Non-Purchase Order (NPO) & General Payables Processing

What does it mean to process a payment request NPO?
Departments have three main methods for paying for purchases/expenditures:
  1. they can submit invoices against a purchase order issued prior to the purchase
  2. they can pay via their CMU Business Card
  3. they can submit an NPO (non-purchase order) invoice voucher, along with appropriate backup documentation, to Payable Accounting for processing.

The appropriate payment method is determined by several factors, such as, dollar amount of purchase (competitive bid requirements, Business Card transaction limits, etc.); type of purchase (contracted services, maintenance agreements, etc), University Expenditure Policy; and whether or not vendor accepts credit card payments.

For information on purchases requiring an on-line purchase requisition, visit Purchasing Services , then select FAQ. For information on purchases not allowed on the CMU Business Card, visit the CMU Business Card section on the Treasury and Investment website.

Some business/travel expenses may be paid directly by an employee. In which case, the employee would submit an employee reimbursement request to the Payroll/Travel office.
What does the department need to do to get a payment request paid NPO?
Prior to purchase, determine if the required or preferred method of purchase is by Purchase Order or CMU Business Card. If NPO is an appropriate method of payment for the purchase, then complete the Invoice Voucher on the Contracting and Purchasing Services' website, under Forms/Searches. Get appropriate signature(s) of approval, attach sufficient backup to substantiate the payment request, and submit to Payable Accounting (302 Warriner) for processing.
Can you give some examples of purchases that can/should be paid NPO through Payable Accounting?
Following are examples of non-purchase order payment requests that should be processed through Payable Accounting:
  • Payment for "goods" (where no service is being provided), supplies, or equipment (with exception of computers) of $500 or less only when vendor does not accept credit cards.
  • Maintenance/repair services - where service agreement has gone through Contract Review* and is signed by someone with appropriate contracting authority.
  • Consulting fees - where contract has gone through Contract Review* and is signed by someone with appropriate contracting authority.
  • Honorariums (require signed contract with appropriate contracting authority signature).
  • Contracted services - , where contract has gone through Contract Review* and is signed by someone with appropriate contracting authority (contracted services with an individual requires submission of online Independent Contractor Questionnaire for review and approval by Human Resources).
  • Stipends / Participant fees (backup must be provided with payment requests)
  • Legal services (attorney fees) approved by the General Counsel office
  • Reimbursement of non-employee & student business/travel related expenses with proper substantiation (i.e., detailed information and original receipts [ where required]) and appropriate departmental approval (use Non-Employee/Student Expense Reimbursement Form available on the Contrac​ting and Purchasing Services​' website, under Forms/Searches.
  • Refunds to vendors and students.
  • Advertising expenditures (one-time, classified ads < $2,500 may be paid by CMU Business Card).
  • Utilities for which competitive pricing is non-existent (e.g., water, sewer, electricity, etc.).
  • Building lease (i.e., rental of space for CMU business)- where contract has gone through Contract Review* and is signed by someone with appropriate contracting authority.
  • State, local or federal permits and/or license fees.
  • Copyright/Permission-to-use fees and royalty payments.
  • Chamber of Commerce membership dues approved by the President's Office.
  • Professional Membership fees (if vendor does not accept credit cards).
  • Registration fees for conferences, workshops, and seminars (if vendor does not accept credit cards).
  • Subscriptions and orders for books, magazines, etc (if vendor does not accept credit cards).
  • Publication costs and reprint costs for articles written by CMU employees.
  • Agency account ("8" account) expenditures.
When submitting an invoice voucher to Payable Accounting what documentation should be included to substantiate the payment request?
This would depend on what type of payment you are processing. Following are a few examples of what to submit with the NPO invoice voucher:
  •  Invoices totaling $100,000 or greater - supporting documentation reflecting approval by the President.  An email from the dean or vice president reflecting presidential approval of the expenditure is adequate.  
  • ACH Paperwork for individuals​ - In order to process their payment electronically.
  • Merchandise – detailed vendor invoice.
  • Non-employee travel reimbursement – Non-Employee/Student Expense Reimbursement Form with detailed explanation of travel (e.g., dates, times, business purpose, etc.), and original receipts as required by the University's Travel Policy. It may also be necessary to include Form W-9 - or Form W-8BEN if a non-U.S. person.
  • Consulting fees – detailed invoice, a copy of signed contract, and a Form W-9 – or Form W-8 if non-U.S. person/business (If services are being provided by an individual, you may also need to submit a copy of the Independent Contractor Questionnaire approved by Human Resources).
  • Professional Membership dues - completed membership application.
  • Subscription/renewal – completed subscription (or renewal) form.
  • Prize – copy of price notification to the recipient, or similar documentation and a W-9 form - or Form W-8BEN if a non-U.S. person.
  • Vendor/Student refund – documentation showing proof of payment amount being refunded.
  • Honorarium/Speaker fee – copy of signed contract, and W-9 Form - or Form W-8BEN if a non-U.S. person. Information concerning hiring independent contractors can be found on the Contracting & Purchasing Services' website.
PLEASE NOTE - If PAYEE is a non-U.S. person, you must contact Payroll, at 3481, for assistance with required documentation and determination of payment eligibility before initiating the contract. Also, please refer to the Payroll/Travel website under Paying Non-Resident/Individuals for Services.
If you have any questions regarding required/acceptable paperwork for your payment request, please call Payable Accounting at 7372.


