FAQ's Accounts Payable
Accounts Payable Frequently Asked Questions and Procedures:
MTSU Accounting Services
Cope Administration Building Room 106
Where do I tell a vendor to send an invoice?
An invoice should be mailed to MTSU Accounting Services, CAB 106, 1301 E Main St, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. Vendors may email invoices to firstname.lastname@example.org. If a department receives an invoice, please forward the hard copy to Accounts Payable or forward the email chain to email@example.com. You may ask the vendor to copy your department on the invoice e-mail. Accounting Services must pay from the original source document as part of the University’s internal control procedures for audit review purposes.
What is an acceptable invoice?
An invoice should have an invoice number, vendor address, an itemized description and amount due clearly stated. If the vendor (possibly an individual) does not have a company logo, a signature is required for authenticity.
When is my department required to obtain a W-9?
The University requires a W-9 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf) for each U.S. vendor or individual Accounting Services pays. The Office of Business and Finance requires a W-8BEN (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8ben.pdf) when paying foreign individuals.
For non-U.S. entities, one of the following W-8 Series forms may be required:
- W-8BEN-E (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8bene.pdf) – Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for U.S. Withholding and Reporting (Entities)
- W-8ECI – https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8eci.pdf - Certificate of Foreign Person’s Claim that Income is Effectively Connected with the Conduct of Trade or Business in the U.S.
- W-8EXP – https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8exp.pdf - Certificate of Foreign Government or Other Foreign Organization for U.S. Tax Withholding and Reporting
- W-8IMY - https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8imy.pdf - Certificate of Foreign Intermediary, Foreign Flow-through Entity, or Certain U.S. Branches for U.S. Tax Withholding and Reporting
Most foreign payments require wire payment processing. Please contact Nina Endsley in Accounting Services, 615 898-2174. The University requires complete bank instructions and the appropriate W-8 Series form before Accounting Services remits payment.
Is it possible to give a gift card?
The University does not encourage the purchase and distribution of gift cards to individuals; however, if a University business purpose requires gift cards, departments should follow the “Gifts, Prizes, and Awards Policy 659”, which is located at https://www.mtsu.edu/policies/business-and-finance/659.php.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers gift cards and gift certificates as cash equivalents and taxable income to the recipient. Due to their cash equivalency nature, departments may not provide gift cards without prior approval by a division’s Vice President or Provost and the Vice President for Business and Finance. Adequate controls must be in place for the safekeeping and distribution of the cards. Authorizing departments that will purchase and distribute gift cards within two weeks may purchase the cards on credit at the Kroger located at 1622 Middle Tennessee Boulevard in Murfreesboro. To document a gift card exchange, each card recipient must acknowledge the receipt of each card by signature. If an authorized gift card purchase and distribution will not occur within two weeks, the employee should purchase the card(s) and receive reimbursement after the distribution. Departments should purchase and distribute cards within the same fiscal year. For additional detailed guidance, please contact Accounting Services.
Use the below form with the University Payment Authorization form in order to substantiate payment:
Gifts, Prizes, or Awards Recipient Information Form:
Use the following form to document a recipient’s signature:
Gift Card Log - https://www.mtsu.edu/boffice/docs/GiftCard_Log.pdf
May my department provide gift cards for research participants?
A separate policy governs research participant payments. For guidance and reporting requirements, please review “Research Participant Payments, Policy 664” located at https://www.mtsu.edu/policies/business-and-finance/664.php.
May our department give a gift card to an employee?
Departments may not use University funds to purchase gift cards for employees. The Foundation has authorized the purchase of gift cards for student employees and retirees. For additional guidance concerning this process, please see the “Cash Awards to Employees” procedure located at https://www.mtsu.edu/boffice/docs/AwardsToEmployees.pdf.
How do I determine which account code to use when completing the University Payment Authorization Form?
Please locate “Policies, Procedures and Resources” on the Office of Business and Finance website https://www.mtsu.edu/boffice/acct_payable.php. Select “Resources” and go to the “Banner Finance Department Account Code Listing.” When in doubt, please e-mail Accounting Services for guidance.
Is there a limit for an honorarium payment?
An honorarium is a gift for an amount up to $500. Any amount above this must be completed through MT$ource using the Contract Office form. The University requires invoices for negotiated services.
Who can send MTSU’s W-9 and Sales Tax Exemption Certificate to a vendor? Will the University send this information on behalf of an MTSU student organization?
Departments should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or e-mail the responsible Accounts Payable representative. Please see our staff listing at https://www.mtsu.edu/boffice/staff.php.
Student organizations are separate entities from MTSU. Each organization should have its own EIN. The organizations may not use the University’s W-9 or tax-exempt certificate.
Where are the most up-to-date forms for payment processing?
Departments should go to the Office of Business and Finance web site located at the following address: https://www.mtsu.edu/boffice/forms.php. To process payments in the correct manner, departments should always start with a form located on the web site, because it will be the most up-to-date.
What do I need to know before purchasing food for a department event or activity?
Prior to initiating a food purchase, please review the following policies:
1) Meals and Refreshments for Both On and Off Campus – Policy 661
2) Food Service Provided – Self Catered or Off-Campus Vendor – Policy 662
** MTSU currently has an exclusive contract with Aramark for all food service on campus**
How do I document a food purchase?
To pay a food vendor or reimburse an employee for food from state funds, please use the “Food Payment Authorization” (https://www.mtsu.edu/boffice/docs/FoodPaymentAuthorization.pdf).
Application to Bring Food on Campus Form (approval required 5 days prior to event)
How do I document a membership/subscription?
Please see the “Membership and Subscription – Policy 660” located at
An approval form is required. Please see the New Subscription/Membership form: https://www.mtsu.edu/boffice/docs/subscription.pdf.
Departments must currently submit first-time memberships or subscriptions through Accounts Payable via a University Payment Authorization. Departments may pay renewals via the P-Card.
Whom do I contact for additional information or further guidance?
Accounts Payable Manager
Director, Accounting Services