missions. The University receives, from a variety of sources, funds that carry with them fiduciary responsibilities. Inherent in these responsibilities are the requirement to operate the institution under guidance set forth by the University’s Board of Trustees, to properly safeguard and protect University assets, and to comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. This policy contemplates also that certain institutional duties and responsibilities have been delegated to the operating units (department/division) of the University involved in the conduct of business and to display sound ethical business practices in carrying out these responsibilities. This policy will adhere to and be in conformity with relevant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules/regulations at all times and subject to change as IRS rules change.

IV. Policy Summary and Definitions

The Request for Payment form (F-4) may be used to initiate payments for which University payroll forms are not required. Each payment must be determined to be an appropriate, allowable, properly authorized expense according to Finance policy. This policy and related F-4 form require departmental representatives to certify that University funds are being disbursed for valid business expenses and are allowable expenses for the accounts provided.


Adequate accounting: Defined by the IRS as follows:
You adequately account for your business expenses by giving your employer documentation of those expenses including invoices/receipts and proof of purchase.
Excess amount: Defined by the IRS as follows:
Any amount you are paid, including advances and allowances, that is more than the business expenses that you adequately accounted for to your employer within a reasonable period of time.
Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America.
Reasonable period of time: Defined by the IRS as follows:
Actions that take place within the times listed are considered as taking place within a reasonable period of time.
  • You adequately account for your expenses within 60 days after they were paid for or incurred.
  • You return any excess amount within 120 days after the expense was paid for or incurred.
Supporting documentation:
Documentation supporting the expenditure should always accompany a completed RFP form. To facilitate processing, supporting documentation should include:
  • Original supporting documentation, such as invoices, receipts, or other evidence of charge containing the date of purchase, vendor name and address, as well as itemization of description of goods and services, quantities and dollar amount.
    • Price/Order quotes are generally not accepted since the quoted amount may be inaccurate, there is no evidence of delivery and can lead to possible erroneous payments.
    • Statements are generally not accepted since it is common for duplicate payments to occur when specific individual invoices are not referenced in the description field.
  • If the documentation does not contain this information you should provide it in the business purpose section or with additional notes attached with the other supporting documentation. Any other approval documentation should also be included.
  • For purchases made via the internet, a confirmation email or acknowledgement and some other evidence a purchase was made (such as packing slip or delivery confirmation) are appropriate.

V. Related Policies

Refer to the University’s Finance web site:

VI. Delegation of Authority

The delegation of authority to disburse funds to otherwise qualified vendors and service providers is granted to the University division/departments. This authority is communicated to Central Finance by the divisions/departments when they agree to the certification statement, by signing the F-4 form, indicating the appropriateness of the business expense and account number provided.

VII. Responsibilities

Central Finance Department

Payment of expenses: The Accounts Payable Department processes completed valid F-4 forms for payment and mails checks according to forwarding instructions.
Standard timeframe: AP Associates process RFPs for payment within 2 business days after they are received in AP.
  • If there are any problems with processing payment for the RFP the Requestor is called for resolution.
  • If our calls are not answered within 2 business days we mail the RFP back to the Requestor for resolution. It takes 5-7 business days from the time an RFP is received at AP until the time the check is mailed out of our office. Incomplete forms or insufficient supporting documentation may delay processing and payment to the payee beyond the standard processing timeframe.
Reporting requirements: The Accounts Payable Department reports payments to the recipients and the IRS on forms 1099 as appropriate for rents, non-employee prizes/awards, non-employee compensation/fees, health care/medical services, annuities, and royalties. Note that employee prize/award and compensation payments should be handled through Payroll for appropriate reporting on Form W2.


Adequate accounting: Departments should submit F-4s within a reasonable period of time, submit proper documentation supporting those expenses (see Definitions), including business purpose explanation. See also Documentation for additional information regarding the F4 form.
Supporting documentation: Documentation supporting the expenditure, including a business purpose which explains and supplements the evidence provided by the paperwork, should be included with the form. See Definitions and Documentation for additional details.
Deliver to Accounts Payable: Forward the completed Request For Payment and supporting original documentation (see Definitions) to Accounts Payable for processing at RC Box 278958.

VII. Criteria

Before planning a purchase or expense, the department should:

See Related Policies and the Purchasing web site for additional information.

The Request for Payment F-4 form is most appropriate for

The Request for Payment F-4 form cannot be used for payment of compensation to University or student employees. For questions regarding how to give employees (extra) compensation please contact Human Resources. For more information on what payments are considered compensation, please see Taxable Payments to Individuals.

VIII. Documentation

The Request for Payment form was developed to capture necessary information for processing.

The RFP F4 form on the Forms page provides complete form instructions. Abbreviated instructions are provided here.

Payee Information
For payment of services - Citizenship/Residency question: For proper IRS reporting, you must indicate whether the payee is a US Citizen or Permanent Resident. See policies on Payments to Foreign Nationals and Taxable Payments for additional information.
Where response is Yes: If you indicated the payee is a US Citizen or Permanent Resident you must either attach a W9 for the payment or mark the box indicating a W9 for that payee has already been sent to Finance.
If the payee is a participant in a research study and a W9 is not required, to avoid payment delays, include a comment in the Business Purpose section as appropriate indicating that the payment is for study incentive/participation, that no W9 or SSN included as payments to the person/entity will not reach the $275 reporting threshold to Finance and that you have other supporting documentation on file in the department. See the policy on Payments to Research Subjects for Incentives/Participation for additional information.
Transaction Detail
Description on check: The description to be written on the check is limited to 15 spaces. Generic descriptions should be avoided. Instead specific information such as an invoice number or the account number the payee has assigned to us should be used.
Business Purpose
Documentation, supporting invoices and paperwork as well as the form submitted with those supporting documents, should be able to stand on their own in terms of adequate support and explanations. Business purpose explanations should be clear and contain sufficient details to explain why the payment is in support of University business. That is, it is not sufficient to merely reiterate from the supporting documents what was purchased, but should also explain why it was purchased.
Forwarding Information
You must choose what you want done with the check. Please note that the first choice "Mailed directly to payee" is the preferred method and is standard procedure. Please note that mailing a check back to the Requestor/Department or picking the check up at AP is not standard procedure, even if it is a Rush.
Approval Information
The Approver should be the "next-level"/supervisor which is an individual authorized/responsible for the ledger account to which the payment is being charged.
Other Important Notes
  • Enclosure(s) to be sent with payment: Mark this box if enclosures must be sent with payment to the payee. Enclosures may be copies of registration forms, invoice payment stubs, or other paperwork that will help the payee determine how to apply the payment. Please include an extra copy of everything to be enclosed with the payment.
  • One Invoice per RFP: For payment to vendors, only one invoice should be paid per RFP. If you have multiple invoices to be paid, you should complete a separate RFP for each invoice. When the RFP process is being used, vendors are much more likely to correctly apply our payments when we send them payment for one invoice per check. If you have multiple invoices for the same vendor, you should consider using a purchase order or pcard.
  • Supporting documentation: Documentation supporting the expenditure, with explanations as needed, should always accompany a completed RFP form. Lack of sufficient supporting documentation may delay payment.

Central Finance
Documentation of payment transactions is retained per standard procedure.

IX. Special Situations

Due to the nature of situations requiring special handling, exceptions to standard procedure require additional time to process and, with the exception of rushed checks, may take longer than the standard timeframe for RFP processing.


Page updated 10/14/2009
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