When will my non-purchase order voucher/invoice be paid?


 Provided the voucher and invoice are completed properly and all required documentation is attached, most non- purchase order vouchers are processed within 7 - 10 business days of arrival in the Payable Accounting Office. Processing could be completed sooner than 7 - 10 business days depending on workload. Processing could take longer than 7 - 10 business days if paperwork is incomplete and we have to request additional documentation, signatures, etc.


 Why does it take 7 to 10 days to get my payment request processed?

The Payable Accounting office is responsible for processing a variety of payment requests for the university, such as utilities, vendor payments, refunds, and non-employee/student expense reimbursements. All incoming mail is date-stamped in each day, and payment requests are typically processed in the order of date received. Before processing, however, each payment request is reviewed and audited for things such as appropriate backup, required signature(s), contracting authority, etc. We must ensure that we have appropriate and sufficient documentation to comply with the university's policies, as well as federal and state regulations.
 When are the Payable Accounting checks processed?
The check process is generally scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 1:30 p.m. Exceptions may occur around the Holidays, at Fiscal Year End, or in special circumstances. Checks are mailed the next business day following a check run. A calendar of Check Run Dates for the year is available on the Payables website.

If I need a check and cannot wait for your normal 7 to 10 days processing time, is there any way to expedite payment?


 In certain circumstances Payable Accounting can process a “rush” payment. This could mean getting it processed for the next scheduled check run or, if necessary, processing a manual check. These payment requests first need to be reviewed and approved by a Senior Officer. If approved, the Senior Officer needs to send a written request (e-mail) for the “rush” payment to Annie Thrush (, Director of Contracting and Purchasing Services, for approval. If approved, the paperwork for the payment request should be hand delivered to Payable Accounting, 302 Warriner, as soon as possible.


I've decided to pick up a check rather then having it mailed to the vendor. Who do I need to contact about this?


You can contact Payable Accounting at 3523 and anyone taking the call will be able to assist you with this request. If you know when submitting the payment request to our office that the check needs to be picked up, please note this on the voucher and put the name and phone number of the person who is to be contacted when the check is available.


I received a check back from a vendor stating it was a duplicate payment, what should I do with the check?

Any checks returned by a vendor to the department should be forwarded to Payable Accounting. Our office will research the check to ensure that our records agree with the vendor's records, and the appropriate accounts will be adjusted. The check needs to be processed against the vendor account in SAP so there is an appropriate audit trail.


How do I check to see if a vendor is setup in the SAP system?


To see if a vendor is set up in SAP access the Display Vendor screen using Transaction Code (TC) XK03. At the initial screen, you can search for the vendor account by keying an = sign then all or part of the vendor name in the Vendor field, then hit <enter> for results. If searching for an individual, you would key in last name (e.g. =THOMAS). If searching for a business, you would key in first name (e.g., =GATEWAY). Verify the address to make sure it is the right vendor. If you are not sure of the exact spelling, search on the first few characters of the vendor’s name followed by an asterisk (e.g., =ZEND*).


