Payments

Faculty, staff, and students seeking reimbursement must be mindful of the following:

  • 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.
  • Signature of the payee and payee’s supervisor (validator) are required on the travel and business reimbursement request to validate the expenses and funding.
    • 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. 

    A travel and business reimbursement request must be submitted on a Travel & Business Expense Report with a Coversheet and along with supporting documents:

    • 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. Lose 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.

    A reimbursement request to a U.S. person must be submitted on a Check Request with a Coversheet along with supporting documents:

    • 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. Lose 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 Payment to Internationals for more information. 

    Goods and service providers must issue a document requesting payment. This document is called “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.

    An invoice from the vendor must be submitted with a Coversheet along with supporting documents and applicable prerequisites:

    • Depending on the type of goods and service, certain prerequisites may be required and must be completed prior to requesting payment, such as a fully executed contract or an approved purchase order. Reference: prerequisites

    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 Payment to Internationals for more information. 

    “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.” Reference the full policy statement.

    An honorarium request must be submitted on a Check Request with a Coversheet along with supporting documents:

    • An 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 Payment to Internationals for more information. 

    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.

    An award or prize request to a qualified Columbia student must be submitted on a Check Request with a Coversheet along with supporting documents:

    • Request must include the language outlined below in the description of services:
      • Prize for a Columbia student who won in a competition (include the name and details of the competitive event).
      • Award for a Columbia student who does not receive Financial Aid, or, non-Columbia student award, or, Scholarship or fellowship (stipend) for a Columbia student who does not receive Financial Aid, or, non-Columbia student scholarship / fellowship / stipend.
    • An 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.