D. PAYMENTS


ATTENTION

Effective July 1, 2019: Coversheet Updates
  • A Speedchart is required to be included in the Coversheet of each payment request
  • If making the final payment on a Purchase Order we ask to initial the Coversheet by writing your initials in the designated field
Effective July 1, 2019: Business Meals Thresholds
  • Business dinners threshold has increased from $50 to $75 (note: business breakfast and lunch thresholds remain at $25 and $35 respectively)
  • Fundraising, recruitment and speaking engagement dinners threshold has increased from $100 to $150

 

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 - Vendor Name and include the following information:

  • Vendor Name
  • Invoice/Request # or Expense Date
  • 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.

Request to pay an Invoice

To request an invoice to be paid, submit the following documents and be mindful of possible prerequisites for certain types of goods and/or services:

  • Coversheet – complete header and third column
  • Invoice – official document from vendor requesting payment for goods and/or services
  • Oanda Currency Converter – convert foreign currencies to USD and submit the printout as backup
  • Prerequisites (if applicable) – certain prerequisites may be required depending on the type of goods and/or services, which must be completed prior to commencing work or requesting payment:
    • If a Purchase Order (PO) is required, include the PO number in the Coversheet. Please reference Purchase Orders for more information. 
    • If a Contract or Agreement is required, include copy of the fully executed document. Please reference Contracts for more information. 

If paying an international vendor by wire transfer, the following form is required in addition to the invoice for Columbia to wire the funds to their foreign bank account.

If the international vendor came to the United States, include copies of these documents for Columbia to validate their immigration status:

  • Passport (ID page)
  • Visa Type (ID page)
  • Entry Stamp, I-94 (or ESTA receipt)

Please reference International Payment for more information. 

Signature

Signature of the payee and payee’s supervisor 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. 


Request Employee Reimbursement 

To request reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for a CU Employee or CU Student, submit the following documents:

  • Coversheet – complete header and first column
  • Travel & Business Expense Report – follow the instructions on the first tab (T&B Report Instructions)
  • Receipts – must be original and identify date of purchase, vendor name/logo, itemized list and unit price of purchased items, total amount paid. 
    • loose receipts must be taped on 8.5” x 11” sized paper organized by date (do not staple) 
  • Proof of Payment – receipts must indicate proof of payment by stating “Cash Tendered,” “Paid,” a zero balance due, or evidence of debit/credit charged. Proof of payment is required to validate that payment was tendered
    • if the receipt does not have proof of payment, submit the receipt along with the debit/credit card statement reflecting the transaction. 
  • 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
  • Proof of Event – Event flyer, agenda, email, or invitation reflecting the business purpose of the activity

Request Non-Employee/Guest Reimbursement

To request reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for a non-CU individual, submit the following documents:

  • Coversheet – complete header and middle column
  • Check Request – use this form to create a Check Request PDF document
  • 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. 
    • loose receipts must be taped on 8.5” x 11” sized paper organized by date (do not staple) 
  • Proof of Payment – receipts must indicate proof of payment by stating “Cash Tendered,” “Paid,” a zero balance due, or evidence of debit/credit charged. Proof of payment is required to validate that payment was tendered
    • if the receipt does not have proof of payment, submit the receipt along with the debit/credit card statement reflecting the transaction. 
  • 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
  • Proof of Event – event flyer, agenda, email, or invitation reflecting the business purpose of the activity

If paying an international guest by wire transfer, the following form is required in place of the Check Request for Columbia to wire the funds to their foreign bank account.

If the international guest came to the United States, include copies of these documents for Columbia to validate their immigration status:

  • Passport (ID page)
  • Visa Type (ID page)
  • Entry Stamp, I-94 (or ESTA receipt)

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 pay an international vendor by wire transfer, the following form is required in addition to an invoice or in place of a Check Request for Columbia to wire the funds to their foreign bank account.

If the international guest came to the United States, include copies of these documents for Columbia to validate their immigration status:

  • Passport (ID page)
  • Visa Type (ID page)
  • 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. 

Request Honorarium for a Lecturer

To request an honorarium payment for a lecturer or a professional person from outside the University community (not a University faculty or staff member) as an expression of thanks, submit the following documents:

  • Coversheet – complete header and middle column
  • Check Request – use this form to create a Check Request PDF document
  • Honorarium Letter – official letter on department letterhead, addressed to the payee, including the amount of the honorarium and signature of department authority
  • Proof of Event – event flyer, agenda, email, or invitation reflecting the business purpose of the activity

If paying an international guest by wire transfer, the following form is required in place of the Check Request for Columbia to wire the funds to their foreign bank account.

If the international guest came to the United States, include copies of these documents for Columbia to validate their immigration status:

  • Passport (ID page)
  • Visa Type (ID page)
  • Entry Stamp, I-94 (or ESTA receipt)

Please reference International Payment for more information. 

Columbia Law School issues Letters of Credit to Local Preferred Vendors and Venues for the following reasons:

  1. Refreshments for TA sessions and in-class Faculty-Student Events (P-Card payment)
  2. Sit down events at Local Preferred Venues with 29 or fewer attendees (Invoice payment)
  3. Faculty hosting events in their home (Invoice payment)
  4. Alcoholic Beverages purchase at Local Preferred Vendors (Invoice payment)
  5. Columbia Bookstore purchase (Invoice payment)

To request a Letter of Credit Template* from the Business Office, email payments@law.columbia.edu with the Subject: Letter of Credit Template and provide the following information:

  • Your Full Name
  • Name of your Department, Center, or Program
  • Mailing Address
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

For occasional, one-off events, email payments@law.columbia.edu with the Subject: Letter of Credit* and provide the following information:

  • Vendor
  • Person Making Purchase 
  • Name of your Department, Center, or Program
  • Faculty Name & UNI (if applicable)
  • Purpose
  • Event Date
  • Location
  • Attendees #: List full names of attendees if 10 or fewer

*Only authorized employees can issue Letters of Credit on behalf of Columbia Law School. 

 

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.  

Request a Cash Advance 

To request a Cash Advance for a CU Employee or CU Student, submit the following documents:

  • Coversheet – complete header and middle column
  • Travel Advance – use this form to create a Check Request PDF document
  • Proof of Event – event flyer, agenda, email, or invitation reflecting the business purpose of the activity

To request for an exception or adjustment to Columbia's Travel & Business Expense policies, include the following form 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.

Request a Prize or Award

To request a prize or award for a qualified Columbia student, submit the following documents:

  • Coversheet – complete header and middle column
  • Check Request – use this form to create a Check Request PDF document
  • Prize or Award Letter – official letter on department letterhead, addressed to the payee, including the amount of the award or prize, and signature of department authority
  • Proof of Event – event flyer, agenda, email, or invitation reflecting the business purpose of the activity

To request an internal transfer or journal voucher, email payments@law.columbia.edu with the Subject: Internal Transfers/Journal Voucher explaining where the expenses should be allocated and attach the following: