D. PAYMENTS

We aim to settle dues within 30 days after the request is received at the Business Office. To check on the status of a payment request, email payments@law.columbia.edu with the subject Payment Status and include the following information:

  • Vendor name
  • Request or invoice #
  • Total amount
  • Date of submission

Goods and service providers must issue a document requesting payment. This document is called an “invoice” and should include all information related to the purchase or service provided. Vendors are strongly encouraged to include an invoice number on every invoice to track their payments. Invoices must include the vendor’s name/logo, address, billing address, invoice number, invoice date, description of goods and/or services, and amount due.

To request payment, submit an invoice with supporting documents and applicable prerequisites:

  • Coversheet
  • Oanda Currency Converter – convert foreign currencies to USD and submit the printout as backup.
  • Prerequisites – certain prerequisites may be required depending on the type of goods and service which must be completed prior to requesting payment such as a fully executed contract or an approved purchase order. Please reference Purchase Orders and Contracts for more information. 

To pay an international service provider by wire transfer, submit a Wire Request in addition to the invoice and include the documents required to validate their immigration status if applicable. Please reference International Payment for more information. 

Signature

Signature of the payee and payee’s supervisor (validator) are required to validate the expenses and funding.


120 Day Rule

Expense reimbursements must be submitted within a reasonable time, no later than 120 days after the date of the expense, and prior to fiscal year end to ensure the expense is appropriately recorded. Late submissions after 120 days will be reported to payroll as imputed income, added to the employee’s W-2 wages, and tax is withheld.


Unallowable Expenses

Certain expenses are non-reimbursable or may have tax consequences, including but not limited to airline tickets or accommodations purchased using frequent flyer miles, personal expenses such as clothing, toiletry items, hairdressers, barbers, babysitting, or pet care. 


To request payment for an employee, submit a Travel & Business Expense Report with supporting documents:
  • Coversheet – complete header and first column.
  • Receipts must be original and identify date of purchase, vendor name/logo, itemized list and unit price of purchased items, total amount paid. Receipts must indicate proof of payment by stating “Cash Tendered,” “Paid,” a zero balance due, or evidence of debit/credit charged. If the receipt does not have proof of payment, submit the receipt along with the debit/credit card statement reflecting the transaction. Proof of payment is required to validate that payment was tendered. Loose receipts must be taped on 8.5” x 11” sized paper organized by date.
  • Missing Receipt Worksheet – complete for any missing or lost receipt.
  • Oanda Currency Converter – convert foreign currencies to USD and submit the printout as backup. Foreign credit card transactions in USD do not need to be converted.
  • Google Maps – for use of a personal vehicle, calculate total mileage x mileage rate and submit printout with the points of origin and destination as backup.
  • Rental Vehicle – for use of a rental vehicle for domestic travel, use Hertz. At the time of making a reservation, provide the Columbia University account number CDP# 254158, to include Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) and Liability in the rental. The University will not reimburse for any additional coverage. 
  • Event flyer, agenda, email, or invitation reflecting the business purpose of the activity.
To request payment for a U.S. person, submit a Check Request with supporting documents:
  • Coversheet – complete header and middle column.
  • Non-Employee Expense Worksheet – complete listing each expense.
  • Receipts must be original and identify date of purchase, vendor name/logo, itemized list and unit price of purchased items, total amount paid. Receipts must indicate proof of payment by stating “Cash Tendered,” “Paid,” a zero balance due, or evidence of debit/credit charged. If the receipt does not have proof of payment, submit the receipt along with the debit/credit card statement reflecting the transaction. Proof of payment is required to validate that payment was tendered. Loose receipts must be taped on 8.5” x 11” sized paper organized by date.
  • Missing Receipt Worksheet – complete for any missing or lost receipt.
  • Oanda Currency Converter – convert foreign currencies to USD and submit the printout as backup. Foreign credit card transactions in USD do not need to be converted.
  • Google Maps – for use of a personal vehicle, calculate total mileage x mileage rate and submit printout with the points of origin and destination as backup.
  • Rental Vehicle – for use of a rental vehicle for domestic travel, use Hertz. At the time of making a reservation, provide the Columbia University account number CDP# 254158, to include Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) and Liability in the rental. The University will not reimburse for any additional coverage. 
  • Event flyer, agenda, email, or invitation reflecting the business purpose of the activity.

