Frequently Asked Questions - Accounts Payable

ePayables Questions

Is this a requirement? Will it affect our Vendor-Client relationship if we decline?

This is the preferred method of payment and part of an effort to reduce checks and eliminate paper waste and inefficiencies. It is not required. This will also decrease the time it takes to complete payment and is more convenient than handling a check.

Are there any fees associated with this method of payment?

Payments will be processed as credit card transactions, so your standard merchant fees will apply. There are not any direct fees imposed by the client or issuing bank.

Is the Client willing to absorb the fees?

It is not the Clients intention to absorb fees associated with your Merchant Service Provider.

Is it safe to keep the card number on file?

The new payment process keeps that card account with a credit limit of $0 until an invoice has been approved for payment. Once it is approved, the card will be funded with the exact amount due and you will receive a remittance, which is an electronic confirmation that the card is ready to be charged. This technology makes keeping a card on file completely safe.

Our company policy does not allow us to keep a credit card number on file.

Would your company allow you to maintain only the first 12 numbers on the card? For security reasons, the remittance advice, which authorizes payment, only identifies the last 4 digits of the card; upon receipt of the remittance you would have the complete card information in order to process the transaction.

Will the net terms change? How soon will we get paid?

Your terms will remain the same, however, you do gain the float; funds are typically deposited within 48 hours after processing the transaction.

How does this affect our invoicing? What about credits and short-pays?

Your invoicing, current procedures and client contacts will remain the same.

What is the client account number or billing address?

For security purposes, we do not have account or billing information on file. We will indicate in our notes that additional information is required.

What about past-due/outstanding invoices?

Please discuss this with your Client Accounts Payable contact or the Client Program Administer.

Our company requires a signed Card Authorization Form for every credit card transaction; can the Client fax this information along with the remittance?

The client will contact you with the card information to keep on file; at that time you can provide your internal Card Authorization Form to the client and maintain that form with the card information. The remittance is your ongoing authorization to process the card for the exact amount indicated.


Vendor Authentication Questions

Why does the University require potential vendors to complete the Vendor Authentication Form?

As described in the memorandum distributed by Vice President of Finance & Administration, John Carnaghi, the vendor authentication process requires vendors to complete and certify relevant federal reporting requirements and to certify that there are no conflicts of interest and no employee-employer relationships between the vendor and the University or FSU department.

The new Vendor Authentication Form is required to comply with IRS Taxpayer Identification Match rules and Form W-9 vendor certifications; it also reduces the University's exposure to penalties resulting from the misreporting of vendor information to the IRS.

The University reserves the right to decline a request to add a new vendor if the goods and/or services the vendor provides are already available from an existing University-preferred contract or Florida State eMarket-participating vendor or if the business has been identified as a Specially Designated National.

How long does this process take?

The process should normally take two days or less. If expedited handling is required, contact Disbursement Services at (850) 644-5021. Occasionally, the process may take longer, depending on the responsiveness of the vendor.

Will departments receive notification when a new vendor is approved in the OMNI Financial System?

Disbursement Services will let the department know if a vendor cannot be entered into the system. Otherwise, the department should check OMNI after a few days to find the vendor number.

Where is the Vendor Authentication Form?

The vendor authentication form can be found in the Payables & Disbursement Services section of the Controller's Office Forms page.

How should vendors submit the form?

For protection of confidential information, the vendor should mail or fax the completed forms to Disbursement Services. (Please Note: When mailing the forms, the approval process may take longer than two (2) days). The mailing address and the fax number are on the vendor authentication form.

What should be done if a vendor has an address change or a change to their remit-to address?

A letter or invoice from the vendor that indicates the address change is all that is required.

What should be done if a department needs a vendor reactivated in the vendor file?

Disbursement services will look up the vendor to see why they were inactivated. Depending upon the reason, the vendor may be reactivated by having them fill out a new Vendor Authentication form to capture required federal reporting data, or reactivation may be denied due to a particular reason (e.g. vendor has been debarred; vendor is now using a different name and FEID #; vendor is listed on the National Designated Individuals List).

Is the process the same for an individual who is not a US citizen or a permanent US resident?

No. These individuals should contact FSU's Payroll Services department at (850) 644-3813.

What is the process for a foreign vendor?

If the business is a foreign entity, they should not fill out the Vendor Authentication Form. Instead, they should refer to the IRS instructions and forms for foreign businesses.

Consider the following, when choosing the proper W-8 form to use:

  • Form W-8BEN (use if other W-8 forms are not applicable)
  • Form W-8ECI – Applicable if the foreign entity has a trade or business in the United States
  • Form W-8IMY – Applicable if foreign entity acts in the capacity of a custodian, broker, nominee or any other person that acts as an agent for another person
  • Form W-8EXP – Applicable primarily when the foreign entity is a foreign government, foreign bank, foreign tax-exempt organization or foreign foundation.

After completion of the required form, send the original, signed document to Disbursement Services. Note: The Vendor Relations team will check all the necessary resources to ensure no federal or state restrictions exist on the foreign entity before they are entered into the University's vendor file.

If the potential vendor is an individual and he or she is not a U.S. Citizen or a permanent U.S. Resident, the Vendor Authentication form should not be filled out. Instead, he or she should contact FSU’s Payroll Services Department at (850) 644-3813.


ePRF Questions

What is ePRF?

ePRF is the Electronic Payment Request process in OMNI for allowable unencumbered payments. It replaces the paper Payment Request Form, except for cash advances.

Are there any training materials that can help me with ePRF?

Yes, training videos can be found on the Training & Job Aids page of the Controller's Office website. The videos are found in the Accounts Payable section, and listed under "Training Videos for 9.2 Financials Upgrade.".

