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Form F4 Payment Request Policy

I. Date of Initiation/Revision

Revision effective February 1, 2018.

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 Payment Request form (F4) 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 F4 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.

IRS: 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:

Delegation of Authority

The delegation of authority to disburse funds to otherwise qualified suppliers 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 F4 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 F4 forms for payment and mails checks according to forwarding instructions.

Standard timeframe: AP Associates process RFPs for payment within 5 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 Payment Request and supporting original documentation (see Definitions) to Accounts Payable for processing at RC Box 278958.

VIII. Criteria

Below is a list of activities for which one or more preferred purchasing methods exist (should not be submitted to Accounts Payable via Payment Request):

  • Purchase Order should be established for capital purchases.
  • PO should be considered for every contract/agreement at the time Purchasing is reviewing the contract/agreement.
    • That is, if a contract is being established and you expect UR to make payments associated with the contract, it is expected that you involve Purchasing so that they may decide if they will create a Purchase Order for that activity at
  • PO should be considered for purchases from suppliers that are already established in the purchasing system.
    • If any department at UR has established a PO for the supplier we know that they will accept POs from UR and therefore other departments should establish a PO for their activity with that supplier.
    • Contact Purchasing to see if the supplier you are working with is already registered/qualified.
  • Pcard should be considered when the department has a PCard.
    • If the amount is less than $1500, your department has a Pcard, the payee accepts credit card payments, and the transaction is acceptable on the Pcard, then you should use your departmental Pcard to pay this amount.
    • The Pcard policy contains information about purchases that are allowable on the Pcard as well as restrictions:
    • If Pcard is not appropriate for this transaction, Purchase Order may still be a preferred option over F4 form. See Purchasing’s website for information: //
  • PO should be considered for any activity that generates multiple invoices with a supplier.
    • Multiple invoices are not generally associated with one-time purchases. Unless identified on the Acceptable Use list, this type of relationship would be better handled through a Purchase Order in order to provide additional protections for UR.  If the activity you want to pay for is not on the Acceptable Use list and you have not previously submitted a requisition to create a purchase for this type of activity, please contact Purchasing to discuss the situation prior to completing any paperwork.
  • Utilize System Contracts with suppliers for which System Contracts are in place so that standard invoicing is utilized instead of Payment Request.
    • Purchasing maintains these master system agreements with: Fax Doctor, Stericycle, Up and Running, B&V Testing, Phoenix Equipment, Spectra Services, Micro Video, Mettler, Xerox, Ricoh, Champion, Pepsi, Cardinal Optifreight.
    • Orders should be placed according to standard procedure for electronic (EDI810, SOLO/XML/FTP) or summary suppliers. Conforming orders are invoiced without Payment Request submission required by the department.
    • A listing of suppliers for which EDI810 and XML invoices are utilized can be found on the UR Financials Resources site:
  • Grant subcontract activities do not utilize the purchasing system but have contracts in place and are appropriately submitted without a Payment Request.
  • Payroll should be used for compensatory payments to employees, student employees, and many student stipend payment programs.
    • Student stipend payment programs include: McNair, REU, REACH, Research and Innovation Grant (RIG)/URG, Discovery Grant, LEND, and others.
    • Contact Payroll to see if the student you are trying to make a payment to should be paid through Payroll.
  • Payments to UR employed physicians should be processed via Payroll. Payments to non-UR employed physicians should be on PO.
    • Employee physicians are paid for services via Payroll. Nonemployee physician services must be paid via Purchase Order. See Purchasing’s website for information on classification as an Independent Contractor (for which a PO would be required) versus not an Independent Contractor (physician services paid through Payroll)
  • Before planning a purchase or expense, the department should also consider using the University’s Business Travel Account (BTA): If air or train transportation is involved, avoid anyone going out of pocket for those expenses by arranging travel with one of our approved agents.

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

The Payment Request F4 form is most appropriate for the following.  Please note that this is not an absolute list but a general guideline for Payment Request usage. Payment Request is generally only acceptable for one-time type of payments.

  • Standard/Default Payment Terms for suppliers providing goods and services are Net 30 days from invoice date. When a deposit is needed to hold a reservation, payment can be made immediately by noting an appropriate Due Date on the F4 form and explaining in the Business Purpose that immediate payment is needed to hold a reservation.
  • Pcard-acceptable transactions are allowable on F4 until the Pcard program is expanded at which time Pcard will be preferred over F4.
Activity Payment Terms Acceptable on Pcard?
Audio Visual Services Net 30 Yes, one-time service
Conference/Seminar registration Immediate Yes
Event Reservations Net 30 Yes
Flowers for business events/activities, not personal milestones (birthdays, funerals, engagements, weddings, birth, etc.) Net 30 Yes
Food and Beverage Net 30 Yes, on-site business meals
Honoraria/Guest Speaker Immediate No
Insurance centrally managed by Budget Office or SMH Finance Immediate No
Department of Homeland Security – International Services Office Immediate No
Non-employee (includes guest speakers) travel expenses (i.e., lodging and transportation) Immediate: when reimbursing non-employee

Net 30: when paid to lodging/transportation supplier

No, but F2 airfare is available for non-employees
Off-site utilities (phone, cable/dish, internet, power/water) Net 5 No
Patient and insurance refunds for which automation/integration does not exist


Immediate No
Payment must accompany notarized/official documentation (not thank you notes or normal correspondence) Immediate No
Performers/Entertainers (including DJs) one-time payments Net 30 No
Petty Cash replenishments Immediate No
Prizes and Awards Immediate No
Professional/club/membership dues Immediate Yes
Publication costs Immediate Yes
Referees Immediate No
Refunds/Transfers to affiliates/foundations (Gift Office, banking activities) Immediate N/A
Revenue generating contract payments Net 30 No
Royalty payments Immediate No
Stamps Immediate Yes
Student Account refunds/aid initiated by Bursar’s office Immediate No
Study Participation/Incentive Payments Immediate No
Subscriptions Immediate Yes
Tax/Assessment payments Immediate No
Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB) Net 30 No
Wegmans (including for example gift cards to study subjects and food and beverage) Net 30 No
Taxi, Uber, Lyft, RTS rider tokens, Valet service for events, Ambulance (not executive car/limo services which should be on purchase order) Net 30 No
  • It is best to specifically list the above description in the Business Purpose section along with any additional business purpose explanations/clarifications are appropriate.
  • Other activities may be acceptable but require clear explanation in the Business Purpose section or supporting documentation.

VIII. Documentation


The Instructions on the Forms page provides complete form instructions.

Central Finance

Documentation of payment transactions is retained per standard procedure.

Special Situations

Due to the nature of situations requiring special handling, exceptions to standard procedure require additional time to process.  Please contact Accounts Payable at if you have a situation that seems unusual or may require special attention.

If you feel immediate same day payment is required please contact the Accounts Payable Manager or Treasury Manager for approval to use the EFT (electronic funds transfer) version of the F4 form.

If payment needs to be electronically transmitted to a foreign payee bank, please use the EFT version of the F4 form and submit to Accounts Payable.  Additional information about F4-EFT version usage is available in the Electronic Funds Transfer Policy.


Page updated 2/1/2018