To pay an international guest by wire transfer, submit a Wire Request instead of a check request, and include the documents required to validate their immigration status if applicable. Please reference International Payment for more information. 

The types of payment Columbia can make to international guests depend on their immigration status and visa type. To view the details of what payment authorizations are allowed by visa type, view the Eligibility for Payment Chart

Wire Transfer

To reimburse an international guest who will be receiving a wire transfer, submit a Wire Request instead of a check request, and include the following documents required to validate their immigration status if they came to the United States.

  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of visa type
  • Copy of entry stamp, I-94 (or ESTA Receipt)

Members of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) should use the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) instead of form I-94. Customs and Border Patrol is phasing out the use of form I-94 and it is being replaced by a new automatic process to obtain the person’s arrival/departure information from their electronic travel records.

“An honorarium payment is a gratuitous payment to a lecturer or a professional person outside the University community (not a University faculty or staff member) as an expression of thanks. It is taxable income and is reportable to the Internal Revenue Service.” Please reference related Policy Statement for more information. 

To request an honorarium for a guest, submit a Check Request with supporting documents:
  • Coversheet – complete header and middle column.
  • Official letter on department letterhead, addressed to the payee, including the amount of the honorarium and signature of department authority.
  • Event flyer, agenda, email, or invitation reflecting the business purpose of the activity.

To pay an international guest by wire transfer, submit a Wire Request instead of a check request, and include the documents required to validate their immigration status if applicable. Please reference International Payment for more information. 

Columbia Law School issues letters of credit for gatherings of 29 or fewer attendees and delivery of food on campus to local preferred vendors. We kindly ask to submit requests in advance of the event. 

To request a letter of credit, email events@law.columbia.edu with the subject Letter of Credit and provide the following information:

  • Vendor: 
  • Person making purchase: 
  • Name of your department: 
  • Faculty name & UNI (if applicable): 
  • Purpose: 
  • Event date: 
  • Location: 
  • Attendees*: 

*List full names of attendees if 10 or fewer

Cash Advance can be issued to an employee or student in special circumstances. The employee or student is responsible to secure all receipts for reconciliation purposes.  

To request an advance, submit a Travel Advance with supporting documents:  
  • Coversheet – complete header and middle column.
  • Event flyer, agenda, email, or invitation reflecting the business purpose of the activity.

To request an exception to Accounts Payable policies, submit a Request for Policy Exception or Adjustment along with the related Travel & Business Expense Report. 

To request a chartstring for an event, email payments@law.columbia.edu with the subject Chartstring Inquiry and provide a brief description of the event.  

Awards to Columbia students who receive Financial Aid must be submitted to the Financial Aid office for processing. Awards to Columbia students who do not receive Financial Aid, or payments to non-Columbia students, may be submitted to the Business Office for processing, and do not need to go through the Financial Aid office. If your department does not know whether or not a student receives Financial Aid, check with the Financial Aid office first to determine the appropriate route for payment. Please note, prizes are won in a competition; awards are achieved or granted.

To request a prize or award for a qualified Columbia student, submit a Check Request with supporting documents:
  • Coversheet – complete header and middle column.
  • Official letter on department letterhead, addressed to the payee, including the amount of the award or prize, and signature of department authority.
  • Event flyer, agenda, email, or invitation reflecting the business purpose of the activity.

To request an internal transfer or journal voucher, submit the detail statement highlighting the date on which the expense was originally applied, and a Cost Transfer Justification Form explaining the extenuating circumstances to payments@law.columbia.edu