How do departments become set up for ePRF?

See the ePRF Startup Guide for step-by-step instructions on how to set up a department for ePRF.

When should departments begin the process of setting up ePRF?

Departments can begin the process on May 26, 2015. Every department should be set up to process Electronic Payment Requests in OMNI before the fall, 2015 session of school starts at FSU.

Is it necessary to designate Level 2 Approvers?

No, departments are only required to list two Level 1 Approvers. However, a department has the ability to implement a second level of approval- which may be beneficial in certain circumstances.

Why does a department need to list a minimum of two approvers for Level 1 Approvers?

At least two approvers must be designated by a department in case one approver is out sick or on vacation. That way, requests can continue to be handled with minimal delay when one approver is away from the office.

If Level Two approvers are optional, do we still have to list two approvers?

If your department decides to have a second level of approval for this process, then yes- a minimum of two Level Two Approvers must be designated by your department. If your department does not want to make use of the second level of approval, no designation is required.

What should our department do if both designated approvers are out of the office for the day- and approval is needed ASAP?

Contact Accounts Payable for assistance.


Employee Cash Advance Questions

Do cash advances encumber on a budget?

No. Cash advances do not encumber funds on a budget, so it is critical that departments account for the outstanding cash on their reconciliation. Cash advances can be viewed on the Departmental Ledger in BI under “Other Assets.”

Can I turn in unused gift cards I purchased on a cash advance?

No. The Controller’s Office cannot accept gift cards to close out a cash advance. If the PI has future human subject incentive payments to make, a new cash advance can be opened to “buy” the unused gift cards.

For example, if a PI opens a cash advance for $500 and has $100 remaining in gift cards at close out, the PI can return supporting documentation for the $400 disbursed and $100 cash to the Controller’s Office. Then open a new cash advance for >$100 and disburse the gift cards as part of the second cash advance. The original $500 receipt for the purchase of the gift cards will need to be included with supporting documentation for both cash advances and the amount applied to each cash advance should be noted.

What types of payments does the university accept to close out employee advances?

Cash, check, or money order.

What account code do I use when I return unspent funds to the Controller’s Office?

  • 168300 – permanent advances
  • or 168400 – temporary advances

Expense (7XXXXX) or Revenue (6XXXXX) account codes should NEVER be used for unspent funds.

What account code do I use when turning in receipts for a cash advance?

The expense (7XXXXX) account code that most closely associates with the purpose of the cash advance should be used. For example, 740355 is for human subject participant incentive payments.

What if I don’t have enough time to request a cash advance for my human subject incentive payments?

Contact your SRA Grants Accounting Coordinator immediately. Repeated failure to follow the cash advance procedures for incentive payments may result in payments being denied and/or the employee not being reimbursed.

How do I determine how much cash I need to request?

The amount of cash requested should be reasonable based on the timeline for disbursing funds. For example, if you plan to disburse $1,000 per month for 6 months, you don’t necessarily need $6,000. The first month can be replenished after it is disbursed to reuse for future disbursements. As a general rule, the cash should not exceed your immediate need for disbursement (30-60 days).

Can I request an extension on my cash advance?

On rare occasions a cash advance may be considered for an extension. The custodian must have a detailed plan for how the remaining funds will be spent within 30 days of the expiration date in order for an extension to be considered. Contact your SRA Grants Accounting Coordinator for C&G funds or the Controller’s office for non-C&G funds to request an extension.

How often should I turn in receipts for my cash advance?

Cash advances should be reconciled monthly; with funds either being replenished or the cash advance partially closed if additional funds are not needed.

What does it mean to partially replenish/close a cash advance?

If a custodian has disbursed a $500 cash advance and they only want to replenish $300 for their remaining payments, they can partially replenish/close the advance. In this example, the $300.00 would be partially replenished. The $200.00 would be partially closed in a separate voucher. See “Employee Cash Advance- Partial Close” job aid. After these vouchers have gone through, the overall advance balance would be reduced from $500.00 to $300.00.

Can a cash advance check be made payable to a supplier? (example Target, Walmart)

Yes, in cases where a check payable directly to the supplier is needed ( ex. Target Gift Cards) a cash advance check can be made payable to the Omni Supplier. [See “How to Open a Cash Advance to a Supplier ” job aid] Please note the third party check must be signed and picked up by the cash advance custodian only.

Can a cash advance be mailed?

No, every cash advance requires “special handling” when inputting the ePRF to state the name and phone number of the custodian. The assigned custodian or designee will be called by Treasury Management when the check is ready and the custodian must sign and pick up the check in person in the Treasury Management office (University Center A; Room 6300).

What if I have a current cash advance that was not processed through the ePRF system?

Any replenishments, and closings to current (pre-ePRF) cash advances will be replenished and closed using paper PRF forms.


PAY Cycles/Check Related Questions

When and where can AP checks be picked up? Can I send a runner?

Vouchers that have been marked as Special Handling (on the Payments tab) are held out for pick up by the Controller’s Office. The individual noted in the Message field will be called when the check is ready. That person can send someone else to pick up the check. Checks are retrieved from Disbursement Services in UCA Suite 5607, Monday - Friday from 9:00am – 4:00pm. All checks will be signed out, so there is a record of who received the check (FSU ID or Driver’s License may be required).

Where is the Stop Payment Request form located?

It is located on the Controller’s Website, under Cash Management & Banking forms. This form is the means by which Departments request a stop payment on a vendor or travel expense-related payment.

What is the difference between a payment cancellation and a reissue?

A payment cancellation closes the voucher and reverses the initial accounting entries, returning the expended funds to the department. A reissue will generate another check or EFT to the vendor, without taking additional funds from the department.


Updated - 01/03/20