This policy provides the framework for payments for goods and services benefitting the University and purchased by employees and students, as well as payments of reimbursement to employees and students for approved expenses incurred in support of the mission of the University. It is the policy of the University to ensure that University resources are applied in an appropriate and timely manner, with appropriate fiscal controls, and in compliance with state and federal regulations, sponsored project agreements and donor restrictions. The principles that guide payment policy at Rice University include:
The University makes payment based on vendor invoices, PCard use and requests for payment (check request, advance request, and petty cash). Please refer to the Payables Payment Manual for detailed procedures regarding the available tools and preferred methods for processing payment and the hierarchy of those who are authorized to approve payments.
Payments may be made to the following payees:
Vendors are independent businesses or individuals that provide goods and/or services to Rice. Rice University pays approved vendors within the terms specified on the vendor invoice and applies cash discounts allowed by the vendor. Refer to the procedures for details regarding the setup of new vendors. New vendors must supply an IRS Form W-9 (or W-8 BEN for international vendors) to Rice before the payment authorization process can be completed. The completed forms must be submitted via the vendor portal or with the payment request. Governmental entities that receive payments based on requirements of laws, regulations or court orders are treated as approved vendors.
Employees, Students and Visitors
Employees, students and visitors are reimbursed for approved expenses incurred in support of Rice business purposes. These reimbursements are made through accounts payable. Students may also receive payment for awards, prizes, scholarships, fellowships or grants that are not applied to their Rice student accounts. However, all payments to students and employees for work or services must be paid through Payroll. Please refer to the Payables Payment Manual for details.
Rice’s payment operations consist of a centralized payables function in the Controller’s Office and departments that procure goods and services. The departments initiate the business transactions that ultimately generate payments. As such, departments must ensure that financial control procedures established by the University are observed.
The Controller has day-to-day oversight of compliance with this policy and related procedures including:
The Procurement Office, in addition to its overall procurement responsibilities, works with Payables in responding to payment inquiries related to Purchase Order purchases.
Any employee or student authorized by the Department or area to select and purchase goods/services from vendors for the sake of daily business activities in accordance with this policy and associated procedures. Purchasers will have the authority to spend money on behalf of the University for valid business purposes and receive delegated authority to a specific dollar threshold.
An employee of the University who is appointed by Department or area leadership to serve as the purchasing point of contact for the Office of Procurement for his or her department or area.
The Department Administrator or his/her designee submits authorized payment documents, including supporting documentation, to Payables for processing. Department Administrators and/or the designees also monitor and process PCard reallocations and/or clearing/reporting of TEBM charges in a timely manner and ensure that supporting PCard documentation is available.
The Department Chair/Head ensures that Department Administrators and their designees follow this policy and the related procedures and also reviews and approves payments within their signature authority.
Vice President for Finance:
The Vice President for Finance is responsible for this policy and the related procedures and oversees the Controller's Office which is delegated the responsibility for day-to-day enforcement of this policy and related procedures.
Vice President for Finance
David W. Leebron, President
December 19, 2014