How do I tell if my purchase order or non-purchase order voucher and/or invoice are paid?

To verify the voucher and/or invoice have been paid, access the Vendor Line Item Detail screen in SAP using Transaction Code (TC) FBL1N. At the initial screen, enter the vendor number in the “Vendor account” field, select All Items under “Line Item Selection”, and click the “execute” icon. If the invoice is in Open items (status indicator at left of screen is red), the vendor terms will determine when the payment will process. If the invoice is not in Open Items, go to the bottom of screen and look for the invoice number in Cleared Items (status indicator is green). An invoice that has been paid will have a corresponding payment document (15XXXXXXXX) in Cleared Items, and the “posting date” indicates the check run date of when the check was issued.


 How can I tell if a check we issued to a vendor has been cashed yet?


One way to verify if a check has been cashed is to access the Vendor Line Item Detail screen in SAP using Transaction Code (TC) FBL1N. At the initial screen, enter the vendor number in the “Vendor account” field, select Cleared items under “Line Item Selection”, and click the “execute” icon. Go to the bottom of screen and look for the invoice number. An invoice that has been paid is assigned an SAP document number. Document numbers for purchase orders begin with “51” and non-purchase order document numbers begin with “19”.Click on the document number then click on the Display Check Information icon (5 th icon over in upper left corner of screen). If the check has been cashed, there will be a date in the Check Encashment field. This screen also gives you the check number, payment date, amount paid, and amount of discount taken (if applicable). If you click on the Check Recipient icon in the upper left corner of this screen, you will see the name and address as it appeared on the check.


 A check was mailed out to a vendor five days ago and they have not received it yet. When can a stop payment be placed on the check and a replacement check issued?

The standard waiting period before a stop payment can be processed is ten (10) business days from the day the check was “mailed”. Under certain circumstances a stop payment may be initiated sooner. Contact Payable Accounting at 7369 or by e-mail at, if you feel an exception to the ten-day waiting period is warranted.


 I need to have a stop payment placed on a check, whom do I call?


To request a stop payment on a check call Payable Accounting at 3523. Our office will verify whether or not the check has been cashed. If the check has not been cashed, a "Missing Check Form" must be sent to the vendor/payee to sign. The completed "Missing Check Form" should be faxed back to Payable Accounting at 989-774-1442, at which time the Stop Payment will be processed. Both the "Missing Check Form" and "Stop Payment Form" (i.e., OneNet Request Form) are available on the Payables website, under Forms/Searches. If the Missing Check Form is returned to your department, you may complete the Missing Check Form. Make sure to include the information noted below, and fax the completed form to Payable Accounting at 1442.

  • Vendor/payee name
  • Reason for stop payment
  • Name of person and department making request and phone number
  • Date of request
  • Any special instruction regarding the stop payment
If the stop payment request is due to a lost check, and the check is being reissued, it will be in the next scheduled check run after the stop payment was processed.
I'm not sure which SAP General Ledger (GL) account number to use on my invoice voucher?
A listing and description of all SAP GL account numbers are located on the Accounting Services' website.
Do I need to complete a Voucher for my non-purchase order payment request?
For certain payments a voucher is required, such as conference fees, independent contractor payments (e.g., honorariums, speaker fees, entertainer fees, etc.), non-employee/student reimbursements, and invoices that are smaller than 8” X 11”. Otherwise, it is acceptable to write the payment approval information directly on the invoice and submit it to Payable Accounting for processing. We would need the cost center, GL account number, Internal Order Number (if applicable), a complete signature (no initials) from an authorized person for that cost center, and the date.
I have five (5) invoices that need to be paid for the same vendor. Is it okay to submit one voucher for all five (5) invoices?
No. Each invoice must be processed separately in SAP. So, if you were completing a voucher, we would need a separate one for each invoice. The invoice number and invoice date should be noted in the required fields on each voucher. After processing, each voucher and corresponding invoice is indexed and scanned into our imaging system. (Rather than completing five (5) separate vouchers, you may record the account information, signature of approval, and date directly on each invoice and submit them to our office for processing.)