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. The “Bill To” information should be to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).
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.
Attach the below form with the Payment Authorization Routing 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?
The Banner Finance Department Account Code Listing is located at https://www.mtsu.edu/boffice/resources.php. When in doubt, please e-mail Accounting Services for guidance. A link to “Frequently Used Expenses Account Codes” is included on the Payment Authorization Routing Form.
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 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. Paper forms are no longer accepted.
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 policy:
Food and Beverages – Policy 661
** 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 Purchase Routing Form” (https://itdwebapps.mtsu.edu/DFPassThrough/DFCasSSOAuth?TargetResource=https://dynamicforms.ngwebsolutions.com/Submit/Form/Start/f46bfa5c-331d-492b-abc9-9b18020f4525 ).
For food purchases using the P-Card, please use the Food Purchase Routing Form – PCard, which is located on the Business Office Forms page (https://mtsu.edu/boffice/forms.php). Please note that the approved form must be received by PCard Compliance 5 days prior to the event date to ensure adequate time for vendor setup and card use activation for food purchase.
How do I document a membership/subscription?
Please see the “Membership and Subscription – Policy 660” located at
Each department/department head will be responsible for ensuring the membership and subscription purchase adheres to the parameters of this policy. All memberships and subscriptions are under the discretion and responsibility of the department head.
Each department is encouraged to develop a specific procedure for procuring and tracking memberships and subscriptions to ensure adherence to this policy.
Memberships and subscriptions may be purchased with a Payment Authorization through Accounting Services.
Memberships and subscriptions may be purchased using a University P-card and must follow policies relating to proper card use and card security measures as addressed in Policy 632 Purchasing Card (P-Card) Program.
Payment for either a new or renewed subscription, up to two (2) years, will be made in the fiscal year the original subscription is invoiced or the renewal invoice is received and does not need to coincide with the fiscal year. No payments will be permitted for more than a two (2)-year period.
Whom do I contact for additional information or further guidance?
Accounts Payable Manager
Director, Accounting Services