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Non-Purchase Order and General Payables Processing

Find answers to questions about non-purchase orders (NPOs) and general payables processing at CMU. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Payables Accounting.

    Units have 3 methods for purchase/expenditure payment:

    • submit invoices against a purchase order issued prior to the purchase
    •pay via their CMU Business Card
    •submit a non-purchase order invoice voucher and appropriate backup documentation to Payable Accounting

    Appropriate payment method is determined by 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 if vendor accepts credit card payment.


    Purchases requiring an online purchase requisition
    Purchases not permitted using CMU Business Card
    • Reimbursement requests for business/travel expenses paid by an employee

    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 from Contracting and Purchasing Services.

    Get appropriate approval signature(s), include sufficient background to substantiate the payment request, and submit to Payable Accounting (302 Warriner) for processing.

    The following are examples of non-purchase order payment requests that should be processed through Payable Accounting:

    • Payment for goods (where no service is provided), supplies, or equipment (with the exception of computers) of $5000 or less when a vendor does not accept credit cards.

    • Maintenance/repair services,consulting fees, building leases, and contracted services (in which a service agreement has gone through Contract Review and is signed by someone with proper contracting authority)

    • Reimbursement of non-employee and student business/travel-related expenses with proper substantiation

    •Refunds to vendors and students

    • Advertising expenditures

    • Utilities for which competitive pricing is non-existent (e.g., water, sewer, electricity, etc.)

    •State, local or federal permits and/or license fees

    •Registration fees for conferences, workshops, and seminars (if the vendor does not accept credit cards)

    Documentation depends on the type of payment being processed.

    • For invoices of $100,000 or more, documentation reflecting approval by the President is needed (an email from a dean or VP reflecting presidential approval is adequate).

    • Automated Clearing House (ACH) paperwork for individuals​ is required to process such payments electronically.

    • For merchandise, a detailed vendor invoice is required.

    • For vendor/student refunds, documentation showing proof of payment amount being refunded is needed.

    NOTE: If PAYEE is a non-U.S. person, contact Payroll for assistance with required documentation and determination of payment eligibility before initiating the contract. Please refer to the Paying Nonresident Individuals for Services webpage for more information.

    If you have any questions regarding required documentation for payment requests, please contact Payable Accounting.

    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 to 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 the paperwork is incomplete and we have to request additional documentation, signatures, etc.

    Payable Accounting 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.

    The check process is generally scheduled for Wednesdays beginning at 1:30 p.m. Exceptions may occur around holidays, at fiscal year-end, or in special circumstances. Checks are mailed the next business day following a check run.

    You can contact Payable Accounting at x3523 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.

    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.

    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 the 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*).

    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 (the status indicator at the left of the screen is red), the vendor terms will determine when the payment will be processed. If the invoice is not in Open Items, go to the bottom of the screen and look for the invoice number in Cleared Items (the 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.

    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 the 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 (5th icon over in the upper left corner of the 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 appears on the check.

    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 3523 or by email at payables@cmich.eduif you feel an exception to the ten-day waiting period is warranted.

    To request a stop payment on a check call Payable Accounting at 3523. We will verify whether 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 emailed to, at which time the Stop Payment will be processed. Make sure to include the information noted below:

    • Vendor/payee name
    •Reason for stopping payment
    •Name of person and department making request and phone number
    •Date of request
    •Any special instructions

    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.

    A listing and description of all SAP GL account numbers are located on the Accounting Services website.

    For certain payments, a voucher is required, including 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.

    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.)